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The Global Brief with Bianca Nobilo

Pelosi Expected To Visit Taiwan; Russia Pounds Ukraine's Mykolaiv; U.S. Extreme Weather. Aired 5-5:30p ET

Aired August 01, 2022 - 17:00   ET



BIANCA NOBILO, CNN HOST: Hello, everyone. I'm Bianca Nobilo in London. Welcome to THE GLOBAL BRIEF.

Tonight, China warns that its military will, quote, not sit idly if U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi pays an unexpected visit to Taiwan.

Then, Russia escalates its attack on southern Ukraine, hitting several civilian buildings in the Mykolaiv region.

And extreme weather continues to ravage the United States. We will take you across the country to show you the devastating impact on communities.

The White House says it won't be intimidated by Beijing as China threatens retaliation over an expected visit by Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan. She would be

the first U.S. House speaker in a quarter of a century to visit the island. The trip is not currently listed in her public itinerary.

In this potential trip comes at a low point in U.S.-China relations. U.S. President Joe Biden has stopped short of telling Pelosi not to go, but says

the U.S. military is warning that now isn't the time. In Beijing, a spokesman for China's foreign ministry said China will take resolute and

strong measures to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity. As for what measures exactly we will take, let's wait and see if she does making

the visit.

Just before a possible visit, Beijing released this video showcasing its military assets accompanied with the message that it will, quote, bury

incoming enemies.

But a White House official is calling China's threats groundless and inappropriate.



consistent with long-standing U.S. policy into some sort of crisis or conflict, or use it as a pretext to use aggressive military activity in or

around the Taiwan straight. We will not take the bait or engage in saber rattling, but at the same time, we will not be intimidated.


NOBILO: We're covering all sides of this developing story. Kylie Atwood is in New York for us, and we have Will Ripley in Taiwan, too.

And, Kylie, let's start with you.

So, obviously, Congress is an independent branch of government. It can do it wants and Pelosi is the speaker. But we are hearing bellicose rhetoric

from the Chinese that the U.S. military have warned that knows not the time for her to make a visit, and that it could precipitate escalations.

Can you explain the calculus? Why would she think that more could be gained and lost by making this trip?

KYLIE ATWOOD, CNN U.S. SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think it's a fair question, but when you talk to U.S. government officials, their sense of

the sense that they don't want China to be able to dictate when U.S. officials do by just using this rhetoric. They know that there are real

risks associated with the strip that we are expecting Nancy Pelosi to make to Taiwan.

But fundamentally they don't believe that this is going to get out of control. They're hoping that it doesn't escalate into something even

bigger, and so, I don't want China to feel like they're in the driver's seat and they can drive away U.S. lawmakers who as John Kirby, and the

secretary of state pointed out, have a routine of visiting Taiwan in recent years.

The other factors to consider here is that Nancy Pelosi is the House speaker and she has been since 2019. She is not going to have that post for

ever, so for her, personally, there is a little bit of this that has to do with her own personal legacy. She has long been a supporter of Taiwan's

democracy and she has been critical of human rights abuses in China and still visiting Taiwan is a physical continuation of her own foreign policy.

And I think the backdrop here is the fact that intelligence officials here in the U.S. and the Biden administration have been very clear in saying

that they're watching as China is working hard to militarily take over Taiwan. They have not said when that will happen, specifically, but they

are concerned about that, and so U.S. officials, House Speaker Pelosi, feel that it is important to continue demonstrating U.S. support for Taiwan as

those concerns are mounting.

NOBILO: And, Kylie, you obviously spent a lot of time speaking to U.S. defense officials. What type of responses do they think could be in play

here from China if they are anchored by Pelosi's visit by her sheer presence? Or even by which he considered potentially dual she is there?


ATWOOD: Well, listen, there's a number of things that Defense Department officials are preparing for. They are monitoring which I know is doing very

closely right now. It could fly more planes into the airspace around Taiwan. We've seen them do that increasingly over the last few months and

over the last year. They could also go see spaces around Taiwan.

Those are things that the Biden ministration is looking for China to potentially do. The most drastic would be doing something like trying to

close down airspace around Taiwan to try and prevent Pelosi from even being able to make it on to the island in the first place. They don't believe

that they're trying to do something to really, really bolster the situation here and make it incredibly worse. But one fear that there are also

watching this for after Pelosi leaves. What does China do to try and make Taiwan feel the hurt? That is something that we will be watching for not

only her arriving to the island but when she leaves the island as well.

NOBILO: If Taiwan is the one that feels the backlash from this visit, it makes you wonder about that.

Kylie Atwood, it's been so good to talk to you. Thank you so much.

And Will Ripley gives us the background on the tensions in the region.


WILL RIPLEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The latest fire each threats from Beijing reaching a fever pitch. The Chinese

military showing off its tactical might, in a video posted online Monday, with texts reading it will bury incoming enemies.

It comes as a high level potential visit from the U.S. defies mornings from Chinese officials. Sources telling CNN House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is

expected to stop in Taiwan, which China regards as a breakaway promise. China's must ministry of foreign affairs spokesman warning Monday that

Pelosi's visit would seriously undermine China's sovereignty and have grave consequences.

Threats by China not to play with fire in a stop one White House official tells CNN is consistent with America stands on Taiwan.

KIRBY: It is very much in keeping with our policy and consistent with our support to Taiwan under the Taiwan Relations Act. We should not be as a

country intimidated by that rhetoric or those potential actions. This is an important trip for the speaker to be on and we're going to do whatever we

can to support it.

RIPLEY: A senior Taiwanese governor official, and a U.S. official tells CNN that Pelosi's stop is expected to come as part of her tour of Asia,

where she is leading a congressional delegation to the Indo-Pacific region, Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea and Japan. It's not clear when Pelosi will

arrive in Taiwan. As of now, it's not on her public itinerary.

For Taiwan, the timing is sensitive as the Chinese president prepares to seek an unprecedented third term and his upcoming party Congress where he

aims to promote China's trench and stability, caught between two superpowers, the world's only Chinese speaking democracy prepares to defend

itself from China's massive military.

Something it's been doing for decades. Taiwanese troops training to defend this island with a David and Goliath scenario, a fear stoked by Russia's

war on Ukraine.

But Taiwan has also been writing this rhetorical rollercoaster for decades, as the latest U.S. China threats dominated global headlines, they were

barely mentioned by the media and Taiwan. The island with the most moves has lost interest.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): I don't think they will retaliate. I don't worry about it. Mainland China is just threatening us. If they are

ready to invade Taiwan they can kill it within 2 to 3 days. They don't need to talk much.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): I'm not concerned. China has done the same thing many times, but exchanges between Taiwan and the U.S.

should not be stopped because of this.


NOBILO: Russia is pressing ahead with relentless attacks on the Ukrainian city of Mykolaiv. Officials say that several civilian buildings were hit in

the latest intense shelling, including a hospital trauma center.

In the occupied Kherson region, Ukraine says it hits another Russian fuel depot. It's crediting the addition of advance artillery Russian systems

supply by the West for turning around Ukrainian military operations in that area.

But, fighting is still raging along Kherson's northern borders, forcing people and dozens of towns to evacuate. Ukraine says that some villages

have been virtually destroyed. Ukraine's defense minister says that for more of those advanced artillery systems have no arrived on the


Nic Robertson is in Ukraine tonight with more.


NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Bianca, those additional for high mobility, multiple rocket -- rocket launch systems from

the United States brings to total 16 of them now, that have been given to Ukraine by the United States.


Ukrainians credit them with holding the Russian advance back indeed. Ukrainian officials are now saying that the Russian forces are pulling out

troops from the east of the country and moving them to the south, that we have seen in the south in Mykolaiv where we've been over the weekend, is

that Russian forces there are increasing their shelling on the city over the weekend. The most intense shelling the city has had.

I asked them about why he thinks this is happening. He says this is because Russia is not making advances on the ground. There is a Ukrainian potential

counter offensive against Russia beefing up its forces in the south.

On the battlefield, however, the lines are not shifting. In the city of Mykolaiv, taking those increased hits.

(voice-over): With dawn, an end to Mykolaiv's heaviest night of shelling so far. But not to the fear it brings. And the immediate aftermath, fire is

to be put out.

The only fatalities are this residential mansion. Multimillionaire businessman, Oleksiy Vadaturskyi and his wife were sheltering in the

basement when their home took a direct hit.

Neighbors are still in shock.

MAXIM, MYKOLAIV RESIDENT: We don't know what to do. We hate Russia, actually. It's unbelievable and one moment, you can just destroy


ROBERTSON: Maxim has lived here almost 20 years, but maybe no more.

MAXIM: I just don't want to stay right now.

ROBERTSON: This crater here gives you an idea of just how big the blast was. Debris strewn down here, and the windows to the building blown out.

Other buildings around here also hit. Those with military links off limits to our cameras. The mayor concerned, Russian sympathizers at work.

OLEKSANDR SENKEVYCH, MYKOLAIV MAYOR: I'm sure that they have spies who are going around the city, and they say I saw the number of machines, the

number of people, they say disinformation and Russia attacked them.

ROBERTSON: Do you think they might have helped in the attacks last night?

SENKEVYCH: I'm sure they helped.

ROBERTSON: Within hours, life returning to wet passes as normal. Pensioners and others in line for drinking water. The city's clean water

supply destroyed months ago.

They hit us, and they hit us hard. From 1:00 am until morning, Valantina tells us. We are scared. We want to leave, but that is how life is for us


Where the mansion was hit and residents are richer, another neighborhood of the dead businessman tells me he cannot take it anymore, that he would


Not clear if high-profile businessmen Oleksiy Vadaturskyi was an intended target. President Zelenskyy held him a hero. His death and the up tempo

strikes here chilling the cities otherwise resilient mood.

Nic Robertson, CNN, Mykolaiv, Ukraine.


NOBILO: Despite the brutal fighting, a rare diplomatic breakthrough has led to what Ukraine calls a day of relief for the world. For the first time

since Russia's invasion in February, a shipment of Ukrainian grain has left port in the black sea under a landmark deal to end the Russian naval

blockade. The ship is now on its way to Istanbul where it will undergo inspection for unloading in Lebanon. One crew member explained his concerns

about the voyage as they were leaving Odesa.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): To be honest, I'm scared by the fact that there are naval mines, leaving around 2 to 3 hours to exit

Ukrainian waters. We hope nothing will happen and that there will not be any mistakes. That's the only thing I fear during this trip, and the other

things, we are used to them as sailors.


NOBILO: The U.N. says the ship is loaded with two quantities, corn and herb. This is just the first of many expected shipments meant to ease the

global food crisis. The U.N. says the people on the verge of famine are counting on this agreement to survive.

And hundreds of people are taking part in a sit-in at the parliament right now. They're supporting the powerful Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr. Thousands

of them broke into parliament last week, not once, but twice. They then started camping inside the building. Monday was a three. They're promising

to stay until the demands are met.

Al-Sadr's movement wants parliament dissolved and is - calling for new elections. The last parliamentary elections were held in October 2021, and

a new government still has not been formed.

Nadia Bashir takes a closer look at all of this for us.



NADIA BASHIR, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The center of Iraqi politics now at the heart of some of the biggest protests Baghdad has seen in

months. For three days now, these protesters have occupied parliament, the vast majority, ardent supporters of Muqtada al-Sadr, influential share a

cleric, calling for an uprising.

SAMIR NAEEM, PROTESTER (through translator): We want free and fair elections and we want to amend the constitution. But the most important

thing is to put an end to corruption. If we end corruption, then we win.

AMIR AL-UKEYLI, PROTESTER: Politicians do not represent the people. Their legitimacy is over. Now their legitimacy is for people only.

BASHIR: Protests were sparked a week ago following the nomination of a new prime minister by Iraq's pro-Iran coordination framework alliance. Their

pick, rival Shia leader Mohammed al-Sudani.

The move follows months of political deadlock on the establishment of a new government, and a mass resignation by the lawmakers who accused the

opposition of serving the interests of Iran over the Iraqi people. Now, as frustrations mount the country's dire political and economic situation, al-

Sadr is calling on the people to take to the streets, despite the ongoing prime ministers appeal for dialogue.

MUSTAFA AL-KADHIMI, OUTGOING IRAQI PRIME MINISTER: The political blocs must sit down. Negotiate, and reach and understanding for the sake of Iraq and

the Iraqis, 1,000 days of quiet dialogue are better than a moment in which a drop of Iraqi blood is shed.

BASHIR: Water cannons, tear gas and even stun grenades were used by security forces over the weekend in an attempt to push protesters outside

of the parameters of the Green Zone. Amid the chaos, at least 100 injuries.

Western leaders have expressed concern over the further destabilization of security in Iraq. But the implications of the latest crisis could prove far

reaching. Al-Sadr's movement if successful, could cause political parties aligned to run out of the Iraqi government, dealing a major blow to

Tehran's growing regional influence, and as these protests gain momentum, there are fears that already delicate regional dynamics could be pushed

into even greater uncertainty.

Nadia Bashir, CNN, Istanbul.


NOBILO: Let's take a look at other key stories making international headlines this hour.

NATO's peacekeeping operations in Kosovo says it's ready to intervene if tensions continue to flare. Protesters set up roadblocks in northern

Kosovo, with its new rules requiring ethnic Serbs to apply documents and car license plates from Kosovo institutions. Kosovo's government has now

paused those rules and the roadblocks have been removed.

The head of Myanmar's junta has extended emergency rules for another six months. The junta first declared a state of emergency after ousting Aung

Suu Kyi's elected government in February last year. Myanmar has been in chaos since there with the army crushing many peaceful protests.

And Sri Lanka has now introduced a national fuel passed system to Russian fuel. Petrol stations checking each other's vehicles, QR codes before

pumping fuel. The island is facing its worst economic crisis in decades as well as shortages of food, fuel and medicine.

Italy is reeling after a Nigerian street vendor was killed in broad daylight as bystanders watched and filmed. It happened on Friday on a

streak of the coastal city. The police have arrested a 32-year-old Italian man on charges of murder and robbery. They say that it does not appear the

attack was racially motivated and the suspect, a lawyer says, that he had psychiatric issues.

Still to come on the program, a fire in California is spreading rapidly, and none of it is contained yet. We will take you across the United States

where extreme weather events are paralyzing communities.

And joy in England, as the Lionesses break a football championship drought. We'll have that in "World Sports" coming up after the show.



NOBILO: This just into CNN. The senior administration official tells CNN that the U.S. conducted a successful in operation this weekend against a

significant al Qaeda targeting in Afghanistan. President Joe Biden is expected to speak on that subject of just over two hours. The officials

will go into details and says no civilian casualties. CNN will bring you more details on the story as they come to us.

Now, protesters in Sudan are demanding a new government and an immediate end to military rule. Thousands of people marched in Khartoum on Sunday

calling for democracy and prosecution of the country's military rulers. It comes after an exclusive CNN report, which found evidence that Russia has

been plundering Sudanese gold in order to fund its war efforts in Ukraine.

Nima Elbagir explains what's happening.


NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT: Bianca, the ramifications in the aftermath of our CNN investigation into the

exploitation of Sudan's gold by Russia, with the complicity of Sudan's generals continue.

While, of course, the democracy movement has been incredibly active in Sudan, Activists have taken risks week after week on Sudan's streets

calling for a return to civilian rule. There seem to be, from what sources on the ground are telling us, renewed vigor and protests that were called

in aftermath of our investigation, specifically called, activists saying the revolutionary committees organizing the demonstrations say to

demonstrate against the military rulers and what they call their corruption, calling for a prosecution for rulers.

We are also incredibly concerned I have heard from many of our sources on the ground, that those suspected of having spoken to CNN, of having

contributed to our investigation are now being targeted. One source says that this is proof that the generals are scared. They say that they will

persevere, continuing to call for change and also continuing to call for accountability -- Bianca.


NOBILO: CNN has repeatedly reached out to Sudan's military rulers but has not received a response.

The United States is one of many countries currently paralyzed by extreme weather events, from flash floods in Kentucky, wildfires in California to a

heat wave moving east, the climate crisis isn't was right in front of us. Our team of reporters have the latest for you.


EVAN MCMORRIS-SANTORO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Evan McMorris-Santoro in Perry County, Kentucky, where the forecast is calling for more rain. Days

after historic floods tore out houses and cars and lives here in this area of Kentucky.


The ground is still wet. Creeks and rivers are still full. But forecasters say there's going to be more rain tonight and they are warning there could

also be more flooding.

CAMILA BERNAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Camilla Bernal in San Francisco.

The McKinney Fire in the northern California area near the Oregon border has now burned more than 55,000 acres. It is still zero percent contained.

Authorities say the weather and forecast is not looking good for this fired for particular because a lot of lightning is expected and thunderstorms,

and according to the National Weather Service, those thunderstorms spread the flames quickly.

Already two people having died as a result of this fire. They were found in a burnt car on a driveway. Not a lot of information on who they were, but

authorities say people need to be ready to evacuate. You need to have their bags packed in case they do need to leave at a moments notice. Thousands

have already evacuated, and there is a lot of work to be done still in terms of this fire.

TOM SATER, CNN METEOROLOGIST: I'm CNN meteorologist Tom Sater in Atlanta.

Some of the strongest evidence we have a climate change are we heat waves. Thousands of records have been broken in the U.S. this year for heat and

now is the Pacific Northwest. The city of Seattle records go back to 1894 for the first time ever, six consecutive days at 32 degrees or higher.

September's as high as 40 and 42 degrees.

The heat in the Pacific Northwest slides into the Midwest again, again, temperatures in the mid to upper 30s to come, but it does not end there.

The heat dome that has been meandering around the country, slides across the entire northern half of the U.S.


NOBILO: From ahead of the game to a few steps behind. New Zealand was originally hailed as a role model for its COVID-19 response, but it's harsh

border restrictions quickly became the focus of public scrutiny once other countries began to reopen theirs. Now finally, the island is quite

literally is ready to welcome back the world. Travelers need to be vaccinated, but on Monday, all quarantine and visa restrictions were

dropped for the first time since March 2020.

This is big news, not just for tourists, you can now fly in, but also for New Zealand families who are reuniting after years apart.

Thank you for watching. That was THE GLOBAL BRIEF. "WORLD SPORT" is up for you now.