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Extreme Weather; Russia's War on Ukraine; U.S.-Russia Proposed Prisoner Swap; Pelosi to Tour Asia, Mum on Taiwan; Insurrection Investigation; U.S. Economy; Monkeypox Outbreak; Beyonce's New Album. Aired 4-5a ET

Aired July 30, 2022 - 04:00   ET




KIM BRUNHUBER, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Hello and welcome to all of you watching us here in the United States, Canada and all around the world. I'm Kim Brunhuber. Ahead on CNN NEWSROOM.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I helped it go (ph). I mean, it just washed away. I mean people in them. I mean, we don't even know how many missing at this point.

BRUNHUBER (voice-over): Homes, possessions and at least 16 lives swept away, including six children with little warning. This as Kentucky braces for even more rainfall after already devastating flooding.


BRUNHUBER (voice-over): And is Taiwan on the itinerary?

It's still a mystery as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi leaves for Asia.

And Putin makes his move. The Kremlin's counteroffer to a proposal to get Brittney Griner and Paul Whelan back home.


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

BRUNHUBER: We begin with the humanitarian tragedy in the U.S. President Joe Biden has issued a major disaster declaration for the state of Kentucky, as catastrophic flooding has killed at least 16 people, including six children.

And that death toll is expected to rise. The raging waters decimated entire neighborhoods. Scores of people are still missing. The Kentucky governor, Andy Beshear, says it's hard to get a fix on the exact number since cell service is out in many areas and he added that the state has never seen anything like this. Here he is. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. ANDY BESHEAR (D-KY): There are still so many areas we still can't get to. The water hasn't crested in some parts of Eastern Kentucky. So we can't even get into some hollers and see who is there.

There are people out there all across Kentucky and America that are scared, because they can't reach their relatives, with cell phone service down; thousands without power. Water systems overwhelmed.

So we are still in search and rescue for what is an ongoing disaster. In the days ahead, as the water goes down, we'll turn toward the rebuilding. And that's going to take years. It is devastating for us.


BRUNHUBER: Bridges have been demolished and some houses were completely carried away by the raging water. As CNN's Joe Johns reports, for some, the devastation is just too much.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Our little room completely crushed.



JOE JOHNS, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Tammy Eversaw's (ph) home in Perry County now in the middle of Squabble Creek. Like her, hundreds of families have lost everything in the floods in Eastern Kentucky.

JOE CRESS, FLOODING VICTIM: No water, no electricity, no nothing.

JOHNS: Joe Cress is one of the lucky ones but he said many of his neighbors lost their homes.

CRESS: Our house is gone. I mean, they're just washed away. I mean, people in them. I mean, we don't even know how many is missing at this point. I mean, it happened in the middle of the night. I mean, nobody ever got a warning. I mean, the problem, it just happened so quick, everybody got washed away.

JOHNS: Nearly 300 people cut off by the flooding have been rescued so far, according to the governor, the devastation widespread, debris along this creek, broken bridges, downed trees.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I never seen this before. In all the years I've lived here, I have never seen this, never.

JOHNS: The storm wiped out power, breaking down communication.

SHERIFF JOE ENGLE, PERRY COUNTY, KENTUCKY: The area of this storm, it's totally annihilated our infrastructure, water, telephone, internet, electricity, all the basic roads, all the basic things you would build a community around had disappeared.

JOHNS: And it's not over yet. More rain is expected. Eastern Kentucky has a slight to moderate risk of flash flooding through Friday evening.

BESHEAR: I have certainly done three-plus flights and/or tours over flooded areas. This is by far the worst.

JOHNS: After flying over the hard hit region, the governor delivered more grim news.

BESHEAR: I have received notice that they have located the bodies of those four children. It means we've got at least six dead children and it's hard.

Hundreds of homes, their ball fields, their parks.


BESHEAR: Businesses under more water than I think any of us have ever seen in that area, absolutely impassable numerous spots, so just devastating.

JOHNS: Joe Johns, CNN, Eastern Kentucky.




BRUNHUBER: Joining me on the phone from near Jackson, Kentucky, is Kayla Fugate, whose home was destroyed by the floods.

Thank you so much for being here with us. I want to stress off the top, so you and your family right now are safe. You've taken shelter in another home, sort of further away from your house.

But tell me about when the floods first hit, sort of where were you and when did you realize that things were getting really dangerous?

KAYLA FUGATE, FLOODING VICTIM: OK. So my son was actually spending the night with his grandfather. And he was worried about the rain.

And he called me and he's like, "You know, it's raining really bad."

I said OK. And he wanted me to check on his nana, my mother. So I called her and then we lost internet. And once we lose internet here, there's no way of reaching anybody because we don't have very good cell phone signal.

And I was like, I'm going to give it an hour. If the internet's not back on then I'm going, because I just had this feeling, this gut feeling, because I've seen it flood here and the amount of rain we getting was horrible. So after about an hour, I got in my car and I made my way to my dad's.

It took me about 45 minutes to make a 15-mile trip because it was so bad. The rain was horrible.

When I got to their house, they were asleep. I woke them up and we immediately went to the back porch and the river was rising incredibly fast. It was close to their house already.

And they had an elderly wheelchair-bound lady with them. So we got them dressed, grabbed what they could and got them out. This was around 4:30 in the morning.

And then once it hit daylight, I went immediately to my house, my mother's house in South Jackson.


FUGATE: And could you already see the river across the -- it's about the size of a football field from my mother's house to the river. You can already see it.

I went in and I got her up. I am like, "You got to get out now."

And my 8-year-old niece was with her. So we got them out just in time because the water was rising so quickly. I've never seen water, especially the river rise the way that it did. It was like every 30 minutes it seemed like it was coming up another foot.

BRUNHUBER: That must have been absolutely terrifying and you must have been thinking what would have happened had you not woken your parents up.

FUGATE: Definitely. I'm sorry, this is still really fresh and really emotional. I'm very blessed tonight that my sister and my niece and both of my parents are safe because others are not so lucky.

BRUNHUBER: Yes. Gosh, yes, it's just a miracle that your family did survive. I saw the pictures of your home where you have grown up and live. It's completely under water, right?


BRUNHUBER: Is it just gone?

I mean, what's --

FUGATE: So as of right now we haven't been able to make it over to the house to assess the damages, because they have the highway shut down because there's a levee between our lake and the river. And they are worried that levee is going to give way or the water's going go over the top of the highway there and go into the lake.

So they have that shut down and it's only open for emergency response vehicles at this time. And the water is still high. So we're not able to know the amount of damage just yet. We know it's still there. It didn't float. It's still physically there, because we've had people send us photos of it today.

But we won't be able to get into it until the water either goes down and we can go across a mountain to get to it or until the highway is opened back up.

BRUNHUBER: Gosh, the governor said it will take years for the communities to get back.

I mean how long do you think it will be for you and your family to rebuild do you think in?

FUGATE: Well, the sad part about it is, Kim, a lot of the people in this county were just starting to get close to getting back on their feet from the floods of March 2021 because that was a historic flood as well.

And a lot of them, you know, we have to start completely over. And it is, it's going to take, it's going to take a lot of time. It's going to take a lot of resources.

Luckily, we are very community-driven here. We all help each other. Even when, you know, there's no other help that comes. We still help each other. But it's going, just like, it's going to take years. It's going to take a lot of time to rebuild.

BRUNHUBER: I know you're not completely out of the out of the woods. There are more rains coming. I know you have your eye on a creek that's swelling near you. We wish you and your friend the best. Glad they are safe, that's the main thing and we wish you all the best.

Thank you so much for speaking with us, Kayla Fugate. Really appreciate that.


BRUNHUBER: So for more information about how can you help victims of the Kentucky flooding, go to

And do stay with us. Next hour I'll be talking to meteorologist and journalist Bob Henson about how climate change is playing a role in these massive natural disasters.

It's not just happening here in the U.S. According to officials in Pakistan, more than 380 people have been killed since monsoon season began in the southwestern part of the country. More than1 110 deaths have been reported and damage to bridges has left people stranded.

More storms and rain are expected across all major rivers in the country for the coming hours.

And in Iran at least 53 people have been killed and more than a dozen missing after heavy rain triggered massive flooding and landslides across that country. Several airports and main highways have been closed. Iran's meteorological agency says the rain will continue across parts of the country, including Tehran.


BRUNHUBER: A deadly strike on Ukrainian POWs is leading to a blame game between Kyiv and Moscow.

And the U.N. says Russia's response to a proposed prisoner swap for Brittney Griner and Paul Whelan is just a stall.





BRUNHUBER (voice-over): So you're look at live pictures here. Protesters have been gathering outside Baghdad's parliament building. They are loyal to the powerful cleric Muqtada al-Sadr and are protesting the appointment of a new prime minister.

More than 70 lawmakers withdrew from the governing body last month, creating a political stalemate. Leaders have been unable to form a new government since elections last October.



BRUNHUBER: Now to the latest in Ukraine, which is blaming Russia for holding up the implementation of their grain export deal. Ukraine says it's ready to start shipments from its Black Sea ports.


BRUNHUBER: But Russia is yet to sign off on the location of safety routes for the grain ships.

On the battlefield, Russia's artillery keeps pounding the Donetsk region but the Russian ground offensive didn't get any traction Friday. Ukraine and Russia are also blaming each other for an attack on a prison holding POWs.

Russia says 40 prisoners were killed on a strike in the facility in the occupied east Friday. But both sides are denying responsibility and pointing the finger at each other. For more, Jason Carroll joins us from Kyiv.

Let's start with that latest line, the attack on the prison.

What more are we learning about that?

JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: As you say rightly, Kim, you've got each side saying that the other side is responsible for what happened.

The Ukrainian president weighing in on the issue, calling it a deliberate war crime, not mincing any words there, going on to say that the Russians committed a, quote, "deliberate mass murder of Ukrainian prisoners of war," going on to say there should be a clear recognition of Russia as a terrorist state.

Again, some 40 prisoners of war were damaged during that attack. Dozens more were badly, badly injured. You know, after what happened there during that attack, according to Ukrainian intelligence, they say it was carried out by some sort of a Russian mercenaries.

They are the ones who are responsible for what happened. But a very different story from the Russian point of view. The Russians are saying, no, what happened was it was the Ukrainians who are responsible for the attack. They say it was carried out with the help of weapons provided by the Americans.

Of course, CNN cannot independently verify who is right in this, who is wrong in this. The Red Cross is offering their assistance in this matter as well, saying that the Red Cross also put out a statement, saying that POWs are protected under international humanitarian law.

So when something like this happens, it's very difficult to discern who is telling the truth. But the Ukrainians are asking not only the Red Cross but the United Nations to step in and conduct an independent investigation. Kim.

BRUNHUBER: All right, thanks so much, Jason Carroll, we appreciate it.

The Biden administration is accusing Moscow of bad faith in proposing that a convicted Russian murderer be exchanged for Paul Whelan and Brittney Griner. The U.S. has already offered to release arms dealer Viktor Bout.

But CNN has exclusive reporting the Kremlin also wants a prisoner serving a life sentence for murder in Germany. The administration is dismissing the offer as a stalling tactic. Here's what one White House official told Jim Sciutto.


ADM. JOHN KIRBY (RET.), COORDINATOR FOR STRATEGIC COMMUNICATIONS, WHITE HOUSE NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL: Holding two American citizens hostage in exchange for an assassin in a third party country is not a serious counter offer, Jim.

It's a bad faith attempt to avoid a very serious offer and proposal that the United States has put forward. And we urge Russia to take that offer seriously.


BRUNHUBER: Now no one expects the Kremlin to make any final decisions about a swap until Brittney Griner's drug trial is over. Russian courts have a very high conviction rate. So Griner's defense team is pleading for leniency. Fred Pleitgen has the latest in Moscow.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice- over): WNBA star, Brittney Griner, focused on the final and decisive phase, of her trial, for drug charges, in Russia.

Speaking to CNN, right after visiting her, Griner's lawyer says, the athlete is keeping the faith.

MARIA BLAGOVOLINA, BRITTNEY GRINER'S RUSSIAN COUNSEL: As it starts, she is, of course, stressed and quite nervous. And she knows that the end of the trial is approaching. But she really appreciates all the support she's getting.

PLEITGEN (voice-over): Griner's legal team is building their strategy, on efforts, to get leniency, from the court, by showing remorse, for trying to enter the country, with vaping cartridges, containing cannabis oil.

BRITTNEY GRINER, WNBA STAR: I do understand what my charges are against me. And with them being accidentally in my bags, I take responsibility. But I did not intend to smuggle or plan to smuggle anything into Russia.

PLEITGEN (voice-over): The legal team believes, so far, their approach, has worked, as well as possible, in a Russian court.

BLAGOVOLINA: The court is receptive. The court listens. The court accepts - almost accepted, already, almost all our evidence. So I think that, like procedurally, it's going how it went.

PLEITGEN (voice-over): But conviction rates, in Russia, are well over 90 percent. And Brittney Griner faces up to 10 years, in prison, if found guilty.


PLEITGEN (voice-over): The U.S. has been frustrated, by a lack of progress, trying to organize a prisoner swap, with Moscow, to get both Brittney Griner and former Marine, Paul Whelan, who is currently serving a 16-year sentence, for alleged espionage, which he denies, released.

Tonight, secretary of state, Blinken, saying he raised the issue, with the Russian Foreign Minister, in their first phone call, since Russia invaded Ukraine.

ANTONY BLINKEN, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: I pressed the Kremlin to accept the substantial proposal that we put forth, on the release of Paul Whelan and Brittney Griner.

PLEITGEN (voice-over): But the Russians have made clear, they don't want to speak publicly, about prisoner swaps.

SERGEY LAVROV, RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTER (through translator): This topic was discussed, over a year ago, during the Geneva meeting, between Presidents Putin and Biden. There, they agreed to authorize competent people, to deal with these issues. The Foreign Ministry is not one of them.

PLEITGEN (voice-over): Brittney Griner's legal team says they have not been made aware of any negotiations and are only focused, on the tough legal battle, ahead.

BLAGOVOLINA: She asked to say that she loved everybody. She misses her family, of course, her wife. And again, she appreciates a lot, the huge support she's getting, from you (ph) and other WNBA, from the sports community, in the USA and Russia, worldwide. So she's just very, very grateful and it's really means a lot to her.

PLEITGEN (voice-over): Fred Pleitgen, CNN, Moscow.


BRUNHUBER: U.S. officials are bracing for how China might react if Nancy Pelosi visits Taiwan. Here she is.


REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): The president earlier, well, earlier in his term, talked about a strong emphasis on the Asia Pacific. He has visited there as vice president, has visited there, the Secretary of Commerce and others.

And we want the Congress of the United States to be part of that initiative. I'm very excited, should we go to the countries that we -- you'll be hearing about along the way.


BRUNHUBER: Blake Essig is following developments for us from Tokyo.

So we have threats in Beijing, hand wringing in Washington and we still don't know whether or not she is going to Taiwan.

BLAKE ESSIG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We do know the prospect of her visit has infuriated China. It has vowed to take resolute and forceful measures if the trip goes ahead.

This was the backdrop for a more than two-hour phone call between President Biden and Xi Jinping. During the call, Xi said China strongly opposes Taiwan independence and China says those who play with fire will perish by it.

If the visit does occur, it will be the first visit by a high-ranking official in years. The Pentagon said it's developing a security plan, moving ships and aircraft into the region to keep Pelosi safe.

A military operation to get Pelosi to Taiwan would likely include ships or land-based assets with high-powered radars to provide a protective bubble around her airplane that could warn of any potential threats, although senior U.S. officials are saying no military assets at this point have moved toward Taiwan.

The U.S. currently does have an aircraft carrier, the USS Ronald Reagan, as part of a routine operation, with fighters and reconnaissance on board that aircraft carrier.

While officials and lawmakers in the United States have weighed in, the Taiwanese are likely keeping a low profile. Now as for the people living in Taiwan, a general lack of concern has to do with the fact that Beijing hasn't amassed troops or issued any stronger warnings against the island.

It's important to remember that Taiwan has been living under the constant threat of China for more than seven decades. And some people in Taiwan don't think China will do anything if the visit does take place. But Beijing has vowed to take action. What that looks like, Kim, is anyone's guess.

BRUNHUBER: All right, we'll keep following this story. Blake Essig live in Tokyo.


BRUNHUBER: New questions about missing texts by Secret Service agents on January 6. The inspector general at Homeland Security apparently knew they were missing more than a year before he notified Congress. The latest from Washington just ahead.

Plus U.S. lawmakers move to ban a weapon often used in mass shootings.

But why is that effort likely to fail?

Stay with us.




BRUNHUBER: Welcome back to all of you watching us here in the United States, Canada and around the world. I'm Kim Brunhuber and this is CNN NEWSROOM.

We're learning new information about Secret Service text messages that may have been deleted around the time of the U.S. Capitol riot. The inspector general of the Department of Homeland Security was aware of the missing texts as early as May of 2021.

They could shed light on crucial events that day, especially concerning witness testimony that former president Trump fought with Secret Service agents when he wanted to go to the Capitol.

Also texts are missing from Trump's acting Homeland Security chief Chad Wolf and his top deputy, Ken Cuccinelli. Now all of this as Kevin McCarthy responds to key testimony by former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson. McCarthy was pressed about a key phone call she said he made to her as rioters converged on the Capitol.



MANU RAJU, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, she testified under oath saying that you called her after Donald Trump said that or just told her supporters that they were going to go to the Capitol and you were concerned about those remarks and said, don't come up here. Figure it out. don't come up here. She said that under oath.

Did you tell her that?

And why were you concerned about the prospect of Donald Trump coming to the Capitol on January 6?

REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA): I don't recall talking to her that day. I recall talking to Dan Scavino. I recall talking to Jared. I recall talking to Trump. That's what I talked to on television like that, too.

If I talked to her, I don't remember it. If it was coming up here, I don't think I wanted a lot of people coming up to the Capitol. But I don't remember the conversations.

RAJU: Why were you concern specifically about Trump coming to the Capitol?

MCCARTHY: I don't remember that.

RAJU: You never been concerned about his comments?

MCCARTHY: No, because I didn't watch it. This is what is so confusing, I didn't watch the speech. I was working. So I didn't see what was said. I didn't see what went on till after the fact.

RAJU: Would you want him to come to the Capitol?

MCCARTHY: No, I've never communicated with about coming to Capitol. I had no idea he would come to the Capitol. I had no idea that he was even going to come to the Capitol.

RAJU: Because she said under oath that you told her throughout the course of the week or she told, reassured you to the course of the week that he was not going to come to the Capitol. So apparently, you have conversation --

MCCARTHY: I don't remember having any conversations with her about coming to the Capitol -- the president coming to the Capitol.


BRUNHUBER: Missing text messages are just one issue that appears to be gaining traction within the U.S. Justice Department. CNN's Ryan Nobles has our report.


RYAN NOBLES, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The Department of Justice is inching closer and closer to former president Trump. New CNN reporting reveals that prosecutors are girding for a big fight about executive privilege.

To force witnesses to testify about the role Trump may have played in the events leading up to January 6.

ELLIOT WILLIAMS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: When courts have considered these separation of powers issues in the context of criminal cases, they haven't really looked favorably toward the White House and presidency. The biggest and most obvious one is the United States versus Nixon.

NOBLES (voice-over): Trump himself is not considered to be a target yet. But the list of Trump officials who have already cooperated with the select committee and are now cooperating with the DOJ is growing, as the select committee hand over transcripts of their interviews to federal investigators.

REP. BENNIE THOMPSON (D-MS): They have indicated they want to have access to a certain number of transcripts. And we've negotiated back and forth. And the committee sees a way to make that available to them.

NOBLES (voice-over): The committee has also stepped up their outreach and engagement with cabinet officials. Former acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney met with the committee Thursday and said investigators are very interested in the players' pushing false claims of election fraud and their access to the White House.

MICK MULVANEY, FORMER TRUMP CHIEF OF STAFF: That sort of inner circle of people that have been described by others as the crazies, how did they get the access that they did when they did?

NOBLES (voice-over): Among the others they've spoken to, former DHS Secretary Chad Wolf. "The Washington Post" reporting that text messages from both Wolf and his deputy Ken Cuccinelli were lost from their government-issued electronic devices.

In a tweet thread in response to the story, Wolf said he handed over his phone intact when he resigned after January 6. Meanwhile, the House minority leader, Kevin McCarthy, whom Cassidy Hutchinson said was among the Republican leaders who pleaded for Trump to call his supporters off, claimed today he doesn't remember calling her.

REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA): If I talked to her, I don't remember it. If it was coming up here I don't think I wanted a lot of people coming up to the Capitol. But I don't remember the conversation.

NOBLES: And we're learning more about the timeline of when the inspector general from the Department of Homeland Security first learned that those text messages from the Secret Service may have been deleted in or around January 5th and 6th.

And it was a long time before he alerted anyone in Congress of that fact. In fact, we're told that Joseph Cuffari, who is the current DHS IG, knew as early as May of 2021 that the text messages may have been deleted.

It took him more than a year to inform Congress of that problem. That's part of the reason January 6 members are so skeptical about this timeline and want answers to many of these questions -- Ryan Nobles, CNN, on Capitol Hill.


BRUNHUBER: Wall Street just closed out the month on a high note after three days of solid gains for all major U.S. indices. It was the Dow's best month of the year so far, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq saw their best months in two years.

But the euphoria on Wall Street hasn't stopped recession fears. Jerome Powell had this to say.


JEROME POWELL, CHAIRMAN, FEDERAL RESERVE: I do not think the U.S. is currently in a recession. And the reason is there are just too many areas of the economy that are performing, you know, too well.

And, of course, I would point to the labor market in particular. As I mentioned, it's true that growth is slowing for reasons that we understand. Really, the growth was extraordinarily high last year, 5.5 percent. We would have expected growth to slow.


BRUNHUBER: Meanwhile, the Fed's preferred inflation measure just hit a 40-year high as Americans grow tired of the high costs for everything from gas to food.

And recession fears in Europe have eased after the economy posted surprising growth in the second quarter. It grew by 0.7 of a percent but it's not all rosy. Eurozone inflation rose in July to a new record. And Germany's economy is flatlining.

U.S. House of Representatives has taken a step on the polarized gun debate in the United States but it's likely to be more symbolic than anything else.


REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): On this vote, the yeas are 270. The nays are 213. The bill is passed.

BRUNHUBER (voice-over): So with that announcement, lawmakers in the House passed the ban on Friday. But it's expected to falter in the Senate, where it has little chance of overcoming a Republican filibuster.


BRUNHUBER: House Democrats pushed the measure after a spike in mass shootings involving this type of gun. The U.S. banned assault style weapons in 1994 but the measure expired 10 years later. President Joe Biden is advising senators to support the new bill. And more than 60 days after a gunman killed 19 students and 2 teachers, one young girl is going home from the hospital. She passed out roses along the way.

Still to come on CNN NEWSROOM, the global monkeypox outbreak claims its first fatality in Europe as the need for vaccines becomes more desperate in the U.S.

And Pope Francis is back home after nearly a week in Canada where he apologized to indigenous peoples. Stay with us.





BRUNHUBER: There are growing concerns about the monkeypox outbreak, which the World Health Organization declared last week a global health emergency of international concern. Spain is reporting what's thought to be the first death in Europe from the virus.

Earlier Friday the first person to die from monkeypox outside of Africa was reported in Brazil. And the Philippines reported its first case of the virus on Friday.

Monkeypox can spread from person to person, mostly through long physical contact, sex and respiratory droplets. The Centers for Disease Control say there are more than 5,000 probable or confirmed monkeypox cases in the U.S.

San Francisco's mayor says the number of monkeypox cases has almost doubled in the city in the past 10 days and she's appealing for vaccinations now.


MAYOR LONDON BREED (D-CA), SAN FRANCISCO: We want to make it known that San Francisco has one of the highest case rates already of monkeypox of any other major city in the country.

We don't want to be ignored by the federal government in our need. So many leaders of the LGBT community have also, weeks ago, asked for additional help and support and assistance.


BRUNHUBER: And we'll hear more from an infectious disease specialist in California coming up in the next hour.

Pope Francis is back home in Italy after a six-day trip to Canada, where he apologized for the role the Catholic Church played in past abuses. The pontiff spoke to reporters during the flight back to Rome and

acknowledged that indigenous people in Canada suffered cultural genocide, something that a Canadian commission determined had occurred at so-called residential schools that a generation of indigenous children were forced to attend for decades.

The pope also discussed his health and acknowledged he would have to slow down due to his age. CNN's Delia Gallagher joins us live from Rome.

The pope using the word genocide there, a significant admission, raising questions as to why he didn't say that during his actual apology tour.

DELIA GALLAGHER, CNN VATICAN CORRESPONDENT: Well, that's right, Kim, and that's exactly why he was asked by a journalist on the plane why he didn't use that term.

And he did say, well, it's a technical term but he didn't use it because it didn't come to mind. But that what he had been describing throughout the visit, that is the forced removal of children from their homes, from their tradition, from their language, amounts to a cultural genocide.

He was happy with that term but just didn't use it because it didn't come to mind. It's an important term for some indigenous people there, because it was used by the Canadian Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

And they wanted also to hear the pope use that term, which is what he did on the plane returning from Canada.

As you mentioned, Kim, he also discussed his health, because, of course, it was obvious on the trip he was using a wheelchair for most of the time. And it was the first time on the plane that he used the church.

And he said he may have to slow down the rhythm of his trips. He will continue to travel but will have to readjust some of the schedules because he said, you know, the knee problem is still bothering him.

And doctors had offered an operation but he doesn't want to have a knee operation because last year when he had an operation for his intestine, he had anesthesia for six hours and he still has traces of that in him. So he's afraid of having anesthesia again and doesn't want to have a knee operation.

So he's going to continue going ahead with his travels, he not to the in the same rhythm as he has in the past.

Finally, he responded to some of the rumors we heard last month about a possible resignation. He said it wouldn't be a problem. Popes can change. But that is not something he is contemplating for the moment.

BRUNHUBER: Appreciate the report, Delia Gallagher in Rome. Thanks so much. And we will be right back.





BRUNHUBER (voice-over): That is "Energy," off Beyonce's latest album "Renaissance." Her highly anticipated seventh album has officially dropped. If social media is to be believed, it doesn't disappoint. Here's Chloe Melas.


CHLOE MELAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Beyonce has finally released "Renaissance," part one. It came out on Friday and is an album full of dance tracks. Here's a listen to one of the songs, "Energy."


MELAS (voice-over): Beyonce's fans are thrilled because this is the first solo album that she has released in six years. She also dedicated this album to the LGBTQ community, specifically on her site, paying tribute to her Uncle Johnny, who was gay, and she said this is for him and he served as an inspiration for this album.


MELAS: There is going to be a part two and part three album that is going to be releasing soon, so the renaissance for now continues -- back to you.


BRUNHUBER: It's been three months since actor Will Smith slapped Chris Rock on the live Academy Awards.


BRUNHUBER (voice-over): It was all anyone talked about at the time, except for Will Smith. But now he's got something to say. He's posted a five-minute video on Instagram, in which he publicly said he's sorry and explained why he didn't apologize for the slap in his Best Actor speech later that night.


WILL SMITH, ACTOR: It's all fuzzy. I've reached out to Chris. And the message that came back is that he's not ready to talk.

(END VIDEO CLIP) Smith apologized to fellow actors and Oscar nominees for going after Rock after the comic joked about Smith's wife. Rock said anyone who says words hurt has never been punched in the face.

And before we go, have you checked your ticket yet?

We're still waiting to hear whether anyone has picked these exact numbers and won Friday's Mega Millions drawing here in the U.S. The top prize is a whopping $1.28 billion.

If you take the prize in a single payment, the jackpot is almost $750 million before taxes. This is the second largest payout in the game's 20-year history. The largest was around $1.5 billion, a Powerball prize shared by winners in California, Florida and Tennessee in 2016. Good luck out there.

That wraps this hour of CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Kim Brunhuber. I'll be back in a few minutes with more news. Please stay with us.