Return to Transcripts main page

The Global Brief with Bianca Nobilo

Thousands Pay Respects At Tokyo Temple; Sri Lanka's Parliament To Elect New President Next Week; Man Killed At Lula Da Silva-Themed Birthday Party; At Least Six Killed In Russian Attacks On Kharkiv. Aired 5-5:30p ET

Aired July 11, 2022 - 17:00   ET




BIANCA NOBILO, CNN HOST: Hello, everyone. I'm Bianca Nobilo. And welcome to THE GLOBAL BRIEF. It's 10 p.m. here in London, 2:30 in the morning in

Colombo and 6 a.m. in Tokyo. We're just hours away from Japan's longest serving Prime Minister being laid to rest.

And also on the show Sri Lankan's President and Prime Minister are resigning. We look at the country's next steps amid political and economic


And Ukrainian officials in the occupied South say, the quote, "Russian terror against civilians is intensifying," we're live in Ukraine too.

Japan is a nation in mourning as it prepares for the funeral of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe about six hours from now. Thousands of people

already have paid their respects in the past day at the temple in Tokyo, offering flowers and prayers in our base memory. Close family members and

associates also attended a private week. Abe was assassinated last week as he spoke at a political rally. Among those offering condolences U.S.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who stopped in Japan to deliver a sympathy message from President Joe Biden.


ANTONY BLINKEN, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: I came at the President's behest because more than allies, we're friends. And when a friend is hurting other

friends show up. We try to help ease the burden. Share the sense of loss.


NOBILO: CNN's Kyung Lah is in Tokyo for us. Kyung, can you update us on this investigation and what the authorities are learning about the murder

of Shinzo Abe?

KYUNG LAH, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: What we're learning, Bianca, about 41-year-old Tetsuya Yamagami is a bit more about the timeline as well

as his motivation. Although that part is a bit murkier. Let's first talk about the timeline. Authority say that it does appear that he had been

planning this for some time, that he made these homemade pistols just by watching videos on YouTube, and that he had made a number of them, he had

even practice with them, taking them to a remote area near where he lived, the mountainside area and firing them off in the days leading up to Abe's

speech in Nara.

He also, according to the police say, that he had been watching the movements of the Prime Minister and knew exactly when he would appear and

appeared before the Prime Minister arrived in order to be in place. As far as a motivation. That's where things get a bit murkier. From what

authorities are telling us, he had -- the suspect had a particular grudge against a group. It's a little unclear at this point from the authorities

perspective, exactly what group we are talking about. But the religious group, a religious group, a Japan branch of the Unification Church held a

news conference saying that they believe that they are that group saying that the suspect's mother was a member.

Now, NHK is reporting that the suspect's mother, according to the suspect, had donated a large amount of money to this particular religious group. And

NHK is also reporting that the suspect believe that Abe's grandfather had some sort of connection to this religious group. So a bit of a murky

motivation here. But this is going to be truly critical. And understanding the mindset of this man, because something that's really confusing here for

a lot of people in Japan is how could this happen? You have a social fabric here where there isn't a lot of violence, where this kind of crime just

doesn't happen. And so there is an urgency and national urgency to really get to the bottom of this, Bianca.

NOBILO: And Kyung, can you tell us more about the mood of the country and how people are feeling this morning in the aftermath of this senseless


LAH: You know, I was just actually walking on the grounds of this temple. And what you see when you walk here at Zojoji and I've been here many

times, is it does look like a typical day, except when you pause and you look at people's faces. There is a lot of pausing, a lot of praying.

Flowers really just line the edge of the entrance of this particular temple. And this is where the funeral is going to be taking place, is going

to be happening in just about six hours from now. That funeral is going to be for the family and for, you know, close dignitaries.


But this is absolutely a moment of pain for this country and a lot of confusion and that's why I keep talking about the motivation being

important to people, because they want to understand how it could happen in order for them to attack this problem in the future. Bianca.

NOBILO: Kyung Lah in Tokyo, thank you so much for your reporting.

Now, Sri Lanka is facing a massive political and economic crisis. And now both the President and the Prime Minister are stepping down. The country's

parliament says that it will elect a new president in a little over a week. A senior military source told CNN that the President was taken to enable

vessel for safety. Just minutes before 1000s of protesters stormed the official residences. Many are angry over the state of the economy. The

nation is bankrupt and can't afford to import food and fuel.

Let's bring in Anit Mukherjee, an economist at the Center for Global Development to discuss Sri Lanka's political future. Anit, thank you very

much for joining the program.


NOBILO: How far do you think that the resignations of Prime Minister Wickremesinghe and President Rajapaksa will go to quell the anger and the

violence. Obviously, some skepticism still remains as to whether both men will actually relinquish power?

MUKHERJEE: Yes, I think that's a very valid question. But the most important thing now is to end the political uncertainty until that ends and

we have -- Sri Lanka has a government which the international donors and others can negotiate with, there isn't going to be a resolution of the of

the economic crisis. So I think this is also a wake-up call for many Sri Lankans that the old order of revolving door politics has to end. And there

has to be a government of the national reconciliation bringing in the people who have actually stormed the palace in frustration. So it has to be

a broad-based government with voices of the people represented.

NOBILO: OK, so how might that work? So the speaker of Sri Lanka's parliament has said that a new cross party coalition government would need

to be formed over the next few days, you're obviously talking about a reconciliation, governments do something similar. What are the people of

Sri Lanka actually pushing for politically or who? Where are the opposition parties and all this?

MUKHERJEE: Well, that's a very important question. Because for many years, Sri Lanka has had this dualistic political system where either party comes

to power, and it's sort of the same people who come through and manage the politics and the economy. So this is a break from the past and has to be

and there is a very active civil society, and those voices have to come forward. It is sort of similar to the Arab Spring movements in some ways

where there is a popular uprising and then leaders emerge from that and, there has to be some sort of an agreement with the established political

parties and the new voices to take the country forward.

NOBILO: And from a more dispassionate perspective, as an economist, who is most responsible for the economic mismanagement, which has led this

economic emergency developed with blackout of food, fuel, medicines are all in short supply. And can any political change actually stabilize the

situation? Or are there more fundamental causes to the current crisis?

MUKHERJEE: Well, Sri Lanka has a lot going for it. I think it is a very -- it's one of the more developed countries in South Asia. So the blame for

this economic mismanagement certainly lies with the political class. It also is the Sri Lankan government, successive governments and I would say,

not only from 2009 when the Civil War ended, but even before that, they have had a an agreement within that political class that it's -- there has

been a cozy relationship. Let's put it that way. So I think in some ways that that status quo has to be broken. And the blame for the political

mismanagement is not only for this government, but many governments passed.

NOBILO: And the storming of the palace on the weekend, on Saturday was the culmination of months of predominantly peaceful protests as the country was

facing soaring inflation, I think around 60% now, correct me if I'm wrong, and shortages, what was the final straw for people that they just got so

angry? They couldn't take it and they stormed the palace?

MUKHERJEE: I think there is -- I've been watching it from farther away. So there are people closer to the ground who can give you probably a better

answer than me. But I think it is the slow decline and then suddenly the food and fuel crisis that happened with the global rise in prices and Sri

Lanka has been hit very, very severely.


But also some of the measures that have been talked about is the sudden surge of the fertilizer price, the fertilizer changing the way that the

move to organic fertilizer. And that is that is kind of, you know, has been a trend when I was there in 2013. And I remember the electricity tariffs

were increased by 50%, almost overnight without any discussion, without any kind of, you know, discussion in the media or even in the political class.

So, it's been that kind of a knee jerk, kind of economic management that whenever things fiscally go wrong, then you either increased taxes and on

cars or electricity, and that affects the people.

So I think this time, it was different because I think the whole -- the structure of the economy collapsed, and that is where people went in lines

and queues, waiting for petrol and the essential commodities like food and maybe baby formula and things like that. So I think the visible

mismanagement and not any kind of collusion that the people saw meant that they put the blame squarely on the people who are ruling the country at

this point.

NOBILO: Anit Mukherjee, economist at the Center for Global Development, thank you so much.

Now, as Brazil moves towards its contentious October election, the country's divisions have turned deadly. A supporter of President Jair

Bolsonaro is accused of shooting and killing a political opponent at the victim's birthday party. CNN's Shasta Darlington has more on the tragedy.

We want to warn you that some of the video may be disturbing.


SHASTA DARLINGTON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It was supposed to be a happy occasion. Marcelo Arruda, a member of the left wing Workers Party,

celebrating his 50th birthday with a politically themed party. But things quickly turned into a tragedy. When a supporter of far-right President Jair

Bolsonaro broke into the party and shot at Arruda. Before he died, Arruda, a the city cops shot back at the attacker. Seen here entering the room. The

shooter is hospitalized. Jorge Guaranho, a prison guard is an ardent Bolsonaro supporter, seen here with one of the President's sons. He had

crashed the party earlier with his wife and baby returning 20 minutes later to carry out the attack. The victim son told CNN Brazil.

LEONARDO ARRUDA, VICTIM'S SON (through translator): My dad said, man, get out of my party. Let me enjoy my party in peace. And the guy pulled out a

gun and pointed it at him. The man returned a few minutes later and started shooting. He shot my dad three times, and my dad was able to shoot back and

shot him five times.

DARLINGTON: The workers party said in a statement the crime was a result of Bolsonaro's "hate speech" that encourages his followers, militiamen and

terrorists to act practically unaccountable. The party's presidential candidate and former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva extended his

condolences to the family, saying the incident was motivated by the hate speech promoted by a, "irresponsible president." Without referring to the

incident directly, Bolsonaro tweeted saying, "we dismiss any kind of support from those who practice violence against opponents," and he accused

the left of an undeniable history of violent episodes.

Speaking to his supporters on Monday, Bolsonaro said the shooting "was a fight between two people." And he mentioned the 2018 incident where he was

stabbed by a man affiliated with a left-wing party during a campaign rally.

JAIR BOLSONARO, BRAZILIAN PRESIDENT: You saw what happened didn't you? A fight between two people. (Foreign language) what have you. No one says

that earlier my attacker is affiliated to left-wing party, do they?

DARLINGTON: Tensions are high ahead of upcoming elections in October, as the country becomes more and more polarized. A day before the birthday

party shooting two explosives were thrown into a crowd at a Lula rally. At another event, Lula was also heard thanking a local Councilman who was

arrested for attempted murder against the man who insulted Lula at a rally in 2018. The president of the Supreme Court has even warned Brazil could

see, "an incident even more serious than what happened on January 6, in the U.S. Capitol."

BOLSONARO: I don't need to say what I'm thinking but you know what's at stake. You know how you should prepare, not for the new capital. Nobody

wants to invade anything, but we know what we had to do before the elections.

DARLINGTON: Brazilians go to the polls in October, as the campaign intensifies so does the concern about the potential for further violent

crimes especially from Bolsonaro supporters like this one. Shasta Darlington, CNN, Sao Paulo.



NOBILO: Still ahead, Ukraine is gearing up for major offensive, it says that it's readying a million strong fighting force to retake some land

occupied by Russia.

And we don't know who the next French prime minister will be. But we do know when we'll find out, that's ahead.


NOBILO: Ukraine says its massing in million strong fighting force to try and retake southern areas that are under Russian occupation. Ukrainian

official with the Hassan Regional Administration says the humanitarian situation in occupied areas is deteriorating, accusing Russia of escalating

terror against civilians.

Ukraine is also battling a fierce Russian assault on the Donbass heavy fighting is underway around Sloviansk and Russia says that a key village

has now been captured and a devastating scene in the town of Chasiv Yar. Ukraine now says that 29 people are confirmed dead after a Russian strike

over the weekend. And further north in Kharkiv the death toll from rocket attacks on civilian areas has now risen to at least six. More than 30

people were wounded. And this apartment building was among the targets. And a bystander captured the incredible moment that a woman was pulled from the

wreckage, unharmed by emergency crews. She later describe this terrifying ordeal.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): I saw lights, the headlights of rescuers and I started screaming. I am alive. Please get me out. The

Rescuers entered the hallway, knocked on the door and took me out.


NOBILO: CNN's Alex Marquardt is live in Kharkiv tonight. Alex, with Russia focusing more of its power on Donetsk and Zelenskyy planning this million

strong military force to retake the south. The battlefields obviously shifting, what can you tell us about that?


ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Well, Bianca, I don't think the two things are mutually exclusive this doesn't mean by any

stretch that President Zelenskyy is giving up on the eastern part of the country. It is, however, interesting, as you note, that, in fact, these

comments came from the defense minister Reznikov who said that President Zelenskyy has given the orders to create this million person force now,

whether that's bravado or concrete plans, you know, remains to be seen. But to focus on the southern part of the country, we have to remember that so

much of the South has been taken and occupied by Russian forces, the cities of Kherson, of Mariupol, for example, and the reason that the South is so

important is because that is how Ukraine exports, so much, its grain, its wheat, et cetera. That's how it makes money. And it is now, Ukraine is

blockaded in the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov, so a fighting force if they could mount it to try to take back those areas would seek to liberate those

coastlines in order to alleviate those areas so that they can begin exporting again.

Now, when it comes to the eastern part of the country, they have certainly suffered some losses, they've lost the Luhansk region. And President

Zelenskyy has said that in order to be able to push back into Donbass, to eventually take back Donbass that the Ukrainians will need the support of

the west, they will need more and more sophisticated weaponry as fast as they possibly can to fight against the Russians.

But, Bianca, whether it's in the south or in the east, civilians are suffering, their communities are being destroyed. And we actually went out

today with some pharmacists to frontline villages here in the Kharkiv Region, to see how they are getting medicine to civilians who so

desperately need it, take a look.


MARQUARDT: In a boarded up pharmacy in Kharkiv, we follow Yulia Klimeniuk down into the basement. They never use this space before the war. Now, it

holds shelf after shelf of vital donated medicine, while also serving another purpose.

(On camera): As we've been down here, we can hear some heavy shelling from up above that's not very common at this time of the day and in mid-morning.

Thankfully, we're already down in the basement, where we need to be.

(Voice-over): That shelling killed at least six city residents, Yulia and her team are unfazed, preparing to head out on a monthly visit to multiple

frontline villages which desperately need hard to get medicine, medical supplies and basics like baby formula.


MARQUARDT: The pharmacy comes to the village, she says. Pharmacies are either destroyed or there are no pharmacists and people need medicine.

The lead vehicle in the convoy is an ambulance. When it arrives in the first village, it sirens ring out to tell everyone they're here. Soon a

line has formed in the rain. Old retirees, young parents with their kids. Anyone who's left here seems to come out, including a village doctor.

OLHA, VILLAGE DOCTOR: (Speaking in foreign language).

MARQUARDT: We really need medication, we don't have a local pharmacy, we have nowhere to buy anything she says. Insulin, heart and blood pressure

drugs are at the top of her list. Along with sedatives and antidepressants.

Animals are a priority too, another car is full of dog food for beloved pets like Bykul (ph), whose owner Eger (ph) says Bykul is shell shocked

from all the explosions.

This village had been occupied by Russian forces and caught between the warring sides, the scars of the fighting very visible, as is the Russian


(On camera): When the Russians occupied this village, a man who lives here says that they would tuck their tanks and their armored vehicles between

houses and cover them up to try to hide them. But then the Ukrainians reached took this village and you can see they blew up and destroyed this

armored vehicle.

(Voice-over): After about an hour, the team packs up and moves on to a poor rural village just 25 kilometers or 16 miles from the closest Russian

position. Here the residents gather around even faster. The profound need for aid is clear while we're there, a team from World Central Kitchen

arrives to hand out meals, another eager line forms.

KLIMENIUK: (Speaking in foreign language).

MARQUARDT: Many of the Ukrainians we met were forced to live in the basements of their own homes while Russians occupied them, Yulia tells us.

KLIMENIUK: (Speaking in foreign language).

MARQUARDT: They're helpless, held hostage by this situation, she says. We help because they cannot provide for themselves.


MARQUARDT: And Bianca the team that we're with today, they visited three of those rural villages and they tell us that they were able to get medicine

to some 400 people and we could see clearly how grateful those people were. It was just three villages today, but in general they visit more than 100

villages on a regular basis just to give you a sense of how many people that they are able to reach.


But Bianca, it's not just about pharmacies that are being closed or destroyed, so many of these people have lost their jobs, they've lost their

livelihoods and therefore they can't afford medicine or they've lost their means of transportation. Their vehicles have been blown up, or Bianca, they

are perhaps simply too scared to leave their homes or go anywhere. Bianca.

NOBILO: Alex, thank you so much to you and your team for bringing us that incredible reporting. Of course, the layers of the disruption of this

conflict are just unimaginable.

Now, let's turn to Latvia, which borders Russia and Belarus. The country's Ministry of Defense announced on Monday that it would gradually introduce

mandatory military conscription for men aged 18 to 27. That means defense minister argued that in order for the country to "survive," they must

increase the amount of people who've received military training. He also said it will help reduce the risk of Russia attacking Latvia at will.

Mandatory military conscription is not rare in Europe. As you can see on this map here, countries like Switzerland, Greece and Turkey all have

similar programs. Lithuania, Latvia is neighbor also reinstated conscription in 2016, after it was scrapped eight years before.

Now, let's take a look at the other stories making international impact today. U.K.'s conservative party is planning to announce a replacement for

Prime Minister Boris Johnson on September the fifth, a new executive committee was elected on Monday and it's in charge of setting the rules and

the timetable for the Tory leadership contest. 11 candidates are in the running and the outgoing Prime Minister says that he won't be weighing in.


BORIS JOHNSON, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: I don't want to say any more about there's a contest underway and that must happen and, you know, I wouldn't

want to damage anybody's chances by offering my support. I just have to get on -- I have to get on.


NOBILO: In Pakistan, the National Disaster Management Authority is warning that rainfall will increase in the coming weeks I mean devastating floods

there. So far, according to the authority at least 147 people have lost their lives over the last month due to the extreme weather events.

And much of Europe is scorching under a huge heatwave. The dry air has spurred wildfires in Portugal, the E.U. is sending airborne firefighting

units there to help battle the flames. Temperatures exceeded 40 degrees Celsius in parts of Portugal and Spain on Monday, and the heatwave could

last another nine or 10 days.

Well, thank you all for watching. That was THE GLOBAL BRIEF. And World Sport is coming up now.