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The Global Brief with Bianca Nobilo

AG Speaks On Mar-a-Lago Search; New Worries About Zaporizhzhia; Europe's Extreme Weather. Aired 5-5:30p ET

Aired August 11, 2022 - 17:00   ET



CHRISTINA MACFARLANE, CNN HOST: Hello, everyone. Welcome to THE GLOBAL BRIEF. I'm Christina Macfarlane, in for Bianca Nobilo.

Just ahead, our top story, we may getting closer to knowing why the FBI searched Donald Trump's Florida estate. We will go to Washington for

details on the U.S. attorney general's statement.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy warns that Russia could trigger a nuclear disaster at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, the largest in


And Europe is battling another extreme heat wave that's triggering wildfires and drought across the continent. We will show you the

devastation of extreme weather conditions.

Now, in the past few hours, American attorney general vigorously defended the decision to search the Florida home of former President Donald Trump.

It's the first time we've heard from America's top law enforcement official since the FBI used a search warrant Monday at the Trump's Mar-a-Lago state.

Merrick Garland says he personally signed off on the search.


MERRICK GARLAND, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: Faithful adherence to the rule of law is a bedrock principle of the Justice Department and of our democracy,

upholding the rule of law means applying the law evenly, without fear or favor. Under my watch, that is precisely what the Justice Department is



MACFARLANE: Well, crucially, Garland also revealed he wants the world to see search warrants. CNN has seen the documents that the Justice Department

filed asking the court to unseal it. Now it's up to the judge to decide if that's in the public interest.

This means we may be closer to knowing why the FBI wanted to search Mar-a- Lago and what they were looking for and what they found. But it's not certain that Trump and his allies will want that information revealed.

CNN politics senior reporter Stephen Collinson is in Washington, D.C. for us.

And, Stephen, prosecutors don't tend to reveal their cards during an ongoing investigation, especially one of this magnitude. So, why is this

happening? How unprecedented is it?

STEPHEN COLLINSON, CNN POLITICS SENIOR REPORTER: It's very unusual for the Justice Department to file for a warrant to be unsealed, because the

warrant is sealed in the first place to try to protect the privacy of the person that it targets in case it turns out that they hadn't committed the

crime as to stop any damage to their reputation. Of course, in this case, the former president, Donald Trump, was the person that tipped off

Americans to this raid and I think what Merrick Garland is doing is trying to get ahead and to respond to this tsunami of conspiracy theories and

misrepresentation that has come from Trump's campaign, this was an illegal raid, that this was a political persecution of the former president.

So, he's using the tools that he has under the law to try to push back against -- its very unusual --


GARLAND: -- to lead with the property owner. The department filed a motion --


COLLINSON: -- stop this warrant being unsealed in the court.

MACFARLANE: Apologies for that technical difficulty.

Stephen, so tell us what is going to happen next? If the warrant is unsealed how close are we to finding out why the FBI searched Mar-a-Lago?

COLLINSON: I think we are close to finding out why it wanted to search Mar-a-Lago if the warrant isn't steel, because in order to get a warrant

you have to show there is probable cause to believe that a crime was committed, so if the FBI believes there were classified documents there,

there shouldn't have been. They would have to say that to the judge.

Whether the accompanying document of the Justice Department says it wasn't unsealed on a prompt to list a vote was taken away, -- with that material

was is a little uncertain. It's quite likely to be on specific if this contains classified documents as we believe it too. We may not find out now

wet wasn't the hole that was taken away, but we may find out if the judge, possibly next week, decides that this should be unsealed, why the FBI

wanted to take away those documents.

MACFARLANE: Yeah, we will wait and see. Stephen Collinson, thank you very much there for breaking down the latest front for us on that.

Well, new satellite images are showing us the extent of Russia 's losses from explosions at an airbase in Crimea. These before and after satellite

pictures show seven destroyed Russian warplanes and analysts say two more appeared to have been damaged.


All this adds up to Russia's biggest single day loss of military aircraft in decades. This video shows the blast on Tuesday. Russia has had a solid

grip on Crimea since they did and annexed the territory in 2014. Ukraine's leaders have not claimed responsibility for the explosions, but they are

vowing to win Crimea back.

And Ukraine's president says Russia is maximizing the risk of nuclear disaster by turning the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in Russia it now

occupies into a battlefield.

Ukraine's nuclear agency is accusing Russia of firing shells on Thursday. The UN is calling for a demilitarized zone and G7 ministers are demanding

Russia return control to Ukraine. Volodymyr Zelenskyy says Russia is using the station to commit nuclear terror.


VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT: Russia can provoke the largest radiation emergency in history at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear station. And the

factual aftermath can be even more catastrophic in Chernobyl.


MACFARLANE: Well, CNN international correspondent David McKenzie joins me now from Kyiv.

And, David, I think President Zelenskyy is showing the statement and relation to more shelling we've seen today in and around the plant in


DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, that's right. This shelling is highly disputed. In the last hour or so, there's

been a meeting at the U.N. Security Council meeting for this topic in New York about this. You had the IAEA, atomic energy head addressing those

members of the U.N. Security Council.

Just a short time ago, he's saying that the situation in Zaporizhzhia is, quote, deteriorating very rapidly. He said it is very alarming that these

reports of shelling today, at least ten ordinances or rockets were struck in the zone of that plan. I must say, it's a very large industrial area.

And you have, as you would expect, the Ukrainians blaming Russia for this, and the Russians blaming Ukraine for this.

Several ambassadors saying -- well, of course, you can have tit-for-tat arguments, but ultimately, Russia was the one who invaded and took over

that plant in March.

But the situation is this -- you have a frontline across the river to the north near Zaporizhzhia City, and that is very active. There has been

consistent some shelling over the last few days. It's all close to the largest nuclear power station in Europe.

There are calls from the U.S. secretary general, of course, President Zelenskyy and other others to demilitarize the area. It's a long shot in

the short term, but throughout this week, there have been calls for this to calm down. Around the thousands workers from Ukraine are effectively held

by a hostage by Russian troops there. It's a very volatile situation, and calls are growing to figure out some kind of solution even while there's

active combat.

MACFARLANE: And, David, let's switch formidable satellite images of the Crimea airbase. We know that Russia downplayed this, but here we have the

best degree of evidence that we have had so far that there were Russian aircrafts that have been damaged here. And a strong indication of what

could have happened.

COLLINSON: That's right. Your eyes cannot deceive you. You had the four pictures showing these warplanes on the tarmac, and then after pictures of

them completely destroyed. Several of which appeared to be severely damaged.

So, this tells a story of a very significant impact on Russia's military capabilities out of that airfield in the western coast of Russian occupied

Crimea, but it also tells a picture that the Ukrainians are increasing their range as we've been speaking about.

It's interesting that Ukraine is still remaining very coy about this issue. You'll recall several months ago they did a daring, we believe, a

helicopter raid into Russian territory. There have been other instances of moving outside of Ukraine proper, as it were, into disputed territory. And

every time Ukraine has not been talked openly about it.

I think it's for two reasons. When is they don't want to escalate this beyond where it needs to be, and, two, they might show their hand in terms

of at the military capability is and should their capability be clandestine offering from Western powers. We don't know that at this point, but this is

certainly reverberating for several days, this apparent attack.

MACFARLANE: All right. David McKenzie live in Kyiv, thanks very much, David.

The U.K. has just said it will send more precision guided missiles and rocket launch systems to Ukraine and will train more troops than it had

originally planned.


Ukraine has been using Western military equipment to its advantage.

Nic Robertson shows us how.


NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR (voice-over): Suddenly, action, camouflage off. Ukrainian troops rushing their new NATO compatible

artillery out of cover. The Polish Krab, a 40-ton beast of battle.

This day, targeting Russian positions almost 30 kilometers, 18 miles away. They shoot and scoot.

That whole operation took about 2 to 3 minutes. They calculate -- they've got about eight minutes to get back under the tree line here to be safe

from any return fire.

There's a lot these troops like about their new kit. Safety high on the list.

It's so much better than we had before, gun commander Vasily says. It's mobile. We're out of danger fast.

So, this is your command vehicle?

ARTEM, UKRAINIAN BATTERY COMMANDER: Yes. Our, my command vehicle.

ROBERTSON: Artem runs the whole battery.

So, you could see the whole battlefield here?

ARTEM: Yes. This is Topaz.

ROBERTSON: It's all high tech. When there's across here, this is the target?

A former math teacher, he had two weeks training.

ARTEM: So, it's very -- I would say it's --

ROBERTSON: User-friendly.


ROBERTSON: Poland gave Ukraine 18 of the Krab system and they're buying another 56. Two months in service, their accuracy making them popular.

ARTEM: Big difference between these new guns and Soviet old guns, because these guns got their new GPS systems.

ROBERTSON: Each shot, a better chance of hitting its target.

These troops are really hoping the Krab system can make a difference. So far this war has been fought mostly by artillery. The Russians massively

outgunning the Ukrainians.

But even with the new guns, there is a problem. Ammunition here is tight. Do you have enough shelves?

His answer, with a wry smile and chuckle, I'd like to have more rounds to send the occupiers back home.

Nic Robertson, CNN, on the eastern front Ukraine.


MACFARLANE: Now, firefighters in southwestern France say they've managed to save a village from a month monstrous wildfire that has been raging for

three days. The flames still burned down many homes and frightened many residents to flee.


JOEL VIDEAU, FIRE EVACUEE (through translator): The wind turned fire to -- we just had the fire in front of my house and it's aggressive, because

they're flames and you have the house, and you say I'm leaving? I don't know if it will be here if I come back. We could see a big thank you to the



MACFARLANE: Authorities say the fire did not expand very much, next largely to the resources at their disposal. More than 1,000 firefighters

are risking their lives to contain the flames and European allies are dispatching water bombing planes and other supplies to help them.


ELISABETH BORNE, FRENCH PRIME MINISTER (through translator): Today, we are fully benefiting from the European solidarity. Water bombers are arriving

today and we have Swedish planes. The European commission has just announced that it's also mobilizing planes from European force to come in

support France. We also have ground resources that will be mobilized from Germany, Poland, Austria and Romania. So we could see the European

solidarity is playing its full role in this crisis we are facing.


MACFARLANE: Wildfires are raging in other parts of Europe as an intense heat wave sweeps across the continent.

CNN's Salma Abdelaziz has the details.


SALMA ABDELAZIZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Soaring temperatures and few signs of ring. Millions across Europe are experiencing some of the hottest and

driest time climate conditions since record keeping began, creating a tinder box, more than 600,000 hectares across Europe have burned in

wildfires already this summer. French authorities report numerous outbreaks. Emergency services and southwest violence have gone door to

door, urging more than 6,000 residents to evacuate.

MARTIN GUESPERA, SECURITY OFFICIAL (through translator): The fire is still progressing. It caught us by surprise with its direction. It created its

own wind, its own story, its own movement.

ABDELAZIZ: France has experienced its driest July since 1959. And like much of Europe, is braced for another heat wave over the coming days. Large

parts of England are under amber warnings where homes are typically ill- equipped to deal with extreme temperatures, straining a health service already feeling the heat.

Wildfires continue to burn in Bulgaria, Montenegro, and Portugal where for five days, a fire has swept through the heart of one of the country's

national parks.

DUARTE, SAMEIRO RESIDENT (through translator): It really breaks my heart. Everything is burned. Everything is ruined. There is nothing green left. It

will take many years to regenerate, and I will not be around to see it.

ABDELAZIZ: These images in Central Spain highlight the severity of the drought. The reservoir stands nearly empty. Locals fear for the future of

their economy.

FRANCISCO BAZAGA, BUSINESSMAN (through translator): It's been several years without rain. We are hitting rock-bottom. If it is not rain, unless

they find some alternative water supply, the future is very, very dark.

ABDELAZIZ: According to the intergovernmental panel on climate change, temperatures will rise on all European areas at a rate exceeding the global

average and are projected to keep rising.

Salma Abdelaziz, CNN, London.


MACFARLANE: Well, the impact of the climate crisis has been especially felt on the northernmost part of the world. According to new research,

temperatures in the Arctic have been rising four times faster than the rest of the planet. That's a higher rate and climate models are currently

showing, and what's worse, experts say the reason temperatures are melting away the sea ice, in turn further amplifying global warming and rising

ocean levels worldwide.

And it's a sign of the times in California where soaring temperatures and strong winds combined to form with their calling a fire may day. You could

see it on the right. The swelling flames erupted from a wildfire burning near Los Angeles. More than 200 firefighters were called to tackle the

wildfires, spreading some 60 hectares. The L.A. County Fire Department says there has been no injuries and no homes have been damaged.

OK. Coming up, CNN is on the ground in Afghanistan as the anniversary of the fall of Kabul approaches.

And North Korea declares victory over COVID-19, but its leader blame South Korea for spreading the disease to the country. We'll have that report just




MACFARLANE: Welcome back. It's been almost windier now since America and its longest running war and the Taliban took over Afghanistan.

But Ashraf Ghani who fled as the Taliban advanced says he is still president. Ghani told the Afghan broadcasting network that he is still in

power until the people choose a replacement. Remember Ghani left the country when the government collapsed in August 2021. Ghani also said

America deceived him by making an agreement with the Taliban saying, quote, the agreement was so bad people should not have wasted the paper writing it


You might remember the chaotic scenes from one year ago. People desperate to leave Kabul with some even chasing after Europe's military planes as

they took off from the airport.

Well, CNN's Clarissa Ward is back in Afghanistan when year later as the anniversary of the Taliban takeover approaches.


CLARISSA WARD, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I think you can probably see behind me, we are at a market. There is a sense of normalcy on

the streets of the city. There is not the same sort -- anything approaching the levels of chaos and violence that we saw playing out during those heart

wrenching scenes last year.

But the change has also brought about a real decrease in the standard of living here. A lot of people are now fighting to put food on the table. The

U.N. says that nearly half the country isn't a state of acute hunger.

The International Rescue Committee says by the second half of this year they -- now in that second half of this year, more than 90 percent of the

people will be living below the poverty line. That is for a whole plethora of reasons, partly, because of sanctions and freezing in Afghanistan's

federal reserves after the Taliban took power, partly because of the food crisis, partly because of inflation. But what you see when you go around

and I just want to show you a little bit, seeing as we are here in this market, you could see there is food. There is food that you can buy.

The mortgage stalls are full but the conversations we have been having with vendors make it clear that for the vast majority of people it has become

unaffordable, this food. So I was told that flour doubled in price. Cooking oil, which is obviously one of the basic necessities, has more than doubled

in price.

And that's not even before you start talking about the very real changes and the impacts that they have had as the Taliban has gradually become

firmer in implementing its vision or version of Sharia law.


MACFARLANE: Our Clarissa Ward there in Kabul.

Now, COVID conquered. That's what North Korea is claiming as it declares victory over the virus and it's blaming Seoul for the outbreak.

Paula Hancocks reports.


PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESONDENT (voice-over): North Korea says it's achieved in 91 days with the rest of the world has not managed in two and a

half years -- eradicating COVID-19.

KIM JONG UN, NORTH KOREAN LEADER: The difficult war against the disease is now over. Today, we are finally declaring the victory.

HANCOCKS: Mask-less and shaking hands, Kim Jong-un congratulates the officials he says beat the virus. Kim says they still need to keep a steal

strong anti-epidemic barrier until the health crisis and for the rest of the world.

His sister and high official, Kim Yo-jong, said Kim himself had a very high fever. A statement met with visible emotion from the audience, a consistent

message that the leader has been suffering alongside his people.

Pyongyang officially reported 4.77 million so-called fever cases up until July 29th. Actual COVID testing is scares and just 74 deaths out of the

population of 25 million, numbers widely questioned.

CHRISTOPHER GREEN, SENIOR CONSULTANT, KOREAN PENINSULA, ICG: I think we need to see North Korea's COVID outbreak is not only a public health

matter, but also a political matter. The beginning of the outbreak is not singling North Korea's first COVID case in the end of the outbreak being

announced does not mean they got rid of COVID either. It just means that this was a time where they needed to shift on something else, and to make

use of the outbreak for political purposes.

HANCOCKS: Kim Yo Jong also called for deadly retaliation against South Korea which she claims intentionally set the virus across the DMZ by an

anti-North Korea propaganda balloons, saying if it happens again, the North will wipe out the South Korean authorities.

KIM YO JONG, KIM JONG UN'S SISTER: This national crisis we suffered was clearly bought about by the enemy using the global pandemic to escalate the

confrontation of our nation.


HANCOCKS: South Korea's unification ministry calling the accusations groundless, and the comments disrespectful and threatening.

This declaration of victory is being seen by some North Korean watchers as a message of hope and unity for a struggling domestic audience. It can also

be potentially a message for neighboring China that North Korea is ready to lift restrictions to open borders and crucially to allow desperately needed

food into the country.

Paula Hancocks, CNN, Seoul.


MACFARLANE: And let's take a look at some of the key stories making international headlines at this hour. The first attempt to send into a

flooded coal mine in Mexico were ten miners are trapped has failed. Mexico army divers were blocked by degree according to the country's defense

minister. Officials have managed to dramatically reduce the water in a flooded mine by about 100 feet. The team says they've trouble to engage

whether the conditions are safe for a rescue, but attempts to enter the mine will continue.

A million people in Somalia are displaced because of severe drought. The UN Refugee Agency says the country is witnessing a historic dry spell out a

little not seen in more than 40 years. The climate change and raising food prices are already making situations worse.

At least eight officers have died as protests continue in Sierra Leone over the rising cost of living. In a bid to curve the protest, officials have

imposed a curfew. Anger has been boiling in the country for months as half the population lives below the poverty line.

Officials in San Francisco have hired a new special guardian to get rid of pigeons that populate the cities metro better known as BART. Meet Pac-Man,

a five-year-old Harris hawk that patrols the city's El Cerrito del Norte station to scare pigeons away from commuters and prevent them from nesting

in that area. He's also protecting people from diseases the birds can carry. Pac-Man's handler says it's been a success among commuters. They've

noticed a big difference in the number of pigeons now living on the station platforms


RICKY ORTIZ, FALCONER WITH FALCON FORCE: After the first week or so, we noticed less than half the pigeons we're here after the first week of us

flying and establishing the territory.


MACFARLANE: What a bird. Well done, Pac-Man.

That was THE GLOBAL BRIEF. I'm Christina Macfarlane. Thank you so much for watching.

Stay with us. "WORLD SPORTS" is up next.