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The Global Brief with Bianca Nobilo

Record-Breaking Heat Wave Scorches Parts Of Europe; Extreme Temperatures Can Lead To Heat-Related Conditions; Ukraine Officials Suspended Over Suspected Staff Treason; Sri Lanka's Acting President Says Previous Governor Covered Up Facts; U.S. Experts Urge More Rigorous Monkeypox Response. Aired 5-5:30p ET

Aired July 18, 2022 - 17:00   ET



BIANCA NOBILO, CNN ANCHOR: Well, hello, and welcome. I'm Bianca Nobilo in London.

A city currently sweltering through historic. Ahead we look at the political, environmental and health ramifications of Europe's current heat

wave. Also Ukraine's President Zelenskyy sidelines members of his inner circle and investigates possible treason. We'll take you live to Kyiv. And

an exclusive interview with Sri Lanka's acting president. He tells CNN that the previous government was, quote, "covering up the facts."


Half of humanity is in the, quote, "danger zone," when it comes to extreme weather events. That's the latest climate crisis red alert from the U.N.

Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. Right here in Europe heat waves are paralyzing cities, triggering wildfires and droughts, and even costing

people their lives.

On Monday Ireland recorded its highest temperature in over a century and while 40 degrees Celsius might not be as concerning for warmer climates

across our world this region is simply not built for it, with roads literally melting, train tracks at risk of buckling, and a historic energy

crisis now on the cards.

CNN's Melissa Bell has been taking a closer look at this heat wave.


MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Southern Europe in flames. Vast swaths of the Mediterranean engulfed by wildfires driven by the

sweltering temperatures of Europe's second heat wave this summer.

From Portugal through Spain, Italy and France, where one of two massive fires near the city of Bordeaux continue to rage and spread.

(On camera): Down here on the ground you get a real sense of what the firefighters are facing. These parched conditions, the earth already dry

for so many months of high temperatures and those high temperatures still continuing. What the firemen, in this case French Air Force firemen, having

to do is find those parts of the fire inside the contained zone and put them out as quickly as they can.

(Voice-over): For nearly a week now, temperatures across Europe have soared. In Spain and Portugal, more than 1,000 people have died amid record

heat with temperatures set to rise further, and as far north as the United Kingdom.

STEVE BARCLAY, BRITISH HEALTH SECRETARY: Well, the clear message to the public is to take the sensible steps in terms of water, shade and cover,

rescue people, to keep an eye out for their neighbors and those who may be vulnerable.

BELL: The Rome region has declared a state of emergency. After several weeks of drought some Italian towns now banning the use of water for

washing cars and watering gardens with fines of up to $500.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): It's ridiculous because the population tries to save money by having the vegetable garden, and then you

prevent them from watering it. I understand not washing the car and watering your garden, but the vegetable garden? It's absurd.

BELL (on camera): These are the beaches of southwestern France. The Atlantic coast where so much of France is accustomed to coming to spend its

summer holidays, and yet the beach is completely evacuated. The camping grounds as well. Many of those, thousands of people, who've been off to go

elsewhere where people who come here on holiday.

(Voice-over): To places like castle, now the scene of a battle being waged day and night in the face of record temperatures and changing winds.

JEROME FLEITH COLONEL, FRENCH AIR FORCE (through translator): There's no let-up in our efforts. It tests our equipment and our men but we have to

hold the line for as long as it takes.

BELL: A desperate battle against time and temperatures that are set to rise further still.


NOBILO: "The Debrief." Let's look at it from a few different perspectives. Political, environmental and health, all of which intersect, of course. Now

CNN's Melissa Bell is with us from Paris. Tom Sater is live from CNN's Weather Center. And health correspondent Jacqueline Howard is in Atlanta.

Melissa, let's start with you. Thanks so much for your piece. That demonstrates that when it comes to the climate crisis, we are long passed

alarmist warnings for the future. We are feeling and seeing the impacts right now. So how are European leaders reacting to the current extreme

weather events and what will it take for this wakeup call to actually outweigh the political wrangling?

BELL: I think the scale of this fire, Bianca, the fact that it has been going for so many days, the fact that these temperatures mean that it's

likely to be brought under control in many parts of Europe anytime soon or at least immediately mean that of course much of Europe is looking at what

was happening.


The Spanish prime minister saying that he believed this was exactly that, a wake-up call to Europe, sometimes to look at these questions far more

urgently than we had. The Copernicus Institute, the private agency of the European Commission, openly saying, well, these heat waves are getting more

frequent, they're getting longer, this is directly linked to climate change.

And I think the scale of what Europe's feeling, even in those parts where there aren't fires, here in Paris we're expecting record temperatures

tomorrow. The whole of Europe is suffering this. What we're seeing in the south, though, is so dramatic and I think so transformative for those parts

of the country but also for the economies, for anyone who's getting around profoundly shocking. I think there is a sense that this is nothing like

we've seen before.

NOBILO: And Tom, how do the current temperatures in Europe play into the wider global trends that you're seeing.

TOM SATER, AMS METEOROLOGIST: I'm sorry, was that for me? I'm sorry.

NOBILO: Yes. It was, Tom. No problem at all.

SATER: I'm so sorry.

NOBILO: But also it's great, it's great to see you. I've missed you since I was in Atlanta.

SATER: Yes, me too.

NOBILO: I was just asking you how the extreme weather events that we're seeing in Europe right now play into the wider global trends that you're

seeing and on that map there.

SATER: OK. Let's break this down. Since January 1 we have had over 150 all- time high temperature records, not daily records. All-time high temperature records, over 150. How many all-time record lows since January 1? One in

New South Wales. That was of course just couple of days ago.

Look at all the areas of yellow, orange and red. This is where the temperatures are much harder than they should be. It is winter in South

America right now and they are well in the mid and upper thirties in parts of Brazil, in northern part of that country. But if you look across Africa

sure, you would think this is normal.

China doesn't look too bad. They're in yellow. But it's also 5:00 in the morning in Beijing. Half of China has been in over a 30-day heat wave.

That's over a billion people. We've got the mega drought out in the U.S. but really when you focus on to Europe here, there's a lot of things you

have to take in consideration.

This area of low pressure is giving us a southerly wind. Notice the cloud shape here. It's a big ridge so we've got high pressure. That means it's

compressing the air. As it compresses it warms up. But hey, it's summer. It's always like that, right? Let's factor in the first couple of all

previous seasons. You've got your winter season and your spring season. Anytime you have two seasons that are extremely dry the limited moisture

content in the soil here makes it much easier for the temperatures to reach these elevations which it's never before happened.

And then you toss in of course the fire danger. We've talked about whether it's 75 or so more than that in Portugal in towards Spain. They've got the

numbers, remember how bad they were last year in Turkey and Greece? This map tells a story. I mean they're out of control right now in Siberia where

the Russian army typically fights those fires but they're all in Ukraine. Poland typically helps them fight but they're like, no, you're on your own.

Top 10 all-time numbers for the United Kingdom. Only one broke today and that is Kew Gardens at 37.4 but it broke it by two. But notice the numbers

here. They're all from the last two decades. We're going to see more of these records, not just in Britain and Wales, up toward parts of southern

Scotland, 41 in Paris tomorrow. I think we're going to come close to around 40 in near London again.

We just had reports even the Royal Air Force saying the runways are melting so you know railways are buckling, asphalt going to do the same, but the

correlation is no doubt with us when you talk about the CO2 output in our temperatures since the 1850s.

NOBILO: Thanks, Tom. And Jacqueline, I was listening this morning to a headmaster in England talk about taking the opportunity to educate children

about how to keep themselves cool in the future, because of this heat wave because he thought they're going to need these skills going forward as the

climate and the world is only heating up, which is very sensible but also quite sad.

So what is it that people can do especially the elderly and those vulnerable to these extreme temperatures to keep safe in this weather?

JACQUELINE HOWARD, CNN HEALTH CORRESPONDENT: And that's very important, Bianca, because like you said the elderly and young children are most at

risk here and the heat wave is life-threatening due to the risk of heat exhaustion, heat stroke, and impacts on your hearts and breathing, so some

five tips that people can follow to stay cool in the high heat. Definitely stay hydrated, drink more water, limit outdoor activity, and try to stay

indoors as much as possible.

Wear loose clothing especially light-colored clothing. Avoid using your stove or oven to cook in the heat, and if you do venture outdoors, of

course wear sunscreen.

And Bianca this is very eye-opening at this moment because just last year the World Health Organization declared, and I quote, "The climate crisis is

the single biggest health threat facing humanity." That was a year ago. Now just in the past week we've heard, you know, there's hundreds of deaths

that occurred in Spain, Portugal, and other parts of Europe. So we're seeing this kind of play out in real time. The health implications of the

climate crisis -- Bianca.


NOBILO: Thanks, Jacqueline. Melissa Bell, Tom Sater and Jacqueline Howard, thank you all. Our triumvirate of experts on that climate briefing.

Now the demand for power to cool homes and businesses could drive Europe into an unprecedented gas crisis in the coming days. The soaring

temperatures are pushing up the demand for energy to power air-conditioning units. And while the crucial Nord Stream 1 pipeline is set to reopen this

week after maintenance work, there are concerns that Russia could keep the taps turned off in retaliation for E.U. sanctions.

The International Energy Agency is warning that more needs to be done to reduce the reliance on Russian power in the coming months, and that's

something that the French president is addressing as he welcomes his Emirati counterpart in Paris. The visit is centered around a new agreement

to guarantee the supply of diesel from the UAE to France.

Suspected Russian sympathizers inside Ukraine have created a crisis in Kyiv. Ukraine's president has just asked parliament to fire the director of

the state's security agency. He earlier had suspended him and the country's chief prosecutor on suspicion that dozens of their staff are collaborating

with Russia. In fact it's Volodymyr Zelenskyy who says that more than 60 staffers in occupied areas are suspected of treason. And he says an

astounding 651 law enforcement agency employees are now the subject of criminal proceedings.

CNN's Nic Robertson is in Kyiv for us.

Nic, was this sidelining of a security chief and the chief prosecutor who I've seen many times on CNN expected and how is that move being received


NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: You know, I think domestically it's sort of being interpreted as the end of the sort of

domestic political honeymoon that the war has given President Zelenskyy. There's been unity but now he feels the need because of what he calls a

treason and collaboration. He says 651 cases are open against people who work in these particular departments, the prosecutor general, the security


I think in terms of expectations from the public, I think there was a broad expectation that the security services chief would get fired. He was a

political ally of Zelenskyy, a childhood friend. He had no security service background. The security service here is big. Others in the upper echelons

are security experts, and also the security services have really seemed to fail in the south of the country where Russia was able to get an early

foothold in those southern towns like Mariupol, Kherson and these areas.

So there are a lot of sort of internal blame had fallen on that particular appointee, so perhaps no surprise there. But I think perhaps what sort of

caught people a little bit by surprise is the way that this has played out. Zelenskyy in his nightly address last night called for their suspension.

Well, that's not constitutional. It's only parliament that can hire and fire in those positions. And then today Zelenskyy asked parliament to fire

the security chief. But he didn't ask parliament to fire the prosecutor general who as you say has got a big international profile, seen as in

relative terms is doing a relatively good job and quite influential.

And she has written on her Facebook page that if parliament asked her to step down then she will. That's the sort of -- a sort of almost a push back

that the president. She said she will speak later when the facts become clearer.

NOBILO: And Nic, this begs more questions about Zelenskyy's leadership. As you know better than anyone, it's very common for leaders to be received

differently domestically to internationally. I think about how popular Boris Johnson is in Ukraine, for example, versus how he's received in

Britain, or Jacinda Ardern in New Zealand versus the rest of the world.

Obviously, crisis in war would incentivize people to band around Zelenskyy. But is -- are there chips in the armor of his leadership where people

starting to question him more and his role as the leader in this war?

ROBERTSON: There have been questions raised. You know, it's kind of natural in a war scenario where you might get some military push back against a

political leader who sees a political necessity in holding the line and fighting in certain areas where the military commanders don't see that that

-- it can be a particularly successful strategy, but the president may see it in international terms as a way to sort of keep the international focus

and get the support he needs.

So I think those sorts of tensions are natural. But I think there is a general read, you know, going back before the war. Certainly Zelenskyy had

a lot of political detractors, those who thought because he didn't have a long political career, that he wasn't up to the job. You know, it is a very

sought-after job and association with the president here carries weight and influence in the country.


So yes, some of these machinations are beginning to resurface, so I think the general assessment here would be that these perhaps won't be the first

re-shuffling that he goes for, but perhaps he might try a more constitutionally aligned approach in the future. But I think it's very

interesting that the sense of the moment is the prosecutor general seems to be pushing back. And Zelenskyy hasn't gone to parliament to ask her to be

removed as far as we know at the moment.

And certainly her deputy who's in the job right now would not carry as much weight as she did in terms of overarching oversight in all the affairs of

government and the president which obviously the prosecutor general has a keen legal interest in.

NOBILO: That's very interesting indeed so we'll be checking in with you again, Nic, tomorrow and the days after to see how all of this unfolds.

Nic Robertson for us, thank you. Thank you.

Ahead, Sri Lanka's acting president talks to CNN in his first international media interview since taking office. After the break what he's saying about

the former administration and his country's devastated economy.

And is it too late to control the monkeypox virus? We'll have the latest guidance from the U.S. health experts in a few moments for you.


NOBILO: Sri Lankas's acting president says the previous government was covering up facts about the country's economic disaster. That's what Ranil

Wickremesinghe told CNN in his first international media interview since becoming acting president. He also says that talks with the International

Monetary Fund are nearing conclusion but didn't provide any further details on that.

CNN's Will Ripley has that interview for us.


WILL RIPLEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: To those who feel that your presidency is simply more of the same from the previous administration.


RANIL WICKREMESINGHE, SRI LANKAN ACTING PRESIDENT: I'm not the same. People know that. I'm not this administration. I came in to handle the economy

like I did in 2000 when we collapsed.

RIPLEY: Do you think that the previous administration was telling the truth to the people of Sri Lanka?


RIPLEY: They were not?

WICKREMESINGHE: They were not.

RIPLEY: They were lying to the people.

WICKREMESINGHE: They are covering up facts.

RIPLEY: What were they covering up?

WICKREMESINGHE: That we are bankrupt. That we need to go to the IMF (INAUDIBLE).

RIPLEY: So what would you like to say to the people now truthfully as somebody who could very likely be their president?

WICKREMESINGHE: Would tell the people I know they are suffering. We have gone back. We have to pull ourselves up by the bootstraps but we can do it.

You don't need five years, 10 years, by next year let's start stabilizing, and by the end of -- certainly by 2024 let's have a functioning economy,

which will start growing, export-oriented economy, and dynamic economy.

RIPLEY: What went wrong that got Sri Lanka to this point of crisis?

WICKREMESINGHE: Everyone is playing politics, not talking on the truth.

RIPLEY: We interviewed a man who pushes his son in a wheelchair to dialysis six kilometers each way, five days a week. Public transportation costs went

up by six times. What do you say to that father?

WICKREMESINGHE: I can understand what they're going through and this is going through the worst period. The protest that is taking place,

occupation of houses, burning of houses, that's only adding to it.

RIPLEY: Do you believe that other buildings could be occupied again by protesters?

WICKREMESINGHE: I will not allow any building to be occupied by protesters.

RIPLEY: How will you stop from happening?

WICKREMESINGHE: I have asked the police and the army to guard it.

RIPLEY: And they've been authorized to take any -- by any means necessary to prevent people from occupying?

WICKREMESINGHE: I just like the Congress, I've said protect it.

RIPLEY: You had your own home burned down.

WICKREMESINGHE: Yes. The furniture was mainly from my grandparents, my parents, great grandparents. I had a piano, 125 years from my great

grandmother, all destroyed.

RIPLEY: A lot of people would have that experience and say, that's it, I'm out. I don't want to do this anymore. Why do you want to be president and

make yourself potentially a target for this kind of thing?

WICKREMESINGHE: I don't want this happening in this country. What happened to me I don't want others to suffer. There has to be law and order in the



NOBILO: Let's take a look at the other key stories making international impacts today.

In India lawmakers have been voting to elect the country's next president. Veteran politician, Droupadi Murmu, is a front runner picked by Prime

Minister Narendra Modi's ruling party. If selected she'll be the first ever president to hail from the tribal community. Results are expected on


China is reporting its highest number of COVID-19 cases since May. The country is struggling to contain the highly transmissible Omicron variant

and a heat wave is making things harder with residents crowding into air raid shelters to beat the heat.

And Ghana is confirming its first two cases of the highly infectious Malberg virus, according to the World Health Organization. Those people

died. Malberg is the same virus family as Ebola and has a fatality rate of up to 88 percent. Ninety contacts of the victim are now being monitored.

And also in today's health brief, a new warning about the spread of monkeypox. A former head of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration says it

may now be too late to control and contain the virus. This as the leading U.S. expert Dr Anthony Fauci says the outbreak needs to be handled in a

more rigorous manner, arguing that we still don't know the full potential of this virus yet.

For more on the pitcher in the U. S. let's speak to our senior medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen.

Elizabeth, always great to speak to you. Tell us how bad of the situation is the U.S. looking at and how does that compare with the monkeypox spread

in the rest of the world?

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: So, Bianca, let's take a look at some monkeypox numbers worldwide. If you look around the world

there are about 12,556 cases and that's in 68 countries. The highest case counts are in Spain, Germany in the U.K. The U.S. which obviously is a much

bigger population has fewer cases, many fewer cases than Spain. And approximately the same as Germany and the UK so a lot of countries are in a

difficult situation right now.

Dr Scott Gottlieb who was the former official who you referenced earlier, he says look, I think the U.S. hasn't done a good job. They should have

moved more quickly on testing, move more quickly on vaccination. We may not be able to contain this in the US. Well. today to CNN the head of the CDC

Dr. Rochelle Walensky is pushing back on that. She's the head of the U. S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/ And she says the interview,

meaning Dr Gottlieb's interview, was misinformed and off-base.

It is true that we have work to do here and internationally and are likely to see more monkeypox cases in the near term but it is possible to

significantly do we decrease the number of cases and contain the current monkeypox outbreak.

Dr Anthony Fauci was on CNN earlier today and he said roughly the same. Let's take a listen to Dr Fauci.




that has been done and that we will continue to do, and accelerate. Could we have done better? Always. You never say we did perfectly, but I think

looking forward with more vaccines being available, with therapy being available, and there is a lot of red tape associated with that.


COHEN: So the U.S. over the past two months, which is when the first monkeypox case was identified in the U.S. has been ramping up testing and

vaccinations. The public health campaign has been mostly aimed at the gay male community. That's because the vast majority of the cases have been

among gay men. It is not a gay disease by any stretch of the imagination but it is spreading quickly in this community. It is primarily spread by

prolonged skin to skin contact -- Bianca.

NOBILO: Elizabeth Cohen, thank you so much for that update.

Now you just heard some comments from Dr Anthony Fauci, and he's been the face of the COVID-19 response in the United States. His calm, facts-based

approach to the pandemic has made him a globally recognized figure. Now at 81, Dr. Fauci says that he wants to do other things in his career. He says

he plans to step down as director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases by the end of President Biden's first term. Fauci has

directed that organization for decades, and he's advised every president since Ronald Reagan.

And finally a headline from Hollywood that set social media alight over the weekend. It may have taken 20 years to walk down the aisle but Ben Affleck

and Jennifer Lopez have finally said "I do." In a newsletter to fans Lopez said that the couple flew to Las Vegas for a small ceremony at a drive-

through chapel. The actress and singer wrote in part, quote "Love is beautiful. Love is kind, and it turns out love is patient." The couple met

filming a movie in 2001, quickly became paparazzi magnets for much of the early 2000s. They then announced their first engagement in 2002. Both Lopez

and Affleck have children from other marriages after that initial split in 2004. All good.

Thank you for watching. That was THE GLOBAL BRIEF. "WORLD SPORTS" is up here next.