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CNN Goes To The Frontlines Of The Battle Near Bakhmut; Four- Year-Old Boy Dropped Over Border Barrier In San Diego; U.K. Judge Rejects Prince Harry's Bid To Pay For Police Protection; Biden Declares Emergency As Massive Storm Nears Guam; Smoke From Canadian Wildfires Drifting Into U.S.; TikTok Sues Montana Over New Law Prohibiting App. Aired 1:30-2p ET

Aired May 23, 2023 - 13:30   ET




BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN HOST: The governor of Russia's Belgorod region says there have been no new incursions since yesterday and counterterror operations are over.

Two groups of anti-Putin Russian nationals, who are aligned with the Ukrainian military, claimed responsibility for the attacks in the region yesterday.

Belgorod sits just across the Russian side of the border with Ukraine. And Ukraine is saying it has nothing to do with these attacks.

In the meantime, in Bakhmut right now, Ukraine's national security advisor is telling CNN that his forces still control part of the city and he is refuting claims made by Russian mercenaries who say they have captured the city after months of brutal and bloody fighting.

CNN's Nic Robertson is in Kiev for us.

Nic, you were just on the frontlines near Bakhmut. Tell us the very latest.

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Yes, Ukrainians say they still have a presence in Bakhmut. At best, it's a toehold on the edge of the city.

They are trying to push an offensive that's had some success over the past couple of weeks around Bakhmut itself, although that is getting into a difficult time with heavy Russian artillery.

But when we went close to the frontlines there, I think what we saw was the net effect of a year of war and, in particular, the effect of the grinding, grinding battle over so many months for Bakhmut itself.


ROBERTSON (voice-over): Barely out of the armored troop carrier, incoming artillery. (on camera): We're just going to wait in this little basement until

the shelling is over. Then they think it will be safe to move forward in the front positions.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): A few minutes later, safe to come out of this army outpost a few miles from Bakhmut.

Last night was hard, a lot of shelling.


ROBERTSON: Call sign "Gambit" tells us the soldier is still shell- shocked from an anti-tank rocket attack.

(on camera): We're going to get back in the vehicle, try to get a little closer to the frontlines.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): Ten days ago, these troops pushed the Russians back around Bakhmut. But their advance is slowing and harder.

We get to a small HQ. Call sign "Fox", a former farmer, is readying his troops for their coming shift on the frontline, stopping the Russians in Bakhmut from advancing.

ROBERTSON (on camera): How hard is that?


ROBERTSON (voice-over): "It's impossible to describe these feelings," he says. "You can only experience it. No words can express it. They shell a lot."

As we talk, it is clear this war is taking its toll.

(on camera): You only have to look at the soldiers' faces here to know how tough this battle is. They all look worn. They say morale is high, but their faces are telling a different story.

(voice-over): We move on towards other positions and stop as the shelling increases.

(on camera): We've just been told the place that we were going to is under heavy shelling, so we're going to pull back to here, go somewhere else.

(voice-over): In the battalion bunker, the commander tells us the Russians have ramped up their shelling on his troops since they advanced.


ROBERTSON: "Tons of ammo, shrapnel, tanks firing. Everything."

His unit's drones recorded their recent successes, but now the Russians have regrouped. And in a moment of candor following losses the previous night, admits morale is flagging. UNIDENTIFIED UKRAINIAN SOLDIER: (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE)

ROBERTSON: "Let's be honest," he says. "We are fighting heavily for more than a year. My soldiers went through many battles and two rotations near Bakhmut. Troops are exhausted, but we endure."

(on camera): Bakhmut, which is just over the hill in that direction, has become an object lesson in how Russia's wealth in men and ammunition can prevail. And unless Ukraine gets the modern weaponry support from its allies, it's going to struggle to tip the balance.


(voice-over): Call sign "Fox" and his unit load up for their hard miles at the front. An end of war, getting back to their families, what drives them into the shelling.


ROBERTSON: I think when you see those troops go off like that, they know they're in for a hard time. We know they're in for a hard time. But the reality is, as they have been telling us, unless they make this effort and unless they make the sacrifice, they just cannot defeat the Russians.

For the commanders who are trying to figure out when and where to have this big counteroffensive operation, it's going to depend on men like the former farmer, the call sign "Fox," to do their bit.

Because unless they do their bit there, it doesn't open up the front somewhere else for other troops. It is just a very costly war. And it's a very tough one for these soldiers to go through.

KEILAR: Yes. Nic, thank you for showing us an inside look there. You don't see that every day and we appreciate it. Nic Robertson.


BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN HOST: Focusing on a major story here in the United States. U.S. Customs and Border Protection sending out this video on social media today with a strict warning for migrants: Cross illegally and you will be deported.

The Rio Grande Valley Border Patrol chief says they have deported 90 percent of those who have entered the country illegally in the last few days, men, women and children.

Notably, it comes as Border Patrol released this shocking video. Take a look in your screen, at that spot that we circled. That's a 4-year- old child being dropped over the border wall in San Diego.

Let's go live to Rosa Flores, who has been tracking the latest.

Rosa, first and foremost, is the child OK? And what have officials said about the incident surrounding this surveillance video? ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: According to the Border Patrol chief,

the child is OK. We don't have a lot of details about the condition of the child or the location of the child, where that child is.

But here's what's so interesting about this video. The video doesn't tell you the full story because it's only surveillance video. It doesn't have audio.

What happens thereafter is Border Patrol agents responded and so did the San Diego Fire Department. Those first responders came under fire from the Mexican side. So U.S. Customs and Border Patrol had to provide a helicopter to provide cover while they were providing and rendering aid to this child.

Now all of this is under investigation by the United States and Mexico. They're trying to figure out what exactly happened here, and if these were, indeed, smugglers.

In the backdrop of all of this is, in a post-Title 42 world, where the number of migrant encounters continues to drop, the latest numbers, according to the Border Patrol chief, stand at about 3,000, just under 3,000 migrants per day.

Now, that is a 70 percent drop from the days leading up to the end of Title 42 when the encounters were at about 10,000.

Now, Boris, one thing that does not change and that is the recommendation from CBP regarding the use of smugglers. They always tell migrants not to put their lives or the lives of their children in the hands of smugglers -- Boris?

SANCHEZ: Yes, simply put, the administration telling these migrants, "Smugglers lie, do not trust them."

Rosa Flores, thank you so much for the reporting.


JIM SCIUTTO, CNN HOST: Yes, and they charge a lot of money, too.

Coming up, the U.S. territory of Guam is bracing for a super typhoon. It will be the strongest storm to impact the region in more than 20 years. We will have the latest forecast.

And Prince Harry loses a legal bid to pay for his police protection while in the U.K. We're going to go to London live, next.



KEILAR: Prince Harry just lost a big legal challenge in London. A judge rejecting his claim that the British government overstepped its authority when it forbid him for paying for his own police protection while in the United Kingdom. He wanted to pay for specially trained police officers to protect

himself and his family. Harry lost his government-provided security when he stepped down as a working royal in 2020.

This court setback coming just one week after Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle, were involved in a chaotic car chase with paparazzi in New York City. A pursuit that a spokesperson for the couple described as a near catastrophic chase that endangered their lives and others.

CNN's Anna Stewart is joining us now from London.

I think this really boils down to the question, Anna, will Harry and his family be safe when they were visiting the U.K.?

ANNA STEWART, CNN REPORTER: Well, Prince Harry is very concerned that they won't be safe, that they are a target, and has long wanted to keep the U.K. police protection that they enjoyed when they were working members of the royal family.

For now, given this, he will have to continue to rely on private security when he's in the U.K. unless he falls into some big official royal event like the queen's funeral, in which case they are part of a broader security arrangement.

Now ever sense Prince Harry decided with the Duchess of Sussex they were going to take a step back, they looked at all of the options on the table and security was one of the biggest concerns they had.

At the Sandringham Summit, Prince Harry recently wrote all about it, looking at all of the options of the royal family on the table.

And he had this to say. He recalled it by saying," I didn't bloody care which option we adopted so long as security remained in place. I pleaded the continuation of the same armed police protection I've had and needed since birth."

He offered to pay out of his own pocket. He wasn't sure how he would do it. But he said he would find a way. That was not allowed. The police protection, they are not allowed to pay for it.


The Home Office made it very clear, wealthy individuals cannot hire U.K. police protection.

It's not entirely the end of the story. There is another challenge, a challenge for the legalness of actually taking away the taxpayer- funded protection as well. So we wait to see what comes of that -- Brianna?

KEILAR: It is an unusual situation and certainly there are security concerns.

Anna Stewart, thank you very much for the report.


SCIUTTO: Well, preparations are now under way in Guam as a massive super typhoon bears down on the Pacific island, which is also a U.S. territory. President Biden issued an emergency declaration today for Guam as the storm rapidly intensifies. It is expected to have wind gusts up to 190 miles per hour.

CNN meteorologist, Chad Myers, is tracking the storm.

Chad, where is it and how bad is it going to be?

CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Well, it's 155 miles per hour right now, 190. It's just to the southeast now of Guam. And it's like you said, will be the strongest storm in decades.

Right now, what I'm seeing on the satellite picture is an eye wall replacement cycle. Which means we don't see that bright white eye or yellow eye as we did a few hours ago.

That's good news. That means that the storm may be losing one of its eye walls. Another one develops on the outside that's not quite as strong.

The problem is we still have another 10 or so hours in the water and it could regain that strength and maybe even be stronger. But 155 is the forecast. That is super typhoon.

Over there, those are the Philippines. So far missing to the north but this is five days away from that. We know how things can change.

There's going to be a lot of rainfall as well. Some of the mountains here in Guam, about 1,000, 1,200 feet. When that rain gets on top of those mountains, that could cause flash flooding for sure.

Here are the winds, 115 sustained, probably 190 with a gust likely in some of these areas, and that will be devastating with storm surge to 25 feet. Waves in the ocean right now are 45 feet tall -- Jim?

SCIUTTO: Wow, that's huge. That's enormous to picture.

All right, something a little closer to home because we've been watching wildfires in Canada. Smoke has been drafting down here to the U.S. as well. What's the latest there? How big, and any sign of relief in sight?

MYERS: You know, the relief is going to come because there is some moisture coming into parts of Canada right now. It doesn't really rain enough to put the fires out, but anything that can dampen that rainfall, dampen that ground just a little bit, that could help.

But it's the flow of the jet stream coming down from the north and down to the south, that's the problem we are seeing all across Alberta, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and into the northern Great Lakes and northern plains. Jim, not much relief in sight.

SCIUTTO: The force, the heat, the speed of these things is remarkable to watch.

Chad Myers, in the Weather Center, thanks so much.

Boris, over to you.

SANCHEZ: Up next, TikTok hits back. The social media platform now suing Montana over its outright ban of the Chinese-owned app.

Plus, millions in Mexico are told to prepare for a possible evacuation after its most dangerous active volcano gives off warning signs of a major eruption.

Stay with CNN NEWS CENTRAL. We're back in just moments.



SANCHEZ: This is "CNN NEWS CENTRAL." Here's a look at some of the other headlines we're following this hour.

A German investigation team has arrived at the search site related to the disappearance of British toddler, Madeleine McCann. Teams are scouring the banks of a reservoir in Portugal. It is roughly 31 miles away from where she was last seen some 16 years ago.

According to CNN in Portugal, detectives removed some dirt to be analyzed. Remember in April of last year officials named a German man as a suspect in the case. He once lived in the region where McCann went missing.

Also, three million people in Mexico have been warned to prepare for evacuation as the country's most dangerous volcano could be ready to blow.

The volcano is known as El Piojo. Hundreds of tremors have already been documented. This video shows the massive amount of ash that's also been to fall in Puebla City, forcing officials to cancel outdoor sports and events. The mayor of Mexico City is warning residents and tourists alike to stay alert.

This is what $34 million looks like in Dubai. That was the final selling price for an empty plot on Jumeirah Bay Island, which is completely manmade and is connected to the mainland via a 1,000- footbridge. The seller apparently making a 242 percent gain over his original purchase price. The identity of the buyer is still unknown.


SCIUTTO: I am not that buyer.

Just days after the governor of Montana signed a bill banning the use of TikTok, the Chinese-owned social media company is striking back. TikTok has filed a federal lawsuit alleging, among other things, that the move violates the U.S. Constitution, including the First Amendment. Starting in 2024, Montana will impose a fine of $10,000 per day on app

stores, not individuals, that make the app available to personal devices within state boundaries.

CNN's Vanessa Yurkevich joins us now.

So, Vanessa, listen, there's a lot at stake for users but also TikTok itself. And then there are enforcement questions on how you would enforce this. Tell us the latest.


VANESSA YURKEVICH, CNN BUSINESS & POLITICS CORRESPONDENT: Clearly, a lot at stake for TikTok. They are filing this lawsuit against the state of Montana for this ban that will take effect in January.

And in this lawsuit, TikTok is alleging that this ban would violate the First Amendment, the U.S. Constitution, and a host of other federal laws.

It also goes on to talk about claims that the state has made over the fact that they believe that China has access to U.S. user data. The lawsuit saying that these claims are simply unfounded.

Now TikTok's CEO, Shou Chew, just spoke about this a short time ago at the Qatar Economic Forum. Listen to what he had to say about this lawsuit.


SHOU CHEW, CEO, TIKTOK: We believe that the Montana bill that was recently passed is simply unconstitutional. As you pointed out, we very recently filed a lawsuit that challenged this in the courts. We are confident that we will prevail.


YURKEVICH: He also spoke about his support for another lawsuit that was filed against the state of Montana by TikTok creators in the state. They also allege that this ban violates their First Amendment.

There are five million small businesses on TikTok who make money off the platform. Some of those are likely in the state of Montana, Jim.

But this is going to be a long battle. TikTok does not want to lose this fight because, if this happens in Montana, this ban happens in Montana, it could happen in other states, and that would impact TikTok's 150 million users -- Jim?

SCIUTTO: You're wondering at some point about a national case.

Vanessa Yurkevich, in New York, thanks so much.


KEILAR: Just ahead, a 19-year-old accused of ramming a rental truck into security barriers outside the White House expected in court this afternoon. We have that coming up.