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Trump's Return To The Campaign Trail Goes From Bad To Worse; Six Trump Campaign Staffers Working On Tulsa Rally Test Positive For Coronavirus; More Atlanta Police Calling Out Sick; Anti-Racism Protests To Resume In London; Deadly Park Stabbing Declared "Terrorist Incident" By U.K. Police; Parisian Chefs Adapt To Welcome Diners. Aired 3-4a ET

Aired June 21, 2020 - 03:00   ET




NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Falling short of expectations, Donald Trump returns to the campaign trail without the crowds his campaign touted.

Also, top level purge: the U.S. attorney in New York who investigated Trump associates is officially out but not without controversy.

And Spain reopens its borders with fellow E.U. countries just in time for summer. We will have a live report from Madrid.

We are live from CNN World Headquarters in Atlanta. Welcome to our viewers here in the United States and all around the world. I am Natalie Allen and this is CNN NEWSROOM.


ALLEN: We thank you for joining us. Our top story: the U.S. president is back on the campaign trail, attacking protesters and joking about a disease that has killed nearly 120,000 people in the United States. But Donald Trump did all this in front of the much smaller than expected crowd Saturday.

Team Trump had boasted almost 1 million people requesting tickets for his Tulsa, Oklahoma, rally. But that large turnout never materialized amid fears of the coronavirus. The president though took aim at familiar targets, including the media, and he used a racist term for the coronavirus. He also said he wanted to slow down COVID testing so fewer cases would be reported. Administration officials says the president was just kidding but the U.S. remains the worst hit country on the planet.

Here was the president taking credit for what he said is a job well done.


TRUMP: Despite the fact that we, I, have done a phenomenal job with it, I shut down the United States to very heavily infected people from China in late January, which is months earlier than other people would have done it if they would have done it at all. I saved hundreds of thousands of lives. And we do not ever give it a mentioned.


ALLEN: CNN's Martin Savidge was covering this outside the rally but first here is Ryan Nobles inside the arena.


RYAN NOBLES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: President Trump kicked back off his campaign for reelection and also Oklahoma on Saturday night. The first campaign rally the president has been able to have since early March after the break out of the coronavirus pandemic. The president hoping for a big crowd. Leading up to event he was promising as many as 120,000 people inside and maybe up to 50,000 outside.

It did not turn out to be the case. They were unable to fill this venue and there ended up never being a program. Outside the president blamed the slow attendance on protesters outside, saying they were denying people access to the venue and also blaming the news media, saying we were scaring people. Leading up to this event because our coverage of the coronavirus pandemic.

We should point out we had reporters outside the venue all day. Very few protesters at all. Some entrances of a very short time. This did not prevent 50,000 people from getting inside this venue.

The president had a very long speech, here almost 2 hours, talked about a number of topics including Joe Biden. Also spent quite a bit of time talking about that awkward walk he had down the ramp at West Point and also closed with a strong message trying to convince the voters here that he deserves of four more years in office -- I'm Ryan Nobles, CNN, Tulsa, Oklahoma.



MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: These are the largest crowds of protesters that we have seen today, actually. And the numbers of protesters actually began building after the president started speaking.

Throughout much of the day, as the rally was being organized and people were starting to make their way in, there were only about 200 protesters. They were greatly outnumbered by Trump's own supporters.

But then several hours later, you began seeing the streets fill up with protesters.


SAVIDGE: Most of them representing Black Lives Matter or causes like those that have been demonstrated against for the past couple of weeks, who were running right into, of course, many of those who were inside for the president's rally.

So a potentially dangerous mix but, so far, it has been peaceful. It's boisterous, it's loud and, yes, there are a lot of face to face confrontations. But the protesters continue to work their way through the streets, blocking traffic but really nothing more, so far -- Martin Savidge, CNN, Tulsa.


ALLEN: Natasha Lindstaedt is a professor of government at the University of Essex and a frequent guest on our program. She joins me from Colchester in southeastern England.

Glad to have you.

The president was met with a smaller crowd then his aides had promised but it was a large crowd. It was a big arena. Let's talk about his performance, Natasha, what you thought of his speech.

At some point he called himself the champion of minorities and pointing the fingers straight at Joe Biden for what he said was Biden's abysmal record in supporting black Americans. That was one aspect.

NATASHA LINDSTAEDT, PROFESSOR OF GOVERNMENT, UNIVERSITY OF ESSEX: Right. I do not think he can really say that he supports minorities. This would've been a great opportunity to talk about Juneteenth and what it represents.

Instead he decided to spend 10 to 15 minutes rambling on about how he went down or was walking down a ramp and he did nothing to really reach out to all Americans.

It makes me wonder, does he not realize that he is the president of the United States and not just the president to this increasingly shrinking group of his adoring fans?

At one point, as you mentioned, he referred to the coronavirus as kung flu. I don't know how he's going to attract Asian Americans with these types of comments. He spends most of his time spewing out lies or falsehoods or inaccurate accounts.

What would appeal to the independent voter if they were hearing this rambling speech?

What in there would resonate with them?

I also want to point out the way he refers to the Democrats as this unhinged less left-wing mob. That doesn't focus on reaching across the aisle and trying to unite people.

ALLEN: And the rally comes in a time when his poll numbers are dropping, so one would think it would be good to unveil a strategy for why he deserves a second term.

Did he do anything like that? LINDSTAEDT: No, there was no strategy. It was he was just trying to attack the Left, trying to attack protesters. He did focus a little bit on the monuments because that is something that played well to the crowd. But it is more like a stand-up comedy routine. It is recycling the same old comments over and over again and talking about things that are basically untrue and that could be easily fact checked.

But he did not really offer much. And it is interesting that he did this going to a state that he won by 35 points and he could not even fill up the stadium. It was about two-thirds full. This was all about him.

It was not about campaign strategy. He is going to a place where he thinks he's going to get a lot of adoration, which he needs, because his ego feeds off of this. And he was not even able to accomplish that.

ALLEN: Do you think Republicans in Congress will be disappointed or perhaps what they want to hear for him beyond the type of things that you just shared?

LINDSTAEDT: They are probably hoping that he will start talking about policy instead of getting distracted, just trying to get these, the base to support him, because they know, if we even look back to 2016, he did not win with a majority of votes in the popular vote. He will have to reach across to the middle a little bit to gain more support.

They are going to be concerned that this is going to affect their tickets as well, those that are running for Senate, Congress, they're going to be affected by the fact that he represents the Republican Party. He is the Republican Party.

They made this deal with him. And he is completely unable to talk about policies in ways that might connect with independents and other Republican voters that are not in his base.

ALLEN: Let's talk about the issue that so many Americans are involved in right now. During a speech he bashed protesters who support Black Lives Matter and police reform.

Will this hurt him or help him with his supporters, if he continues to ignore an issue when these galvanized Americans are still in the streets.


LINDSTAEDT: We are seeing with the poll numbers that on average all the polls show that he has a 55 percent disapproval rate, which is incredibly high at a time when he is going to need those numbers to change.

So he is only speaking to this space that is not that large, not large enough for him to win the election. The other problem is that he has activated the Democrats and people who, in the past, may not have gone out to vote. Would have voted Democrat but did not want to vote. We see him on the left side, the progressive side, people very active,

more likely to vote than ever and he is doing nothing to unite people. That is going to be a problem.

ALLEN: Natasha Lindstaedt, we always appreciate your insights.

LINDSTAEDT: Thank you.

ALLEN: After a power struggle with Trump administration officials, the top federal prosecutor in New York, who has investigated some of the president's associates, says he is stepping down from his post immediately.

Geoffrey Berman says he will leave his position one day after initially saying he would not resign. Attorney general William Barr asked the U.S. president to fire him, which he says the president did. For more about this here is CNN's Evan Perez.


EVAN PEREZ, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: President Trump fired Geoffrey Berman, the Manhattan U.S. attorney, who refused to resign after Bill Barr, the attorney general, had tried to oust him on Friday.

The attorney general delivered the news in a letter to Berman, saying, quote, "Unfortunately with your statement of last night, you have chosen public spectacle over public service. Because you have declared that you have no intention of resigning, I have asked the president to remove you as of today and he has done so."

Berman was overseeing a number of sensitive investigations, including the investigation into Rudy Giuliani, the president's personal attorney. Berman says he is making way for his deputy, Audrey Strauss, who is highly regarded in the U.S. attorney's office and he says will be able to protect all the sensitive investigations that are still ongoing in the U.S. attorneys in Manhattan -- Evan Perez, CNN, Washington.


ALLEN: CNN Chief Legal Analyst, Jeffrey Toobin says the firing was inappropriate, especially with Berman investigating Trump associates.


JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, it is a certainty that the U.S. attorney's office has been investigating Rudy Giuliani and his close associates, two of those associates who were intimately involved in the impeachment of the president of the United States, the two associates that Giuliani used to go to Ukraine to try to solicit the president to get dirt on Joseph Biden.

They're under indictment in the Southern District of New York for campaign finance violations that Rudy Giuliani is potentially involved with. Now, also in John Bolton's new book, Bolton says that the president was putting pressure on the Justice Department to go easy on a case involving Turkey, where the president is very close to the president of Turkey, Erdogan that also is something that the president is trying -- you know, was trying to influence in the Southern District of New York.

What is desperately unclear here is why Geoffrey Berman was fired. Those examples of the political influence that the President is trying to put on the Southern District of New York certainly raise the possibility if not the likelihood that the president and the Attorney General fired Geoffrey Berman for political reasons to help the president's reelection and that would be a desperately inappropriate reason to fire a U.S. attorney.

And at the moment, no one has said anything about why Geoffrey Berman has been fired.


ALLEN: Jeffrey Toobin for us there.

President Trump's rally may have been smaller than expected. But health officials are still worried. Just ahead, why experts fear it could become a superspreader event.

Also ahead, we'll take you to Spain, where the country is opening most of its borders and lifting its state of emergency. We will have a live report.





ALLEN: President Trump's rally in Tulsa Saturday has many health officials worried it could be a superspreader event. Fewer people who attended wore masks, despite a recent surge of coronavirus cases in the area.

Those gathered near the stage were tightly packed. CNN's Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta warned about the danger that could pose.


DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: As I think anybody knows, who has followed even the basics about this virus over the last several months, this is the worst-case scenario.

They are inside, a lot of people, obviously not physically distancing. You don't know those people around you, you don't know if they have been diligent in quarantining themselves. People could be putting virus into the air without showing any

symptoms themselves. The airborne time for those viral particles can be longer because you are indoors like this, a lot of people putting virus into the air, basic public health things, so if even if you are in the situations one of the things you can do to reduce your risk, the best thing is not to be in this situation.

We are in the middle of a worldwide pandemic. We will look back historically and say this is the situation we want to avoid. But separating out, wearing masks, those things would help. This is going to be tough. I think a lot of these folks are going to have to quarantine themselves after they leave here to try and not spread this virus any further.



ALLEN: Just hours before the rally the Trump campaign confirmed that six staffers had tested positive for the coronavirus.

According to Johns Hopkins University there are more than 8.7 million confirmed cases of the virus globally. And now Brazil joins the U.S. as the only countries with more than 1 million cases.

Over the past week the South American nation has reported more than 217,000 new infections as its death toll nears 50,000.

In Germany, more than 1,000 employees at a meat processing plant have tested positive for COVID. All 6,500 employees and their families have been ordered to quarantine.

Sunday could prove to be a monumental day for Spanish tourism, the one-time coronavirus hot spot is reopening its borders to other E.U. states, with one notable exception, Portugal. This coincides with the country lifting its state of emergency.

For more on this I'm joined by Al Goodman. He is in Madrid for us.

This will be quite a big change for this country, Al, considering all they have been through.

AL GOODMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Natalie, that is right. I'm at the Madrid airport. There are four terminals at the airport; to give you an idea of how much the coronavirus crisis has impacted Spain, only one of those four is operating.

This is basically a largely still empty airport. All the flights are coming out of a flight from Milan and a flight from Paris have landed. Maybe passengers that have come off the Paris flight. Earlier a flight from Mallorca, the island in Spain.

We've seen some emotional scenes here. A couple of sisters rushing up to greet each other and they did not do social distancing and for the first time in 3 months we saw a young couple, a man and a woman, they did not look like they were brother and sister, they were also hugging.

All of this after this state of emergency now being lifted after 3 months. Spaniards can now also travel. On this day you have a lot of people from Madrid heading off to the Mediterranean coast, which they have not been able to do.

But for the tourism industry, which is so important, 12 percent of the GDP, 2.5 million jobs, as the Spanish officials have been weighing in, other countries the health crisis from the coronavirus, the economic crisis, the lost number of jobs.

So they are opening up. All of these countries except for Portugal, which has been more reticent to open up. That is going to be delayed another week. Also a flight from London that is due here in a couple of hours.

And just on Saturday night the Spanish foreign minister reversing course and saying British travelers to Spain will not have to go into quarantine. They can come in like the other European countries in this internal border, Schengen this is called.

But they are going to let them in as well because the foreign minister is saying that is out of respect for the 400,000 Britons who have second homes in Spain.

There are millions who come for tourism. Germans, millions of them come for tourism in Spain, one of the most visited places in the world. They're trying to jumpstart and salvage some of the tourism business.

And just finally, Natalie, the lifting of the state of emergency comes after this coronavirus crisis has taken 28,000 lives in Spain, 245,000 confirmed cases. Officials say we are not out of the woods yet.

They are testing rigorously the passengers coming through with temperature controls. They have to fill out a card to say where they are going to be staying in case they have to be contacted. And if they are showing any signs of symptoms they are taken off to a medical facility to be tested. Further

ALLEN: Very smart to have as many precautions as possible as they open up to travelers. Thanks so much. Thanks, Al.

The Trump campaign has been criticized for choosing Tulsa as the site of its rally. Coming up here we look at the massacre in the city a century ago. One of the worst acts of racial violence in American history.

Also, Black Lives Matter demonstrators say they will be back at the heart of London in a few hours marching for anti racist reform. We will have a live report.





ALLEN: Welcome back to our viewers here in the United States and around the world I'm Natalie Allen and you're watching CNN NEWSROOM.

Our top story, President Trump's first campaign rally in more than 100 days drew controversy and a smaller than expected crowd. The upper stands of the BOK Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma, were largely empty, something Mr. Trump's team blamed on protesters.

But the real reason may have been coronavirus. The president made light of the disease and compared his presidency to civil war president Abraham Lincoln.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The unhinged left-wing mob is trying to vandalize our history, desecrate our monuments, our beautiful monument, tear down our statues and punish, cancel and persecute anyone who does not conform to their demands for absolute and total control. We're not conforming. That's why we're here, actually.


ALLEN: Our Abby Phillip monitored the crowd inside the rally, here is her report.


ABBY PHILLIP, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Plans for a blockbuster campaign rally, a campaign kickoff of sorts for President Trump, did not go exactly the way he planned.

The campaign had been saying for days that they expected tens of thousands of people to be here at the BOK Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma, not just inside the arena but also outside. They planned for about 40,000 people in the overflow section. They planned on having an entire agenda for them, including for President Trump and the vice president to prepare remarks at a stage they had set up.

But as the evening wore on, there were so few people here that eventually they canceled those plans. There were just a few dozen people standing outside, most of them being urged to go inside by campaign advisers.

Now inside that arena, it was mostly full and a large rally by any standard.


PHILLIP: But the 19,000-seat arena was not completely full as President Trump had hoped for.

Instead, it seems like many people decided to stay home or perhaps even stay outside. The campaign said they blamed protesters, saying protesters scared away some rally attendees, also blaming the media, talking so much about the risks of attending a rally during a coronavirus pandemic that many people, including families, chose not to come to the event.

We should note that we had reporters all around the arena, including where we are here.

And we saw many people coming into this event freely. There have been protesters throughout the city but none of a significant size that they would have stopped tens of thousands of people from coming into this rally -- Abby Phillip, CNN, Tulsa, Oklahoma.


ALLEN: President Trump's rally took place near a district of Tulsa that a century ago was home to relatively wealthy African Americans. But 99 years ago, black Wall Street as it was called, was the scene of one of the most horrific acts of racial slaughter in U.S. history.

CNN's Randi Kaye has the story -- and a warning, some of what we are about to show you is graphic and may be hard to watch. But we believe it is important to bring in history as it really happened.


RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In 1921, the Greenwood area of Tulsa, Oklahoma, was thriving. It was an affluent area, home to more than 300 black-owned businesses that became known as Black Wall Street.

MECHELLE BROWN, GREENWOOD CULTURAL CENTER: It was an amazing time for blacks in Tulsa.

KAYE: Despite all the success, African Americans we're still dealing with segregation and deep racial tension.

It came to a head beginning on May 30th, 1921, when a 19-year-old African American man was accused of assaulting a white woman in an elevator in downtown Tulsa.

BROWN: The elevator doors closed. And a few minutes -- few moments later, there's a screen, the elevator doors open and Dick Rowland runs.

KAYE: The woman never pressed charges but Dick Rowland was still arrested.

BROWN: By the end of the day, many whites were claiming that she had been raped in the Drexel Building.

KAYE: By the next day, May 31, 1921, a white mob had gathered outside the courthouse were Rowland was being held, promising a lynching.

BROWN: Lynchings were also common in Tulsa. KAYE: A group of African American men went to confront the white mob at the courthouse. There was a struggle between the black and white armed mobs and shots were fired.

The African Americans retreated to Greenwood hoping to protect their property and families. But the white mob followed, killing African Americans and burning down everything in sight.

BROWN: They call in the National Guard, who was told that there was a Negro uprising and Negroes were killing innocent unarmed whites, so they fight it with the predominantly white police force.

KAYE: Nearly 6,000 African Americans were forcibly detained. While they were held, the white mob stole their valuables and burned their homes to the ground.

George Monroe was just 5 years old when the massacre happened.

GEORGE MONROE, RIOT WITNESS: The thing that I remember more than any other thing is when my mother looked out the front door and saw four men with torches coming down our sidewalk into our house.

KAYE: This woman's grandmother lived through it, too.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There was really murder. It was a massacre. My grandmother was awakened at night and just told to run, just get up and run. And they ran. She was only nine. They ran for days.

KAYE: By the time it was over, at least 300 African Americans were dead. Many were buried in mass graves or piled on dump trucks and dumped in the Arkansas River, according to the Greenwood Cultural Center.

Thirty-five square blocks of property were destroyed, too, leaving most black families with only the clothes on their backs.

BROWN: This was about racism. This was about envy. They saw that blacks were -- many of them were very wealthy. And they were simply envious.

They would make comments such as how dare those Negroes have a grand piano in their home and I don't have one in mine.

We will not forget the history of Black Wall Street or the 1921 Tulsa race massacre.

KAYE: Randi Kaye, CNN, West Palm Beach, Florida.


ALLEN: Atlanta, Georgia's, interim police chief is reassuring residents that police are responding to emergency calls. But he says the force has been stretched because of demonstrations and unrest.


ALLEN: He also spoke about why there has been an uptick in police not going to work


RODNEY BRYANT, INTERIM CHIEF, APD: The explanation for calling out sick vary and include officers questioning their training, officers being challenged and attacked and unease about officers seeing their colleagues criminally charged so quickly.


ALLEN: Atlanta fire investigators issued an arrest warrant in the case of a Wendy's restaurant fire last Saturday. That was where Rayshard Brooks had his fatal encounter with a police officer.

They say that this woman, Natalie White, is wanted for first degree arson and in bodycam video, Brooks is caught telling police officers the White is his girlfriend. Investigators say more people may be involved.

Protesters across the U.S. are demanding immediate and far reaching changes in law enforcement and the criminal justice system. Some calling for police departments to be defunded, meaning their funding redirected to social programs.

Others are going further, calling for police forces to be disbanded. Now police officers around the country are pushing back. CNN's Jason Carroll has our story, he's in New York.


JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: A former Atlanta police officer now charged with felony murder in the shooting of Rayshard Brooks. If convicted, that officer could face the death penalty.

The possibility sending shock waves across police departments nationwide, already dealing with low morale in the wake of protests and calls for reform. Darren Porcher is a retired New York City police lieutenant who says that many officers feel as if they are on trial.

DARREN PORCHERS, FORMER POLICE OFFICER: They feel as if they are not wanted or not needed. Nor are they being accepted.

That morale is one reason why officers are resigning and in some cases joining together to speak out.

In Louisville, Kentucky, police demonstrated over what they say is little support from city leaders and lack of respect for the community. This after a police monument there was defaced.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: With fallen officers names on it, it was vandalized due to the stand down order. That is a slap in the face to every former, current and fallen officer and their families. My son's name is on that wall.

CARROLL (voice-over): In south Florida, 10 officers resigned from the department's SWAT unit over safety concerns. The final straw?

Officers unhappy after commanders took a knee with activists during a demonstration. Officers in a statement saying they have been minimally equipped, under trained and oftentimes restrained by the politicization of our tactics.

In Minneapolis, the epicenter for calls for change, at least 7 officers resigned from the department in the wake of protests over George Floyd's death and in Buffalo, 57 officers standing by their decision to resign from the force's emergency response team following a suspension of 2 officers who appeared to shove an elderly protester to the ground.

PORCHER: I think this is a time for a poignant discourse between community leaders, elected officials and police executives.

CARROLL (voice-over): In New York City, change has already begun. The nation's largest police force is disbanding its plainclothes anticrime unit. The unit is credited with getting illegal guns off the street but has also come under scrutiny after a number of civilian complaints alleging abuse of power.

The officers will be reassigned within the department, the city's chief of patrol supports the decision but also says good officers need the public support.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let's not forget there are police officers who are human beings. They have the same stressors that we all have, the general public has.

CARROLL: Other than a national standard for how police should operate going forward, those we spoke to say what needs to happen going forward is for police departments and the communities they serve to get together and talk about what is the best way to move forward. Those that we spoke to say that is not happening right now -- Jason Carroll, CNN, New York.


ALLEN: The push for reform goes on in the United Kingdom as well. Anti-racist protests are expected back on the streets of London in the coming hours with the Black Lives Matter March from Hyde Park to Downing Street. Milena Veselinovic is standing by live in London.

Good morning to you, Milena.

MILENA VESELINOVIC, CNN PRODUCER: Good morning, Natalie. That's right. There have been weeks of protests in the U.K. in London but also in other cities asking Britain to own up to its colonial past and deal with racism.


VESELINOVIC: Today, protesters will gather once again, the second Saturday in a row, to keep this momentum going. Now we are still amid a coronavirus pandemic so this is actually in

breach of coronavirus lockdown rules. But on Saturday, many people actually wore face coverings and they observed social distancing guidelines.

Nonetheless, the government has asked people not to protest during the pandemic. However protest leaders say they will keep on going until the government listens to their demands. One protest leaders asked for a meeting with Boris Johnson.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: To be treated fairly that's all we asked for, to be treated fairly and to be given justice for those who have been wronged. I think that's anyone's rights that lives in this world and that (INAUDIBLE) in this world.

We all have the right to feel equal and be treated equally. And there is a huge disparity when it comes to equality and ethnic people. That's why it is so imperative that we now ensure that we level things up to ensure that race, ethnic race, black people are treated just as importantly as everyone else in the society.


VESELINOVIC: There has been a lot of conversation in the U.K. in the last few weeks of how the country deals with its own history of racism and slavery. Most people in the U.K. might not be aware what a larger role we port cities like Bristol or Liverpool played in the transatlantic slave trade.

That should be incorporated into the education curriculum and to raise awareness but there are also calls to highlight the positive contribution made by many black British people to society. So these protests will continue and they have been overwhelmingly peaceful. It is yet another one awaiting later today -- Natalie.

All right we will wait and see. Thank you, Milena Veselinovic in London.

British police raided an apartment building a short time ago after a deadly stabbing attack in a park in Reading. CNN's on the scene with the latest on this investigation next.





ALLEN: British police are investigating a stabbing attack Saturday in Reading, England. A man with a knife killed 3 people and wounded 3 others in a park. Police say they arrested a 25-year-old local man on suspicion of murder and they are not looking for any more suspects. Armed police also raided a block of apartments nearby as they searched

for a motive. CNN's Salma Abdelaziz is in Reading, England. She has more on the arrests and this investigation.

Hello, Salma.


Police have now launched a murder investigation into that horrible attack that happened here yesterday. They say the incident is not terror related at this time. They remain open-minded as to the motive and they are working with counter-terrorism police on this investigation.

That 25-year-old suspect was arrested, his identity has not been revealed by the authorities but we did speak to an eyewitness who was at this park just behind me here where this horrific scene played out yesterday.

He told us people were enjoying the sun and picnicking. And then suddenly he heard a man shouting unintelligibly. That man then approached a group of people and began to stab them in the neck and under the arms.

The eyewitness told me he saw several people stabbed in this manner. Of course, at this point, chaos ensued and people began to flee the park. We understand from the police that the suspect was arrested after the scene on suspicion of murder. Truly terrible scenes playing out there.

Shortly afterwards, we saw counter-terrorism police at an apartment building a short drive from here. They were there for hours, combing through the scene. Some people were evacuated from their homes while police worked.

It is unclear at this time how that apartment building is connected to this murder investigation. But we did see them working there for hours. We have also heard from prime minister Boris Johnson this hour. I will read you his statement.

"My thoughts are with all of those who are affected by the appalling incident in Reading and my thanks to the emergency services on the scene."

The small town of Reading will be waking up to terrible news today, 3 people who have lost their lives, others still recovering in hospital. The police still trying to find answers -- Natalie.

ALLEN: Absolutely.

Why in the world did that happen?

Salma Abdelaziz for us. Thank you so much.

Restaurants are beginning to reopen in France. My colleague, Cyril Vanier, went to the restaurants to see how they are taking extra precautions.





ALLEN: Take a look at this. The heavenly sight to behold following the solstice. Sky watchers, people across most of Africa, Asia and southern Europe are being treated to an annual eclipse. What makes it special is its so called ring a fire. Since it is not a total eclipse, the edges of the sun can be seen around the moon forming the ring.

It began just before midnight eastern U.S. time and peaked about an hour ago and it goes on for a couple more hours. So get out there and look up.

With the worst of the pandemic seemingly behind it, one of France is hallmark activities is resuming. Fine dining, now that France has lifted indoor dining restrictions. Restaurants across the country are reopening. And as our Cyril Vanier shows us, while strict safety rules will be the norm, standards of French cuisine are timeless.


CYRIL VANIER, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): For the first time in 3 months and 4 days, the maitre d' at Le Grand Vefour in Central Paris is expecting customers, making sure all the waiters have their face masks on and the tables are just so.

This two-Michelin star gem in the heart of the French capital, like all Paris restaurants, is scrambling to reopen after the French president declared the first phase of the coronavirus crisis over. Emmanuel Macron says France can return to its joie de vivre (ph) ...


VANIER (voice-over): -- French for enjoying the pleasures of life.

And so, Guy Martin, the revered chef of Le Grand Vefour and one of the faces of French gastronomy, is back in the kitchen, doing what he does best, tweaking, finessing, perfecting his dishes.

Here, pan fried duckling filet, acidulated cucumber and a hint of Szechuan pepper.

"There's some nervousness," admits the chef. "But the team is as good as ever."

The kitchen brigade of 20 people -- that's more than one cook per patron.

VANIER: Let's not kid ourselves, it's not possible to fully respect social distancing at all times in a kitchen, in any kitchen. But restaurants like Le Grand Vefour are better suited to it than most because, even before the coronavirus, people were already held to the highest professional standard.

VANIER (voice-over): Sources are cleaned repeatedly, each spoon discarded immediately after use.

We are asked not to film the patrons to preserve an immaculate dining experience. But by all accounts, the reopening is a success.

And I learned an important lesson: never ask a Michelin chef if he's happy with his food.

GUY MARTIN, LE GRAND VEFOUR CHEF: Positive (ph), you say, OK, yes.

But in my head, I said, "Guy, can you do better? Can you..."


MARTIN: I'm not really satisfied 100 percent.

VANIER (voice-over): The very best, it seems, never are -- Cyril Vanier, CNN, Paris.


ALLEN: That Cyril, he gets all the best assignments.

Some of the world's most famous sites are also preparing to welcome back visitors. The Eiffel Tower prepared to reopen on Thursday but be prepared to climb the stairs.

Elevators at the Parisian landmark will not be operating for a while to follow social distancing rules. Maybe Cyril can go there on assignment to and climb there for us.

Machu Picchu in Peru reopens July 1, normally every day up to 5,000 people usually tour the site but now they will be cut down to 700 a day.

I'm Natalie Allen and I invite you to follow me on Instagram or Twitter. I invite you to stay with me for another hour in the CNN NEWSROOM right after this.