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Show of Support from European Leaders in Ukrainian Capital; January 6th Committee Focuses on Pressure Campaign on Pence; Turkey's Inflation Soared to 73.5% in May; Western Europe Seeing Dangerous Hotter-Than-Average Temps. Aired 12-12:45a ET

Aired June 17, 2022 - 00:00   ET


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Thanks for watching, everyone. Our coverage continues.

ANNA COREN, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. I'm Anna Coren. Ahead on CNN NEWSROOM, mending fences. E.U. leaders head to Ukraine, hoping to calm criticism they're not doing enough in the fight against Russia.

Plus, a pressure campaign. The January 6th Committee details how Donald Trump tried to convince his vice president to overturn the 2020 election.

And risky business. More countries join the U.S. by hiking interest rates, despite growing fears it could tip economies into recession.

A day after the U.S. announced it's giving Ukraine a billion dollars in weapons and security assistance, the White House national security adviser says he thinks the war will have to end through diplomacy, and that the U.S. has been talking with Ukraine about what a settlement could look like.

Well, Jake Sullivan stressed that Ukraine must ultimately chart its own destiny, but that the U.S. is focused on strengthening Ukraine's hand as much as possible in the battlefield, and then ultimately, at the negotiating table.

Well, meanwhile, NATO defense ministers meeting in Brussels are pushing ahead with plans to bolster defenses in Eastern Europe and send Ukraine more weapons. The head of NATO says the alliance is supporting an independent state and is not seeking a confrontation. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JENS STOLTENBERG, NATO SECRETARY-GENERAL: This will mean more NATO forward-deployed combat formations to strengthen our battle groups in the Eastern part of the alliance; more air, sea and cyber defenses; as well as prepositioned equipment and weapons stockpiles.

This is not a provocation. It is President Putin and Moscow that is responsible for this brutal aggression against an independent country.


COREN: Well, nearly four months into the war, the leaders of France, Italy and Germany arrived in Ukraine's capital and met with its president. Their mission: smooth over tensions and change the narrative.

CNN's Salma Abdelaziz explains.


SALMA ABDELAZIZ, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Three European leaders traveled by train to Kyiv to carry a message of solidarity at a time of war. On the platform, French President Emmanuel Macron was quick to state their purpose.

EMMANUEL MACRON, FRENCH PRESIDENT (through translator): The message of European unity to Ukrainian men and women. Support and talk about the future and the coming weeks. We know it will be very difficult. I want to be in support and at their side.

ABDELAZIZ (voice-over): It is the first visit for the three heads of state since the start of the Russian invasion. But Ukraine's deputy prime minister struck a more muted tone.

IRYNA VERESHCHUK, UKRAINIAN DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER: I am not sure that there will be a bright announcement following the meeting, but this, regardless, how it will be ending would be a historical meeting.

ABDELAZIZ (voice-over): Because in the eyes of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, European leaders have been a lot of talk but not much action.

Macron made a splash when he said Moscow should be given an off-ramp to the conflict that does not humiliate President Putin.

Zelenskyy rebuked the comments, calling it a weak position. And Germany's chancellor was criticized over his refusal to ban imports of Russian oil and gas, instead promising a phase-out by the end of the year.

VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): We need Chancellor Scholz to give us certainty that they will support Ukraine. He and his government must choose not to do a balancing act between Ukraine and the Russian federation. ABDELAZIZ (voice-over): Set on healing divisions, the trip began with

a tour of the devastated suburb of Irpin, a site of alleged Russian atrocities.

MACRON (through translator): This is what we wanted to do, by coming here, us four, to see for ourselves and to be able to have this exchange with President Zelenskyy to talk about the future.

ABDELAZIZ (voice-over): Afterwards, a meeting was held with President Zelenskyy. At the top of their agenda, more military aid. Germany, which critics say was slow to provide material support, promised long- range artillery, air-defense systems and anti-aircraft tanks to bolster Kyiv's fight for the East.

OLAF SCHOLZ, GERMAN CHANCELLOR (through translator): we also support Ukraine by supplying weapons. We will continue to do so for as long as Ukraine needs our support. We are currently training the Ukrainian military in state-of-the-art weapons.


ABDELAZIZ (voice-over): All voiced support for Ukraine's bid to join the European Union.

MARIO DRAGHI, ITALIAN PRIME MINISTER (through translator): The Ukrainian people defend every day the values of democracy and freedom that are the basis of the European project, of our project. We cannot delay this process.

ABDELAZIZ (voice-over): A historic visit meant to mend fences in the face of growing Russian aggression.

Salma Abdelaziz, CNN, Kyiv.


COREN: Joining us from Washington is David Sanger. He's a CNN political and national security analyst and White House and national security correspondent for "The New York Times," and the author of the book, "The Perfect Weapon."

David, great to have you with us.

European leaders, they went to Kyiv. This is no doubt a show of support for Ukraine and its path to join the E.U. But let me ask you this. Was it also about pressuring Zelenskyy to negotiate with Russia?

DAVID SANGER, CNN POLITICAL AND NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: If so, it was done so subtly that you could not hear that in any of the public statements.

You know, I think that the French president, President Macron, took so much heat for his suggestion a few weeks ago that it was important not to back Putin into a corner after Mr. Putin had, of course, just launched this invasion around the world that -- or around Ukraine, I should say, at that time. That he rarely took a very different tone. He said, we're with you. We're with you throughout the fight. He and

the German president [SIC] -- the German chancellor invited the Ukrainians to join the European Union. They said so publicly. That will take years to happen, but it's a sign of commitment that is quite different from what we were hearing.

And I think they recognize at this point that, while their short-term problem is the pain that the gas prices, the oil prices, overall inflation, the fear of -- of recession is bringing to Europe, their longer-term mission is to make sure they don't undercut what has been the European experiment with democracy since 1945.

COREN: Well, Macron had to defend himself again yesterday to that criticism that was coming from within Ukraine, saying you are pressuring us to negotiate with Russia.

And then you have Zelenskyy come out and say that talks will not end this war. Obviously, for Ukraine, they are committed to this militarily.

SANGER: They have. I think that, if you listen to Mr. Zelenskyy on alternate weeks, you will hear him talk about eventually getting some kind of diplomatic process going with the Russians, because that's how wars end.

But he certainly is not interested in doing it now, and neither is Vladimir Putin.

And so I think what's really interesting about the visit today was that people like Macron, who had been off seeing Putin in the run-up to the war, basically sounded like they had given up that effort for some time.

COREN: President Zelenskyy has appealed for more military aid, heavy weapons, specifically, to fight the battle raging in Eastern Ukraine. One of his advisers has requested a dozen Howitzers, 500 tanks, 300 rocket artillery systems.

Is this a wish list or do you think it will be delivered by the West?

SANGER: That's a wish list. The numbers that they have described, I think, are beyond the production capabilities of what the U.S. and the Europeans have. And that's pretty much the problem we have going forward.

In the initial few weeks, it was possible to give the Ukrainians weapons that were in U.S. stocks and some that were in European stocks that weren't needed, that were outdated.

And so now, you're hearing about commitments of money. President Biden committed another billion dollars just today, but that does not necessarily translate into the kinds of weapons that the Ukrainians say they need.

And that's going to take a while to rev up the manufacturing capability for that. And that's where we're really going to learn whether all this talk about the arsenal of democracy means as much now as it did when the phrase was invented around World War II.

COREN: Yes. Sadly, it looks like this war is, unfortunately, continuing.

David Sanger, great to get your perspective. Thank you.

SANGER: Wonderful to be with you.

COREN: Well, U.S. officials say they are aware of reports a third American military volunteer may have gone missing in Ukraine. A family friend says Grady Kurpasi is a retired U.S. Marine who has not been heard from since late April.

Well, that's when his unit came under fire near Kherson.


Meanwhile, this image appeared on social media Thursday, showing two the other Americans in the back of a Russian military truck. Their families were concerned they were captured last week. The State Department cannot confirm that.

CNN could not independently verify when the image was taken.

The January 6th Select Committee says it has requested an interview with Ginni Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

This comes one day after we learned the panel has emails between her and Trump lawyer John Eastman. Eastman has emerged as the point person behind a brazen scheme to overturn the election, even though he had earlier acknowledged it was illegal.

For the latest on Thursday's stunning hearing, here's CNN's Manu Raju.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mike Pence has betrayed the United States of America!

MANU RAJU, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The pressure campaign was relentless. Donald Trump for months tried to get Mike Pence to do something no vice president has ever done: reject the will of the electors and install him as president for a second term.

Right up to this heated phone call, on the morning of January 6th, just before Pence was presiding over a joint session of Congress to certify Joe Biden's victory.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He called him a wimp.

IVANKA TRUMP, DAUGHTER OF DONALD TRUMP/FORMER SENIOR WHITE HOUSE ADVISOR: It was a different tone than I'd heard him take with the vice president before.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you remember what she said her father called him? UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The "P" word.

RAJU (voice-over): Trump even revising his January 6th speech at a rally of his supporters to take aim at the vice president.

DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Mike Pence is going to have to come through for us, and if he doesn't, that will be a sad day for our country.

RAJU (voice-over): The rioters echoing the president's remarks.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm telling you, if Pence caves, we're going to drag mother-(EXPLETIVE DELETED) through the streets.

RAJU (voice-over): Even after rioters breached the Capitol that afternoon, Trump still attacked Pence on Twitter, just as the the mob was 40 feet away from the vice president.

REP. PETE AGUILAR (D-CA): The vice president's life was in danger.

RAJU (voice-over): Trump had been told repeatedly that Pence had no authority to take such an unconstitutional action.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Was it your impression that the vice president had directly conveyed his position on these issues to the president? Not just to the world through a "dear colleague" letter, but directly to President Trump?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And he'd been consistent in conveying his position to the president?

SHORT: Very consistent.

RAJU (voice-over): The committee focusing today on the role of Trump attorney John Eastman, who pushed the theory that the vice president could overturn Joe Biden's victory.

JOHN EASTMAN, ATTORNEY: All we are demanding of Vice {resident Pence is this afternoon at 1 p.m., he let the legislatures of the state look into this so we get to the bottom of it.

RAJU (voice-over): Privately, White House officials were alarmed and and pushed back on Eastman.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, they thought he was crazy.

ERIC HERSCHMANN, FORMER TRUMP WHITE HOUSE LAWYER: I said, "Are you out of your 'F'-ing mind? You're going to cause riots in the streets."

RAJU (voice-over): Even FOX News personality Sean Hannity sending these text messages to White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, saying on January 5th, "I'm very worried about the next 48 hours." But as he was peddling the theory, Eastman knew it was bogus, writing

in October 2020 that "Nowhere does it suggest that the president of the Senate gets to make that determination on his own."

Pence's former counsel recalling tense deliberations in the White House, including this demand from Eastman on January 5th.

GREG JACOB, FORMER COUNSEL TO VICE PRESIDENT MIKE PENCE: What most surprised me about that meeting was when Mr. Easement came in, he said, I'm here to request that you reject the electors. He came in and expressly requested that.

RAJU (voice-over): And as Trump and Pence were privately sparring about the vice president's role, the White House issued a statement that he and the vice president were in total agreement that Pence had the power to act.

JACOB: We were shocked and disappointed, because whoever had written and put that statement out, it was categorically untrue.

RAJU (voice-over): The message came from Trump.

JASON MILLER, FORMER TRUMP CAMPAIGN SPOKESMAN: He dictated -- he dictated most of it.

RAJU (voice-over): As for Eastman, he had this request for Trump he said to Rudy Giuliani --

AGUILAR: Dr. Eastman's email stated, quote, "I've decided that I should be on the pardon list, if that is still in the works."

RAJU: Now Eastman refused to cooperate with January 6th investigators, even taking the Fifth Amendment. But there's still some interest in his interactions, namely between him and Ginni Thomas, the wife of the Supreme Court justice, Clarence Thomas. She is a conservative activist. She had pushed to overturn the elections. She had interacted with Eastman via email.


Thompson telling me earlier in the day on Thursday that the committee has sent a letter to the -- to Thomas, asking her to testify before the committee.

She herself had told a conservative news outlet earlier in the day that she's willing to clear up any misconceptions that the committee may have about her interactions. Something, perhaps, could happen in the days ahead.

Manu Raju, CNN, Capitol Hill.


COREN: Well, former U.S. attorney Harry Litman joins us now from California, where he's a legal affairs columnist for "The Los Angeles Times." Great to have you with us.

The committee is obviously making a case against Trump, laying out the road map for prosecutors to indict the former president. From what you have seen and heard thus far, is it strong enough for Attorney General Merrick Garland to -- to lay charges against Donald Trump and take it to trial?


Yes, clearly, Anna, there's enough there on -- on several crimes, and there was before. People have been puzzling over the question of intent, but especially after these three hearings, I think that's now down pretty well. He knew that -- about the big lie. He knew about the illegality of what he was trying.

The big-ticket charge, at least so far in the ongoing DOJ investigation, seditious conspiracy. I don't think they have sealed the deal on that yet, because it requires a specific agreement with Trump and one of the other conspirators. But that could happen, still.

And finally, it's just -- we just have to realize that it would be unprecedented and grave, and maybe a good thing, but grave to indict a former president of the United States. So there will be other considerations, apart from the normal box checking. Can they show he's guilty, and is it a righteous case, in sort of shorthand.

But the short answers to those two standard questions now are, yes, pretty much beyond any doubt, and almost all observers agree.

COREN: I hear what you're saying in that it is unprecedented to indict a former president, but let me read some of the testimony from -- from Pence's, I guess, lawyer at the time, Judge Michael Luttig.


COREN: He gave testimony today. He said that, if Pence had followed Trump's demands, it would have been tantamount to a revolution within a constitutional crisis, and that Trump and his supporters now remain a clear and present danger to American democracy.

So I guess my question to you is, what is at stake if Trump is in charge for what took place on January 6th?

LITMAN: It's a great question, and I personally come to the view that the only thing worse than prosecuting him would be not prosecuting him. So those very factors that you are setting out, Anna, he's still out there. He's calling January 6th, essentially, a great love-in. He is agitating. He's still toxic, cancerous, even, to the body politic.

Those are reasons that do weigh, in addition to everything else, in favor of prosecution. Merrick Garland is, you know, well-positioned and sophisticated to take those into account.

I'm just saying, it's got -- there's more to it than simple evidence. But yes, from what I've seen, compare, say, the only analogy to date, Nixon, where he had the decency to walk off the scene and protect the republic.

Trump, we found out today, on January 6th and since, has been completely indifferent to any -- any -- factor except winning and putting himself in power. That is all the more reason, I agree. But of course, it's Merrick Garland's determination that will matter to prosecute him now.

COREN: Harry, I want to ask you about Ginni Thomas. This is obviously an unfolding story. She's the wife of Justice Clarence Thomas. Her email with John Eastman. I mean, what are the legal implications? And what could this mean for Justice Thomas's tenure on the Supreme Court bench?

LITMAN: I mean, so far, every -- every sort of funky, or -- or unseemly thing we've found out about Virginia Thomas -- Ginni Thomas went immediately back to the justice. I think now she is out front on her own as a potential coconspirator.

So Eastman, you saw him take the Fifth, the 150 times. He's really in the soup now and looking at criminal liability on -- for two or three different crimes, I think.

And now she -- she is involved with him. She's importuning the electors in Arizona to change things around. She's just deeply up to her elbows in mischief.


And as with Eastman, it's all bottomed on a lie, which makes it all fraudulent.

So I think she's actually, with these latest revelations, kind of cleaved herself away. It's not just a matter of what does it mean for a spouse of a Supreme Court justice. It's Ginni Thomas herself.

Now of course, if she's charged, anything involving her would be -- would require Thomas to step aside, would shine a very harsh light on him, because the two of them have been sort of handholding, you know, worriers for the cause.

But I think now, Ginni Thomas is, you know, on her own, and she's going -- she's indicated today they were not going to touch her. As of yesterday, these new revelations make them want to speak with her. And she says she'll come in and clear things up. And that would also mean information about Eastman and others she's dealt with.

We'll see if she really follows through on that pledge. But we might -- we might actually be seeing her with her right hand raised in one of these upcoming hearings.

COREN: An extraordinary development indeed. Harry Litman, great to have you with us. Thanks so much.

LITMAN: Thank you, Anna. COREN: Well, coming up, it was a tough day on Wall Street, with

markets rattled by fears of a recession. A look at the plunging numbers after the break.

Plus, the Golden State Warriors and the Boston Celtics battle it out in the NBA finals, where only one team can walk away with the title. We'll find out who is hoisting the trophy, just ahead.


COREN: Well, Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors are celebrating their fourth U.S. pro basketball championship in eight years.

It was a hard-fought series, where the Warriors trounced the Boston Celtics in game six of the NBA finals.

The Celtics started the game with a big lead. The Warriors came roaring back with a 21-to-nothing run, the highest scoring run in an NBA finals game in the last 50 years.

Be sure to stay with us. We'll have more on the game just ahead in WORLD SPORT.

Well, global markets have taken a tumble over fears of recession after the U.S. Federal Reserve announced its largest interest rate hike in decades in an attempt to get inflation under control.

Let's take a look at the current numbers in Asia. As you can see, the Nikkei is down more than one-and-three-quarter percent. The Hong Kong Hang Seng is up three-quarters of a percent. The Shanghai Composite is relatively flat.

Well, this follows Thursday's plunge on Wall Street. The Dow dropped more than 740 points, falling below the 30,000 benchmark, its lowest level in a year.

Well, meanwhile, other central banks are making moves of their own to combat inflation. The Bank of England raised its interest rate by 25 basis points to 1.25 percent. That's the Fifth hike since December.


The Swiss National Bank also raised rates for the first time in 15 years, surprising many economists. And the Hong Kong Monetary Authority increased its policy rate by 75 basis points on Thursday.

Well, Turkey has one of the worst inflation rates in the world, reaching a jaw-dropping 73.5 percent in May. And while many countries are raising interest rates to try to curb inflation, the Turkish president is taking a different approach.

CNN's Jomana Karadsheh explains.


JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: There is one thing that dominates conversations here, and that is the state of the economy. While so many countries around the world are facing rising inflation, Turkey's facing its worst inflation in more than 20 years.

According to government figures, inflation rate hit 73.5 percent in May. That is more than 70 percent. And many believe that, in reality, it is much higher than that.

People are struggling to keep up with this rising inflation rates. The cost of pretty much everything has gone up. Transport has gone up by more than 107 percent in May, compared to the previous year.

Household goods, furniture, more than 82 percent. But the one that has hit so many so hard, is the cost of food. Everyday staples have gone up by more than 90 percent.

KARADSHEH (voice-over): Restaurant owner Barash (ph) says with prices going up several times a month, they can't have fixed prices anymore. Costs are going up, but they can't keep raising their prices, he tells us. "We used to see some customers four or five times a month. Now, we see them once a month, if at all," he says.

"It's an economic crisis," says business owner Begoum (ph). "We used to talk about people in Russia buying one tomato at a time. Now, that's our situation. We are in the same boat."

Restaurant worker Farhat (ph) says he's struggling to make ends meet and is drowning in debt. "It's like we work for nothing. Our work goes down the train," he tells us. "Every day we sink lower and lower," he says.

The war in Ukraine, rising global energy prices, and the local currency, the Turkish lira, losing about half of its value over the past year have all contributed to this situation. But many economists blame much of this on President Erdogan's unorthodox economic policies.

Turkey has been facing double-digit inflation for years now. And many countries, to fight inflation, would raise the borrowing costs. But not in Turkey.

KARADSHEH: The president is a staunch opponent of interest rates that he describes as an evil that makes the rich richer and the poor poorer. And he's recently doubled down on that and said that Turkey will continue to cut interest rates.

He believes that a depreciated currency, lower interest rates, will boost production, jobs, exports, and tourism. But experts have been questioning the president's plan and warning that it will backfire, and that it is the Turkish population that will continue to bear the brunt of this.

Jomana Karadsheh, CNN, Istanbul.


COREN: U.S. military aid is flying into Ukraine for now. Our Matthew Chance sits down with Ukraine's defense minister and asks, will it keep coming?


OLEKSIY REZNIKOV, UKRAINIAN DEFENSE MINISTER: They told me, Oleksiy, don't worry. We will not stop.

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Do you really believe that that is a genuine commitment by the United States to continue to militarily back Ukraine into the future, no matter what?


COREN: His answer, coming up.



COREN: Welcome back. You are watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Anna Coren, live from Hong Kong.

A blitzkriegs strategy blowing up in the Kremlin's face. Ukraine's defense minister is revealing new details about Russia's original plan for a quick victory in the war. And he told CNN's Matthew Chance Russian troops had expected to be in Kyiv in a matter of hours.


CHANCE (voice-over): This was the moment on the first day of this war Russia's plan for a lightning strike on Ukraine started to unravel.

We we witnessed these lightly-armed Russian airborne troops, fighting for their lives on the outskirts of Kyiv.

Now, the Ukrainian defense minister tells CNN written military orders recovered from the body of a Russian officer killed here, confirming his Russian commanders expected a quick and easy victory.

REZNIKOV: He had to be in government quarters after 12 hours from the invasion, from the start of the invasion.

CHANCE: Center of Kyiv?

REZNIKOV: Center of Kyiv. He had to control government buildings, office of president, Parliament. And -- and 72 hours after they were sure that, for example, president will be evacuated --

CHANCE: In retrospect, that looks astonishingly naive, doesn't it?

REZNIKOV: And frankly speaking, our partners, in different capitals of the world also was naive. They also told us that invasion was imminent and then you will fall. You have only 72 hours.

CHANCE: But for nearly four months now, Ukraine has been holding out, even defeating Russian forces near the capital with the help of armor- piercing weapons from the U.S. and others. The Biden administration has already committed $40 billion to this

fight, and the Ukrainian defense minister insists that Washington and its allies have assured him that support will continue.

REZNIKOV: Our partners will never stop. I was told that. I spoke with my friend, Austin, Lloyd Austin, Secretary of Defense of the United States Lloyd Austin; secretary of defense of U.K., Ben Wallace; and other colleagues. They told me, Oleksiy, don't worry, we will not stop.

CHANCE: Do you really believe that that is a genuine commitment by the United States to continue to militarily back Ukraine into the future, no matter what?

REZNIKOV: I heard yesterday, and I felt that it's absolutely honest.

CHANCE (voice-over): The Ukrainians are honest, too, about what their new weapons will be for. Weapons like the state-of-the-art M-triple-7 artillery guns from the U.S., that we were shown in Southern Ukraine earlier this month.

Or the multiple-launch rocket launchers that will soon be in service here. The defense minister says they will help Ukraine take back occupied land.

REZNIKOV: We are going to liberate all our territories --

CHANCE: All of it?

REZNIKOV: All of it.

CHANCE: How about Crimea?

REZNIKOV: Crimea is Ukrainian land. For me, it's absolutely understandable.

CHANCE: So you're saying that Crimea is a military objective of the Ukrainian armed forces, with this weapon?

REZNIKOV: I assure that Crimea is a strategic objection for Ukraine, because it's the Ukrainian territory. But we will move step-by-step.

The first stage, it's stabilization.



REZNIKOV: I will finish my -- the second stage, it's to kick them out to the 24th of February border situation.

And third stage, we will discuss it with our partners, how we will liberate our territories. Includes Crimea also.

CHANCE (voice-over): None of that will go down well in Moscow. And even with advanced Western weapons to replace these old Soviet ones, Ukraine looks set for a long fight.

Matthew Chance, CNN, Brussels.


COREN: Well, Dutch authorities say they foiled an attempt by a Russian spy to gain access to the International Criminal Court by pretending to be an intern.

They say a suspected operative of Russia's military intelligence service posed as a 33-year-old man who -- from Brazil, and successfully applied for the job at the ICC in the Hague.

But when he arrived in the Netherlands, he was deemed a potentially very high threat and refused entry.

The ICC is currently investigating allegations of Russian war crimes in Ukraine. So access to the court would have been highly valuable to Moscow.

Well, the number of people forced to leave their homes now is -- and become refugees worldwide is now at a record high. A new report from the UNHCR says more than 100 million people have been forced to flee war, violence, persecution and human rights abuses.

In Ukraine alone, more than 7 million people have been internally displaced, and more than 6 million more refugees have fled the country because of Putin's war.

The U.N. High Commission of Refugees says the current food crisis, intensified by the war in Ukraine, will make matters worse.


FILIPPO GRANDI, U.N. HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR REFUGEES: Unfortunately, I cannot imagine how, if you have a food crisis on top of everything that I have described. Right? War, human rights, climate, you name it. On top of that, you have a food crisis. It will just accelerate the trends that are described in this report.


COREN: The report primarily focused on 2021 and said more than two- thirds of those refugees came from just five countries: Syria, Venezuela, Afghanistan, South Sudan and Myanmar.

Well, parts of Europe are experiencing a dangerous heat wave, and it could soon get worse. We'll go to the CNN Weather Center for the very latest after the break.



COREN: Human remains believed to be of a British journalist and a Brazilian indigenous expert will undergo DNA testing in the coming day to identify them.

Brazilian authorities say the remains arrived in Brasilia on Thursday. It's thought they are of Don Phillips and Bruno Pereira. They disappeared while researching a book on conservation efforts in the region.

They had reportedly received death threats just days earlier. Brazil's president initially called the men reckless but has now sent their families condolences.

Brazilian authorities say a suspect in custody admitted to killing the pair and indicated where their bodies were buried. Authorities also arrested a second suspect.

Well, parts of Western Europe are coping with a dangerous heat wave. Officials say a town in Southern France reported a temperature of 40 degrees Celsius, or 104 Fahrenheit, on Thursday.

No place in mainland France has ever reached that temperature so early in the year. And forecasts indicate that Paris could see the hottest June day yet this weekend.

Spain is also experiencing hotter than normal temperatures, and the heat could peak this weekend. It's the most extreme heat wave Spain has seen and more than four decades.

Well, CNN meteorologist Karen Maginnis joins us now. And Karen, what is causing this?

KAREN MAGINNIS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yes, that is a very interesting question. Anna, we've got a ridge of high pressure. Essentially, it's a heat dome across much of Western Europe.

But on top of that, we've got this sub-Saharan air, which is moving up from the South. This reinforces this heat.

Now typically, climatologically speaking, we see the hottest temperatures in July, or maybe into August. So this really is exceptional.

But not just exceptional because the temperatures are above normal, but they're so far above what we typically see. Generally, we wouldn't see 34 degrees right now in Paris. That makes it so exceptionally hot.

Remember, this doesn't just affect people. It affects pets. It affects wildlife and livestock, as well.

In London, the temperature is expected to be 33 degrees. Now London, we're going to get a little bit of a break earlier than other sections of Western Europe.

Take a look at this. Across the Iberian Peninsula, in particular for Spain, temperatures should be in the upper 20s, maybe in the low 30s. We had readings in the 40s. And some of those 40-degree readings rival temperatures in the Middle East. We're seeing lots of 40s there. That's where it should be. But this

hot weather is going to scooch a little bit more towards the East, and as it does, it looks like areas across Italy, that's going to be exceptionally hot; still continue to cross the Iberian Peninsula.

But cooler conditions eventually starting on Sunday, across France. But it looks like those temperatures in some sections of the Northern Mediterranean, they will be exceptionally hot.

So a lot of precautions to take here. Stay hydrated. Stay in the shade. And if you can find some place to cool off, that's the best idea -- Anna.

COREN: Very good advice, Karen. Thanks so much for explaining that all to us. Great to see you.

Well, thank you so much for watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Anna Coren, live in Hong Kong. We'll have much more on the Golden State Warriors NBA championship coming up next on WORLD SPORT.