Return to Transcripts main page

CNN Newsroom

Police Name Suspect in Deadly Bow-and-Arrow Attack in Norway; Taiwanese Keep Calm in the face of Beijing's Show of Force; China to Launch Three Astronauts in 6-Month Mission Saturday; Biden Likely to Campaign for McAuliffe in Virginia; Trump Becomes Central Figure in Upcoming Election; Tom Brady Leads Bucs to Victory Over Eagles. Aired 4:30-5a ET

Aired October 15, 2021 - 04:30   ET



ISA SOARES, CNN ANCHOR: On the mend in a California hospital. He's being treated after urinary tract infection spread to his bloodstream. Of course, we'll have much more on both those stories in roughly 30 minutes on "EARLY START."

Now, communities across Norway have been coming together to mourn the five victims of a bow and arrow rampage which police say is now being treated as a suspected act of terrorism.

Candle light vigils have been held in the town of Kongsberg to remember the lives lost. The suspect has been identified as 37-year- old Espen Andersen Brathen. Police say they've spoken with him before over fears he was radicalized.

CNN's Melissa Bell joins me live there from Kongsberg. And Melissa, when you and I spoke this time yesterday, we were starting to get an image of the man behind this attack. Do we know the motive now? What are you learning?

MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: No, for the time being the police are being very cautious about describing any motive to the attack of Wednesday night. There is that history of radicalization that you and I were speaking about yesterday, Isa, that had emerged yesterday morning after their first press conference.

But they've been at pains to say, look, there is this history of radicalization. There had been these worries about him before this contact with police in the past. But we really have to wait until the outcome of the investigation to know precisely what the motive for the rampage of Wednesday night was.

The very latest, Isa, is that the arraignment hearing has gotten away in the nearby town of Drummond. He himself, the suspect is not there, since after a psychiatric evaluation last night, after further interrogation by police, he's been handed over to health services. He is, however, we're told, by local police, cooperating with the investigation. And just to give you an idea of what the town of Kongsberg looks like

this morning, this vigil has been set up. People continue to come and pay their respects to mourn his victims, those five people who lost their lives on Wednesday night. This is the sort of town, Isa, very quiet, very residential where everyone knows everybody else. So, you can see it in the faces of the people who come here to lay flowers, to light candles, the tremendous sadness, the grief that this entire town is going through. That's also being felt nationwide as King Herald, the country's king pointed out in his statement, this is a small country, and everyone here in Norway is feeling that pain very keenly -- Isa.

SOARES: Melissa Bell for us in Kongsberg, Norway. Thank you very much, Melissa.

Now, investigators looking into a deadly building fire in southern Taiwan are focusing on a couple who was often seen on the first floor. Taiwan's official news agency says firefighters found a used incense burner following Thursday's blaze. Authorities suspect the woman lit the incense which led to the fire. The massive flames gutted a 13- story residential structure killing at least 46 people and injuring dozens more. Local officials are now checking if similar buildings in the area comply with fire safety regulations.

Now, we have been reporting about China saber rattling against Taiwan in recent weeks here on the show, including military flights near the island, and landing drills across the sea. But we now want to show you another side of the equation and take you to streets of Taipei where the attitude over China's intimidation campaign is for some really no big deal.

Will Ripley joins me now from Taiwan's capital with more. And the thing is, Will, you and I have been talking for several weeks about these rising tensions, rising rhetoric between China and Taiwan, where we put the political comments and political sphere aside. What is the mood on the street?

WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: People are happy that the weather is starting to cool off and it's not raining and they can get out and enjoy their weekend, Isa. This is a capital city of a small island that is living essentially under the constant threat of a Chinese invasion, and yet you would never know it. People are living normal lives and enjoying themselves for the most part.

We couldn't find a single person when we interviewed a number of people on the street. I mean, we went to a number of different locations, parks, to talk with senior citizens, bubble tea cafe to talk to young people. We talked to a high school student. We talked to business owners. Nobody was really that worried about, you know, what could actually happen.

If you listen to the rhetoric in Chinese state media, just today the "Global Times" put out this fiery commentary saying that reunification is the only possible outcome of a peaceful -- of a peaceful solution. So, in other words, we'll talk to you, Taiwan, but the only way that those talks are going to end is that you are absorbed back into mainland China.

I mean, OK. What reality is that a fair negotiation? It's certainly the perspective of the leaders here in Taipei who say that the People's Republic of China have coveted this island for more than 70 years had never ruled it. They have never had jurisdiction over this island because this island has its own democratically elected government and its own military.


But the reality is that mainland China's military spends about 15 times as much on its defense budget even though Taiwan is pumping billions of dollars into new weapons, a lot of them from the United States. Taiwan's strategy here is to rely on friendships, not formal diplomatic alliances mind you. Because China made sure that Taiwan doesn't have a whole lot of formal diplomatic allies.

But friendships with democracies with the United States, like Japan, like Australia and they're hoping those friendships will convince China that if they were to try to make a move on this island, militarily, at least, it would be extraordinarily costly on multiple fronts. Not to mention the fact that there is also a disinformation warfare campaign being waged on this island. It has one of the most free internets in the world, and that makes it very vulnerable to fake news stories being planted and believed by a segment of the population.

So, Isa, much like the stroke of a pen changed Hong Kong for the foreseeable future, perhaps one election, enough people believing fake news, could also change, you know, the landscape here in Taiwan.

SOARES: But briefly, Will, Taiwan has been pretty -- the authorities have been pretty outspoken there. Do people support that?

RIPLEY: Well, it's really divided. There are some people who feel the previous government which kind of presided over decades of stability, of increased economic and cultural ties by acknowledging things like the 1992 consensus. You know basically, kind of saying the right words that calm down the leaders in Beijing. But there are people who also feel that this government needs to work harder, needs to push back harder because they think that today's China with its most powerful military ever and a president that really wants to make a mark, including possibly retaking Taiwan, they say Taiwan has to be strong and pushed back and send that message to the mainland that they are not going to just bow down and accept being taken over.

SOARES: Will Ripley for us in Taipei. Thanks very much, Will. Good to see you.

Now China is launching three astronauts into space. On Saturday Beijing space agency says the crew will spend six months at the nation's space station which is still being built. CNN's David Culver tells us it's yet more evidence of the increasingly vigorous space race between China and the United States.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) DAVID CULVER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Ninety- year-old Star Trek actor William Shatner blasted into space, becoming the oldest man to reach such heights amid great fanfare in the U.S.


CULVER: Thousands of miles away here in the Gobi Desert, China's latest space mission won't set any records, but it is a major step forward in this country's fast growing and increasingly ambitious space program.

CULVER (voice-over): CNN getting rare access to the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in Northwestern China. Shenzhou-13 carrying three Chinese astronauts to the country's soon to be completed space station called Tiangong or heavenly palace.

China has touted their space station as next generation, an alternative to the International Space Station. But the 15-country ISS has already been occupied for more than 20 years. The U.S. passed a law barring China from participating, leaving some experts to question --

DAVID BURBACH, ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR, U.S. NAVAL WAR COLLEGE: If we had brought China in to work with us on ISS, would China have felt as compelled to develop their own fully independent program as rapidly as they have?

CULVER (voice-over): It's Hollywood's portrayal coming to reality. Sandra Bullock's character in "Gravity" saved by a Chinese space station on her way back to earth.

Wang Yaping told us in 2015, it is her favorite film. She is one of three Chinese astronauts on this mission. The crew also includes a newcomer to space travel, 41-year-old Ye Guangfu, who took part in cave training with astronauts from five countries in 2016.

YE GUANGFU, CHINESE ASTRONAUT (through translator): I hope, one day, I can fly with other international astronauts in space and welcome them to visit China's space station.

CULVER (voice-over): But western astronauts will need to study up first. These operation interfaces are in Chinese. And China state media reports that European astronauts are already taking language courses so they can visit the Chinese space station.

Despite a late start in the space race, China is rapidly catching up. It has returned samples from the moon and, like the U.S., put a rover on Mars, all within the last year. It's also got big plans for commercial ventures and for deep space exploration, including to build a base on the moon with Russia and send humans to Mars in the 2030s.

From launching billionaires to cosmic explorations, the U.S. is still leading with plenty of headline grabbing launches and the long history of success putting 12 men on the moon.

[04:40:00] But the more pressing challenge, prioritizing the multibillions in funding needed for the U.S. to hold on to that lead. Some experts believe the added competition from China might fuel more innovation.

BURBACH: If you're somebody who wants to see humans land on Mars and more scientific probes throughout the solar system, geopolitical competition is probably not the worst thing in the world.

CULVER (voice-over): While Captain Kirk is helping capture U.S. imagination to propel the U.S. forward in this tightening space race, China's three astronauts now embarking on a six-month mission, the country's longest yet to secure their footing out of this world.

David Culver, CNN, Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center, China.


SOARES: Now, Britain's Queen Elizabeth was overheard addressing the lack of action on tackling climate change. She was attending the opening of the Welsh Parliament when her remarks were captured on video. P.A. media reports the Queen referenced the upcoming U.N. climate change summit in Glasgow and said, I still don't know who is coming. And in a separate clip she said, it is irritating what they talk but don't do. Presumably referring to world leaders.

Her remarks come the same day Prince William, you remember, criticized space tourism. He told the BBC that we need the greatest brains fixed on trying to repair this planet, not trying to find the next place to go live.

Still to come right here on CNN NEWSROOM, the Virginia governor's race is tightening. Now both Donald Trump and President Biden are stepping in to help their party's candidates. Will have the details for you ahead.

Plus, thousands of workers at a major U.S. company go out on strike and show the pendulum is really swinging on the nation's job market.


SOARES: Now, a controversial new abortion law in Texas will stay in effect as various legal challenges work their way through the courts. A panel of federal appeals judges said on Thursday that the law can remain in force for now.


The ruling came after the U.S. Justice Department sought to have the law blocked while its own lawsuit is heard. The state law prohibits a woman from having an abortion if she is more than six weeks pregnant.

Now, millionaire real estate tycoon Robert Durst has been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the murder of his longtime friend. Durst, subject of the HBO docuseries "The Jinx," chose not to speak before his sentencing on Thursday. He was convicted of first-degree murder last month for killing Susan Berman more than two decades ago. Prosecutors say Durst killed Berman to keep her from telling police about his role in the unsolved disappearance of his first wife in 1982. Her body has never been found.

Now, the White House says President Joe Biden will likely head to Virginia in the coming days to campaign for Democratic candidate Terry McAuliffe in critical governor's race. Recent polls show the race tight really between the former governor and Republican challenger Glenn Youngkin.

Now, Youngkin is distancing himself from the rally held on his behalf. It was headlined by Steve Bannon and even former President Trump called in to praise the nominee. While there, attendees pledged allegiance to a flag said to have been flown at the "stop the steal rally," if you remember, on January the 6. CNN's Jeff Zeleny has more for you.


JEFF ZELENY, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Donald Trump loves standing at the front of a big rally.


ZELENY (voice-over): But in the Virginia governor's race, the former president can be heard but not seen.

TRUMP: I really believe that Virginia is very, very winnable, but everybody has to go out and vote.

ZELENY (voice-over): As Republicans hope to launch a comeback in the biggest campaign of the season, Trump is not invited, at least for one of his signature rallies. Instead, he called into an event last night.

TRUMP: We are going it take it all back.

ZELENY (voice-over): Headlined by longtime Trump advisor Steve Bannon, to build support for the GOP ticket. Trump use the form to spread election lies.

TRUMP: We one in 2016, we one in 2020, the most corrupt election in the history of our country.

ZELENY (voice-over): Republican gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin, said again today Biden was legitimately elected, but quickly moved to change the subject. In the latest sign of how he's walking a tightrope, embracing the Trump energy to fire up his base, while trying to avoid alienating other voters.

In the final days of a race that has Democrats on edge, Terry McAuliffe is calling in the cavalry. President Biden this summer. First Lady Jill Biden on Friday and former President Barack Obama next weekend, reprising a visit he made in 2013 when McAuliffe first narrowly won.

BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT: The next governor of the great commonwealth of Virginia, Terry McAuliffe.

ZELENY (voice-over): This time, McAuliffe is blasting Youngkin as an extreme Trump clone, releasing a new ad today to link the two.

GLENN YOUNGKIN (R), VIRGINIA GOVERNOR CANDIDATE: I was honored to receive President Trump's endorsement.

ZELENY (voice-over): But Youngkin is trying to stand alone.

YOUNGKIN: All eyes are on Virginia.

ZELENY (voice-over): Mindful he needs to win over some of the very Virginians when previously voted Democratic, including for Biden, who won last year by ten points. In a race that would turn on enthusiasm, it's a tricky balancing act with Trump.

ZELENY: Would you like to see him campaign here?

YOUNGKIN: Well, so, no. The person that is going to be campaigning here for the next two and a half weeks is Glenn Youngkin. I'm on the ballot.

ZELENY: Do you hope he stays out of the state?

YOUNGKIN: You're going to see me campaign as Glenn Youngkin, the candidate who is marching to victory and you're going to see my opponent bring in everybody he possibly can because he can't win on his own.

ZELENY: Now, Youngkin does not want to talk about Trump. Of course, that is virtually all McAuliffe wants to talk about, making this race a referendum on Donald Trump. Of course, it's an open question what impact either president, the former or the current, will have on this race. But the White House is saying President Biden also expected back here in Virginia to campaign for McAuliffe in the final days.

Jeff Zeleny, CNN, Alexandria, Virginia.


SOARES: Now, former deputy FBI director Andrew McCabe is getting his pension after all. McCabe was fired in 2018 during Trump administration just two days before he was set to retire. A settlement with the Justice Department will restore his benefits worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. McCabe was one of the leaders of the Russia investigation on whether Donald Trump had obstructed justice. He now works for CNN as a legal analyst.

Now, about 10,000 members of the United Autoworkers Union went on strike Thursday against farm and construction equipment maker John Deere. It's a dispute over a new contract. The move halted production at 11 factories and three distribution centers in the U.S. 90 percent of the rank-and-file members voted to reject a contract approved by the union. John Deere's business is booming with a net income of a whopping 84 percent for the year of 2019.

Now, Adele is singing new music.



SOARES: Now, legendary quarterback Tom Brady continues to shine at the age of 44. And one tennis player is etching her name into the history books. CNN's Patrick Snell has that and more in our minute in sports -- Patrick.

PATRICK SNELL, CNN WORLD SPORT: Well, we start right here in the United States. A difficult week for the NFL amid the ongoing Jon Gruden fallout. But on Thursday night it was all eyes on superstar Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as they travel to face the Eagles in Philadelphia. The Super Bowl champs doing what, well, what Super Bowl champs do. Inspired by Brady they raced out into a 21-point third quarter lead. Brady throwing for two touchdowns. His teammates, the running back Leonard Fournette running for two scores. Bucs win it won 28 to 22 in the end.

Five-time world football champions Brazil are taking another step towards qualifying for next year's men's World Cup in Qatar. Led by Neymar, who opened the scoring, the Brazilians 4-1 win over Uruguay.

Argentina's star Lautaro Martinez with a superb header for Argentina. They were 1-nil in Buenos Aires over Peru.


And a groundbreaking achievement for Tunisia tennis star Ons Jabeur, who through to the last four Indian Wells. She's now poised to become the first Arab player male or female to break into the top ten of the world rankings. With that, it's right back to you.

SOARES: Thank you very much, Patrick.

Now, have a box of tissues ready because Adele is back. The multi- Grammy award winner is releasing new music after a five-year break. So, take a listen to this.


ADELE, SINGER: Go easy on me, baby I was still a child Didn't get the chance to Feel the world around me ...


SOARES: That's easy on me, the emotional lead single on her long- awaited album is expected to be titled 30. She names her records after the age at which she had important experiences. She calls it, it's a ride or die throughout the most turbulent period of her life. The singer filed for divorce two years ago but says it's not a divorce album. The album will be out on November 19th. Now, a half-shredded painting by the elusive street artist Banksy has

sold for $25 million. The girl with the balloon was originally sold in 2018, but while it was being auctioned back then, a hidden mechanism destroyed the original image. Since then, the tattered remnant has become infamous -- renamed as "Love is in the Bin." Early estimates put a sale price at $8 million. But the $25 million winning bid on Thursday tops the previous work Banksy sold last year for $23 million.

And that does it for me. Thank you so far joining us. I'm Isa Soares. EARLY START with Laura Jarrett is up next. With our top story of course, former President Bill Clinton is in the hospital recovering from an infection. Thank you very much. Have a wonderful Friday. Take care. Bye-bye.