Return to Transcripts main page

CNN Newsroom

U.S. Says China Overreacting to Pelosi's Taiwan Visit; Ukraine Says it Struck Multiple Russian Targets; 100 Million+ in U.S. Under Heat Alerts for Eight of Last 16 Days. Aired 4:30-5a ET

Aired August 05, 2022 - 04:30   ET



MAX FOSTER, CNN ANCHOR: Just a day after China fired ballistic missiles over Taiwan for the first time, Taipei is reporting new activity by Chinese fighter jets and warships in the Taiwan Strait. The military might comes after U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit to Taiwan which Beijing strongly condemned.

Now in Tokyo, Pelosi met with Japan's Prime Minister who made it clear the U.S. will not allow China to isolate Taiwan. The Japanese leader called for an immediate end to China's military exercises which saw some missiles land near Japan inside the country's exclusive economic zone. Meanwhile the White House is warning of more provocative actions from China.


JOHN KIRBY, U.S. NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL SPOKESPERSON: China has chosen to overreact and use the speaker's visit as a pretext to increase provocative military activity in and around the Taiwan Strait. We anticipated that China might take steps like this, we also expect these actions will continue.


FOSTER: Let's go to Steven Jiang who is in Beijing of course. So, there were these missiles fired yesterday and now we see ships and planes moving through the exercise areas.

STEVEN JIANG, CNN BEIJING BUREAU CHIEF: That's right, Max, but before I get to that, I just want to share with you and our viewers one late breaking development. That is the Chinese government has just announced that they will impose sanctions against Nancy Pelosi and her immediate family because of her recent trip to Taiwan. Saying that she did that in disregard of China's repeated warnings and in violation of Chinese sovereignty.

Now they didn't say what these sanctions would entail, but presumably that would mean Nancy Pelosi and her family are now barred from entering in to China and any assets that they have in China may be frozen. But this of course is not surprising given the increasingly harsh words we have been hearing targeting Nancy Pelosi not only from officials but also, increasingly from state media. We have seen a growing propaganda blitz here really targeting her in

recent days using increasingly personal terms to vilify her, calling her ugly, evil and shameless for playing the Taiwan card for personal political gain.

Now, Nancy Pelosi, as you mentioned, is in Tokyo for the last leg of her Asia tour. She has been very much undeterred by all the vicious attacks and presumably she would dismiss the latest sanctions from the Chinese government against her as well. In Tokyo she actually reiterated her unwavering support for Taiwan and echoing the Japanese Prime Minister, also called on the Chinese government to immediately halt the military drills we just talked about.

Now, the concern, the worry right now, of course is this is not going to be just a few days of Chinese military drills around Taiwan and then everything goes back to normal. The PLA, the People's Liberation Army, may actually seize upon this moment to try to permanently change the status quo. That is the biggest fear because this could mean that they will start seriously enforcing China's sovereign claim over the entire Taiwan Strait, that of course is where the U.S. and its allies routinely send their warships and warplanes to cross the strait because they consider international waters -- as you heard John Kirby say there. So that of course is why the situation remains very much volatile and precarious -- Max.

FOSTER: OK, Steven, thank you.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is blasting a new report by Amnesty International about Ukraine's conduct in the war. It says Ukrainian forces endangered their own civilians by putting their bases and operating military equipment in residential areas. In response Mr. Zelenskyy said the report is helping Russia get off the hook for its crimes.


VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): We saw today a completely different report from Amnesty International which unfortunately tries to amnesty the terrorist state and shift the responsibility from the aggressor to the victim. There are no and can be now, even hypothetically, conditions on which any Russian attack on Ukraine becomes justified.


FOSTER: Mr. Zelenskyy also accused of the group of in his words immoral selectivity. Ukraine says it struck several Russian targets meanwhile in the south of the country. Ukraine says its missiles, artillery and helicopters went after ammunition and equipment depots in Kherson. The announcement came after Ukraine reported a Russian military buildup in the area ahead of a possible Russian offensive.

Meanwhile Western officials now estimate that Russia has lost up to 20,000 troops since the war began, another 55,000 have been injured. Officials say Russia is now recruiting people from prisons and through private security companies to make up for those losses. For more Jason Carroll is joining us from Kyiv. It does feel as though Russia is really under pressure.

JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Right and I think that there are a lot of folks who are down in the southern part of the country who would say that that is in fact true, Max.


But one thing is definitely confirmed, when you listen to the president of this country who says that fighting this war has been hell. And evidence of that, the people who are really bearing the brunt of that, seems to be the civilians in this country. I mean, when you look at what just happened in the east for example, in the area of Donetsk in that region, eight people were killed simply standing at a public transport stop, killed during a Russian missile strike there. Apparently three children were also injured during that strike. Ukrainian officials calling it an act of Russian terrorism.

But once again, when you look at what's happening in the south, the Ukrainian military claiming that they are making some gains there in terms of taking out some Russian targets. Apparently destroying a Russian stronghold and an ammunition depot. CNN has not been able to independently verify that. But this as Ukraine says that Russia is really continuing its buildup of their forces there in that part of the country . I appears that Russia moved one of their battalions into the area. CNN actually geo located several videos showing that Russian trucks, Russian convoys seem to be moving into the area as well. All of this suggesting that a Russian counteroffensive may be under way -- Max.

FOSTER: OK, Jason in Kyiv, thank you.

Meanwhile three more grain ships left Ukrainian ports this morning. This ship heading to Britain. The other two ships will go to Turkey and Ireland. Together they'll carry more than 50,000 tons of Ukrainian corn. One other ship left port earlier this week, it comes after a new agreement allowed Ukraine to resume its grain exports.

Police in Thailand say at least 13 people have been killed and 35 injured in a night club fire that happened around 1:00 in the morning in a town about 170 kilometers south of Bangkok. Officials say injuries range from mild to serious and are mainly from burns. Police are still looking into what caused that fire.

Just ahead, millions of Americans are under heat alerts right now. We'll look at where the temperatures are the highest and the danger is the greatest -- Derek.

DEREK VAN DAM, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yes, it's not just the heat that we are monitoring closely. It's the potential for more flash flooding over the eastern half of the U.S. in some of the areas that have been hardest hit by last week's flooding. We'll cover both of these topics coming up after the break.


(COMMERCIAL BREAK) FOSTER: CNN now projects that Kari Lake will be Arizona's Republican

candidate for governor in November. Lake is an ardent denier of the 2020 election results and has former President Donald Trump's endorsement. Her primary opponent was establishment Republican Karrin Taylor Robson, who was endorsed by Trump's Former VP Mike Pence Lake. Even before the polls closed Lake was ready to declare fraud if she lost. Lake's false claims are likely to grow louder as she faces Democrat Katie Hobbs, the current Secretary of State in November.

Over 100 million Americans have been under heat alerts for at least 8 of the last 16 days. And hot temperatures could soon break records in dozens of cities. CNN's Tom Foreman has more.


TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The heat wave that left fatalities and wildfires out West has now crossed the whole country to scorch the East, making millions of Americans swelter along the way and causing dangerously hot conditions in some places.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's very warm. Oh, my gosh, I'm dying. I'm not used to it at all. It's terrible.

FOREMAN (voice-over): In New York City, a heat index pushing 100 is threatening weather records going back to World War II. In Philadelphia, 104 was the anticipated heat index. In Washington, D.C., an index of 105 appear within reach. And in Kentucky, where folks are trying to recover from flooding that left dozens dead.

GOV. ANDY BESHEAR (D-KY): Biggest concern for today and tomorrow is the weather. It is very, very hot.

FOREMAN (voice-over): The temperature has been so brutal. The Teamsters Union cited a delivery man collapsing in Arizona last month to say UPS must provide cooling measures or they are sending drivers out to die in the heat.

UPS says: The health and safety of our employees is our highest priority. UPS drivers are trained to work outdoors and to manage the effects of hot weather.

But on the backside of the current heat wave, another problem, more massive storms.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My home had about two to three foot of water in it.

FOREMAN (voice-over): St. Louis was hammered by 60 mile-an-hour wind gust and up to three inches of rain in an hour, closing roads, flooding homes.

MYA GRAY, FLOOD VICTIM: I woke up, the water was this high. I almost drowned. We had to get out in boats and everything.

FOREMAN (voice-over): In Michigan, tens of thousands lost power as trees were blown down. And those blazes out West --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was crazy. Fricking fire going everywhere. Smoke, the roads blocked off.

FOREMAN (voice-over): They are still burning. But now, some firefighters fear mudslides triggered by this summer's ever wilder weather.

FOREMAN: Some places might get some relief in the coming days, but don't count on it lasting. Forecasters expect more than two-thirds of the country in the coming week to hit 90 degrees or above.

Tom Foreman, CNN, Washington.


FOSTER: Well, the situation is changing all the time. Let's get the latest now from meteorologist Derek Van Dam. Good morning -- Derek.

VAN DAM: Yes, likely over 270 million Americans over the next seven days will experience temperatures of 90 degrees Fahrenheit or more. So, it's an extended period of hot weather continues. The other story, the potential for flash flooding. We'll cover both those topics right now.

But first we start on the excessive heat. We have over 50 million Americans under heat advisories as we speak. Namely across the central portions of the country, but also across some of the most populated areas of the U.S. from Boston, New York, all the way to Philadelphia, anywhere you see the shading of orange. Heat index values today could top 100 degrees in some locations. So, let's get the particular forecast.

This afternoon we do anticipate the heat index to reach 97 for Norfolk into the D.C. area, 93, 96 for Richmond, excessively hot temperatures especially when you factor in the humidity levels outside. Temperatures the actual air temperature should be about 87 for Philadelphia, 85 in the Big Apple. We're talking temperatures in the lower 90s for many of these locations prompting these heat alerts that are in place.

We can't escape the heat from the Deep South as well. We have excessive heat across portions of Texas, into Oklahoma as well. We should be about 94 in Oklahoma City, but our high temperature of 100 is forecast both today and tomorrow.


Now, you heard Foreman talk about just the brief reprieve from the heat across the Northeast. It is coming for the weekend. We have to get through one more day of excessive heat, but we do see signs that more heat will return into the second half of next week. And of course, our ongoing heat across the great basin.

The other top story that we're covering, the potential for flash flooding. Not only across the Four Corners region with monsoonal moisture streaming in, but in the areas that have been hit hardest by some of the flash flooding last week. We have newly issued flood watches from the National Weather Service across Kentucky, portions of West Virginia, southern Ohio and extreme southeastern portions of Indiana.

Remember eastern Kentucky struck with some of the worst flooding in decades across that region. The potential exists for several inches of rain through the next few days. Some of the slower moving thunderstorms could trigger flash flooding. Remember, Max, a lot of these areas extremely saturated in the ground from the flooding that occurred not just a week ago.

FOSTER: Yes, there's more to come, isn't there. Derek, thank you very much indeed.

Much of Europe once again seeing scorching hot weather as well. Milan temperatures are expected to pass 100 degrees Fahrenheit or 37 degrees Celsius. France is seeing its third heatwave this summer with water restrictions in place for most of the country. Berlin will likely come within a degree or two of the highest temperature ever recorded in that city. And Spain passed an energy conservation law this week banning public places from setting their air conditioning to cool below 27 degrees Celsius or 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

Now, we are getting some amazing pictures of the volcanic fissure that's been erupting in Iceland. It is churning and spouting red hot lava near their capital of Reykjavik. The fissures are estimate to be 200 meters wide about the length of four Olympic sized swimming pools. In volcano terms that is considered small though. It's location means the threat to the population is low as well.

A rare piece of good news about the Great Barrier Reef. A monitoring group in Australia says parts of the reef are bouncing back and are healthier than they've been for decades. Average hard coral cover in the upper region and central areas of the region has increased by around a third. It's great news but scientists say the reef is still vulnerable.


MIKE EMSLIE, AUSTRALIAN INSTITUTE OF MARINE SCIENCE: So today I think what we're seeing is that the Great Barrier Reef still is a resilient system. You know, it still maintains that ability to recover from disturbances. And if you give it enough chance it can do that. But the worrying thing is that, you know, these frequency of these disturbance events are increasing particularly, you know, the mass coral bleaching events.


FOSTER: Well, scientists say four of the reefs six mass bleaching events have taken place since 2016.

An apparent lightning strike near the White House in Washington, D.C. has left at least four people in critical condition. The victims were riding out the storm under a tree according to a law enforcement source. A local TV station, WTTG, captured video of the lightning strike near the Capitol during the storm possibly the very one that resulted in those injuries.

We'll be right back.




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Five, four, three, two, one, zero, ignition. And liftoff.


FOSTER: South Korea launched its ever lunar orbiter into space a few hours ago. It was named Danuri. It was sent into the sky on the back of a SpaceX rocket. Blasting up from Cape Canaveral, Florida Thursday evening. Danuri is expected to reach the moon in December for a yearlong mission according to South Korea's ministry of science. It goal, to conduct critical scientific research of the lunar surface and to identify possible landing sites for future missions.

The fans of American football out there, the first NFL preseason game kicked off Thursday with the Las Vegas Raiders edging the Jacksonville Jaguars 27-11. The "Hall of Fame Game" as it is known is held each year in Canton, Ohio home of the league's Hall of Fame. Preseason continues next season starting with the New York Giants facing off against the New England Patriots at home in Foxboro, Massachusetts.

The wait is finally over for football fans in the U.K., the new season kicks off as Crystal Palace hosts Arsenal in South London. Arsenal is the odds-on favorite after a fifth place finish last season. Crystal Palace is coming off a disappointing campaign but celebrating a full decade in the Premier League. Manchester City is the reigning champion, beating Aston Villa on the last day of last season.

Police near Atlanta, Georgia are looking for a Home Depot thief. No, this is not a bit job of famous actor Bradley Cooper. Police posted this surveillance shot asking the public if they have any information on the man and it quickly went viral. Many pointed out the on canny likeness of the "Star is Born " to the director, one saying that you know it is hard times when Bradley has to steal. Police say the doppelganger stole a laser level worth more than $600.

The other half of the "Star is Born" duo is also making headlines. The singer Lady Gaga confirmed she will appear alongside Joaquin Phoenix in the upcoming sequel to the movie "Joker." We still don't have details about her role, but earlier this summer "Variety" reported the popstar had been in talks to play the iconic Harlequin in a musical sequel. The first "Joker" was a box office hit and earned Phoenix his first Oscar for his role as the title character.

FOSTER: British teenager has his sights set high trying to become the youngest person to fly solo around the world. Max Rutherford landed his ultra-light plane in a Anchorage, Alaska earlier this week. He plans to fly to 52 countries. His sister, his sister Zara holds the record for a woman -- for her around the world flight at the age of 19 would you believe.



MACK RUTHERFORD, TEENAGED PILOT: So, I started on the 23rd of March in Bulgaria because my main sponsor ICDSoft is based there. From there, I flew through Sicily and Crete, then all the way down to Africa. I'm trying to show that young people can make a difference. You don't have to be 18 to do something special, just work toward your dreams and they'll come true.


FOSTER: You can learn more about Mack and his team and track his progress live at website

Exciting news at Ohio Cincinnati Zoo. Bibi the hippo gave birth to her second calf. Making baby Fiona a big sister. Fiona emerged as a an international celebrity after being born six weeks prematurely in 2017 weighing in at only 29 pounds at birth. Hippos are typically born close to a hundred pounds. The new baby hippo who has yet to be named weighs at least twice as much thankfully.

Now if you're wondering whether to get your pet microchipped, listen to this story. A German shepherd who was stolen from her yard 4 1/2 years ago was found by an animal control officer this week in Borger, Texas. When officials scanned the dog, they found that her owner lived more than 600 miles away this Bay Town, Texas. Shiva the dog is now finally on her way home to her owner.

And before we go, a runaway cow, a busy highway and a lot of stunned drivers. Video shot Wednesday morning along Alabama's interstate 65 captured this unexpected scene. A young steer streaking down the median with an animal control officer in hot pursuit. Officers say that the chase lasted a few miles before the animal was safely corralled in a nearby field.

Thank you for joining us here on CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Max Foster in London. "EARLY START" with Erica Hill is up next here on CNN.