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Trump Responds to Search Warrant Request; CNN Gives Latest Updates on Russia's War in Ukraine; Malnutrition Threatens Thousands of Children's Lives in Haiti; Hong Long Loses Record 113,000+ Residents In Past Year; Heat, UNHCR/NRC: Severe Drought Displaces M People In Somalia; Drought Creating Dangerous Conditions Across Europe. Aired 2-2:45a ET

Aired August 12, 2022 - 02:00   ET




KIM BRUNHUBER, CNN ANCHOR: Live from CNN world headquarters in Atlanta, welcome to all of you watching us around the world. I'm Kim Brunhuber. This is "CNN Newsroom."

Donald Trump responds to the high-stakes move by the Department of Justice. We're now learning exactly what the FBI may have been looking for in his Mar-a-Lago home.

Calling it a grave hour. The head of the U.N.'s nuclear watchdog raises alarm about fighting at Europe's largest nuclear power plant.

And as gang violence escalates in Haiti, UNICEF warns the youngest and most innocent are at severe risk of malnutrition.

UNKNOWN (voice-over): Live from CNN Center, this is "CNN Newsroom" with Kim Brunhuber.

BRUNHUBER: Donald Trump says he won't challenge a move by the U.S. Justice Department to unseal the warrant used to search his Mar-a-Lago home. He posted online late Thursday that he actually wants the warrant and the list of seized items released immediately.

Attorney General Merrick Garland made the surprise announcement Thursday that he wanted the information made public. He also said he personally approved the decision to seek a search warrant.

"The Washington Post" is citing anonymous sources who say FBI agents were looking for documents related to nuclear weapons. And "The New York Times" reports government officials were concerned that foreign adversaries could try to get access to classified materials stored at Trump's home.

We have more now from CNN's senior U.S. justice correspondent Evan Perez.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) EVAN PEREZ, CNN SENIOR JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: The Justice Department is asking a federal judge to authorize the release of court documents that would, for the first time, shed light on what the FBI took during an hours-long search of Donald Trump's Palm Beach home. A decision could come as soon as Friday, and Attorney General Merrick Garland says that he personally approved the warrant and that he is taking the extraordinary step to release the document because Trump himself made the FBI searched public.

MERRICK GARLAND, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: The department filed a motion to make public the warrant and receipt in light of the former president's public confirmation of the search, the surrounding circumstances, and the substantial public interest in this matter.

PEREZ: The move comes as we've learned new details of the interactions between the Justice Department investigators and Trump lawyers. At the center of this dispute over records that Trump took with him to his beach home at the end of his presidency were concerns about possible exposure of some of the nation's most closely-guarded national security secrets, some labeled as special access programs.

CNN has learned that investigators served a grand jury subpoena before a June meeting at Mar-a-Lago, the Trump property in Palm Beach, and they left with classified documents. There was another subpoena seeking surveillance tapes from the property.

This tells us that despite the claims by Trump that he has cooperated all along, the Justice Department's interactions with his legal team had become more contentious well before the Monday search.

Evan Perez, CNN, Washington.


BRUNHUBER: Now, some observers are asking, if the FBI knew there was highly-sensitive material at Mar-a-Lago, why wait so long to get the search warrant? Here is former Nixon White House Counsel John Dean.


JOHN DEAN, FORMER NIXON WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL: I think either top secret or nuclear material, either one of those, would justify going. As you know, a top-secret classification is some of the most sensitive data we have in our national security archives. So, that has an expectation that it can cause serious national problems to damage the national security. So, that would -- top secret alone would have been an impetus to go with a search warrant. Nuclear secrets would have only put a fire under it.

So, yes, all these things, I think -- I can't believe, you know, they would wait a long time if they knew this very sensitive national security information would just sit down there at Trump's club. It is just not a conducive place to hold that kind of information. Too vulnerable.


BRUNHUBER: "The Washington Post" says its sources did not offer any details about whether documents pertaining to nuclear weapons were actually recovered from Mar-a-Lago.

So, as U.S. investigators focus on documents reportedly related to nuclear weapons, a U.N. watchdog is warning about a possible nuclear danger in Ukraine as its Zaporizhia nuclear power plant came under artillery fire for a second time in less than a week on Thursday.


BRUNHUBER: A plume of smoke visible from the town nearby. Ukraine's nuclear operator says some facilities were damaged but radiation levels are still normal. Kyiv and Moscow are still trading blame for the attack, but the head of the U.N. nuclear watchdog says whoever did it is playing with fire. Listen to this.


RAFAEL GROSSI, IAEA DIRECTOR GENERAL: Military actions with even the smallest potential to jeopardize nuclear safety or nuclear security Zaporizhzhia nuclear installation must stop immediately. These actions could lead us to serious consequences. This is a serious hour, a grave hour, and the IAEA must be allowed to conduct its mission in Zaporizhzhia as soon as possible.


BRUNHUBER: The U.N. Security Council held an emergency meeting about the situation on Thursday. The secretary general is now calling for demilitarization of the facility, which is occupied by Russia.

And Ukraine says it has beaten back two Russian attempts to advance in the east. It says Russian troops took losses on Thursday before being forced to retreat.

Meanwhile, we have new satellite images of the aftermath of Tuesday's explosion at a Russian airbase in Crimea.

David McKenzie reports from Kyiv.


DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): New satellite images reveal before and after perspectives of the devastating impact. Plus, deep inside Russian-occupied Crimea, at least seven Russian warplanes appear destroyed. Russia blamed this on detonated munitions -- there is growing speculation that it was Ukraine -- shattering the sense of safety at this popular destination for Russian tourists. Ukraine's defense ministry (INAUDIBLE) for this message.

But now, new fears near the southern front. At least 10 artillery strikes in the zone of Europe's largest power plant yesterday, says Ukraine's nuclear power company. The latest round of shelling. Russia blames Ukraine for threatening Zaporizhia. Ukraine blames Russia. VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, PRESIDENT OF UKRAINE (through translator): The Russian occupation army is using the Zaporizhian nuclear station for terror and provocations. Russia has turned the nuclear station into a battlefield.

MCKENZIE (voice-over): The attacks are close to six Soviet-era nuclear reactors. The chairman of Energoatom says only one power source is left undamaged.

(On camera): What are the consequences of that?

PETRO KOTIN, CHAIRMAN, ENERGOATOM: There could be a cloud, radioactive cloud. And then all consequences will depend on the weather, actually. What is the wind direction, where it will go, and how strong is this wind.

MCKENZIE (voice-over): If the power supply and the backup fail, he says Europe faces the specter of a Fukushima-like disaster, where the 2011 tsunami caused catastrophic (INAUDIBLE).

Since occupying the site in March, Russia has shown little regard for nuclear safety. This recent drone footage shows them hiding military assets right inside the site.

(On camera): The head of atomic energy agency warning the U.N. Security Council that the situation at that Zaporizhia nuclear site is deteriorating rapidly. It is, of course, very close to the frontlines.

They say that while there isn't the immediate danger of fallout or a leak, they say that could change at any moment. They want their inspectors to get inside. The U.S. government and others say that the Russian military, any military, in fact, needs to get out.

David McKenzie, CNN, Kyiv.


BRUNHUBER: More than one and a half billion dollars in new military aid will be headed to Ukraine. That is the amount pledged by donor countries at a conference in Denmark on Thursday.

Separately, Britain says it will train more Ukrainian troops than it originally promised. The program will last longer. The U.K. initially pledged to train 10,000 Ukrainians by October. Ukraine's defense minister said that Kyiv needs its allies to be in it for a long haul.


OLEKSI REZNIKOV, UKRAINIAN DEFENSE MINISTER: For marathon, you need energy. And frankly speaking, the main energy in this case is money. Our partners know that we need funding, and they articulated readiness to support us financially.

BEN WALLACE, BRITISH DEFENSE MINISTER: The actions of the international community on Ukraine are still on an upward trajectory. There is no fatigue on the actions. We started off with basic handheld weapons and debates about whether or not training people would be provocative.

Six months later, we are into discussions about how many helicopters the international community has provided, how many fixed-wing aircraft the international community has provided, how many HIMARS --



BRUNHUBER: Sweden's finance minister says his country wants to join NATO as quickly as possible. The alliance formally invited Sweden and Norway to join back in June, four months after Russia invaded Ukraine. The bid has to be approved by all 30 NATO members.

CNN's Richard Quest spoke with Sweden's finance minister about the decision.


MIKAEL DAMBERG, SWEDISH FINANCE MINISTER: Many people in Sweden are perhaps not happy with this decision, but they feel it is the right decision. And sometimes, reality is nasty. Sometimes, Russians act against Ukraine really makes people think, we can be next, we have to defend ourselves, and we do it better together with other European and American partners.


BRUNHUBER: Ratification usually takes about a year, but NATO secretary general says he expects quick approval for Sweden and Finland.

Well, it has been almost a full year since the U.S. and its allies pulled out of Afghanistan. CNN has now returned to the capital to see what life is like after a year of Taliban rule. We will have our report just ahead.

Plus, Haiti is in the throes of crisis with a dysfunctional government, gang, violence, poverty and hunger that are threatening the lives of the most vulnerable. Stay with us.


BRUNHUBER: Monday marks one year since the Taliban re-took control of Afghanistan after 20 years of war. What followed was a mad dash to evacuate U.S. and allied troops for nationals and thousands of Afghans who have worked for the U.S. and its allies. A timely airlift ended two weeks later. Only a small fraction of the Afghans had made it out. Thirteen U.S. Service members were killed in a suicide bombing at the airport before the withdrawal was over.

Well, today, the guns are mostly silent, but the country is more impoverished than ever. Afghan women have been all but erased from public life under the Taliban. Food has become a luxury, many can't afford. And huge percentages of Afghan children no longer attend school. CNN's Clarissa Ward has done extensive reporting from Afghanistan and recently returned to Kabul to see what life is now like for ordinary Afghans. Have a look.


CLARISSA WARD, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (on camera): I think you can probably see behind me, we are at a market, there is a sense of normalcy on the streets of the city. There is not the same sort -- anything approaching the levels of chaos and violence that we saw playing out during those heart-wrenching scenes last year.

But the change has also brought about a real decrease in the standard of living here, and a lot of people are now fighting to put food on the table. The U.N. says that nearly half the country is in a state of acute hunger. The International Rescue Committee says, by the second half of this year, they believe -- well, we are now in that second half of this year -- more than 90% of people will be living below the poverty line.


WARD (on camera): And that is for a whole plethora of reasons, partly because of sanctions and the freezing of Afghanistan's federal reserves after the Taliban took power, partly because of the food crisis, partly because of inflation.

But what you see when you go, and I just want to show you a little bit, seeing as we are here in this market, you could see there is food. There is food that you can buy. The market stalls are full. But the conversations that we have been having with vendors make it clear that for the vast majority of people, it has become unaffordable, this food.

So, flour, I was told by these vendors, has doubled in price. Cooking oil, which is obviously one of the basic necessities, has more than doubled in price.

And that's not even before you start talking about the very real changes and the impacts that they have had as the Taliban has gradually become firmer in implementing its vision or version of Sharia law.


BRUNHUBER: Haiti is spiraling deeper into crisis. More than a year since the assassination of President Jovenel Moise, gangs have effectively taken control of parts of the capital. Hundreds of people have been killed in recent weeks.

Amid the rise in violence, health services are unable to keep their doors open. The country is facing skyrocketing inflation and gas shortages, leaving some parents unable to go to work. Meanwhile, the youngest and most innocent suffer. UNICEF warms thousands of young children are at risk of dying from malnutrition in parts of Haiti's capital. Dorica Taz Phiri is the chief of emergency for UNICEF-Haiti. She is with me now from Port-au-Prince. Thank you so much for being here with us. First of all, give us an update on what is happening now on the ground there in terms of the gang violence in areas like Cite Soleil.

DORICA TAZ PHIRI, CHIEF OF EMERGENCY, UNICEF-HAITI: Hi. Thank you for having me. The situation is pretty dire here. We are seeing a lot of displaced people. A lot of children and their families are fleeing conflict zones as it's very common in conflict areas.

What we're seeing in Cite Soleil, in particular, is a complete problem with access to services. As you mentioned, a lot of the health services are now nonfunctional. Up to a quarter of those have been closed for some time.

We have also seen an increase in the number of areas that do not have access to water. And schools are also closing. So, overall, a very difficult situation, especially for children, who end up being the ones who bear the burden of the crisis.

BRUNHUBER: Yeah, let me ask you about that, because as you described, people are basically under siege there, particularly the children who are affected. Go through exactly how they are being impacted by this.

PHIRI: Of course. We have various areas of concern for children. One of them is definitely the health services. A lot of hospitals and clinics are closed. This means that children aren't able to go and get the care and help that they need.

Secondly, we have an evaluation previously looking at the malnutrition situation. We found that one in five children was actually nutrition in Cite Soleil alone. Since then, we have had severe deterioration. We expect that this number has actually increased. I was in the clinics last week, mobile health clinics that we had launched, and I saw several cases of complicated malnutrition. So, for children, this is at least on the health side, very, very serious.

And in addition, we're also seeing a lot of trauma. For the children that have managed to escape from these areas, they are (INAUDIBLE) site across the different parts of the urban areas, and it's very, very challenging for them. A lot of them have been traumatized, and we are having to work with different authorities to address those needs.

BRUNHUBER: What exactly is the biggest problem? I mean, do you have supplies, you just can't get into the areas that are needed because of the threat of violence? Is that it?

PHIRI: Yes, we do have supplies and we do, where we can, make sure that we're propositioning supplies where we can access. Recently, in the last couple of weeks, we have been able to access Cite Soleil, and we've been doing joint distributions with other sister agencies to ensure that we can give those first areas of response.

But it is not always easy. There's a lot of negotiations that needs to take place and security operation tasks (ph) to be put in place, but we try our best to reach the most vulnerable. [02:19:52]

BRUNHUBER: Now, looking at the wider situation because of the violence that we've mentioned, the inflation as close to 30%, the political instability exacerbated by the assassination of their president last year, from our reporting in Haiti, it sounds that the country is on the verge of social collapse. So how close is Haiti to the brink here and what can be done to stop it?

PHIRI: I think that's a very good question. What we're seeing here is continuous deterioration of the situation. However, we are working with all state holders as fast as we can to ensure that we can at least for the most vulnerable ensure that they have access to some sort of normalcy, some sort of lifesaving assistance.

One of the things that we have been pushing as well is really ensuring that in areas where children and women and men have access, we are able to support them and able to ensure that they can go back to having normal lives.

We know that very recent -- very soon, we will having the return to school, for example, and this is an area where we're also investing a lot of work and time to ensure that we can get back to having the children go back to school and have an education and, you know, have a life. It is very, very challenging.

BRUNHUBER: Yes, absolutely. And finally, before we go, you talked about the number of people fleeing. Obviously, there's a huge number of people displaced within the country. But we've also seen a huge increase in the number of migrants trying to get out of Haiti coming to places like here in the U.S. or to other countries. Many of them, unfortunately, losing their lives. So, that's another consequence of what we're seeing right now.

PHIRI: Indeed, and I think it is quite a point that shows how fragile the country has been for some time. A country that is prone to natural disasters, a country that has experienced pandemics, cholera, COVID. It has really left the country in a very fragile state, and I think that a lot of people are looking for alternative options.

But one of the things that we have been really trying to work with different stakeholders on is really trying to make -- give them access to those services in country and support our activities and our work in a way that allows some support to the local situation.

BRUNHUBER: Yes, a desperate situation, a huge challenge, as you say. I really appreciate you coming on and best of luck for all of you and your workers doing a great job there in Haiti. Dorica Taz Phiri, thank you so much.

PHIRI: Thank you.

BRUNHUBER: More than two dozen people have been killed in Sierra Leone in antigovernment protests around the country. Those killed include civilians and police. Officials say many others were injured.

CNN's Stephanie Busari has details.

STEPHANIE BUSARI, CNN DIGITAL SUPERVISING EDITOR, AFRICA: Calm has been restored to the streets of Sierra Leone after hundreds of protesters took to the streets of the capital Wednesday protesting inflation and a rising cost of living at the west African country. A nationwide curfew was imposed, and the country is now facing the high cost of the violence.

Eight police officers, six men and two women were killed, the country's youth minister told CNN Thursday. While hospitals sources told Reuters that at least 21 civilians were killed in different locations in the country.

Graphic images and videos showing seriously injured protesters and some members of the security forces surfaced on social media. Security forces were also seen firing guns at citizens.

President Julius Maada Bio, who is out of the country when the protests happened, said in a tweet, Wednesday's events would be fully investigated. Youth Minister Mohamed Bangura told CNN arrests have been made and accused the main opposition party of orchestrating the protests, which he called an act of terrorism.

The opposition, All People's Congress, released a statement condemning the violence and calling on all citizens to respect the rule of law. The mayor of Freetown, a leading opposition politician, pleaded for an end to the violence and called for peace.

The protests are unusual in Sierre Leone where more than 50% of the population lives below the poverty line. A country with a tragic history, including 11 years of civil war and a deadly Ebola outbreak in 2014.

Stephanie Busari, CNN.


BRUNHUBER: In Brazil, protesters are demanding free and fair elections.



BRUNHUBER: Students, activists, and members of labor unions took to the streets across the country Thursday. Organizers say their main objective is to defend Brazil's voting system, a response to President Jair Bolsonaro's repeated attacks on the country's electronic voting.


BRUNHUBER: In recent weeks, Bolsonaro has suggested October's election may be vulnerable to fraud and can't be trusted.

Ten miners trapped underground for more than a week will have to wait longer to be rescued. Mexican authorities say they made four attempts to reach the group on Thursday. The difficult conditions inside the flooded coal mine have hampered those efforts.

Rescue workers are pumping out enormous amounts of water around the clock. So far, they have lowered the water levels from more than 30 meters deep to less than 9 meters. Mexico's attorney general is pursuing charges against the site's owner, alleging illegal exploitation of a mine.

China said its military drills around Taiwan were over, but its campaign of intimidation, well, that is still ongoing. China's latest aggressive actions are just ahead.

Plus, why a once thriving business hub filled with expats (ph) is now dealing with a record plunge in population. We will have live report from Hong Kong after the break. Stay with us.


BRUNHUBER: Welcome back. I am Kim Brunhuber. This is CNN newsroom.

The Chinese military said it successfully completed its military drills near Taiwan, but it is not leaving the island alone. Taiwan's defense ministry says it detected 21 Chinese warplanes and six ship around the Taiwan Strait on Thursday. This comes more than a week after the U.S. House speaker's visit to Taiwan.

CNN's Selina Wang reports on the lingering tension.



SELINA WANG, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This show of force was made for TV: Chinese soldiers preparing for battle, warplanes flooding the skies, destroyers encircling the waters around Taiwan.

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was in Taiwan for less than 24 hours, but Beijing's military drills in response are lasting for days.

CHENG LI, BROOKINGS INSTITUTION: Nancy Pelosi's visit, actually, I see it as a gift to President Xi Jinping because he can use that to unite the people.

WANG (voice-over): Before her visit, outrage was booming in China over brutal COVID lockdowns and economic devastation from Xi-Jinping's zero-COVID policy. Ever since news of Pelosi's visit leaked, propaganda has been in overdrive, captivating the nation. Some prominent hawkish voices even suggested China should shoot her plane down.

The country rallying behind Beijing's view that Pelosi's visit is a direct challenge to China's sovereignty. Even though the Communist Party has never ruled over Taiwan, people in China are taught from elementary school that Taiwan is part of the motherland and unification is only a matter of time.


The night of Pelosi's visit, millions of people in China tracked her flight in real time, waiting to see if the military would intervene. When she landed safely, the most hardcore patriots were disappointed, some even breaking into tears that state media had lied to them about the unprecedented measures Beijing would take to stop her.

But the military drills that followed proved to be more provocative than before. Shooting rockets towards the Taiwan Strait, even over the island for the first time, Chinese warplanes flew ever closer to Taiwan, and in greater numbers, this time, encircling the island in a practice blockade. And well the mood in China quickly changed. Some even started thinking Pelosi on China's Twitter-like platform, Weibo. One wrote the unification of our motherland will soon be realized, thanks Pelosi for your helping hand.

MICHAEL RASKA, ASSISTANT PROFESSOR, NANYANG TECHNOLOGICAL UNIVERSITY: It provided a lot more benefit for the Chinese because they use it as an opportunity again to demonstrate power. The military power, it provided political ammunition that Xi Jinping needs to solidify his position ahead of the party congress.

WANG: Xi Jinping may have turned this crisis into his advantage at home. But abroad, he's further antagonized the U.S., a decreased Taiwan's resentment towards the mainland. Selina Wang, CNN, Beijing.


KIM BRUNHUBER, CNN ANCHOR: One of the world's most expensive cities is dealing with its biggest population drop in more than 60 years. Newly released figures show more than 113,000 people left Hong Kong over the past 12 months. But the high cost of living probably isn't the main thing driving them away. CNN's Kristie Lu Stout is covering this live from Hong Kong. So, Kristie, if it's not the cost of living principally, what is behind this?

KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It could be a combination of factors, Kim. It could be pricing, it could be politics, it could be also the pandemic as well. Look, Hong Kong is reporting a record drop in population over the past 12 months. Some over 113,000 people have left, representing a population drop of about 1.6 percent. This is the second year in a row Hong Kong has posted a drop in population. And if you bring up the chart, you will see this is the steepest drop in population numbers on record since at least 1961. And why is this happening? So I raise that question to a migration expert based here at the University of Hong Kong, who calls this phenomenon historic. Take a listen to this.


LUCY JORDAN, ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR, UNIVERSITY OF HONG KONG: The census gives us an early indication of this, you know that we are witnessing a historic departure, the result of the social unrest and the social movement here in Hong Kong, and then followed by COVID, you know, as it you know spread across the globe. And, of course, we still sit here in the present moment, the only part of the world China and Hong Kong, you know, as a part of China that is still living under you know, the kinds of restrictions for entry, which, of course, is going to bar people from coming back. (END VIDEO CLIP)

STOUT: Experts say Hong Kong's changing political landscape over the last couple of years, as well as its strict zero-COVID pandemic policy, have prompted many people to make the decision to get up and leave. In fact, about over 7 million people here in the city have endured some of the world's toughest pandemic policies, which has an effect isolated. This one's thriving international business hub. Just a few months ago, we spoke to some Hong Kong residents who made that hard decision to leave. Listen to what they have to say.


KEN, ENTREPRENEUR: I think Hong Kong used to be one of the best places to be in every single aspect, in general. And now it's losing a lot. The edge of this authentication seems like there's no way going back.

EDDIE, NURSE: If we don't leave, nothing will -- nothing will change. You cannot change the government.


STOUT: Now, the Hong Kong government has announced new changes to its pandemic policy earlier this week. That cut in the mandatory hotel quarantine state from seven days to three days. That's why I was able to leave the hotel quarantine early and now I'm at home for medical surveillance for a couple of days. But it remains to be seen whether these more relaxed measures will be enough to turn the tide. Back to you, Kim.

BRUNHUBER: All right. And in the meantime, new data has come out on Hong Kong's economic growth, so take us through what it shows.

STOUT: Yes. So the data that's been coming out we've been monitoring shows that Hong Kong is in a technical recession reporting two consecutive quarters of economic contraction. And that is a result of a number of factors including interest -- rising interest rates, inflation, weakening global demand, zero-COVID policy in China also having an impact on cargo shipments here. One thing that could change the game for Hong Kong, if they reopen the borders. Back to you.

BRUNHUBER: All right, thanks so much, Kristie Lu Stout in Hong Kong. Appreciate it.

STOUT: Got it.


BRUNHUBER: The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are also easing COVID restrictions. Their big focus is now on using vaccines and therapeutics to reduce the risk of severe illness. Now, the latest guidelines move away from extensive measures like quarantining close contacts of people who test positive, there's no mention of social distancing. The CDC is downplaying the need to get screened regularly, especially when they show no symptoms or have no known exposure to COVID. But the agency is still stressing the need for people to wear high-quality masks when COVID levels are high in their community. And, of course, everyone with symptoms needs to get tested. And if the test comes back positive, they'll stay home for at least five days.

Europe is battling another severe Heatwave. It's triggering wildfires and drought across the continent. Just ahead, we'll show you the devastation that extreme weather is bringing. Stay with us.


BRUNHUBER: Since January of last year, 1 million people have been displaced in Somalia due to a severe drought. That's according to a new report by the UN Refugee Agency and the Norwegian Refugee Council. They describe the drought as a "two-year historic dry spell not seen in more than 40 years," and say that 7 million people in the country will face crisis hunger levels in the coming months. The organizations blame both climate change and rising food prices due to the war in Ukraine.

Europe's long hot summer is set to get even worse, some regions haven't seen rain for years and extreme drought and extreme heat are causing extreme hardship. In Italy, for instance, farmers in some places have lost 80 percent of their crops totaling in the billions this year. In other parts of the continent, well, they're not facing faring much better. CNN's Salma Abdelaziz has more.


SALMA ABDELAZIZ, CNN REPORTER (voiceover): Soaring temperatures and few signs of rain. Millions across Europe are experiencing some of the hottest and driest climate conditions since record-keeping began, creating a tinderbox. More than 600,000 hectares across Europe have burned in wildfires already this summer. French authorities report numerous outbreaks. Emergency services in southwest France have gone door to door urging more than 6000 residents to evacuate.

MARTIN GUESPERA, SECURITY OFFICIAL: Speaking in a foreign language.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The fire is still progressing. It caught us by surprise with its direction. It created its own wind, its own story, its own movement.

ABDELAZIZ: France has experienced its driest July since 1959. And like much of Europe, is braced for another heatwave over the coming days. Large parts of England are under amber warnings where homes are typically ill-equipped to deal with extreme temperatures, straining a health service already feeling the heat. Wildfires continue to burn in Bulgaria, Montenegro, and Portugal, where for five days, a fire has ripped through the heart of one of the country's national parks.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Speaking in a foreign language. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It really breaks my heart. Everything is burned. Everything is ruined. There is nothing green left. It will take many years to regenerate, and I won't be around to see it.

ABDELAZIZ: These images in central Spain highlight the severity of the drought. The reservoir stands nearly empty. Locals fear for the future of their economy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Speaking in a foreign language.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's been several years without rain and we're hitting rock bottom. If it doesn't rain, unless they find some alternative water supply, the future is very, very dark.

ABDELAZIZ: According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, temperatures will rise in all European areas at a rate exceeding the global average and are projected to keep rising.

Salma Abdelaziz, CNN, London.


BRUNHUBER: So for more now on the extreme weather across Europe, I'm joined now by CNN meteorologist Karen Maginnis. So, Karen, how much longer are Europeans going to have to cope with these sizzling temperatures?

KAREN MAGINNIS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yes. And what we have seen with this very dreadful pattern with a heatwave after heatwave with very little relief at all, and very slim rain chances that have materialized as well for most of the summer. Well now we're in our latest heatwave, this seems to be as if it were going to be the next three to four days we'll start to see these obsessively hot temperatures in Bordeaux France. That's what they have that very large fire in the Gironde region, 39 degrees was the temperature there, and London was 33.

Now, typically these temperatures would be in the mid to upper 20s. We've got this very strong rage of high pressure unusually strong for this time of year. And as a result, there's nothing that will move into the lower regions of the atmosphere until something moves it. And it does appear as if over the next several days, that high-pressure system is going to budge. You can see the single-digit percentages across Western Europe of the number of households that have air conditioning, whereas in the U.S. and in Japan, more than 85 percent of the households have air conditioning. So this becomes so oppressively hot on so many levels and affects so many different levels of life.

Take a look at Paris, we've got several days with the temperature is going to be in the 30s. And then we look at a very dramatic, very nice cooled down by Wednesday, a high temperature of around 20 degrees. And there's an Amber Alert across the southern portion of the United Kingdom as temperatures are going to hover in the mid-30s. So take care of yourself, take care of your neighbors, as well as the animals outside. Back to you, Kim. BRUNHUBER: All right, thanks so much, Karen. I really appreciate it.

So let's take a look at this incredible video out of California. Have a look here. This is a fire whirl or a spinning wave of fire. It erupted out of a brush fire near Quail Lake California. Fire whirls or fire devils or similar to dust devils, they form when the rising hot air from a fire pulls in smoke debris and flame creating a spinning vortex. The brush fire erupted on Wednesday and grew to more than 60 hectares according to fire officials. The cause of the fire is unknown and no injuries were reported.

Power has been restored to the downtown area of North America's fourth-largest city. According to authorities, the lights went out for 10,000 homes and businesses in Toronto when a crane on a barge struck high voltage transmission lines. And it happened in Toronto's Port Lands area on the northern shore of Lake Ontario. Electricity was knocked out for about seven hours in two parts of the Financial District, Police Headquarters, and City Hall. The blackout damaged the power station that's being repaired.

Thanks so much for joining us. I'm Kim Brunhuber. "WORLD SPORT" is up next.