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Ukraine Closer to Joining E.U.; Russia's War on Ukraine; Severe Weather around the World; Lifeguard Shortage Causes Pools to Close; U.K. Approves Extradition Order for Julian Assange; Texas Officials Look to Ease Migration Flow; U.S. Space Force Trains First Guardians. Aired 1-2a ET

Aired June 18, 2022 - 01:00   ET




MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Hello and welcome, live from Studio 7 at CNN Center in Atlanta. I'm Michael Holmes.

Ahead here on CNN NEWSROOM, one small step closer: Ukraine receives the European Commission's backing to join the E.U.

Donald Trump defiant as ever, weighing in, in his first public appearance since the latest January 6th hearing.

And record setting heat, just the latest sign -- as if we needed any -- that our planet is in peril.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): Live from CNN Center, this is CNN NEWSROOM with Michael Holmes.

HOLMES: And we begin in Ukraine, which has just cleared the first hurdle on the path to join the European Union. E.U. and Ukrainian flags flew side by side in Kyiv on Friday after the European Commission recommended that Ukraine should be given candidate status.

The move doesn't guarantee membership, which could be years away. But President Zelenskyy says it still brings Ukraine a step closer to winning the war. The commission's leader says Ukraine deserves to be in.


URSULA VAN DER LEYEN, PRESIDENT, EUROPEAN COMMISSION: We all know that Ukrainians are ready to die for the European perspective. We want them to live with us the European dream.


HOLMES: Now the British prime minister, Boris Johnson, made a surprise visit to Kyiv on Friday, his second since the war began. He offered Ukraine a major military training program that he said would, quote, "fundamentally change the equation of the war."

New videos meanwhile appear to show two U.S. military volunteers, who went missing in Ukraine. The footage appeared on pro-Russia social media and news outlets. That doesn't make it clear who is holding the two men exactly and the Kremlin still claims it knows nothing about them.

CNN is not showing the videos because the two men are clearly under duress. But Sam Kiley is finding out more about how they went missing.


SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): These two American fighters have their hands bound behind them.

They're dressed in uniforms not their own and they may well have been captured by the very Russians that they've been fighting. This as far as it goes as good news for the comrade who last saw a T72 tank open fire on his two friends.

KILEY: Does that give you any kind of cause for hope?

PIP, FORMER U.S. SERVICE MEMBER: Absolutely. Absolutely. I wish I could say with 100 percent certainty that it's not a fake but I'm -- I have a lot of hope that it's them.

KILEY (voice-over): A former U.S. servicemen, he was in the same battle, as Alex Drueke and Andy Huynh when they went missing in action. He fears Russian reprisals in Ukraine and beyond. And once his identity and voice hidden, he uses the codename Pip. But for the first time on T.V., he described what happened on June the ninth about 20 miles northeast of Kharkiv.

PIP: The team was sent out on a mission on the ninth and they showed up in the area of operations and a full scale Russian armored assault was underway. A hasty defense was set up, two anti-tank teams were set up. Alex and Andy fired an RPG at a BMP that was coming through the woods and destroyed it.

A T72 then turned its turret and fired upon them, drove a few more meters forward and hit the anti-tank mine that our Ukrainian officer had placed. We suspect they were knocked out by either the T72 tank shooting at them or the blast of the mine.

KILEY (voice-over): So far, Russian officials have denied any knowledge of the missing Americans.

Two Britons, both with U.K. and Ukrainian citizenship were recently sentenced to death on charges of being mercenaries by a so called caught in the Russian back rebel area of Ukraine that calls itself the Donetsk People's Republic. They were long standing members of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. Huynh and Drueke had served alongside Pip in a three man team since April.

PIP: As far as I'm aware, were paid about the same if not exactly the same as the Ukrainian soldier who's on the front. And money is certainly not my motivation for being here. And I know it's not Andy's and it's not Alex's either.

KILEY (voice-over): Ukraine has been appealing for urgent supplies of ammunition and heavy weapons. It's also recruited large numbers. The details are kept secret of foreign volunteers into its international legion.

KILEY: So what advice would you give, finally, for anybody thinking of wanting to join the legion?

PIP: Oh, wow. Well, if you have no military background, if you don't have any combat experience, if you expect to come here with air support, intense helicopter support, then stay home.


PIP: Because that is not the case. It is the Russian army. And they have massive amounts of artillery. They have massive amounts of armor and the Ukrainians are giving it their damnedest.

KILEY: Did you make the right call?

PIP: I'll admit to questioning it once in a while but I think yes.

KILEY (voice-over): For those captured by Russia, that answer may no longer be quite so positive -- Sam Kiley, CNN, in Kharkiv.


HOLMES: And Salma Abdelaziz is monitoring diplomatic developments in Ukraine.

What has been the reaction there in Kyiv to this E.U. candidate membership proposal?

SALMA ABDELAZIZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: What we've heard from President Zelenskyy, of course, is an overwhelmingly positive note. He says this will make Ukraine stronger, more secure and more positive.

But this is largely a symbolic gesture at this point. Ascending to the E.U., that takes years if not decades. So this process has begun but it's going to be a long time before any Ukrainians get to see some results of it.

But it does begin to acknowledge something President Zelenskyy has repeatedly said over and over again about this conflict. He says the Ukrainians dying on the front lines in this country are not just dying for Ukraine; they're dying for Europe at large, that the security and sovereignty of Ukraine impacts the larger European region.

And for a long time he has felt sort of excluded, if you will, from that European club.

He also had that very key meeting this week with leaders of France, Italy and Germany, who came by train, this very symbolic moment, this photo op where they met with President Zelenskyy, where he's been sheltering throughout this war, to try to express their solidarity and their support.

But there's been cracks in the European alliance, if you will, that President Zelenskyy has been vocal, that the German chancellor and the French president in particular, in his opinion, have not been tough enough on Moscow.

He sees them as playing a balancing act, essentially trying to still continue to have these Russian interests, Russian ties in the case of Germany -- that is oil and gas; they promise to phase it out by the end of the year. But they still have those imports of oil and gas coming in from Russia.

In the case of the French president, President Zelenskyy has been vocal about his criticism that he feels Macron isn't tough enough on President Putin. He seems to strike a conciliatory tone at times in an attempt to bring him to the negotiating table.

So this very important week, where European leaders are trying to heal those divisions, trying to say, no, we understand Ukraine is part of the European community and we understand their security matters to the rest of the region.

HOLMES: All right, Salma Abdelaziz there in Kyiv, appreciate it. Thanks so much.

Now Russia's president struck a defiant tone on Friday as Vladimir Putin aired his grievances against the West in what was billed as a major speech. And as Fred Pleitgen reports for us, the Russian leader also vowing to press on with his invasion of Ukraine.


FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice- over): As Russia continues its invasion of Ukraine, President Vladimir Putin laid out his plans to counter U.S. led sanctions.

Putin making clear Russia will not back down from what they call the special military operation. Old goals of the military operation will be accomplished, he said.

Putin also claiming Russia was forced to invade because the U.S. was bringing Ukraine into its orbit. Russia's decision to conduct a special military operation was forced, he said, difficult, of course but forced and necessarily.

Putin then threatening the U.S. moment as the world's top power is coming to an end. When they won the Cold War, the U.S. declared themselves God's own representatives on earth, he says, people who have no responsibilities only interests, they have declared those interests sacred.

The U.S. and its allies reject any notion of fueling the conflict in Ukraine and have hit Moscow with massive economic sanctions. But Putin says the measures aren't working. The calculation was clear, to crush the Russian economy with a swoop, he says, obviously, it didn't work. The U.S. accuses Russia of worsening world hunger by blockading Ukrainian ports and causing a massive spike in gas prices. Putin again blaming the West. Even higher prices threatening famine in the poorest countries and this will be entirely on the conscience of the U.S. administration and the euro bureaucracy, he said.

As Western companies pull out of Russia in droves, Moscow was trying to reorient its economy. A top Russian Senator saying he believes Russia's invasion of Ukraine prevented a larger war with NATO even as Russia's own losses mount.


KONSTANTIN KOSACHEV, RUSSIAN SENATOR: We are all aware about the losses, which take place now. But I am absolutely sure that we have managed to prevent a huge war, probably a third world war.

PLEITGEN (voice-over): And Vladimir Putin says the operation in Ukraine will continue until Russia feels it has achieved its aims -- Fred Pleitgen, CNN, St. Petersburg, Russia.


HOLMES: Ukraine says it will fight a decision to move next year's Eurovision song contest out of the embattled country and to the United Kingdom. Ukraine's Kalush Orchestra won the songfest last month while the U.K.'s Sam Rider placed second.

Usually the winning country gets the stage the next Eurovision but the broadcasters who run the competition say the war makes staging it in Ukraine unfeasible. Ukraine's culture minister says his nation will appeal that decision.

Donald Trump is lashing out at the January 6th committee hearings, accused them of doctoring video testimonies that cast him in a very negative light. Yet both taped and live witnesses over three hearings have consistently shown Trump illegally tried to overturn the 2020 election, culminating in the Capitol riot.

Now the next hearing on Tuesday is expected to include two prominent Georgia election officials, who were pressured by Trump, to, quote, "find nonexistent votes" after he lost. CNN's Jessica Schneider has more on Trump's continued defiance and what lies ahead.


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: I never called Mike Pence a wimp. I never called him a wimp. Mike Pence had a chance to be great. He had a chance to be, frankly, historic.

But just like Bill Barr and the rest of these weak people, Mike -- and I say it sadly because I like them -- but Mike did not have the courage to act.

JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Former president Trump using his platform at a conservative political conference to deny the evidence against him and blast the January 6th committee.

TRUMP: They con people. They're con artists.

SCHNEIDER (voice-over): Trump's attacks come as the committee is gearing up for several more hearings. CNN has learned Georgia's Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger will at Tuesday's hearing with his deputy.

TRUMP: All I want to do is this. I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have.

SCHNEIDER (voice-over): They'll testify about Trump's efforts to pressure them to change the election result.

The committee also wants to talk to Ginni Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court justice Clarence Thomas, about her communications with Trump attorney John Eastman. Eastman devised the scheme to pressure then- vice president Mike Pence to block the certification of Biden's 2020 electoral win.

MIKE PENCE, FORMER U.S. VICE PRESIDENT: The teller is verified, it appears to be regular in form and authentic.

SCHNEIDER (voice-over): Something Pence ultimately refused to do.

REP. BENNIE THOMPSON (D), CHAIR, U.S. HOUSE SELECT COMMITTEE ON JANUARY 6 ATTACK: We have sent Ms. Thomas a letter asking us to come and talk to the committee. We look forward to her coming.

SCHNEIDER (voice-over): Ginni Thomas issued a short response to the committee via the conservative publication, "Daily Caller," saying she can't wait to clear up misconceptions, "I look forward talking to them."

Eastman denying he ever discussed election litigation that might before the Supreme Court with Ginni Thomas or with justice Clarence Thomas.

Eastman writing, "We have never engaged in such discussions, would not engage in such discussion and did not do so in December 2020 or anytime else."

While the committee has requested cooperation from outstanding witnesses, it has so far refused to share full transcripts of all of its interviews with the Justice Department but the committee says it will not be an obstacle to Justice Department prosecutions.

THOMPSON: We are not going to stop what we're doing to share the information that we've gotten so far with the Department of Justice. We have to do our work.

SCHNEIDER (voice-over): CNN has learned the panel is running into problems securing witnesses for an upcoming hearing about Trump's efforts to pressure the Justice Department to support and promote his false election fraud claims. While Jeffrey Rosen and Richard Donoghue, the top two officials at DOJ

in the final weeks of the Trump administration, are expected to appear, the committee is so far striking out with Pat Cipollone.

Cipollone is the former White House lawyer credited with talking some sense into Trump by threatening to resign. Sources say Cipollone is not expected to join the hearing in person, despite already talking to the committee privately.

SCHNEIDER: And "The New York Times" is also reporting that the committee could start sharing transcripts of those witness interviews with the Justice Department as soon as next month -- Jessica Schneider, CNN, Washington.


HOLMES: Countries around the world are experiencing a dangerous heat wave and that's one of the many climate warning signs we're seeing.


HOLMES: We'll check with a climate expert after the break.




HOLMES: France is experiencing record high temperatures that some forecasters thought the country wouldn't see for decades to come. Have a look at this.


HOLMES (voice-over): Now this is a video produced by the World Meteorological Organization back in 2014. What you're seeing there is a French weather forecaster, doing a mock forecast for the year 2050. You can see 2050 in the top right there.

And the idea was to warn of the kind of temperatures that might be to come, due to climate change. Well, get this: this week in France the once unthinkable temperatures on that mock map were almost exactly what the temperatures actually were, not in 2050 but this week.



HOLMES: In fact, two locations in France reached all-time temperature records Friday and several other places set monthly records. Heat is forecast to peak across much of the country in the coming day, including Paris, which could see its hottest June day yet.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) HOLMES (voice-over): And many people in the U.S. still in disbelief over the devastating flooding that shut down Yellowstone National Park this week. And look at the moment that house lost the fight against the powerful torrent. The U.S. Geological Survey describes that flooding as a once in 500 years event.



HOLMES: Richard Steiner is a conservation scientist and marine biologist. He joins me now from Anchorage in Alaska.

It's good to speak with you again. The flooding and the damage in Yellowstone National Park got the headlines this week. But there are plenty of other global climate warning signs.

What do you see ahead in this Northern Hemisphere summer?

RICHARD STEINER, CONSERVATION SCIENTIST AND MARINE BIOLOGIST: Well, it sort of seems like summer 2022. We're all collectively walking through the gates of hell together. This may be the summer that causes our politicians to wake up and fix this to the extent possible.

The entire Northern Hemisphere has set temperature records on land. There's record breaking drought, wildfires, floods in Southeast Asia. And this is not just North America. It's Europe and Asia and Southeast Asia and India and Pakistan as well.

So we know that this is going on. If you connect the dots between these crises, it's pretty apocalyptic. But then also in the ocean, which has absorbed about 90 percent of the excess heat we generate in the atmosphere, every year for the last six years, there's been the absolute record global ocean temperature.

And it just keeps going up, breaking records every year. So that's where most of the heat is stored and it's keep reradiating into the atmosphere, causing these typhoons and superstorms and droughts in one place and floods in another.

HOLMES: I know you mentioned this, you said hopefully this will be the thing that gets politicians going. But when we talk of warning signs, there have been decades of warning signs and warnings. And yet here we are.

Back in the '70s there were warnings from people like you.

I mean, potentially how bleak are things and what's the short to midterm outlook?

STEINER: Well, there certainly have been warning signs. Again, if people would just connect the dots that science has been observing over the last 30 to 40 years, you get the picture that this is exactly the way models have predicted.

And actually it's far worse and quicker than the models predicted it. But we're now in our energy transition into low carbon sustainable energy, clean energy, where we should have been about 30 years ago. We've lost decades in the necessary urgent transition.

But it doesn't mean we're out of luck entirely. We can still salvage a habitable future if we get to work right now. We can no longer keep warming below 1.5 degrees C, which was the initial target for catastrophic change. We're going to break that, no question about it. The heat's already in the atmosphere and the oceans to get us past that.

But we can keep it below 2 degrees C and that's got to be our new goal. We can do -- every atom of carbon that we keep collectively out of the atmosphere now will give our descendants and the biosphere that much more of a chance of a habitable future. That's our (INAUDIBLE) --

HOLMES: For those who perhaps aren't looking at weather only, climate change is causing economic migration. Conflicts over water and food are possible.

For those who aren't worried about the weather necessarily, there are national security implications of climate change, are there not?

STEINER: Absolutely. And we're seeing that today. First of all you mention tipping points. There is no one tipping point. There's sort of a continuum of tipping points. We've already passed the first few of those, where there is catastrophic change caused by climate change and global warming. We're there.

If you connect the dots we see that. But things will get much worse before they get better. But we know where the big tipping point is and that's 2030 if we don't reduce emissions by 50 percent by then.

Then we've got a much more apocalyptic future, including security issues. We're seeing it in food crises, water crises, intergovernmental instabilities, migration -- there's already tens of millions of climate refugees, both internally displaced and across borders every year.

There's a projection that that will increase to 1 billion people displaced by climate change, climate refugees by 2050. These are all realistic scenarios unless we get serious about it right now.


STEINER: We look at the southern border of the United States with thousands of people migrating to the border, trying to get into the country right now, that's just a small percentage of what's going to happen 10 to 20 years from now, with climate refugees trying to cross borders to a habitable world.

HOLMES: And indeed, some of those literally are climate refugees, because of droughts and so on in their own country. I wish we had more time. It's a vital issue. Richard Steiner, let's get you back. Thanks so much.

STEINER: Glad to. Thanks, Michael. (END VIDEOTAPE)

HOLMES: And those of you watching us internationally, thanks for watching. I'm Michael Holmes. You can follow me on Twitter and Instagram @HolmesCNN.

For our international viewers, "LIVING GOLF" coming up next. For viewers here in North America, I'll be back with more news after the break.





HOLMES: It was another rocky day on Wall Street after the Federal Reserve hiked interest rates this week to tame soaring inflation. Stocks trying to stage a comeback but failed to offset the effects of the prior day's selloff.

The Dow edging down on Friday; the Nasdaq gained more than 1 percent. The S&P closing marginally higher but still wound up with its worst week since 2020.

And despite what is happening on Wall Street, the U.S. President says he is confident about America's economy. Joe Biden telling the Associated Press that the U.S. is in a stronger position than any other nation to overcome inflation. He also addressed rising fuel costs at an energy forum on Friday.


JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: In the United States, I'm using every lever available to me to bring down prices for the American people. And our nations are working together to stabilize the global energy market, including coordinating the largest release from a global reserve, from global oil reserves in history.


HOLMES: Corporate America less optimistic; six out of 10 CEOs told the conference board they expect a recession in their region; 15 percent say a recession has already begun.

Meanwhile, staff shortages across the U.S. are putting a damper on summer plans for people all across the country, especially at public swimming pools. CNN's Vanessa Yurkevich with more on that.




YURKEVICH: How long ago was that?

BORLANDOE: I'm 70 now.

YURKEVICH: This summer, Robin Borlandoe is taking the plunge, getting back in the pool in Philadelphia to be a lifeguard, 54 years later.

BORLANDOE: I want to do something and feel worthwhile, purpose or something.

YURKEVICH: She found her calling after she heard the Philadelphia parks and recreation department wouldn't be able to open all of their 70 pools this summer. They're facing lifeguard shortages and so is the rest of the country. One-third of the 309,000 public pools nationwide will not open.

How many do you think you realistically will be able to open this year?

KATHRYN OTT LOVELL, COMMISSIONER, PHILADELPHIA PARKS & RECREATION: We're going to have about 80 percent of the staff we need, so we're hopeful we're going to get to about 80 percent of pools we're able to open.

YURKEVICH: It's part of the fierce competition for workers in a red hot summer job market, fueled in part by the lack of foreign workers following COVID immigration restrictions. There are 11.4 million unfilled jobs with an unemployment rate of 3.6 percent. And despite raising wages, a marketing campaign on TikTok and free certification, the Philadelphia Parks and Rec Department can't find enough lifeguards.

LOVELL: Have people saying to us all the time, target is offering $18 an hour, I'll be in the air conditioning and I get a discount.

YURKEVICH: How do you fight that?

LOVELL: It's hard.

YURKEVICH: When public pools don't open, it leaves some neighborhoods without an escape from the heat and crime.

LOVELL: We're experiencing a huge uptick in violent crimes, specifically gun violence. Critical for us to have safe spaces like this.

YURKEVICH: And across the country, YMCAs which typically serve lower income families have 75 percent of the 250,000 staff members they need to operate.

PAUL MCENTIRE, EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT, YMCA: We have competition in our maintenance, cleaning and cooking staff with anything that would fall under the hospitality industry.

YURKEVICH: Those camps, more than 1700 of them nationally, also act as child care when kids are out of school. Critical so parents can work.

MCENTIRE: We still have most of our camps, a need for more staff to be able to take children off the wait list.

YURKEVICH: As Borlandoe waits for Philadelphia's pools to open by the end of this month, she now sees her role as more than just a lifeguard.

How do you thing it's going to be different this time around?

BORLANDOE: I'm hoping that being a mother and a grandmother, I'm hoping I'm a little wiser now. And that's what I want to bring, just natural, just that warmth, that for -- but don't test me, though.

YURKEVICH (voice-over): Vanessa Yurkevich, CNN, Philadelphia.


HOLMES: On Friday, the U.K. approved the extradition of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to the United States. He's wanted on 18 criminal charges connected to the release of thousands of classified documents.


HOLMES: He faces up to 175 years in prison if convicted. CNN international diplomatic editor Nic Robertson with more.


NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: The British government is saying that Julian Assange's extradition can go ahead because it's not oppressive, because it's not unjust, because it's not going to lead to an abuse of power and it's not going to violate his human rights.

Now there had been an earlier judgment by a judge some time ago, many months, saying that Assange shouldn't be extradited because his mental well-being could not be guaranteed.

Now the British government is saying that they believe that he will get fairly and properly looked after, that his health and welfare will be properly looked after and that he will have the freedom of expression.

They also have a bar set on extradition, that the subject cannot be exposed to the death penalty and, in this case, that would not happen to Assange and also that the extradition charges would be the charges that he would face in the United States and that also is a given in this case.

But Assange's family is calling this a very dark day for journalism. His wife is saying that she will fight for him in every way she can.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) STELLA MORIS, ASSANGE'S WIFE: We're not at the end of the road here. We're going to fight this. We're going to use every appeal avenue and we're going to fight. I'm going to spend every waking hour fighting for Julian until he's free, until justice is served.


ROBERTSON: Well, Assange's wife and his lawyers have 14 days to appeal. They can appeal through the British high courts, the magistrate's courts.

But they also say if they sort of run out of all possibilities within the U.K., then they'll turn to European courts for help and that could, indeed, slow down the process. They're also appealing to the Australian government, reminding the Australian government that Julian Assange is an Australian citizen.

And they'd like the Australian government to stop his extradition and get him freed as well. At the moment, though, 14 days for the appeal, this process has been running a long time and looks like it continues to run longer -- Nic Robertson, CNN, London.


HOLMES: Deadly heat, scorching deserts and treacherous rivers make the migrant journey extremely dangerous. Yet more people than ever are willing to risk their lives to cross the U.S.-Mexico border. We'll take you to Texas to see how officials there are dealing with this crisis. We'll be right back.





HOLMES: Welcome back.

The U.S. says it is stopping more migrants than ever before trying to legally cross the southern border, nearly 240,000 people just last month. And local officials fear the crisis will only worsen. A migrant's journey is extremely dangerous. Many don't survive. CNN's Priscilla Alvarez has that story from El Paso, Texas.


PRISCILLA ALVAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In these roaring waters, first responders train for the worst, migrants who have been swept away while trying to cross the U.S.-Mexico border.

KRIS MENENDEZ, CAPTAIN, EL PASO FIRE DEPARTMENT WATER RESCUE TEAM: Get pushed underneath, you get pushed out, so, you know, it can mean life or death. ALVAREZ: Already, authorities say they there have been eight deaths here in the span of a week, signaling a grim outlook for the summer as migrants' journey to the border in extreme conditions. The canal here, intended to get water to farmers, poses a unique danger with higher water levels and a fast moving current.

Kris Menendez, captain of the El Paso Fire Department Water Rescue Team, is bracing for more rescues and potential drownings.

MENENDEZ: We can throw a rope, throw the marine and they can rescue themselves off that device. But a lot of times that's not the case. We come in when it's too late, they're deceased.

ALVAREZ: Rescues already outpaced last fiscal year. Since October, there have been more than 14,000 searches and rescues along the southwest border, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection. That's compared to over 12,800 in fiscal year 2021.

Border officials are on high alert, issuing warnings about the sweltering desert heat and crossing dangerous waters.

Migrants will also try to cross over the border wall and fall in the process. In the El Paso sector, there have been over 229 injuries since October from those falls. Agents will try to render aid or take migrants to the hospital if necessary.

DYLAN CORBETT, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, HOPE BORDER INSTITUTE: A lot of people at the shelter have been deported.

ALVAREZ: Dylan Corbett, head of the Hope Border Institute in El Paso says built-up pressure and insecurity has driven migrants to make risky decisions.

CORBETT: It's an index really of desperation, an index of pain. An index of frustration, of not being able to access asylum at our border.

ALVAREZ: A Trump era pandemic restriction is still in effect on the border, allowing officials to turn away migrants. That hasn't dissuaded people and thousands continue to wait in Mexico.

RUBEN GARCIA, DIRECTOR, ANNUNCIATION HOUSE: Had you come last week, the whole place was full.

ALVAREZ: Ruben Garcia runs a network of shelters here taking in migrants.

GARCIA: Over the last several months, the numbers have consistently been at 3,000 per week, 3,000 per week. So there were nights where we had close to 400 people sleeping here.

ALVAREZ: Southern border cities are adjusting to the reality that migration flows won't slow down. El Paso is now considering a processing center to alleviate stress shelters.

So what does this say about where we're going? [01:45:00]

JUDGE RICARDO SAMANIEGO, EL PASO COUNTY: I really believe that this is the new world that we're going to be experiencing and it's not going to be a temporary situation.

ALVAREZ: U.S. Customs and Border Protection stopped migrants nearly 240,000 times last month. That is a number that has gone up month by month and it raises serious concerns among authorities, as the temperatures climb into triple digits -- Priscilla Alvarez, CNN, El Paso, Texas.


HOLMES: Four military jets flew low over Arlington National Cemetery on Friday.


HOLMES (voice-over): Now this was a final tribute to Brigadier General Charles McGee, one of the original Tuskegee Airmen. The planes performed the Missing Man formation during his funeral.

Now this was attended by the U.S. Air Force Secretary and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The Tuskegee Airmen were the first squadron of Black aviators in the segregated U.S. military during the Second World War.

McGee successfully completed more than 400 air combat missions in three wars, World War II, Korea and Vietnam, all while navigating the racial barriers of the time. McGee received numerous awards and distinctions. He had logged more than 6,000 flying hours when he retired. He was 102 years old when he passed away in his sleep.


HOLMES: Recruits in the newest branch of U.S. military admit that they are space nerds. Just ahead, basic training begins for the U.S. Space Force but these guardians won't actually travel to outer space. We'll explain their duties when we come back.





HOLMES: Air travel in the U.S. has been facing major disruptions just as the summer travel season starts to heat up. More than 3,000 flights were canceled across Thursday and Friday, driven by severe weather but also continuing staffing shortages.

A source says the U.S. Transportation Secretary held a call with airline CEOs and urged them to do more to improve operations. There are headaches for travelers in Europe as well. Labor shortages

there causing flight cancellations and other restrictions at two of Europe's busiest airports. London's Gatwick Airport will limit the number of departures and landings in July and August.

And Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport will cap the number of travelers per day this summer.

Americans will have to wait until at least next year to get the latest 5G technology on their cell phones near certain airports. The FAA says mobile phone carriers have agreed to push back further the rollout of the technology.

The phone companies had originally agreed to wait until July 5th but the FAA now says that timeline is too aggressive. 5G transmission can interfere with airplanes' navigation devices near some airports. Now airlines will have more time to replace or upgrade certain equipment.

The newest branch of the U.S. military is training its recruits. It is the U.S. Space Force. And if that sounds like something out of "Star Trek," think again. As Kristin Fisher reports, the eyes of these new guardians will be looking toward the heavens but their mission firmly planted on the ground.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hurry up, Space Force. Hurry, up, let's go, let's go, let's go.

KRISTIN FISHER, CNN SPACE AND DEFENSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's day 38 of Space Force basic training at Joint Base San Antonio.

It may look and sound like basic boot camp for soldiers, sailors, Marines or airmen -- but these are guardians in the U.S. Space Force, the first new branch of the armed services in more than 70 years. And this is the first ever guardian-only basic training, led entirely by Space Force instructors.

MSGT. ERIC MISTROT, U.S. SPACE FORCE MILITARY TRAINING INSTRUCTOR: This is still the profession of arms. This is still the United States military. This is not space camp.

FISHER: Master Sergeant Eric Mistrot is the Space Force's first military training instructor. And he's in charge of all training for these 71 recruits over seven.5 weeks.

GUARDIAN SYRIAH HARRIS, U.S. SPACE FORCE: I come from like an Air Force family, so when Space Force was around, most people are like, what is that?

That's real?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They're like, what?

That's a real thing?

Yes, it's a real thing.

FISHER: The biggest change between this basic training and other boot camps is in the classroom. These guardians are being taught a brand- new Space Force specific curriculum, everything from space history to space vocabulary.

MISTROT: So if I see the word LEO, L-E-O, that stands for low earth orbit, right?

You need to start thinking along these lines. That the world is bigger than what you see, that we go out 22,500 miles into orbit.

FISHER: None of these guardians are actually going to space. They'll be operating U.S. military satellites from the ground or analyzing satellites from countries like China and Russia.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're not dealing with tanks or ballistics or anything like that. You're dealing with little blips on a little computer screen.

FISHER: It's a different type of war fighter, one that has to strain their eyes and flex their mind more than their muscles, which leads to the other big difference about this basic training.

MISTROT: We want to build guardians. And what a guardian is about our core values.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What courage means to you?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think courage for me means being able to ask for help when you need it.

FISHER: It's a mindset made for a modern military force.

LT. COL. TARA SHEA, COMMANDER, 1ST DELTA OPERATIONS SQUADRON, USSF: Maybe you need to step away and have meditation time. Whatever it is, we want our guardians to be strong and healthy from a diversity aspect and inclusivity aspect. We want them to feel like you can express that in our service.


HARRIS: Coming here like I had a lot of people are like, you know you're going to be the only Black girl there. I have two other teammates who look like me.

FISHER: But there are a lot of space nerds like yourself.

HARRIS: Oh, for sure.

FISHER: Like "Star Wars," "Star Trek"?

HARRIS: I'm not even that kind of space nerd. Never even seen it.

FISHER: What kind of space nerd are you?

HARRIS: I used to watch live screens of the moon rotating. Just -- I'm into that type of space.

FISHER: Just the kind of nerd that the Space Force is looking for to protect and shape a new domain of warfare.

HARRIS: We need our own Space Force basic training because we are our own branch now. We broke away, so we need to stop being in the shadows of the Air Force.

FISHER (voice-over): Kristin Fisher, CNN, Joint Base San Antonio.


HOLMES: Thanks for spending part of your day with me. I'm Michael Holmes. Do stick around. I'll be back with more news in just a moment.