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The Global Brief with Bianca Nobilo
High Heat, Gas Uncertainty Worrying Western Europe; Nord Stream 1 Pipeline Resumes Carrying Gas To Germany; Europe Sweltering Under High Temperatures; Captured Russian Drones Reveal Surprising Components; Cubans Wait In Line For Days To Buy Diesel; Airport Chaos Continues To Weigh In Travelers In Europe. Aired 5-5:30p ET
Aired July 21, 2022 - 17:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BIANCA NOBILO, CNN HOST: Hello and welcome. I'm Bianca Nobilo. In tonight's Global Brief, energy, economy and extreme weather. We look at Europe's
colliding crisis. Then a father prays over the body of his dead son in Kharkiv. The sobering image capturing the ubiquitous grief of Ukrainians.
And CNN tracks the current travel chaos firsthand from Heathrow to Ibiza.
Now there's no time for course. Italy's president is calling for the country to face its colliding crises head on despite the government
collapsing. Today's political snowballs started after Mr. Mario Draghi resigned for the second time in a week, prompting President Sergio
Mattarella to dissolve parliament and call snap elections for September. And there really could not be a worse time for Italy to have a gaping hole
in leadership. The country right now is literally on fire, with many regions turning into tinderbox, it's due to droughts with wildfires
Meanwhile, the energy and economic crisis made worse by Russia's war in Ukraine is leaving many in despair. So who will be the right person to
steer the country through these rough waters? And what ripple effects could that have across Europe?
I'm joined by Nathalie Tocci, who's the Director for the Institute of International Affairs and also a former Special Adviser to Federica
Mogherini. Thank you so much for joining the program tonight.
NATHALIE TOCCI, DIRECTOR OF INSTITUTE FOR INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS: My pleasure.
NOBILO: So what happens now? We have snap elections to look forward to and polls are suggesting that there might be a lurch to the harder right. Could
that have big foreign policy implications and potentially be quite good news for the Kremlin?
TOCCI: Well, I think on one level very clearly, the two parties -- well actually, the three parties that made Mario Draghi's government fall are
all, especially two of them, quite close to the Kremlin. So we're talking about the Five Star Movement and the Lega as well as (INAUDIBLE).
Now, having said this, all of these parties are actually in sharp decline in the polls. So the Five Star Movement, who knows whether it will still
exist by the time we get to elections, and even Lega has actually taken quite a beating in recent local elections. Now, if that is true, on the one
hand, I think it's also true and you were suggesting it, that indeed, the next government is very likely going to be a right-wing government,
essentially in which Lega, not the Five Star Movement, but certainly Lega will be a part but really, we'll see for (INAUDIBLE). So Giorgia Meloni's
party in the lead.
Now Giorgia Meloni's party is certainly an extreme right-wing party, I would say but I wouldn't say it's a populist party. And it's certainly one
that has traditionally not had close ties with the Kremlin. So I think that as far as Italy's overall international positioning is going to go,
essentially, sort of its Euro-Atlantic positioning is likely going to remain firm. So essentially, this is very bad news for Italy and Europe,
but as far as Italy's overall geopolitical position is concerned. Probably it's not going to be such good news for the Kremlin.
NOBILO: And Nathalie, if somebody as popular and highly regarded as Draghi, who's helped stabilize the economy, post-COVID can't bring the fractious
Italian political system together, what can and is this actually sustainable when Europe is facing so many massive challenges, economy,
climate and so on going forward?
TOCCI: Well, I think, you know, that you're absolutely right. I mean, we will not see a government and leadership with the reputation, the
credibility and the stature and competence that Mario Draghi had. And that really is Italy and Italy is only lost. And, you know, just to put it in an
image, we will not see another drift train journey in which there will be another prime -- Italian Prime Minister alongside all of Olaf Scholz and
Emmanuel Macron traveling to Kyiv. So that's that's very clear.
And as far as the internal challenges are concerned, from the economy, to energy, to indeed the climate crisis, and especially the reforms that will
need to come along with the money that is coming from Brussels, I think Italy is, frankly, speaking going to be in very, very deep trouble. So
although I would say and sort of, you know, connecting to what I was saying earlier, broadly speaking as far as overall geopolitical sort of
positioning is concerned, we shouldn't be over despairing.
I mean there's a limit to how many champagne bottles the Kremlin should be opening tonight. But as far as Italy and Italy and Europe is concerned,
this is extremely bad news.
NOBILO: You've touched on twice how the Kremlin might feel about the shifts in Italian politics with caveats about how happy they'd be. But let's talk
about the divisions in Italian society and politics when it comes to the war in Ukraine, and how the resignation of Mario Draghi might affect
Italy's stance on the war and the support that they provide Kyiv.
TOCCI: Well, and this is why I really connected to the positions taken by these two parties. So, you know, the Italian public, I think, frankly,
speaking, like any public, a, wants peace and, b, doesn't want an economic crisis. And the point is that it really depends on the story that is given
about these two things.
Now, if peace is achieved by essentially forcing Ukrainians to surrender, as opposed to giving weapons or to wait the Ukrainians to defend
themselves, you will obviously get very different positions from the Italian public. Likewise, if the economic crisis is caused by the war, as
opposed to the economic crisis being caused by sanctions, again, you will get very different positions.
So this is why I think it's extremely important which are the parties, they're actually going to come on top. And actually the fact that the two
most problematic parties are actually going to probably see fewer seats in parliament in the next parliament compared to this one, meaning Five Star
Movement and Lega is, I would say, a bit of a constellation compared to the overall disaster economically and energetically that is they face itself.
NOBILO: Nathalie Tocci, director of the Institute for International Affairs, thank you so much for joining us.
TOCCI: Thank you.
NOBILO: Now, let's widen our lens out from Italy to the colliding crisis across Europe. Thursday's reopening of the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline is
bringing some relief to Western Europe. But with the extreme heat driving energy consumption, winter coming and worries that Russia is using Western
reliance on its energy as a weapon, that relief may be short lived.
Let's get some perspective with Frederik Pleitgen in Berlin and meteorologist Tom Sater is in the CNN Weather Center for us. Fred, let's
start with you. So Spain is rejecting the E.U.'s plea to limit gas consumption. What does that mean for the rest of the bloc and that
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think it's something that certainly will make it very difficult for the rest of
the bloc or for the entire bloc to find some sort of common strategy. It was really interesting to hear from the Spaniards that the European
Commission goal that they put out to cut gas consumption by some 15 percent that they flat out reject that.
Now, on the part of a country like Spain, Bianca, there could still be some bad blood looking back to the European debt crisis of a couple of years
ago, when the Germans were essentially telling Southern European countries that they needed to do their homework. Now, it's the Spaniards who were
saying, look, as far as energy is concerned, we're not reliant on Russian gas, we have done our homework. So it's going to be quite difficult to find
some sort of common ground in the European Bloc.
Also very interesting today, we were listening to the press conference of Germany's economy minister, and he played on that as well. He said that he
believed that this European solidarity, as he put it, as far as gas is concerned, is something that's going to be of the utmost importance, and
certainly also something that the Germans are relying on as well, because the Germans are finding out that they are a lot more reliant on Russian
gas. And they've been letting on over the past couple of years.
In fact, today, despite the fact that this gas is going through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, once again, Germany said it is bracing for an extremely
difficult winter. They want to fill up their gas storage facilities up to 95 percent by November 1st, which means up until then, basically, they
can't use any of the gas that they're getting through that pipeline for heating or to make electricity. They need to conserve all of that gas.
They're putting measures in place like, for instance, tapping Germany's national coal reserves, putting more coal fired power plants back online,
but also calling on the public to essentially make their houses colder and on businesses and public buildings as well. So the Germans, clearly, very
much feeling the pinch of this, very much feeling at the mercy of the Russians at this point in time and counting on that European solidarity, as
they put it.
We're going to wait and see whether or not that really materialized and how that -- how difficult of the winter is going to become. But certainly, if
you look at the Germans, you can see that they believe they're going to be in for a really rough ride.
NOBILO: And Tom, this heatwave is creating further pressure on Europe's already highly charged gas crisis, as Fred was just outlining there. Are we
expecting any relief to come in the coming weeks?
TOM SATER, CNN METEOROLOGIST: There is going to be some brief relief. But when you talk about power supply, it's different, you know, country to
country, continent to continent and also power demand is different. So we're going to try to break this down for you. If you look at your current
temperatures, it's 20 in London, that's great.
The overnight low temperatures you want to stay below 27. Now, the heat continues in the Iberian Peninsula across the south. Look at tomorrow's
highs, Budapest you're up to 40. So all the heat that slid up to the north end of the U.K. slid across Germany and then made its way now eastward and
sliding to the southeast. I mean, we may see areas in North Macedonia over 40.
Long term, that power supply demand is going to continue in parts of Spain and Portugal, cross Italy. And again, areas to the east. It's much better
to the north. But we can break it down more than that. If you look at the color of green here, this is where we have a brief respite in that extreme
heat. Again, this big pool of colors is cooler air for next week. But that's not the case for central and southern areas.
I think a bigger concern really, Bianca, is the drought. And it's not just agriculturally. We had hard freezes and killing Fosston in the fall. But
now the water levels are dropping. Agricultural have problems, but for hydroelectric power. How many rivers and the videos we've seen from areas
of Spain, France? Now Germany, levels are going down. So that's going to create a little bit of a power problem.
When you look at the energy consumption for the E.U., there is a big difference between the U.S. and of course, Europe. 62.8 percent of your
power consumption is space heating. Cooling is only 0.4 percent. You know, OK, you've got your water heating at 15.1, appliances 14.5.
If you break it down, just look at the year 2020. When it comes to consumption in Europe, a third of it is for transportation, almost half is
for heating, and we've got 20 percent for electricity. Now, let's go to Texas for a minute, they've got a company called ERCOT, 27 million are the
customers. They have broken over 25 demand records. They can only put out 80,000 megawatts in a given day.
They already reached up to 78,000 almost 79,000. So something's going to happen in the next couple of days. That's why you have the rolling
blackouts. So when you look at temperatures like this, a lot of the consumption in the U.S. is for the cooling. More widespread of warnings all
the way the East Coast, now it's the big cities. Records going to be broken from Boston all the way down toward Philadelphia.
So there's a difference there. It's heat that you really need that demand for in the U.S. It's that summer like temperatures. But again, not a lot of
relief if you look at the next three days coming up. And we're only in July, Bianca. So we're going to have more of these heat waves not just this
But the bigger issue I'm really concerned about even though wind has been a big provider in some areas of Europe, not so much in the U.S., is those
lower river levels that we're seeing everywhere across the northern hemisphere.
NOBILO: Tom, thank you so much for breaking that down for us. And we should have more pie charts on our air. And Fred Pleitgen for us in Berlin, thank
Now, as Tom just referenced, the extreme weather and energy crises are only -- are not only affecting people in Europe, but have a much further reach
than that. Later on, we'll look at Sri Lanka and Cuba, where both are facing their own colliding crises.
The geopolitics of energy was upended by Russia's war in Ukraine, a war that's only escalating five months on. Ukraine says that Russia is
bombarding parts of Donetsk around the clock, trying to break through Ukrainian defenses and embarkment (ph). Russia is also keeping up attacks
on the major city of Kharkiv after vowing to expand its military objectives.
A regional official now says that shelling there killed three civilians. And today, we saw a heartbreaking reminder of the human toll of this war,
which is unavoidable. And we warn you the next images are disturbing.
This father lost his 13-year-old son in a Russian shelling attack in Kharkiv. You see him kneeling on the street beside his son's body, holding
his lifeless hand. The father stayed there for two hours praying over his dead child, not wanting to let go.
Ukraine says Russia has depleted up to 60 percent of its pre-war arsenal of high precision weaponry. But as Russia looks to replenish its stocks, it's
turning to a perhaps unlikely source for components used in its surveillance drones. Nic Robertson shows us how Western technology is
falling into the wrong hands.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Away from the front lines, technical Intel Officer Maxim (ph), not his real name, strips down a
captured Russian all antennas surveillance drone. We are the first journalists they are showing how Russia is using Western Tech to kill
(on-camera): This circuit board that can pinpoint cell phones is even maybe more dangerous than the camera.
(voice-over): The cell phone tracker, he says, made in the USA. The engine made in Japan. And the thermal imager module on the camera, he claims, was
made in France after Russia invaded.
(on-camera): Drones like this one are a terror on the battlefield and are revolutionizing the way war is being fought. But the battle over control of
components inside of them is almost as important as a supply of new rockets and artillery.
At the front lines, Ukrainians soldiers fear Russian drones and celebrate and share what they call successful hits.
Kyiv's military intelligence say the drone's powerful cameras with thermal and infrared imaging and cell phone tracking, making it easier for Russia
to kill Ukrainian soldiers.
SAMUEL CRANNY-EVANS, RUSI RESEARCH ANALYST: From a UAV or drone identifying a Ukrainian target, it can be three to four minutes for the Russians to
ROBERTSON (on-camera): So French lens, Japanese engine, U.S. made GSM parts, what are the countries components go in here?
(voice-over): The list, Maxim (ph) says, is long includes Austria, Germany, Taiwan, the Netherlands. His job follow every serial number, find out who
made it until allies to figure out how to stop Russia's drone tags, getting their hands on it. But stopping supply of these often commercial components
won't be easy. Russia may have huge stockpiles and has a long history evading controls.
CRANNY-EVANS: The FBI has been tracking down Russian supply networks since 2014 and trying to close them down. So if they can, they will continue
trying to sidestep it and it is a real problem because often these compared to being bought by legitimate companies.
ROBERTSON: That Ukrainian intelligence officials have gone public with their frustrations that their allies tech is ending up in Russia's hands is
an indication of just how deadly and decisive Russia's drones have become.
NOBILO: That was CNN's Nic Robertson reporting.
U.S. President Joe Biden says he's doing well after testing positive for COVID-19. The 79-year-old president who was fully vaccinated and received a
second booster shots in March released a video saying that his symptoms are mild. Mr. Biden is now isolating inside the White House for the next few
days after taking a COVID antiviral drug called Paxlovid.
Coming up on The Global Brief, one week, that's how long some Cubans are waiting for diesel at the pump. We'll have more on the island nation's fuel
crisis next. Plus, long lines canceled and delayed flights stranded passengers. European airports are full of chaos. We'll show you just how
bad it's become.
NOBILO: Welcome back. This hour we've been briefing you on the colliding crises around the world political, economic, environmental and energy. As
Europe tackles a historic gas crisis, other countries from Sri Lanka to Cuba are struggling to keep fuel pumping. Let's start in Cuba where it can
take up to a week's weight to fill your car with diesel.
CNN's Patrick Oppmann looks at how the shortage is adding fuel to the fire in a country already scarce with basic necessities.
PATRICK OPPMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The line for diesel in Havana seems to go on forever, and barely moves. It takes days now for
these drivers to fill up their tanks. Yes, you heard that right. People wait here for days to get fuel. Don't even think about leaving the line.
Not even for a second.
We can't go, he says. If you leave, someone else takes your spot. And you have to go back to the beginning and start all over again.
So drivers catch some z's in their cars. Brush their teeth by the side of the road. Kill the hours playing Dominoes, hoping the next increasingly
scarce shipping fuel come soon.
(on-camera): The people were at the front of this very long line, say they've been waiting for eight days to fill up their trucks and their cars
with diesel. They'll sleep in their trucks, have their family ring them food. What they didn't want to do is talk to us on camera. They said that
if they complain too publicly, they might lose their place in line.
(voice-over): Battered by the pandemic, U.S. sanctions and a global supply chain disrupted by the war in Ukraine. Cuba is confronting worsening energy
crisis. Large parts of the communist-run island are being hit by longer and longer power outages. Keeping the lights on requires more fuel than the
Cuban government has on hand.
The power plants have consumed more of the small amount of fuel that we have, he says. Fundamentally, diesel which costs us a lot of work to get.
It means that our generation of energy is affected as our important economic activities. Analysts say the whole grid is in danger of
JORGE PINON, LATIN AMERICA AND CARIBBEAN ENERGY PROGRAM: You have a number of cumulative effects that have taking place that cannot be solved with
band aids. And we're talking about major structural investments in the billions of dollars that's going to take a number of years to solve this
OPPMANN (voice-over): Blackouts in July 2021 sparked the largest anti- government protests in decades. Already this summer, outages have caused people to take to the streets, banging pots and pans to demand the power be
restored. But with the government warning that the blackouts and fuel shortages will continue, Cubans can expect a long, hot, intense summer
ahead of them.
Patrick Oppmann, CNN, Havana.
NOBILO: Sri Lanka is also in for a long intense summer. Like we saw in Cuba, fuel is also nearly impossible to come by. This crisis prompted
months of protests, resulting in the president fleeing the country and resigning last week. The new president, former Prime Minister Ranil
Wickremesinghe, was sworn in on Thursday, and he'll serve out the remainder of the former president's term for the next two years.
But for many, he's still too much of a familiar face with protesters demands for change not met and with no fuel and no money in sight. Hundreds
of Sri Lankans are even looking to leave the country in search of new opportunities and a new life.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translation): The government of Sri Lanka is not good. This is why we are leaving. We cannot stay here. There is nothing
here. No petrol, no diesel, no gas, nothing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NOBILO: U.K. regulators are warning airlines to prioritize customers or face consequences. The British Civil Aviation Authority as well as the
Competition and Markets Authority issued a joint letter saying that airlines need to follow the rules and they include making sure that they
don't overbook flights, warning customers about cancelations or delays and telling customers about their rights to refunds and compensation. And this
comes as Europe is deep in travel chaos.
And CNN's Anna Stewart shows us firsthand.
ANNA STEWART, CNN REPORTER (voice-over): Long lines, delays and cancelations. Travel in Europe has never felt so chaotic.
(on-camera): One of the best ways to really show you issues is particularly for trip. We are going to go through one of the worst disruptive airports
in the world and to one of the busiest holiday destinations, we're going to be (INAUDIBLE).
And we were quickly confronted with challenge number one -- we're too early. And we're not the only ones.
(on-camera): What's the problem?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We cannot check in.
STEWART (voice-over): Once bag check in opens, this is the queue.
(on-camera): Now my advice would normally be, don't check in a bag this summer unless you really have to. But out of curiosity, we're going to
check one in anyway. And actually, I'm going to put a GPS tracker in it so you can see where it gets to.
(voice-over): Tracking the bag is a good idea, particularly through Heathrow. A shortage of baggage handlers has resulted in scenes like this -
- mountains of lost luggage. Bye-bye suitcase. Hope to see you in Ibiza.
If the queue for check in looks bad, look at this.
(on-camera): I have never seen a queue like this, the security. I'm honestly worried now that I'm going to miss my flight, despite the fact
that I wait three hours early. I wasn't allowed to check in a bag until two hours before the flight. But this queue is going all the way from security.
It's sneaking all the way around and then it's going all the way back down the airport's entranceway to the far corner.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Any (INAUDIBLE) within one hour.
STEWART (on-camera): That's us.
(voice-over): I'm fast tracked through is getting too close to departure. So no time for a shop. A rush to the gate, only to find it's delayed. But a
couple of gates down, there's a flight delayed by a lot more -- 14 hours. These girls and many others slept here at the airport.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My children is sleeping on the floor. He's feel cold. My children, yes. It's really bad. Me --
STEWART (on-camera): (INAUDIBLE).
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, I'm tired as well.
STEWART (voice-over): This couple's flight was started even earlier.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My flight started in Dublin two days ago and my first flight got canceled. And then I started my flight yesterday to London, the
second one, and now this one got canceled also. And now I'm here and I hope today, I will leave the country.
STEWART (on-camera): You ever traveling again?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Not to the U.K.
STEWART (voice-over): I made it onto the plane. It was now delayed. But that seems small fry compared to others. And amazingly, even my bag made
(voice-over): Of course it could all go wrong when I go back home. Maybe I should just stay here.
Anna Stewart, CNN, Ibiza, Spain.
NOBILO: Thanks for watching. World Sport is up next.