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At This Hour

Albuquerque Police Seek Car Linked Killings Of Four Muslim Men; Senate Pass Historic $370 Billion To Fight Climate Crisis; Israel, Gaza Ceasefire Holding After Deadly Weekend Attacks. Aired 11:30a-12p ET

Aired August 08, 2022 - 11:30   ET



RYAN YOUNG, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: They thought he may say sorry. He did not say sorry, he decided not to take the stand. What he did do is have -- his attorney actually begs to be in federal prison instead of being in state prison. He believes his life's in jeopardy.

Ahmaud's family pretty much seized upon that and said, how do you think our son felt on the day you chased him down and shot him like a dog and cornered him like a rat? Those were the direct words.

And you imagine the emotion inside that courtroom. I could see family members holding each other's hands. They were grabbing each other nodding in agreement as they were looking directly at Travis McMichael.

And we've all seen this video play out over the last few months where that shotgun was raised and was fired three times. And Wanda Cooper- Jones essentially said every shot, she felt as a mother and she feels them every single day. She was just outside. I asked her a question. Take a listen.


WANDA COOPER-JONES, MOTHER OF AHMAUD ARBERY: I'm very proud to say that we found and got justice for Ahmaud on the federal level. I am pleased that they will do their time in the state penitentiary. And that's what I had this feeling the whole time.


YOUNG: The judge was very clear here. She believes that they should go to state prison. And so this was the first of the next few trials. We'll have two more today. I can tell you this community was still sort of on edge to figure out exactly what happened. But I heard someone say on the way out they feel like justice has been done, Kate.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Ryan, thank you so much. And again, the two other men convicted in Ahmaud Arbery's murder. They will be sentenced as well today. It's good to see you, Ryan. Thank you very much.

I want to turn now to this. A manhunt is underway and police are revealing what they call a critical lead to finding a potential killer. Police there are looking for a car in Central New Mexico that is believed to be linked to the recent killings of four Muslim men in Albuquerque. Three of them were killed in just the last two weeks. CNN's Ed Lavandera has the very latest on this from New Mexico.

ED LAVANDERA, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Kate, the murders of four Muslim men here in the city of Albuquerque is sending a shock wave of fear and panic through the Islam community here in Albuquerque.

It's a small community, three to 4000 people we are told, but because of that it is very tight-knit so it's a great deal of concern about what exactly is the motive behind these murders. All four of the victims appear to have been ambushed or surprised in some sort of way. The mayor of Albuquerque says they believe that all of these murders are connected and it is driven by hate.


TIM KELLER, MAYOR OF ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO: But we're very concerned that these are obviously tied together. They're obviously targeting Muslim men. And they're happening right here in our own refugee community. At this point, we have no indication as to motive. And we don't even have an indication as to where the perpetrator you know is even from.

The assumption is there from here or they might not be. And so it is just the norm in law enforcement communities that you don't categorize things without knowing any kind of motive. But you know, obviously is a person and in my opinion, clearly, it's hate-driven.


LAVANDERA: The first murder happened in November of last year, and then it was quiet for almost 10 months. And now in the last two weeks, we have seen three more murders of Muslim men here in Albuquerque and that is what is causing so much distress. In fact, the latest victim who was killed Friday night was actually here at the mosque just after having attended the funeral services for the second and third victims.

He was talking to people here expressing concern about what was happening and confusion. And then it turns out several hours later, he was killed. Police here in Albuquerque say they are looking for a gray Volkswagen Jetta or Passat. They have released pictures of that car. Right now they say that is the best clue they have to perhaps finding who is behind these kills, Kate.

BOLDUAN: Ed, thank you so much. Joining me now for more on this is Dr. Kader AbdeleRahman. He is the vice president of this Islamic Center of New Mexico. He tells us all four victims had attended services there.

Doctor, thank you for coming in. The Islamic Center is the largest in the state. The mayor is saying right now that people are so afraid that they don't even want to leave their homes. Can you talk to me about -- as Ed's laying out the details of how this has happened, but can you talk to me about how this is impacting the community? DR. KADER ABDELERAHMAN, VICE PRESIDENT, ISLAMIC CENTER OF NEW MEXICO: Sure, and thank you, Kate, for having me today. You know, there is -- you know, there's a really overwhelming sensation of fear in the community right now.

There's a lot of questions of who's doing this, why, where, and when. As you heard, all four of these men were ambushed. Unsurprisingly, not provoked, they were not robbed. They were simply targeted for their race and background.


So, yes, there's a lot of questions. But there's also a sensation of shock. New Mexico has been a very welcoming state for Muslims. It's a very friendly state that -- a diverse state. We have -- we are not used to or accustomed to any sort of hate crimes or targeted killings of Muslims here.

But unfortunately, the last year -- you know, this is not the first time that we have been targeted. Just in November of last year, our center was attacked and somebody tried to burn it down. So yes, we have been living on the edge.

BOLDUAN: One of the victims, I was reading about him, Naeem Hussain. His brother-in-law says that he was a refugee from Pakistan who fled persecution there. He comes to America.

He took his citizenship oath just on July 8. He was planning for his wife to come from Pakistan to join him. He came here to find a better, safer life. And now, this is what's happened to him. I mean, how do you -- how do you wrap your head around that?

ABDELERAHMAN: Yes, we're all nervous. You know, we have a strong faith in God. You know, we're a very small community, as you heard three to 4000. But, you know, everybody knows everybody. We support each other. We talk to each other. We're trying to assist one another. And that's what we're doing.

BOLDUAN: Law enforcement is, as we know, is -- said they have a strong lead, a potential -- a potential car, putting out this image of a car that the mayor says there are roughly only 100 of this type of car in Central New Mexico, and that it's connected to at least a couple of these killings -- seen at the -- scene at a couple of these killings if you will. Has this car -- has this carbon seen around the Islamic center? Like what is the conversation about this lead that the -- law enforcement is putting out?

ABDELERAHMAN: Yes. Not to our knowledge, you know. What we know right now is what you know. They released this image just yesterday of this suspected car, you know. As you would imagine, this is not enough information. We really appreciate what law enforcement is doing. They are providing additional patrolling services to our area.

But you know, a car is not enough at this time. And you know we do understand that the city of Albuquerque police department, they are -- they are understaffed, they are overwhelmed with the crime in the city, and we hope that they are able to bring this criminal to justice.

BOLDUAN: But how -- what -- talk --how -- what is the level of information that the -- that you feel the center is getting? I mean, do you think what you're getting is enough to keep people safe?

ABDELERAHMAN: You know it's very vague information. You know, the four killings happened roughly in the same area, which is the southeast part of Albuquerque. Right now, we're just being told to be careful, be aware of your surroundings, don't go out in the dark unaccompanied, you know, try to remain in large groups and look over your shoulder.

BOLDUAN: That's unsettling to say the very least, but you don't need me to tell you that already. Thank you so much, Doctor, for coming in. I really appreciate your time.

ABDELERAHMAN: Thank you for having me.

BOLDUAN: Coming up for us. Senate Democrats passed the biggest climate bill in U.S. history and there are now already calls for President Biden to go further, use executive power to do more than the bill allows. A top White House climate adviser joins us next.



BOLDUAN: The Biden administration is on its way to making climate history as the nation's biggest packaging to combating global warming heads to the House for final passage on Friday. Senate Democrats muscled through what's called the Inflation Reduction Act, which includes nearly $370 billion in climate and energy funding, the biggest one-time push, if you will, in U.S. history to tackle global warming.

Joining me right now from the White House is Ali Zaidi. He's the deputy White House National Climate adviser. It's good to see you, Ali thank you for being here. Is this the start or do you accept this as this is the totality of what you're going to be able to get done when it comes to climate action?

ALI ZAIDI, WHITE HOUSE DEPUTY NATIONAL CLIMATE ADVISER: Kate, it's good to be with you. And you know, I think we've been taking climate action from day one in the Biden administration and this is a significant step forward.

You take this, bipartisan infrastructure law and the several hundred executive actions and steps that the president's already taken. And we're moving in the direction of achieving his goals, moving in the direction of setting us on a course not only to cut consumer costs but reinvigorate clean energy manufacturing here in the United States.

So to your question, is this the totality? Absolutely not. This is a significant, big, bold step forward. But we're going to keep running in the direction of the president's clean energy goals, in the direction of his climate goals, in the direction of saving consumers' money by making clean energy more affordable and accessible. [11:45:01]

BOLDUAN: With this -- with this big win for Democrats, some climate experts also are noting that it comes with a shift in strategy, if you will when it comes to getting policy approved, moving away from what's considered a more effective way for cutting pollution, which is a tax on it, and instead focusing more on incentivizing people and businesses to switch to make changes. Replacing sticks with carrots. Is that the way forward for combating the climate crisis?

ZAIDI: This piece of legislation reflects very much Joe Biden's unique approach to climate action, which is to embed the solutions in real life, in the work people know how to do, in the excitement they have to be part of the solutions.

You got prevailing wage and union requirements in this bill. You've got requirements to help expand domestic content manufacture here in the United States. So there are incentives.

We're dealing everybody in. 41,000 small businesses and farms will be able to take advantage of this bill to build clean energy, where they live. We're going to go from two and a half million solar panels to 6 million by the end of this decade. And we're going to manufacture those here in the United States.

So yes, this reflects a very purposeful strategy. Make it here in America, make it with American workers, give those workers a chance to reach into the middle-class, and support their families with jobs and careers in clean energy and climate. That's part of the solution set. And when we deliver that, that means savings for consumers and it means achieving our climate goals.

BOLDUAN: Does this deal now mean that President Biden declaring the climate crisis a national emergency is no longer needed?

ZAIDI: You know, our focus this week is getting this bill to the president's desk and making sure that the next thing he signs is this into law when it comes to climate and clean energy.

But we're going to be relentless the way we have from day one, as the president has been from day one. Whether it's improving the conditions in our communities, taking pollution out of the air, whether it's deploying clean energy, you know.

He's declared things like the Defense Production Act. Use those emergency tools to make sure we're growing this economy here in the United States supplying the parts and tools we need to meet the moment.

So I fully expect that the president will do what he's done from day one. And that is the relentless pursuit of achieving climate ambition. The next stop -- the next stop is signing this bill.

BOLDUAN: But does this foreclose the possibility that he said he doesn't think -- that he would think that declaring it a climate emergency is needed? ZAIDI: I don't think any possibility is foreclosed. I think we have to continue to assess what's in front of us, continue to look at the tools we have in the changing landscape.

Look, the reality is because of this bill, we are going to have consumers -- businesses here in the United States with a number of tools, with a number of resources that will completely transform the landscape of what's possible in terms of climate action and climate ambition.

BOLDUAN: I do think --

ZAIDI: So we're really excited to get that into gear.

BOLDUAN: Sorry to jump on. On that note, I actually think there's a lot of what this does a lot. A lot of what this does is set the country on a path for progress by the end of this decade. That's a major part about this.

And that is that's one thing an important thing. So when are Americans actually going to be feeling the impact? Because the president today he's in Kentucky speaking to people suffering from the devastating impacts of the climate crisis and they need help now.

ZAIDI: Yes. You know, one of the big things that's really important for us to keep focused on is resilience and adaptation. The bipartisan infrastructure law included the largest investment in resilience. That means helping build roads that don't wash away.

That means helping make our buildings more -- less vulnerable to hurricanes and to wildfire. That means undergrounding those power lines so the power doesn't go out when the blazes reach across our forests. So we got to do that work as well.

And let's be clear, if we tackle our emissions, the root cause of what is driving global warming and a changing climate, then we will stabilize temperatures and we will keep the worst effects of climate change from impacting our communities and our people. So we got to do both things. We got to do them at once. And the president's doing them both in a historic fashion.

BOLDUAN: Ali Zaidi, thanks for coming on.

ZAIDI: Thanks so much.

BOLDUAN: We'll be right back.



BOLDUAN: At this hour, a ceasefire between the Israeli military and militants in Gaza appears to be holding after a weekend of violence killed dozens of people. CNN's Ben Wedeman is live in Gaza City for us at this hour. Ben, what are you seeing? BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, what we're seeing actually, Kate, is the city that's very quickly gone back to normal life. I'm hearing traffic down in the streets.

We're right above one of the main squares in Gaza City where families are starting to come out to enjoy the evening cool. Now, this conflict -- this war, I don't know if we can even call it that, lasted less than three days. 44 Palestinians were killed, including 15 children. What we've seen, however, is that as quickly as the ceasefire was reached, things quickly quieted down.


Today, the first fuel supplies had been allowed into Gaza by Israel to allow the electricity to go back on just four hours a day, but that's better than two during the violence. But the feeling is that the fundamental reasons for this conflict have not been resolved. And perhaps in a year or two or three or four, there will be another one and perhaps worse, Kate.

BOLDUAN: Yes. Ben, you have seen it so many times. It's good to see you. It's good you're there. Thank you so much. I really appreciate it.

So, President Biden, he is on the ground touring flood damage in Kentucky right now. The president will be speaking live shortly. We will bring that to you when it begins. "INSIDE POLITICS" with John King starts after this break. Thanks for being here.