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Fighting Rages Around Azovstal Plant; W.H.O. Report: COVID Caused 15 Million Excess Deaths Globally; At Least Three Dead in Attack in Central Israel; New Evidence in Madeleine McCann Case; Abortion Providers in U.S. Face Uncertain Future. Aired 2-3p ET
Aired May 05, 2022 - 14:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LYNDA KINKADE, CNN HOST: Hello everyone, I'm Lynda Kinkade, you're watching CNN Newsroom live from Atlanta. Tonight, fighting is said to be ongoing in the Azovstal Steel plant in Mariupol as efforts are stepped up to get the remaining civilians out. A new World Health Organization report says there were nearly 15 million excess deaths globally during the COVID-19 pandemic. And stocks in the U.S. are tumbling a day after an interest rate hike.
Right now, a fierce bloody fight is said to be underway at the Azovstal Steel plant in Mariupol. Ukrainian fighters say Russia is attacking nonstop with heavy artillery from the air, land and sea. Defense forces say Russian soldiers have made it inside the compound, Russia denies this, according to the Kremlin spokesman. President Vladimir Putin has ordered its forces not to storm the plant.
Well, that besieged plant is Ukraine's last line of defense in Mariupol. The city's mayor saying if there's hell in the world, it is in Azovstal. Now, the defense fighters are not alone in the complex, hundreds of civilians, including dozens of children are still trapped inside.
None have been able to escape since Sunday when a convoy of more than 100 civilians made it out. Ukrainian fighters say Russia has violated their pledge to allow humanitarian corridors today. But there is still hope, as we speak, a convoy led by the U.N. and Red Cross is on its way hoping to reach the plant by Friday morning.
Well, Russia is stepping up its attack elsewhere in eastern Ukraine, including in one city, Kramatorsk, which suffered its first airstrike in a month. Sam Kiley is there.
SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Kramatorsk was hit overnight with at least six missiles. Now, they have had clearly a devastating impact, this is a heating, a pumping station sewage area. The size of the building would indicate that it was in no way could have housed any kind of military equipment.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): I just got lucky. I went to the bathroom, I heard a bang. I sat down on a bed and it hit me, and all the furniture fell down.
KILEY (on camera): But the scenes here are absolutely extraordinary. The way that these trees have been completely decapitated, torn to shreds, and the same goes also for these homes. Now amazingly, very few people here considering the scale of the damage were injured and none were killed. There were 25 injured, six have been hospitalized, one is in a critical condition.
And the reason for that is, at least, two-thirds of the city of Kramatorsk have already left. But this without any question is yet another strike by the Russians on a civilian residential area. Sam Kiley, CNN, in Kramatorsk.
KINKADE: The southern city of Kherson fell into Russian hands early in the war. Civilians in the region have shared stories of widespread indignities and alleged war crimes including rape under Russian occupation. So many are desperate to get out and are taking any chance they see. Our Nick Paton Walsh caught up with a convoy of people on their way to safety.
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL SECURITY EDITOR (voice-over): Their road to salvation here is a dusty track where few know the route, just follow the car in front. Above the trees, the dust likely from fires caused by distant shelling. These are over a 100 cars that have run the gauntlet out of Kherson, the first city Russia occupied.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No school, no almost hospitals. At the moment, it's terrible. So many Russians, military there. It's terrible.
WALSH (on camera): Why did they do?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: At the moment, they do nothing.
WALSH: Is that possible?
(voice-over): Eyes here tell of exhaustion, "I was held at Russian check-points." The only emotion left after two months under the Russian gun, a slight smile of freedom.
The idea dawning that life under occupation is behind them, even if a life displaced by war is ahead.
(on camera): You can see just in the length of this queue here, the scale of the desperation that we're talking about here. People fleeing Russian occupation, leaving this morning at first light from the city of Kherson. The first to be occupied by Russia at the start of the war. Some of them on their fifth attempt to get out. Something this time was different, it was easier.
"We left early, and they were all asleep", she says. "Goods have dried up, everything is from Crimea", she adds. Edic(ph) in front, squeezed 10 in here. They're saying here is good. "They are always shooting". "Tried for a week to get out." "We were just on the way to get out and they let as pass as human shields when things were flying over us", she said, "it was terrifying." "Five attempts", Edic(ph) said, "they didn't let us through, just turned us around."
(voice-over): They fled a city where things were not going according to the Kremlin's plan. The sham referendum Russia planned to consolidate control never happened. And this weekend, almost at the moment when they introduced the Russian currency, the ruble, the internet and cell service suddenly went off. For even the youngest, the hope ahead is palpable.
"It was sad to leave", he says, "but where we're going will be better." This is happening as villages and roads change hands daily here, these Ukrainian soldiers in the next village anxious to not have their location or faces shown. "We evacuated 1,500 people over the last week", one said. "Kids, elderly." Russians led them through if they say they're going to Kherson, further on, they drop off their cars, bikes and go on foot to our side. Across the fields, the agony of Russia's blundering and senseless invasion pours out. Nick Paton Walsh, CNN, Kochubeyevka, Ukraine.
KINKADE: The White House is pushing back against a report of "The New York Times", which cites unnamed officials saying U.S. Intelligence is helping Ukraine target and kill Russian generals. Around a dozen Russian generals have died so far in the conflict, but the U.S. insists it's not providing specific intelligence to Kyiv. Barbara Starr is following the story from the Pentagon and joins us now live. Barbara, good to see you.
So, there's no doubt U.S. Intelligence has been very effective at predicting Russian moves. But the U.S. certainly says it's not specifically providing Ukraine with any help to kill Russian generals.
BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: And that's really the key, Lynda, we're talking about targeting Intelligence. Is the U.S. giving Ukraine the actual target information, essentially, time, date and place of where Russian General is going to be, and they say that they are not. And in fact, a statement from the White House in part really push back against all of this, saying, and let me read it to people.
"The United States provides battlefield Intelligence to help Ukrainians defend their country. We do not provide Intelligence with the intent to kill Russian Generals." Now, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff earlier this week testified before Congress about the increased intelligence that is going to Ukraine. Have a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARK MILLEY, CHAIRMAN, U.S. JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF: We have opened up the pipes which I'm not going to go into detail here in an open hearing. But it's a significant amount of Intelligence flowing to Ukraine from the United States. All of that in combination and many more are some of the early lessons learned that have made the difference is what you've seen.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STARR: So, what are we talking about? You know, imagery, commercial satellite imagery, military satellite imagery, transcripts perhaps or information about intercepted phone conversations. That kind of thing. Intercepting Russian communications on the battlefield. We know that's been happening, but inside Ukraine, not inside Russia, and specifically not targeting specific Russian Generals. That's what the administration insists it's not happening. Lynda?
KINKADE: All right, Barbara Starr for us at the Pentagon, good to get that update, thanks very much.
STARR: Thank you.
KINKADE: Well, Ukraine's president is appealing to the West for more weaponry to prevent the further bombardment of civilians. As we mentioned, the Azovstal Steel complex in Mariupol is in the grip of particularly heavy fighting this week. The commander there says Russia broke a pledge to allow civilians to leave today. Inside the plant, Ukrainian troops tried their best to lift morale.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KINKADE: Soldiers there singing the battle hymn of the Ukrainian army. The words, "it is sweeter for us to die in battle than to live in chains as dumb slaves." Our Scott McLean has more on all the developments on the ground and joins us from the Ukrainian city of Lviv. Scott, good to have you with us. So, this bloody battle continues at the complex according to a Ukrainian commander inside that steel plant. What does this all mean for the hundreds of civilians still inside?
SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, just a few hours ago, Lynda, we learned that help is on the way. This is according to the U.N. Special Envoy for Ukraine, who says that a humanitarian convoy is en route to the city, expected to arrive tomorrow morning. Now, we've seen this before, there was a successful evacuation mission that managed to get people out on Sunday who arrived in Zaporizhzhia successfully on Tuesday.
The U.N. Special Envoy says that they are going straight for the Azovstal Steel plant to get people out of what he calls a bleak hell. Now, nothing happens quickly. The last time that this happened on Sunday, when more than a100 people were able to get out, this mission was actually announced by President Zelenskyy two days earlier, but we heard almost nothing. So, in this case, perhaps, because Ukrainian officials say -- don't want to say anything to jeopardize the success of the mission. In this case, no news is good news. But there is intense fighting on the ground. That is according to
soldiers there, who say that the Russians have not held up their end of the bargain or what they said that they would do. Which was to ceasefire, today, tomorrow and Saturday to allow civilians to get out. There are no signs that, that has actually happened. They say -- the Ukrainians say that the Russians are actually trying to storm the plant on the ground.
The Russians deny this, either way, the Ukrainians say they would very much like to get civilians out of there, and not just the civilians, but also, the many wounded soldiers as well who won deputy commander of the Azov regimen, says are dying in agony. Lynda?
KINKADE: Yes, and in terms of Ukrainian nurse, I understand you spoke to in the eastern part of the country, got married in the midst of all this horror.
MCLEAN: Yes, so, this is a pretty amazing story. We spoke to this young couple, they're 23 years old, and they just had a video of their first dance in a hospital room go absolutely viral. Well, over a million people viewed this video online. And the reason being is because the bride has lost just recently at the end of March, four fingers on her left hand, and also both of her legs.
And so, her groom decided that it was important to make sure that she knew that he was committed to her for the long term. And so, they got married. Victor(ph) and Oksana are their names. We got to speak to them, and their story is remarkable. They live in a city called Lysychansk, it's in the eastern part of Ukraine, and it was a normal day in March, they were actually going to try to line up for humanitarian aid because they had been fighting in that area.
When they took a path back to their home, that had been mined. She recalls seeing what was left of a shell, a Russian shell in the ground, she called over her now husband to look at it, and suddenly, she had managed to step on a land mine. And she remembers looking down, feeling like her legs were in a pit, and looking down and realizing she didn't have any legs at all. And what was even more amazing is that, the ambulance, when it showed up less than 10 minutes later, they wouldn't retrieve her. They wouldn't retrieve her despite the fact that she had just lost both legs.
Because they were worried about going into that area that was potentially mined. So, her now husband, actually went and got the stretcher from the paramedics and went in himself, got her out of there, on the way to the hospital, she was unconscious and she remembers saying that she didn't want to live at that moment. They have two children together already and she didn't want to see her kids, to see her disabled.
Obviously now, the situation is different. She realizes that she's going to be going to Germany very soon to get prosthetic legs in the future. It's manageable, the future is really bright for her actually. The thing that she's struggling with is the fact that she is in Lviv now receiving treatment, her children are now staying with their grandparents back east. [14:15:00]
But their story is so inspiring. One of the other more practical reasons, Lynda, that they had to get married is so that Victor(ph) could accompany her to Germany to actually get these prosthetic legs put on. Because of course, right now, fighting age men are not allowed to leave the country. But it is no wonder why that video of them having their sort of impromptu first dance after their legal marriage went so viral.
KINKADE: Yes, an uplifting moment in the midst of all this chaos. We wish that family all the very best. Scott McLean, good to have you with us from Lviv. Well, the World Health Organization is releasing new numbers on just how many people have died globally from COVID-19. It says the death toll could be nearly three times higher than officially reported. The agency estimates that nearly 15 million people around the world have died either directly or indirectly because of the virus.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SOMNATH CHATTERJI, SENIOR ADVISER, WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION DEPARTMENT OF DATA ANALYTICS: So, why do these numbers actually matter? I mean, these are not numbers for the sake of numbers. But as --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes --
CHATTERJI: We have just said, there are -- you know, there are two components to this, right? One is the directly attributable deaths to COVID, but in addition to that, the excess deaths also estimate the collateral damage that has happened because of COVID because of disruptions in the health services.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KINKADE: Well, Dr. Samira Asma is the assistant director-general for Data Analytics and Delivery at the W.H.O., an she joins us now live. Good to have you with us, doctor.
SAMIRA ASMA, ASSISTANT DIRECTOR-GENERAL, DATA ANALYTICS & DELIVERY, WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION: Nice to have you, thank you.
KINKADE: So 14.9 million excess deaths associated with the COVID-19 pandemic for 2020 and 2021, more than double the official death toll. Was that sort of figure a shock to you, or was it expected given the toll of this pandemic?
ASMA: It is both, a shock as well as expected. Shock because this is truly a tragic and a staggering number, almost 15 million excess deaths. Direct and or indirectly associated with COVID-19 pandemic just over a period of 24 months. The estimates tell us how we can prevent future pandemics. Because if we don't count, and we underestimate, we likely under invest in public health.
KINKADE: And I want to ask you -- ASMA: It is very important to hold our policy makers and ourselves
accountable for these tragic loss of lives.
KINKADE: Dr. Asma, I want to ask you more about what we can learn from this pandemic going forward. But before I get to that, can you just explain how the W.H.O. came up with this estimate, and which regions and which gender suffered the most in terms of excess deaths?
ASMA: So W.H.O.'s process has been very inclusive and consultative. We established a technical advisory group along with U.N. DESA, which is the Division of Economic and Social Affairs, they're based in New York. We brought together all 40 world renowned experts to help us design the methodology, as well as we pulled in all the available data from all the countries where it was possible, because there is paucity of data in a number of countries, because lack of investments overtime in health information systems.
Once the method was defined, we shared that along with the estimates, with all the 194 member states of W.H.O., and had consultations over the course of one and a half years. Finalize the estimates, updated where we could -- and today, we produced these estimates. What we have seen is that it shows that the death toll was higher among men than among women. About 57 percent of men died due to COVID-19 and about 43 percent of women.
And what we have seen is that the death toll was higher in southeast Asian region, in Europe and in Americas, and especially low and middle income countries have really faced the brunt of this pandemic.
KINKADE: All right, we'll have to leave it there for now, Dr. Samira Asma from the World Health Organization, good to have you with us, thanks very much.
ASMA: Thank you.
KINKADE: Well, still to come tonight, U.S. stocks take a dive. What it means for American consumers and across the Atlantic, a recession warning for the U.K., we'll bring you those stories next.
KINKADE: Welcome back. We are getting reports of an attack in central Israel. Emergency services say three people are dead in the town of Elad. Police are calling it a suspected terror attack. They say there were two attackers, one who fired a rifle and one who used an ax or a knife. We are working to get you some more information, and we will bring it to you live as we get it.
Well, U.S. markets are taking a deep dive, and tech stocks are seeing the biggest losses. The Dow plunging by a 1,000 points, wiping out Wednesday's gains. And this all follows the Federal Reserve's announcement that it was raising interest rates by half a percentage point. Well, to unpack all of this, business editor-at-large, Richard Quest joins us now live from New York. So, Richard, the market is on pace for what could be the worst case since 2020, certainly, the worst day so far this year.
RICHARD QUEST, CNN BUSINESS EDITOR-AT-LARGE: Absolutely, and it's not surprising in a sense, because the economics underneath this are just getting awful. We've got inflation that is high, and will remain stubbornly high for the foreseeable future. You have high gasoline and fuel prices, largely on the back of what's happening with Russia and Ukraine.
And even though OPEC said it's going to pump more oil, that still creating an underpinning of that higher oil prices hike, gas, that slows down the economics, more makes companies less profitable. What you're seeing, Lynda, is a re-pricing of assets such as stocks and bonds. And the view now is that a recession is growing more likely in the United States, and certainly, more probable in the United Kingdom, and in Europe. And the market can no longer support the very high prices that we've seen. There is more of this to come.
KINKADE: And of course, the Fed is expecting to increase interest rates as it deals with the worst inflation in 40 years here in the U.S. How long could it take until inflation gets to healthier levels? And you mentioned recession, of course, being one of the risks.
QUEST: We're talking about a recession in probably mid to late next year. There is something known as the monetary lag between when they move on interest rates and when consumers stop spending and things like that.
But there is also another effect that we also talk about, which is the wealth effect. And people going home tonight, seeing the market down 1,100 points, and then realizing that they are poorer, and not only that. They are spending more on fuel, on food, on education, on all those sorts of things. So, all the discretionary money, even that which people had saved because they didn't do anything during lockdown, that is now going to get eaten up by higher charges.
Take for example, the U.K., which I know you'll be talking about, where interest rates went up and where mortgages will be going up because of the relationship, they're much closer tied. When one goes up, the other goes up. Credit card repayments will be going up, bank loans will be going up, the weekly shopping bill goes up. And that creates a feeling of people being unhappy with what's happening in the economy. Not spending.
That -- and you start this downward spiral. And the reality is and the irony, this is what the policy makers want. They want to cool the economy down to such an extent that inflation comes down, it's economics 101. But you don't want to tip the economy into a recession, that's becoming less easy to do. It's almost likely that we'll have recessions on both sides of the Atlantic.
KINKADE: Yes, certainly, a tricky balancing act. Richard Quest, as always, good to have you with us, we will tune in to "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" very shortly. Thanks so much.
QUEST: Thank you.
KINKADE: Well, in the U.K., as Richard mentioned, inflation is rising. It could rise 10 percent this year, and a recession might be on the cards there, too. That dire warning from the Bank of England. U.K. interest rates are at a 13-year high, increasing to 1 percent as the country battles with its cost of living. Well, CNN's Anna Stewart joins us now from London to discuss. So, certainly, the Bank of England, Anna, raising interest rates to combat the worst inflation in some 30 years. And of course, we're hearing that the U.K. is facing a sharp economic downturn.
ANNA STEWART, CNN REPORTER: Yes, the picture over here on this side of the Atlantic looking just as gloomy, frankly, as Richard was talking about in the U.S. So, the Central Bank decision from the Bank of England was as expected when it comes to the rate hike, bringing up to 1 percent, a small 25 basis point hike. But it was all the elements around this, particularly with the outlook that were unexpected, that did shock investors.
First of all, just how gloomy the inflation outlook is now, as you say, is expected to actually top 10 percent this year. And then, there were the forecast for GDP. Now, for this year, the Bank of England thinks the U.K. will grow 3.75 percent, that was as before. But as next year, where it now sees a contraction of a quarter percentage point. So, you have high inflation, you've got an economy either in recession or pretty much at a stand-still.
Double whammy, you're looking at a specter of stagflation here, which is always the big concern. Also, Lynda, there was a split on the monetary policy committee vote that was quite interesting for investors. Three out of nine actually voting for a bigger hike of 70 -- for 50 basis points of this meeting, which was quite interesting. Almost a hawkish tone, but only in the near term given that very gloomy economic outlook going forward.
The pound dropped some 2 percent against the dollar on the news, the FTSE 100 there closed ever so slightly higher. So, no big selloff here. And bond yields actually fell, which isn't what you'd expect normally with a rate hike. But that's because looking forward, investors are thinking, maybe there won't be as many rate hikes as expected. And so much of the forecasting for central banks right now is incredibly difficult because so much rests on inflation.
And how baked in is that? So much of that rests on energy prices, and so much of that, of course, rests on the situation in Ukraine and sanctions on Russian energy. Lynda?
KINKADE: Yes, certainly, a lot to deal with to bring that inflation under control, and not end up with a recession. Anna Stewart, good to have you with us from London. Well, German prosecutors say they're sure that they've caught the man behind the disappearance of British toddler Madeleine McCann, after new evidence has emerged in the 15- year-old case. We'll have that story next.
KINKADE: Welcome back.
We have an update on some breaking news: a suspected terror attack in central Israel, emergency services say at least three people are dead. Police say there were two suspected attackers, one who fired a rifle, one used an ax or a knife.
This attack comes as Israel marks its Independence Day. We'll get more information and we will bring it to you live as we get it.
It's been over 15 years since the shocking disappearance of British toddler Madeleine McCann. Prosecutors say they have now found new evidence and that they are sure they've found her killer.
Madeleine vanished from her family's hotel room in Portugal back in 2007. The suspect in the case, Christian Bruckner, was named last month. He has yet to be charged. CNN's Nada Bashir has been following the story and joins us now live from London.
So Nada, this investigation has gone on for 15 years. This is a huge development. Not only has a suspect been named, prosecutors believe they have evidence.
What can you tell us about the suspect?
I understand he is currently in jail.
NADA BASHIR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, this is potentially one of the most significant leads in the investigation, into Madeleine McCann's abduction back in 2007. As you mentioned, there, the suspect in question, Christian Bruckner, is currently in jail. He is serving a term for the rape of a woman in the very same area of Portugal, where Madeleine was abducted.
He has denied any involvement in her disappearance. But as you mentioned, there new evidence has come to light. According to the German prosecutor involved in investigating this case, not only linking Bruckner to Madeleine McCann's disappearance but, according to the prosecutor, who gave an interview to a Portuguese broadcaster, he is sure that Bruckner was involved in the murder of Madeleine McCann.
So clearly, a significant development there. And while he couldn't give many details around the evidence that has come to, light he was able to clarify that this is forensic evidence. There are still questions around what that evidence would entail. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
QUESTION: It is true that you find something belonging to Madeleine in the caravan of Christian Bruckner?
HANS CHRISTIAN WOLTERS, LEAD GERMAN PROSECUTOR: To the details of the investigations, I can not give you a comment. QUESTION: But you can't deny, it can you?
WOLTER: I don't want to deny it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BASHIR: Now him saying that he doesn't want to deny is important. The investigation is still ongoing. It could be more evidence coming to light, in the coming weeks. Bruckner has denied any involvement. He said he was with his girlfriend on the night that Madeleine McCann disappeared.
BASHIR: Another important detail which came to light in that interview from the prosecutors, he said he believes Bruckner doesn't have an alibi. SO certainly, another significant development there.
KINKADE: All right.
Any indication as to when charges could be laid?
And has there been any reaction from the McCann family?
BASHIR: Well, since the investigation is still ongoing, still unclear whether or not charges will be laid against Christian Bruckner. He is serving jail time for other criminal offenses.
Of, course that information is something being pursued by the German prosecutors, in conjunction with authorities in Portugal and the U.K. But of course, this will come as welcome progress for the family of Madeleine McCann. This is, of course, as you mentioned, 15 years since she was abducted in Portugal.
They have issued a statement on the anniversary of her abduction. They said that while this year was not as easy as previously, it also wasn't as hard. They are maintaining hope that Madeleine is still alive, that she'll be reunited with her family.
But it is important to note that the German prosecutor has previously said they do not believe Madeleine McCann is alive as part of their investigation. This will come as difficult news of course, for Madeleine's parents.
KINKADE: All right, good to have you with us from London. Thank you.
China is doubling down on its zero COVID policy, even as the rest of the world is opening up. Mass testing in Beijing is underway to try to avoid a citywide lockdown like in Shanghai. As Selina Wang explains, it is coming at a huge cost.
SELINA WANG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Beijing is taking more aggressive steps to stamp out COVID cases in the capital. It's effectively shut down its largest district, that is home to key business and diplomatic areas.
It shut down transportation there and asked residents to work from home. This is as Beijing's only reporting about 50 COVID-19 cases a day. Despite those low numbers, the city is rolling out a sixth round of mass testing of more than 20 million residents.
Based on CNN's calculations, just one day of mass testing is costing the city around $10 million a day. Our team on the ground in Beijing says that the streets are eerily empty and that buildings have been fenced off, where positive COVID-19 cases have been found.
Officials in Beijing have also indefinitely extended a ban on in- restaurant dining, the closure of large entertainment venues and sporting areas. Residents in Beijing are also stocking up on daily essentials, fearing that the restrictions could turn worse.
Chinese zero COVID strategy is pummeling the country's economy. It is disrupting supply chains, people's lives. China's services sector which accounts for more than half of the country's GDP, contracted at the second sharpest pace on record.
At least 28 cities across China are under full or partial lockdown, impacting up to 185 million people. There is still no end in sight right now for many of Shanghai's 25 million residents who have been under strict lockdown for more than a month now.
Even as most of the world is learning how to live with COVID, China is still doubling down on its zero COVID policy, which authorities have called a quote, "magic weapon" to keep the country's COVID cases low -- Selina Wang, CNN, Kunming, China.
KINKADE: Still to come tonight, leaked proposals, angry protests and abortion rights on the line. We are going to go live to a woman's clinic in the U.S. to see what might happen if Roe v. Wade is overturned.
And the U.K. deepens its security times with Japan as the two nations pledged to stand together against Russia's invasion of Ukraine. The details just ahead.
KINKADE: Welcome back.
In America, activists fear abortion rights are on the brink. People are taking to the streets in anger. A leaked draft this week indicates the Supreme Court is poised to overturn Roe v. Wade, a nearly 50-year precedent that protects women's rights to legal abortion. A final decision has not been made, but should the law be reversed at
least 23 states are likely to ban abortions. Gary Tuchman went to a nonprofit women's clinic in Tennessee to find out what that might look like.
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): These two men are antiabortion protesters, trying to convince the frightened woman behind the wheel not to drive into this woman's medical clinic parking lot where she has an appointment for an abortion.
The woman who walked up to the car is the co-director of the clinic, assuring the patient who speaks little English she is safe with her and that they will protect her while she is here.
This type of confrontation at the Knoxville Center for Reproductive Health in Tennessee is very common. But it is happening at a very unusual moment in time, with the knowledge that legal abortion may be ending very soon in the state.
CORINNE ROVETTI, NURSE PRACTITIONER: I can't even find words how disturbing it is.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): Corinne Rovetti is a nurse practitioner and one of the other co-directors of this clinic, which provides all types of gynecological health care.
ROVETTI: What kind of society is that that we forced people to motherhood when they are not prepared and ready to do that or know that they are already stretched to their limits and cannot support another child?
TUCHMAN: Under a Tennessee, law passed in 2019, if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, this state will then ban abortion 30 days after the ruling is issued.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): Exceptions will only be allowed to prevent the death of a pregnant woman or a serious injury. Doctor Aaron Campbell is one of the physicians who performed abortions here. He is the medical director.
DR. AARON CAMPBELL, KNOXVILLE CENTER FOR REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH: I think people will pursue unsafe illegal abortions and I think that people will get sick and die and I think that blood and their death will be on the hands of these lawmakers that are passing these laws.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): Dr. Campbell's late father was also the medical director here for many years.
CAMPBELL: I think he would be devastated.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): There are very few places that provide abortions in Tennessee. There was another clinic just a few miles away from here.
CAMPBELL: On New Year's Eve, our local Planned Parenthood affiliate was burned down and ruled to be arson.
TUCHMAN: And it has not reopened.
CAMPBELL: It hasn't reopened, it's not going to be rebuilt.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): Doing this type of work has long been intimidating and frightening for the medical professionals. Many of the patients who come here for routine checkups, do it partly out of support and loyalty for the clinic, Lisa being one of them. And she shares the employees' emotions about what the Supreme Court seems poised to do.
LISA, PATIENT: It makes me angry.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): For now, antiabortion protesters say they will continue to be here.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are not here to intimidate people, but to let you do and we know that.
Well, if the child was outside the womb, we wouldn't be acting like.
TUCHMAN (voice-over): And the clinic employees say they will continue to do their jobs but they know the writing is on the wall and that perhaps, there is now not much they can do about it.
TUCHMAN: What are you going to do and start telling your patients?
CAMPBELL: I don't know. I don't know about any of this now.
TUCHMAN: I just talked at one of the other co-directors of this clinic. She said she was born in 1979, which was six years after Roe became the law of the land. She said she finds it incomprehensible that Roe will no longer exist. And that is one of the reasons she believes she still has hope that one of the conservative justices might change his or her mind.
TUCHMAN: This is Gary Tuchman, CNN, in Knoxville, Tennessee.
KINKADE: And I want to update you now on breaking news. The suspected terror attack in the central Israeli town of Elad, emergency services say at least three people are dead and the pictures from the scene show multiple emergency vehicles. Hadas Gold is in Jerusalem.
HADAS GOLD, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, what we are learning is this attack apparently took place in just about an hour ago about 8:30 global in Elad. This is a small, mostly Orthodox city just east of Tel Aviv and not far from the Tel Aviv airport.
And from what we know, about 8:30 pm an attack took place and police are saying it's a suspected terror attack. They say two suspected attackers were in the incident, one who apparently fired with a rifle and one who attacked people with either an ax or a knife.
It took place in or around a park in this small city. What we know right now is that three people were killed, four people have been injured according to emergency medical services. Nobody has claimed credit for this attack although Hamas, the militant organization, that runs Gaza, has put out a statement, praising the attack but not quite yet not taking credit for it.
Now this attack is taking place on Israeli Independence Day, which is celebrated today. It is taking place during a very tense period that has been happening in Israel for several months. There was a series of attacks in March, into early April, that killed 14 people in Israel.
And the Israeli military stepped up the raids in the West Bank. And several dozen Palestinians have been killed, as a result of those raids. Also there were clashes at the al-Aqsa compound in Jerusalem, the Temple Mount, a place so holy for both Muslims and Jews.
Several days of clashes have taken place there over the course of the Ramadan holiday, which ended just this. Week it's been a very tense period and the Israeli officials I've talked to said even though that the Ramadan holiday was coming to a, close they still expected things to continue to be tense because of events like today, like Israeli Independence Day.
And next week it's the one year anniversary of last year's 11 day war between Hamas militants in Gaza and the Israeli army. Linda?
KINKADE: All right, Hadas Gold in Jerusalem, we will stay across this breaking news story, suspected terror attack in Israel, three people have been killed. Thank you so much.
It has been a busy day for the British prime minister, as the U.K. heads to the polls to vote in local elections. Boris Johnson himself was casting the ballot alongside his dog, Dylan (ph).
Mr. Johnson then hosted his Japanese counterpart at Downing Street. The pair vowed to stand together against Russian aggression, agreeing to a new defense agreement. They discussed how G7 nations can work together to reduce global alliance on Russian energy.
We are getting some more breaking news now. Three U.S. officials say North Korea could be ready to resume underground nuclear testing as soon as this month. That is according to assessments by U.S. military and intelligence agencies. Barbara Starr is following the story from the Pentagon, joins us now.
Good to see you again, Barbara.
What are your sources telling you?
BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Well, Lynda, three officials are telling me that the latest assessment now is that North Korea is preparing that underground nuclear test site. They have been working on it for some time.
Imagery has shown digging at the site and they now believe that they are continuing to prepare it and could make the decision and be ready to resume underground nuclear testing as soon as this month.
Now of, course they haven't tested in five years. And this would be their seventh underground test if they decide to resume. It would be of global concern if the North Koreans took this very destabilizing in the eyes of the world community.
This site, during the Trump administration, North Korea made a great show of destroying the tunnels as part of the denuclearization effort advocated by president Trump.
But there was widespread belief that they really hadn't destroyed everything. So the assessment has been in that recent months as they've resumed digging, they have dug a much shorter tunnel that lets them get to the actual part underground, where they would have put fissile material to conduct a test.
No indications yet that material is there as far as anybody knows. But the bottom line, preparation at the site now makes the U.S. believe that North Korea could be ready for the first time in five years to resume underground nuclear testing, as soon as this month.
KINKADE: Yes, very troubling.
KINKADE: Good to have you on that breaking news story, Barbara Starr. Thank you very much.
Still to come, tonight it is day two on the stand for Amber Heard in her trial against Johnny Depp (sic). More details on how she says the Hollywood superstar abused her in just a moment.
KINKADE: Welcome back.
Actress Amber Heard's back on the witness stand today, testifying about the abuse that she suffered at the hands of Johnny Depp.
These are live pictures coming to us live from that courtroom in Virginia. Heard has detailed several alleged incidents from the couple's marriage, including a time she says when Depp slapped and kicked her on a plane.
Depp is suing her for $15 million, claiming that her allegations of abuse are untrue and the accusations have cost him movie roles. For more, CNN's Alexandra Field has been watching the trial and joins us now. So this is the second day that we're seeing with Heard on the stand
testifying. Yesterday she was quite tearful, describing how Johnny Depp allegedly slapped her. Take us through what you're seeing today.
ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, this has continued to be emotional. She has documented from the time that they knew each other the evolution of their relationship, the progression to a dark and violent place.
She spoke yesterday about how the two fell in love. She spoke today about what she's described a years-long pattern of abuse, physical and sexual, at one time describing a violent -- a violent sexual assault, in which she says that he ripped her clothes off, shut her down and conducted a cavity search with his fingers, searching for drugs.
She's described a number of other physical instances, which she says were fueled by alcohol and by drugs. She talked about a pattern of these attacks. And she said that she'd received text messages expressing shame and regret.
She talks about reconciliation between the couple and then how these events would continue to transpire. Now Depp of course, spent four days on the stand himself. He testified that he never struck a woman, a very different set of circumstances that we're hearing Heard lay out in painful and excruciating detail.
KINKADE: Yes, it really is, Alexandra, a he said/she said pace at this point in time.
What happens to this case if the jury believes both Amber Heard and Johnny Depp?
FIELD: Which is really entirely plausible, given the fact that both of them are lobbing accusations at one another.
FIELD: Both are denying that they attacked the other. You are hearing from witnesses who described seeing Heard attack Depp and Depp attack Heard. It's certainly possible that the jury can believe parts of what they are hearing from both sides.
But mainly, the issue here is that this is a defamation trial and it comes down to what was written in that 2018 "Washington Post" op-ed and Depp's claim that it cost him lucrative career roles, lucrative roles in films. That's really what the jury will have to consider here.
KINKADE: All right, Alexandra Field, good to have you with us from New York, thank you so much.
Well, Queen Elizabeth will not be attending her annual summer garden parties. In a statement from Buckingham Palace, it said Her Majesty the Queen will be represented by other members of the royal family at this year's garden parties. With details on attendance to be confirmed in due course.
Now the first of the parties are due to take place next Wednesday. She most recently a memorial service for her husband last month. But she missed several events recently. This year the British monarch celebrates her Platinum Jubilee.
Well, thank so much for watching tonight, I'm Lynda Kinkade, good to have you with us. Stay with CNN, "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" is up next.