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The Global Brief with Bianca Nobilo

Biden, Lopez Obrador Meet To Try To Mend Relations; Biden Heads To Israel For His Official Visit; Jan. 6 Committee: Trump Planned To Direct Supporters To Capitol; Ukraine Says It Attacked Russian-Held Kherson Region; U.S.: Iran To Supply Weapons-Capable Drones To Russia; London's Heathrow Airport Caps Daily Passengers; Thousands Gather For Former Prime Minister's Funeral. Aired 5-5:30p ET

Aired July 12, 2022 - 17:00   ET



BIANCA NOBILO, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Hello and welcome. I'm Bianca Nobilo in London and this is THE GLOBAL BRIEF. Tonight, repairing and

reinvigorating foreign policy relationships. Can the U.S. president meet the amid a big week of diplomacy? Then we're live in Ukraine where Russia

is currently on the offensive in the north and the defensive in the south.

Plus, how a star is quite literally born - incredible new pictures from NASA highlight a groundbreaking space discovery. The spotlight in

Washington, D.C. is on Donald Trump's presidency with the latest January 6 hearing wrapping just moments ago. But we're also seeing increasing

scrutiny of the current President Joe Biden with his polling at an all-time low. Over the next week, Biden will be tested on the world stage stepping

into Trump's foreign policy shadow with a trip to the Middle East by his predecessor created significant change.

We'll be heading to Jerusalem shortly. But first, our relationship closer to home in need of repair. That is Mr. Biden's prickly relationship with

the Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador. The two presidents met today at the White House to try to patch up their considerable differences.

It was only a month ago that Mr. Lopez Obrador snubbed Mr. Biden's invitation to the Summit of the Americas over the exclusion of three

autocratic leaders.

And while both Presidents acknowledged their difficulties today, they also pledged to work towards easing their most pressing problem, record

migration at the U.S.-Mexican border. And CNN's Matt Rivers has more on this critical meeting from Mexico City. Matt, are these President seeing

eye-to-eye more now after they've spoken?

MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I don't know that we can make that conclusion, Bianca, if only because the differences between these two men

and specifically, I think the differences that AMLO himself as the Mexican president is called AMLO, that he brings to the table. This is not a

Mexican president that really has great regard for the presidency of the United States or for the United States in general. He often presents what

he would call the United States interventionism, both in Mexico and across Latin America over its history.

And he routinely talks about that, including during 30 uninterrupted minutes when he was inside the Oval Office that he spoke for 30 minutes

uninterrupted, going deep into the history of the relationship between both countries. And I think right now, you're seeing a Mexican president who

feels that he has a lot of leverage over the United States because of how big of a deal this migration issue continues to be both on a humanitarian

level for the United States, but also on a political level for the Biden administration.

It's a problem that the administration can't seem to get a handle on. And I think AMLO knows that and so he's looking for more concessions from the

United States. Specifically, he wants the United States open up more visas for foreigners outside, let's say, labor visas in the agricultural

industry. He's looking for the United States to provide more visas for workers, which he says can not only help inflation in the United States,

but also perhaps ease the migration issues. So that's definitely what he brought to the table today in Washington, Bianca.

NOBILO: And that realistically, what can they get done regarding this huge issue of human trafficking?

RIVERS: That's the other big issue that both sides have acknowledged is just a massive problem that goes across the entire hemisphere, but it

really reaches to the U.S.-Mexico border. And what you see the United States wants Mexico to do is to prosecute more. I mean, every -- both sides

say that human trafficking is a major issue, and Mexico regularly touted it arrest people. But there's basically impunity in this country. More than 90

percent of crimes in this country go unprosecuted by the Mexican judicial system.

And so what you're hearing from the Americans is, sure, we'll give you more resources, we'll send more of our homeland security agents across the

hemisphere to try and break up these human trafficking networks that are so pervasive across the Western Hemisphere. But it's incumbent on Mexico to

actually prosecute those criminals and put them in jail. And that's something that it's not doing at any substantive level, at least at this


NOBILO: And we know, Matt, that the relationship between the two presidents has been characterized as prickly, they have these huge policy differences

that you've just been outlined for us. How do the two men get on personally? What's their chemistry like?

RIVERS: I mean, you heard President Biden called the claims in the media, you know, in the headlines talking about the rift between the two men. He

said that they were overblown, he said that they had a good working relationship. Earlier in the day, you heard President Lopez Obrador, say

about Vice President Kamala Harris that the United States has what he called a first rate vice president, and he congratulated the American

people on that.

So it doesn't seem like they can't get along at all when they're talking in person. It just seems that, you know, Lopez Obrador has his views about

foreign relations about the U.S.-Mexico relationship that goes back to his deep rooted philosophy over the United States interventionism in this

region over the past, you know, 100 years, let's say. And so, while that means they're probably never going to be best friends, I do think that they

can at least have conversations as shown by the fact that he made the trip to Washington today.

NOBILO: That historical context is really interesting, Matt. Thanks so much. Matt Rivers for us in Mexico City.

Now, U.S. President Joe Biden is heading to Israel for his first official visit to the country, but his trip is heavily overshadowed by his

predecessor's legacy in the Middle East. The region was a priority for former U.S. President Donald Trump who visited Israel only four months

after taking office, while it's taken Biden nearly 18 months.


The Trump administration brokered the Abraham accords normalizing relations between Israel and various Arab countries, including the United Arab

Emirates and Bahrain. This was a key selling point in his 2020 presidential campaign. Trump also fostered a special relationship with the then-Israeli

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in what were turbulent political years for Israel.

And you'll remember, Trump's decision to move the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. And he also recognized Israel's sovereignty

over the Golan Heights, which prompted Mr. Netanyahu to unveil a new settlement called Trump Heights. The former Israeli Prime Minister also

heavily leaned on his relationship with Trump during the election campaign. The U.S. President was even featured on billboards across the country.

Meanwhile, this is worth noting, Biden is heading to the country when Israel is dealing with a period of political uncertainty. And so to debrief

all of this, let's bring in CNN's Jeremy Diamond live from Jerusalem. Jeremy, thanks for joining us. What is Biden hoping to achieve in Jerusalem

in the region that President Trump didn't or couldn't?

JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, interestingly enough, you know, President Biden is coming here really doing something that he

hasn't done on any foreign trip before. And that is, for the first time, embracing one of his predecessor's legacy achievements. And that is the

Abraham Accords, which of course, normalize relations between Israel, the United Arab Emirates, as well as Bahrain, Morocco, also later normalize

relations with Israel.

And as President Biden arrives here, he and his administration over the last several months have been focused on trying to both deepen the

relationships within the Abraham Accords, deepen those ties between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, for example. He'll have an event this week

with those two countries on food security, for example, and then also looking to expand those normalization agreements. So one of the key topics

and themes of this trip that U.S. officials have been telling us about is this theme of integrating Israel into the region. And that comes from a

number of perspectives both the economic and security, and also taking steps towards an eventual hopeful normalization of ties between Israel and

Saudi Arabia.

So much of that partnership has remained underground behind the scenes so far. But we are expecting some announcements, including Saudi Arabia,

allowing flights flying to and from Israel to fly over its airspace for the first time, as well as a potential for charter flights for Muslim Israelis

to fly to Mecca for the Hush. So small steps towards that kind of normalization, that we are expecting and something that U.S. officials have

been pushing for, also something that Israeli officials have been pushing for, as they've encouraged the United States and President Biden to mend

relations with the Saudis whom, of course, you know, we saw relations really downgraded under President Biden, because of the murder of the

journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

So, so much happening in this region, but really the momentum is heading in the direction of pursuing those normalization agreements. And that's what

we're going to see President Biden doing.

NOBILO: And Jeremy, this is the first time in 18 months that Biden has visited the Middle East, why is he not yet launched with a high level

investment in negotiating a peace deal between Israel and Palestine?

DIAMOND: Yes, I mean, I was speaking with a senior administration official this week who said, how do we launch the peace process, there would have

been nobody at the table. And so that is kind of a reflection of the fact that the regional dynamics at the moment. On the one hand, favor, this step

toward normalization agreements between Israel and its Arab neighbors, they don't favor though, negotiations at the moment between the Israelis and the

Palestinians because of the political gridlock that we see here in Israel, as well as on the Palestinian side in the Palestinian territories.

And so that's kind of a reflection of the fact that this administration didn't want to launch the kind of high level shuttle diplomacy that we've

seen in the past, that the U.S. has kind of tried to shepherd the Israelis and the Palestinians to the negotiating table to try and reach a two-state

solution. This administration seems to believe that if they were to try and do that, it would fail. And so essentially, they've decided not to take

that path.

What they have done, though, is try and rebuild relations with the Palestinians. They've turned back on the faucet of humanitarian aid to

civil, you know, humanitarian groups in the Palestinian territories. And they've also sought to rebuild a relationship with the Palestinians and to

rebuild a dialogue between the Israelis and the Palestinians taking small steps, one of which was the first phone call between the Israeli prime

minister and the Palestinian president just a few days ago, the first call in nearly five years.

NOBILO: Jeremy Diamond for us in Jerusalem. Thank you.

And you can catch Jeremy on The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer live from Jerusalem covering Joe Biden's first presidential trip to the Middle East.

Situation Room will also take a look at the latest on those January 6th hearings for you. This is the committee's seventh hearing focusing on the

Trump administration's connections to extremist groups ahead of the riot.


While the panel can't bring legal charges against Trump, it's aimed to uncover the full scope of his attempt to stop the transfer of power and

connect him to the violence at the Capitol. Let's hear from one of the witnesses.


STEPHANIE MURPHY, JANUARY 6 SELECT COMMITTEE: We know that you illegally entered the Capitol that afternoon and then left the Capitol area later on.

What made you decide to leave?

STEPHEN AYRES, U.S. CAPITOL RIOTER: Basically, when President Trump put his tweet out, we literally left right after that come out. You know, to me, if

he would have done that earlier in a day, 1:30, I, you know, we wouldn't be in this -- maybe we wouldn't be in this bad of a situation or so.


NOBILO: And we'll bring you much more on that in the next hour.

Ukraine says it has attacked Russian forces in the south with long range rockets as it gears up to launch a major counter offensive in the region.

Ukraine's military says the strikes has an ammunition depot in Kherson region, killing dozens of Russian troops. A Russian installed official in

Kherson says that civilian infrastructure was hit instead. For its part, Russia is carrying out attacks across the country, including new shelling

in Kharkiv today. That city's mayor calls the bombardment constant.

Let's bring in CNN's Alex Marquardt. He's following developments from Kharkiv. Alex, there's been a rise of strikes around the country,

widespread fighting in the north where Russia is on the offensive and in the south, or it's on the defensive. What are Moscow's short-term strategic

priorities here?

ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN SENIOR U.S. SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Well, Bianca, as evidence of this constant bombardment, constant targeting of the city of

Kharkiv, you can hear these air raid sirens that have just started to go off. Generally what happens is that they will sound late at night, like

right now, and those will then be followed by some thuds, hopefully, quite far in the distance.

But Bianca, in the short term, it does appear that Russia is trying to make incremental gains where it can ahead of what is expected to be a more full

throated push or offensive into the Donbas region. Here in Kharkiv, we did see a flurry of Russian strikes earlier in the day that hit two different

districts, including an industrial district. There was a large fire in that second district that was hit and we understand from local authorities that

at least four people were hurt.

And then farther south in the southern part of the country where Ukrainian Armed Forces appear to be focusing much of their energy. We saw perhaps the

largest explosion behind Russian lines that we have seen so far. New satellite imagery shows a massive crater in the region of Kherson, which

has been occupied by Russian troops. The Ukrainian military says that they struck and destroyed an ammunitions depot.

The Russians, for their part deny that there was any ammunition there. But they do admit that at least seven people were killed, that scores of people

were wounded. They blame the recently arrived HIMARS systems, those more advanced long-range rocket systems that the U.S. and others have donated to

Ukraine for being behind today's strike. Ukraine has not admitted that but they -- but Ukraine has said and the U.S. has agreed that the -- that those

HIMARS systems have been put to really effective use.

And Bianca, we did hear from President Zelenskyy tonight who while not confirming that this strike was carried out by a HIMARS system certainly

winked at it. Here's part of what he said. Thee occupiers, meaning the Russians, have already felt very well what modern artillery is and will not

have a safe rear anywhere on our land.

So Bianca, the Ukrainians do appear to be focusing, as I mentioned, much of their effort on the south and that Kherson and Mykolaiv region while the

Russians are trying to push farther into the Donetsk region, in the Donbas area of eastern Ukraine, ahead of what is expected to be a bigger offensive

in the near future, Bianca.

NOBILO: Alex Marquardt in Kharkiv, Ukraine, thank you so much.

And while we often focus on the support that Ukraine received from the West, Russia is getting support from some of its allies as well. Brazilian

President Jair Bolsonaro says that his country is planning to buy Russian diesel. The move aimed at reducing domestic fuel prices, would provide a

key market to Russia as it struggles under the weight of Western sanctions. President Bolsonaro says that the first shipments could arrive over the

next two months.


JAIR BOLSONARO, BRAZILIAN PRESIDENT (through translation): Now it's almost certain there will be an agreement for us to buy diesel from Russia at a

much cheaper price.


NOBILO: Another ally of Russia could be preparing to aid its war effort in Ukraine. The White House says that it has information that Iran is

preparing to supply Russia with as many as several 100 drones. CNN's Clare Sebastian has the details.

CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well Iran is dismissing but not denying comments by the U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan that it is

getting ready to provide up to several 100 drones including weapons capable drones to Russia.


Ukrainian state media quoted Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Nasser Kanani Tuesday, who said there are no new developments and that, quote, the

history of cooperation between Iran and Russia in the field of modern technologies dates back to before the war in Ukraine.

Well, there are signs though that that cooperation is intensifying alongside Western efforts to isolate Russia. The Kremlin confirmed Tuesday

that President Putin will travel to Tehran next week to hold talks with President Ebrahim Raisi and Turkish President Erdogan. That meeting will

come just three weeks after Putin and Raisi last met face-to-face and it will fire on the heels of U.S. President Biden's trip to the Middle East,

expected to focus in part at least on efforts to contain Iran's nuclear ambitions.

Well, U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, told journalists on Monday that the U.S. believes Iran will not only provide the drones to

Russia, but will provide training to Russian Armed Forces such as that as early as this month. Sullivan said this shows the severe costs Russia has

sustained on the battlefield in Ukraine as it fights for control of the Donbas.

Clare Sebastian, CNN, London.

NOBILO: In Sri Lanka, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa is set to formally leave office on Wednesday after political upheaval drove him to resign. Ahead of

that, airport immigration officers stopped the President and his family from leaving the country.

A senior military official told CNN that they refuse to wait in line to have their passports checked. It's not clear where Rajapaksa is now. The

Air Force denies that he's staying at a private home owned by a top officer.

Sri Lanka's parliament is set to choose Rajapaksa's replacement next week. The country's main opposition leader told the BBC that he plans to run.

And still to come tonight on the program, if you were thinking of flying out of London's Heathrow Airport anytime soon, don't count on it. We'll

tell you why. And the cost of climate change. A new study says some countries are responsible for trillions of dollars worth of climate damage.



NOBILO: Now it's that time of the night that we take a look at the other key stories making international impact today. The U.S. says that it's

carried out a drone strike in northwest Syria killing a top ISIS leader. Official say that the strike killed the head of ISIS in Syria Maher al-Agal

and seriously injured another senior ISIS official.

The official say that an initial review indicates that there were no civilian casualties. And the British government says that it will allow the

opposition Labor Party to call for a vote of no confidence but only on one condition. The motion has to remove all references to Outgoing Prime

Minister Boris Johnson, which we all know pretty much take the teeth out of that. Eight candidates have now been formally nominated to replace him and

the first round of voting, cut my teeth back in, by conservative lawmakers is set for Wednesday.

A Dartmouth College study says that the U.S. and China have caused more than $3.5 trillion worth of harm to the global economy through the climate

crisis. The two countries are the top emitters of planet warming gases. It's the first time that scientists have formally connected the dots

between one country's fossil fuel emissions and the financial impact that that has on other countries.

Now to the story that may not fly with would be travelers. London's Heathrow Airport has asked airlines to stop selling tickets as it works to

limit some passengers. The airport CEO says that the hub will only accommodate 100,000 passengers a day due to current demand and a lack of


CNN's Anna Stewart has more on this.

ANNA STEWART, CNN REPORTER: Heathrow like many airports around the world is buckling under a huge resurgence and travel demand as the world opens back

up. And Heathrow Airport is asking airlines to stop selling tickets for the summer and reduce capacity of departing passengers to 100,000 a day and

that's going to go right through early September.

Now currently, the airport says airlines have capacity for 104,000 departures a day. So around 4,000 departures more than it thinks it can

manage and on average, over a third of the seats have actually already been sold which means we can expect more airport cancelations to come. Heathrow

CEO John Holland-Kaye wrote an open letter to passengers and explained that this resurgence in demand was unprecedented. I think he said it was 40

years of demand and just four months.

He says it's been hard to recruit people. They started in November for this busy season. But it takes time to train people and he also said there was a

significant shortage in some areas like ground handling, which is why Heathrow Airport particularly has had an issue when it comes to missing


Now, Willie Walsh who was the Director General of IATA, the Global Airlines Association said he's surprised that Heathrow hasn't been able to get their

act together better than this. And he added that they're trying to maximize the profitability that they can get from the airport at the expense of

airlines. Heathrow says they're not going to be enforcing this capacity gap. They are asking airlines to help them get there and they're not alone.

Amsterdam Schiphol Airport and London second busiest airport Gatwick have introduced similar measures as well. So good luck to people in Europe still

hoping to jet away for the summer holidays.

Anna Stewart, CNN, from Heathrow Airport outside of London.

NOBILO: In Tokyo, they came by the thousands today to say their goodbyes to assassinated former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Crowds lined the streets

outside of 600-year-old temple where inside family members including Abe's wife, Akie held a funeral. Abe's body was then taken for cremation.

CNN's Kyung Lah shows us Japan's day of mourning.


KYUNG LAH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): At the temple where former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's body lay, a city in mourning began to arrive. Across

all ages, clutching flowers, they gathered to say farewell.

(on-camera): Why is the streets so filled with people?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think nation is just very sad. Also, it's just suddenly happened so we still cannot believe what's happened.

LAH (voice-over): The funeral for Abe was a private event inside, outside a public gathering to grieve for the loss of a political Titan. Well-wishers

waded through the two-hour funeral, lining the street as Abe's left the temple.

For 30 minutes as a black hearse made its way through downtown Tokyo, one of the world's busiest cities came to a halt.


Stopping before Japan's most powerful governmental offices, the nation's lawmakers paid their respects. The hearse entered the funeral home, and a

crowd bid a final goodbye to Japan's longest serving Prime Minister and impart some sense of security. A country that has almost no cases of gun

violence now deals with the aftermath of a very public crime.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Whenever I go to overseas, people will say that Japan is so safe. It's not always like that. It's very sad. Yes. It shouldn't be


Kyung Lah, CNN, Tokyo.


NOBILO: The world's most powerful space telescope is promising to unfold the universe. And social media is already going wild. NASA has now released

images from the James Webb Space Telescope for the first time ever. Look at them. Majesty.

It's part of a project that NASA is working on with the European and Canadian space agencies. They selected a few targets including the Carina

Nebula, some 7,600 light years away. But that is nothing in comparison to these galaxy clusters. NASA says this is the deepest image of our universe

that has ever been taken. It's so ground-breaking that it was revealed at the White House Monday evening during a preview.

Well, thank you for watching. That was The Global Brief, World Sport is coming up here next.