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China Conducts Fifth Day of Military Drills Near Taiwan; New York City Mayor Slams Texas Governor's Handling of Migrants; Deaths of Four Muslims in Albuquerque May Be Linked; Actress Anne Heche in Stable Condition Following Car Crash. Aired 4:30-5a ET

Aired August 08, 2022 - 04:30   ET



MAX FOSTER, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back to CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Max Foster. If you are just joining us, let me bring you up-to-date with our top stories this hour.

The U.S. Senate just passed the Democrat's sweeping climate, healthcare and tax bill also as the Inflation Reduction Act. Not a single Republican Senator vote for the measure. The House is expected to take up the legislation on Friday.

A ceasefire between Israel and Islamic jihad is now in effect in Gaza, it appears to be holding this hour. The truce comes after days of escalating tensions between both sides.

We're tracking developments in the western Pacific where Chinese military drills have continued for a fifth day near Taiwan. Beijing began the drills on Thursday after promising Taipei would pay a price for hosting U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. She made the visit despite warnings from mainland China which considers the self- governing island part of its territory. Taiwan's foreign minister says he's concerned but not afraid. He spoke to CNN's Will Ripley.


JOSEPH WU, TAIWAN FOREIGN MINISTER: China has always been threatening Taiwan for years. And it's getting more serious in the last few years. And it has always been that way. Whether Speaker Pelosi visit Taiwan or not, the Chinese military threat against Taiwan has always been there and that is the fact that we need to deal with.

WILL RIPLEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Has Taiwan's Democratic system ever been in more danger than it is today?

WU: I can tell you that Taiwan is more resilient than before. Look at Taiwan these days, China is trying to impose trade sanctions against Taiwan, trying to attract Taiwan from military or nonmilitary aspect. But life goes on and Taiwan shows its resilience.

RIPLEY: Should people in Taiwan be more worried than they are about China?

WU: What I can say is that the people here in Taiwan may worry. If you ask me, I worry a little bit.

RIPLEY: What do you worry about?

WU: I worry that China may really launch a war against Taiwan. But what it is doing right now is trying to scare us, and the best way to deal with it, to show to China that we are not scared.


FOSTER: Let's bring in Blake Essig in Taipei. I mean, really sort of strong words there coming from the foreign minister, but what can we expect in terms of those exercises? Because they continue, don't they?

BLAKE ESSIG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, look, Max, just a few hours ago we learn that the People's Liberation Army actually was continuing to conduct drills in the air and at sea around Taiwan. That's according to video posted on social media by China's military saying that today's drills are focused on anti-submarine and naval action. These drills were supposed or expected to end yesterday, but again continuing today.

Now in response to the ongoing drills, a spokesperson for Taiwan's ministry of defense says China's drills will give Taiwan's military less time to react but that it won't back down and will respond more proactively. Throughout the first four days of military exercises by China, Taiwan's defense ministry says China simulated an attack against the main island of Taiwan involving cyberattacks, a large number of fighter jets and warships operating daily around the Taiwan Strait with many entering Taiwan's air defense identification zone and some crossing Taiwan Strait's median line.

Beijing also launched nearly a dozen ballistic missiles, some flying directly over Taiwan for the first time ever. But one of the key takeaways from what we saw over the past several days according to military experts is that China demonstrated that they can put together a blockade of Taiwan that doesn't require constant naval presence offshore and that shipping and air traffic can be blocked by the threat of missiles despite the increased tensions and aggressive maneuvering by China's military around Taiwan.

Life here in Taipei really hasn't stopped. There are cars on the road, people walking around outside, the shopping district has been busy. And all weekend there were long lines outside of restaurants. It's almost as if people here are immune almost unfazed by the constant military threats from China and it really makes sense, Max, because the threat from China isn't something new. They've been living with it here for the past 70 plus years.


So even though some of the international community are expressing concern about China's seemingly dress rehearsal for a potential attack, people here just aren't that worried -- Max.

FOSTER: OK, Blake in Taipei, thank you. U.S. Customs and Border Patrol says hundreds of migrants are in

custody after landing on or near Florida's coast this weekend. In one incident, more than 300 migrants from Haiti were rescued after they ran aground off the Florida Keys. Officials tweeted these images showing that some had jumped from their boat. In another incident, the Coast Guard intercepted and took into custody at least 150 Cuban migrants who made landfall. Officials said they were still processing the migrants on Sunday.

Some asylum seekers are caught in the middle amid tensions between Texas and New York over immigration. Dozens of migrants arrived in New York City by bus this past weekend after the Texas governor designated New York as a drop off location for migrants as part of his response to U.S. border policies. CNN's Polo Sandoval has more.


POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Leaders here in New York City saying that they are approaching this recent busing of migrant families from the nation's southern border here to the Northeast as an opportunity to send a message to the world and also to Republican Texas Governor Greg Abbott about how these families should be treated and not what Abbott's critics have described as pawns in a political stunt that has been ongoing since April. When the governor announced that he would be offering some of the migrants that have been processed and released at the border an opportunity to get on the bus and then get a ride to cities like Washington, D.C. and now most recently in New York.

Some images taken from over the weekend shows some of the recent arrivals, these potential ongoing busing of migrants, it will certainly add strain to a homeless shelter system here in New York City that is already trying to keep up with demand. Mayor Eric Adams saying that some 14 migrants arrived Sunday, that added to at least 50 who arrived on the first bus on Friday. They are added to roughly 4,000 asylum-seekers that the city has worked find a home for since May.

Mayor Adams saying on Sunday morning that the city certainly welcoming to these asylum seekers but saying that Abbott's approach is not just cruel but also uncoordinated.

ERIC ADAMS, NEW YORK CITY MAYOR: It's really important that the governor of Texas is coordinating. They're not letting us know what time the buses are leaving. They're not letting us though what are the needs of the people on the bus. They're not giving us any information so we're unable to really provide the service to the people en route. That we would likely get that information. So only around 14 -- around 14 got off. Some of them thought they were going to another location. But they were forced on that bus.

SANDOVAL: Mayor Adams among other city officials who say that some of the recent arrivals have shared with them stories about feeling forced to take up the Abbott administration's offer to get on these buses and get that ride to the Northeast. CNN has reached out to Governor Abbott's office on Sunday and they're still waiting to hear back. Expecting more buses to arrive in New York City. Officials here have

announced that they will set up a standalone facility to provide some of these asylum seekers with things like shelter and food. For some of those migrants whose plans were not meant to take them here to New York City, they are also offering assistance to try to take them to other parts of the country.

Polo Sandoval, CNN, New York.


FOSTER: Police in U.S. state of New Mexico are asking for the public's help as they investigate the fatal shooting of four Muslim men. More on these cases and the fear that they are triggering as well, next.

Plus, a historic moment for Colombia as the country inaugurates its first leftist president and first ever Colombian vice president. That story and more when we return.



FOSTER: Albuquerque, New Mexico is on edge after the recent killings of four Muslim men across the city. And police say the murders may be linked. Officials are increasing police presence in mosques and they're calling on the public to help locate a vehicle of interest. CNN's Camila Bernal has the details.


CAMILA BERNAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Authorities now have a very strong lead. They say they're looking for a specific car. A dark silver sedan, four doors, tinted windows they believe it could be a Volkswagen either Jetta or Passat. And they're asking the public for help in finding this car or the person that was driving or owns this car.

Because what authorities are trying to is connect the dots between these four different cases. They say there are some similarities in terms of where the men were killed and how they were killed. Authorities saying at the least three of them were ambushed and then shot dead.

We'll start from the latest incident. We know Naeem Hussain was a Muslim man who was killed. He was from south Asia and that happened late Friday night just before midnight.

We also know Muhammed Afzaal Hussein, 27 years old from Pakistan, worked for the city of Hispaniola. The mayor there describing him as a brilliant public servant. He said that he was soft spoken and kind and quick to laugh. He was killed on August 1 in southeast Albuquerque.

But so was Aftab Hussein, who was also killed in the same area. 41 years old from Pakistan. He went to the same mosque but he was killed on July 26th. And now authorities are also going back to November of 2021 to try to

figure out if the killing of Mohammad Ahmadi is also related because he is also a Muslim man from Afghanistan. He was killed outside of the business that he ran with his brother. The governor of New Mexico saying that there will be justice. Here is what she said.

MICHELLE LUJAN GRISHAM, (D) NEW MEXICO GOVERNOR: I am incredibly angry about this situation. Every New Mexican should stand up and against this kind of hatred. It has no place in this city and it has no place in our state.

BERNAL: And the mayor of Albuquerque also saying that his community is traumatized explaining how there are parents who are afraid to take their children to school. Members of the community who are scared to go out to the grocery store or to get a meal. They are providing services, but really what they are promising is to find the person responsible.

Camila Bernal, CNN, Los Angeles.


FOSTER: Now to Colombia where the country witnessed an historic moment on Sunday.


Gustavo Petro was officially sworn in before cheering supporters at the nation's capital making him the country's first leftist president. During his first presidential speech, Mr. Petro stressed the importance of change in the fight against violence. He said the war on drugs has completely failed.

In another history-making achievement, his running mate Francia Marquez became the first Afro-Colombian to hold executive powers.

The two are vying to be Kenya' next president wrapped up their campaigns over the weekend ahead of what is set to be a hotly contested vote on Tuesday. Deputy president William Ruto and opposition leader Raila Odinga were once political allies and now very much rivals. Tuesday's general election will also see a record number of women on the ballot.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has kicked off a three nation trip to Africa with a visit to the historic township of Soweto in South Africa. America's top diplomat toured the Hector Pieterson Museum on Sunday. Which is name after the 12-year-old boy who was shot and killed by police during the pivotal anti-apartheid movement in 1976. Thousands of black students took part in those protests and more than 170 were ultimately gunned down by security forces. Blinken will later visit the Democratic Republic of Condo and Rwanda as part of his tour.

A long awaited return home for some West Africa artifacts. The Horniman Museum here in London says that it will give back 72 objects including brass plaques known as Benin Bronzes to Nigeria. The museum says that they were forcibly removed from Nigeria's Benin city during Britain's military incursion 125 years ago. The Horniman said it was moral and appropriate to return the pieces since they were taken by force. Museum officials in Nigeria say they welcome the decision.

Still to come, new details on the condition of Hollywood actors Anne Heche after a fiery car crash. We'll have the latest for you.



FOSTER: Former TV Actress Anne Heche is in stable condition in hospital after a car accident on Friday. Los Angeles police say she crashed into a residence and her car burst into flames. But they haven't been able to question her yet because of her injuries. CNN's Amara Walker has the details.


AMARA WALKER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anne Heche remains hospitalized after a car she was driving crashed into a house in Los Angeles Friday and became engulfed in flames. Anne is in the ICU. She is lucky to be alive. She has severe burns and has a long recovery ahead. Her team and her family are still trying to process what led up to the crash. A source close to Heche told CNN Saturday morning.

According to Los Angeles police the car was traveling at a high rate of speed when it ran off the road and collided with the residence. It took firefighters more than an hour to access, confine and fully extinguish the stubborn flames within the heavily damaged structure, Los Angeles Fire said.

Heche was transported to a local hospital in critical condition, no other injuries were reported. A neighbor had this to say about the resident of the home that was hit.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She was in the house at the time. And the car stopped like two feet away from where she was sitting. So, she was pretty lucky.

WALKER: CNN has contacted representatives of Heche for comment. On Saturday a law enforcement source familiar with the investigation told CNN authorities had yet to question Heche about the incident saying the significant nature of her injuries have prevented officers from interviewing her.

The Los Angeles Police Department is investigating the crash and an alleged misdemeanor hit and run incident, an LAPD told CNN Saturday evening. LAPD said no arrests have been made.

The 53-year-old actress rose to fame on the soap opera "Another World." Where she played the dual role of twins Vicki Hudson and Marley Love from 1987 to 1991 and earned a daytime Emmy award. She followed had with films like "Donnie Brasco," "Six Days Seven Nights" and "Wag the Dog." Her romantic relationship with Ellen DeGeneres in the late 90s resulted in intense media attention. In a 2021 interview with Page Six, Heche said she felt blacklisted after going public with their relationship.

I didn't do a studio picture for ten years, said Heche, who dated DeGeneres from 1997 to 2000. Heche has appeared in numerous television series more recently including "The Brave," "Quantico" and "Chicago PD." She has several acting projects currently in post-production according to IMDB profile.

Amara Walker, CNN, Atlanta.


FOSTER: It was an emotional weekend for American football fans as the National Football League welcomed the newest members to the Hall of Fame. The class of 2022 include six players, a coach and first official to be inducted into the hall. The most emotional moment came when former 49er Bryant Young honored his late son Colby who died of cancer at the age of 15. Young remembered his son as a happy kid with an infectious smile.


BRYANT YOUNG, NFL HALL OF FAME MEMBER: On October 11, 2016, God called Colby home. Colby, you live on in our hearts. I enter the hall as a member of this '22, 2022 -- 22, it was Colby's favorite number.


FOSTER: And only coach to be inducted this year is Dick Vermeil who steered the Rams to a Super Bowl Victory in the 1999 season. The hall's first official Art McNally oversaw the implementation of instant replay in 1986.

In the world of baseball, one of the most famous contracts in major league history is making history once again.


Bobby Bonilla was an all-star player. He retired from the game more than 20 years ago. But he is still getting paid by the New York Mets. And the addendum to his unusual contract just sold at auction for $180,000. Bonilla started receiving his deferred paycheck back in 2011, ten years after he stepped away from the game. The Mets now pay him each July 1 a whopping $1.1 million a year. He'll be 72 years old when his contract expires in 2035.

Now in English football, Manchester City has kicked off the season with a strong win. As Norwegian Star Erling Haalan made his Premier League debut. The 22-year-old scored both goals as Man City, the English Premier League's reigning champions, topped West Ham 2-nil on Sunday.

And another sensational season start. This time in France where Lionel Messi scored a bicycle kick as Paris Saint Germain dominated Clermont 5-nil. Messi there catching a pass before acrobatically sending it over the goalkeeper. He helped lead the reigning league one champion to a win, under new coach Christophe Galtier. It looks like "Top Gun Maverick" has officially sunk the "Titanic."

According to "Variety," the Tom Cruise summer blockbuster has moved up to seventh place all-time in U.S. box office sales. It's also now the highest grossing film in Paramount Pictures 110 year history, but it will take more than that to claim the number one spot and dethrone "Star Wars: The Force Awakens." Somewhat after that one.

Thanks for joining me here on CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Max Foster in London. "EARLY START" with Christine Romans next right here on CNN.