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Ukraine with Slim Chance to Retake Severodonetsk; Ukraine Losing More Troops; Team Normal Believed Trump Lost the Election; Recession is Getting More Palpable; Asylum Seekers Not Giving Up. Aired 3-4a ET

Aired June 14, 2022 - 03:00   ET




PAULA NEWTON, CNN ANCHOR: And a warm welcome to our viewers joining us from all around the world. I'm Paula Newton.

Just ahead here on CNN newsroom, Russia advances in the east with overwhelming firepower. New satellite images show bridges into the key city of Severodonetsk are now impassable.

And central banks across the globe struggle to tame rampant inflation as global markets take a nosedive.

And a green light for the U.K.'s controversial plan to send asylum seekers to Rwanda. The government says the first flight will take off in the coming hours even if it carries just one passenger.

So after nearly four months of war, the Russian military is apparently gaining the upper hand in a grinding battle for Ukraine's industrial heartland. Now Ukraine says that Russian forces have seized control of the center of Severodonetsk. It is a critical study in Russia's push to take over that wider Donbas region.

Now on top of that, Ukrainian officials say that all three bridges into that city are now impassable, making it even harder to get civilians out or of course to get aid in. This satellite the satellite images that you see here reveal some of the damage to key bridges in and around the city. As Russia presses its advantage in both air power and artillery, Ukraine is issuing increasingly urgent calls for more help from the west.

CNN's Matthew Chance has our story.

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: There is no end in sight to this war, but its horror is plain to see. An old woman crosses herself in prayer as troops fight street to street. It's the battle here in and around the city of Severodonetsk where the Ukrainian president says the fate of the Donbas and eastern Ukraine is being decided. But it seems more a case of when, not if, this devastated region will fall into Russian hands. The embattled Ukrainian president is again expressing his frustration.

"Ukraine needs modern missile defense system," he says in his latest address. "Did we get them? No. Do we need them? Yes."

On both sides there are signs of fatigue setting in. But these latest images from the Russian defense ministry show its forces on the offensive. Squadron of attack helicopters, it's in what Russian military official say are Ukrainian positions. "Target hit" the pilot reports. "Thank you very much guys, God be with you" comes the response. By concentrating its fire, Russia appears to be gaining momentum.


UNKNOWN (through translator): Operational tactical and army aviation hit three Ukrainian command post in 25 areas of concentration of manpower and military equipment. As a result, more than 150 Ukrainian nationals, six tanks, five filled artillery pieces and ten special vehicles of various purposes were destroyed.


CHANCE: Of course, Russia is paying a heavy price for waging this war. What it calls its special military operation in Ukraine, too. It is estimated to have lost thousands of troops and countless tanks and other armored vehicles. Some of which have been placed here in the center of the capital Kyiv on public display. But nearly four months into this grinding and relentless conflict, Ukraine seems dangerously outnumbered and outgunned.

From the Black Sea, Russia's naval bombardment continues. These four cruise missiles fired at a warehouse of antitank weapons supplied by the United States and its allies, according to the Russian military. Ukraine says the missiles hit mostly residential areas in the west of the country, injuring 22 civilians, including a 12-year-old child.

Of course, Ukrainian forces are fighting back, like here near the northeastern city of Kharkiv, where they say this old captured rocket launcher has been turned on the invaders. But Ukrainian officials say that they need many more long-range weapons from the U.S. and its western allies if they are to push, or even hold the Russians back.


Matthew Chance, CNN, Kyiv.

NEWTON: now for more on this we want to bring in CNN's Salma Abdelaziz, she is live for us in Kyiv. Matthew's report really it makes clear how brutal this battle is. And the fact that Ukraine does not have an edge at this point in time, that they are as Matthew says, outmanned and outgunned. At this point now though, what options does Ukraine have given that they bluntly say that they are desperate for more weapons?

SALMA ABDELAZIZ, CNN REPORTER: I mean, you are looking at a Ukrainian force that is one-tenth the size of Russia's in terms of firepower, 10 times more firepower on the Russian side, absolutely the tide is turning in Russia's favor. Ukrainian forces are running out of weapons. They are losing skilled soldiers on the front lines, up to 100 troops a day are dying. And when you look at the Donbas, when you look at the battleground, it seems like it's a matter of when, not if Severedonetsk will fall. Take a look at what President Zelenskyy said about this last night.


VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, PRESIDENT OF UKRAINE (through translator): The price of this battle for us is very high, it's just scary, and we draw the attention of our partners on a daily basis, to the fact that only a sufficient number of modern artilleries for Ukraine will ensure our advantage. And finally, the end of the Russian torture of the Ukrainian Donbas.


ABDELAZIZ: So, artillery is superior, more missiles, and of course that use of air power is able to push back these Ukrainian forces. Ukrainian officials say that 70 to 80 percent of Severodonetsk is now under Russian control including the city center. Three bridges, the three main bridges that get you out of Severodonetsk, those are all impassable now.

Officials say that evacuations continue every minute, but as you can imagine, Paula, those are extremely difficult, given the constant artillery shelling, and given that these bridges are obviously blown up. And this is not just about territorial losses here, there are families caught in the middle.

Last night President Zelenskyy said one of the latest victims was a six-year-old boy in that fighting in the Donbas. And if Severodonetsk falls, and again, it seems like it's a matter of when not if, it's a major victory for President Putin. It takes them one step closer to that goal of taking the Donbas region completely and eventually annexing it as they did with Crimea.

One step closer to forming that strategic land bridge that connects Russian territory down to Crimea and those ports in the Black Sea. And it's a major cultural victory for President Putin, who likened himself to Peter the Great just a few days ago who has this very imperial vision of the world who believes that brute force is how things are run.

And you have President Zelenskyy on the other side appealing to the western world, appealing to the international community, essentially asking, is this how we want the world order to be? brute force to win over anything else. Paula?

NEWTON: Yes, and not just Ukraine and Russia but the west as well is likely at a crossroads here, deciding what to do next. Salma Abdelaziz for us in Kyiv, thanks for that update, I appreciate it.

Donald Trump's own attorney general says the former U.S. president was detached from reality after the 2020 election. And former aides claim Trump spent election night loosening to Rudy Giuliani's drunken rant that the election was stolen.

CNN's Jessica Schneider has the details on the latest January 6th committee hearings.


JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: The January 6th committee back to spotlight how former President Trump was intent on spreading lies about the 2020 election being stolen, choosing to listen to his allegedly drunk adviser Rudy Giuliani on election night. Instead of the aides telling Trump that he was likely to lose.

BILL STEPIEN, FORMER TRUMP CAMPAIGN MANAGER: My recommendation wants to say that votes were still being counted, it's too early to tell. The president disagreed with that.

UNKNOWN: Was there anyone in that conversation who, in your observation had -- had too much to drink?

STEPIEN: Mayor Giuliani. And the mayor was definitely intoxicated.

SCHNEIDER: Giuliani's lawyer denies Giuliani he was drunk. It was Giuliani's advice that the former president ultimately followed that night.


SCHNEIDER: The committee playing taped depositions from former Trump advisers, including his former campaign manager Bill Stepien who was a no-show at the hearing after his wife went into labor. Multiple former officials, including a Trump White House lawyer and the president's own attorney general Bill Barr, explain that the conspiracy theories that Trump was voicing were flat out false, including the one about Dominion voting machines, switching votes.


STEPIEN: I never saw any evidence whatsoever to sustain those allegations.

WILLIAM BARR, FORMER UNITED STATES ATTORNEY GENERAL: I told them that it was crazy stuff and that they were wasting their time.

SCHNEIDER: President Trump refused to listen, despite Barr repeatedly shooting down the lies.

BARR: The claims of fraud were bullshit, completely bogus and silly, based on complete misinformation. I thought boy, if he really believes the stuff, he has, you know, lost contact with -- he's become detached with the reality.

SCHNEIDER: Witness testimony portrayed president Trump as grasping at conspiracy theories after he lost the election.

BARR: He said more people voted in Philadelphia than there were voters. And that was absolutely rubbish. There was nothing strange about the Philadelphia turnout. RICHARD DONOGHUE, U.S. ATTORNEY, EASTERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK: So

many of these allegations that when you gave him a very direct answer on one of them, he wouldn't fight us on it, but he would move to another allegation.

SCHNEIDER: Stepien said he considered himself part of, quote, "team normal" on the Trump campaign as opposed to Rudy Giuliani's team, which included former Trump advisor Peter Navarro who are pushing multiple false claims.

ALEX CANNON, FORMER TRUMP CAMPAIGN LAWYER: I mentioned at that time that this is a, Chris Krebs had recently released a report that saying that the election was secure. And I believe Mr. Navarro accused me of being an agent of the deep state, working with Chris Krebs against the president

SCHNEIDER: Pushing the big lie turned out to be highly lucrative, the committee alleging Trump raised $250 million from donors based on those lies.

AMANDA WICK, JANUARY 6TH COMMITTEE INVESTIGATOR: On November 9th 2020, President Trump created a separate entity called the save America PAC. Most of the money raised went to this newly created PAC, not to election related litigation.

SCHNEIDER: The committee saying, five million of that $250 million went to the company that put on the January 6th rally at the ellipse near the White House. That morphed into a march to the capitol, and ultimately the insurrection.

Jessica Schneider, CNN, Washington.


NEWTON: Now I spoke earlier with Michael Genovese. He is the president of the Global Policy Institute at Loyola Marymount University. And I asked him for his big takeaways from Monday's hearing.


MICHAEL GENOVESE, PRESIDENT, GLOBAL POLICY INSTITUTE, LOYOLA MARYMOUNT UNIVERSITY: Committee systematically dismantled the case that Trump was making. And they did so by using Republicans, insiders, campaign folks, the legal team to basically tear Trump's case apart. His defense collapsed faster than the third-grade science project.

And the interesting debate that you alluded to in your story was that there were basically two different teams within the White House. There was team normal as team -- as Bill Stepien said, his campaign manager. And then there was team Rudy which Attorney General Barr called the clown car.

Team normal kept on saying you lost. There's no fraud. Get over it, get past it, and move on. But he had those voices, Rudy and Powell and a few others saying no, no, you won, claim that you won. And it basically played into what Trump needed to hear, because Donald Trump can't be seen as a loser.

He sees himself and his fragile ego as a winner and when he sees, when he -- if he admits that he lost it, he admits he's a loser, and I think he's incapable of doing that. So that was one of the biggest takeaways of the entire process that the internal debate was so clear, so overwhelming, so many people saying that you lost.

NEWTON: And he was just refusing to listen. You know, another stunning revelation, this line from the committee, the big lie was also the big rip off. How important was that revelation by this committee and do you think that resonates, this is the important question, right? Does it resonate with Trump supporters who apparently gave nearly a quarter billion dollars for what was like a bogus legal defense fund.

GENOVESE: This is something people can get their hands around, they understand it. It's kind of fraud that they were swindled. But Donald Trump has monetized the presidency more than any other president. Mostly after you leave office, the president will sign a book contract, he will get on corporate boards, will do speaking, make a lot of money.

Trump used the presidency to make money. He used it with his hotels, and he used with a lot of his connections that he got his daughter sweetheart licensing contracts. He did it from day one. This is an example of using this effort to overturn an election to also raise money. Because he raised about $250 million as you mentioned. And it was supposed to go to the legal defense team, but it went to a lot of personal things for Trump, his hotels. Money went to Don Junior's girlfriend to give a speech.


And so, this is the kind of thing that people can understand legally there is something wrong here. But morally and legally, and if there is a case to be made against Trump legally, this may be the foundation of it.


NEWTON: Our thanks to Michael Genovese there. Now global markets rattled after a steep sell off on Wall Street, the latest numbers in a live report.

Plus, why migrants hoping to find asylum in the U.K. might soon be forced to build a new life thousands of kilometers away in Africa.


NEWTON: Investors and the markets are really rattled at this point in time right across the globe by the health of the U.S. economy as growth slows, and inflation rises. Now if you look at that top line numbers were quite ugly in the United States, but Europe trying to rebound there, and Asia is actually off its lows and showing some signs of a rebound as well. At this point in time everyone is waiting to see what central banks

will do, even on Wall Street, though, they are looking for some type of a rebound futures there also seems to be rising, especially from the tech heavy NASDAQ which has been losing so much in the last few days, and in fact weeks.

Now the concern, as you can see, is mostly with those interest rates and fears of inflation. We are looking at a Dow that might be up better than 1 percent, but that's futures. Don't get too excited after having dropped. Remember 900 points.

Now, we have to tell you as well, the statistic that is getting a lot of attention the S&P 500 closing in bear market territory. And that ongoing Wall Street sell-off coming just days after that all-important Federal Reserve meeting and the inflation rate rising faster than expected last month.

Some fear the Fed may act more aggressively with interest rate hikes, and the Fed is not the only central banks set to meet this week for possibly announce a rate hike. Monday the Bank of England instead to announce its latest interest rate decision, and as you see there plenty of others central banks having to make decisions.

We want to bring in CNN's Clare Sebastian who's been looking at all of this for us live from London. You know, central banks have been a pain to get this just right without really pounding already fragile economies. It's a task right now that seems to be getting tougher by the day.

CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Paula, this is the big question facing, certainly central banks like the Fed and the Bank of England where inflation is in generational highs, growth is also slowing, the labor market is looking like it has actually shrunk during the pandemic, meaning that unemployment numbers are actually artificially low.

And there's more distress there than it seems on the surface. How do you bring an economy like that, how do you bring inflation down without tipping it into a recession?

This is something interestingly that the Bank of England governor, Andrew Bailey addressed in recent comments, he said no central banks don't have the tools to sort of, get ahead of shocks in the economy, and prevent inflationary effects from them.


But yes, of course even though they don't have the tools to get ahead of them they should react when they happen, and try to adjust monetary policy, judge it as to how they should bring inflation numbers down given the broader picture. But it is extremely complex.

And then you have other central banks like Japan where inflation is just at around 2 percent. And they actually want to keep inflation which is sending the yen to around a 20-year low against the U.S. dollar. So incredibly complex calculations, and meanwhile, stocks rebounding a

bit today, perhaps a little bit of by the dip in Asia, and in Europe as well after quite a few days of declines. But there is a concern around what the Fed will do if we will see a three-quarter percent rate rise this week after. That was telegraphed in several reports Monday. That could lead to more volatility and of course when the U.S. sneezes the rest of the world quite often catches a cold.

NEWTON: Absolutely. I don't have a lot of time left, Clare, but we have to say President Biden will be speaking about the economy later today. He likes to blame Putin for inflation is his words right now.

SEBASTIAN: Yes, he called it Putin's tax on both food and gas, Putin's price hike. This is something political. Of course, gas prices at a record high in the U.S. and that is politically difficult for the president. But you know, to an extent, he is right, the war in Ukraine has driven up food and energy prices while inflation in the U.S. was at 8.6 percent in May, energy was more like 35 percent.

So, you can see that it is the major contributor there. But one interesting thing, Paula, is that inflation has been rising quicker over the last two years in the U.S. than it has in the E.U. a year ago. And the U.S. inflation was at 5 percent, and the E.U. it was at 2 percent. So, you can see that this was happening even before the war in Ukraine.

NEWTON: Yes. And some wonder if that wasn't due to those COVID funds, those recovery funds flushing through the economy.

Clare Sebastian, as always, thank you so much.

Now the U.K. is set to send the first flight of asylum seekers to Rwanda sometime today. And that's even if there is only one person on board. And that's after a London court of appeals refused to grant an injunction on Monday, the controversial deportation plan has drawn a wave of criticism and legal challenges.

CNN's Nada Bashir is covering this live from Paris. You know, right groups vowed to keep fighting this scheme even if they have lost the most recent legal battles. But I'm wondering what the impact of this will actually be. And I know you've spoken to refugees, and what do they say? Are they determined still to make the trek to the U.K.?

NADA BASHIR, CNN REPORTER: Well, look, Paula, we spoke to those asylum seekers and refugees waiting to cross the English Channel from here in France to the U.K. Many of them told us that they remain undeterred, that they have already been through so much through such long and difficult journeys just to get to this point, that the idea that they may risk deportation once they get to the U.K. is simply just another obstacle.

But as you mentioned there, we are hearing that those legal challenges have failed. That fight is set to go ahead. But it's important to know that more than 100 people were previously expected to be on that flight, but since that first legal challenge on Friday we have seen individual deportation notices being canceled. And we have spoken to a charity organization which works with asylum

seekers both here in France, and also in the U.K. And many of the asylum seekers that they have been in touch with have in fact had those deportation notice canceled, they believe only around seven people are left on that flight.

And as we mentioned there, the home office has said that that flight will go ahead tonight even if there is just one person on board. So that's brought into question the entire policy as a whole, whether or not it is safe for asylum seekers to go or whether or not there needs to be more legal considerations around this given the fact that we have seen so many people taken off of that flight.

And while for those migrants here in France who say that they are still planning to go ahead to the U.K., the idea that people could be removed from these flights may have soften the edges of that deportation threat posed by the government. Take a listen.


BASHIR: For days, weeks, sometimes even months refugees here can only wait. Once notoriously known as the jungle, this camp in northern France was once seen as the final stop in a desperate attempt to reach the U.K. But now, their dangerous trip across the English Channel comes with an added risk.

Volunteers here are handing out vital advice pamphlets, warning that an illegal crossing into the U.K. could now mean deportation to Rwanda. The message here, do not panic, we will help you. But for some, the news is too much to bear.

If you are told when you get the London, that you are being sent to Rwanda, what will you do then?

GULJURBAKHI, AFGHAN ASYLUM SEEKER: Then, maybe I'm no go to Rwanda, never I will go to Rwanda.


BASHIR: In a nearby camp, we meet a group of young men from Sudan, they are too afraid to appear on camera. Many left the country as teenagers fleeing militia violence. They tell us they remained determined to cross the channel despite the threat of deportation.

But you still want to go to the U.K. even though --

ADAM, SUDANESE ASYLUM SEEKER (through translator): Yes, God willing, we hope they will let us settle in the U.K. But if they deported to Rwanda, then we will go. Honestly, I am afraid, but God knows what is best.

BASHIR: But on the other side of the channel, the situation for those already facing deportation is also strained. Many are being held at detention centers like this one, just outside of London. Among them is Sudanese asylum seeker Kareem. We are not using his real name to protect his identity. Kareem is unreachable while in detention, but his legal representatives tell us he received notice that he would be deported to Rwanda in May, and sent us this return testimony.

UNKNOWN: I was shocked. I didn't think any country would do that. Why did they rescue me from the waves to send me there? They should have left me in the water. It would have been better. I won't go, I'd rather be dead.

BASHIR: The British government claims its new program is aimed at disrupting people smuggling networks, and will deter people from making the perilous journey across the English Channel. The U.N.'s refugee agency has described the U.K.'s deal with Rwanda as unlawful, warning that the scheme lacks adequate safeguards to ensure refugee protection.

Meanwhile, human rights watch has lambasted the British home secretary's claim that Rwanda will provide a safe haven for refugees. The organization says the British government has cherry picked, and even ignored facts on the ground, pointing to what they have described as Rwanda's appalling human rights record.

It's an issue which has sparked controversy within the government's own home office. With some civil servants marching a legal challenge seeking to halt all deportation flights to Rwanda. And it's even triggered an inquiry by the House of Lords.

Back in Calais volunteers say the uncertainty is taking a devastating toll on asylum seekers.

CLARE MOSELEY, FOUNDER, CARE4CALAIS: The conversations we've had with people, they say to us, I've lost all my hope, the future is black, there is nothing left for me to live for. So, it is critically important that his plan is absolutely examined in fine details to make sure that it is lawful, and if it isn't, then nobody must be sent.

BASHIR: While some here say they remain undeterred, and will still try to reach the U.K., others are stuck in limbo. Unable to return home, and desperate for the security the U.K. once offered, but also unwilling to risk being deported to Rwanda.


BASHIR: And look, Paula, typically over the summer months we see the number of people trying to cross the channel into the U.K. going up significantly. We've already seen thousands attempting to make that crossing since the beginning of this year. The question is, whether this government policy will be enough of a deterrence to bring that number down.

NEWTON: Yes, and, as you said, the U.K. determined to go ahead with this policy. Nada Bashir for us in Pars, thanks so much for your report. I appreciate it.

Now details are emerging of a possible trip by U.S. President Joe Biden to Saudi Arabia. What we are learning about the potential visit, and why it's reviving controversies old and new. Plus, it has been nine days since a British journalist and indigenous

affairs expert disappeared in Brazil's Amazon. What some indigenous organizations have to say on the matter, ahead.



NEWTON: It looks more and more like U.S. President Joe Biden is planning a trip to Saudi Arabia. The president was coy with reporters on the matter on Saturday but contradicted himself by saying he was going to discuss national security in the region.

Now as gasoline prices hit $5 a gallon in the U.S., the potential trip is reviving old controversies. As a candidate, Mr. Biden said he viewed the kingdom as quote, "a pariah." And this visit might involve a visit with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, or MBS. U.S. intelligence believes the prince authorized the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

For more, we want to bring in CNN's international diplomatic editor Nic Robertson, he is live for us in London. Good to see you, Nic.

And you've been following this really since Khashoggi's murder and Saudi U.S. relations for a long longer than that. Do you think the Saudis are confident that far from being a pariah state, that the White House will again embrace them, because they are crucial strategic partner?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: The embrace is there because of the sort of, deep historic ties between the two countries. Eighty years the United States and Saudi Arabia have been good friends and have seen mutual cooperation to be mutually beneficial. And that sort of bigger picture hasn't changed. And embrace between President Biden and Mohammad -- Mohammad bin Salman, the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, that's unlikely.

Although President Biden was ready to have a handshake with MBS at the G20 Summit in Rome last year, MBS didn't show up. It's going to be awkward this go around for sure, because of the way that Biden has framed MBS and his approach to MBS and his championing of democracy around the world, and MBS being, you know, a lightning rod for all of those that would criticize the Saudi -- Saudi Arabia, criticizing its human rights record.

So, Biden has found himself in a really difficult real politics situation. The real politic of is that Saudi Arabia has huge oil resources, it's one of the world's swing producers and the United States, President Biden has look to Saudi Arabia over recent months to make up the shortfall in oil production in part because of the war in Ukraine to offset the fact that the European Union and other nations are not taking oil from Russia.

And Saudi Arabia hasn't moved forward with that, and part of the quid pro quo behind the scenes is expected to be a reproach more in relations, more directly between President Biden and MBS. But the White House at the moment is saying he is expecting to see MBS, but not going beyond that. That the main point of contact for Biden would be the king, King Salman.

But King Salman is old, he is ailing. MBS has really established himself as the power for the future of Saudi Arabia. And the reality is, he is going to be around for decades and decades. The reality as we see it today at least, and therefore, that this historic relationship needs to continue.

And this is a time of need for President Biden. And this is a time of need for MBS. He want -- he does not want to be shunned by President Biden. He wants to be a regional power and being shunned by the United States does not help him in that regard.

NEWTON: Yes. And White House will try to paint this as necessary as you said, given the price of oil right now and the fact that basically for Saudi Arabia, it's, you know, turning on a light switch and the oil starts flowing again.

Nic Robertson for us as always, thank you so much. I appreciate it.

Now workers at Brazil's agency for indigenous people are going on strike starting in a few hours, protesting the government's response to the disappearance of two men who went missing in a part of the Amazon known for illegal mining and drug trafficking.

Now, the strike will follow another demonstration led by Brazilian indigenous groups Monday. Protesters held posters reading justice for Dom and Bruno, and ask for peace in indigenous lands and protection for forest defenders.

CNN's Matt Rivers has more.


MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, these two men disappeared back on June 5th. They were of course indigenous affairs expert, Bruno Araujo Pereira and veteran news correspondent Dom Phillips. Phillips had worked for a number of different international news outlets over the years, a well-known journalist in Brazil.

The two men were working in the western part of the Amazona state place called the Javari Valley, a very remote place difficult to get to, they were there working on a book project about conservation efforts in that part of the rainforest. And that is when they disappeared.

We got an update on this case from Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro during the day on Monday, he said quote, "the evidence leads us to believe that some malice was done to them because human remains have already been found in the river," saying that DNA testing of those remains is already ongoing in the Brazilian capital of Brasilia.

He said that the odds of finding them alive, and in good condition are slim, saying quote, "evidence points to the opposite." And we also know that a number of different personal belongings, personal items belonging to the two men have been found by search teams at this point.

And also, that blood was found on a boat that authorities in Brazil say belongs to a suspect in this case. So, taken all together, even though we don't have confirmation yet from Brazilian authorities that these two men were killed, or have been found dead, or anything like that. The number of science leading in that direction, it certainly doesn't add up to good news, so far at least for these two men who have been missing now for well over a week.

Matt Rivers, CNN, Mexico City.

NEWTON: Still to come for us, the violence against women takes centerstage in China after a brutal attack is caught on camera. After the break, a look at other incidents proving the problem isn't new.


NEWTON: A recent on multiple women in a restaurant in China is highlighting the issue of violence against women in that country.

CNN Selina Wang reports on the trend of horrific attacks with seemingly very few consequences. A warning now, this video is incredibly disturbing to watch.


SELINA WANG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A late night dinner turned violent in northern China. Graphic surveillance video of what follows unleashed fear and outrage across China. It shows a man approaching one of the women. He touches her back, an unwanted advance. She pushes him away. He slaps her in response.

The assault escalates. A scuffle breaks out as she and her friends try to defend themselves. The woman is dragged outside by her hair. Hit with a beer bottle. The men relentlessly kick her. As one yells, beat her to death. Her friends head hits the pavement with a thud.


The viral video sparked uproar not just over the brazen brutality of the attack, but the indifference from bystanders, with only women seen intervening.

A woman at the scene called the police and told the authorities the following according to state media. Before this happened, I always thought that going out to dinner at night was a perfectly normal thing. But now I have some sort of PTSD.

YAQUI WANG, SENIOR RESEARCHER ON CHINA, HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH: These men feel that they could just freely attack a woman in such a public place because so many men in the past who have done the same, so the men feel, you know, I can do the same without any consequences.

WANG: Attacks like this are horrific and horrible to watch, but Chinese social media is flooded with them. And activists say we cannot look away. Violence against women is rampant in China. Video from earlier this year in Xi'An shows a man viciously punching his wife while she holds their child in her lap. The man later pins his wife down and continues to punch her head. The man was suspended by his company after the footage went viral. According to state media, and police said they detained him for five days.

Another shows a man kicking and punching a woman in broad daylight in 2020. State media reported the man was investigated, but it's unclear if any legal action was taken. Domestic violence was only made punishable by law in 2016. Physical abuse was not even grounds for divorce before 2001.

So far, authorities have detained nine people involved in the restaurant incident. Local police have ramped up patrols on the streets in the area. Authorities claim the women and her friends are in stable condition. Yet unverified video shows what is believed to be one of their brutally beaten buddies, lying motionless on a gurney in the hospital. Bloodied and bandaged, her helplessness resonating across China.

Selina Wang, CNN, Beijing.


NEWTON: America's Yellowstone National Park has temporarily closed all entrances due to hazardous conditions. Experts say unprecedented rainfall and snow melt are causing flooding and mudslides. Officials say that no inbound traffic is allowed until conditions are clear and roads are assessed for any damage.

Now residents near the park took a video of flash floods taking a part of the building at Yellowstone River. That is incredible and also terrifying. Now parts of the community there are now without drinking water and power as you can imagine. Officials say people have been asked to evacuate. And rescues were ongoing throughout that county.

And wildfires are meantime burning to the United States this year at a ferocious pace. The National Interagency Fire Center says nearly 30,000 wildfires, 30, 000, have scorched around 2.5 million acres. And that's just so far. That is the worst early fire season in more than a decade, in case you are wondering.

Experts say climate change is compounding the challenges of fighting wildfires. They are being fueled now by severe drought and high winds and a reminder, there is a heat wave spitting right across the United States to come.

I want to thank you for your company. I am Paula Newton. Have a wonderful day. African Voices Changemakers is next. CNN Newsroom will be back though at the top of the hour with my friend and colleague Isa Soares.