Return to Transcripts main page
U.S. Announces Another $1 Billion In Aid To Ukraine; Xi Jinping: China Will Continue Backing Russia On Core Interests; U.S. Fed Raises Interest Rates By Three-Fourth Of A Percentage Point; U.S. Fed Announces Largest Rate Hike Since 1994; Police; Suspect Admits To Killing Missing Men In Amazon; Journalists In Mexico Fear For Their Safety Amid Rising Crime. Aired 12-1a ET
Aired June 16, 2022 - 00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
KIM BRUNHUBER, CNN ANCHOR: Hello to all of you watching us all around the world. I'm Kim Brunhuber.
Ahead on CNN NEWSROOM, more arms against Russia. The U.S. promises another billion dollars in military aid to Ukraine and other NATO Allies might not be far behind.
Plus, aggressive action to try to stop inflation. The U.S. Federal Reserve rolls out its biggest rate hike in decades.
And a break in the case. Police say a suspect has confessed to killing a British journalist and his guide in Brazil.
ANNOUNCER: Live from CNN Center. This is CNN NEWSROOM with Kim Brunhuber.
BRUNHUBER: Ukraine is about to get another major shipment of weapons from the United States. U.S. President Joe Biden has announced another billion dollars in security assistance to help in the fight against Russia.
The announcement comes as U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin met in Brussels with his Ukrainian counterpart. The E.U. aid package means the U.S. has committed $6.3 billion to Ukraine since Joe Biden took office.
It includes 18 howitzers and 36,000 rounds of ammunition, tactical vehicles, night vision devices and two harpoon coastal defense systems.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy thanked U.S. President Biden for his unwavering support. Her he is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): The United States announced new strengthening of our defense, a new $1 billion support package is coastal defense, artillery and modern rocket systems. We will be waiting.
I am grateful for the support. It is especially important for our defense in Donbas.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BRUNHUBER: A senior U.S. Defense official says the latest U.S. weapon shipments to Ukraine will arrive in time to make a significant difference on the battlefield.
More now from CNN's Oren Liebermann.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT (on camera): This latest $1 billion package for Ukraine breaks down into two parts. About a third of it is a drawdown package, meaning it will be pulled straight from Defense Department supplies and be sent into Ukraine. This can move very quickly. A process that within days can go from a list to review to approval right into the fight.
So, this includes 18 howitzers, more than 36,000 rounds of ammunition for those howitzers, as well as ammunition for the high marked (PH) system, that multiple launch rocket system that was approved earlier this month, perhaps the most powerful and advanced weapon the U.S. has to this point agreed to send in.
The training on that, the first round of training just wrapped up this week. So, that's heading into the fight and should be able to be used by the Ukrainians in their fight against Russians fairly soon.
The second part of that billion dollars, about two thirds of it is what's known as the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative, where the U.S. will work right with arms manufacturers and sign contracts with them to send those weapons into Ukraine.
It takes a little bit longer, but that includes thousands of radios, night vision goggles, as well as two harpoon coastal defense systems.
So, that's also part of this package. The key question is, of course, how soon can this get to the fight? Ukrainian officials have made it clear exactly how difficult the battle is in eastern Ukraine, where Russians have made incremental gains, especially in the city of Severodonetsk.
But the U.S. believes there is time. Those Russian gains are certainly building up on each other and they're making progress, but it is incremental, and the fate of that battle has not yet been decided.
GEN. MARK MILLEY, CHAIRMAN, JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF: There are no inevitabilities in war. War takes many, many turns.
So, I wouldn't say it's a -- it's a inevitability. But I would say that the numbers clearly favor the Russians. In terms of artillery, they do outnumber, they out-gun and out-range.
You've heard that many, many times. And they do have enough forces but the Russians have run into a lot of problems. They've got command and control issues, logistics issues, they got morale issues, leadership issues, and a wide variety of other issues.
So, the Ukrainians are fighting a heroic fight.
LIEBERMANN: Once again, it's not only the U.S. sending weapons to Ukraine, as part of this forum, Germany has agreed to send in three multiple launch rocket systems.
So, the total number of systems from the U.K., the U.S. and Germany now totals 10. That's a crucial system the Ukrainians have asked for and there's a lot more that's gone in, for example, more artillery, and other system the Ukrainians are looking for, all of this, hoping to be able to give the Ukrainians the power and the will to fight against the Russians to push them back.
Oren Liebermann, CNN in Brussels.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BRUNHUBER: And NATO also wants to help Ukraine push back Russia.
At the meeting of defense ministers in Brussels, the NATO Secretary General announced the alliance will help the Ukrainian military modernize its weaponry, allowing them to phase out Soviet era artillery and munitions.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JENS STOLTENBERG, SECRETARY GENERAL, NATO: We are extremely focused on stepping up, providing more support, more advanced weapons, and also to do that in the best possible way for the Ukrainians because we support them in their just fight against the brutal Russian invasion.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BRUNHUBER: And he also says that for the first time since the Cold War, NATO will plant fire assign forces and pre-positioned equipment on its eastern flank and that the Ukrainian president will be invited to the NATO summit in Madrid in two weeks.
Brussels' former president is drawing criticism for a post on the social media platform Telegram. Dmitry Medvedev questions a Ukrainian deal to buy liquefied natural gas, suggesting Ukraine may not even exist in two years' time.
CNN's Fred Pleitgen has more on that.
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (on camera): Well, the Russians certainly show no signs of changing course in what they call their special military operation, the invasion of Ukraine. In fact, the country's former President Dmitry Medvedev on his social
media account, openly questioned whether Ukraine would even be on the world's map two years from now. When I asked the spokeswoman for Russia's Foreign Ministry about Russia's conduct, the change is somewhat of a testy exchange.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PLEITGEN: The President of the Russian Federation on Thursday said, and he likened the special military operation by Russia, the invasion of Ukraine to the things that Peter the Great did in the Great Northern War, and so that Russia was, in his estimation, taking back territory that was rightfully Russia's and strengthening it. Is that not an admission of a severe breach of international law?
MARIA ZAKHAROVA, RUSSIAN MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS SPOKESWOMAN (through translator): When will you start using the same tone of voice when you question your own authorities? Why do you use that tone of voice when you question us? Take a look at 2014, we had a referendum.
PLEITGEN: The big question is, take back and strengthen other countries territories, is that not a violation of international law?
ZAKHAROVA (through translator): Was there a legal basis to invade Iraq?
PLEITGEN: I'm not talking about Iraq. You are invading a sovereign country. That is the question.
ZAKHAROVA (through translator): You mentioned our invasion and occupation of territories. What territories are you talking about?
PLEITGEN: Well, for instance, the entire region around the Azov Sea, the invasion trying towards -- go towards Kyiv where the Russian army was beat to madness (PH), large parts of the Luhansk and Donbas -- Donetsk (INAUDIBLE), which were under the control of the Ukrainian military. And then you have the region around Kherson.
ZAKHAROVA (through translator): So, are you talking about Donetsk and Luhansk? Maybe you have more information than I have? I don't have this information about Kyiv.
The territories of Donetsk and Luhansk are acknowledged as sovereign states. There were referendums, as I said, reflecting the will of the people.
PLEITGEN: If the Russian president says what's going on in Ukraine is taking back land that is intrinsically Russian land and strengthening that land, can you please explain to me what does that mean, where does it end, and is that not a violation of international law?
ZAKHAROVA (through translator): You say I don't answer your question. You just don't like the way I answer it. I am answering it. Perhaps it clashes with your vision.
America says there are exceptional and we said this concept is wrong. But I can tell you that the U.S. troops are now in Syria. Nobody asked them to come.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PLEITGEN: Meanwhile, the Russians continue to insist that they are making headway on the battlefield. And they also say they are not going to stop with what they call their special military operation until all of their objectives are met.
Fred Pleitgen, CNN, St. Petersburg, Russia.
BRUNHUBER: Russian President Vladimir Putin is getting some major support from his Chinese counterpart. Let's bring in CNN's Beijing Bureau Chief Steven Jiang with details. Steven it seemed like that call between the two leaders couldn't have gotten much better for Putin. Is that a fair read?
STEVEN JIANG, CNN BEIJING BUREAU CHIEF: That's right. It's also a wakeup call to anyone who still holds out hope that Xi Jinping somehow may change his mind about China's relationship with Russia, or about Putin himself.
Now, the Chinese readout really reiterated Beijing's long held position on Ukraine, stressing Beijing's, "independent assessment" on the issue based on the historical context and the merits of the issue.
But the Kremlin statement is really less subtle, saying Xi Jinping, "noted the legitimacy of Russia's actions to protect its national interest in the face of Western challenges".
So, this really in a way shows how China's position on the war has been really consistent. China still actually refuses to call this a Russian invasion, there might be some refining on the part of the Chinese propaganda, there are now providing a bit more reporting on the Ukrainian perspective.
But the overwhelming majority of the story and viewpoints being seen here, very much pro-Russia. And the reason for that is also clear from both countries, readouts, the countries and the leaders are really sharing the sense of the U.S. and its allies are ganging up on both of them strategically and economically.
JIANG: Now, that's why Xi Jinping stressed the need to further strengthen their communication and coordination and supporting each other on their respective core issues.
The Chinese specifically mentioned Xinjiang, Hong Kong and Taiwan, all hot button issues. Of course, China's facing growing pressure from the west.
It's really interesting that Xi Jinping just a few days ago signed this directive that many experts say that could provide Beijing with a legal framework to invade Taiwan without calling it war. That's obviously exactly what Putin did in Ukraine. And Russia, of course, for its part also needs China more and more to
lessen the impact of Western sanctions, especially when it comes to export markets of its energy resources.
So, it's really not lost on people. This was the second high profile call both the leaders did since the Russian invasion. While Xi Jinping has not talked to Zelenskyy, the Ukrainian leader since the war began.
And Kim, It's also worth noting that this call took place on Xi Jinping's birthday, he turned 69 on Wednesday, it was actually the fourth time the two leaders talked on Xi Jinping's birthday.
So, their bromance really goes back a long way and very much going strong, just like their two countries so-called no limits relationship.
BRUNHUBER: Yes, that's right. A really significant call. Thanks so much for unpacking it for us Steven Jiang in Beijing. Appreciate it.
U.S. Federal Reserve is rolling out its largest interest rate hike in nearly 30 years as it pledges to bring down sky high inflation. The increase three quarters of a percentage point. An aggressive move to slow the economy and tame inflation, but one that will lead to higher costs on things like mortgages and auto loans.
Fed Chair Jerome Powell says it was the eye catching May inflation report that led to the need for a more dramatic rate hike. But it doesn't expect increases down the road to be as high, here he is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEROME POWELL, CHAIRMAN, FEDERAL RESERVE: We anticipate that ongoing rate increases will be appropriate. The pace of those changes will continue to depend on the incoming data and the evolving outlook for the economy.
Clearly, today's 75 basis point increase is an unusually large one, and I do not expect moves of this size to be common.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BRUNHUBER: All right, so for more on that, let's bring in Selina Wang, who joins us from Beijing.
So Selina, the financial world was watching and waiting to see what the Fed would do. So first, let's start here in the U.S. How did the markets react?
SELINA WANG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, well, we saw the markets mostly pricing this move. But the rally we saw on Wall Street really reflects investor relief that the Fed is holding true to expectations that they are taking inflation very seriously.
The message here is that Americans, they are struggling for rising prices at the grocery store, at the gas pump. But the cure to that pain, well, it's going to hurt too, the Fed hiked benchmark interest rates by 75 basis points, the most aggressive hike since 1994.
That impacts millions of Americans and businesses that increases the cost of borrowing homes, cars and other loans. That is the very point, is to cool down the economy, is to rein in spending, to reduce demand for goods and services to help them make prices stable.
But really, right here, that optimism also can being reined in by concerns that this aggressive move could also tip the U.S. economy into recession. And we did see the Fed revised down their economic projections for 2022 down to 1.7 percent.
But really, the message from the Fed is that this economic road to recovery, this path, it's going to be a rocky one. But the Fed is saying that if they did nothing, it would be even worse because you've got prices increasing but worker pay not keeping up so that would leave American homes struggling even more to make ends meet even in an environment where the labor market is strong, Kim.
BRUNHUBER: Yes, absolutely right. All right. So, let's turn to the Asian markets. What was the reaction there?
WANG: Well, we saw Asian markets rally, which reflects and tracks what we saw in the U.S. markets. The Nikkei is up more than one percent. But it muted just slight increase for the China markets right now.
And this comes on the backs of the May economic data from China that showed while industrial production was slightly up more than expected.
We still saw consumer sentiment severely suppressed with retail sales down nearly seven percent, the third straight month of declines because these COVID lock downs in China. Well, they're keeping people sealed at home, which obviously means less opportunities to spend.
And because of the constant threat of further lockdowns, well, that really depresses consumer and business sentiment all around even as we see these COVID lock downs start to relax.
And crucially, the crucial point from that May economic data was that youth unemployment, this is for people aged 16 to 24 in China. Well, that reached a record high of more than 18 percent. As we see the services sector gets slammed by these COVID lock downs and job cuts at tech companies that have historically been a strong place for employment of high paying jobs for young people in China.
WANG: So, at the same time, you've got a looming risk of recession in the United States. Analysts are still saying there's risk that China's economy could also contract in the second quarter, some economists calling this the most challenging time for China's economy in the past 30 years, Kim.
BRUNHUBER: All right, thanks so much Selina Wang, appreciate it.
And joining me now is Ryan Patel, a Senior Fellow at the Drucker School of Management at Claremont Graduate University. Thanks so much for being here with us.
So, to build on what we heard there from Selina our reporter, this rate hike, it probably won't be the last. Can they put the brakes on without leading to a recession, which is what Larry Summers told CNN, there's likely a recession within the next two years?
RYAN PATEL, SENIOR FELLOW AT THE DRUCKER SCHOOL OF MANAGEMENT, CLAREMONT GRADUATE UNIVERSITY: When the Federal Chair Jerome Powell says, they're not trying to put the U.S. into recession, Kim, it makes you think twice, right?
Wait a minute, are we heading that way? And because of the aggressive 75 basis points up today, what I really want to talk about and focus, it's just not about today, they're about to meet next month, in July, he pretty much stated almost -- that it was a guarantee, but a 50 basis point increase is going to happen.
And so, in two months, you know, this is aggressive actions, because the lack of decisiveness in the past, and they're getting pushed Kim, they're getting pushed to address this.
So, it's -- there isn't that fine balance right now that they have. They weren't -- you know, they moved it last quarter, but they weren't as aggressive. And now they are playing catch up.
BRUNHUBER: Yes. And they admitted that they should have acted sooner. So, they want to put the brakes on here to stop inflation. But there's also the problem of inflation expectations, right? People thinking, you know, inflation is going to last, so we better buy now, which is fueling even more inflation.
PATEL: Yes, if you look at the personal consumption expenditures, which the Fed looks like from April, show prices from year over year 6.3 percent. And it's not going down, it doesn't look like it's going to go down, right? And that fear continues to buy into, even though we see that unemployment has been relatively low, but that's starting to change a little bit as prices and costs start to increase.
You know, we talked -- you know, you talked the last segment around supply chain, which is obviously at the middle of this equation, which we're not really talking about just yet, because you're trying to get the basis and foundation set.
BRUNHUBER: So, we have the Biden administration, you know, trying to downplay this, maybe saying that they are addressing it, but trying to say, look over here, you know, we have these jobs numbers, they're really good, high numbers of jobs created, low unemployment. But are we seeing any signs that that might shift with some companies now maybe starting to scale back?
PATEL: Yes. And you know, Kim, I've had a lot of conversations in boardrooms and with the executives, this is worrisome. We're starting to see some tech companies not be able to make it because the markets have continued to go down and right valuations cut, and what do you think they're going to do? Unfortunately, we're starting to see companies start to make cuts on
you know, G.M. -- on overhead because revenues are dropping, and they can't continue to do this.
And once that starts going, the labor market is going to be very interesting, because right now, obviously, it's an employee favored leverage with the market with employment being really low. Does the shift go back to the employer and decrease the wages? And that will obviously right set -- right size some of the economic pressures and profit, but then all of a sudden, there's a big, big, big shift from what we're seeing three months ago on the low unemployment, to now going forward was that look like?
BRUNHUBER: And obviously, the problem here is a global one, we're seeing it as bad or worse in many countries, for instance, the French finance minister said, I think yesterday, the Eurozone is in the middle of an inflation peak.
So, when you -- when you look at Europe, take us through the fears that higher interest rates might lead to another Eurozone crisis.
PATEL: Yes, and because of the different countries in Europe, they're all going to attack it very differently from you know, we've seen the U.K. kind of attack inflation earlier, but obviously, because of what -- you know, I hate to say it, but when you look at what the U.S. is trying to do in Europe, many of these countries may not have all those tools to be able to fight that inflation rate, and they'll have a harder impact when your economy isn't the number one, number two in the world.
And also, when things start to become more expensive. In Europe, it's going to -- the consumer is going to face it a lot faster, because we're seeing it, the prices are going to be passed down to consumer much quicker, because there is no end. There's this demand, and there's no supply to it.
BRUNHUBER: All right, well, grim news but thanks so much for walking us through it all. Ryan Patel really appreciate your insights there.
PATEL: Thank you.
BRUNHUBER: All right. Still to come, police say a suspect has admitted to killing a British journalist and a Brazilian researcher reported missing more than a week ago. We'll have more details on what they found in the search after the break.
Plus, CNN's Matt Rivers spends an overnight shift with the crime scene journalist in Mexico. Coming up, we'll look at why just reporting in Mexico can be so deadly, stay with us.
BRUNHUBER: Two important developments in a mysterious disappearance in Brazil, authorities say a suspect has confessed to killing a British journalist and a Brazilian expert on the country's indigenous peoples. Human remains have been found and more arrests are expected.
CNN's Shasta Darlington has more from Sao Paulo.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SHASTA DARLINGTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A breakthrough in the disappearance of the British journalist and indigenous expert who were last seen a week and a half ago in a remote region of the Amazon.
On Wednesday night, Brazilian authorities announced that a suspect being held in relation to the case had admitted to killing Dom Phillips and Bruno Pereira.
The suspect was identified as Amarildo da Costa de Oliveira, a local fishermen. Police said he confessed on Tuesday night and the following day he took them to the area where the men were allegedly murdered. There they found human remains which are being sent to Brazilia for analysis.
The two men vanished during a trip and the Javari Valley in the far western part of Amazona state on June 5th. The protected region is home to several indigenous communities including uncontacted tribes.
But in recent years, illegal activity has flourished with land invasions from illegal loggers, fishermen, poachers, as well as drug traffickers.
Phillips and Pereira were on a trip to do research for a book about conservation efforts and challenges. Both men had recently received death threats, while indigenous groups immediately sent out search parties on the day they went missing. Authorities have come under fire for what critics called a slow and inefficient response to their disappearance.
Activists and indigenous groups have staged protests across Brazil and around the world to denounce that official response and also the administration of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, which they say has turned a blind eye to criminality in the region.
During his administration, deforestation has surged while the agencies tasked with monitoring the rainforests have been defunded.
Now, on Wednesday, during an interview on YouTube, Bolsonaro accused Phillips and Pereira of being reckless.
For many in Brazil, Wednesday's announcement by federal police a tragic ending to two man's efforts to document reality in the Amazon.
Shasta Darlington, CNN, Sao Paulo.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BRUNHUBER: Now in Mexico where journalists are increasingly risking their lives just to cover the news. There have been hundreds of homicides this year in Tijuana alone and some of the journalists covering those murders are being killed themselves. CNN's Matt Rivers reports.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MATT RIVERS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Tijuana, Mexico in a country plagued by homicide, this city stands out, nearly 800 murders already this year, say state officials, which means the people reporting on those crimes are busy.
This, we get to see firsthand, meeting up well after dark with freelance journalist Arturo Rosales. It's not long before we're off to what police say is a murder scene.
Are you scared sometimes of your work? Because you're working in very complex situations.
ARTURO ROSALES, FREELANCE JOURNALIST (through translator): Yes, mainly in areas with a lot of conflict.
RIVERS: Dangerous neighborhoods like here in Los Alamos where a body was found left in the street, Arturo gets to work snapping photos and going live on Facebook.
He just describes the basics, time, location, manner of death. In a city like Tijuana where murders are often linked to organized crime, even just reporting the facts can be deadly.
Margarito Martinez was a well-known crime reporter in the city. A happy guy with a quick wit and a big smile. He was killed outside his home earlier this year.
A best friend, he taught me everything I know.
Jesus Aguilar is a journalist too, one of Martinez's best friends. They work together at countless murder scenes and Aguilar worked at Martinez's too.
I had to see it, he says. I had to see it. It's what we do. We cover homicides. Now I witnessed his.
Prosecutors detained 10 people for the crime, though none have been formally charged. Authorities say those detained have ties to organized crime, but haven't given an exact motive for the killing. Martinez's death, tragically not that unusual in Mexico.
11 journalists had been killed so far this year according to Human Rights Group Article 19. A number the Mexican government disputes as too high.
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador says his government is committed to protecting journalists. The difference from before, he says, is that in all these homicides there have already been people detained and there is no impunity.
But that is simply not true. The government's own statistics show that more than 90 percent of crimes in Mexico go unsolved.
For Sonia De Anda, herself a Tijuana journalist, it creates a morbid reality. She says, whatever threats obstacles to their work, whoever kills a journalist, there are no consequences because we live in a country of impunity.
The Mexican president also routinely attacks journalists he doesn't like as enemies, often claiming coverage that is critical of him is really just an attack on the Mexican people. Critics say comments like those contribute to the violence journalists face.
How many journalists have been killed, he says, a whole lot, that's the truth.
That uncertainty, the danger surrounding this job is with Arturo Rosales as he drives around Tijuana each night.
He says there's not much confidence in the government because there is no protection.
Arriving in our last scene of the night, Arturo goes through the motions and we find out what happened.
The driver of that car right there that's now on its side he was shot while actually driving the car. That would make this at least the 10th homicide that's been recorded in Tijuana just the last 24 hours.
And Arturo says he'll keep being there to document as many as he can. Even though he and all his fellow journalists know that they could go from covering victims to becoming a victim at any moment.
Matt Rivers, CNN, Tijuana, Mexico.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BRUNHUBER: Scorching temperatures are blanketing parts of Western Europe in an unseasonably early start to summer, still ahead. How along with heat wave will last? We'll explain coming up, stay with us.
BRUNHUBER: You're watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Kim Brunhuber.
The U.K. says it's committed to its controversial policy of relocating asylum seekers to Rwanda. Now, it comes a day after the inaugural flight was stopped from taking off, when the European Court of Human Rights intervened.
Britain's home secretary says the government won't be deterred, and plans for the next deportation flights are already in the works.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRITI PATEL, BRITISH HOME SECRETARY: While this decision by the Strasbourg court intervened was disappointing and surprising, given the repeated and considered judgments to the country in our domestic cause, we remain committed to this policy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BRUNHUBER: That policy has faced widespread criticism from human rights groups around the world since it was first unveiled by Britain's prime minister.
Even the Church of England recently condemned the plan as an immoral policy that shames Britain.
Parts of Western Europe are being gripped by an unseasonable heat rave, with blistering temperatures across the region. And the brutal highs are coming even before summer officially begins. Al Goodman has more.
AL GOODMAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A usually bustling town square is nearly empty Wednesday, terraces with few patrons, all trying to stay cool. Spaniards are sweltering in the earliest heat wave in four decades, setting scorching temperatures across the country.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): We do have heat here in the summer until November, but we weren't prepared for this, because the change was so drastic. We weren't able to adapt to how quickly it got hot.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): We have to do things indoors, because I don't think we can cope walking under the sun.
GOODMAN (voice-over): Spain's state meteorological agency says a cloud of hot air from North Africa is hitting Western Europe with unseasonably blistering temperatures. Experts point to global warming for the extreme heat and say it poses a risk to public safety.
RUBEN DEL CAMPO, SPOKESPERSON, SPANISH METEOROLOGICAL AGENCY (through translator): Spain's summers are getting hotter and hotter. The current summer lasts more than a month longer than in the 1980s. In general, morbidity and hospital admissions, and people with previous health problems, well, these hospital admissions increase as a consequence of the heat.
GOODMAN (voice-over): In the Southwestern Spanish city of Badajoz, many schools closed early this week to protect students from temperatures.
Students in neighboring France also sweltering as the nationwide baccalaureate exam for philosophy was administered Wednesday.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): Being in a room for four hours where there is no air conditioning is going to be hard in this heat. I've brought some cold bottles of water, but it's complicated to concentrate when it's so hot. GOODMAN (voice-over): Searing heat in France has also come early, as
the country tries to combat the impact of the climate crisis.
On Tuesday, France announced a 500-million-euro plan to regrain (ph) cities and develop urban cool islands in an effort to fight global warming.
The need for climate solutions increasingly urgent, as the cost to stay cool rises. The heat wave is boosting demand for air conditioning, while European natural gas prices spiked this week, amid a U.S. outage, and the Ukraine war tightening supplies from Russia.
Now, residents in Spain, France and elsewhere may have to find creative solutions to stay cool, as these sizzling temperatures may soon become standard in an increasingly warming world.
Al Goodman, CNN, Madrid.
BRUNHUBER: For the latest, let's go to CNN meteorologists Pedram Javaheri. Pedram, this extreme hit [SIC] -- heat hitting Europe and the U.S., as well, as we here in Atlanta know all too well.
PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yes. For someone who follows this stuff almost every single day of the year, and I've been looking very carefully across this portion of Europe. And I remember just a couple of months ago, portions of Spain very quiet. Temperatures were actually unusually cool in the month of April.
May came. It was one of the hottest Mays we've seen in about 60 years' time. Now, heat advisories encompassing the entirety of Spain, as we usher in the middle portion of the month of June. And of course, historic heat widespread.
So as that gentleman in the previous story said, it is coming on very, very quickly here. And that is what makes this area really just kind of hard to try to acclimate to such heat. because it had been somewhat unusually cool in recent weeks leading up to May and then now until June.
But notice, nine days so far in the first 14 that we've seen temperatures in Madrid exceed 30 degrees. We touched 40 degrees in the past 24 hours.
The elements still supporting a southerly flow, which means air is coming right off of Africa, pushing northward into Spain. And certainly, eventually builds in across areas of France and into the U.K., as well.
This tremendous heat eventually does breakdown, push a little farther towards the east. But look at our friends in Paris" climb up to 39 degrees. I've been digging through the numbers. To me, that looks like one of the hottest June temperatures we've seen on record here across this region.
Still trying to get confirmation on the exact height for the hottest of all time for the month of June. But if I was a betting man, I would say it's very close to that 39-degree mark.
So very unusual setup. Thirty-one for Thursday, before we get to that 39, come Friday afternoon. And to show you what that kind of spells out across this region, Kim, look at this.
That 39 would be warmer than what Saturday afternoon will bring in Tehran. Highs there expected to be around 37 degrees. So really, an incredible heat wave taking shape.
BRUNHUBER: Yes, unbelievable comparison there. Pedram Javaheri, thanks so much.
JAVAHERI: Thank you.
BRUNHUBER: Appreciate it.
Well, the next hearing into the January 6 insurrection gets underway on Thursday. Coming up, new questions are being raised over a congressional tour the day before and why one man was taking photos of security checkpoints, hallways and staircases. Stay with us.
BRUNHUBER: The January 6th Capitol riot hearings resume on Thursday after a one-day delay. This will be the third of seven planned hearings by the select committee.
On Wednesday, it released new video of a Republican congressman giving a tour of the complex the day before the riot. At least one of those people showed up the next day and made comments threatening Democratic lawmakers. We get the latest from CNN's Ryan Nobles.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's no escape, Pelosi, Schumer.
RYAN NOBLES, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): New video released by the January 6th Select Committee showing a man outside the Capitol directing threats at Democratic members of Congress.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Pelosi, Nadler, Schumer, even you, AOC. We're coming to take you out. We'll pull you out by your hairs.
NOBLES (voice-over): That same man seen the day before on a tour of the Capitol complex with Republican Congressmen Barry Loudermilk, snapping pictures that the committee believes are suspicious. Chairman Bennie Thompson writing to Loudermilk, quote, "Individuals on
the tour photographed and recorded areas of the complex not typically of interest to tourists, including hallways, staircases and security checkpoints."
The committee re-upping its concerns after Capitol Police Chief Tom Major said earlier this week, "We do not consider any of the activities we observed as suspicious."
Loudermilk has refused to meet with the committee, claiming their inquiry has led to death threats against his family.
REP. BARRY LOUDERMILK (R-GA): The committee has never called me and asked me anything.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They said they sent you a letter --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you regret giving that tour now?
LOUDERMILK: I condemn that type of activities.
NOBLES (voice-over): The committee continues to push ahead to their hearing on Thursday.
ERIC HERSCHMANN, FORMER TRUMP WHITE HOUSE ATTORNEY: I said to him, "Are you out of your 'F'-ing mind?"
Out with this deposition from Trump White House lawyer, Eric Herschmann, warning John Eastman the day after January 6 to drop efforts to try to overturn the 2020 vote.
The Trump ally had also tried to convince then-Vice President Mike Pence to stand in the way of certifying the election results.
REP. LIZ CHENEY (D-WY): President Trump had no factual basis for what he was doing. And he had been told it was illegal. Despite this, President Trump plotted with a lawyer named John Eastman and others.
NOBLES: A plot Herschmann believed may have put Eastman in legal jeopardy.
HERSCHMANN: I said, "Good, John. Now I'm going to give you the best free legal advice you're ever getting in your life. Get a great 'F'- ing criminal defense lawyer. You're going to need it."
NOBLES: And Thursday's hearing comes at a time where the committee is still deliberating how to handle all this evidence that they collected as it relates to Donald Trump's efforts to overturn the election results.
And we're told that a majority of the members of the committee believe that Trump committed a crime. The question is, how do they convince the Department of Justice to investigate and prosecute those alleged crimes?
Some members of the committee believe a formal referral to the Department of Justice is necessary, but there are others that believe that could create too much political pressure on Merrick Garland. It's a question that the committee is still wrestling with as this investigation continues.
Ryan Nobles, CNN, on Capitol Hill.
BRUNHUBER: And CNN coverage of Thursday's hearing will begin at noon, Eastern Time, 5 p.m. in London. And the focus is expected to be on the White House's pressure campaign on then-Vice President Mike Pence to block the 2020 election certification.
The committee says two of Pence's former advisers are scheduled to testify.
All right. Thanks so much for watching CNN's NEWSROOM. I'm Kim Brunhuber. WORLD SPORT starts after the break. Stay with us.