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Boris Johnson Set to Become British Prime Minister; South Korea: Russia Apologizes For Plane Incident; Two Missing Canadians Now Suspects in Killing of Three People in British Columbia; Study: "Sonic Attack" May Have Changed Diplomats' Brains; Singapore Seizes Largest Haul Ivory In Its History; Tokyo Games Are One Year Away. Aired 2-3a ET

Aired July 24, 2019 - 02:00   ET

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


[02:00:00]

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WILL RIPLEY, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Hello and welcome to our viewers all around the world. I'm Will Ripley and this is CNN NEWSROOM.

Coming up, Boris Johnson takes over as Britain's new leader today. From Brexit to Iran, we'll break down some of the immediate challenges he'll be facing.

Robert Mueller's highly anticipated testimony: the former special counsel heads to Capitol Hill in a few hours, answering questions about his investigation into Russian interference in the U.S. election.

Plus a record seizure of smuggled ivory in Singapore. We'll talk to an expert about the state of the illegal wildlife trade.

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RIPLEY: Boris Johnson is now just hours away from becoming the U.K.'s next prime minister. He was named Conservative Party leader on Tuesday and soon he will have to hit the ground running.

Johnson inherits a government divided by Brexit and a deadline to leave the E.U. by October 31st. He's already a hugely controversial figure, not least because he's a hardline Brexiteer, willing to crash out of the E.U. without a deal.

Here's part of his victory speech on Tuesday.

Johnson says he is ready to crash out of the E.U., do or die, without a deal. He aimed to fire up conservatives in his victory speech on Tuesday.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BORIS JOHNSON, INCOMING BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: We know the mantra of the campaign that has just gone by, in case you've forgotten it, you probably have. It is deliver Brexit, unite the country and defeat Jeremy Corbyn.

Deliver, unite and defeat was not the perfect acronym for an election campaign since, unfortunately, it spells it DUDLEY: . But they forgot the final E, my friends. E for energize.

And I say, I say to all the judges, dude, we are going to energize the country, we're going to get the Brexit done on October 31st.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

RIPLEY: CNN's Anna Stewart joins me now live. She's outside 10 Downing Street in London.

Anna, OK, so we know being prime minister's a lifelong dream for Boris Johnson. But what will this mean for Britain?

ANNA STEWART, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I think most significantly it means Brexit is going to happen on October 31st. About 99 days and a few hours away, no matter what because Boris Johnson has said time and time again that he would take us out of the E.U., do or die, deal or no deal.

Obviously that has huge repercussions for Britain, for your average person. The pound could devalue by quite a lot, by 10 percent. It has huge ramifications for business and trade and all sorts of other things.

What else does a Johnson government mean?

Possibly more women, more ethnic minorities represented in the new cabinet. We expect that to be appointed today and tomorrow. And perhaps more interesting politics. He is known for his bombastic manner, verbose speeches, plenty of gaffes and jokes.

RIPLEY: Aside from saying he's so willing to crash out of without a deal, despite all the forecasts of economic catastrophe, what is his plan to deliver on Brexit where Theresa May failed?

STEWART: He really does want to get a deal and he's made that very clear. The problem is nothing has changed in Parliament and nothing has changed in the E.U. in terms of Parliament remains extremely divided between those that do and don't want Brexit and those who want middle ground soft deal.

The E.U. says they will not reopen the withdrawal agreement. So what we have is 99 and a bit days until this Brexit deadline comes. At around 30 days for Parliament to debate it because MPs head off for recess tomorrow. Bad timing for summer holidays.

So there's not much time to get that deal forward and the E.U. is absolutely adamant that they will not remove the controversial Irish backstop. They will not make any major changes.

So although Johnson thinks he can do it by threatening the risk of a no-deal, which neither the E.U. nor Parliament want, it's unclear how he can find a middle way.

RIPLEY: Interesting days ahead, CNN's Anna Stewart live in London, thank you.

Navigating Brexit is not the only major challenge facing Boris Johnson. It might not even be the most immediate. CNN's Matthew Chance reports Iran continues holding a --

[02:05:00]

RIPLEY: -- British tanker seized in the Strait of Hormuz last week.

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MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): These are the treacherous diplomatic waters to which Britain's new prime minister is set to plunge.

The escalating crisis with Iran and its seizure of a British flagged oil tanker to be one of Boris Johnson's most urgent (INAUDIBLE).

Already there's been a Twitter congratulations and a direct message from the inn foreign minister.

JAVAD ZARIF, IRANIAN FOREIGN MINISTER: I think it is very important for Boris Johnson as he enters 10 Downing Street to understand that Iran does not seek confrontation. Iran wants to have normal relations based on mutual respect.

CHANCE (voice-over): But a sometimes clownish Boris Johnson has a checkered history for dealing with the Islamic Republic. In his (INAUDIBLE) stint as British Foreign Secretary, he made damaging remarks about a British Iranian woman, sentenced to five years in an Iranian jail for spying.

She was trying to return home to London with her young daughter after visiting her family on holiday when she was arrested at Tehran Airport back in 2016.

Foreign minister Johnson mistakenly said she was in Iran teaching people journalism.

BORIS JOHNSON, FORMER BRITISH FOREIGN MINISTER: My mistake. That was my mistake.

CHANCE (voice-over): He was then forced to apologize over concerns he could've caused her jail sentence to be prolonged.

JOHNSON: It was my mistake. I should have been clearer. I apologize for the distress. I apologize for the distress and anguish that has been caused to her and her family.

CHANCE (voice-over): There are people at risk in the latest British crisis with Iran, too, namely the 23 crew members on board the Stena Impero detained under Iranian guard. Their fate, not just the tankers, may also be decided by how a prime minister Johnson deals with Iran when he takes office -- Matthew Chance, CNN, on the Gulf of Oman.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

RIPLEY: South Korea says Russia has apologized for a mid air confrontation off the country's east coast, the first of its kind in decades. The Russian attach blamed a mechanical malfunction for one of its planes possibly intruding on territorial airspace plane claimed by South Korea and Japan.

South Korea says it scrambled fighter jets and fired hundreds of warning shots to chase the plane away. Japan also said it scrambled its own jets. Earlier, Moscow accused South Korea of acting recklessly.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LT. GEN. SERGEY KOBYLACH, RUSSIAN AEROSPACE FORCE (through translator): During the mission, the aviation group was accomplished on 11 occasions by fighter aircraft from foreign countries, the crews of the South Korean aircraft were unprofessional, in a disputed island region they carried out dangerous maneuvers crossing the trajectory of the air 1 group and posing a threat to flight safety.

The actions of South Korean crews should be considered as air hooliganism.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

RIPLEY: Strong words from Russia. Let's bring in CNN's Steven Jiang is following updates in the region.

South Korea claims that Russia has apologized but what is Russia saying?

STEVEN JIANG, CNN SENIOR PRODUCER, BEIJING BUREAU: Well, as of now, Russia has not said anything on these latest quoted by South Korean officials. As you are saying, they are quoting a Russian attache in Seoul, quoting him as saying a Russia expressing deep regret and acknowledging their aircraft accidentally entered into South Korean airspace due to a mechanical problem.

This Russian official now asking the South Korean side to produce evidence including timing of the incident, location coordinates as well as any images the South Koreans may have captured to help Russia launch its own investigation into this incident to prevent any such future occurrences.

If this is confirmed by Moscow, both sides are trying to dial down the temperature a little bit and calm things down after what initially seem to be a very chaotic and confusing situation involving four different countries.

RIPLEY: Russia saying it happened during this joint air patrol with China, what's the comment on that there in Beijing?

JIANG: I asked a Chinese defense ministry spokesperson about that this morning, he emphasized the routine nature of this joint air patrol conducted by Russian and Chinese air forces on Tuesday.

That's what happened before this intrusion and the warning shots were fired, so the Chinese spokesperson was saying that air patrol was --

[02:10:00]

JIANG: -- long planned as part of the annual exercise programs and the four aircraft in that operation did not enter any other country's airspace and that operation was not targeting any third party, trying to allay fears with Chinese and Russian militaries getting too close for the comfort of other countries in the region.

RIPLEY: And I guess it's safe to say Japan is not happy about any of this.

JIANG: That's right, Japan is involved because, remember, the region, the airspace that the Russian aircraft intruded on, is actually claimed by both Japan and South Korea, these two islands. So Japan has protested against Russia and South Korea for violating its own territorial airspace.

But Japan and South Korea are also both U.S. allies, so that's an added dimension here. The U.S. has added its voice in all of this with U.S. military spokesman saying it's in coordination with Japan and South Korea, as well as trying to follow up with China and Russia to find out what happened.

The U.S. military spokesman said that the U.S. is committed to defend its allies in the region. So if you think about it, it's a case involving five parties, Will.

RIPLEY: Things always get testy in that territorial area, airspace and water. Steven Jiang in Beijing, thank you.

Here on NEWSROOM, we're talking about Robert Mueller, of course, getting ready for his big moment, even if he did not want it. Ahead, how the former special counsel is preparing for his testimony.

Plus, a dire warning from the FBI director about Russia's efforts to meddle in the 2020 election, that's next.

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RIPLEY: In just a few hours, special counsel Robert Mueller will testify on Capitol Hill in some of the most anticipated hearings in years, it is a make or break moment for Democrats, who hope that Mueller's testimony about the Russia investigation can help convince skeptics to impeach the president.

Meanwhile, Donald Trump is repeating his claims about the investigation.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: This whole witch hunt that is going on today, want to talk about it --

[02:15:00]

TRUMP: -- for a second?

The Russian witch hunt. First of all, it's very bad for our country. It goes on for years and years, no collusion, no obstruction. They interviewed 500 people. Listen to this, 2,500 subpoenas. They did everything. The collusion?

No collusion. They have no collusion.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

RIPLEY: The president did not stop there, blasting a last-minute request from the former special counsel Robert Mueller who asked to have his deputy join him during testimony.

President Trump was not happy about that, tweeting this, "Just got back only to hear of the last-minute change allowing a never Trumper attorney to help Robert Mueller with his testimony before Congress tomorrow. What a disgrace to our system. Never heard of this before. Very unfair, should not be allowed. A rigged witch hunt."

More now from CNN's Manu Raju on Capitol Hill.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Late drama on the eve of the most anticipated congressional hearing in decades, after former special counsel Robert Mueller made a last- minute request to allow his former deputy to be sworn in to answer questions.

The GOP raising alarms, with the top Republican on the Judiciary Committee, Doug Collins, saying doing so would undercut the committee's integrity. While Democrats agreed to allow the deputy, Aaron Zebley, to sit next to Mueller, the committee source told CNN the special counsel is expected to be the only one sworn in as a witness.

The feud underscores the stakes ahead of Wednesday's testimony about Mueller's probe into Russian interference and the president's conduct. Many Democrats argue the hearing will change public perception about President Trump's alleged criminal conduct.

(on camera): Do you think that it could change the dial on impeachment?

REP. JOAQUIN CASTRO (D-TX): I think it certainly could.

RAJU (voice-over): After Mueller requested guide sans ahead of the testimony, the Judiciary Committee responded by warning Mueller not to go beyond the boundaries of the report or talk about individuals who are not charged, which could include the president's son, Donald Trump Jr.

REP. JERROLD NADLER (D-NY): I think it is incredibly arrogant of the department to try to instruct him as to what to say as part of the ongoing cover-up by the administration to keep information away from the American people.

RAJU: Privately, both sides holding mock hearings to prepare. Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee focusing on five episodes of potential obstruction of justice, including Trump's alleged efforts to fire the special counsel, limit the investigation and urge witnesses not to cooperate with federal prosecutors.

Then the focus will shift to the House Intelligence Committee, where Democrats plan to ask Mueller about Trump's advanced knowledge in 2016 of the WikiLeaks e-mail dump and campaign contacts with the Russians.

Republicans want to train their focus on the origins of the probe and alleged bias on Mueller's team, while drilling home the point that no one on the Trump campaign was charged with conspiring with the Russians in 2016, as top Republicans in the Senate are dismissing the hearing.

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): And I don't think anything Mueller can say that is going to change anybody's mind.

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY): I don't intend to be watching it.

RAJU: Now, as he walked into a mock hearing just moments ago, the Judiciary Committee chairman of the House, Jerry Nadler, just told me that the hearing will go on but he would not comment about this issue involving the deputy and whether or not it has a result of the special counsel.

At the same time, it's the only time we're going to see the special counsel on Capitol Hill. Republicans in the Senate have no desire to bring him before their committees. They control that chamber and the chairman of the key Senate Intelligence Committee chairman told me that he has no desire to bring in Bob Mueller.

When I asked him why not, he said, "He did a report." -- Manu Raju, CNN, Capitol Hill.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

RIPLEY: As for Robert Mueller, he plans to keep his testimony within the bounds of the 448-page report. But most Americans have not read it, which means they have not heard about President Trump's attempts to sabotage the investigation, the series of lies and changing stories and so on.

Democrats hope him just reciting some of the most incriminating parts of the report will have a lasting report for Americans. Here's what some committee chairs are saying ahead of the hearings.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. JERRY NADLER (D-NY): My hope for tomorrow is what I said before, that the Mueller investigation revealed a lot of conduct by the president which the American people should be aware of.

The president and the attorney general have systematically lied to the American people about what was in that report and no, they said no obstruction, no collusion; he was totally exonerated. All of those three statements are not true. It's important that the American people understand what was in that report and then we will go from there.

REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): I hope that where we are this time tomorrow is --

[02:20:00]

SCHIFF: -- with a better public understanding of the gravity of what the Russians did, the systemic nature of what the Russians did and the gravity of what the Trump campaign did and what our own president did, how unethical it was, how unpatriotic it was.

Whether it could be proved to meet all the elements of the crime of conspiracy, to willingly invite, make use of foreign help and not just foreign help but help from a foreign adversary, a country that wishes us ill and then to obstruct the investigation into that foreign interference for reasons of selfish protection of reputation or a desire to avoid criminal culpability, regardless of what it does to the country and it leaves the country vulnerable, if the country has a better understanding of those facts, I will consider the hearing to be successful.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

RIPLEY: Let's get some more insight into how the Mueller testimony will play out. Michael Zeldin is joining me from Washington, he's a CNN legal analyst and was Robert Mueller's special assistant at the U.S. Department of Justice.

Michael, we really appreciate you being here.

And I'm curious based on what you know about Robert Mueller, what will be his main objective going into these hearings?

MICHAEL ZELDIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, we have in Mueller a very reluctant witness. He would prefer to only let his report be what the American people heard from his investigation, but it's not the way it will be.

He has to testify. And what he is going to do is give, I think, the skinny of his report, the narrative that he wrote, in oral form and he's not going to stray from it.

RIPLEY: So, given that, how effective is this testimony going to be in shifting the narrative as, frankly, Republicans and Democrats are hoping to do?

ZELDIN: I think they're going to be -- both sides are going to be a bit disappointed in Mueller. We'll see, but what the Democrats are really hoping -- because nobody realistically has read that 448-page report, that they'll watch the movie.

That is, they'll watch Mueller tomorrow and that they'll be able to elicit from Mueller all of the obstructionist behavior the Democrats feel the president engaged in and which Mueller documented in his report.

So, I think they are hoping here they'll listen to something that they haven't read and if they have an my, minute in listening to it, it will move the needle forward as Republicans --

(CROSSTALK)

RIPLEY: As you said -- yes, if they didn't read the book, let's hope they watch the movie. But is it going to be that exciting of a movie, I guess is the question.

ZELDIN: Yes. I don't think, you know, having worked for Mueller, that he's going to tell a tale. He's not like former independent counsel Ken Starr who was very full throated in his recitation of his findings with respect to the impeachment inquiry into Bill Clinton.

I think in Mueller you have a very reticent witness who the information will have to be pulled out of and that doesn't make for a good story teller.

RIPLEY: We know that House Democrats want to prove that President Trump violated the law and Republicans want to prove that this was sort of a one-sided report. So, who has the better shot, would you say?

ZELDIN: Well, I think the Republicans have the greater danger of upsetting Mueller if they attack his credibility. You may have a made- for-TV-moment if they say that you, Mueller, were conflicted or you, Mueller, hired 13 angry Democrats, the refrain that the president uses.

I think Mueller will take great offense at that and you may have one of these stares down moments between the Republicans and Mueller over that.

With respect to who has the greater opportunity to convince the American people that something went wrong during the Trump campaign and during the Trump presidency, the facts are on the Democrats' side. The evidence that Mueller laid out, he called substantial evidence of obstruction of justice.

So, if they can get that evidence out into the public domain, then I think they have the better opportunity to convince the public that something further should be done here.

RIPLEY: So, do you see this being the Watergate-style moment that some have envisioned? I mean, the facts are this report has been out for months. Most Americans, as you said, haven't read it.

And for the weeks before the report was even out, there was this misleading summary from the Attorney General William Barr that set the narrative for many people who may have already moved on.

ZELDIN: Yes. My dad used to say you get one chance to make a good first impression. And I think the attorney general made that impression with his --

[02:25:00]

ZELDIN: -- misleading summary report. He upset Mueller by issuing that report. We know that Mueller wanted his own summary to be the first impression that the American people had, but Barr upstaged him.

And I don't know that we can now undo that which Barr did and which we have heard now from the president and his supporters over and over, no collusion, no obstruction. It's going to be hard to get people to take a second look, is my fear for the Democrats.

RIPLEY: You characterize Robert Mueller as a reluctant witness and yet why would he not want to get out there and reset the narrative about nearly two years of work, two years of investigation?

ZELDIN: It's a great question. I don't know the answer. The Bob Mueller I worked for in the Justice Department, I thought would have been eager to tell the American people all of what he did and all of what he found, but we have in Mueller now a different person who seems to want to just have his report be that which is his testimony. And if he had his way, I don't think he'd be there at all tomorrow.

RIPLEY: Michael Zeldin, we really appreciate your insight and analysis. And we will be watching as will you very closely later on.

ZELDIN: Thanks, Will.

RIPLEY: Thank you.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

RIPLEY: Robert Mueller's report accused Russia of waging a sweeping and systematic campaign to interfere with the 2016 U.S. elections. Now the FBI director Christopher Wray says Moscow is still at it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): Are the Russians still trying to interfere in our election system?

CHRISTOPHER WRAY, FBI DIRECTOR: The Russians are absolutely intent on trying to interfere with our elections through --

(CROSSTALK)

GRAHAM: Is it fair to say that everything we've done against Russia has not deterred them enough? All the sanctions, all the talk, they are still at it?

WRAY: My view is, until they stop, they haven't been deterred enough.

GRAHAM: And they are still doing it?

WRAY: Yes.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

RIPLEY: Wray says the FBI is devoting significant resources to fight election interference but it's still not enough for Democrats. Republicans say any more improvements should be made by the states and not by the federal government.

President Trump issued what was widely seen as a light-hearted warning to Vladimir Putin, remember that last month at the G20 summit, when he looked at him and said, "Don't meddle in the election, please."

The British economy is already jittery about Brexit, just ahead how BoJo plans to use his mojo to avoid a costly crash.

Plus London and Paris, get ready, turn up the air conditioning, records are set to be broken as yet another heat wave sweeps across Europe.

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RIPLEY: Welcome back to CNN NEWSROOM. Here are the headlines at this hour.

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[02:30:00]

A big day in Britain, Boris Johnson, he is promising to take that country out of the E.U. by October 31st, with or without a deal. Goldman Sachs says it still believes the U.K. is more likely to stay in the block than leave without a deal. However, it says the most likely outcome is a negotiated exit, probably after pushing back the deadline once again.

With Johnson as prime minister, Goldman predicts, the chance of a no- deal Brexit has increased from 15 to 20 percent. European leaders, well, they're trying to sound optimistic.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

URSULA VON DER LEYEN, INCOMING PRESIDENT OF THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION: There are many different and difficult issues to tackle together. We have challenging times ahead of us. I think it is very important to build up a strong and a good working relation because we have the duty to deliver something, which is good for people in Europe and in the United Kingdom, so I'm looking forward to working with him.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

RIPLEY: The E.U.'s chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, says the block is ready, ready to work constructively with Johnson, to achieve an orderly Brexit. Many economic analysts are far less optimistic. Business leaders, they've been watching Johnson's Brexit strategy for months. CNN's Anna Stewart tells us not all of them like what they see.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ANNA STEWART, CNN INTERNATIONAL REPORTER: It's been a bumpy journey to number 10, for one of Britain's best-known politicians. Boris Johnson has a reputation for gasps and bluster. His Brexit stance has been clear from the start, although, it hasn't always been communicated well.

BORIS JOHNSON, THEN-FOREIGN SECRETARY, UNITED KINGDOM: I will be advocating vote leave, or whatever the team is (INAUDIBLE) I'm sending many of them.

STEWART: Now, the world wants to know more detail.

JOHNSON: Brexit will, of, course, be pushing our plan into action, and to come out on October the --

ROSS KEMPSELL, POLITICAL EDITOR, TALK RADIO: 31st.

JOHNSON: 31st, correct.

KEMPSELL: Come what may.

JOHNSON: Come what may.

KEMPSELL: Do or die?

JOHNSON: Do or die.

STEWART: Making no deal, the default option on October 31st, has businesses worried and markets, jittery.

JANE FOLEY, SENIOR F.X. STRATEGIST, RABOBANK: Investors getting very worried and the pound beginning to price in a greater probability that we could indeed see a no-deal Brexit. I think, somewhat, between 110, 105 on a -- on a no deal Brexit, is certainly a very strong probability.

STEWART: As Boris Johnson prepares to enter the doors of number 10, warnings about a no-deal Brexit are growing. A government report says that U.K. could face a year-long recession, and the pound could plunge 10 percent. The answer from the Boris team, though, optimism. LIZ TRUSS, CHIEF SECRETARY TO THE TREASURY, UNITED KINGDOM: They want somebody who's going to go out there and make a positive case for Britain who's going to attract business, investors, into our country.

STEWART: Then (INAUDIBLE) prime ministers wider attitude to business.

OWEN SMITH, MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT, UNITED KINGDOM: Can the Secretary of State confirm and remotely justify that his response was to say, F business?

JOHNSON: I don't think anybody could doubt the passionate support of this government for business and it may be -- it may be that I have, from time to time, expressed skepticism about some of the views of the -- those who profess to speak up for business.

STEWART: Boris Johnson has announced an array of plans, including tax cuts, leaving many to compare his economic policies to another Maverick politician.

TRUSS: I don't necessarily agree with everything Donald Trump does or says. However, I do think some of the policies on economic growth have been successful in the U.S. and certainly, there are lessons to be learned.

STEWART: From cutting taxes to spending on infrastructure, broadband, police and education, it's not yet clear how the new government will afford it all, especially if Boris Johnson's do or die, no deal predictions, blow the economy off course. Anna Stewart, CNN, London.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

[02:35:11] RIPLEY: Well, as if the politics weren't enough, weather forecasters also say the U.K. will be sizzling this week. There's a heat wave that could set a record. They say temperatures will peak Thursday when the mercury could reach the mid to high 30s. London and southeast England are expected to be hottest parts of the U.K.

And France is also bracing for record-setting heat as well. Meteorologists say temperatures in Paris could top 40 degrees Wednesday and Thursday, potentially breaking records set in June. Meteorologist Pedram Javaheri is keeping track of all of this for us. So, this is even more intense than that European heat wave about a month ago?

PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN INTERNATIONAL METEOROLOGIST: It is, absolutely. You know, and what's impressive about this is that not only are we setting records, but we are potentially in line here to set records that are all-time across some of these nations and records across this region, for some countries go back to the early 1800s.

So, when you're looking at several hundred years' worth of data and you see at no point in history, we've had a July day or any day in the calendar, come as high as it is expected to go across the next couple of days.

You know it's a serious situation and, in fact, the governments across this region, issuing heat advisories widespread across the area, and in particular, in Belgium, a high alert for heat. And you look at these temps, Brussels, expected to climb above 37 by this afternoon, potentially touch 40 degrees come Thursday afternoon.

And notice this time of year, the average high temperature which is, of course, the warm season right now, the heart of it, should be 22 degrees for an afternoon high. Look at Brussels at this hour, the sun rises across this region, already sitting four degrees above their warmest they should be, on average, for this time of year, the warmest time of year.

And, of course, you work your way into portions of the U.K., already climbing into the upper teens and low 20s, which is also above average, of course, for the afternoon, this time of year, but it is very early in the morning hours.

But, we know our body does a fantastic job, cooling itself off very efficiently, and more than 20 percent of your body heat is actually removed from your body from sweating. And you want to drink at least two liters of water on days like this to be able to allow your body to perspire, of course, allow itself to cool off.

But, really, important things to note, you want to reduce your protein consumption, that doesn't allow your body to efficiently cool off and, also, you want to protect your skin, sunburns also really significantly reduce your body's ability to cool itself off.

Now, look at this here, hottest ever observed across the U.K., that was August 2003, the deadliest heat wave on record on our planet. Temps rose across that region up to 38.5. In London, Thursday afternoon, highest could be in line with that 2003 heat wave, with a high of 38 degrees.

And, in fact, compare London to Cairo, and notice the temperature trend. London wins out even if you compare cities such as Paris to Tehran. Paris would be warmer. Paris, in fact, is in line with temperatures you would see in Dubai or Abu Dhabi, this time of year, so, really, an impressive perspective here, as the ridge begins to build and force its way across portions of Scandinavia.

Here's the forecast expectation for Thursday will in Paris, 42 to 43 degrees, hottest-ever observed, you'd have to go back to 1947, Paris made it to 40.4, so a significant level above that already hot number there, potentially on Thursday.

RIPLEY: Just incredible. And you wonder why people keep talking about climate change. You see record after record broken every single year. It is just scary. Pedram, hopefully people stay safe. Thank you.

JAVAHERI: Thanks Will.

RIPLEY: Drug-resistant strains of malaria are spreading across Southeast Asia, raising fears of a potential global health emergency. Two new studies have found the failure rate for the top two drugs used to treat Asian malaria, skyrocketing across Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam.

Researchers are urging countries to adopt alternative treatments. Nearly half a million people around the world die of malaria each year. It is transmitted by mosquitoes.

Two Canadian teenagers who were once believed missing, well now, they're considered suspects in the killing of three people in British Columbia. Police say these two were last seen about a day's drive east of where the victims' bodies were found.

They are now suspects in the shooting of this American woman and her Australian boyfriend. They were on a road trip through Canada to Alaska. Another man's body was also found along the highway, near a burning car. CNN's Paula Newton is tracking this investigation.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

PAULA NEWTON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: An absolutely shocking turn of events here and mystifying for the families involved, for police, now trying to locate the two lead suspects, just teenagers themselves, in the murder of that young couple, the very violent murder of that young couple, but also the death of a, so far, unidentified man. I want you to listen to Canadian police.

SGT. JANELLE SHOIHET, SPOKESPERSON, ROYAL CANADIAN MOUNTED POLICE: Investigators have also been able to confirm that Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky, have left British Columbia and have been spotted in northern Saskatchewan. We believe that they're likely continuing to travel.

[02:40:08] Given these latest developments, Kam and Bryer are no longer considered missing, the RCMP are now considering Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky, as suspects in the Dease Lake suspicious death and the double homicide of Lucas Fowler and Chynna Deese.

NEWTON: The police now saying that they're enlisting help right across Canada that they were spotted in northern Saskatchewan. You're talking about a huge track of wilderness here. Also, about a 24-hour drive from these crimes had happened.

If these two men are in hiding, you're talking about hiding in the size of tracks of land that are the size of small countries. This could be, in fact, very difficult. And in the meantime, you know, families completely heartbroken.

CNN spoke to the mother of Chynna Deese, Sheila Deese, says she was looking at surveillance video of this couple at a gas station, the last moments that her daughter spent with her boyfriend, heartbreaking, she said.

She said she kept watching the video over and over and over again. Police, though, refusing to talk this soon about anything to do with motive or any of the evidence that would led them to believe that these were suspects in, at least, two murders, but also possibly the death of, so far, unidentified man, Paula newton, CNN, Ottawa.

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RIPLEY: And we have more tragic news, this time, from the world of boxing, Russian fighter, Maxim Dadashev has died from brain injury sustained in the ring. The junior welterweight was visibly struggling on Friday, until his trainer threw in the towel after the 11th round.

Dadashev had to be helped out of the ring, and he collapsed on the way to the dressing room. The rising star boxer underwent emergency surgery. They tried to alleviate bleeding on the brain. Dadashev was placed in a medically-induced coma. He died from his injuries at the age of just 28.

Still to come, new details on the alleged sonic attacks on U.S. diplomats in Cuba, nearly three years after the mysterious incident, researchers note some unusual findings in the brains of those workers.

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[02:44:53] RIPLEY: Almost three years after the alleged sonic attacks on U.S. government personnel in Cuba, a new study is out and it suggests, whatever happened, may have affected their brains. Researchers studied 40 of those workers who complained of concussion- like symptoms, including sharp ear pain, headaches, and vertigo. And they found that they have visible differences in their brains compared to a control group.

CNN's Alex Marquardt has more on the mysterious phenomenon some are calling, Havana syndrome.

ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: In this new study, led by a doctor at the University of Pennsylvania, what they are saying is without a doubt, something did change in the brains of those U.S. officials at the embassy in Havana.

And what they did here was they took MRIs, brain scans of 40 different U.S. officials, compared them to comparable people. 48 in the -- in that control group. And what they found, the author said, was there were group differences all over the brains. Specifically, variations in brain structure and functional connectivity. The conclusion, the study says that something happened and we need to look further.

Now, what's difficult here is this study didn't have MRIs of those 40 officials from before. But what they said in layman's terms essentially is that if you took this group of people and took them into a brain injury clinic and doctors study them and didn't know what had happened to them, they would think that these people had been in a huge car crash or been in an explosion in a warzone.

There's a long list of symptoms that they found in these people, and in others that they studied in the wake of this. Including a sharp ear pain, headaches, ringing in the ears, vertigo. They -- people reported a loss of memory, of concentration, sleeping, and headaches -- problems with sleeping rather, lasted more than three months. And people reported feeling mentally foggy or slowed.

These attacks started happening in late 2016. We've called them sonic attacks, but there really is a range of things -- a range of things that were heard in these attacks, including intensely loud sounds, buzzing, grinding metal, piercing squeals, and humming.

The doctors are saying, however, it was not the sounds that caused this pain in these injuries. Rather, those were the consequence they say of the exposure.

RIPLEY: In 2017, the U.S. State Department said the diplomats' ailments may have been triggered by a possible acoustic attack, using sonic devices. But Cuban officials to this day continue to deny that such an attack occurred.

Singapore says it has seized the largest haul of ivory in its history. Nearly nine tons. Look at this, it came from the tusks of nearly 300 elephants. And it's worth nearly $13 million on the black market. But that's not all. Nearly 13 tons of pangolin scales were also seized. The scaly anteaters scales believed to have medicinal qualities would fetch more than $35 million on the black market.

All of it was apparently headed to Vietnam from the Democratic Republic of Congo seized in transit through Singapore. Let's bring in Janissa Ng of the World Wildlife Federation, who joins me now live from Singapore.

Janissa, your organization says that poachers kill 55 elephants every single day in Africa. That's 20,000 a year. Are -- that many people still actually buying ivory?

JANISSA NG, SENIOR MANAGER, WORLD WILDLIFE FUND: Absolutely, and it's not just ivory that we are talking about but wildlife products. And the demand is so strong for wildlife products, whether for luxury or for medicinal. For important medicinal purposes, that is creating a lot of unsustainable pressure on wildlife species in source markets from around the world.

And what this -- what happened in Singapore is that wildlife from this source markets that were poached came through Singapore, which is a transshipment hub for illegal wildlife products on the way to these demand markets.

RIPLEY: For every seizure like this one in Singapore, how many of these products are making their way to the black market?

NG: This is the illegal wildlife trade we're talking about, and it's run by criminal syndicates that are behind the exploitation of wildlife for profits. So, absolutely, all these products of endangered species like African elephants, pangolins are illegally poached. And then, these criminal organizations take advantage of loopholes through various countries.

And in Singapore, the strong connectivity and efficient parts are being taken advantage of to move these illegal, illegal wildlife products through to the demand markets.

RIPLEY: Are all of the consumers that are buying this aware of what they're actually buying? Or are they -- do they mistakenly think that an ivory trinket is legal to sell. Because each of these items cost an elephant, its life.

[02:49:57] NG: For -- the various factors are consumers, they might like it for the luxury factors to a lot of illegal wildlife products are a luxury symbol in countries. Some of them have a reported medicinal benefits but the truth is the same way demand is still very much alive. There is also the awareness that there is pressure on wildlife around the world, and this is something that we need consumers in Asia, including the growing markets in Southeast Asia to address by reducing and saying no to illegal wildlife products.

But I think governments can play a big role in legislation and enforcement to stop the illegal trade-off while life.

RIPLEY: You make an important point because ivory might be the biggest headline out of this Singapore bust. But the bigger bust in terms of volume was actually these pangolin scales sold on the black market for traditional Asian medicine. People don't always talk about these other animals that are being just wiped out in horrifying numbers.

NG: Absolutely, everyone -- every 25 minutes, one African elephant is killed. Pangolins are the most trafficked mammal on earth. And I think it's time that people realize that our demand is creating a lot of unsustainable activities and poaching happening in source markets.

And I think with Singapore's enforcement of the world, the shipment that we just hauled about, it sends a strong signal to the international community that governments really need to step up to put a stop to illegal trade.

It's not just consumers but about legislation and enforcement and more countries need to step up like Singapore to put a stop to the criminals that are behind the illegal trade.

RIPLEY: Janissa Ng with the World Wildlife Federation, we appreciate you being here, a big bust here in Singapore. Thank you.

Excitement is building for the 2020 Summer Olympics. The host city, Tokyo, says it's on track for the games that begin one year from today. A preview next on NEWSROOM.

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RIPLEY: The 2020 Summer Olympics are exactly one year away and the host city Tokyo is marking the milestone with a number of events. Including the unveiling of robots to interact with nearly a million visitors and staff expected each day.

This is the second time the Summer Games will be held in Tokyo. Last time, was 1964. So far, all appears to be on track for the start of these games on July 24th, 2020.

Journalist Kaori Enjoji joins me now live from Tokyo. And Kaori, I know that Japan wants to use the Olympics to showcase all of this cutting-edge technology. What are we going to see? KAORI ENJOJI, JOURNALIST: Well, well you're going to see a lot of things. But I think one of the things everyone is excited about are these, robots. And they're going to come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. And some of them are already on the roads right now, like this little guy. And you know it speaks a multitude of language.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm actually a mobile phone.

ENJOJI: I don't know if you can hear him, but he's saying he's a -- he's a mobile -- a robot. He's tiny, fits on the palm of my hand. But I think really as you pointed out, this is going to be an event that showcases Japanese technology.

And I think because they've been in the shadows of a rising China over the last decade, they really want to use the Olympics to showcase what they have in terms of technological advancements

So, you're going to see a lot of robots like this, a lot of artificial intelligence, there's going to be a lot of facial recognition to monitor the people that are coming and going into these venues.

And I think, for example, in an event, for example, like a javelin event or discus event, you're not going to see people running across the field trying to get those javelins back. You're going to see a Toyota robot just sort of smooth on in and carry it back.

So, they're really eager to impress the world with this kind of technology. And I think it wouldn't be surprising to me if you landed in Tokyo during the Olympics and the robot actually carried your luggage. They're working on that as well.

And Japan really wants to have some kind of driverless car, autonomous driving on the roads during this event in July 2020. It's not there quite yet, but it's getting very, very close. So, I think it wants to showcase the technology, it wants to showcase that it has the experience and, Will, really the heart to bring the Olympic Games to Tokyo in 2020.

[02:55:48] RIPLEY: He was just demanding your attention there talking to you while you're doing your live report. I remember when SoftBank came out with Pepper the robot. It's incredible to see how the technology has advanced in over the years. And but also, they're having this issue with the ticket sales, right? I mean, people are trying to sign up even just for the lottery, and they can't get on the web site because there's such a high demand.

ENJOJI: Well, that's to be expected a little bit, Will, right? And I think a lot of people went online trying their luck to see if they'll get the tickets. Actually, no woman who did it and he's she actually won.

So, she said to me, "What am I going to do? I have to pay $2,500 to go to the opening gates." Because the maximum price ticket is roughly around that level. So, be careful what you wish for.

RIPLEY: Absolutely. $2,500 its kind of like how you think you might get it, and then you do, oops. All right. Kaori Enjoji looks like a lot of fun out there and should be lots more to come in the lead up to the Olympics, one year from today. Wow.

Thanks for joining us here on CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Will Ripley. Remember you can connect with me anytime at @willripleyCNN. And I'll be back with another hour of NEWSROOM in just a moment.

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[02:59:58] RIPLEY: Taking over number 10, Boris Johnson prepares to leave the U.K. and realize his promise to deliver Brexit.

The U.S. president lashes out at Robert Mueller as the former special counsel prepares to give testimony on his extensive investigation in the 2016 Trump campaign and Russian interference.