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Europe Agrees To Gas Rationing As Russia Cuts Supply; U.S. Official: Russian Gas Cuts "Our Biggest Concern"; Ukraine: Russia Launches New Strikes Against Key Cities; Europe Battles Wildfires; Interest Rate Increase Expected from U.S. Federal Reserve; Top Economies Stagnate, IMF Lowers Global Projection; Russia's War on Ukraine; Russia Intends to Leave ISS; Winston Churchill Award Presented to Zelenskyy; OBGYN Provided Abortion to 10-Year-Old Rape Victim Feels Harassed; Interview with Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, WNBA Brittney Griner to Testify on Drug Trial in Russia; DOJ Investigating Trump's Actions on January 6. Aired 2-3a ET

Aired July 27, 2022 - 02:00   ET




ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Hello, and welcome to our viewers joining us from all around the world. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM. And I'm Rosemary Church.

Just ahead. Europe agrees to ration natural gas after Russia tightens the squeeze on its pipeline. And there's real concern about how this war on energy will play out

this winter.

Historic fires and floods. The effects of climate change being felt across the northern hemisphere.

Plus, as the U.S. Federal Reserve gets ready to raise interest rates again to fight inflation, the IMF sees storm clouds ahead for the global economy.

ANNOUNCER: Live from CNN Center. This is CNN NEWSROOM with Rosemary Church.

CHURCH: Good to have you with us. Well, Europe is waking up to less natural gas this morning as Russia is cutting the flow through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline to 20 percent of capacity. Moscow says more repairs are needed on turbines in the pipeline. But European leaders say its retaliation for sanctions imposed after Russia invaded Ukraine. To deal with the problem, the European Union is rationing its use of natural gas.

Member countries have agreed to lower demand by 15 percent starting next week, but the cuts are voluntary, and several E.U. members are exempt. Europe's energy chief says the plan should still be strong enough to prevent a supply shock. And CNN's Clare Sebastian is following developments live this hour. She joins us now from London. Good to see you, Clare. So, this has certainly tested E.U. unity. But for now at least member states appear to have passed that test. What is the latest on Russia's efforts to weaponize its energy?

CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Rosemary. The E.U. did this deal very quickly. Less than a week after the plan was first proposed, which if you compare that to how long it took them to get that oil embargo over the line is extremely fast and measure of the urgency of the situation here. There was one member who voted against the deal, the Hungarian government telling us that they were the one, the foreign minister calling the deal completely unacceptable.

So not complete unity, but still an extremely quick deal. There were of course other compromises in the deal as well, which you mentioned. But overall, this is something that the E.U. really needed to do demand cuts were essential. And this is how they got it over the line, Rosemary.


KADRI SIMSON, EUROPEAN COMMISSIONER FOR ENERGY: We haven't planned that takes us safely through next winter (INAUDIBLE) through energy independence.

SEBASTIAN: It was yet another test for European unity. The E.U. agreeing to work together to avoid winter natural gas shortages and defend themselves against what Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy calls Russia's overt gas war on Europe.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The negotiations were not easy --

SEBASTIAN: Not easy, but increasingly urgent. Russia tightened the screws again Monday, announcing the gas flowing through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline would be cut in half from Wednesday. Taking what was Europe's biggest gas supply route from Russia to just 20 percent capacity.

SIMSON: There is no technical reason to do so. This is a politically motivated step.

SEBASTIAN: Russia denies this. Once a symbol of Russia E.U. integration. Gazprom had already slashed supplies through the Nord Stream pipeline in June, blaming delays in the return of a turbine being repaired in Canada because of sanctions. Now, it says another turbine needs repairs.

MARIA SHAGINA, POSTDOCTORAL FELLOW, CENTER FOR EASTERN EUROPEAN STUDIES: It will trigger inflation. It will throw countries into recession. Germany has already announced stage two of its three stages in terms of gas rationing. It will be very precarious situation economically.

SEBASTIAN: Energy consultancy Wood Mackenzie says with Nord Stream pumping at 20 percent the E.U. should still be able to fill its gas storage to 75 to 80 percent ahead of winter which should leave a small amount leftover in the spring. That is unless it's an unusually cold winter.

In the end, getting this deal done meant compromising if the E.U. does have to trigger an alert and make the voluntary cuts mandatory some countries will be exempted or be given lower targets.


JOZEF SIKELA, MINISTER OF INDUSTRY AND TRADE OF THE CZECH REPUBLIC: First there is a derogation for Baltic States whose electricity system is synchronized with Russia. A derogation for islands, member states who are filling their gas storages for critical industries, states with limited interconnections temporary increased consumption of gas in electricity production.

SEBASTIAN: Cracks in the deal are already appearing. Hungary calling the agreement completely unacceptable. And even with these measures, Europe is now at the mercy of Mother Nature, praying for a mild winter.


CHURCH: Rosemary, winter isn't here yet, but the economic effects are already being felt. Take a look at this chart. Natural gas prices have been spiking as Russia has cut back further on supplies up about 20 percent in the last week alone. So you can see the effects there. E.U. inflation is already at 9.6 percent even though the European Central Bank has started to act to bring it down.

It could still go higher. And all of this, of course means that Russia can continue to test the resolve of Europe to continue to support Ukraine at the expense of its own economies, while at the same time Russia is making more from its energy exports.

CHURCH: All right. Clare Sebastian joining us with that. Many thanks. Appreciate it.

Well, Jonathan Stern is a distinguished research fellow at the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies. And he joins me now from London. Thank you so much for being with us.


CHURCH: So, Europe's energy requirements over the upcoming winter months could very well test the E.U.'s unity. How fragile is this new agreement to ration gas voluntarily by 15 percent? And will that be enough in the end?

STERN: Well, we don't really know whether it will be enough. And your correspondent mentioned that we're all praying for a warm winter. But we're also hoping that the liquefied natural gas supply, not least in fact, from the U.S. will hold up well, you recently had a problem with one of the major projects in the U.S. which means we have less LNG than we'd hoped. We're also really hoping that the Asian situation means that a country like China will continue its low imports of LNG.

But there are a lot of moving parts here. And if any of them goes against this, then we are going to struggle in Europe, particularly countries that are very dependent or have traditionally been very dependent on Russian gas, like Germany, Italy, Czech Republic. So, it's really a question of individual country situations rather than a European situation.

CHURCH: So, what is to stop Russia from cutting energy supplies even more just a squeeze Europe and put even more pressure on that fragile unity looking for cracks there?

STERN: Well, I think Russia has two contradictory incentives. The first incentive is that, as you say, there is a -- there is a desire, particularly from President Putin to ram the sanctions down our throats and essentially to say, you impose the sanctions and now they have consequences on you. And you need to recognize that. And the second is, of course, to continue to earn money from exporting energy to Europe.

Russia has traditionally earned a great deal of money from exporting natural gas, but also oil and coal which have also been sanctioned and will be probably phased out coal very shortly and oil towards the end of this year. So, Russia is in an interesting kind of economic and political situation where it has some contradictory incentives to both -- put pressure on Europe, but also continue to earn money.

CHURCH: So what alternative energy supplies should nations like Germany be considering instead of relying so heavily on Russia's oil and gas and falling victim clearly to Russia weaponizing its energy supplies?

STERN: Well, essentially, the greenhouse gas reduction targets which Europe has adopted meant that fossil fuels will be phased out over a longer period. The problem is the period of this year, next year and probably up to 2026 when it's going to be very, very difficult to move into other energy sources or reduce energy demand sufficiently quickly. So, we can move back towards coal in some countries but of course that increases our greenhouse gas emissions. Makes it much harder to meet targets that were already struggling to meet.


We can introduce more efficiency measures which we are doing but essentially over such a short period, the adjustment can only happen if we start to struggle in terms of energy supply through rationing and hence this E.U. measure to try and put in place the 15 percent cut.

CHURCH: Right. And of course, as we've mentioned, this is a voluntary cut, what happens if some nations don't do their part and there just isn't enough energy to warm every home that's needed to be warmed across the European continent?

STERN: First of all homes that is residential customers are protected from this, residential customers are prioritized and will not be cut under any circumstances. But the key thing for Europe is that some countries are very much exposed. As I mentioned before, Germany, Italy, Czech Republic, Slovakia, some countries are not really affected. Spain, Portugal, the U.K., even though it's not an E.U. member because they never depended very much on Russian, particularly Russian gas.

So, for some countries, this won't be a big problem. But for countries that have traditionally been very dependent on Russian gas, if the -- if the weather goes against us, then it's going to be very, very tough and it will probably impact industrial -- the industrial sector. And I think your correspondent mentioned the risk of recession, which we already have, that risk will be heightened and the recession could be deeper as a result of this.

CHURCH: All right. Jonathan Stern, thank you so much for joining us. Appreciate it.

STERN: Pleasure.

CHURCH: Well, Russia isn't easing up on its strikes against Ukraine. Two missiles hit an industrial district in Kharkiv early this morning according to the city's mayor. He says rescuers are already on site sorting through the rubble and you can see how Russian troops are closing in on how to cue from the east. The mayor of Mykolaiv says port infrastructure was damaged in a massive missile attack on Tuesday.

The city has been blasted almost every night for the past month. The Odesa region was also bombed for the second time since Saturday, leaving behind this smoldering wreckage. Ukraine's president says the Russian occupiers fired missiles designed to destroy warships at ordinary houses. And a Ukrainian official says the entire territory of Donetsk is under fire as Russian forces try to break down Ukrainian defenses.

Ukraine also says it -- says that Russia is deploying additional troops to bolster its positions in the southern flank. Videos posted online and geolocated by CNN show heavy military equipment on the move near Kherson and that's some of the lost territory that Ukrainian forces are trying to regain. And if they succeed, it could change the course of the war. CNN's Ivan Watson has details.


IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Scenes from Ukraine Southern front during the first months of the war. Footage shared exclusively with CNN shows Ukrainian Senior Lieutenant Andrii Pidlisnyi hiding in shell craters, flying a drone to call in artillery strikes on Russian positions.

But the team of spotters also narrowly escaped long range fire from the Russian military. Months after filming these videos Pidlisnyi is still fighting on the southern front.

WATSON (on camera): Were the Russians in this village before? UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

WATSON (voice over): Yes, the Ukrainian military is fighting to claw back territory seized by what this commander describes as well- prepared Russians.

ANDRII PIDLISNYI, UKRAINIAN ARMED FORCES: It's very slow, the process to take back all of our territories. But step by step and with the help of Western guns, vehicles and so on, artillery systems, we do that.

WATSON: This month, my team and I traveled the length of the southern front from the critical ports of Odessa to the edge of the Donbas region. I spoke to people willing to risk their lives against the Russian war machine.

In the city of Khryiv Rih, Ukrainian forces stormed a building. It's actually a training exercise to prepare these men for one of the most dangerous forms of modern warfare urban combat.

The commander here was gravely wounded pushing Russian-backed separatists out of cities in the eastern Donbas region in 2014.

We have a duty to liberate our territories, he says. This is our land and we will not give it to anyone.


That confident shared by a regiment of frontline troops in eastern Ukraine. They show off recently arrived British made Land Rovers and this armored personnel carrier.

WATSON (on camera): I just noticed something. Take a look over here at this tire. Made in Russia.

This was Russian.

VILNYI, AZO KYIV REGIMENT: It was a Russian car. But our soldiers fighter him and take this car.

WATSON: They captured (INAUDIBLE)

WATSON (voice over): But the war is taking a dreadful toll here. Day and night Russian rockets, S300 surface to air missiles repurpose to strike ground targets hound the frontline city of Mykolaiv. And more appear to be on the way. Ukrainian resistance groups shared this exclusive footage with CNN taken just days ago showing the arrival of a train full of missiles in the occupied southern Kherson region.

Later confirmed by these satellite images provided to CNN by Maxar. But with the help of U.S. long range rockets known as HIMARS, Ukraine has been targeting Russian ammunition depots. Senior Lieutenant Pidlisnyi says he noticed a difference on the frontlines.

PIDLISNYI: We had about two or three weeks when they haven't enough ammunition to fight us. WATSON: Still, he predicts it will take a long time for Ukraine to win the war in the South.

PIDLISNYI: I'm not sure that we will win until the end of this year. Maybe to the end of next year.

WATSON: Before I go, Pidlisnyi shows me captured Russian passports and driver's licenses.

WATSON (on camera): When did you capture this?

PIDLISNYI: About some weeks ago.

WATSON (voice over): Russian men ranging from 22 to 41 years old who Pidlisnyi speculates are now dead.

WATSON (on camera): They look like you.

PIDLISNYI: Yes. They look like me.

WATSON: They have similar names.

PIDLISNYI: Yes. But they are our enemies. I'm standing in my territory and they came to me to capture our territory to kill me, to kill maybe my parents.

WATSON: This is what Ukrainians are fighting for.

Ivan Watson, CNN on the southern front in Ukraine.


CHURCH: In the coming hours American basketball star Brittney Griner will testify for the first time in her criminal trial. And she may face cross examination. CNN Frederik Pleitgen brings us up to speed on the case.

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Wednesday is another key day for a WNBA star Brittney Griner as her trial continues in a Khimki on the outskirts of Moscow. And on Wednesday for the first time Brittney Griner herself is set to testify. Now according to her defense lawyers, she's going to testify and she might be questioned afterwards even though it's unclear and up to her whether or not she is actually going to answer the questions that will be posed to her.

Now, all of this is of course part of a broader strategy that the defense has. Brittney Griner has already pled guilty to the charges against her saying yes, she did try to take substances that are considered controlled in Russia into the Russian Federation. However, they are saying that this was a mistake that Brittney Griner made. And on Tuesday what we saw was the defense pull out, a -- an expert witness that said that, yes, in the United States, there is such a thing as medical marijuana that is prescribed by physicians, even though it is something that's considered illegal in Russia. And essentially, what the defense is saying is that this is something that Brittney Griner did for medical purposes and not for recreational purposes which of course could bring her leniency from the court as well. And that's really what a lot of the defense strategy is about. There were some character witnesses that have also been called, like, for instance, a former teammate of Brittney Griner in Russia, also the team manager who did say that Brittney Griner is an extremely important figure for women's basketball, not just internationally but specifically has also done a lot for the sport in the Russian Federation as well.

The (INAUDIBLE) affair of the U.S. Embassy in Moscow was inside the courtroom on Tuesday and said she had the chance to speak with Brittney Griner and that Brittney Griner was holding up as well as could possibly be expected under these circumstances. Again, so a lot of uncertainty for Brittney Griner. But Wednesday really a key day as she is set to testify there in front of that court in Khimki north of Moscow.

Frederik Pleitgen, CNN, Berlin.

CHURCH: We are monitoring a developing story in the Philippines which was struck by a 7.0 magnitude earthquake early Wednesday. The U.S. Geological Survey says the quake hit Northern Luzon, the country's most populous island shortly before 9:00 a.m. local time. This video shows debris falling as a tower shock. Officials say many homes and buildings are damaged.


The Tremors were felt in Manila more than 400 kilometers from the epicenter, shaking chandeliers and furniture. Rescue and relief teams are being deployed and the president is expected to visit the affected areas as soon as he's given the all clear. We will bring you any new developments as we learn more.

Well, still to come. From deadly flooding to devastating wildfires. The vast impact of the growing climate crisis is hitting home for millions of people around the globe.

Plus, talk of a potential visit by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan has China on edge. Why it's causing such a controversy.


CHURCH: Pope Francis is on day four of his trip to Canada. In the coming hours he will meet with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and other officials in Quebec City. On Tuesday, the pope held mass for an estimated 50,000 people at Edmonton Commonwealth Stadium. The homily focused on the importance of parents and grandparents, as the Catholic Church celebrated the feast of Jesus's grandparents.

Later the pope visited a lakeside pilgrimage site where he once again addressed the suffering of indigenous Canadians at schools run by the Catholic Church. While tensions are running high between the United States and China amid talks of a visit by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan. President Joe Biden is set to speak with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Thursday. And White House officials say it will focus on the tensions over Taiwan. The war in Ukraine and managing economic competition between the two countries.

Meantime, U.S. officials are working to convince Nancy Pelosi of the diplomatic risks of her potential trip. Here's what President Biden said about it last Wednesday.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. President, do you think it's a good idea for Speaker Pelosi to travel to Taiwan this summer?

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, I think that the military thinks it's not a good idea right now. But I don't know what the status of it is.


CHURCH: Sources familiar with Pelosi is travel plan so she has invited both Democrats and Republicans to accompany her. And now Beijing is warning of serious consequences if the speaker goes ahead with that visit. CNN's Selina Wang has details.

SELINA WANG, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Beijing is furious over a potential trip by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan. Beijing has said it would take resolute and powerful measures if Pelosi were to visit. And just yesterday China's Defense Department urged the U.S. to cancel Pelosi visit. The department spokesperson said "If the U.S. insists on taking its own course, the Chinese military will never sit idly by.


Ad it will definitely take strong actions to thwart any external forces interference and separatists schemes for Taiwan independence and resolutely defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity. Now, it's impossible to overstate just how important Taiwan is to the Communist Party and its legitimacy. China sees the self-world island as a breakaway province that must be reunified with the mainland.

Beijing is against any move that appears to acknowledge Taiwan as an independent country or makes the U.S. relationship more formal. There have been recent U.S. Congressional visits, but if Pelosi goes to Taiwan, she would be the highest ranking U.S. official to go there since then House Speaker Newt Gingrich in 1997. And the timing of this potential visit comes at an extremely sensitive time. Chinese military is celebrating its founding anniversary on August 1st.

We're just months away from a key political meeting when Xi Jinping is expected to seek an unprecedented third term. And some experts say this increases the chances that China will overreact and take rash action to avoid looking weak at this critical moment. U.S. officials have told CNN that China could impose a no-fly zone around China, a prominent hawkish voice in that country has said Beijing's reaction would involve a "Shocking military response."

Some experts say a visit could further compromise Taiwan security and notable is that in Taiwan media coverage of this trip has been muted. In fact, on Tuesday, Taiwan's foreign ministry reiterated that it has no information on the potential visit by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Now on the other hand, important here is that the Chinese government has not announced any details about how it could retaliate.

Other experts have told me that this is by design. The point is that the uncertainty will lead Pelosi to back out but that Xi Jinping does not actually want to and is not ready to risk a military conflict at a time when stability is so critical.

Selina Wang, CNN, Beijing.

CHURCH: In Germany, hundreds of firefighters are struggling to contain a forest fire raging in the Northeast. Conditions are especially dry after the recent heatwave making it easier for the fire to spread. On top of that officials say crews have to be extra cautious because ammo from an old military base is buried there. To the south, firefighters are battling another powerful blaze near the German-Czech border.


CHURCH: Record breaking rainfall has caused widespread flooding in St. Louis, Missouri with hundreds rescued after they were left stranded on rooftops or in their cars. At least one person was found dead in a flooded vehicle. Flooding also forced the partial closure of all four highways heading to downtown St. Louis. Weather Service data shows intense rainfall like this happens in the area once every 500 years. The governor's office has declared a state of emergency.

And for more we want to bring in CNN meteorologist Pedram Javaheri. Good to see you, Pedram. More extreme weather to report. What is the forecast looking like?

PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN WEATHER ANCHOR: You know, we're going to have another couple of days of wet weather in this region, Rosemary, and it's exactly what you notice here when it comes to climate change, a warmer atmosphere, you're certainly going to see storms that retain additional moisture in the historic amount of rainfall across a densely populated area. Really going to be problematic.

And that was the case into the early morning hours in the past 24 hours where rainfall amounts pushed up to 300 millimeters which is about six months worth of rainfall in London. In just a matter of six hours that was observed here. And Rosemary, you noted this. This becomes a one and a 500-year event with a point-five percent chance of reoccurrence. So really speaks to the rarity of this particular event across the Midwestern United States.

And notice the northwestern us which is one of the cooler spots across the United States now dealing with an incredible heatwave where heat indices up into the 40s. Now, this is a region that has remained kind of rather cool where much of the U.S. had seen excessive temperatures. Now we're seeing temps here around five to almost 10 degrees above average, across Southern Oregon as high as 45 degrees where the middle 30s are typically -- more typical -- more typical for this time of year.

But look at Mariposa. This is in the areas of California just west of Yosemite National Park, fire containment up to 26 percent. This is an area we're trying to get some moisture, some rainfall and some of the models suggest maybe eight or 15 percent or so chance here that some thunderstorms could pop up. And unfortunately it is forecast to remain rather hot here and some of these storms come in on the dry side where the moisture just evaporates before reaching the ground.

So, you just don't get much out of it when the storms develop. And notice the fire danger is also a big story nearly the entirety of Europe here dealing with very high to extreme fire danger in place right now with the excessive drought and of course the long-duration heatwave that we've seen and that's another concern here.


And Rosemary, for now some cooler weather coming in but long term it does look like more heat possibly early next week in the region.

CHURCH: Unbelievable, isn't it? Pedram Javaheri, many thanks for bringing us up to date on that.

Well, the International Monetary Fund downgrades projected growth for the global economy saying a recession may be on the horizon. I'll ask an expert about which countries are responding best to the crisis. That's coming up next.


CHURCH: Welcome back, everyone. Well, in the coming day, the U.S. Federal Reserve is expected to, once again, raise interest rates to fight back against inflation. But economic uncertainty is being felt around the globe. The International Monetary Fund has downgraded its global growth forecast for the second time this year. It now predicts the world economy will grow to reach just 3.2 percent by the end of 2022, that's nearly half of last year's outlook.

The IMF's chief economist says growth is gloomy and more uncertain this year. Citing a range of issues for the change in forecast, including slowing trends in the world's top economies, high inflation, COVID-19 lockdowns, and of course, the war in Ukraine are just some of the issues impacting the global economy.

Marc Stewart is a business journalist. He joins me now from New York.

Good to have you with us.

MARC STEWART, BUSINESS JOURNALIST: Hi, Rosemary. So good to be here.

CHURCH: So, the International Monetary Fund is warning the world that it could be on the brink of recession with high inflation across the globe. And each nation, of course, trying to figure out how best to respond. For its path, the U.S. Fed is expected to raise interest rates in the coming hours. What impact do you expect that to have? And how much do you worry that instead of fixing inflation, that high could very well trigger a recession?

STEWART: Well, Rosemary, the U.S. Federal Reserve, otherwise thought of as its central bank has to do something. Because the cost of everyday items, at least in the United States, in many ways, is out of control. We're talking about the basics. Things like food, water, eggs, clothing, the list goes on and on. And the Federal Reserve using interest rate hikes is its go-to tool. It's proven to be effective overtime.

The thought being that if it becomes more expensive to borrow money, it will cost more to buy things, such as automobiles, homes, and to pay off your credit card debt. In theory, if things cost more, demand will go down and therefore prices.


But this is an unprecedented time. So, it's not clear exactly what kind of impact it will have during such a novel period in economic history.

CHURCH: I mean, it is the great unknown, isn't it? Consumer confidence, as you say, is down. Showing that Americans and citizens across the globe feeling the severe impact of higher inflation, paying more for gas, groceries, clothing, housing, and cars, as you mentioned. So, what else could the U.S. and other nations be doing to respond to this high inflation pressure, apart from hiking up interest rates?

STEWART: Indeed, this is a global concern. And as we have seen over the last few years, in particular, international economies are very much interdependent on each other. In the United States, there are some other options on the table, including tax cuts, which no one in Washington really wants to talk about. But if it's more expensive for businesses to operate and for individuals to pay their bills, because of higher taxes, there is a school of thought that demand for products will go down because there is just so much more pressure on our individual budgets and on business budgets.

But as you know, from reporting on the news of Washington, it's a fickle place. It acts likes are not very popular and not something that lawmakers will want to confront, especially, with the midterm election. There are some other tools. In the United States, there could be sales tax holidays, particularly on back-to-school items. Things like backpacks, school supplies. It may not be a cure-all, fix- all but it could provide some relief to American families.

And, Rosemary, one thing I heard from an economist today was a suggestion that people be mandated to work from home. Gas prices are a big expense. Obviously, the war in Ukraine is a big factor in that. But in the U.S., at least during these several months, there has been very high demand. If people stay home, the thought is that gas prices could go down. And as we have seen, a lot of Americans, at least, like working from home. So, it could be popular on money fronts.

CHURCH: Yes, I suspect that would be very well received if that were mandated. So, Marc, do you think the global recession is inevitable despite all these efforts?

STEWART: Rosemary, I hear from economists all the time. I get notes from bank analysts all the time. And the honest answer is I don't know, nor do some of the best minds in economics today. There are some challenges that are going to be very difficult to shake.

First of all, the war in Ukraine, despite changes that we have seen in the political landscape, it still had an impact on fuel prices and on food. COVID is still a concern in many countries. It is a concern. Look at the lockdowns, the draconian lockdowns in China, that has had a lasting effect. So, it is this unknown factor of what's lurking around the corner that makes predicting this, forecasting this so difficult.

CHURCH: And, Marc, which nation across the globe has responded best to high inflation pressures so far, do you think?

STEWART: Well, every nation is trying the best it can. The European Central Bank is going to have to confront this. There are so many different financial systems. It's really hard to pick out just one. During the pandemic, Europe, essentially, shut down and paid people to stay at home. The U.S. economy tried to keep things going. We have forces that are bigger than any forecast, than any economist. So, it is -- to be honest with you, very difficult to pinpoint one place in particular.

CHURCH: All right. Marc Stewart, thank you so much for joining us. I appreciate it.

STEWART: Anytime, Rosemary.

CHURCH: Time for a short break. When we come back, Russia says it's pulling out of the International Space Station. Why the announcement has some questioning Moscow's motives and timing.



CHURCH: Russia says it's planning to pull out of the International Space Station after 2024. A move that would end more than two decades of partnership with the United States and other countries. Some believe it's just a threat, while others say it's a result of western sanctions on Moscow. The Russian Space Agency says it plans to build its own space station and even released a computer-generated model. More now from CNN'S Kristen Fisher.

KRISTIN FISHER, CNN SPACE AND DEFENSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, this is not the first time that Russia has threatened to pull out of the International Space Station. But what makes this time different is that the announcement was made on the Kremlin's website by the newly appointed head of Russia's Space Agency Roscosmos. A man by the name of Yuri Borisov was given the job just a few days ago by Russian President Vladimir Putin himself.

So, today's announcement carries much more weight. With that said, NASA says it still has not been formally notified about this decision, something that is required of all the partners up at the International Space Station.

So, it remains to be seen if this time Russia is serious. But regardless, the NASA astronauts up at the International Space Station right now say that they were surprised by today's announcement. Here's NASA astronaut Kjell Lindgren.


KJELL LINDGREN, NASA ASTRONAUT: And as to the news, you know, that's -- that is very recent news. And so, we haven't heard anything officially. Of course, you know, we were trained to do a mission up here and that mission is one that requires the whole crew. And so, we continue to work every day to conduct the science and research that we've been trained to conduct.


FISHER: The State Department says it too was surprised by today's announcement. But regardless of whether or not this time Russia is serious, the White House says that NASA is now actively preparing contingency planning for the possibility of a full Russian withdrawal from the International Space Station. Kristen Fisher, CNN, Washington.

CHURCH: Ukraine's president, who has been compared to former British Wartime Leader, Winston Churchill, has now been given an award in his name. Volodymyr Zelenskyy appeared virtually to thank the International Churchill Society and said the Sir Winston Churchill award is for the people of Ukraine. The outgoing British prime minister presented it to Mr. Zelenskyy while praising his moral and physical courage, as well as his defiance, dignity, and serenity under extreme pressure.

And thank you so much for joining us. I'm Rosemary Church. World Sport is coming up next. Then, I'll be back with more news from all around the world in about 15 minutes. You're watching CNN. Do stay with us.



LEMON: The Indiana OB/GYN under investigation after providing abortion services to a 10-year rape victim finally speaking out. Dr. Caitlin Bernard telling CBS that things have been very difficult since her own State's attorney general announced that she'd be investigated. Listen.



DR. CAITLIN BERNARD, OB/GYN WHO PROVIDED ABORTION TO 10-YEAR-OLD RAPE VICTIM: Yes. Yes, I have. And it -- you know, shows how, you know, abortion, instead of being part of health care, which it is, a needed lifesaving procedure, which it is, has been used to create a wedge between people politically and personally.

O'DONNELL: Indiana's Attorney General Todd Rokita describe you as an abortion activist acting as a doctor. How do you respond to that?

BERNARD: I'm a physician. I spent my entire life working to have this position, to be able to take care of patients every single day.


LEMON: Let's talk about this now. Dr. Tracey Wilkinson, assistant professor of Pediatrics at Indiana University School of Medicine is here. She's also a colleague of Dr. Caitlin Bernard. We're so glad you're here. And it was a fascinating interview over at with Norah O'Donnell on CBS News.

An attorney for Dr. Bernard telling CNN that she received the first notice about the investigation from Indiana's attorney general today. We know Dr. Bernard has faced threats throughout her career because she performs abortions. But this has to be on another level for her. How is she doing, Doctor?

DR. TRACEY WILKINSON, ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF PEDIATRICS, INDIANA UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF MEDICINE: You know, Dr. Bernard is so strong and we're so excited that her voice is out there with all of us, given her expertise and extreme commitment to comprehensive health care for her patients.

LEMON: Yes. You know, there's more from this interview that I want to play and get your response about and we'll talk about it afterward. Here it is. Let's play some.


O'DONNELL: How would you address concerns by Conservatives, or those with deeply held religious beliefs, that abortion is immoral and wrong?

BERNARD: What I would say is if you don't believe that you would have an abortion, then don't have one. You cannot stop other people from accessing medical care that they need based on your personal religious beliefs.


LEMON: I mean, that seems pretty simple, like common sense. Why is it so hard for people to understand this about medical care?

WILKINSON: Yes, you know, we have been asking for this for decades. We would appreciate if politicians would stop legislating medical care. And they have been attacking and legislating abortion care for decades. I mean, Dr. Bernard's --

LEMON: But it's also -- excuse me, Doctor, it's not just politicians, it's also religious people because this is about medical care.


It's not about religion. It's not about, as you said, politics, this is about medical care. Sorry to interrupt. Go on.

WILKINSON: No, I mean, I would say that there are many different religions in this world and in this country, and even in the State of Indiana. And so, you can't just pick one religion and legislate based on that. And what we should be committed to, is allowing patients to have these decisions in their hands and not at the State House.

LEMON: Protests in your own State, Indiana Center is passing an amended abortion bill today that bans nearly all abortions. I mean, it has some exceptions, for example, like, for rape and incest. But victims over the age of 16 get eight weeks to have an abortion, girls under the age of 16 would have 12 weeks. I mean, you testified against it. Tell us why.

WILKINSON: You know, we anticipate some sort of legislation coming out of the State of Indiana. But this is an abortion ban. And today, the amendments that were added to this legislation make the exceptions just basically on paper and not in practice. When you have exceptions for rape and incest, and then layer on top of that time deadlines where these decisions must be made for no other reason, no medical reason for these deadlines, it basically makes it impossible for these victims to access compassionate health care in a way that everybody should be advocating for.

LEMON: Dr. Wilkinson, thank you again for appearing on the program. And our regards -- give our regards to dr. Bernard. Thank you.


LEMON: Sorry that she's having to deal with this.

WILKINSON: Thanks for having me.

LEMON: Thank you. And thank you for speaking for her, thanks.

So, she is facing up to 10 years in a Russian prison for drug charges. Now, WNBA star Brittney Griner will testify at her trial.



LEMON: So, we have news tonight on the Brittney Griner case, the WNBA star on trial for drug charges in Russia. Her lawyers say that Griner will take the stand tomorrow in her own defense. The two-time Olympic gold medalist was in court today, where her defense team presented testimony from a narcologist who testified that the cannabis oil found in her luggage back in February was likely intended for medicinal purposes. And telling the court it is a popular treatment for athletes in many countries outside of Russia. Brittney Griner pleaded guilty to drug charges a few weeks ago, and she faces up to 10 years in prison. Her guilty plea and her testimony tomorrow are likely moves to seek a more lenient sentence. Stay tuned and we'll continue to report and see what happens in court tomorrow.

New reporting from "The Washington Post" tonight, the Justice Department is looking at the actions of Trump himself in its January 6th criminal investigation. We've got all the details, next.