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Palestinians Felt More Outrage Against Israeli Police. Two Families Waiting for DNA Result; Heavy Rain Devastated Parts of Yellowstone National Park; Ukraine Expects More Action Than Talk; Recession Looming Amid Crisis; John Eastman's Plan Revealed by January 6th Committee; Ukraine Determined to Retake What Belongs to Them. Aired 3-4a ET
Aired June 17, 2022 - 03:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
KIM BRUNHUBER, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome to all of you watching us around the world. I'm Kim Brunhuber live at CNN headquarters in Atlanta.
Just ahead this hour, Ukraine host European leaders to talk E.U. membership, but President Zelenskyy is looking for more action than words from his counterparts. We'll take you live to Kyiv.
Plus, new testimony reveals new lies around January 6 while details on day three of congressional hearings.
And the massive rush of floodwaters at the Yellowstone River breaks record infrastructure, even forces a water plant to close and there could be more to come.
Several hours from now, the Russian president is expected to speak at an economic forum in St. Petersburg just one week after likening himself to Peter the Great to justify the war in Ukraine.
On Thursday, the Kremlin spokesperson said that Moscow will ride out the crippling western sanctions, and it is planning a very serious boost to its domestic production, and it will also increase imports from the east to compensate for western shortages.
Russia has every intention of completing its mission in the Donbas, and the future decisions about occupying cities like Odessa and Kharkiv will depend on, quote, "will of local people."
In just a few hours, the European Commission is expected to issue its opinion on whether Ukraine should be candidate for the E.U. Now to be clear, this is just a recommendation on candidacy, it would likely take years for Ukraine to become an actual member. But during a visit to Kyiv on Thursday the leaders of Italy, Germany, France, and Romania said they fully support fast-tracking Ukraine's candidacy.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) KLAUS IOHANNIS, PRESIDENT OF ROMANIA: Extraordinary times call for an
extraordinary strategic and visionary response. Granting E.U. candidate status to Ukraine in the Republic of Moldova and Georgia at the European Council next week is key in building a strong and lasting shield around our own values.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BRUNHUBER: President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that Ukraine is ready to work to become a full E.U. member, and he stress that the goal of Russia's invasion is to, quote, "break Ukraine, and break the whole of Europe through Ukraine." Now the sooner Ukraine receives more powerful weapons from the west the sooner it can and the Russia attacks.
Our Salma Abdelaziz is live from Kyiv. So, Salma, did President Zelenskyy get what he wanted essentially from his visitors?
SALMA ABDELAZIZ, CNN REPORTER: Well, I think that's to be seen, really, Kim. It was definitely a historic visit, first these three European leaders, the leaders of Germany, France, and Italy coming by train into Kyiv, a really a picture moment there, a photo opportunity.
They were later joined by the leader of Romania, one of war crime sites Irpin, they wanted to carry a message of solidarity. But if you look closely, there are cracks that were appearing in the European alliance. So, this was really a meeting more about mending fences. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ABDELAZIZ: Three European leaders traveling 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 PRESIDENT OF FRANCE (through translator): A message of European unity to Ukrainian men and women to support and talk about the future in the coming weeks. We know it will be very difficult. I want to be in support and at their side.
ABDELAZIZ: But Ukraine's deputy prime minister struck a more muted tone.
IRYNA VERESHCHUK, UKRAINE'S DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER: I'm not sure that there would be bright announcement following the meeting, but this regardless how it will be ending will be a historical, historical meeting.
ABDELAZIZ: 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, PRESIDENT OF UKRAINE (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: Set on healing divisions, the trip began with a tour of the devastated suburb or Irpin, a site of allege Russian atrocities.
MACRON (through translator): This is what we wanted to do by coming here, as for to see for ourselves, and to be able to have this exchange with President Zelenskyy and to talk about the future.
ABDELAZIZ: 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, and we will continue to do so for as long as Ukraine needs our support. We are currently training the Ukrainian military and state-of-the-art weapons.
ABDELAZIZ: 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: A historic visit meant to mend fences in the face of brewing Russian aggression.
ABDELAZIZ: Now back to your question about, Kim, did President Zelenskyy get what he wanted. Well, he wanted more military aid, that was pledged. But you can be sure that he is going to need more of that and he's going to want a larger contribution from these three powerhouse economies.
The other thing he wanted is to increase that stranglehold on President Putin, tighten those sanctions. There is no talk of that, no promise of that. Remember, Germany is still purchasing Russian oil and gas. They promised to phase it out by the end of the year, but President Zelenskyy feels that needs to happen sooner that sanctions need to be toughened.
So new movement there. And then in terms of President Zelenskyy's bid, his request to join the European Union, that's really about feeling excluded from the European community, feeling excluded from the security that comes with being a part of the European community. And he has repeatedly said, President Zelenskyy, that this is a fight
not just for Ukraine but Europe at large, for democracy at large. Yes, you did hear those leaders there say that they welcome that bid for Ukraine to join the E.U., but that's largely a symbolic gesture, Kim, because it can take years if not decades to actually join the E.U. So, I think President Zelenskyy will continue to hold their feet to the fire as this conflict drags out.
BRUNHUBER: All right, I appreciate it. Salma Abdelaziz in Kyiv.
A blistering strategy blowing up in the Kremlin's face. An exclusive interview Ukraine's defense minister revealing new details about Russia's original plan for quick victory in the war. He told CNN's Matthew Chance Russian troops have expected to be in Kyiv in a matter of hours.
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This was the moment on the first day of this war that Russia's plan for a lightning strike on Ukraine, started to unravel.
UNKNOWN: Get inside, get inside, in here.
CHANCE: We witnessed lightly armed Russian airborne troops fighting for their lives on the outskirts of Kyiv. Now the Ukrainian defense minister tell CNN written military orders were recovered from the body of a Russian officer killed here. Confirming his Russian commanders expected a quick and easy victory.
OLEKSII REZNIKOV, UKRAINIAN DEFENSE MINISTER: He had to be in government quarter 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 72 hours after that, will sure that, for example, the president will be evacuated.
CHANCE: In retrospect, that is astonishingly naive, isn't it?
REZNIKOV: Abd frankly speaking, our partners in different capabilities all over the world also was naive. They also told us that the invasion was imminent and that 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 United States, secretary of defense of U.K., Ben Wallace and our other colleagues. They told me, Oleksii, 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 is absolutely honest.
CHANCE: And the Ukrainians are honest too, about what their new weapons will be for. Weapons like the state-of-the-art M777 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 that 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: What about Crimea?
REZNIKOV: Crimea is a Ukrainian land. For me, it's absolutely understandable.
CHANCE: So, you are saying that Crimea is a military objective of the Ukrainian armed forces with this weaponry?
REZNIKOV: I assure that Crimea is a strategic objection for Ukraine, because it is a Ukrainian territory. But we will go step-by-step.
CHANCE: I mean, --
REZNIKOV: The first -- the first stage is stabilization.
CHANCE: Right. There is --
REZNIKOV: I will finish my --
REZNIKOV: The second stage is to kick them out until the 24th of February border situation, and third stage, we will discuss it with our partners how we will liberate our territories. It includes Crimea also.
CHANCE: 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.
BRUNHUBER: That was a brutal day for global markets after the U.S. Federal Reserve announced its largest federal interest rate hike in decades in an attempt to get inflation under control. The Dow dropped more than 740 points Thursday falling below the 30,000 benchmark, its lowest level in a year.
Right now, U.S. futures are up just hours before the opening bell, also Europe has just begun its trading for the day and right now the Xetra and Paris CAC are trending up. The FTSE in the red there, we'll see how it plays out throughout the day.
And Thursday's plunging numbers come as consumers fear a recession could be on the horizon.
CNN's Rahel Solomon reports.
RAHEL SOLOMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It was an ugly day on Wall Street, Thursday's losses one day after the U.S. Federal Reserve announced it would be more aggressive in its approach to fighting inflation. The tech heavy NASDAQ was the hardest hit on Thursday of the three major averages. A common theme this year as the index has lost almost a third of its value.
Investors and Americans alike questioning, are we heading towards a recession? Rates are rising, making borrowing more expensive, and inflation is that a 40-year high not showing signs of easing. Chief economist at Moody's Analytics Mark Zandi offering this advice.
MARK ZANDI, CHIEF ECONOMIST, MOODY'S ANALYTICS: You know, the job market is not going to be what it was a few months ago here down the road. I mean, we have a record number of open positions, that's going to evaporate. We will see more layoffs. So, you know, I think I would be more cautious, but I wouldn't run for the bunker. I don't think you need to do that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOLOMON: And while Zandi admits the risk of a recession is very, high he says he also sees some paths to avoid one including the pandemic fading, oil prices moderating, and good policy making from the Federal Reserve. But all of those are unknowns right now, and if there's one thing investors don't like, it's uncertainty.
Rahel Solomon, CNN, New York.
BRUNHUBER: And U.S. consumers are acutely feeling the soaring rise of inflation, but will the Federal Reserve's interest rate hike really help prevent a recession? CNN economic and political commentator Catherine Rampell says we shouldn't get our hopes up. Have a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CATHERINE RAMPELL, CNN ECONOMICS COMMENTATOR: The real fear is that not only do we have this series of unlucky shocks like the war in Ukraine. Obviously, much more tragic consequences for the Ukrainians but higher cost of living for people in the United States as well.
Not only do you have those shocks. Avian flu, the war, lockdowns in China. You also run the longer-term risk of changing people's expectation about inflation. Meaning they start to anticipate price increases and then those price increases become self-fulfilling. Businesses say, hey, I'm really worried that my costs are going to up -- go up. I need to preemptively raise the prices that I charged to customers. And so, it just kind of feeds on itself.
That is the situation that in fact the Federal Reserve and other policy makers are really, really worried about. Historically, when the Fed has raised interest rates to try and get inflation under control, most of the time it has resulted in inflation. And excuse me, in a recession. Not deliberately necessarily, but that's the result in order to act aggressively to get inflation down, they push a little too hard. And you get a downturn. And it is a very real risk now.
I think the risks have risen in part because the inflation numbers are so bad that the Fed keeps having to, you know, raise its forecast for how much it's going to raise its interest rates, which in term raises the risk of recession.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BRUNHUBER: And our thanks to CNN economics and political commentator Catherine Rampell for joining us there.
Well, then U.S. Vice President Mike Pence came dangerously close to an angry mob calling for him to be hanged during the capitol riots. Just ahead, how one man close to Trump has emerged as the driving force to overturn the 2020 election, even if it meant violence. Stay with us.
BRUNHUBER: Well, if there is one dominant emerging from the January 6th hearings is the big lies lead to bad results. On Thursday the select committee focused on Trump lawyer John Eastman, as the man who spearheaded the effort to subvert the 2020 election.
And the committee reveal that just days after the deadly riot he helped instigate Eastman asked for presidential pardon. One help explain why Eastman had this to say when he was later interviewed by the committee about his role. Here he is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN EASTMAN, FORMER TRUMP ATTORNEY: I assert my fifth amendment right against being compelled to witness against myself.
The fifth. Fifth. Fifth. Fifth. Fifth.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BRUNHUBER: And maybe the most disturbing of all, both Eastman and Trump knew what they were doing was illegal. Now listen to what one of Pence's key advisers testified about Eastman.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNKNOWN: Did John Eastman ever admit, as you know in front of the president that his proposal would violate the Electoral Count Act?
GREG JACOB, FORMER COUNSEL TO VICE PRESIDENT PENCE: I believe he did on the 4th.
UNKNOWN: Did Dr. Eastman ever tell you what he thought the U.S. Supreme court would do if it had to decide this issue?
JACOB: Yes. We had an extended discussion, an hour and a half to two hours on January 5th. And, when I pressed him on the point, I said, John, if the vice president did what you were asking him to do, we would lose nine to nothing in the Supreme Court, wouldn't we? And he initially stated, well, I think maybe you would lose only 7 to 2, and after some further discussion acknowledged, well, yes, you are right, we would lose nine nothing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BRUNHUBER: Now for Mike Pence, January 6th appears to have severed any remnants of a relationship he and Trump may have had. As CNN's Brian Todd explains Pence has soured on Trump long before January 6.
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A once strong partnership splintered. Video played by the House committee investigating January 6th showed rioters outside the capitol calling for then Vice President Mike Pence's demise, which they would have been happy to help bring about.
UNKNOWN: Bring out Pence.
CROWD: Bring out Pence.
UNKNOWN: Bring out Pence.
UNKNOWN: I'm telling you, if Pence came, we are going to drag him (muted) through the streets. You (muted) politicians are going to get (muted) dragged through the streets.
REP. BENNIE THOMPSON (D-MS), CHAIR, JANUARY 6TH COMMITTEE: Donald Trump turned the mob on him. A mob that was chanting, hang Mike Pence.
TODD: The House committee revealed that Pence came a mere 40 feet from rioters then was ushered to safety by the Secret Service. A newly-obtained photo from ABC News shows Pence and his family hiding in a capitol office as the riot unfolded. Testimony was played from witnesses who recalled a heated phone conversation that morning.
Then President Trump lobbying insults at Pence, as Pence resisted Trump's pressure to not certify the election results. NICHOLAS LUNA, FORMER ASSISTANT TO PRESIDENT TRUMP: I remember
hearing the word, wimp.
UNKNOWN: The p-word --
MICHAEL D'ANTONIO, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: There is no love lost between these two now. And we should forget about any kumbaya moment.
TODD: A far cry from the first time Donald Trump and Mike Pence met. According to author Michael D'Antonio, who has written biographies of both men, that was in the summer of 2016 when Trump was looking for a vice presidential running mate. A visit to Indianapolis by Trump, D'Antonio says, played to Trump's ego and Pence's ambition.
D'ANTONIO: I think Trump was convinced, and partly because Pence was so obsequious in that moment. He praised Trump. He acted like he had no trouble, despite his Evangelical Christian morality associating himself with Trump.
TODD: Both men perfected the art of gushing over each other in public in those early days.
MICHAEL PENCE, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Donald Trump showed that you can have broad shoulders and still stand with grace and poise on the international stage.
TRUMP: Mike Pence did an incredible job.
TODD: D'Antonio believed that Pence was turned off by Trump's lying, his treatment of women and aides, but that Pence was determined to play the game better than anyone else, and became the ultimate loyalist, which was on display during sometimes cringeworthy cabinet meetings.
PENCE: Thank you, Mr. President, it is the greatest privilege in my life to serve as vice president to a president who is keeping his word to the American people.
TODD: The turning point, D'Antonio believes, when Trump pressured Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to investigate Joe and Hunter Biden, and the subsequent impeachment proceedings against Trump.
D'ANTONIO: Where the point when Pence probably thought this presidency is an absolute mess.
TODD: And a person familiar with the relationship tells CNN that Donald Trump and Mike Pence have not spoken a year. Both men reportedly now gearing up for possible presidential runs in 2024, where they will square off against each other in the GOP primaries and even more vitriol might emerge.
Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.
BRUNHUBER: All right, let's get more on this from CNN senior political analyst Ron Brownstein in Los Angeles. Ron, good to see you. So, a lot to choose from here but for you what was the most significant revelation?
RON BROWNSTEIN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: The most significant revelation I think was clearly that Donald Trump was told that his efforts were illegal and proceeded in anyway. The lawyer for the vice president Mr. Short testified that at a meeting in the White House John Eastman admitted that his scheme was illegal, that it violated the Electoral Count Act, that it would probably lose at the Supreme Court nine-0. And yet, Donald Trump continued to pressure the vice president to pursue that scheme.
And so, this goes this reinforces the evidence from the first two hearings of Bill Barr and others telling him that he lost the election and him proceeding down this path anyway. Both of them I think are critical from a criminal and legal point of view for the former president establishing his state of mind that he knew what he was doing, was not only wrong, but illegal and he continue to do it anyway, it seems like a very important threshold in terms of the Justice Department consideration of whether to charge him with the various crimes that are out there.
BRUNHUBER: Yes. But even though this is potentially criminal, I mean, you've seen the reaction from Republican politicians a dismiss of shrug essentially.
BRUNHUBER: Will this have any impact on politics do you think given that some Republicans running for office right now are using their participation in January 6th as a badge of honor?
BROWNSTEIN: Right. I mean, there are various components to that. I mean, right. As you point out, there is no question that an astonishing number of Republicans who are promoting Trump's lies that the election was stolen from him are winning nominations for office in 2022.
And the Washington Post calculated over 100 separate Republicans who are espousing Trump's discredited claims of fraud have won nominations. And this includes Republicans who are running for control of the machinery of the election in almost all of the states that will decide the 2024 presidency and the battle for the White House.
Just this week, an election denier was nominated by Republicans for secretary of state in Nevada which will be a contested state in 2024. You know, I think the answer -- the answer in terms of the immediate political impact I think is twofold.
In the midterm, this, it's not clear this will have a huge impact. I mean, voters are obviously concerned about the here and now, midterms really do turn to be, tend to be snapshots on voters' feelings about the country at this moment. Inflation obviously looming very large although I think that the January 6th hearings could affect the turnout mix.
The bigger -- the bigger issue is going to be 2024 and whether -- whether this will affect at the margin the number of American voters who are willing to trust Trump with the power of the presidency. It's not going to collapse his support but certainly I think this could have some downward pressure on the edges of the coalition, and if he gets invited, much less convicted obviously that's a whole other story.
BRUNHUBER: So that's the political outcome, perhaps, but you know, the higher purpose of this, people say is, you know, --
BRUNHUBER: -- just to prevent this type of thing from happening again. But as you say, the fact that so many secretaries of state are running for office --
BRUNHUBER: -- seem to be willing to subvert democracy despite what we are seeing from the January 6th committee. I mean, right now in New Mexico we have that county commission officer refusing to certify election results. So, no matter what happens here with the hearings, it doesn't seem to be stopping people from going down that path. Will that only happen if there are prosecutions?
BROWNSTEIN: Well, you, know there is no question that the overall threat to the integrity of the American elections is much greater now than it was even in the period immediately after the 2020 results when Donald Trump was hatching his plan. That essentially, belief in this broad lie is the ante for many Republican politicians. And critically, those who understand it to be both malicious and subversive and dangerous are not choosing to speak out in support of the January 6th committee.
I mean, I wrote this week on cnn.com, if you look at the period from when Richard Nixon was reelected in 1972 until when he resigned in August '74, his approval rating among Republican voters dropped 40 points from 90 percent to 50 percent. Part of that was there was no Fox News and others try to act as a, you know, a source of rebuttal of the information coming in, revelations coming out about, but it's also because there were many Republicans at each stage of the process who supported the genuine inquiry and sent signals to their voters that what was being uncovered was important.
We are not seeing that. I mean, people like Mitch McConnell who excoriated Trump for his behavior after, you know, after January 6th, although voted to not -- voted to acquit him on impeachment. He said he is not watching the hearings. And that's kind of the model here.
Republican voters are not getting any message that they need to take this seriously. And as long as that is the case, Trump's hold on the Republican Party will remain, you know, undiminished or certainly not overthrown. And as long as that is the case, as long as Trump -- the Trump (Inaudible) is nominated within the Republican Party the threat to American democracy will continue to grow.
BRUNHUBER: Yes, we'll have to leave it on that -- on that unfortunate note. Ron Brownstein, thanks so much for your perspective as always. I appreciate it.
BROWNSTEIN: Thank you.
BRUNHUBER: Two people are dead after a shooting at a church near Birmingham, Alabama. Police say the attack happened during a small group meeting at Saint Stephen's Episcopal Church Thursday evening. The shooter is in custody, but hasn't been identified yet. One person is being treated at a hospital for an unknown injury. A crowd of people formed a prayer circle outside the church following the deadly shooting.
And U.S. Senators have wrapped up meetings on Capitol Hill this week without any kind of deal on gun legislation. Negotiations have been stalled over two issues that have become crucial sticking points in the gun safety talks. Well now there are serious questions about whether a deal will make it to the Senate floor anytime soon.
The lead Democratic negotiator Chris Murphy says progress has been made over the last couple of days, and he thinks a vote could be held next week.
The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol and Tobacco and Firearms and Explosives, the ATF hasn't had a Senate confirmed director since 2015. And President Biden's nominee for the post may be in trouble.
On Thursday, the Senate judiciary committee deadlocked in its vote to sends Steven Dettelbach to a full Senate for a vote, and that vote is scheduled for next week. Democrats will have to use an additional procedural maneuver to push it to the floor. Democrats blame partisan politics for Thursday's deadlocked vote.
All right, still ahead, the findings of a police probe into the controversial actions of Israeli authorities during the funeral for a slain journalist. We'll have live reports from Jerusalem just ahead.
KIM BRUNHUBER, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back to all of you watching us around the world. I'm Kim Brunhuber. This is CNN Newsroom.
Authorities in Israel say they have concluded their investigation into police actions during the funeral procession for slain Al Jazeera journalist. Police have come under widespread criticism following the procession after television footage showed officers striking mourners with batons nearly causing pall breakers (Ph) to drop the coffin carrying the body of journalist Shireen Abu Akleh.
For more on this, I'm joined by CNN's Hadas Gold in Jerusalem. So, Hadas, what more can you tell us about the investigation?
HADAS GOLD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, as you said, the Israeli police have come under really widespread international criticism for police conduct during that funeral. Where we saw those really stunning and tough to watch images of pallbearers of mourners, the thousands of Palestinians who had flooded the streets of Jerusalem. Essentially, being assaulted, beaten by Israeli police, almost causing Shireen's coffin to fall during the funeral.
Now, police at the time said that they were responding to objects like rocks being thrown at them, during the funeral, and the police also said that initially in an agreement with Shireen abu Akleh's family, the coffin was supposed to be taken on the procession by hearse, by car through the streets of Jerusalem. But the mourners wanted to carry her by foot through the streets of Jerusalem. A very symbolic gesture to the thousands of Palestinians who had flooded into Jerusalem to honor somebody who is really an icon to so many Palestinians.
Now the police said in a statement after this, they said that the probe had been concluded. They called it a complex event and they did acknowledge that it is impossible to remain indifferent to the harsh images. Of course, the images that we are seeing right now of the police conduct with the mourners.
But the police commissioner said seem to still be placing the blame on the mourners, saying we must thoroughly learn the lessons from the incident so that in the future sensitive events such as this will not be disturbed by violent rioters and will be respected.
Now Israeli media is widely reporting that no police officers on duty, or their commanders will be penalized for the conduct. Of course, this is not being accepted by so many Palestinians who say that just looking at these images, it's hard to really swallow them and hard to imagine that nobody will be penalized, there will be no sure consequences for the police actions in all of this.
Of course, right after these events took place the White House U.S. secretary of state call the images disturbing, and saying, that they were deeply troubled by them. So far, we have not heard any statement from the Palestinian authority on this police probe. Kim?
BRUNHUBER: All right, thanks so much, Hadas Gold in Jerusalem, I appreciate it.
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 and pinpoint the cause of death. Brazilian authorities say the remains arrived in Brasilia on Thursday. Brazil's president initially called the men reckless, but has now sent their families condolences.
CNN's Shasta Darlington has more.
SHASTA DARLINGTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A sense of sadness and mourning in Brazil over the apparent murder of a British journalist and indigenous expert in a remote region of the Amazon. On Wednesday night, Brazilian authorities announced that a suspect, a local fisherman had admitted to killing Dom Phillips and Bruno Pereira. And he then led them to human remains, while testing is still being done in Brasilia to confirm their identity, family and friends of the victims paid tribute to them on Thursday.
Phillips' wife released a statement declaring, although we are still awaiting definitive confirmation, this tragic outcome puts an end to the anguish of not knowing Dom and Bruno's whereabouts. His siblings paid special tribute to the indigenous groups that led the search and rescue efforts.
Now the two men vanished during a trip in the Javari Valley in the far western part of Amazonas state on June 5th. It's a protected region 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 in the region. Both men had recently received death threats, and indigenous groups were quick to respond when they went missing.
Pereira's wife, Beatriz Matos, tweeted on Thursday, now that Bruno's spirits are wandering in the forest and spread among us, our strength is much greater. The investigation of course continues as authorities try to identify other possible suspects, and confirm the motive behind the attack.
But tributes were pouring in with many colleagues vowing to continue with the important work started by Phillips and Pereira documenting the challenges facing the Amazon.
Shasta Darlington, CNN, Sau Paulo.
BRUNHUBER: The landscape of a U.S. national treasure may be forever changed. New images of the devastating flooding surrounding Yellowstone National Park after the break. Stay with us.
BRUNHUBER: Wildfires are raging in Spain amid soaring temperatures there. Right now, three wildfires are burning in the Catalonia region in the northern -- northeast Spain. The fires which started on Wednesday have burned 1,6000 hectares, that's nearly 4,000 acres. Spain has been hit with scorching heat since last week. It is the earliest summer heat wave since 1981.
And countries around the world are coping with dangerous extreme heat. Officials say a town in southern France reported temperatures of 40 degrees Celsius, or 104 Fahrenheit on Thursday. And forecast indicate that Paris could see the hottest June day yet this weekend. And in the U.S. more than a dozen cities set records for daily high temperatures and Kansas at least 2,000 cattle died during -- due to the heat and humidity. And officials say a tourist in Death Valley National Park was found dead after his car ran out of gas. In Wisconsin, officials are investigating at least two heat related deaths.
Now one of the greatest national parks in the U.S., Yellowstone could partially reopen next week after historic flooding. The floodwaters got so high that they threatened fresh drinking water supplies in Montana's largest city. And there is more rain to come.
CNN's Nick Watt reports.
NICK WATT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The water plant here in Billings was built to where the river runs at 15 feet or below. This week, it hit 16 and a half, a 500-year event, a record high. That plant forced to close briefly.
QUENTIN MCEVOY, RESIDENT, BILLINGS, MONTANA: This bridge is surreal. Seeing all the bridges go down across the state, I mean, I'm just glad this one is still here.
WATT: Here is one up river that did not survive. Before and after. Just how abnormal and predictable was this rush of water? Well, this time last year, the Yellowstone River at Billings was running at 8,000 cubic feet a second. A record low. This week it hit 87,000 peaked around here Wednesday afternoon.
GENE KLAMERT, BULLS EYE RANCH: I started moving cattle about noon in the back there. And moving them towards the front here where it's a little higher ground. The last ones had to swim out. It was that deep. They were -- they were -- it was -- all you could see was their heads.
WATT: Further up, a Yellowstone tributary in Red Lodge, the river ran through it. Broadway Avenue now covered in rocks, left behind by floodwaters. The southern part of Yellowstone Park might open as early as Monday, the north entrance is going to be months. New satellite images show what little is left of the only road in. This flooding was fueled by heavy rain and high temperatures of melting snow. Tonight, similar conditions return.
CHAD MYERS, CNN SEVERE WEATHER EXPERT: Overnight last night was perfect. Zooming you in to Yellowstone. Temperatures were below freezing on top of that snow. So, stopping the melting in its tracks, freezing the snow backup. But then by tomorrow, more temperatures well above freezing. More melting and even by Saturday, the possibility of some rain. There's a lot more snow on top of those mountains.
WATT: Our exclusive video shows what this river has already wrought. So, for now, the Yellowstone River is still falling. Wednesday this was all under water. The good news, that forecasted rain and snow melt over the next few days is only going to raise the river by about two feet. Should be manageable. Fingers crossed.
Nick Watt, Billings, Montana. (END VIDEOTAPE)
BRUNHUBER: I'm Kim Brunhuber. Thanks so much for watching. Max Foster will have more CNN Newsroom in about 15 minutes. In the meantime, Inside Africa is next.