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Finland Soon to be NATO's Member; Finnish Parliament to Vote Over NATO; Al Jazeera Journalist Laid to Rest; Roe v. Wade Failed to Pass the Senate; Taliban Strips Women of Their Rights; Two-Dose Vaccine is Not Enough; Formula Milk Running Out of Stock; Survivor Remembers the Horrors of War. Aired 3-4a ET

Aired May 12, 2022 - 03:00   ET




ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: Hello and welcome to our viewers joining us here in the United States and all around the world. You are watching CNN Newsroom and I'm Rosemary Church.

I want to get to our breaking news any moment now, we are expecting a formal announcement from Finland on its intention to join NATO. A move that is sure to anger Russia, which is a long western border with the country and has been very vocal against NATO expansion.

Now the U.S., U.K., and other NATO have expressed their support for Finland's potential membership. The country has traditionally try to stay neutral, but the war on Ukraine has dramatically changed Finland's views of the Kremlin. And Finland's president says Vladimir Putin only has himself to blame. Take a listen.


SAULI NIINISTO, PRESIDENT OF FINLAND: Well, if that would be the case that we join, well my response would be that you caused this. Look at the mirror.


CHURCH: And neighboring Sweden is also close to deciding whether it will also pursue NATO membership.

CNN's Nic Robertson is standing in Helsinki with the latest, he joins us now. Good to see you, Nic. So, you and I spoke this time yesterday about some people in the country questioning why this is happening so quickly and saying that there was nothing to suggest Russia would invade Finland. What is the leadership of the country saying about the speed of this decision and some of the criticism?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Yes. They're saying, we're going to hear from the president right around now, Sauli Niinisto is expected to make a statement along with the prime minister, Sanna Marin is going to make a statement right about this time that's going to lay out their views on the possibility of joining NATO.

This isn't the definitive moment they join, that will be in a plenary vote in the parliament early next week. But this is very much going to set the direction in tone for the country. They have kept their thoughts and views to themselves, we have heard from the country's defense committee and the foreign affairs committee is expected to give its view on this matter on joining, potential for joining NATO early next week.

But the vast majority of people in the country, three quarters of the people according to local polling say that they support the country joining NATO. It has been a quick process. The parliament committees have been debating, and discussing the issue.

Parliamentarians have been keeping their views to themselves, but the reason for that, that Finnish parliamentarians say that they don't want, they haven't wanted to go public until now, is because they want to keep this process of decision-making relatively short, so there is a relatively short exposure to potential Russian backlash in the intermediate point of deciding to join NATO, requesting that membership and being given by NATO that full membership.

And this was -- this wasn't the importance of the security guarantees given by the British prime minister yesterday. So, the reason for the speed is out of caution and concern about how Russia may react. But it really is catching the moment in this country, when the majority will want the country to take this very historic and significant step that ends upon decades of nonalignment, neutrality, if you will.

And at that what the president says right about now is really going to be that moment where the rest of the country will be expected to fall in line. The tradition here has it that when the president gives a view such as the nature of politics here that the country will fall in line and goes behind him.

But in many ways, the country is already ahead of the president here, Rosemary, in their thinking.

CHURCH: Now, Nic, while I have you here, I just want to read out, we have the formal joint statement right now that was just posted by the president of the republic and prime minister of Finland on Finland's NATO membership.

I just have it on my computer here so I'm just going to read a part of this, if not all. So, it reads, thus, during the spring, an important discussion on Finland's possible NATO membership has taken place.


Time has been needed to let parliament and the whole society establish their stands on the matter. Time has been needed for close international context with NATO and its member countries, as well as with Sweden. We have wanted to give the discussions the space it required.

It goes on and says, now that the moment of decision-making is near, we've stated our equal views. Also, for information to the parliamentary groups and parties. NATO membership would strengthen Finland security, as a member of NATO, Finland would strengthen the entire defense alliance.

Finland must apply for NATO membership without delay. We hope that the national steps still needed to make this decision will be taken rapidly within the next few days.

So that's the gist of it. So, it's quite extraordinary the speed at which this has moved, as we've been discussing. And of course, what this will mean for Russia is it puts NATO right at its doorstop. I mean, really, this is been the problem, and the trigger for Russia invading Ukraine, and now the problem will be how Russia will respond to this.

ROBERTSON: Yes, and we've had a lot of discussion over the last few days about, you know, we've heard from President Biden saying that he gets the sense that President Putin is boxed in by his actions in Ukraine, because they're not successful he doesn't see an off ramp.

And, this Finland and Sweden joining NATO. And I think, you know, let's just analyze one second what we heard there from the president and the prime minister. This is them saying this is the right move. We know that about three quarters of the population here agree with that.

I spoke to somebody and the prime minister -- an M.P. within the prime minister's party just yesterday, and he told me he thought that when it comes to a vote in parliament next week of 200 members that at least 180 would vote in favor of joining NATO membership.

There are a couple of small steps to go, but this was, I think this is the very big and significant announcement given everything else we know. We know that the prime minister's party on Saturday is expected to make its decision but very clearly the decision is going to be to support NATO membership.

On Sunday, we're expecting the five-party coalition that runs the country to make their decision about NATO membership, again, expected to be on the same track, the foreign affairs committee expected to present their paper early next week in a formal vote by the parliament next week.

And yes, this will -- this will realize President Putin's fear is in his mind. Of course, this is not an action against Russia. The Finnish president was keen to state that last night. This is an action for Finland security, it's not an action against anyone he said last night. And that means Russia.

But for President Putin, he will see the reverse effect of the reason why he went to war in Ukraine. NATO now doubles the length -- or is likely to double the length of its border with Russia. And for President Putin, trying to find an exit strategy that he can sell to Russians for his -- what he calls a special military operation, a war in Ukraine.

The failure to keep NATO at bay in his terms, and in fact the increase of NATO's presence in his terms on Russia's border is going to be an even harder sell. How Russia reacts to this is what concerns Finland at the moment. And this is what we've heard talking to people on the streets here, Rosemary.

CHURCH: All right, our Nic Robertson joining us live from Helsinki, many thanks, I appreciate that.

Well, it has been 11 weeks since Russia invaded Ukraine, killing thousands of civilians, and now for the first time a Russian civilian has been killed on Russian soil by Ukrainian shelling. The report comes from the governor of Belgorod just across the border from Ukraine's second largest city, Kharkiv. The region has come under a series of recent attacks, but Ukraine will neither confirm nor deny responsibility.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian forces are doing what they can to stop Russia's offensive in the Donbas region. Satellite images and drone videos shows two pontoon bridges built by the Russians in the Luhansk region have been destroyed. But Ukraine's general staff acknowledges some Russian advances in the east, though it's difficult to measure the scale.

And Ukrainian forces claim they have recaptured more villages in the northern Kharkiv region. Despite the gains, much of the area is still within range of Russian artillery fire.


Well, the U.N. estimates nearly six million Ukrainians have fled the country since Russia invaded in late February. More than half of them are now refugees in neighboring Poland. But as Russia's war effort shifts to eastern Ukraine, some refugees from Kyiv are venturing back home.

The mayor warns that the capital is still a possible target of Russian airstrikes and safety cannot be guaranteed.

Well, a funeral procession will begin next hour in Ramallah for Al Jazeera journalists Shireen Abu Akleh. She was fatally shot while covering an Israeli military operation in the West Bank city of Jenin on Wednesday. Her producer was also shot but is in stable condition. A warning now the video you're about to see is disturbing.

Al Jazeera released this footage on the immediate aftermath shooting and you can hear the shots fired a man shouting "Shireen, Shireen," and she is then she's then seen lying face down on the ground.

Well, meantime, we have learned the Palestinian authority has rejected Israel's offer for a joint investigation into Abu Akleh's death.

And journalist Elliott Gotkine joins us now live from Jerusalem with the latest. Elliott, devastating and tragic loss of yet another journalist, just trying to do her job. And still so many unanswered questions. What more are you learning about the shooting of Shireen Abu Akleh, and now of course this news about the investigation? ELLIOTT GOTKINE, JOURNALIST: Rosemary, the only things that we know

for sure as you say, tragically Shireen was killed by gunfire when doing her job in Jenin in the northern West Bank yesterday. She was wearing protective gear, she was wearing a protective helmet, she was wearing a bulletproof vest.

We know that Israeli forces were operating in Jenin, and we also know that there were militants operating in Jenin as well. The initial autopsy report from the hospital in Nablus said that it was not clear who shot the bullet that killed Shireen, and Israel's position is still that we simply do not know for sure who fired the bullet that killed her.

That said, we have seen this tweet from Hussein Al-Sheikh, he heads up civilian affairs for the Palestinian Authority, he tweeted out this message a couple of hours ago, effectively rejecting Israel's demand for a joint -- or Israel's request, I should say, for a joint investigation, and also Israel's request for the bullet that killed Shireen in order to carry out ballistics test so that they can definitively say if it was fired by an Israeli weapon, from an Israeli soldier, or if it was likely to have come from a Palestinian militant instead.

But in addition to rejecting the joint investigation, it does also seem certainly from Hussein Al-Sheikh's tweets that they will -- that they still believe, they say all the indicators, evidence and witnesses, eyewitnesses confirm her assassination by Israeli special units. So, he seems to have made his conclusions already, Rosemary, but I guess the official line remains that we simply do not know who shot Shireen.

CHURCH: Yes. Elliott Gotkine joining us live from Jerusalem, many thanks.

Well, a fast-moving wildfire is sweeping across the Laguna Hills area of southern California, with a mandatory evacuation order now in effect for some neighborhoods. About 20 homes, some described as multi-million-dollar mansions, overlooking the Pacific Ocean are now engulfed in flames. The fire broke out about five hours ago and quickly spread fueled by a strong gusty wind.

At last report, about 200 acres were burning with zero containment.

And for our viewers here in the United States we will of course have a live report from our CNN weather center later this hour about 30 minutes from now on the fire.

Well still to come, a Democratic push to protect abortion rights fails in the U.S. Senate. The latest on that key vote, just ahead.

Then, why it feels like everything costs more today than it did a year ago. The latest figures on U.S. inflation. And whether there's hope on the horizon.

We're back in just a moment.




CROWD: My decision.

UNKNOWN: My body.

CROWD: My decision.

UNKNOWN: My body.

CROWD: My decision.


CHURCH: Progressives from the House making their voices heard, as they march to the Senate ahead of a key vote on a bill aimed at protecting access to abortion. But it didn't help. The Women's Health Protection Act failed with a 49 to 51 vote amidst strong Republican resistance. Democratic Senator Joe Manchin joined Republican to vote against the measure, saying it was too broad.


SEN. JOE MANCHIN (D-WV): It is not Roe v. Wade codification, it's expansion. It wipes 500, 500 state laws of the books. It expands abortion. And with that, that's not where we are today.


CHURCH: Vice President Kamala Harris later slammed Republicans for the failed Senate vote.


KAMALA HARRIS, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: This vote clearly suggests that the Senate is not where the majority of Americans are on this issue.


It also makes clear that a priority for all who care about this issue, a priority should be to elect pro-choice leaders at the local, state, and the federal level. Because what we're seeing around this country, our extremist Republican leaders who are seeking to criminalize and punish women for making decisions about their own body.


CHURCH: The vote comes at a time of mounting concerns after a draft opinion revealed the U.S. Supreme Court could be poised to overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling.

In many parts of the world the price of everything just keeps increasing, but in the U.S., costs are no longer going up quite as fast. For the first time since August, the pace of inflation took a bit of a breather, the consumer price index was up 8.3 percent in April from a year ago. That's down from the 8.5 percent increase in March.

But that little dip is a little consolation when the cost of everything from gas and food to used cars and housing is still so high. With inflation still near a 40-year-high, the president is pinning a lot of the blame on Russia as well as Republicans.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Under my predecessor, the great MAGA king, the deficit increased every single year he was president. They don't want to solve inflation by lowering the cost, they want to solve it by raising taxes and lowering your income.


CHURCH: But is that tiny drop in inflation an indication that the worst is over? Or should the U.S. remain cautious? I put that question to Ryan Patel, from Claremont Graduate University's Drucker School of Management.


RYAN PATEL, SENIOR FELLOW, DRUCKER SCHOOL OF MANAGEMENT, CLAREMONT GRADUATE UNIVERSITY: Well, when you think of the core inflation, right, the volatile -- excluding the food and gas prices, it did go up, it wasn't, you know, the cost of food, shelter, airline prices, and new vehicles were a large contribution to the increase of all those items.

So, we're not out of it. I also think that we were all looking for, or maybe hoping for a watershed moment that we think the peak was here but it's still early to say that we are there, and I think these monthly, you know, Labor Department reports are going to be -- will look -- look real closely on this next month as well.

CHURCH: Right, and of course despite this very small dip in inflation, Americans are still having to make some tough choices as they battle higher food and gas prices. How long might it be before inflation comes down to a more manageable level, do you think?

PATEL: I mean, that's a great question. I -- I don't think it's going to come down as fast as it went up for sure. And I do think it's going to take a little bit more a time than anticipated. The Federal Reserve is going to increase, the Fed, you know, increase the interest to five more times possibly by the end of 2022, that indicates to you that they need to be more aggressive.

But it does take time, Rosemary, to feel to get to a normal level. So, I mean, in all hopes that we get down to somewhere, you know, less than 8 to 6 percent by the end of the year. But they still have a lot of work to be done. It also means that all these other variables, supply chain in those aspects kind of come into line.

But it's going to take at least a year or two years to stabilize this unless, you know, the Fed can really, really, you know, dial in the other aspects to this.


CHURCH: Well, time for a short break, but we have more ahead from Russia's war in Ukraine. We will hear from a woman rescued from the rubble of a government building, flattened by Russian missiles. We're back in just a moment.



CHURCH: Ukraine's military claims it's regaining ground from Russian troops in the northern Kharkiv region. A number of villages northwest of the city are now back in Ukrainian control but still in range of Russian artillery fire.

Nick Paton Walsh spoke with one woman who barely escaped with her life after a Russian missile strike on Kharkiv.


NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL SECURITY EDITOR: Sometimes places that speak only of death, throw a jewel of life. This is the first time Ayuna has stood in this spot, since 72 days ago she was dragged out from the rubble here. Her husband, Andre, had been scouring it, looking for her for three hours.

She remembers the cupboard.

AYUNA MOROZOVA, KHARKIV BLAST SURVIVOR (through translator): That was where I was standing.

WALSH: The multiple rocket attack on this the Kharkiv regional administration was an early sign of the ferocious, cowardly brutality that Russia would unleash on civilian targets. This is Ayuna then. She had been serving coffee and cookies to soldiers, saw a flash and curled into a ball.

MOROZOVA (through translator): I feel a physical manifestation of fear. I don't like cookies anymore. A box fell on me, and I remember the smell.

WALSH: She asked to step away, saying she is sick with butterflies, like she hasn't felt since before races when she used to swim professionally. Andrey picks up the story.


ANDREY MOROZOVA, AYUNA MOROZOVA'S HUSBAND (through translator): When I heard her voice, I was crawling across the rubble. And emergency services were trying to kick me out. I pulled a man out and then heard her. I did not plan to leave her here.

WALSH: The soldiers waiting in the corridor outside from had died. The young woman in the basement below her died. Their bodies not found for three weeks. Yet somehow, the concrete here fell shielding Ayuna.

AYUNA MOROZOVA, KHARKIV BLAST SURVIVOR (through translator): I knew I was alive, in pain, but nothing broken. But I was worried that I would be left and never be heard. The first time they heard me, they started to get me out and the second missile came. I was properly trapped.

WALSH: A rescuer eventually heard her.

AYUNA MOROZOVA (through translator): Andrey got closer, and I said it was me and he cried. They said that they should not lift the baton on me, but Andrey did, alone. It got easier to breathe. I was surprised, as I thought I was still at ground level. The ambulance guy said it's your second birthday, you are alive.

WALSH: Fragments of a Kharkiv now past pepper this shell, cleaning up and trying to sweep away its trauma.

AYUNA MOROZOVA (through translator): I sleep with the lights on, and when there is a loud car or God forbid, a jet plane, I brace. The nightmares that I am again lying there in shivering and cold, and nobody hears my cries. That also stops me from sleeping.

WALSH: Ayuna was born in Russia but could no longer talk to her relatives there. She says they believe Russian state media absurd claims this is a limited operation against Nazis.

AYUNA MOROZOVA (through translator): They say that it was my stupidity, and that I don't need to be here. I hope when time passes, our children can talk, but I can't talk to them now. Russia has lost its mind and cannot control its president. They are all each responsible, every citizen.

WALSH: The story here not of ruins lost or burial and dust, but instead, of a feverish energy that burns through the buildings bones as Kharkiv gets to decide where its pieces fall now.

Nick Paton Walsh, CNN, Kharkiv, Ukraine.


CHURCH: And we'll be right back.



CHURCH: In the coming hours, the U.N. Security Council is set to discuss the new Taliban decree which orders Afghan women to cover their faces in public. The order has sparked international condemnation.

And as CNN's Paula Newton reports, protests even on the streets of Kabul.


PAULA NEWTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Defiance in Afghanistan, women protesting in the capital Tuesday after the Taliban strips yet another freedom away.

UNKNOWN (through translator): Ever since the Taliban seize power in Afghanistan, all their projects have been against women. They want to limit and eliminate women from the field of society and politics.

NEWTON: A new Taliban decree over the weekend orders all women to cover their faces, except their eyes in public or around men who aren't close adult relatives. It's to avoid provocation the group spokesman says. Any woman who doesn't comply could see her male guardian jailed or lose his job.

When the Taliban took over last year, they promised to respect women's rights within Islamic law, but the oppression of women remains a hallmark of Taliban rule.

Since last August they have bar girls from returning to school, banned women from traveling long distances without a male chaperone, and placed strict limitations on where women can work. Now, this latest decree becomes another measure chipping away at women's rights in Afghanistan, and earning condemnation from western leaders.

NED PRICE, SPOKESMAN, U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT: No country can succeed that holds back half of its population, its women, its girls. The Taliban's policy towards women, we think, are affront to human rights and will continue to impair their relations with the international community.

NEWTON: The State Department spokesperson saying the U.S. is working with international partners to influence the Taliban to reverse some of its restrictive rules on women. But some Afghan women's rights advocates say, those changes would have to come from within.

MAHBOUBA SERAJ, JOURNALIST & WOMEN'S RIGHTS ADVOCATE IN KABUL: I don't want anything from the countries of the world, from the governments, because they will promise, and that promise is never going to take place. And I have seen it.


This is the time for the man of Afghanistan to stand next to their women. Don't you think it's about time that these men should stand next to us, and ask the government what do you think you're doing to our women? This is their right. They can -- they don't have to cover their faces.

NEWTON: As the Taliban focuses on restricting women, the humanitarian crisis worsens. Nearly 20 million people in Afghanistan facing acute hunger, the United Nations warned Monday, food insecurity rising, while human rights diminish, as the Taliban lives up to its fundamentalist roots. Paula Newton, CNN.


CHURCH: I'm Rosemary Church. For our international viewers Inside Africa is next. And for those of you in North America I'll be right back with more news. Do stay with us.



CHURCH: More vaccinated people in the United States are dying of COVID-19. That is according to a CNN analysis of data from the CDC. It shows more than 40 percent of COVID deaths in January, and February were among vaccinated people when the Omicron variant was surging. However, less than a third of them had gotten a booster shot. A vaccine expert puts this analysis into perspective.


PAUL OFFIT, DIRECTOR, VACCINE EDUCATION CENTER, CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL OF PHILADELPHIA: I think we should redefine what it means to be fully vaccinated. I think for those people who are over 65, this is a three- dose vaccine, a three-dose primary series. If you are over 12 and you have the kind of health problems that put you at risk for serious COVID, this is a three-dose vaccine.

I think the term booster has confusing people. And the CDC's current definition of fully vaccinated really is two doses still. But I think this is a three-dose vaccine with that third dose being given four to six months later in certain groups to be truly protected against serious illness.

If you ask Americans what it means to be fully vaccinated you get different answers. So, I do think we need to be clear about this primary series. The goal of the vaccine is to prevent serious illness, and I think when the vaccine first rolled out, two doses was highly protective against serious illness, certainly for people less than 50.

But we've learned since then that if you have co-morbidities where you need a kind of healthcare promise that put you at risk and you are over 12, or certainly if you are over 65, it's a three-dose primary series and that is what we have to, I think, make clear to the public, because the word booster, I think is confusing.


CHURCH: And that was Dr. Paul Offit sharing his perspective.

Losing a life to overdose every five minutes. That is how the top Biden administration official in charge of the nation's drug policy is describing devastating and alarming new data from the CDC.

The report shows drug overdose deaths in the U.S. set a record high for the second year in a row. Nearly 108,000 Americans suffered a fatal overdose last year and almost 50 percent increase from 2019. The year before the pandemic started. Most of the deaths, about two-thirds involved a synthetic opioid like Fentanyl. Overall, drug overdoses killed about a quarter of many Americans last year as COVID.

A shortage of baby formula in the United States is getting worse every week as supplies on store shelves dwindle around the country. Various recalls are being blamed for the shortage. Along with inflation and supply chain issues, leaving some mothers distressed and wondering if they will run out of food for their babies.


COURTNEY HOUSTON, MOTHER: It's terrifying. It's terrifying when that's the only true source of nutrition that your baby gets. Because it would get to the point where you go to the store and you almost cry.


CHURCH: A data agency says 43 percent of stores across the U.S. have zero formula left in stock. That number has been increasing slowly since the start of 2021, when a shortage of up to 8 percent was considered stable.

In at least eight states stocks are less than half of what they should be, and the issue isn't as simple as having mothers switch to breast feeding their children. A columnist with the Washington Post and a mother herself details how difficult a task breast feeding is, and how many women don't have the ability to do it.


ALYSSA ROSENBERG, OPINION COLUMNIST, THE WASHINGTON POST: I really want to emphasize that breastfeeding is wonderful. I've been lucky enough to do it with two kids. It is not something that automatically happens. You don't give to a baby and flip a switch and have, you know, milk come pouring out of you.

Some women aren't born with the glandular tissue that they need to be able to produce milk. If you have a traumatic birth, I have a good friend with a post-partum hemorrhage or if you have a retained placenta after you deliver, your body may be too busy healing to make the milk that your baby needs.

And that doesn't begin to get to questions of public policy. You know, it's appalling how many women in this country don't have access to safe sanitary spaces to pump. Or time at work to do it on a regular basis. And so, you can want to breastfeed more than anything else in the world, and it can't just happen through absolutely no fault of your own.

And you know, in previous generations, a baby would in that circumstance would have a wet nurse it would starve or it might end up eating a homemade formula made of evaporated milk and karo syrup.

[03:50:00] And you know, formula is a blessing that can keep babies alive and healthy but it has to be available. And so, you know, it would be absolutely wonderful if every woman in America who wanted to breastfeed her children had the physical capability to do it and employers who made that a priority, that is absolutely not the case.


CHURCH: Well, wildfires in New Mexico have cost the state $73 million to fight, according to the governor. Most of that money has gone toward fighting the Calf Canyon and Hermits Peak fires. Two massive wildfires that merged together burning almost 250,000 acres.

At least four other fires are burning in the state, which has applied for federal disaster funding to help cover the costs.

And we do want to recap one of our top stories. Multiple homes are burning in the Laguna Hills area of Orange County, near Los Angeles. An evacuation order is now in effect for some neighborhoods. No word on the cause of the fire which started Wednesday afternoon and quickly grew to almost 200 acres which was fueled by strong gusty winds.

So, let's get the latest on this wild fire. We want to go now to CNN meteorologist Pedram Javaheri. So, Pedram, what is the latest on this?

PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN METEOROLOGIST: You know, residents here have been told, Rosemary, to shut off their water, shut off irrigation and try to limit any use of water just to kind of allow the firefighting efforts to maximize what is left of the waters there to utilize.

Of course, upwards of 60 different types of resources have been used by firefighting efforts here to try to fight these flames as well, whether it be fixed wing planes or just down in the surface battling the elements here by foot.

This is essentially what it looks like the lay of the land across this region of California, which, of course, we've talk about it in detail in recent months of the severity of the drought, the entirety of the state of California dealing with drought right now.

Southern California, southern portions of Orange County sitting underneath a severe drought. So, the situation is certainly as bad as it gets when it comes to leading its way to an explosive fire weather situation.

And here's what it looks like. When it comes to spot fires, we have seen multiple reports of spot fires and the gusty winds atop the canyons, the hilltops here kind of pick up these embers, deposit them downstream, and essentially set the stage for additional fires to redevelop.

This is how you get fires that expand and essentially spread very quickly in a matter of just a few hours. And unfortunately, that is what's happening here on the southern tier of Orange County. So, some mandatory evacuations, some voluntary evacuations in place here. We know the coverage of the particular fire, approaching 200 acres at this hour and of course, we talk about the drought situation. But look how just how dry it's been in 2022 alone across areas such as Long Beach. Not too far from the north, that would be closest reliable rain gauge I could find there at Long Beach airport.

Only 1.14 inches of rainfall has come down across the area so far in the first five plus months of the year, about eight inches is what is normal, 14 percent of the norm. Now keep in mind, you are only getting 14 percent in the wet season, it kind of speaks to just how dry it is across this landscape.

And again, sets the stage for fires to be explosive and this particular one is not only wind driven, it is also terrain driven which makes it that much more difficult. One hundred ninety-five acres consumed. Containment set to zero percent. And this is what we are watching here when it comes to the winds across the area, which into the overnight hours, they have come down a little bit generally three, five miles per hour.

These are official observation sites. Unfortunately, when you take a look at the actual canyons, the terrain there induces stronger wind speeds that could get to 30 or 40 miles per hour that allows these fires to spread.

And Rosemary, look at the forecast going in the next six to ten days, well below average conditions when it comes to precipitation across that region as well. So, we don't expect much in the way of rainfall across that region of California any time soon.

CHURCH: Just incredible, isn't it? All right, many thanks to our Pedram Javaheri as always.

I want you to take a look at this, a massive dust storm engulfed part of route 66 in Texas. The wall of dust turned the sky orange with one resident saying her neighborhood looked like the surface of Mars. Local authorities issued dust warnings for five different counties and warned drivers the dust storms could limit visibility on the roads.

And sky gazers will get a treat this weekend, either late Sunday or early Monday depending on where you live, you can catch a total lunar eclipse and it will be a rare super blood moon, it's called a blood moon because sunlight filtering through the Earth's atmosphere, it gives the moon a reddish color and a super moon appears brighter and larger than a normal full moon.

And this will be visible in parts of the Americas, Europe, and Africa, and the East Pacific. So, keep an eye out for that.

Well, for the first time this season, Major League Baseball has been forced to postpone a game due to COVID.


Wednesday's games between the Cleveland Guardians and Chicago White Sox called off less an hour before game time after several Guardians members tested positive, including the team's manager. No make-up date has been announced.

And the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue is trying something new for the first time. In its 58-year history it's showcasing a model with a scar from caesarean section. Lots of women have such scars and many maybe thinking what's the big deal.

But the magazine famous for flaunting highly unrealistic standards of female beauty decided to make an effort to change culture and societal narratives about women's body, especially around motherhood. Better late than never, right? Well, the model and mother is Kelly Hughes whose baby was delivered via c-section three years ago. That's great.

And thanks so much for your company. I'm Rosemary Church. Have yourselves a wonderful day. CNN Newsroom with Max Foster is next.