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Donald Trump's Florida Home Raided by FBI; Ceasefire Holding on in Gaza Strip; Russia Hitting Near Nuclear Facility; Kenyan Voters Head to the Polls; China Still Firing Near Taiwan Strait; Albuquerque on High Alert After Four Muslim Men Killed; Police Battle Gangs for Control in Port-au-Prince; Severe Drought Sweeps Europe; Remembering Olivia Newton-John. Aired 3-4a ET

Aired August 09, 2022 - 03:00   ET




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

Just ahead here on CNN Newsroom, history being made in Florida as FBI agents executed a search warrant at former U.S. President Donald Trump's home.

In Kenya, voting is underway for the country's fifth president in a fiercely contested election. We will have a live report from the region.

And it's Taiwan's turn. The island's military holding live fire artillery drills amid high tensions with mainland China.

UNKNOWN: Live from CNN center, this is CNN Newsroom with Rosemary Church.

CHURCH: Good to have you with us. Well, never before in U.S. history has the FBI executed a search warrant at the home of a former president. But it happened Monday at Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago residence in Palm Beach, Florida. Multiple sources tell CNN that agents were looking for presidential documents, including classified material which Trump may have taken from the White House.

The former president's son Eric confirmed that. Another source tells CNN agents took boxes of items from the property. Trump was in New York at that time. But he posted a statement on social media calling the move a politically motivated witch hunt.

CNN's Sara Murray has more.

SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: An extraordinary day in politics as former President Donald Trump confirmed that the FBI searched his Mar-a-Lago home. Now he was not there at the time. But the FBI did come they were there for several hours, sources are telling us. And this is related to the Presidential Records Act. It was related to those documents that the former president took when he left the White House, some of which might have been classified.

Now earlier this year the National Archives said they had recovered 15 boxes of documents. But a source familiar with his says they were searching to see where those documents had been kept and if any had been left behind.

The former president said that the FBI even searched a safe of his. It seemed to take Trump and his allies off-guard. Because lawyers on behalf of the former president had been engaging with investigators on this issue.

Christina Bobb who is one of the former president's lawyers said that Trump's legal team had been cooperative with the FBI and with DOJ. In a statement, the former president said that these are dark times for our nation as my beautiful home, Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida is currently under siege. Raided and occupied by a large group of FBI agents. Nothing like this has ever happened to a President of United States before.

And we're already seeing Republicans rallying to the president's side, declaring this a political attack.

Sara Murray, CNN, Washington.

CHURCH: Harry Litman is a former U.S. attorney and legal affairs columnist for the Los Angeles Times and host of the Talking Feds podcast. He joins me now from La Joya in California. Great to have you with us.


CHURCH: So, what's your reaction to news that the FBI executed a search warrant Monday at former President Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort home in Florida. The search apparently linked to the handling of classified documents, according to our sources.

LITMAN: It's a thunderbolt. If that even understates it. Nothing like of the sort has ever been done to a president or former president. It's absolutely a, you know, aggressive move by the Department of Justice without fear or favor going right at them.

The large majority of people who are in the position he is now in wind up facing criminal charges. So, it's huge.

CHURCH: So, as you point out, no U.S. president or former U.S. president has ever had his home searched like this. What's the significance of this and what could it potentially mean for Trump? Are they getting in, are they closing in on him?

LITMAN: I think so. So, the least significant is that a neutral judicious officer has been probable cause to believe there is evidence of a crime at Mar-a-Lago. There could be many different ones, but one we are fairly certain that is in play is the disruption of presidential records.


We knew that Trump shepherded away many boxes with very valuable records and he's steadfastly refused to return them. Indeed, when they got some of them back, they've were ripped up, et cetera. That's the least it could portend.

But at this point, that they actually made this move, but you typically would make when you're getting close to a charging decision, augurs a actual decision to indict the former president of the United States. On this charge, it's true, it's less serious than many others that are also in play.

But most importantly, Rosemary, if he is convicted, provides for disqualification from office. Provides for him to never again to be a officeholder in the United States.

CHURCH: And because of that, not surprisingly Republicans are up in arms about this FBI search. They are trying to suggest this is political that it has a lot to do with the approaching midterms and the likelihood that Donald Trump will announce his intention to run for president in 2024.

So, what would you say to those suggesting that this is about politics, not about the law.

LITMAN: So, look, this is a serious offense for the Department of Justice where they see it. And there is basically zero doubt that Trump has committed it. So not to do this search warrant, not to investigate, that would be putting politics above the law.

Now there are some final decisions to make whether to indict him. But as I am suggesting, they already may have made that judgment before they even served the warrant. So, you know, I don't think that counts moreover the charge if this is what they actually indict him for. So much less serious than others could be.

And there is the possibility of a kind of grand resolution of our whole national nightmare where he is indicted but not on the most serious of offenses. But never again can run for president.

CHURCH: How concerned are you that this search and possibly an indictment of the former president could mobilize the far-right and all of those rioters that we saw gather at the capitol on January 6th who will perceive this as an effort to remove Trump from the political equation?

LITMAN: So, they might of course, perceive it. But probably perceive it less than if they were charged with seditious conspiracy. The short answer I think is the same as the Department of Justice and Merrick Garland, you just have to ignore it. You know, you can't permit, you know, ragtag terrorists, which is what they are, to hold hostage the rule of law in the country.

CHURCH: Harry Litman, we'll see what happens, thank you so much for joining us. We appreciate it.

LITMAN: Thank you, Rosemary.

CHURCH: Ukrainian officials are raising the specter of a Chernobyl style nuclear disaster after shelling and rocket fire came dangerously close to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant over the weekend.

On Monday, Ukraine warned that a disaster at the plant could obliterate everything within 50 kilometers and would affect all of Europe. Russia and Ukraine have blamed each other for the attacks, with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy accusing Russia of nuclear blackmail.


VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, PRESIDENT OF UKRAINE (through translator): We are actively informing the world about Russian nuclear blackmail about the shelling and mining of Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant. There are already appropriate reactions from the international community. But it is necessary to speed up actions in response.


CHURCH: The U.N. secretary general has condemned fighting around the Zaporizhzhia facility, calling it suicidal. He also called for the U.N.'s nuclear watchdog to be given access to the plant, which has been under Russian control since March.

In the surveillance video, you can see Russian military vehicles driving inside the complex. Russia says the troops are there for protection. But several western and Ukrainian officials have accused Russia of using the plant as a nuclear shield.

The U.S. is stepping up its military and financial aid for Ukraine. On Monday, officials announced another $4.5 billion in funding to help Ukraine's government maintain an essential functions.


Separately, the Defense Department announced a $1 billion package of weapons and security assistance, it includes thousands of artillery rounds, rockets and ammunition, as well as medical supplies and armored medical treatment vehicles.

The U.S. Defense Department is shedding new light on Russian losses in Ukraine. On Monday, a senior official estimated around 70 to 80,000 Russian troops have been killed or wounded since the war began. And the Pentagon says Russian forces have lost as many as 4,000 armored vehicles.

Meantime, hopes for peace negotiations appear further away than ever, with the Kremlin saying Monday that there is currently no basis for a meeting between the Russian and Ukrainian presidents.

It's impossible to know the toll Russia's wars is taking on Ukrainian children, authorities say that more than 360 children have been killed by Russian attack so far. But numbers don't tell the whole story, even survivors don't fully understand how the war has affected them. A warning, a report from Jason Carroll contains some graphic images.


JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Sirgiy Sirakupol (Ph) is still healing from his injuries. The deep scars on his back and leg permanent reminders of his story of survival.

"Sometimes I feel pain," he says. He took us to the place behind his school where he said he was standing in line for food last March when there was an explosion he was hit by shrapnel. "It was so scary," he says, "first it was a strong blow to the back. I fell, I couldn't move."

Sirgiy (Ph) explained that at the time of the blast his village located just about two hours outside of Kyiv was occupied by Russians. He says "they drag me to the Russian medical center. They gave me first aid." Then says the Russians took him to Belarus for treatment where he stayed for two months. The 14-year-old had no cell phone, no way to contact his parents, his mother had no idea what had become of her son.

"It cannot be described in words when you don't know where your child is," she said. "I cried day and night." Sirgiy (Ph) found his way home only after a doctor in Belarus posted information about him on social media and his family spotted him. She says "we are happy that he came back, and we are all together."

Sadly, there are many stories about Ukrainian children that have been injured during this conflict. According to Ukrainian government database, more than 700 children have been injured during the conflict so far. And more than 360 have died.

Those tracking the numbers say they are likely even higher given there's less known about the fate of children in Ukrainian territory now occupied by Russia.

"We don't know the exact number yet," she says. Counted among Ukraine's injured children's is Katerina Volkova's seven-year-old daughter Xenia (Ph).

KATERINA VOLKOVA, INJURED IN RUSSIAN MISSILE STRIKE: But she probably is much stronger than some of the adults in terms of how she is coping this (Inaudible).

CARROLL: This video showing rescuers pulling Xenia (Ph) out from underneath the rubble of what was their apartment in Kyiv in June. Her father killed in the Russian missile strike, her mother trapped under a slab of concrete for five hours.

VOLKOVA: At the beginning I was thinking about, so it could stop and that I could die.

CARROLL: Both share the scars from their experience, the psychological impact on someone so young still unclear. VOLKOVA: She is shy but she saying that yes, it's like so swollen

that it's hard for her. I'm not sure that we adults emotionally understand what is happening.

CARROLL: Thankfully, Xenia (Ph) is back to gymnastics with her friends, her mother says it helps her heal and for a short while forget. But ultimately, she hopes the west does not forget those paying the ultimate price for this war.

VOLKOVA: You'll never know. So, today you're drinking a cup of coffee with someone whom you love and then tomorrow comes, and you have nothing. That's why maybe, yes, it's not time to get used to this. But always remember that it's much more as you can imagine.

CARROLL: Jason Carroll, CNN, Kyiv.


CHURCH: Fuel supplies are again flowing into Gaza as a ceasefire between Israel and the Islamic Jihad militant group is holding.


A weekend flare up in hostilities came after Israel launched what it called preemptive strikes on Islamic Jihad targets. Despite the truce, the United Nations top official in the Middle East calls the escalation deeply worrying.

Journalist Elliott Gotkine joins us now live from Jerusalem with more on this. So, Elliott, what is the latest on the ceasefire? And of course, what's likely to come next?

ELLIOTT GOTKINE, JOURNALIST: Rosemary, well, it's almost a day and a half in since the rockets of Islamic Jihad fell silent. There have been no rockets since then. There have been no Israeli attacks in the Gaza strip. The ceasefire is holding. And things have returned to the way they were before or what qualifies for normal.

In other words, humanitarian supplies, things like fuel as you mentioned are flowing back into the Gaza strip, the exchange of commercial good is flowing again. And Palestinians in the Gaza strip that have work permits come once again into Israel to do their job.

So, that ceasefire is holding for now. And Israel's Prime Minister Yair Lapid last night gave a speech in which he sought to address directly the Palestinian people in the Gaza strip. Imploring them to try to focus on improving their economic lot rather than focusing on the conflict.


YAIR LAPID, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER (through translator): I want to speak directly to the residents of the Gaza strip and tell them, there is another way. We know how to protect ourselves from anyone who threatens us, but we also know how to provide employment, a livelihood and a life of dignity to those who wish to live by our side in peace. (END VIDEO CLIP)

GOTKINE: And although that speech was delivered in Hebrew, it was also put out with Arabic subtitles to reinforce the fact that he was trying to address the Palestinian people directly. Now, while the ceasefire in and around the Gaza strip is holding. I should say that we have seen violence in the West Bank in the city of Nablus.

Israeli defense forces of Israel are saying that it killed a wanted man. One Ibrahim al-Nabulsi who it said had carried out a number of shooting attacks against Israel. The Palestinian health ministry is talking about 40 injuries, including four critical.

Now there's a bit of confusion as to whether Mr. Nabulsi has been killed or not. Israel says he was killed. The Palestinian ministry of health saying that he's fighting to save his life and the life of another Palestinian as well.

Now there's also a bit of confusion as to the affiliation of Mr. Nabulsi with some saying he is part of the Islamic Jihad. Of course, the concern there would be that this could have repercussions for the ceasefire that for now is holding in and around the Gaza strip. Rosemary?

CHURCH: All right, Elliott Gotkine, joining us live from Jerusalem. Many thanks.

Voters are heading to the polls as Kenya decides who will be the next president. And what's expected to be a hotly contested election. We'll have a live report from Kenya when we return.

Plus, China's military extending drills for a sixth day around Taiwan. We will have a live report from the region. Back in just a moment.


PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN METEOROLOGIST: The CNN weather watch in association with the visit Maldives. Here's the picture across the United States. Some severe weather. The lone tornado report across the U.S. in the past 24 hours out of West Virginia here, a potential tornado in the works across that region left behind some damage across the rural area.

But you'll notice activity across this region continues over the coming several days. Of course, all eyes in areas where we've seen significant flooding in Missouri and also in the state of Kentucky where search efforts are still underway across this region with rainfall.

Again, possibly beginning to taper off over the next 24 or so hours. And when you look at the eastern areas of the state of Kentucky, rainfall amount should be on the minimal end. But frankly, it doesn't take much here after what has played out to cause additional problems.

Now, Tuesday into Wednesday, the threat at least across that region of the U.S. is going to diminish. Heat, still on across the Plains region. Highs into the middle 40s in spots at least what it feels like when you factor in the humidity.

Chicago, running up to 32 degrees. British Columbia in Vancouver temps only at 22 with rain showers coming back in. And in Mexico City, thunderstorms possible and should see climb up to about 24 degrees. In Guatemala City, 26, a few thunderstorms.

Take a little farther towards the south. Thanks for tuning in. Keto thunderstorms there should get you up to about 19 degrees, in Bogota around 14, and off towards the Southern Hemisphere and the cool spots, Rio Gallegos at six.



CHURCH: Welcome back, everyone. Well, voters in Kenya are deciding on their country's future right now. Polls are open in the general election for a new president and members of the national assembly. But there's much more at stake besides the high-profile races. And some of the roughly 22 million registered voters tell CNN that they are dissatisfied with their options.

CNN's Larry Madowo joins me now from a polling station in Eldoret, Kenya. Good to see you, Larry. So, voting underway for president, the national assembly and local seats, what are people telling about their political options?

LARRY MADOWO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Rosemary, people are telling me about why it is important for them to vote in this election. This the 12th since independence. And they feel that's an opportunity to really exercise their Democratic rights to choose their leaders. This happens once every five years, the presidential election is obviously a big one. That's the one that gets all the attention.

And the race is really between former Prime Minister and the leader opposition Raila Odinga and William Ruto who comes from this part of the world. So, this is his stronghold. They both have national support, but many of them especially will be looking to their bases to really shore up the vote.

They need at least 50 percent of the vote and extra to win the presidential election. There's been contested elections in the past, so they're trying to avoid a runoff, because if neither of them gets that 50 percent vote, there will be a runoff, so Kenyans are going back to the polls in a couple of weeks.

Hemal Patel, you have to tell me you just voted. What was important for you to vote in this election?

HEMAL PATEL, VOTER: It is important for me because I need our economy -- economical situation to change. Yes.

MADOWO: What is it about the economy that you are worried about?

PATEL: Currently, there is no cash flow. The businesses are down and I can see people suffering. That is why we need this big change. MADOWO: So, the candidate that you've been listening to, you really

have been looking out for somebody who knows how to fix the economy?

PATEL: Yes, as a business person at the ground level, I know what is happening currently. And I hope that this election can bring us the change that we really require in this country.

MADOWO: All right. Hemal Patel, thank you. And that's the word you hear a lot in elections. Right? Except the two men are likely to win the presidency in this election are technically in government. William Ruto the deputy president and Raila Odinga he's the main challenger is, though the head of opposition has been working with President Uhuru Kenyatta's government since 2018.

So, they're trying to claim credit for any achievements of the Kenyatta government, while also promising change. It's been a really complicated kind of weird setup. But that is the nature of Kenyan elections. There are five other seats Kenyans are voting for, governor, member of the national assembly, senator, and local member of county assembly seats.

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission in Kenya has until Monday to declare the results of the presidential election. So, it's about a week until them. And if no candidate has that 50 percent vote plus one, then there's going to be a runoff. It's also a possibility, Rosemary, that like happened in 2017, a loser in the presidential election must got to the Supreme Court to challenge the outcome. And if the Supreme Court throws it out, there will be another election in October.

CHURCH: All right, Larry Madowo, many thanks for joining us with that live update. I appreciate it.

Well, Beijing's show of force isn't letting up near Taiwan. China's military says it's continuing exercises today, saying their wargames will focus on a joint blockade. The news comes after Taiwan launched military drills of its own.

Taipei says these drills are regular exercises and were not scheduled in response to Beijing's military drills.

So, CNN's Kristie Lu Stout joins me now from Hong Kong. She's been watching this very closely.

So, Kristie, China is continuing with military drills, now Taiwan is carrying out drills of its own, how much concern is there that this could end badly?

KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's interesting, because not much concern was expressed by the U.S. President Joe Biden on Monday when he expressed confidence that China would not escalate further tension with Taiwan. But a day after making those comments, we have seen that today China continues to extend its military drills around the island.

Earlier today, on its Weibo count, we heard from China's eastern (Inaudible) command, they confirmed that it is extended military drills around Taiwan. Focusing on supply operations and blockade. Originally, it was expected that these military drills would wrap up on Sunday. They've been extended, when they would wrap up remains unclear at this moment.

Now, Taiwan has condemned the extension of these military drills by China. And we have fresh comment from Taiwan's foreign minister this say. Let's bring it up for you.


Joseph Wu saying the following, quote, "in facing China's joint military exercises, Taiwan's people, society, military and government have displayed resilience and confidence, and remains calm. China's continued attempts to intimidate Taiwan will not panic us, nor will they defeat us."

Now, I should also add that Taiwan this day is conducting live fire drills of its own. According to the defense ministry in Taiwan, these are planned in advance. These are regular drills, does not in response to China's exercises. Now of course it was that controversial visit by the U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi last week that triggered this response from China.

And China has been ratcheting up the pressure on Taiwan on multiple fronts economically speaking, diplomatically, and of course militarily as well. As we've seen China is sending over ballistic missiles over this island of 23 million people. It will be the first time canceling communications between U.S. military officials and Chinese military officials.

Now, as for the question about how long this is going to go on, analysts believe it's going to continue for a prolonged period of time, for weeks, or even months. Take a listen to this.


AMANDA HSIAO, SENIOR CHINA ANALYST, CRISS GROUP: Given history, we may see exercises continue over the next few months. In the 1995, 1996 Taiwan Strait crisis military exercises took place at intervals over the span of nine months. So, that indicates that it is possible we might see continued exercises. China is using Pelosi's visit as a means, as an opportunity really to expand and regularized military presence in the Taiwan strait.


LU STOUT: So, after Nancy Pelosi's visit to Taiwan, China right now, with these continued exercises, is shifting the military status quo on Taiwan. Back to you.

CHURCH: Kristie Lu Stout joining us live from Hong Kong, many thanks.

The murders of four Muslim men in Albuquerque, New Mexico have sent shockwaves of fear across the city. We are following the investigation as police search for who is responsible. And police in Haiti are waging a battle for control against gangs who

are brazen and well-armed.

CNN's Nick Paton Walsh rides along with a Haitian SWAT team just ahead.


NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL SECURITY EDITOR: This intense violence that so many site when they talk about towards collapse.


CHURCH: Welcome back, everyone. We are following an unprecedented move by the U.S. Department of Justice. The FBI searching Mar-a-Lago, the Florida home of former President Donald Trump.


Sources tell CNN it is part of an investigation into Trump's handling of presidential documents, including classified material. The former president calls it a politically-motivated rate and says FBI agents even broke into his safe. Another source tells CNN, agents took boxes of items from the property.

More now from CNN chief White House correspondent Kaitlan Collins.


KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Former President Trump is now confirming that the FBI executed a search warrant on his primary resident, the Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida, on Monday. We are told that search warrant was tied to that investigation into whether or not he mishandled potentially classified information when he took documents with him when he left the White House after losing the election to President Biden.

We are told that this is an investigation that has been underway for several months, including into about 15 boxes that have been taken to Mar-a-Lago. And Trump, in a statement when he confirmed that this had happened, referred to this as a raid by the FBI. He said it was unannounced and that they broke into a safe that he had, which I'm told is a safe that was located in his office at Mar-a-Lago.

Of course, what investigators took with them remains to be seen. We are told that he did take some materials following the search warrant being executed on Monday.

The Justice Department is not commenting. We are told that President Biden was unaware beforehand that the search warrant was going to be executed. But it is remarkable for a former president's property to be searched by the FBI, tied to this investigation, again, into those classified documents, and whether or not what exactly they secure from the former president's safe or his office remains to be seen. But it is a dramatic escalation into this investigation that we knew had spanned how he handled classified information and, of course, remains to be seen where it ends up, though the former president was not happy, saying that he believed it was a politically-motivated search that happened on his property, comparing it to the days of Watergate.


CHURCH: Muslim leaders in Albuquerque, New Mexico say people are living in fear and some are even leaving the state after the recent murders of four Muslim men. Three were killed in just a two-week period. The latest victim was fatally shot on Friday. Police say all of them were ambushed. Authorities have not named the suspect, but they believe the killings may be connected.

CNN's Lucy Kafanov has more on the investigation.


MAYOR TIMOTHY KELLER, ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO: We are very concerned that these are obviously tied together. They're obviously targeting Muslim men, and they're happening right here in our own refugee community.

LUCY KAFANOV, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Police have identified a vehicle possibly linked to a string of killings in Albuquerque.

CECILLY BARKER, DEPUTY CHIEF, ALBUQUERQUE POLICE DEPARTMENT: If you see a dark color, four-door Sedan, Volkswagen, Passat or Jetta, we encourage you to call the police.

KAFANOV (voice-over): The latest victim, identified to CNN by his brother-in-law as 25-year-old Naeem Hussain, was gunned down on Friday. Hours earlier, he attended a funeral for two other murder victims, Muhammad Afzaal Hussain and Aftab Hussein, and had expressed fear about their shootings.

TAHIR GAUBA, DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC RELATIONS, ISLAMIC CENTER OF NEW MEXICO: Times are crazy. Just be very careful. You know, don't leave your house in the dark if you don't have to. And who knew he would be dead the same day?

KAFANOV (voice-over): Twenty-seven-year-old Muhammad Afzaal Hussain was killed last Monday.

UNKNOWN: Muhammad was an amazing, gentle, kind, caring, loving, excited, passionate person.

UNKNOWN: He shot him multiple times.

KAFANOV (voice-over): His brother showed CNN where Muhammad was gunned down and shot at multiple times.

MUHAMMAD IMTIAZ HUSSAIN, BROTHER OF MUHAMMAD AFZAAL HUSSAIN: I'm scared to go outside of my apartment. I'm scared to sit in my balcony. I'm scared to go pick something in my car. My kids do not allow me even to step out of my apartment. It's scary.

KAFANOV (voice-over): Forty-one-year-old Aftab Hussein was shot and killed on July 26th. All three men were from Pakistan and all, according to police, were ambushed and killed with no warning.

Authorities are also investigating the unsolved 2021 killing of 62- year-old Mohammad Ahmadi, a Muslim man from Afghanistan. The FBI now assisting Albuquerque police to see if they are all connected.

The violence has rocked this tight-knit Muslim community, shaken by grief and fear.

AHMAD ASSED, PRESIDENT, ISLAMIC CENTER OF NEW MEXICO: Incredibly terrified, panicked. Some people want to move from the state until this thing is over. Some people have moved from the state. Businesses are closing. They are closing businesses early. Students won't leave their homes.

KAFANOV (on camera): The manhunt continues as New Mexico's governor has vowed justice, sending more state police officers to Albuquerque. There is now $20,000 reward for any information that might lead to an arrest.

Lucy Kafanov, CNN, Denver.



CHURCH: Nihad Awad is the executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. He joins me now from Washington, D.C. Thank you for talking with us and at this very difficult time for your community.


CHURCH: So, what we know so far is that four Muslim men have been killed in Albuquerque, New Mexico over the last nine months, and police say these murders are likely linked. Now, your organization care is offering a reward for any information that could help lead to the arrest of the New Mexico shooter who is targeting these men. Have you received any tips that have helped in any way track down the perpetrator?

AWAD: Well, the only tip that we know and that the police have shared with people last night was about a car of interest. And we have ourselves broadcast that image along with the entire U.S. media. And we appreciate if the public comes forward, especially those who have information about this car, to participate in putting an end to this nightmare to our community and to the entire city and the state of New Mexico.

I mean, it's an important positive lead. It does not impact, Rosemary, the Muslim community alone, it impacts all of us as Americans, and we should all be united against any acts of violence against innocent people.

The precious lives who have been murdered senselessly in the past nine months were known to be productive, active members of the community. Nothing but praise, people have said about them. And we really have -- we owe it to them and to all people to make sure that there is no criminal at large on the loose, while we as communities and federal and local agencies have the potential to work together and put this individual or individuals behind bars.

CHURCH: And so, your organization has also called on the Biden administration to order an all hands on deck federal response and to ensure law enforcement have sufficient resources to stop these attacks. Is this investigation receiving the level of attention that you and your community have requested?

AWAD: Well, you know, to be honest with you, I watched yesterday the statement by the governor, by the mayor, by the chief police in Albuquerque. So many important local and federal agents have really taken this matter very seriously. And we appreciate this. It means a lot to Americans, especially to the small community in Albuquerque.

And we urge the Biden administration to provide more manpower, more resources to help the local agencies to identify the suspect and arrest him or them immediately, and put this nightmare to an end.

CHURCH: Do you believe these four men were targeted because of their religion or race?

AWAD: Well, the police and the investigators have told us that, so far, they believe that these murders are linked. They are linked because the victims share the same heritage or different heritage but the same religion. Maybe same ethnicity, three of the four.

So, we do not know the motivation, the motivation behind these killings, but we know one thing, that they have been murdered, they are innocent people, and there is someone there killing them randomly but also in an organized fashion. You know, the ambush.

So, the police have a lot more than we do. They know a lot more than we do. And they themselves believe that, you know, it is because of their faith, it is because of who they are. So, we are not saying this, the local officials are coming to that conclusion.

CHURCH: And what impact is this having on the Muslim community in Albuquerque?

AWAD: As I said, it is a small community. It has a long history in the state. But also, there are recent refugees and immigrants there who are trying to make Albuquerque their home and their future. And definitely, the community is terrified. People are scared for their lives, for their loved ones. Many people report that they did not go out even to do the necessary stuff like shopping or even visiting or taking care of necessary stuff.

[03:40:00] AWAD: So, we urge them to not be taken by fear. And the local -- the local law enforcement is providing safety, also escorts. So, while we understand how terrified our community in Albuquerque and even beyond, nationwide, we will not allow this to control us. You know, we are not going to be victims. We are strong. We are faith-based community. And all of us as Americans are united and should be united.

CHURCH: Nihad Awad, thank you so much for talking with us.

AWAD: Thank you.

CHURCH: Haiti is spiraling deeper into crisis. The country is facing skyrocketing inflation, gas shortages, and hunger as gangs take control in much of the capital.

CNN international security editor Nick Paton Walsh rode along with a Haitian SWAT team as they fight to take territory back from the gangs.


NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL SECURITY EDITOR (voice-over): The descent into the abyss in Haiti is fastest here. One certainty is when the police SWAT team we are with crossed into gang territory they will take fire.

UNKNOWN (voice-over): They're shooting! They're shooting!

PATON WALSH (voice-over): It is now a blunt war for control of the capital.

UNKNOWN (through translation): Where are they shooting from?

PATON WALSH (voice-over): The police need to prove that they can be here, the gangs, but the police cannot.

And it is ordinary citizens who are caught in between. Here, a passenger on a civilian bus that was hit in the street.

UNKNOWN (through translation): Take the injured people to the hospital. Make sure you take them to the hospital with the armored vehicle. You guys are close to there.

PATON WALSH (voice-over): In the days before, police said they rescued six hostages in this same area and killed a leader of the 400 (INAUDIBLE) gang.

The police struggled to hold ground, so the gangs, whose currency is kidnapping and drugs, are gaining far too much, especially right here.

Rounds hit the armored vehicle. They think that they see where the gunmen are.

UNKNOWN (through translation): The building that says, SMS. The yellow and red on.

UNKNOWN (through translation): Get away! You're too exposed! It's dangerous.

PATON WALSH (voice-over): They run, but not like it is their first time under fire, perhaps even this day.

UNKNOWN (through translation): As soon as we get to that point, anything that moves, light it up!

UNKNOWN (voice-over): Move, move, move!

PATON WALSH (voice-over): They slide back. Perhaps the gangs have fled down the alley.

(On camera): It's this kind of intense violence that so many cites when they talk about Haiti's spiral towards collapse.

(Voice-over): The firepower they bring does not in itself change who's in control. Gangs able to block main roads at will with trucks.

UNKNOWN (through translation): Stay behind the wall there.

PATON WALSH (voice-over): And it requires a major operation to clear them. Gangs now often match or outgun the police. They have a bulldozer, too, demolishing rival's houses in one area, Cite Soleil.

Locals fled at night during 10 days of clashes in July that left over 470 dead, injured or missing, said the U.N., as the G9 gang expanded control, burning and demolishing. Those who survived fled here where a mix of flies and rain stop them from even sleeping.

UNKNOWN (through translation): They burned my house in Cite Soleil and shot my husband seven times. I can't even afford to see him at the hospital. Down here the children are starving.

UNKNOWN (through translation): I have four kids, but my first is missing and I can't find him. I looked for him everywhere but can't find him.

UNKNOWN (through translation): My mother and my father have died. My aunt saved me. I want to go to school but it was torn down.

PATON WALSH (voice-over): To see where acute desperation can lead, we travel to where what's left of the government rarely treads. Do not be fooled by the beauty. There is no paradise here, only hunger, heat, trash and the business of leaving.

Traffickers boat out to the Bahamas, Cuba, Florida if you are lucky. And while these places are sending Haitians back in record numbers, the U.S. Coast Guard is also stopping four times as many this year as last.


PATON WALSH (voice-over): These exits are what Johnny arranges.

JOHNNY, MIGRANT SMUGGLER: If we die, we die. If we make it, we make it. I am the one who buys the boat. It can cost up to $15,000. We are hoping to get 250 people for the next trip because the boat is big.

PATON WALSH (voice-over): Not everyone made it on their last trip three months ago.

JOHNNY: The boat had an engine problem. Water got inside of the boat. We called for help, but it took too long. Twenty-nine people died on that trip.

PATON WALSH (voice-over): These are not people who usually share their trade secrets, but maybe now they are relaxed because the authorities are busy. The boat is aging, scraps of net plugging holes, engines not fixed yet. But this is where Johnny hopes 250 people will huddle, maybe as early as next week.

(On camera): Not really something you want to be in on dry land, let alone out at sea for days.

(Voice-over): One man tells us why he saved for a year to get into here.

UNKNOWN (through translator): I graduated and worked as a teacher, he says, but it did not work out. Now, I am driving a motorcycle every day in the sun and the dust. How will I be able to take care of my family when I have one? I am not afraid. I will be eaten by a shark or make it to America.

A hope so remote, it could only exist here, where they say the choice is between fire and water, even if all day, every day, already feels like drowning.

Nick Paton Walsh, CNN, Port-au-Prince, Haiti.


CHURCH: Hot, dry conditions are tightening their grip on Europe where some countries are experiencing their most severe drought in decades. We'll have more on that on the other side of the break. Stay with us.


CHURCH: We turn to Europe now where the severe drought is only getting worse. Sixty percent of European land is currently under a drought warning or alert. That is according to the European Drought Observatory. Warning means there isn't enough moisture in the soil. The more severe level of alert is when vegetation is stressed.

The dry conditions are also fueling wildfires across the region. Spain reported its hottest July in more than 60 years with the average temperature reaching over 25 degrees Celsius. July was one of the warmest months on record around the world.

So, let's bring in meteorologist Pedram Javaheri. And Pedram, I mean, it's a real concern because how is Europe going to do with this long term if this is the new normal?

PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN METEOROLOGIST: You know, it doesn't look. You look at these forecasts, you look at the long-term extended outlooks, they all look drier and certainly look hotter.


JAVAHERI: That has been the trend year after year. The images kind of put it in perspective. The numbers you laid out, Rosemary, also speak to the severity of how things are playing out. Here is visual depiction of what, Rosemary, was just telling you, with 45% underneath the orange level concern, which is the warning, with 15% underneath the red level, the highest level, the alert level here for the drought conditions that are really expansive across the entirety of Europe.

And notice, zooming in here, across areas of Cambridge, Norwich, just north of London, underneath extreme levels of fire concern, indicated in purple. And then look for those purple. Those are extreme to very extreme level of fire concern with orange and dark orange being at very high levels of concern, which are pretty expansive, again, with isolated pockets that are in the low or green color.

So, that's how things are looking. And you look at this particular year, 2022, 600,000 hectares of land so far consumed across the entirety of the E.U. with the second largest area burned this far into the season, second largest on record 2022 has been.

And you notice, these temperatures certainly support the extensive level of drought that we're seeing. In fact, July 2022, 10 hottest days ever observed across the U.K. Number one through 10, all of them happened during that heat wave that we covered extensively here on CNN with July running over a degree above the previous 30-year average.

Now, certainly, conditions haven't been improving in that sense and we know we're coming off the heels of 2021, which was the hottest year on record, the hottest summer on record across Europe as well.

Watching additional heat, especially around the western area of Europe. The next couple of days, this particular round of heat looks like it has a little more lasting power here as it climbs up into the 30s, stays there for the foreseeable future.

And much the same in Paris. Twenty-five, what you expect this time of year. Good luck finding anything close to 25 inside the next week. And really all of the summer, we are seeing temps at the very least a few degrees above those seasonal averages, and that is what really exacerbates these drought conditions there, Rosemary.

CHURCH: Absolutely. Pedram Javaheri, many thanks as always.

Well, heavy rainfall in South Korea's capital is being blamed for at least eight deaths, and authorities say at least seven people are still missing. The rain backed up storm drains, flooding streets and subway stations in Seoul. More than 700 shops and homes have reported flooding, forcing many to flee. Local gyms and schools have been used as temporary shelters.

Well, the world loses one of music's brightest stars. Olivia Newton- John. More on the singer's legacy and how she attracted millions of hopelessly devoted fans when we return. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CHURCH: Fans around the world are mourning the loss of beloved singer and actress Olivia Newton-John. Newton-John's husband says the Grammy Award winner died on Monday at her home in California. Over the years, she had faced several battles with cancer.

CNN's Ana Cabrera has more on her life and legacy.



ANA CABRERA, CNN JOURNALIST AND ANCHOR (voice-over): Olivia Newton- John shot to stardom opposite John Travolta in the musical blockbuster "Grease." It was 1978. She was 29 years old but played an innocent teen in love with the boy from the other side of the tracks.



CABRERA (voice-over): Newton-John first went over devoted fans as an award-winning singer in the early 70s.


CABRERA (voice-over): "Let Me Be There" earned her a Grammy Award for Best Country Female Vocal Performance. And her 1974 chart-topping hit, "I Honestly Love You," won the Grammy for Record of the Year.


CABRERA (voice-over): Over the course of her career, Newton-John sold more than 100 million albums, scored multiple number one hits, including "Magic" from her box-office "Xanadu," and one that showcased her sexier side.


CABRERA (voice-over): Born in England, Newton-John moved to Australia at the age of five. By the time she was a teenager, she was already performing on Australian TV shows like "Bandstand."


CABRERA (voice-over): In addition to singing, Newton-John was well known as tireless advocate for breast cancer research and early detection. She was diagnosed with the disease in 1992, and her successful treatment inspired her to help others.

OLIVIA NEWTON-JOHN, SINGER: I'm really thrilled that now I can give back in some way and trying to help other women who have gone through that experience because it's a very difficult thing to go through in life.

CABRERA (voice-over): The Australian singer faced another crisis in 2005 when her boyfriend, Patrick McDermott, went missing during a fishing trip off the California coast. He was never found.

NEWTON-JOHN: The pain will always be there. I will always miss some. I love him, I miss him, but, you know, I can't do anything about it. We don't know what happened to him and if I'll ever know what happened. But I try to go forward and do something positive with it by creating music for myself and hopefully for others.

CABRERA (voice-over): And she never stopped creating music, performing into her 60s during a three-year residency at Las Vegas's Flamingo Casino.


CABRERA (voice-over): Newton-John's breast cancer returned in 2013. In 2017, she was diagnosed with spine cancer. Despite life's challenges, she always remained grateful.

NEWTON-JOHN: I don't think I'll change anything because I've had such an amazingly, interesting life. I've done so many things and never planned on any of them really except singing because that's all I could do.



CHURCH: Incredible talent. May she rest in peace. And stay tuned for more on Olive Newton-John's life and legacy throughout the day here on CNN.

And thank you so much for spending part of your day with me. I am Rosemary Church. "CNN Newsroom" continues with Max Foster, next.