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Explosions Seen in Russian Occupied Crimea; Republicans Grinding Their Teeth in Outrage; Suspect Arrested in Albuquerque Muslim Killings; Tourists in China Finally Going Home; Torrential Rains Inundated Seoul; Wildfires Raging in France; Kremlin Train Prisoners to Fight in Ukraine. Aired 3-4a ET

Aired August 10, 2022 - 03:00   ET




ALISON KOSIK, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome to our viewers here in the United States and from around the world. I'm Alison Kosik.

Ahead on CNN Newsroom, explosions rocked a Russian airbase in Crimea. A place Russia used to help launch its invasion. And where President Zelenskyy says the war needs to end.

Political outrage erupts on the right, after the FBI raid of Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.

And the Kremlin is recruiting Russian prisoners for its war in Ukraine, offering amnesty for time on the battlefield instead of time behind bars.

We begin with Russia's war on Ukraine. And a series of explosions that rocked a Russian airbase in western Crimea. Local officials say at least one person was killed, and several others were wounded. In his nightly address, Ukraine's president vowed to retake Crimea, but stopped short of addressing the explosions.


VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, PRESIDENT OF UKRAINE (through translator): This Russian war against Ukraine, and against all of free Europe began with Crimea, and must end with Crimea. It's liberation. Today, it is impossible to say when this will happen. But we are constantly adding the necessary components for the formula for the liberation of Crimea.


KOSIK: For more, let's bring in CNN's David McKenzie. He is live for us in Kyiv. David, what are you seeing?

DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, you saw those extraordinary images that you've already played of a series of explosions at a Russian airbase. On the western coast of Russian occupied Crimea. Now of course, the immediate question we are all asking is, was this ammunitions explosion as the Russian authorities there suggest. Or was this a strike by the Ukrainian military?

Because if it was, it's an incredibly important moment. We have no direct evidence of that yet, but given the nature of those explosions, and the coy response of the Ukrainian military. It is worth speculating on whether they have the weapons, with that kind of long- range to strike those areas. And the psychological importance of this, couldn't be overstated.

You see those tourists on the beach with those plumes of smoke behind them rapidly getting out of that area. These parts of the Russian occupied territory was considered safe. It was an area where the Russians had multiple sorties of their air force to strike targets within Ukraine proper.

The statements from the Ukraine military of defense is interesting. Take a listen. The military of Ukraine cannot determine the cause of the fire, but again reminds of the rules of fire safety and the prohibition of smoking in unspecified areas.

So much like the president, not dealing with this directly, maybe obliquely. But this is potentially very significant moment. And as you said there, President Zelenskyy saying that the war in their estimation, will end in Crimea. It was taken over by Russian troops. Annexed in 2014. For many of the Ukrainians, the original sin of this period of conflict with Russia. Alison?

KOSIK: Yes, if this attack on occupied Crimea was conducted by Ukraine. And as you said Ukraine has not taken responsibility for it, this would amount to a dramatic escalation in the war?

MCKENZIE: It would be. And also, it's a hugely important from a military, military standpoint. Even if it wasn't Ukraine, these massive explosions at a key airbase of the air force, the Russian rulers in that region said there weren't any assets damage, but you kind of found that hard to believe just looking at those images.

And I do think it's important to stress the psychological impact of this. The Russian authorities are saying this was some kind of accident. But the rumors will be swirling in Russia, in Moscow, of how this happened, who did it, and what's the implications are for the wider world. Alison?


KOSIK: All right, David McKenzie, live for us in Kyiv. Thank you so much for your reporting.

Ukraine is stepping up grain shipments from its Black Sea ports. The largest cargo yet since an agreement with Russia left on Tuesday headed for South Korea. Two additional ships have been authorized to depart for Ukraine, for loading under the Black Sea grain initiative.

Ukraine's infrastructure ministry says its goal is to increase shipments to three to five vessels a day within the next two weeks.

President Joe Biden is celebrating the United States decision to approve Sweden and Finland's application to join NATO.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Our alliance is closer than ever. It is more united than ever. And when Finland and Sweden bring the number of allies to 32, we will be stronger than ever.


KOSIK: The two traditionally neutral Nordic countries applied to become members of the military alliance, after Russia invaded Ukraine. Twenty-three NATO members have already approved Finland and Sweden's accession. Seven others, including Turkey, have yet to give their endorsements.

The European Union's ban on Russian coal imports is now taking effect. The ban is part of an E.U. sanctions package approved in April to punish Russia for its invasion of Ukraine. And it marks the first time that Europe has gone after Russia's vast energy sector.

More than half of the E.U.'s solid fuel imports, mostly coal, are from Russia, which has also been the E.U.'s main supplier of crude oil and natural gas. The European Commission estimates the coal ban will affect nearly $9 billion worth of Russian exports per year.

The Republican outrage machine is in high gear after the FBI search of Donald Trump's residence at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida. GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy is vowing to investigate Attorney General Merrick Garland and the Justice Department if Republicans regain control of the House this November.

Former Vice President Mike Pence says he shares the concern of millions of Americans over the Mar-a-Lago search, arguing no other president has been subject to a raid on their personal residence.

Missouri Senator Josh Hawley says, Garland must be impeached. And that FBI director Christopher Wray appointed by Trump, must be removed.

More now from CNN's Kaitlan Collins.

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: We are now learning more among that extraordinary search conducted on former President Trump's primary residence at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida. Including, that authorities believe that the former president had potentially not turned over all of the documents that he had taken with him when he left the White House.

Of course, that is at the center of this investigation, something that we know authorities have been looking at for months now after the National Archives referred this case to the Justice Department, given there had been cases where he had taken classified information with him. Potentially mishandled that of course by taking it out of the grasp of the federal government.

And so, we are now learning that after they had sent over some boxes back to the National Archives, there were concerns that authorities had that they had not sent over everything. And that also comes aster CNN reported there have been a meeting between investigators and Trump's attorneys at Mar-a-Lago in early June when they were actually shown a room where some of those documents were being held.

So of course, now, a big question is what exactly was still in those documents that investigators took with them after they went and searched the property on Monday?

For the president himself, the former president, he has been in Bedminster, New Jersey at his other club. He actually hosted Republicans on Tuesday. And sources said that he is feeling boosted by this, and the support that he is getting from Republicans, and the criticism that they have been putting out against the Justice Department for this search warrant. Certainly, an extraordinary one against the former president.

When it comes to the Biden White House, they are not really commenting. Instead saying no one in the White House got a heads up that the search was going to happen, and found out about it like everyone else did.

Kaitlan Collins, CNN, Washington.

KOSIK: Areva Martin is a CNN legal analyst and civil rights attorney, she joins me now from Edgartown, Massachusetts. Thanks for being here.


KOSIK: So, this search appears to be focused on material that Trump brought with him to Mar-a-Lago when he left the White House, he delayed returning the boxes for months, finally the National Archives got them in January, which then referred the case to the DOJ.

So, question for you. Why the search now? The timing of it all and is there one smoking gun that they are looking for?


MARTIN: You know, Alison, it's not clear as to whether there is a smoking gun. But what we do know is that the National Archives apparently didn't believe that all the material that was taken from the White House, classified material, material that belong to the U.S. government that was taken by Trump, they don't believe that all of the material was returned.

And we know that in order for that FBI to get the kind of search warrant that was gotten, that allowed them to go into Trump's private residence to search his residence, to take boxes and boxes of materials away from his residence. They had to convince a judge, that not only was the materials that belong to the U.S. government in Trump's private residence, but that there was some evidence of a crime. Some criminality that had taken place in that residence, that would allow that FBI, the agents that presented affidavits to the judge to obtain the search warrants. So, this is unprecedented for a former U.S. president to have his home

raided by the FBI and for a president to remove confidential, sensitive documents that belong to the U.S. -- to take those to his home.

And what we've heard, Alison, is that Trump (Inaudible), threw documents away, flush documents down the toilet, and crumble up sensitive documents. So, this is quite stunning, the raid that we saw executed on his home just a day ago.

KOSIK: What possible federal crimes could be at play here, and are there any charges that could keep Trump if he's convicted of possible charges, from running for office again?

MARTIN: It's not clear what the FBI, you know, may -- or what the DOJ, I should say, may charge Trump with. We know there's a possibility that he has violated the Espionage Act. We know that it's possible that he's violated an act that prevents the President of the United States from intentionally removing classified documents from the White House.

And there is a federal statute that says the president -- or in this case Donald Trump, intentionally removed sensitive, classified documents from the White House, that he might be barred from running again from public office.

But there is some controversy about whether he in fact could be barred and constitutionally lays out the parameters that allows an individual to run for office, including to run for president. So that would be a huge legal battle that would take place on a state-by-state basis, because those state electors would have to be the ones making the determination to bar Trump from being placed on a ballot, in their particular states.

Not clear how that's going to play out, we know Trump is planning, at least he's been talking about planning to announce that he is going to run again for the president of the United States for 2024. No announcement, as of yet.

But clearly, that the possibility of federal charges has to be weigh in heavily on his mind, and on the minds of his team that is contemplating making this announcement.

KOSIK: Areva, what are -- what are the next steps of this investigation?

MARTIN: What we know is that this investigation is ongoing, I don't expect to see charges filed right away. We know that there are some subpoenas that have also been issued. And one thing we should note, too, is although this raid of Trump's house seems to be focused on documents that were removed from the White House when he left office.

This kind of raid allow the FBI that if they saw other evidence of crimes while they were doing their raid of Trump's private residence, they were allowed to take that evidence as well. So, even though this wasn't directly related to the January 6

insurrection. It wasn't directly related to the false electors, that we know Trump was behind. It's quite possible that there was evidence found during the search that may lead to further investigation for other potential criminal charges.

So, I think this is just the beginning of what we should expect from this Department of Justice. We know they've been highly criticized for not taking aggressive actions with respect to Trump. But I think this is the beginning of an investigation that is far-reaching, and may possibly result in some kind of charges being filed against the former president.

KOSIK: OK, Areva Martin, CNN legal analyst and civil rights attorney, thank so much for your time.

MARTIN: Thank you, Alison.

KOSIK: Police in Albuquerque, New Mexico have arrested a man they say is the primary suspect in the killings of four Muslim men. Fifty-one- year-old Muhammad Syed faces two homicide charges, and more could follow. Syed denies any involvement in the killings.

Police say there is evidence Syed knew the victims. They believe some sort of conflict may have led to the shootings, but the motive is still unclear.


KYLE HARTSOCK, DEPUTY COMMANDER, ALBUQUERQUE POLICE DEPARTMENT: Even though he is arrested today we are going to continue to investigate and work with our prosecutors to understand what the motives were, and that's important in every crime investigation.


KOSIK: Officials say tips from the community were crucial in tracking down Syed and his vehicle.



HAROLD MEDINA, CHIEF OF POLICE, ALBUQUERQUE POLICE DEPARTMENT: We knew Albuquerque would step up, and somebody would find and identify that vehicle for us, which is exactly what happened. And it is the city of Albuquerque, its residents, and in particular, the members of the Muslim community who stepped forward, had faith in the department, trusted us, and give us the information needed.


KOSIK: Police also searched Syed's home, saying they found more evidence tying him to the murders.

Still to come, deadly torrential rainfall is hammering the South Korean capital, and the threat of more flash flooding is not over yet. Plus, the worst vacation ever is over for tourists in China. How some got an early exit from lockdown. That's after the break.

PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN METEOROLOGIST: CNN weather watch time. I'm meteorologist Pedram Javaheri. The CNN weather watch is in association with visit Maldives.

Here is the images across areas of the United States. The southwestern region severe weather, active weather monsoonal pattern that's been in place. Scattered storms across the southeastern United States, and also some strong storms into portions of the Midwest region as well.

You know, significant flooding has been present here, we've had some quieter weather in the past 24 hours, but additional rainfall could build across the area in the coming several days. Though we think the vast majority of it, western Kentucky versus eastern Kentucky where the most active recent flooding had taken place.

Again, you notice slight risk over the next several days across this region mainly into the Ohio valley. Temps into the 40s across an expansive area of the central United States into the Midwest. And we do expect some of those temps to begin to eventually push their way towards the northeastern U.S. as well.

Fire weather has remained a concern here in recent weeks and months. We have plenty of monsoonal moisture that is trying to help out. But again, heat of course in the month of August we're going to expect this to linger.

Denver, 32, Vancouver, some showers possible at 20 degrees, while in Chihuahua, Mexico, mostly sunny skies will aim for 36 degrees. And work your way a little farther towards the south across northern portions around Bogota, 17 degrees remaining dry there with highs around 33.


KOSIK: Nearly 3,000 people have been evacuated in France as wildfires rage across the south and west of the country. More than 1,300 firefighters have been called in to assist. To make matters worse, many areas are struggling with drought and lack of drinking water. France is also bracing for a new heat wave to hit this week.

At least nine people are dead, and seven missing following record rainfall in Seoul, South Korea. The deluge flooding homes, roads, and subway stations, cutting power and forcing hundreds to evacuate. Cars and buses were left strewn across roads and sidewalks, blocking traffic early Tuesday. More heavy rain is expected through Thursday.

Let's go to meteorologist Pedram Javaheri. Pedram, every time I see these pictures, it's sort of jaw-dropping to see what was happening there in Seoul.

JAVAHERI: You know, it's remarkable, it's very densely populated area of course, so the problem just becomes that much more amplified in this environment. And you take a look at what has played out here. We're taking about rainfall amounts that you would see in a span of six weeks, even for this region that is in the heart of their wet season.

They're seen in the matter of a few hours across the area which has led to this incredible amount of rains that have broken records. And it is again, prime season. The Mei-Yu Baiu fronts as they are locally known here, produce the wet weather. Typically, the onset happening between May and July. And then you kind of see this culminates from July into August.

We're at wettest month of year climatologically speaking are these two months. July and August with August typically picking at around 350 millimeters every single summer.

But notice what has played out here in the span of 48 hours. Four hundred to 500 millimeters, pretty widespread, with areas such as Seoul essentially picking up a half a meter of rainfall. Keep in mind, London would take about 10 months to see this amount of rainfall that Seoul sees in a matter of 48 hours which has led to this problem.

But you notice, the rainfall that was most impressive to me is the 140-plus millimeters that came down in a matter of one hour. That has never happened in recorded history across this region. And of course, the prospective here leading to a lot of the flooding that we've seen not just localized across areas of South Korea, but also in Japan, where we've had rainfall reports of similar magnitude playing out as well.


What's responsible? The stationary frontal boundary with air from the south colliding with air from the north, essentially creating a boundary, but really, it's not going to go anywhere anytime soon and it's parked in the same exact spot.

So, rainfall intensity remains quite high, the energy shifts a little farther south from Seoul. Seoul kind of on that cut off line, where maybe 25 to 50 millimeters possible. But areas to the south there could see as much as 200 more millimeters in store before it's all said and done.

Now, quick glance on what's happening around the southwest of Europe, because excessive heat has been building yet again. London climbing up to 31 degrees, Paris at 33, and this particular heat wave. That's a little bit of staying power over the next five to seven days. We expect to stay above average across cities such as Berlin so the heat certainly on across Europe as well.

KOSIK: All right, meteorologist Pedram Javaheri, thank you so much.

JAVAHERI: Thank you.

KOSIK: Tourists are being allowed to leave the Chinese resort city of Sanya after a sudden lockdown due to a COVID outbreak last. A small group that met COVID precautions was able to board flights out of the city on Tuesday. Chinese officials say 80,000 tourists were stranded because of the lockdown.

CNN's Kristie Lu Stout joins me now live from Hong Kong with more. So, a number of Chinese tourist destinations, they have been struck by these tough zero COVID measures. What's the latest on Hainan where 80,000 tours have been stranded?

KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, a little bit of good news out of Hainan where we have these chartered flights getting the stranded tourists off the island. You know, you have a number of tourists there who just got trapped in this sudden lockdown situation in this southern Chinese tropical island.

They have been able to be sent home in batches through these chartered flights. According to state-run media the first batch was able to return home to Xi'An on Tuesday. But for some 80,000 tourists they're idyllic beach getaway turned into a nightmare vacation scenario when last weekend you had the authorities in Sanya, that's the resort city in Hainan Island, suddenly imposed lockdown measures in order to curb rising cases of COVID-19.

So, you had movements of people that were suddenly restricted. A public transportation was suspended as well. People were told to stay put for seven days. And they had to clear five COVID test before they would be allowed to leave. Now officials there, they acknowledge the inconvenience. They pledge to help and offer support but there have been some angry accounts on social media saying that there is not enough support available for everyone.

There was this one angry account that we receive here at CNN. We'll bring up the quote for you. There's one stranded tourist who is a former resident from Shanghai went to Sanya and vacation, got stuck in this lockdown situation. He tells us, "the situation going forward is unsustainable. It's a little bit like Russian Roulette on where you go, and whether or not that area is going to get lockdown." Unquote.

We have to add that he requested not to be named because he was afraid of nationalistic blowback. But it's not just Hainan. Across China a number of popular tourist destinations, they have been stricken by zero COVID lockdowns because of rising cases of COVID-19.

Just last month, Beihai, a popular resort in southern China we saw thousands of tourists that were stranded there because of these measures. And at this moment, rising cases of COVID-19 being reported at other popular tourist destinations in China like Tibet, like Xiamen and Xinjiang. Back to you, Alison.

KOSIK: All right. Kristie Lu Stout, live for us from Hong Kong, thanks so much.

LU STOUT: You bet.

KOSIK: Just ahead, with Russia losing thousands of troops on the battlefield in Ukraine, the Kremlin is now turning to Russian prisons for new recruits.

And later, tensions flare in the West Bank after an Israeli raid against suspected militants. We'll have the details next.



KOSIK: The U.N.'s nuclear watchdog says there is no immediate danger from the most recent shelling from the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant. That's Europe's largest. Strikes over the weekend raise fears of a disaster at the plant which is currently under Russian control.

But on Tuesday, the International Atomic Energy Agency said that radiation levels remain normal. Russia and Ukraine have blamed each other for the attacks which damaged the plant's external power supply and wounded one employee.

As Russian troops losses mount in Ukraine, Moscow is turning to a new type of recruit, prisoners. From drug offenders, to murderers. They are being promised freedom and riches to join the fight. And it seems many are taking up the -- taking the Kremlin up on the offer.

CNN's Nick Paton Walsh reports.

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL SECURITY EDITOR: The camera is in the unsteady hands of a prisoner, but the apparent scene is still startling. Convicts in a southern Russia penitentiary being recruited to fight the Kremlin's war in Ukraine, according to a witness. It's an offer being made in cramped prisons across Russia. One prisoner, like many in this murky underworld, it's rare to glimpse inside wanted his identity hidden as he explains the deal.

UNKNOWN (through translator): Rapists, pedophiles, extremists, terrorists are not taken. Murderers are accepted.

WALSH: What are the terms of the contract?

UNKNOWN (through translator): Amnesty in six months.

WALSH: What kind of money are they promising?

UNKNOWN (through translator): Somebody talks about 100,000 rubles. Somebody about 200,000.

WALSH: Russia's small victory in this war come with huge losses, and after about six months, regular soldiers have been hit hard with up to 60,000 Russian dead or wounded troops, say western officials. So now Russia is making ugly choices in its ugly war, sending convicts to fight.

But for this prisoner with years left on a drug sentence, joining up swap certain incarceration for a slim chance of freedom.

UNKNOWN (through translator): If it's real, then I am all for it. It's either be in prison for nine years or get out in six months if you are lucky. But that's if you are lucky. They can promise one thing, but, in fact, everything will be different. This is Russia. WALSH: Since the start of July, for multiple crowded prisons inside

Russia, like this one, who's dank cells are shown an activist video, inmates have told relatives of an almost identical offer made by apparent private military contractors.

Military experience is not essential and monthly pay can be up to $3,500, a six-month tour leads to an amnesty or pardon, but first, there is usually two weeks training in southern Russia. And then often, there is silence, as the prisoners disappear in Russia's gray zone of expendable contractors.

VLADIMIR OSECHKIN, FOUNDER, GULAGU.NET: Now we have information that they want to recruit about 2,000 or 3,000 of prisoners. And for example, if they will die in the war, they pay -- they will pay five million rubles to their family of this prisoner. There is no really contract. There is no guarantee at all to protect the rights or the health of their lives.


WALSH: Sometimes, the offer comes with fanfare. This helicopter flying recruiters to one prison activist said, he's a convict, yes, but they still face agonizing choices. Weighing a shot at freedom against a violent death. One prisoner explained his decision to his brother in these texts.

UNKNOWN: I'm going, don't tell mother either way, it's better that way, or else she'll worry a lot and react to every piece of news.

UNKNOWN: That's it. We will react to every news. If you tell us where you are and what you are doing, we will be calmer, as at least we will know where to look.

UNKNOWN: Even I don't know that. Everything will be decided on the spot. I do know we are going to the 12th prison and once gathered there to Rostov for two weeks, where there is a center and then to the territory. I am willing to go, lots of options, but there is only, that's why I agree.

WALSH: Another prisoner sister describes how he almost vanished after receiving the offer.

UNKNOWN (through translator): There is no definite proof he is in Ukraine. He rang his mother on the 10th and said he was in Rostov. And to all of her questions he replied, mother, I can't talk. Before, she was glad he should go as he would get money. But now, when I talk to her, she is afraid. All have the same scenario. Their men asked them to send their passport details, so they can get their salaries, and then there is silence.

WALSH: Well, contact there has been, has been dark still. Two wives of prisoners are sent to the front from one Saint Petersburg prison say they have been contacted and told that their husbands lie injured in a hospital in separatist -controlled Luhansk. And that a total of 10 prisoners from that one prison alone are now dead or injured. Another, a mother, has said that she has been contacted by an

anonymous individual and told that she can soon collect her son's wages in cash.

Russia's regard for the norms of war or even prison long gone.

Nick Paton Walsh, CNN, London.


KOSIK: Clashes and unrest rattling parts of the West Bank after an Israeli military operation against suspected

Palestinian militants.

Gunfire erupted in the old city of Nablus Tuesday after Israeli forces surrounded a building and targeted it with a shoulder fired missile. Israeli police released this helmet camp footage showing the operation. Three Palestinians were killed, including a regional commander for militant group the al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades who was accused of being involved in shooting attacks on Israelis in the West Bank.

The raid in Nablus triggered clashes across the West Bank in Hebron. The Israeli army said it responded with live fire after Palestinians threw rock, excuse me, threw rocks and burned explosives. The Palestinian health ministry says a 17-year-old was shot and killed by Israeli soldier.

The latest unrest in the West Bank follows an escalation of hostilities in Gaza. And while a truce between Israel and the Islamic Jihad militant group is holding. It could be just a matter of time before tensions flare again.

CNN's Ben Wedeman reports.


BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It's over for now. The air strikes, the rocket barrages have come to an end, but in Gaza it never ends. Sixteen- year-old Mahmoud surveys what until Saturday was his home in Gaza's (Inaudible) neighborhood.

"You feel like you don't have a life here," he says. For more than 20 years, this small strip of land, home to two million people has reeled from one round of death and destruction to another. In Gaza City's Shifa hospital 10-year-old Miyar Shikyan (Ph) is recovering from shrapnel wounds to her shoulder, chest and abdomen. She was wounded on her way to the corner store.

Her 11-year-old cousin Hasam (Ph) was also wounded. Miyar's mother Mona despairs for the children's future.

"It seems when I die," she says, "the generations after me will inherit bigger and bigger wars." In the next room, two-year-old Bashir lies sleeping. Shrapnel lodged in his head.

Outside the hospital, life goes on. The markets are bustling.


Gaza seems to have an incredible ability to bounce back war after war. But each one of these wars leaves yet another layer of scars.

Psychologist Ayesh Samor (Ph) has been treating people here for decades. He lists the woes awaiting the young. "No work, no life, the feeling there's no tomorrow," he says, "it's as if they're on death row. No hope, no optimism."

Ten-year-old Atalah (Ph) tries to find buyers for his mint. No luck. Surviving war, surviving peace. It's all a struggle. It never ends.

Ben Wedeman, CNN, Gaza.


KOSIK: Cuban officials say the worst fire in the island's history is now under control. It started Friday when lightning struck Cuba's main fuel storage facility and the flames quickly spread. At least one firefighter died and 14 people are missing. The damage is raising concerns about the nation's power supply with Cuba facing frequent blackouts and gas shortages.

In Mexico, the situation is still dire for 10 miners trapped in a flooded coal mine, using a drone to assess the conditions inside. Officials say they saw blocked tunnels and other unsuitable conditions, making it impossible for rescue teams to enter.

They plan to keep pumping water out until obstacles can be removed and divers can go in safely. The miners have been trapped for a week now, and it could take a few more days to drain enough water to make conditions safe.

Good news in the Dominican Republic, though, two miners are said to be in good condition after being trapped in a collapsed mine for 10 days. Experts from several countries were called in to help with the rescue after a landslide trapped the men on July 31st. They received extensive physical exams after they were freed on Tuesday.

The mining company's president says he's confident the operation will be a model for underground rescues going forward.

Still to come, tributes are pouring in to tennis legend Serena Williams who plans to retire from the game that she loves so much. A look at her remarkable life on and off the court, next.


KOSIK: World renowned Japanese fashion designer Issey Miyake has died. His designs became popular in the 80s, combining technology and art. His avant-garde style included sharp pleats and flowing fabric. He designed uniforms for worker -- for workers at Sony and produced the black turtleneck regularly worn by Apple co-founder Steve Jobs. Miyake was also known for his line of perfumes. Many of his designs

are housed at museums, including London's Victoria and Albert Museum and the Museum of Modern in New York.


Miyake walked with a pronounced limp, a result of surviving the 1945 Hiroshima bombing as a child. His office says he died from cancer. He was 84 years old.

Tennis legend Serena Williams has announced she will, quote, "evolve away from the game." Williams, who is widely hailed as one of the greatest tennis players of all time says she's ready to focus on other things important to her after this year's U.S. Open which wraps up in September.

CNN's Christina Macfarlane looks back at Serena's success on and off the court.


CHRISTINA MACFARLANE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Serena Williams, the 23-time Grand Slam champion has announced her impending retirement from tennis, posting on Instagram Tuesday the 40-year-old said, there comes a time in life when we have to decide to move in a different direction. That time is always hard when you love something so much. My goodness. Do I enjoy tennis. But now the countdown has begun. I have to focus on being a mom, my spiritual goals, and finally discovering a different, but just as exciting Serena. I'm going to relish these next few weeks.

SERENA WILLIAMS, 23-TIME GRAND SLAM CHAMPION: Thank you very much. It's great to be here.

MACFARLANE: For the past 23 years she has redefined what it means to be a female athlete.

WILLIAMS: This is the greatest platform for a female athlete, and it's a great place to be.

MACFARLANE: Williams began to be noticed after winning the mixed doubles at Wimbledon in 1998 and was just 17 when she defeated then world number one, Martina Hingis to win the U.S. Open.

WILLIAMS: I've been waiting my whole life for this moment. I've been practicing for so many years and the U.S. Open was a tournament that I really wanted to win.

MACFARLANE: She was the first African-American woman since 1958 to win a Grand Slam singles title. There began an incredible rise and journey. Her most formidable opponent would become her sister Venus.

WILLIAMS: It's always challenging playing her. The first part is because she's so good. And the second part is because she's my sister and I really want the best for her, including for her to win everything. MACFARLANE: Together they were unlike anything tennis had seen before, distinct and determined. Serena would emerge with more titles, defeating Venus in four straight finals beginning in 2002, a feat dubbed the Serena slam.

Williams also delighted in emerging as a fashion and cultural icon from catsuits corsets to cutouts. No one did it quite like Serena.

WILLIAMS: And it's just a great feeling.

MACFARLANE: By 2012, Williams had nearly won it all. But at the London Olympics, she completed a golden Serena slam, claiming singles and doubles titles.

WILLIAMS: When I walked out there, I thought I love Gold is my favorite color. Let me get gold. I don't want to get silver. Let me get gold. This is what I want.

MACFARLANE: Her story has already become the stuff of Hollywood legend. Will Smith won an Oscar playing her father.

UNKNOWN: I wrote me a 78-page plan for the whole career before they were even born.

MACFARLANE: Yet in sport her startling legacy seems to have fallen one moment short. Twenty-three Grand Slam singles one shy of the all- time record, but arguably it was her greatest win. Defeating her sister Venus while eight weeks pregnant at the 2017 Australian Open. Her daughter, Alexis Olympia Ohanian would change her life forever, but never her determination to be the best.

WILLIAMS: I love tennis and I love -- I love, you know, what I do. And right now, I just had to, I have to commit to me.

MACFARLANE: She says she's evolving away from sport, but only after sport evolved because of her.

Christina Macfarlane, CNN, London.


KOSIK: Thanks for watching. I'm Alison Kosik. Follow me on Instagram and Twitter at Alison Kosik. Have a fantastic day. Marketplace Europe is next.