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Ukraine Ready For First Grain Ship In Russia Deal; Ukraine Opens Investigation Into Attack That Killed Ukrainian Prisoners Of War; Putin Vows Lightning Fast Response To Outside Interference in Ukraine; Al-Sadr Praises The "Liberation" Of The Green Zone; Thousands Take To Sudan Streets To Protest Military Rule; Beirut Grain Silos Collapse After Three-Week Fire At Port; Pelosi Begins Closely-Watched Asia Tour In Singapore; Greek Pine Honey Threatened As Wildfires Destroy Hives And Forests; England Beats Germany In Euro 2022 Final To Capture First Major Title. Aired 12-1a ET

Aired August 01, 2022 - 00:00   ET




ALISON KOSIK, CNN ANCHOR: Hello and welcome. I'm Alison Kosik in New York. Ahead here on CNN Newsroom, the first grain shipments are expected to move out of Ukraine after months of Russian blockades while some parts of the country see their biggest attacks since the war began.

Plus, tensions are running high in Iraq's capital city after demonstrators breach the country's Green Zone, and a tweet by one leader seems to add to the unrest.

And the traditional and popular trees (ph) in Greece is becoming more at risk thanks to climate change.

We begin in Ukraine where Russian strikes hammered areas along the southern coast just hours before grain shipments are set to resume. This was the scene in the Odessa region after a Russian missiles strike set off aggress fire.

According to local officials, Russian forces fired at least two missiles from occupied Crimea. So far, there's no word on any casualties. It comes as the first ship carrying Ukrainian grain is preparing to leave the Odesa region in the hours ahead.

According to the ship's captain, they're hoping to reach Istanbul by Tuesday or Wednesday. Resuming exports could be a critical first step in easing the global food crisis sparked by the war which has trapped millions of tons of grain inside Ukraine for months.

The heavy shelling on Sunday was reported in the southern city of Mykolaiv. The mayor telling CNN it was one of the worst attacks he's seen since the war began. CNN's Nic Robertson reports.

(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE) NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR (voice-over): With dawn an end to Mykolaiv heaviest night of shelling so far, but not to the fear it brings in the immediate aftermath, fires to be put out.

The only fatalities at this residential mansion multimillionaire businessman Oleksiy Vadaturskyy and his wife Raisa was sheltering in the basement, when the home took a direct hit, neighbor's still in shock.

MAXIM, MYKOLAIV, UKRAINE RESIDENT: I don't know what to do with hatred. It's unbelievable that it can in one moment, just destroy everything.

ROBERTSON: Maxim has lived here almost 20 years, but maybe no more.

MAXIM: Just want to stay here.

ROBERTSON (on camera): This crater here gives you an idea of just how big the blast was debris strewn down here, and the windows of the building blown out.

(voice-over): Other buildings around here also hit those with military links off limits to our cameras. The mayor concerned Russian sympathizers at work.

OLEKSANDR SENKEVYCH, MYKOLAIV, UKRAINE MAYOR: I'm sure that they have spies who are going around the city and they say like I saw the number of machines or the people, military people. They send this information and Russian attack there.

ROBERTSON (on camera): And do you think those saboteurs might have helped in the attacks last night?

SENKEVYCH: I'm sure they helped.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): Within hours, life returning to what passes as normal. Pensioners and others in line for drinking water. The city's clean water supply destroyed months ago. They hit us and they hit us hard from 1:00 a.m. until morning. Valentina tells us. We are scared. We want to leave. But that's how life is for us now.

Where the mansion was hit, and residents are richer, another neighborhood of the dead businessman tells me he can't take it anymore, that he'll leave. Not clear if high profile businessman Oleksiy Vadaturskyy was an intended target. President Zelenskyy held him a hero. His death and the up tempo strikes here chilling this city's otherwise resilient mood. Nic Robertson, CNN, Mykolaiv, Ukraine.


KOSIK: Russian missile strikes were also reported in Ukraine's second biggest city Kharkiv. Officials there say the attack destroyed a printing house that makes schoolbooks and other teaching materials.

[00:05:04] (BEGIN VIDEO LCIP)

VOLODYMYR LADYKA, PRINTING HOUSE WORKER (through translator): We printed mostly children's needs photos, journals, encyclopedias books. You can see here on the second floor what our Russian brothers liberators did today. The third floor is destroyed. The fourth floor doesn't exist anymore. We were liberated and the children were liberated from accessing information.


KOSIK: Russian missile strikes have been reported in Kharkiv nearly every night for months. Ukrainian officials say Russia is likely trying to force Ukraine to pull resources from the frontlines to protect the city.

The U.S. and U.K. are demanding Russia be held accountable for Thursday's attack on a detention facility in Russian occupied Ukraine. The British ambassador to Kyiv says the strike on a prison is -- the strike on a prison in part is part of a pattern of human rights abuses and possible war crimes. Kyiv accuses Russia of killing dozens of Ukrainian prisoners of war and civilians in the attack and has opened an investigation. Moscow claims Kyiv is responsible.

Russian backed separatists say the death toll has risen to 53 with more than 70 others wounded. It remains difficult to verify those figures as the International Red Cross says it has not yet been granted access to the site.

For more on potential war crimes in Ukraine, I want to bring in Kurt Volker, a former U.S. ambassador to NATO, and former U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine negotiations. He joins me now from Washington, DC. Thanks so much for your time.

KURT VOLKER, FMR. U.S. AMBASSADOR TO UN: Alison, great to be with you. Thank you.

KOSIK: So U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, Bridget Brink tweeted that the attack on the detention facility is unconscionable, that's her word, and that Moscow is horrific aggression must be held to account. I'm curious what you think the international community should do?

VOLKER: Well, let's start with the facts here. The Russians took these fighters from Azov, the Azovstal mill in Mariupol, and they imprison them, they tortured them, they brutalized them, then they put them in this prison, and then they blew up the prison. This is an unconscionable war crime. And our ambassador there, Bridget Brink is absolutely right to call it out for that.

Second, so what does the international community do now? I think there are two things. I think first off, we need to be doing everything we can to collect the evidence. And by evidence, I mean, signals intelligence communications, who knew what was going to happen? When did they know it? Who gave them the orders to do what they did? Because we need to trace this back to the top. There's no doubt that this is Putin's regime that commanded this, but we have to trace that. And then the second thing is to make sure that we defeat Putin in the war, because as long as Putin survives, as long as Russia survives and takes Ukrainian territory, then there will be no accountability for Russia at the end of the war. In order for there to be accountability, Russia actually needs to be defeated.

KOSIK: Walk us through what the significance would be or what the ramifications would be if, you know, Vladimir Putin were found guilty of war crimes or the proof was presented or, you know, Russia was found to be a state sponsor of terrorism.

How could that designation change things because Russia just doesn't seem to care. I mean, give you an example. Western attempts to sanction the Russian economy, they appear to have really no deterrent effect on the Kremlin's Ukraine war chest.

VOLKER: Right. So you've raised many things in this question, let me take them by pieces. The first one is that you are right that the sanctions have not affected the Kremlin's decision making. That doesn't mean that they have not affected Russia.

The Kremlin doesn't care about the state of the Russian people or the state of the Russian economy. They care about power and the exercise of power. But the sanctions actually are doing a good job in making the rest of Russia realize that what Putin is doing is destroying his own country.

So this is very important, and that's actually going on the right track, and we have to keep going in that same direction.

The next thing in your question is that the international community needs to hold Putin accountable for war crimes because of what he has done. And we need to accumulate the evidence. We need to create the legal mechanisms. We need to be ready to go whenever we have an opportunity to say this is a violation of bigger principles.

But we won't ever get the chance to actually do that as long as Putin and the Russian regime that he has created remain in control. And so it's important that their war in Ukraine fail.


KOSIK: We are six months into this war. What do you think it's going to take to end this war, essentially getting Vladimir Putin to pull back? I mean, how does that happen?

VOLKER: Well, Putin and his people, you know, Lavrov, the foreign minister, Zakharova, the Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Peskov, the Kremlin spokesperson, all of these people are repeating the same lies that Ukraine has to be eliminated. There has to be a denazification, demilitarization of Ukraine, eliminate Ukraine as a state. So that means that in the war effort, they will not stop. They will keep pressuring their own military to fight, fight, fight in order to try to destroy Ukraine.

What we see, however, is that Russia does not have the military means to do this. And Ukrainians are actually fighting back successfully. They're defending their territory. They're making counter offenses to push the Russians back.

The Russians are not going to give up so there's no negotiated solution with Russia. Ukrainians will not accept that Russia is allowed to keep some Ukrainian territory, so they will not negotiate either.

So we are in a war phase right now. And it is in America's interest, Europe's interest, Ukraine's interest to make sure that Russia loses the war. Then we can talk about negotiations to create peace.

And I think a stable peace will be based on Russia realizing and recognizing that it must live within its own territory.

KOSIK: All right, Kurt Volker, thanks so much for joining us.

VOLKER: Thank you so much for having me.

KOSIK: Russian President Vladimir Putin says his country's Navy is ready to respond with lightning speed if anyone tries to encroach on its sovereignty. His comments coming in his speech marking rushes Navy day on Sunday. He did not mention the ongoing war in Ukraine specifically.

Mr. Putin looked on during the annual parade in St. Petersburg, where he touted the country's Zircon hypersonic cruise missiles set for delivery soon.


VLADIMIR PUTIN, RUSSIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): We will provide protection firmly and by all means. The key thing here is the capability of the Navy forces. It can respond with lightning speed to all who infringes on our sovereignty and freedom. It fulfills successfully and honorably strategic tasks on the borders of our country and in any area of the world ocean.

Dear comrades, their delivery to the Russian Armed Forces will begin in the coming months.


KOSIK: Mr. Putin also claimed there is quote, no other equivalent in the world to the missile systems. In May, Russia said it successfully tested a Zircon missile over a distance of 1,000 kilometers.

Moscow's former chief rabbi is speaking out and warning of tough times ahead for those living in Russia. Pinchas Goldschmidt left the country in March over opposition to the war in Ukraine, and is now living in Israel. He sat down with CNN's Hadas Gold to talk about what he encountered and the uncertainty for those still there.


HADAS GOLD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (on camera): Were you pressure to support the war?

PINCHAS GOLDSCHMIDT, FMR. MOSCOW CHIEF RABBI: The communities were pressured to support the war.

GOLD: In what ways?

GOLDSCHMIDT: I don't want to go into too many details. But organizations and individuals and communities were asked to officially support the war.

GOLD: And what do you think would have happened? Had you stayed and spoken out?

GOLDSCHMIDT: You can read the news on a daily basis of people getting arrested for speaking out, even mentioned the word war today is against the law.

GOLD: Do you think you as Chief Rabbi of Moscow would have been arrested?

GOLDSCHMIDT: In today's political climate in Russia? Would have been possible, yes.

GOLD (voice-over): Since the start of the war in February, some 20,000 Russian Jews have left and moved to Israel according to official numbers.

Pinchas Goldschmidt has been in Moscow since 1989. Arriving there just ahead of an earlier period of mass Jewish emigration, as the Soviet Union began to fall apart. He sees similarities with the situation today.

GOLDSCHMIDT: There's definitely a power of people not knowing what tomorrow will bring asking themselves also, when I arrived in 1989, a lot of people were just -- we're not able yet to leave Russia. Let's -- at the first possible moment, let's leave the Soviet Union because maybe again, the iron curtain is going to close completely. So we're not there yet. But definitely, there's a feeling of uncertainty and fear.

GOLD (on camera): You've talked about a dark cloud coming over Russia. What do you mean by that?


GOLDSCHMIDT: It's all together. It's economically, politically, isolation, and repression all coming together, making life in Russia very difficult.

GOLD: Do you hope to only be able to go back to your position as Chief Rabbi of Moscow?

GOLDSCHMIDT: We as Jews have to be always optimists. We have no other choice.

GOLD: What will it take for you to be able to go back? GOLDSCHMIDT: To change in the political situation.

GOLD: So changing the government, changing leadership.

GOLDSCHMIDT: Change with which will affect the whole country and also the Jewish community.

GOLD (on camera): I also asked Rabbi Goldschmidt, what he thought about Russia's attempts to dissolve the Jewish Agency. This is an organization that helps Jews immigrate to Israel. And the rabbi actually said he was more surprised that the Jewish Agency was even allowed to remain open considering how many international organizations have been forced to close in recent years.

But things he said have now changed with new leadership in Israel and what he described as a deteriorating relationship between Russia and Israel. Everything now he says is under question.


KOSIK: The extreme heat that has gripped much of Europe is making life difficult for Ukrainian refugees. People at this border crossing on the Danube River between Ukraine and Romania faced long waits in high temperatures.

Many Ukrainians are still fleeing with -- fleeing the conflict with Russia. Officials said nearly 14,000 crossed into Romania on Saturday alone, and the sweltering conditions made a difficult situation worse.


YAROSLAVA, UKRAINIAN REFUGEE (through translator): It is very hot right now. It's hard for the children. The children are fussy, and they are not comfortable. It's very stressful for all of us.

NATALIA, UKRAINIAN REFUGEE (through translator): It is very hot, and there are many cars. I want them to end the war. I'm tired of driving here and there. I would like to go home, and I want peace. The kids and we are grownups are worried.


KOSIK: If you would like to safely and securely help people in Ukraine, who may be in need of shelter, food and water, please go to and you'll find several ways you could help.

Still to come, Iraq is at a tipping point and the U.S., Iran and others watch closely as protesters keep storming the parliament. We'll have an expert weigh in on the political crisis.

Plus, two massive grain silos collapse in Beirut and there are fears more may soon fall. Ahead, what may have triggered it all.


[00:20:00] KOSIK: In Iraq powerful Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr says Baghdad's Green Zone protests are a golden opportunity for those facing injustice and did a tweet on Sunday. He said this was a chance to fundamentally change Iraq's political system the Constitution and elections, all this as Iraq scenes play out in Iraq's parliament.

Thousands of protesters loyal to al-Sadr storm the heavily fortified Green Zone twice just in the past week protesting efforts to form a government by al-Sadr's political rivals, political gridlock saw solders political bloc with Parliament's last month and now his supporters are vowing to hold a sit in there until their demands are met, pushing the country even deeper into a crisis.


ADEL NATHEM, PROTESTER FROM KARBALA (through translator): Our demands are simple, ending corruption from its roots, and in class differences created by people who came from abroad. Some people were given so much while 80 to 85 percent of the people went we're almost buried.

We will not retreat until we end corruption. We will not retreat until we achieve our demands. Our demands are simple. And these people who are here support reform and religion.


KOSIK: Abbas Kadhim is the director at the Atlantic Council's Iraq initiative. And he joins us from Washington, DC. Thanks for being with us.


KOSIK: So Iraq now has gone what, more than nine months without a new government, tensions are running high among different political factions. I want to hear what you think about what your biggest concerns are about the political dysfunction that's currently happening in Iraq.

KADHIM: Well, thank you for having me. There is always a concern when there is no government in place. All of Iraqi crises, including the worst in post 2003, the invasion of ISIS that took about 1/3 of Iraqi territory happened in a time of government formation and June 2014.

So it is always -- when there is government formation, the energy of the politicians and the political class and the mood of the country. The priorities all are put in the contest to form a government and many posts remain unguarded.

So, we hope that we will see a government there soon. This time, the dispute took probably a harder line with the withdrawal of the largest winning bloc in the October elections. So when they withdrew their 73 seats, about 1/5 of the -- just over 1/5 of the entire seat numbers in the Iraqi parliament, they also command a very energetic, very vibrant political base or popular base, I should say, on the street and what we see right now. So it is a -- right now it's a very difficult challenge. It might prove to be existential challenge if the -- these crowds take a different turn, not just remain the way they are right now.

KOSIK: Yes, and you've talked about a different turn, you were watching t Muqtada al-Sadr fanning the flames, you know, with his tweets, and we know that obviously he withdrew from the government, but he's still trying to influence the government with the help of these protesters, his supporters. So, is he sort of creating more of a risk and an escalation in violence that could happen?

KADHIM: Well, in Iraq, there are many agendas. And there are many groups that are -- that might take advantage of this. We have the sleeper cells of ISIS. We have those who are disenchanted with the 2003 change to begin with. And also there is organized crime, there are many regional agendas, also those who are right now in power, and they don't want to lose that the rivals of Muqtada al-Sadr, who are also armed on they have a stronger base, larger base actually on electorate base than Muqtada al-Sadr.

So and it is July it is hot, and the situation could escalate. I was in Baghdad in September to or beginning of October 2019. And I saw how a normal garden variety demonstration and protests that happened in Iraq almost every other month, turned into one of the worst protests that cause the government to resign and also, you know, just simply divide somehow a number of people were shocked that among the protesters and among the security forces,


So any bloodshed that may happen, it could trigger a much bigger, it could turn this whole process to something unplanned, which is not abnormal with all riots that happened. They could come for an agenda and it could shift anytime when you have groupthink. And also, the influence of masses on the streets on Iraq is particularly dangerous because of that.

KOSIK: Do you think part of the political dysfunction is because many don't want to a strong man in power after suffering under the authoritarianism of Saddam Hussein, same with Nouri al-Maliki, who was Prime Minister till 2014. Do you think there is an attempt here by all sides to keep the central government weak?

KADHIM: You're absolutely right. I think what happened is because of the injurious past in post 2000 -- in pre 2003. Iraqi politicians didn't want to risk having another strong dictator or strong central government, and they elected for a parliamentary system and without even anticipating that this system doesn't work for Iraq, given the last -- the lack of trust among Iraqis. Iraqis have a very hard history, difficult history, and many ethno sectarian fault lines. And that trust needs to be built.

So now, we don't have anybody who is able alone to form a government and govern Iraq. Also, there are many forces in Iraq, whether it is the Kurds and Kurdistan, they do not want to transfer central government that could truncate the current, almost absolute autonomy they have.

There are also parties and groups who are influential in Iraq. And they do not want somebody to force them to go in a direction. They don't want to also some regional countries. I'm thinking of Iran, Saudi Arabia. And basically they do not want an Iraq that is strong that is on its feet.

They want an Iraq that is strong enough to hold its own ground, but not strong enough to stand to their encroachment onto their advances. And the region itself is a difficult region.

So there is there is the external meddling. And I think we, in the United States, who were the -- those who brought the change in Iraq, and dictated the terms also did not do a good job at building a good political system for Iraq. We dropped the ball and many turns on the road.

KOSIK: All right, Abbas Kadhim, thanks so much for being here.

KADHIM: Thank you very much.

KOSIK: In Sudan, thousands of demonstrators took to the streets in Khartoum calling for a return to civilian rule and prosecution of Sudan's military rulers for corruption. Their demands follow a month long CNN investigation into Russia's plunder of Sudan's gold, sparking widespread outrage.

On Sunday, hundreds of protesters attempted to head to Sudan's presidential offices but were met by police who responded with tear gas. The protests triggered by a CNN exclusive investigation released last week suggests that Russia colluded with Sudan's beleaguered military leadership, enabling billions of dollars in gold to bypass the Sudanese state and deprive the poverty stricken country of hundreds of millions in state revenue.

In Beirut, Lebanon, two massive grain silos collapsed and others are expected to fall according to Lebanese media reports.

So far, no reports of injuries to people in the surrounding area. The silos which withstood a massive chemical explosion in 2020 have been burning for weeks prompting fears they would eventually fall. Some officials say soaring temperatures in Beirut ignited fermenting grains inside the silos.

Beirut marked the two year anniversary of when the explosion rocked the port killing more than 200 people.

There's much more to come on CNN including the latest on U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi his trip to Asia and tension over a possible but yet unconfirmed stop in Taiwan. We go live to Tokyo.



KOSIK: U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and a team of Democratic representatives are headed to the Indo-Pacific region but there's no mention of a potential stuff in Taiwan yet,. They will begin their trip in Singapore.

Over the course of two days, the delegation will meet with the President and Prime Minister along with Cabinet members and business leaders. A possible but unconfirmed visit to Taiwan during the trip has become a point of tension between the U.S. and China in recent days.

CNN's Blake Essig is in Tokyo, and joins us now with the latest. Blake, you know, even though this isn't officially on Pelosi itinerary, what are the chances she could visit Taiwan, but kind of keep it under the radar and maybe not announce it?

BLAKE ESSIG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Alison, I think that that's what's likely going to happen. We're not going to know if she visits Taiwan until it actually happens. Now, the Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has kicked off her tour of Asia and according to a statement released by our office, Singapore is the first stop of for plan stops that includes Malaysia, South Korea, and here in Japan.

Now, despite recent speculation that the speaker would be making a fifth stop in Taiwan, the statement made no mention of the self- governed island. That of course, doesn't mean that the rumored trip won't take place.

In fact, Admiral Mike Mullen, who visited Taiwan earlier this year with a delegation of private citizens and former officials says that he thinks a surprise visit to Taiwan is possible. Take a listen.


ADMIRAL MIKE MULLEN, FORMER JOINT CHIEFS CHAIRMAN: She's been there many, many times in that area of the world. She feels strongly about supporting the kinds of values that we stand for, and working with our friends. So again, and Taiwan has been a friend for a long time in particularly in a bipartisan way so it wouldn't surprise me if she went.


ESSIG: Now, the emission of Taiwan from the speaker's agenda falls in line with what we've seen before from other U.S. officials on visits to this part of the world. Experts also point out that not listing Taiwan on the official itinerary is consistent with the U.S. is one China policy which acknowledges the position from Beijing that Taiwan is part of China, and whether Pelosi visits Taiwan or not, tensions over the Taiwan Strait have intensified recently with the simple prospect of her visit in raging China.

As a result, Beijing has vowed to respond in some Chinese analysts, Alison, have suggested that that response could involve the military.

KOSIK: OK, Blake Essig live for us in Tokyo, thanks. Still to come, with fires raging again across Europe, some beekeepers in Greece here the flames could affect their livelihoods as they tear through vital pine trees. The details ahead.



KOSIK: You're looking at a fire burning on the west coast of Portugal on Sunday, authorities were forced to block several roads and evacuate a care home. A witness said the smoke was visible from Lisbon about 40 kilometers away. More than 1,000 firefighters are currently mobilized across Portugal.

Meantime, in Italy, firefighters continue battling blazes across the country. Italy is in the middle of its worst drought in 70 years. For more on this story Pedram Javaheri is at the CNN Weather Center. Hi, Pedram. What's the latest?

PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yes, Alison, just looking at all these images here it makes me think about 2021 because that was in fact the hottest summer on record across Europe in its entirety. You take a look at what's playing out here as hot as it's been, as dry as it's been in the images kind of shattering the landscape here incredible situation developing across portions of Europe where temperatures at least along the southern tiers still locked in well above average, pushing near record values into the 40s across areas of Spain, mainly across the southern and south central region of the screen, there was temps running some five to seven degrees above average.

But notice this off towards the north and east. That is an extreme level of concern a level three on a scale of one to three for heat in place there for Monday afternoon. And that is precisely where the area of concern is right now with the fire activity across this region. And we'll kind of watch across just towards the north of this region into Spain where we have, of course, areas also underneath these alerts for heat.

But in Lisbon in particular, the good news is we do expect a slightly cooler trend going in towards the middle portion of the weekend, potentially by early next week, get you below average.

Look into the numbers for the 31 days in the month of July, 23 of those days were above average across Lisbon. And you notice starting off August also above average. But again, some signs here potentially for some light at the end of the tunnel. Madrid staying above that average temperature of 35 or so this time of year, really for much of this week. And of course, the fire weather conditions really going to kind of get more challenging here, a little farther towards the north because the heat does expand farther towards the north towards the latter half of the week.

Temperatures today in Paris aiming for about 28 degrees, London not too bad at 26 degrees, but you'll notice eventually the heat does arrive across areas are farther towards the northeast. So Berlin will expect to climb up into the middle 30s, even in Paris, a warming trend in store yet again, going to make it to the 40s like we saw a few weeks back but still way above the average of 25 for this time of year by Wednesday afternoon.

So here's the setup. You kind of want to look for the colors of orange, purple to deep shades of yellow. These are indicative of high to extreme fire level concerns. And you notice nearly the entirety of Europe is dealing with that right now with, the highest levels of concern off towards the south and west. The higher elevations portions of the far northwest, those are in the lower levels of concern. But here's the thermal signature perspective, Alison, of the fire coverage and again pretty expansive, just about every location across Europe, dealing with fire in their vicinity.

KOSIK: All right, here's hoping for some relief coming their way. Pedram Javaheri, thanks.

Wildfires have also been raging in parts of Greece recently weeks.


The blazes have destroyed homes and burned through forests and sparked fears that the flames could affect the country's depopulation. CNN's Eleni Giokos explains why.


ELENI GIOKOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): These honey bees produce delicious pine honey, a traditional and popular treats in Greece and an important export. And these bees require thriving pine forests to do so.

But wildfires are wiping out not only the trees, but the beehives as well. Last year, wildfire in Athens destroyed 250 beehives belonging to this beekeeper, the loss still haunts him.

SIDERIS TSIMINIS, HONEY PRODUCER (through translator): It is a really awful thing to be afraid to enter the forest, the few forests that exist, but you're afraid of losing even more of your wealth and ending up with nothing.

GIOKOS: Unfortunately, wildfires are burning again this year. And they're becoming more common due to climate change.

CHRISTOS ZEREFOS, CLIMATE EXPERT: Large phenomena like the heat waves or like extreme weather, lightning and other and wildfires in the forests of Europe, particularly in the Mediterranean. We know the cost, and the costs are very high.

GIOKOS: In the last year, Greece has dramatically boosted spending to fight and prepare for wildfires from some $20 million to more than $122 million. Greece is also debuting the European Union's pre- positioning project, where firefighters from other EU member states are stationed in Greece to respond quickly to the fires and to provide much needed relief to the fleet firefighters.

KOSTAS ZINELIS, FIREFIGTHER (through translator): The extreme weather phenomena unfortunately put a strain on Greek firefighters as the working hours in the field increase. They have to be on alert all the time.

GIOKOS: And as the firefighters battle the fires, they help preserve the pine forests and the bees and the bees then help rebuild the forest.

TSIMINIS (through translator): It will take many years for it to go back to the way it was but it is essential for the bee to be there because it helps the burned forest to be reborn.

Eleni Giokos, CNN.


KOSIK: At least 20 people have died after massive flooding in the U.S. state of Kentucky, according to the state governor. That number is expected to rise as the eastern part of the state is expected to deal with even more rainfall. Meteorologists predicted up to five inches of rain by Monday. Floodwaters have already covered streets, homes and caused blackouts in some areas.

The governor says it's one of the most devastating floods the state has ever seen. And rescue crews are still searching for those missing after a previous round of severe floods late last week.

England's football fans are next to see. Their women's national team are the champions of Europe. They won their first ever major title in a nail biting game against Germany that ended in extra time, the Lionesses clawing their way to victory at Wembley with a final score of two to one.

Stay tuned to CNN World Sport in just a few minutes for more coverage of England's historic win.

Thanks for watching CNN Newsroom. I'm Alison Kosik. I'll be back with more news at the top of the hour. World Sport, that's coming up next.



DON RIDDELL, CNN WORLD SPORT: You know, England fans have been singing that song for 26 years and they've been waiting for 30 years and more than that, but football finally is home. But here's the twist. It wasn't the men that finally won a trophy. It was their women and it was absolutely sensational.

Hello there and welcome to World Sport. We're coming to you from CNN Center. I'm Don Riddell.

The growth of women's football has been taken to new heights at the European Championship final in London on Sunday, a record breaking crowd saw the England team crowned champions for the very first time in a thrilling game against the eighth-time champions Germany. England's Lionesses lifted the trophy in front of a crowd of more than 87,000 fans, that's the biggest crowd for any European Championship final in either the women's or men's game. There was so much hype and expectation around this match, a heavyweight clash between the tournament hosts and the most dominant side on the continent. And England took the lead with that brilliant second half go from Ella Toone, who'd only just come on to the field as a substitute.

Now, Germany had to play without their leading goalscorer Alexandra Popp who was injured in the warm up before the game, but they equalized through Lina Magull in the 79th minute, sending the match into a nerve wracking period of extra time, but England held their nerve, and they clinched the trophy with a goal from Chloe Kelly. It was an historic goal, and an iconic celebration.

56 years and one day after England's men beat Germany in this stadium to win the World Cup. Their women beat Germany to win the Euros.


LEAH WILLIAMSON, ENGLAND CAPTAIN: I just don't stop crying. There's (INAUDIBLE) we talk and we talk and we talk and we finally done it. It's about (INAUDIBLE). And I tell you what, the kids are right.

SANNA WIEGMAN, ENGLAND COACH: We won the cup (INAUDIBLE) it's just unbelievable. I don't know what you asked me but (INAUDIBLE). It's incredible.

I just -- I don't think I realize what's going on. I need some time.


RIDDELL: (INAUDIBLE) Amanda Davies saw the game at Wembley Stadium and is now in a city that I think will be partying long into the night. Amanda, great to see you. How would you describe what you've seen today?

AMANDA DAVIES, CNN WORLD SPORT: Honestly, Don, I am really struggling to put it into words. If football has come home, and you know what that means? It is so, so emotional. It's -- I have to say it's pretty overwhelming. There have been some tears on a number of occasions over the last hour or so. So, so many years following England home and away a major tournaments and there's been so much disappointment.

And I have to say for it to be the women in such an incredible atmosphere with everything they have been through over the years. And what that means for the game. It makes it just more than special. It feels like a real, real privilege to have been here, but don't just take my word for it.

For more I'm delighted to say I'm joined by former New Zealand International CEO of Crux Sports, Rebecca Smith, and Grace Vella, founder and CEO of Miss Kick and former Manchester City and Liverpool player.

Grace, let me start with you. You in many ways are the opposite end of the England footballing spectrum to me. This is your first trip to Wembley Stadium. You have played you are the same age as so many of these England players. I mean, can you begin to put it into words, could you ever have imagined that this was going to happen?

GRACE VELLA, FOUNDER AND CEO OF MISS KICK: It's incredible. And for me growing up as a player, I could only have dreamed to play at Wembley and to see some of the girls who have grown up playing we've had the opportunity is exactly what they deserve. And it's the same. I'm almost a bit lost for words.

DAVIES: I bet you ask prematch. What is going to happen if football comes home? What does that mean? Well --

REBECCA SMITH, CRUX SPORTS, FOUNDER AND CEO: I think we will find out from now until the Friday midday maybe. I've had many, many people say I'm taking work off. I'm not coming in. So yes, there'll be lots and lots of parties but it's amazing. Honestly, it's a little bit emotional, yes.

DAVIES: Yes. I mean, I was emotion basically from the moment I walked in into that stadium.


We've talked about what this tournament has done for the women's game, but I'm not sure even, you know, being at USA, France, which is pretty special at the World Cup in 2019. The final there in France, that felt next level.

SMITH: Yes, I mean, that was the World Cup is always a little bit bigger of a tournament a little bit longer. There's another round, there's going to be another round probably coming in for next year as well.

But this one is such a special tournament because it's all the European teams. And we know we talked about the quality of the European teams compared to the rest of the world previously and to see England do it on home turf. And just like you said, the FA putting so much behind this team, the development of girls in this country. And to see them win is it's really something special.

DAVIES: And Don talked about that the record breaking attendance that we had here. 87,000 plus a record for both the men's and women's game we talked about the importance of the 12 person, the fans, they have lived and breathed kicked every single ball over the last few weeks. And of course yes, let's just have a little listen to what they had to say after the game.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Congratulations, England. Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was coming home.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is good it finally came home after lots of like, terrible like moments what is finally, finally came home obviously happy, enjoyment, excitement, everything. I love it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's amazing. It's the best live football they've seen and they've seen England win at Wembley. I mean, we probably ruin football for them. But it was amazing.


DAVIES: Well, in terms of the game, a lot has been made about the impact of the subs. They did it again, wasn't Russo this time, but Ella Toone with her third goal of the tournament. And Chloe Kelly, what a moment to score your first ever international goal?

SMITH: Do you know it that -- she took off her shirt after as we all saw that was so much fun. But we saw Brandi Chastain do something similar in '99, didn't we, and Brandi actually came in to that tournament as a sub and actually wasn't even on the original roster, and then came in and ended up taking that penalty.

So, the value of the full team in these tournaments is so important. And it's just so nice to see the young players come in with that confidence and that lack of any history that's come before them and just be able to make such an impact. Brilliant.

DAVIES: How much though do you think this game was impacted by the fact that Alex Popp, who has had such a sensational tournament, such an amazing backstory having missed those two, you know, previous Euros? The fact that she was ruled out at such a late stage, Grace, I mean, what must not have done to the German side?

VELLA: Yes, she was definitely a key player for the German side. And me being an England fan, I was a bit worried about her performance. So, I think they definitely took a bit of a blow with her not playing the game.

DAVIES: Yes. Do you think had she played, Bex, it might -- we might be talking about different results?

SMITH: She definitely would have made a difference. Absolutely. And I was really keen to see if she would have continued her goal streak with every single game of the Euros because that would have been incredible and just watching her after the game. I mean, gutting, absolutely gutting not to be able to have played in that game because she is one of those players that she wouldn't have just let Germany lose. And I'm not saying any of those players did that. But she just has that fighting mentality. And we didn't see that at the very end from the Germans.

DAVIES: Somebody who has got a fighting mentality, the England coach, Sarina Wiegman, becoming the first person to win back to back Euro's with two different teams. We talked about her being the final piece of the jigsaw puzzle. And she did it again really tonight, didn't she?

VELLA: Yes, definitely you can tell she's been there and done that. And I was always so believed in what she was doing in terms of the substitutions and her strategy. And she stuck with it.

DAVIES: And the team obviously did as well.

VELLA: Yes, they can clearly believe in her and stop by at the end when I was watching them celebrate. They're all putting her arms around her and I think that shows the sign of a great manager.


DAVIES: Yes. Well, of course this result coming just 12 months after a very, very different feeling after a final here in England. The men's championship, England beaten in the final by Italy amongst those awful, awful scenes that really shamed football some brilliant scenes inside though here a feeling of togetherness when the likes of Mason Mount, Phil Foden, cheering on the Lionesses, the England captain Harry Kane rightly sending his tribute to the players afterwards saying absolutely unreal scenes at Wembley, massive Congrats to the amazing Lionesses.

Ella Toone take a bow for that finish as well. The Queen has sent her congratulations as well to the Lionesses after they were presented with the trophy by Prince William and this current crop of players Don certainly cementing their place in a sporting royalty this evening.


RIDDELL: Yes, absolutely incredible day great for England, great for women's football to all over the world, guys, thanks very much. Stay with us here on World Sport. We'll be right back.


RIDDELL: Welcome back Formula One's reigning champion Max Verstappen enjoyed another terrific day on Sunday, and it would have been a little unexpected. The Red Bull man began the Hungarian Grand Prix from 10th place on the grid, but he ended up taking the checkered flag.

Verstappen had suffered engine problems in qualifying but he drove brilliantly to put all of that behind him. He worked his way up through the field and by twice passing his title rival Charles Leclerc, that gave Ferrari a few more reasons to doubt their own abilities.

It wasn't all plain sailing though. Verstappen could have blown it when he spun halfway through. But he recovered well and calm we went on to win the eighth race of the season. He is now 80 points clear at the top of the driver standings.

That does it for this edition of World Sport. Thanks so much for your company. Do stay with us though. The news is next.