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Interview With Haaretz Deputy Editor-In-Chief Noa Landau; Interview With Milberg Senior Counsel Melissa Sims; Interview With Center For Climate Integrity President Richard Wiles; Interview With Harvard University Professor Of Economics And Opportunity Insights Director Raj Chetty; Interview With Former Spanish Foreign Minister And Paris School Of International Affair Dean Arancha Gonzalez. Aired 1-2p ET

Aired July 24, 2023 - 13:00   ET



CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Hello, everyone, welcome to "Amanpour," here is what's coming up.

The biggest internal crisis in Israel's history as the government passes a controversial move to weaken the Supreme Court and mass protests continue.

I ask a leading journalist what this means for their democracy.

And --


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It is what (INAUDIBLE). Absolutely. I've never been so scared my entire life.


AMANPOUR: Urgent evacuations at the height of holiday season as wildfires consumed parts of Greece, another sign of devastating climate change. And

in the United States, I speak to attorney Missy Sims and expert and activist Richard Wiles about their fight to hold oil and gas companies


Then, Spain did not go extreme right in Sunday's snap election but there is no clear winner. So, what is next? Former foreign minister Arancha Gonzalez

joins me.

Also, ahead --



share of kids from high-income families.


AMANPOUR: -- small chance of success. Hari Sreenivasan talking to Harvard economics professor, Raj Chetty, about how highly selective colleges shape

America's leaders.

Welcome to the program, everyone. I'm Christiane Amanpour in London.

We begin in Israel where months of protests over the very nature of their democracy has finally come to a head. The ruling governing coalition has

today approved a controversial new law which strips the Supreme Court of the power to declare some government actions unreasonable. This despite

months of furious and organized nationwide protests, as well as repeated advice in disapproval from Washington, Israel's most important ally. The

White House is now calling today's move "unfortunate" and it's calling for consensus.

One of Netanyahu's most far-right ultranationalist allies, Itamar Ben-Gvir, says, this makes Israel a little bit more democratic and a little more

Jewish. And he went on to say, this will just be the beginning.

While the nation's respected army reservists warn, this is where we draw the line, threatening not to turn out for volunteer service. So, what

happens next is unclear, but it is amongst the biggest domestic crises Israel has ever faced.

Noa Landau is the deputy editor of one of the country's leading newspapers, the center left Haaretz. And she's joining me now from Tel Aviv. Noa

Landau, welcome to the program.


AMANPOUR: So, what next? I mean, that's the big -- first of all, what is this? How bad is it for the critics? And what next?

LANDAU: Well, this is a very dramatic (INAUDIBLE) -- six months of mass protest and heightened action public (INAUDIBLE). The (INAUDIBLE) just

passed a law that basically limits judicial power and the ability of Israeli judges to overrule government decisions. This specific bill, which

is only just a part of Netanyahu's government plan to dramatically weaken the judiciary is basically revoking what we call the reasonableness


This standard allows the courts to block government decisions that are highly unreasonable. Without it, the courts are just unable to invalidate

any decision that is made by elected officials, meaning, the government, the prime minister, mayors, ministers or Knesset members on the grounds of

unreasonableness, which is basically a decision that focuses on political interest without any consideration for public interest.

AMANPOUR: So, Noa, let me ask you because, obviously, you know Prime Minister Netanyahu, we just quoted Itamar Ben-Gvir saying this is going to

make it more democratic not less. And we know that your country does not have a formal constitution and then, a lot of, you know, happens is court

tested, its court precedent, and that is what this is all about.

How often then is that unreasonable standard used by government? How many times does the Supreme Court, you know, react to it, either agreeing or

disagreeing with it?


LANDAU: So, not a lot. We know, according to data from the justice ministry, that this only happens a few times a year. If we're talking about

Supreme Court decisions, which are the most important ones, we see that approximately, on average, it could be five times a year in the past 10

years. It's not a lot of decisions. It's only -- these rulings are -- they're quite a few of them because the judges reserve their use of this

standard, just very, very unique specific cases.

It also only applies in administrative not constitutional law. So, often for example, it will be used to block corrupt government appointments. So,

for example, in January the high court disqualified a member of coalition, Aryeh Deri, from serving as minister because of his conviction for tax

evasion, corruption, as a public official, bribery and fraud. The law didn't properly take this specific story into account, but it is highly

unreasonable to appoint such a man to the job.

AMANPOUR: OK. So, we have seen the Israeli people conducting, you know, what they call pro-democracy protests against this move by Netanyahu and

his ultraright coalition partners, and they have not let up. I mean, this has been going on for months and months and months. What next? I mean, the

-- as we said, the military reservists are threatening not to serve. We know that a former prime minister, Yair Lapid, is telling them to hold off.

He's going to try to file a counter petition to the Supreme Court to block all this. What do you think and what do you know, having reported this, is

going to be the next move?

LANDAU: So, the people on the streets, the protest movement is really upset, you know, but seeing this law actually pass, by the way, all of the

opposition just walked out of the votes. It was 64 to zero. This is now -- people are now on the streets in Israel and there's a massive question of

what will happen with all of these military volunteers as you said, including pilots, which are very critical to Israel security, who said they

will not serve anymore if this bill is approved.

And we just that saw hundreds of Israeli army reservists, some indeed in crucial roles, already said this today, this evening, that they will stop

showing up for duty following the votes.

AMANPOUR: Well, that's pretty significant, since they make the backbone of this Israeli State and there's so much reverence paid to your military and

the security establishment. So, that is a huge big deal. We also hear that main trade unionists are potentially talking about either nationwide or

other kind of rolling strikes. Already many businesses have started to strike and have go slows.

Why is this so important to Netanyahu who claims to be secular, who assures his allies and everyone that he's got the hands -- you know, both hands on

the steering wheel and that he is a democrat, and I think he even call himself -- maybe I'm wrong -- but, you know, Israel will remain a liberal

Jewish democracy. And yet, Ben-Gvir, and his guy say, this is only the beginning?

LANDAU: Exactly. So, basically, what we're saying is the result of a long process where Netanyahu, because we have to remember, has indictments. He's

on trial. He had to form a coalition that only had the most extreme right- wing representatives in it. So, this is the most religious and the most right-wing extreme government that we ever had in our history. And

Netanyahu is -- I wouldn't say they're prisoners, because he has a choice, but still, because of his trial he's in that specific coalition that has

demands. And these demands, a part of them is this judicial overhaul.

AMANPOUR: Are you concerned that the warning, this is just the beginning, could actually lead after the evidence of what happened in Knesset today

despite the massive protests and despite what they promised would be an attempt to gain consensus? Apparently, there's been no move to move towards

some kind of consensus. Do you think that it's going to get even more draconian? What are the next moves? This is just one part of this bill.

LANDAU: I am very concerned because, basically, the government is now on a crossroad. They can choose whether they are satisfied with this, you know,

victory. For them, it's a -- this bill is a massive victory. So, they can choose to just say, OK, we got our one victory. And now, we want everything

to calm down. Or they can choose to go on a full war with, you know, half of the population and say, no, we're going, you know, for the full plan,

the full judiciary overhaul, which move other pieces of legislation, and that will be pretty much catastrophic.


AMANPOUR: So, does anybody have any leverage? The United States, as we said, is Israel's most important ally in the world. I mean, $4 billion a

year in military aid alone and very shoulder to shoulder moral alignment and democratic alignment. But this, President Biden, has been quite

significantly publicly disappointed and disapproving. Does that have any effect on Benjamin Netanyahu or indeed his coalition partners?

LANDAU: Many in the protest movement hoped that whatever Biden told Netanyahu on the phone or when he met President Herzog just this week that

he will say something that will make them change their mind. It didn't happen.

And also, we saw, you know, that today's announcement, you know, that this is a saddening moment. It's not a very, you know, harsh announcement. But

also, I think the test will be now this crossroad that I was talking about, if we see that the government, you know, just is satisfied by passing this

specific bill and then comes down, maybe that also has something to do with U.S. pressure. But if they don't, then it means that the administration

said things, you know, said that they were against it but probably did not put enough pressure.

AMANPOUR: Noa Landau, deputy editor of Haaretz, thank you so much indeed. And, of course, we pay attention to all of this because Israel is called

the only democracy in your region. So, thanks very much for laying out what's going on.

Next, we turn to the devastating fires that are consuming parts of Greece, and leading governments, like the one here in Britain, to send flights to

evacuate desperate holiday makers. Tens of thousands are fleeing for safety in roads in Corfu, camping out on airport floors and wherever they can

escape the inferno.

And in the United States, 44 million people are under excessive heat warnings and advisories. Southwestern cities like Phoenix, Arizona have

been baking under record temperatures for weeks now. This after the terrifying orange haze, an unhealthy air that cascaded across America from

Canada's raging wildfires.

Attorney Missy Sims and David Wiles, president of the Center for Climate Integrity, are on a mission to hold big oil and gas corporations

accountable for the damage they are doing to the planet. And they are joining me now. Thank you and welcome to the program.

Missy Sims, let me go to you first because you have a case study that you are trying to get through the courts as we speak. And I believe it stems

from the hurricane, Maria, that so catastrophically hit Puerto Rico. Tell me about what you saw when you went to visit there and what kind of

revelation you had.

MELISSA SIMS, SENIOR COUNSEL, MILBERG: Well, it was apocalyptic. And it's very interesting you use the word revelation. When I got off the plane, I

couldn't believe it, it looked like an atomic bomb had been dropped on Puerto Rico. I had been there before the hurricane and I had been there a

few weeks after, you wouldn't have believed it, there was just mud and broken sidewalk and roads. And trees were leveled, all the foliage was gone

and replaced with mud and rain and sand.

And, you know, 4,645 people died post Maria. They had to bury their family members, you know, and it was devastating.

AMANPOUR: Gosh. I see it makes you very, very emotional. And you spoke about how those graves had been disturbed and how family members and their

remains were being disturbed by this terrible, as you say, apocalyptic event. I'm going to let you think about it for a second, and I'm just going

to turn to David Wiles to ask about the basis of your activity now, you and Missy, is to take these oil and gas companies to court and essentially

using the RICO Act, which is, you know, the racketeering precedents.

How, David, is this going to work? How do you connect the two, oil and gas companies, racketeering and the kind of terrible climate damage that we're




WILES: Excuse me for that, Christiane. So, in any event, these cases are all sort of part of a movement of about 44 municipalities and states that

have filed cases based on the fact that the industry knew that their products would cause climate change and then they lied about it.


In Missy's case, this racketeering case, that is significant because it indicates that the companies formed what is called a corrupt enterprise.

And they basically worked together to push disinformation and lies about the fact that their products causing climate change. They've been doing

this for roughly 50 years, and they continue to do it today.

They used to lie about the problem, as you know, the companies you said deny the climate change was even a fact. Now, what they do is they lie

about the solutions. But the important thing for racketeering case is that they get together and they coordinate this through what's called a corrupt

enterprise under the law.

So, Missy's case is the first racketeering case. There's been one more filed and we expect to see more these cases filed moving forward.

AMANPOUR: Missy, do you believe that even by prosecuting this case or taking on this case and using this legal standard that, in fact,

reparations or whatever you call it, damages, will be paid. Can the courts afford to do this against these companies? Will they, do you think or are

you looking for something not symbolic, but something that might just -- that might have a precedent and an effect? What do you think is the result

of your case?

SIMS: Well, I'm not a policymaker. I'm a lawyer. And so, I sue for damages. And we're prepared to go to trial. American courts have long held corporate

malfeasance to task and we intend to see it to that end. Whatever happens with that, that is not my concern. My concern is to seek damages on behalf

of Puerto Rico.

AMANPOUR: What makes you think that you can actually successfully get damages on this -- you know, in this case? Because if I'm not mistaken,

it's the first, it's unprecedented.

SIMS: We're the first climate change related case that has gone after a single event and we have the science to back it up. So, the sciences that

the rapid intensification of Maria was caused by carbon in the atmosphere, these defendants were 40.01 percent responsible for carbon in the

atmosphere since 1965, and they colluded together to create this corrupt enterprise, to let the world think that this wasn't the case, that this was

not going to happen. When in reality, they had particularized individual information that said otherwise.

So -- and in fact, Shell, in a 1998 memo, called the team TINA memo, There Is No Alternative, predicted that in the year 2010 that the eastern

seaboard of the United States would be hit with a hurricane or what they called extreme weather events that would initiate a class action. So, we

filed it seven years after Shell predicted it.

AMANPOUR: Wow. So, the company itself predicted such a thing might happen. Richard, as you see this case, and you probably obviously see in the

Montana cases different, but there's a lot of young people in the United States who are bringing certain cases, saying that governments, through

their policies and they're allowing fossil fuel companies, essentially, unregulated behavior are affecting their own constitutional right to a

healthy atmosphere.

In Europe, we have the elderly, the so-called grannies' case that's being brought against -- you know, for the same reasons. How do you see the law

potentially taking off where other attempts to mitigate climate have not been able to succeed?

WILES: Right. Well, this is why the companies are so scared of these cases. Because in the United States, I don't think there's any secret that the oil

companies have a stranglehold on the Congress as far as climate policy goes. They've been able to block action for the past at least for decades

while they knew that their products were causing climate change.

The courts are a different story. It's a much tougher form for them. You know, and the facts of these cases are very straightforward. They knew,

they lied, and so they should to pay for the damages. Very similar to the tobacco cases, opioid cases here in the United States, these are very

straightforward cases. You make a product and you know it's going to cause damage, you know it's going to harm people, you know it's going to kill

people, if you lie about that, then you're liable, right, and you've got to pay for the damages. And that's what these cases are about. They're very

simple and straightforward. There's nothing novel about the law, and same with the racketeering case, nothing novel about what Missy is doing,


You know, in the United States courts, in this particular aspect of holding companies accountable for their actions, for the damages that they cause,

the U.S. courts lead the world. And so, this is, I think, a particular concern to the companies because they know that state courts, in particular

in the United States, have a long history of holding companies that lie accountable for that lying.


AMANPOUR: Eventually -- I mean, obviously, tobacco and opioids went on for decades doing that stuff. So, yes, eventually this could actually be a

turning point that you are pursuing here.

Missy, I want to ask you something, because at the beginning, you know, I did use the word revelation, you know, specifically. You use the word

apocalyptic. And I know that you happen to be very religious person. And you've even said, I believe, that the holy spirit is your co-counsel. Talk

to me a little bit about that.

SIMS: Yes.

AMANPOUR: Because, you know, the Christian movement in the United States, for a long time, didn't want to speak out about climate mitigation, other

than talking about creation care. And the general public, for a long time, has not wanted to face up to this major scientific problem, trying to

equate, you know, the deniers with the science. Talk to me about the holy spirit being your co-counsel.

SIMS: Well, faith is at the core of everything that I do. And justice is at the core of everything that I do. And I believe that Jesus is justice. He

is justice. He came for justice. And we are his hands and feet on this earth. And I don't know how you could see 4,645 people die and not be

compelled to do something about it.

James 4:17 says that if you know the good that you should do and you don't do it, it is a sin. And so, for me, that is the driving force in everything

that I do.

AMANPOUR: And it's not the first time that you have taken on this kind of thing. You sued a gas giant awhile back. Tell me how that came onto your

plate and how you successfully, you know, sued them.

SIMS: So, I was the city attorney since 1995 when I graduated law school. And I represented little tiny towns all over North Central Illinois. And I

would find the average person for, you know, ordinance violation such as dog poop in their yard, tall weeds, broken windows, having three dogs in

town instead of two, you know, all these things that I took people to court for, and I felt somewhat like a bully. And I was not -- I'm born and raised

catholic. I was not race to be a bully. I was raised to help people every day.

And one of the towns I represented was the 14th worst environmental disaster in the country. Exxon, CBS and Viacom made film for the film

industry, among other things. And when everything went digital in the '80s, they left. And in the meanwhile, we have blue mud puddles. Blue is my

jacket, from the nickel, cadmium, chromium and lead.

And the mayor just said, Missy, what can we do? Because everybody was pointing fingers at each other. Nobody was cleaning this mess up. And I

said, we're just going to sue them. And the holy spirit, when I consulted with him, told me to fine them. So, we fine them for littering.

AMANPOUR: I mean, it's extraordinary. And from that to this. So, you know, we're seeing a through line here in your legal procedure. And you're right.

I mean, you basically are holding them accountable. And let's see what the lord decides.

Richard, sometimes we like to turn inwards and hold our own selves up for examination. And we know, sadly, to the detriment of climate, that

historically, the media, especially in the United States, has failed to link extreme weather to the science and to climate change, and continues to

do that by and large, it's much better, many of the big organizations have done mea culpas and are actually, you know, following the science.

But I just want to ask you as an activist and the president of your organization, how does the storytelling, the public telling of this

scientific problem effect what you can achieve?

WILES: Well, I think public sentiment is very important in this. And, you know, what we're trying to do with these cases -- and the cases provide a

factual basis for this story, is to change -- in people's minds, change the story from climate change as a tragedy that we all are responsible for and

if we just had driven less or, you know, turn down the thermostat it would have been fine, which is really not true, to the fact that it's a crime

story. It's a crime story.

I mean, these companies have committed probably the most serious crime against humanity ever contemplated, which is to put the entire planet at

risk. You know, with hundreds of thousands and millions of people's lives in danger every day today, even today is a perfect example of it. So, yes.

I mean, I think that's the gusts of these cases.


AMANPOUR: What were most important --

WILES: And that's the narrative that we need to push. You know, that's the narrative.

AMANPOUR: Right. And if you could --

WILES: This is -- people have been convinced by the industry --

AMANPOUR: Yes. Go ahead.

WILES: -- that it's their problem. Sorry. Go ahead.

AMANPOUR: No, finish your sentence.

WILES: Well, I think one of the things the industry did very well was to convince people they are responsible for climate change.


WILES: That it's their carbon footprint that's the problem. That, you know, if they drove less, it would solve the issue. They shifted the guilt to

people, when, in fact, the guilt belongs with them. And I think these cases go a long way to helping people understand that climate change, you know,

is not a tragedy, it's a crime that has been forced upon us by the oil companies who knew that their products were going to do this and went ahead

and lied about it anyway, and put us all in a situation we're in today.

AMANPOUR: So, Missy, then, are you surprised that obviously the companies in question basically are frequently commented about these cases, claiming

that the courtroom is not the place to resolve it, the place to address it is the government? Many U.S. judges have come to this conclusion themselves

during a lot of these cases. And I think, your case, is going to be -- by next year, early next year, we should know the results of your case. What

do you say to what fossil fuel companies say, that don't even bring it to court, it's not the place?

SIMS: That's American jurisprudence. That's what we're built on. We're built on, if you have a case, you bring it before the court, bring it

before the jury. The jury decides that question. So, we have an open court in the United States, and a jury will decide this issue, whether it's in

Puerto Rico or one of the other cases that have been filed. They can't stop us.

AMANPOUR: Well, Missy Sims and Richard Wiles, thank you both very, very much indeed for joining.

So, since the U.S. Supreme Court's controversial decision to end affirmative action, American colleges are now being pressured to stop

legacy admissions. It's a process that historically benefits white wealthy applicants. Harvard economic professor, Raj Chetty, recently investigated

this practice and the consequences of such highly selective admissions. And he is joining Hari Sreenivasan to discuss those findings.


HARI SREENIVASAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Christiane, thanks. Raj Chetty, thanks so much for joining us.

You run Opportunity Insights in Harvard, which looks at the kind of different social and structural forces that are giving kids chances or not

giving them chances at success. So, you just cranked out a report here about highly selective colleges, what we think of as Ivy League schools,

plus the kind of top tier schools. First, why did you do that and what did you find?


study it's looking at the role of a small number of colleges, highly selective colleges and what impact they have on economic mobility in the


Now, to start, you might say, now these colleges they educate only something like a half a percent of Americans. So, in the grand scheme of

things, they can't be very important in driving inequality and social mobility in the U.S. as a whole. However, they do play a very outsized role

in shaping America's leaders.

So, if you look at measures like what fraction of leading politicians, what fraction of inventors, scientists, Supreme Court justices, leading artists,

et cetera, went to one of these Ivy League or other similar colleges, those numbers are often very large, often 30 percent, 50 percent of folks in

these positions of influence have gone to one of these colleges.

SREENIVASAN: Yes. I'm looking at the report here and it says, there are 15 -- so, if you graduated from one of these 12 colleges, 15 percent of the

top 0.1 percent of the United States of income distribution, a quarter of all U.S. senators, half of all the road scholars and three quarters of

Supreme Court justices appointed in the last 50 years went to one of these 12 schools. I mean, that's an incredibly small group of schools that

produces this group of leadership.

CHETTY: That's exactly right. And that's why I think it's important to pay attention to what's happening at these schools in particular. Because even

if they educate a small number of Americans on the pool, the people they're channeling into these positions have a great deal of influence on society

in general, the CEOs of companies, making laws, inventing new things and so on.

And so, motivated by that, what we're focused on is asking, who's getting into these colleges, right? Because it seems to matter in terms of, you

know, who might be in these positions of influence. So, who is getting in and how might we make colleges more equitable in terms of who they let in.?


And so, what we started out finding is that suppose, Hari, you take a set of kids who have the same SAT scores as a simple measure of pre-college

qualifications. And you ask, suppose you're a kid from a high-income family, so, the top 1 percent of the income distribution, and I'm a kid

from a middle-class family and we both have the same SAT score, say we both got 1,500 on the SAT, which puts us at the 99th percentile. What are the

odds that you go to one these colleges and what are the odds that I go to one of these college?

It turns out that you're about two and a half times as likely to go to an Ivy plus college, an Ivy League college, relative to me, even though we

have the exact SAT scores if you come from a family in the top 1 percent, relative to the middle-class.

So, these colleges tend enroll a disproportionate share of kids from high- income families, even controlling for a simple measure of their precollege qualification as measured by standardized tests.

SREENIVASAN: So, what about if these high-income students were to apply to different schools? How do you know that they might not get in there? Maybe

because one of the things that you point out is the influence of legacy admissions, meaning if my dad went there or I have family members that went

there, how much of a factor is that?

CHETTY: If your parents went to one of these college, you typically have a quite significant advantage in terms of your odds of getting ten. We

actually estimate that you're about five times as likely to get into one of these colleges as a candidate with comparable credentials whose parents did

not happen to go to that college.

Now, why does that amplify the high-income admissions advantage? Because a lot of folks who went to places like Harvard and Yale and Princeton have

very high incomes. And so, naturally, the kids of those parents who are coming from high-income families, on average, and that's contributing to

the high-income admissions advantage that we started out talking about. So, that's one important factor.

The other important factors are what we call nonacademic readings. So, these are school practice, as you might know, holistic admissions. They

don't just look at your test course, they look at many other things. What kinds of extracurricular activities where you involved in, what is your

overall portfolio look like that you're applying with from your college and so on.

And what we find is that kids from high-income families, the top 1 percent in particular, are much more likely to get high nonacademic ratings from

admissions committees, and that's coming entirely from the fact that they attend certain high schools, typically elite private high schools, very

expensive schools, which tend to produce very high nonacademic rating for their students relative to public schools.

So, why might that be? You know, you get involved in more extracurricular activities, you have greater support from your teachers and guidance

counselors or people go to a small school where people are really able to invest a lot in developing your college application and building your

profile. Whereas in a public school, you know, no one guidance counselor for 600 kids on average, that's just not as feasible. And so, that creates

another big advantage for kids from high-income families.

And then, the third factor, Hari, is athletic recruitment. So, you might have the intuition that athletes, you know, come uniformly across the

income distribution, that's not the case. And many of these colleges, about 10 percent of students who are attending are recruited athletes, and those

athletes tend to come predominantly from high-income families, actually.

SREENIVASAN: We're having this conversation in the wake of an important Supreme Court ruling that said that using race as one of the data points to

consider a student's admission into a college was basically unconstitutional. So, what you're pointing out here is interesting because

it's not race but there are certainly factors that tip the scales in favor of high-income students in a way that, well, the rest of us do not even

have an opportunity to compete on because we're just not wealthy, we didn't go to those perfect schools that created the opportunities for us and we

might not have had parents that already went to these schools.

CHETTY: I think that's right, Hari. And so, you know, following the Supreme Court decision, which is focused on race, whereas we are focused on class

here, those two things are related but different. A lot of the conversation that has ensued has focused on possible class-based affirmative action

policies. So, if we can't look directly at race, maybe we can give a hand to kids from lower-income families, maybe that would make sense as an


What we're finding here is actually, before you even think about that, you know, thinking about, in a sense, putting your thumb on the scale for kids

from lower-income families, the first thing we could do is just take the thumb off the scale that we currently in favor of kids from high-income

families. You know, just make it more neutral by income before thinking about giving an advantage even to kids from lower-income families. That

itself would have quite a significant impact on socioeconomic diversity at these colleges that are shaping society.


SREENIVASAN: You know, just recently Wesleyan became -- the Wesleyan University became the first one to come out and say, we're not going to use

legacy, we're not going to use the fact your parents or grandparents went to this college as one of those decision criteria. Do you think that will

change things?

CHETTY: I think it's quite possible. I think there are a lot of conversations happening now about whether these kinds of admissions and

practices makes sense, you know, prompted partly by the Supreme Court decision. I think lots of politicians are going to have to revisit how they

do admissions.

And what we're seeing with this new study is it's important to take, you know, broad look at whether what we're doing makes sense. And one thing I'd

emphasize is when you look at factors like legacy, nonacademic ratings and athletics and so forth, you know, you might make the argument that maybe it

makes sense to put some weight on those factors because maybe those kids are genuinely more qualified, maybe they're going to have better outcomes

in the long run. They're going to reach those positions of leadership that we started out talking about.

But actually, Hari, you know, with this data, we're able to follow hundreds of thousands of kids overtime and look at how they ended up doing 10 years

after college. And what we're finding is that there's actually no evidence whatsoever that the kids who are getting these admissions advantages, the

legacy students, the ones with the high nonacademic ratings, the recruited athletes, have any better outcomes. In fact, they actually have somewhat

worse outcomes than the kids who don't have those advantages, which in my view, makes it quite a bit harder to justify why we'd have those


SREENIVASAN: Where is the data? What are you looking at?

CHETTY: Right. So, in our team, Hari, you know, we study issues of economic mobility and our approach is a big data approach to tackling these

questions. So, what we're doing is linking data from several different sources, from federal income tax records covering students and their

parents, to Department of Education data on college attendance to internal data from many colleges across America on who applied, who got in, who

ended up coming.

So, internal admissions records. All of that data is linked, anonymized, and then analyzed. So, that's what allows us to understand people's

parental income backgrounds, follow their trajectory's overtime, look in detail at how admission office rations are affecting outcomes and so forth.

That's the power big data, being able to study these questions.

SREENIVASAN: Was there anything that surprised you when you saw this?

CHETTY: Yes. So, you know, I think two things surprised us. So, first, if you are actually going to look at prior work on these issues, it suggests

that going to one of these colleges might not actually matter so much based on this logic that, you know, think about the very selected set of kids who

are getting into a place like Harvard or Yale at this point where have admission rates of less than 5 percent, you're of course picking a very

small set of very talented kids who presumably could've done well had -- even had they not gone to these colleges.

So, there's a big debate about whether we see great outcomes from these schools because they're actually doing something that's adding value or

it's just that they're selecting a set of kids who would've done well anyway, right?

And if anything, there was some prior work that's been picked up in popular discussions which suggested that maybe it doesn't matter so much, maybe

it's more who's getting as opposed to the effects of these colleges.

Now, what we're doing with this new data is using an approach of comparing kids who barely get in off the waitlist versus kids who don't. So, look at

a set of waitlisted applicants, they're very close to the margin of getting into these colleges, but it turns out, by chance, you know, someone happens

to play the right musical instrument that's needed to fill a college orchestra in the year, and they get in. And somebody else, you know, you

didn't play that instrument, that you ended up not getting in.

So, this gives us kind of an experiment where we can now compare our outcomes, look at what happens over time and we see that if you got lucky

and got in, you have tremendously better outcomes, in particular, tremendously better chances of reaching the top of society defined in

various ways. Having earnings in the top 1 percent, going to a top graduate school, working at a very prestigious firm that is often a pathway to

positions of influence, like we started talking about.

And so, I think that the magnitude of that, you know, doubling or tripling your odds of getting into these -- some of these positions really surprised


SREENIVASAN: So, what should they do? I mean, that's one of the things that the top 12 schools are going to look at your report and say, well, thank

you very much for confirming what we thought, which is that we produce phenomenal outcomes and our alumni go on to great things, but, you know,

Harvard's going to say, legacies are just one part of this and, you know, whether you play the tuba or not is just one part of this, we look at the

holistic students. So, what is your suggestion on what could improve, I guess, society and give people better opportunities? How should they think

about their admissions policies?


CHETTY: We consider two different types of approaches in the study we've released. One is to directly address the three factors we've identified

that explain the high-income admissions advantage. So, take a look at, you know, ending legacy admissions, putting less weight on these nonacademic

factors that basically seem to favor high-income students but don't predict future success, and recruit athletes differently.

If you look at state flagship public colleges, take a place like U.C., Berkeley or University of Michigan, for example, Hari, there you find a

very different pattern where there's actually no difference in admissions rates conditional on SAT scores by parental income. And what are those

colleges doing differently? They don't have legacy admissions, they put very little, if any, weight on these nonacademic factors and they recruit

athletes uniformly across the income distribution. They don't just have sports teams and athletics that tilt towards very high-income families.

If we move in that direction, we estimate that that would increase the number of low- and middle-income students at these colleges by about 10

percent. And just to put that number in context, in the context of current discussions and other domains, other studies have estimated that ending

race-based affirmative action, if it didn't result in any other changes in admissions practices at these colleges, would also change the number of --

would reduce the number of black and Hispanic students by about 10 percent on this colleges.

So, that's just to say, you know, in terms of magnitudes, the issues we're talking about here are of comparable magnitude and, here, focused on the

class dimension, they're focus on the race dimension. So, these are important policy changes that colleges could consider.

Let me make one final point here. So, sometimes colleges will say, well, you know, sitting there in your office, like, theoretically, that seems

like a good idea but we need to have a sports team and, you know, we care about alumni relations and that's why we have to maintain legacies and so

forth. So, I can understand, you know, it's a complicated decision, there are many factors going into play.

Another way you could look at it is what if we provided a little bit of support in the admissions process, a little bit of a preference for the kid

who got a 1,500 on the SAT coming from a very low-income family. Just like we give a preference for legacy students or kids from high-income families,

effectively, what if we essentially gave a preference for those kinds of kids? High academic achievement kids from lower-income families who are

currently getting in at much lower rates, we provided some support there that could also have a very similar, I think, positive effect in the long


SREENIVASAN: If you had a magic wand and you could tell the president of these 12 colleges one thing that they can do what would you say that they

ought to do and why would it be in their best interest? Because right now, the system that they're in, whether they like it or not, gives them the

prestige of being super exclusive, whether that's right or wrong, and it also says, our alumni go on to do great things.

So, how would you kind of think of that economically and say to this president, here's a reason why it would be good for you to do what I'm

talking about to change your admissions policies?

CHETTY: Yes. So, Hari, I've been talking with many college presidents and leaders of colleges in the context of doing this work. And the first thing

I would notice, I think, many people have a sincere intention of trying to maximize the social impact of these kinds of institutions. They recognize

they have a social purpose. I think that's manifested. And the fact that many colleges are quite concerned about racial diversity, right? So, in

light of the Supreme Court decision. So, there is an interest in diversity. And I think this is another important dimension of diversity that people

are genuinely interested in.

Now, I would say concretely, there are things one can do in admissions that will genuinely make a difference. We see that very clearly in the data now.

Do they come at a cost? You know, that's harder to say. Are they going to affect donations and fund-raising and other aspects of campus life that

universities have to consider? We don't directly speak to that in the study.

What I will note though is it's not totally obvious that there's going to be a big cost there. You could imagine, for instance, a scenario where

child from a lower-income family who gets into these -- one of these colleges and goes on to become extremely successful may actually feel more

compelled to donate back and support the institution because they genuinely feel that it made a difference as opposed to someone from a high-income

family who kind of felt like they were going to make it anyway, this was kind of place to stop, you know, along that pathway.

So, I think it's not clear that there are trade-offs and we need to explore these issues more directly.

SREENIVASAN: Raj Chetty, thank you so much for joining us.

CHETTY: Thank you, Hari. My pleasure.



AMANPOUR: And it is an incredibly important issue that.

Despite the sweltering European heat, the huge numbers brave the temperatures to vote in Spain's snap general election this weekend,

surpassing the 2019 turnout. Proving the pundits and pollsters wrong. Spain did not lurch all the way to the extreme right. The center-right, People's

Party, took the most seats. But it wasn't quite enough to form a government. And the far-right, Vox Party, lost almost 20 seats. The ruling

Socialist Party actually did a little better than expected. But as yet, there's no clear winner.

The former foreign minister and dean of the prestigious SIA (ph) sport university in Paris, Arancha Gonzalez, is joining me now from Santiago,

Chile to discuss what's happening next in her country.

Foreign Minister, welcome back to our program.

So, let me start by asking you, were you surprised by the result? Because, as I just said, everybody had predicted a different one.


because the polls has been telling a different story and we have a tradition of believing what the polls were telling us.

But I would say, Christiane, we had a great news last night, and this is that a Spanish democracy is solid. Four points plus in the middle of July

means citizens care about democracy. And the democracy is (INAUDIBLE), and that is something to be celebrated.

AMANPOUR: Something may have fallen that you might need, but while we're figuring that out, I'm going to ask you my next question. What was this

vote about? In other words, we understand that the divisions, that the need for this election wasn't about the cost of living because things are

slightly better in Spain than they are elsewhere in Europe.

It apparently was a lot about culture wars, the whole woke business, the -- you know, it was a backlash against feminism, against LGBTQ, at least by

the extreme right. What do you think the election was about?

GONZALEZ: The election was about the future, what kind of future Spanish citizens want. And there were two offers on the ballot. One, which was very

much pushed by extreme right, being Spain, plus, back to the future, it was a regression of these rights, especially rights of women, a regression in

the fight against climate change and a regression in Spain's belonging to the European Union, and that Vox was asking for less European Union. As

well as regression in terms of the Spanish states, seeing that they wanted to do away with the regions here in Spain.

On the other side, there was a bit more of a brighter future. A future where people have wants, a future where Spain when -- works to make the

European Union more solid and a future that is certainly Spain on the driving states (ph) in the fight against (INAUDIBLE).

And I think that the people have been very clear, Christina, they want a future that is made of hope. That's what they told us last night by, you

know, delivering a crushing defeat on Vox, lost almost 20 seats, lost 500,000 new (ph) support, which means we now know what we have to work

with. Of course, this is (INAUDIBLE) delivered a very splintered parliament, which is what the political parties now need to work delivery a


AMANPOUR: OK. So, again, we have a slight technical difficulty. I can hear a lot of rubbing on the mic. I don't know whether the person holding the

microphone or the camera is touching anything there. But maybe that person can get their hands away from the microphone of the camera.

Because it is important, if Vox, the extreme right party, had done well enough, had been the kingmaker, it would've been the first time since the

death of the dictator, Franco, that they would've been such an extreme right governments and Spain.

We've just been talking at the beginning of this program about the lurch to the extreme right by ultranationalist in Israel. And according to their

critics, and tens of thousands of protesters have been out for weeks and months, really going to the heart of democracy.

Is Spain somehow immune from that, that sort of cropped up all over Europe? Because, as I say, it didn't take that step to, you know, sort of

nationalist right-wing populism.

GONZALEZ: Well, Spain's only grand (ph) of extreme right in the form of Vox, let's not forget where it comes from, it's the splintering of the

popular party, splintering of conservative government in Spain, and it's a splinter mostly as a result of the (INAUDIBLE) parties in Spain (INAUDIBLE)

some sort of very hard nationalists, Spanish nationalism. You know, a hard brand of Spanish nationalism.


But I think the moment has passed. And I think what voters have proven in this last election is that they don't want it.


GONZALEZ: They want a different kind of future. And this is important for Spain, but, Christiane, this is also important for the European Union. We

are (INAUDIBLE) to be because of the result in the recent elections, some sort of inability (ph) about the conservatives in Europe moving to the

extreme right. And what we see is that there is nothing left. So, we just have to fight (ph) that. You have to offer something different. And --

AMANPOUR: Yes. Foreign Minister, thank you very much and we apologize for the technical difficulties. And of course, we will continue to see and

watch what actually the final outcome is and who gets to form that government, the current prime minister or the opposition. Thanks so much

for joining us.

Now, a Ukrainian defense intelligence official says that his country is responsible for a drone attack in Moscow. Russia says it down at least two

drones that hit a pair of buildings in Moscow early today. And in an attack in Crimea, Russia says that Ukraine fired 17 drones, hitting a Russian

ammunition depot.

Meanwhile, the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, has vowed retaliation for a weekend of relentless strikes by Russian forces, missiles

heavily damaged the historic cathedral in Odessa. Correspondent Alex Marquardt is there.


ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: President Zelenskyy has said that Russia would feel the retaliation for all the

strikes that we've seen here in Odessa. And now, Ukraine's defense intelligence director is claiming responsibility for that overnight drone

strike in Moscow, which did do less damage, far less damage than we've seen here in Odessa for the past few days.

We are in the Transfiguration Cathedral. The church officials have asked us to put these helmets on because of all the work that's going on, all the

debris that is falling from the roof.

I want to show you this corner of the church. This is where there is the most destruction. This is where we are told that the missile or a rocket

came plunging through the roof, going down at least two stories. That daylight, that sun coming through the roof and really brightening up this

otherwise dark cathedral.

Over here is the altar. You can see up there, those pillars are now off to the side. That alter just leaning over, and really, only staying upright

because it's leaning up against the wall. And then, farther up is the beautiful dome of this cathedral. All of its windows have been blown out.

Below that, the frescoes have also been knocked down. We've seen large sections of the roof also coming down as these workers seek to clear it.

They say that will take several weeks, but it could be months or years before this cathedral is fully repaired.

The nave goes all the way back there. And in the corner, there was a fire. We're told that a shockwave started an electrical fire. Now, this church

was destroyed in 1936 when Stalin was in power. It was rebuilt when Ukraine got independents. And now, of course, in a significant state of disrepair.

It is a tax like these, on civilian infrastructure, on buildings that frankly have nothing to do with this conflict that now has President

Zelenskyy calling for more air defense support from western allies, for what he calls a full-fledged air shield for Ukraine.

Alex Marquardt, CNN, Odessa.


AMANPOUR: And just to note, those historic buildings have caused the ire of UNESCO, saying that the -- you know, the Russians should not attack those

kinds of structures inside Ukraine.

But let's return now to those dangerous wildfires that are turning summer vacations into travel nightmares and parts of Greece. Fires are burning in

several countries of the -- several corners of the country. And we get more now from Correspondent Sam Kiley.


SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voiceover): It's a regular visit to a wildfire, and no one knows where or when it will strike.

This is tourism in the 21st century.

The latest maelstrom in Southern Europe roads, an island of ancient ruins facing a modern apocalypse.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't usually swear, but what --

KILEY (voiceover): Intense heat waves have turned forests into desiccated tinder yearning for a spark to roar into flame, and anything that fails to

flee the inferno has little chance of survival.

Greek authorities have evacuated tens of thousands from popular resorts at peak season. And the government says it's the largest such operation in the

country's history.


KEVIN SALES, BRITISH TOURIST: All our money, passports, clothing. We to have led a woman some of my wife's clothes because she had nothing to wear.

It was terrible.

KILEY (voiceover): British tour operators are flying empty planes here to bring desperate tourists home.

KILEY: Powerful winds have made life just about bearable for people on these islands living through this heat wave, but those same winds are

fanning the flames of these infernos.

KILEY (voiceover): And the problem is spreading. The latest overnight, the Island of Corfu where thousands have now been evacuated and police are

bolstering their ranks in anticipation of more to come.

The Greek government has been battling wildfires across the country for a week, during what's expected to be the longest heat wave this country has

ever seen. As temperature records are shattered across Europe and the world every day our planet has become slightly more unlivable.

POPE FRANCIS (through translator): We are experiencing here, and in many countries, extreme climatic events. Please, I renew my appeal to the

leaders of the nations to do something more concrete to limit polluting emissions. It is an urgent challenge and cannot be put off. It concerns

everyone. Let us protect our common home.

KILEY (voiceover): As heat waves and fires are escalating yearly and Southern Europe, the threat is now even perhaps to the pontiff's own home.

Sam Kiley, CNN, in Leros.


AMANPOUR: And so, finally, tonight, the wildfires that are raging around the world as we've seen are also demonstrating a flash of international

solidarity. These South African fire fighters sing and danced their way across the globe to Canada to help douse the flames that are consuming

record amounts of wilderness there. About a quarter of these firefighters are women.

Meanwhile, the Turkish government has sent firefighting planes to help their adversary, Greece, in its time of need. Croatia and Egypt are also


And that is it for now. Goodbye from London.