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CNN Goes Inside Field Hospital Near Eastern Front Lines; Russian Journalist Holds Anti-War Sign At Court Hearing; India And Pakistan Mark 75 Years Since End Of British Rule; One Year Since Taliban Seized Control Of Kabul; Afghan Assets Frozen By West After Taliban Takeover; U.S. Lawmakers Make Unannounced Trip To Taiwan; Actress Dies Days After Fiery Crash Into Home; China Issues Highest Heat Alert For 200 Plus Cities & Counties; River Thames Shrinks Due To Extreme Heat, Drought; Controversy, Chaos Win Out In Chelsea-Spurs Draw. Aired 12-1a ET

Aired August 15, 2022 - 00:00   ET




MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR: Hello and welcome coming to you live from Studio 7 at the CNN Center in Atlanta. I'm Michael Holmes. Thanks for your company.

Coming up here on CNN Newsroom, nowhere is safe. We will take you to hospitals on the front lines in Ukraine where doctors are working to save lives even as they come under attack. India and Pakistan marking 75 years since the petition resulting in one of the largest force migrations in history. And the landscape of Afghanistan forever changed. We'll look at the fallout one year after the Taliban took over the country.

ANNOUNCER: Live from CNN Center, this is CNN Newsroom with Michael Holmes.

HOLMES: We begin in Ukraine where threats to Europe's largest nuclear facility are prompting an outcry from world leaders. 42 countries along with the European Union are now calling on Russia to immediately withdraw its troops from the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant. It comes after days of repeated shelling around the facility raised fears of a nuclear catastrophe. Russia and Ukraine have blamed each other for the attacks.

Now to the south, Ukraine says an underground resistance movement blew up a railway bridge near the Russian held city of Melitopol. Ukrainian officials say Russian troops use the bridge to transport weapons and other equipment from occupied Crimea.

Meanwhile, a U.N. chartered ship carrying 23,000 tons of wheat to Ethiopia is ready to set sail from Ukraine. It is the first humanitarian cargo ship bound for Africa since this war began. In the east of the country, fierce fighting has raged for months with a constant barrage of artillery, inflicting massive casualties on soldiers and civilians alike.

CNN's Nic Robertson traveled to a field hospital to see the daunting task medics are facing near the front lines, and a warning what you're about to see is graphic.


NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR (voice-over): At a frontline field hospital, a soldier gets stitched up. Russian forces getting closer, more casualties, military and civilian coming in.

DIMA, VASCULAR SURGEON: A lot of turbulence in our last week when Russians start to shots of the (INAUDIBLE).

ROBERTSON (voice-over): The hospital has been more than once. Its location, secret.

NIELS ERIXSON, VOLUNTEER MEDIC: This place that I'm working in is a stabilization point. So all casualties from the zero line or from the red zone are taken here.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): Volunteer medic Niels himself injured during recent shelling. Surgeon Dima's priority, get patients stable and to safety and get ready for more.

DIMA: We hardly have the time to clean the rooms after the injured. You are (INAUDIBLE) to the room and a lot of blood on the floor.

ERIXSON: And then transport units like mine, we then transport them to the next level of care in safer areas.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): Arriving for better care at a rear base hospital, this soldier, the high spec volunteer ambulance keeping him alive on the journey. Take him directly for a CAT scan.

ERIXSON: We had our surgeon and our anesthesiologist in the back together with the patient, doing all the necessary interventions to keep him alive.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): In other rooms, civilians are also getting treated. Fitali (ph) hit by a cluster bomb. His leg badly broken, his arm requiring surgery too.

I've had X-rays and painkillers, he says. Now I'm waiting to go to the next hospital.

No one kept at this rear base hospital for long either, transferred even further from the frontlines. Shelling here on the rise too, they need the beds freed fast.

(on-camera): Everyone in this hospital knows the frontline is getting closer and that can only mean one thing, more casualties.

(voice-over): According to officials, 50 or 60 patients a day passing through the ward won't be empty long.

Nic Robertson, CNN, Eastern Ukraine.



HOLMES: And outspoken Russian journalist who's made yet another defined statement protesting the war in Ukraine at a court hearing last week, Marina Ovsyannikova held up held up a sign that read, may the dead children haunt you in your dreams. Security guards, as you can see, trying to block the message with their hands. The former Russian state TV editor faces up to 10 years in prison for a demonstration in March when she held up an anti-war sign during a live news broadcast.

Jill Dougherty is a lead adjunct professor at Georgetown University, also a CNN Contributor and former CNN Moscow Bureau Chief. Always good to see you, Jill. When it comes to her courtroom protests, just how courageous was it given, you know, doing what she's doing, given the situation in Putin's Russia right now?

JILL DOUGHERTY, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: You know, I think going back to the beginning, she really has been very courageous when she is just let it all hang out. She has been also very critical directly of President Putin, was she's really taking it to a very high level of protest. Not a lot of people would do that. And she continues to do that, signs in the courtroom, as you mentioned.

And the things that she's talking about are, you know, criticizing the military operation, the army, the Putin himself, and that is highly, you know, inflammatory in Putin's Russia right now. And it's highly dangerous, as you can see.

HOLMES: Yes. And risky. I mean, but in terms of the point she's making, it was interesting in President Zelenskyy's nightly address. He said something I wanted to ask you about. Let's have a listen to that.


VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT (through translation): But we must remember that when evil takes on such proportions, people's silence approaches the level of complicity and the rejection of the real fight against evil becomes the assistance to it. Therefore, if you have Russian citizenship, and you are silent, it means that you are not fighting, it means that you are supporting it.


HOLMES: A real appeal there to ordinary Russians. I guess the question is, are Russians actually getting a sense of the toll of this war yet? Are they noticing the body bags or hearing the criticisms?

DOUGHERTY: You know, Michael, they have to be seeing the body bags. And families are, you know, unfortunately, having their sons come back in body bags. But so far, there is not an indication that there is widespread opposition. That said, it's extremely difficult right now to really judge that.

I mean, I'm looking at polls and polls right now, you really, truly can't even, you know, believe them. But there seem to be indications that Russians are paying less attention to the war. Now, that might be because it's just going on for a longer time than people expected. But I think, you know, economically, they've been getting through a bit better than they expected that could get worse as we go on, but there's less attention. That said, the penalties for speaking out, publicly going on the streets are very, very serious. And I'm sure a lot of people just simply don't want to risk it.

HOLMES: Yes, yes, exactly. Don't want to put their head on the block. I mean, when it comes to the overall state of opposition to the war, I mean, is Putin still managing to stifle all opposition? Or what would it take for there to be cracks in that control?

DOUGHERTY: That really is the question, the second one that you asked. I mean, control, yes, I think. If you look at the earlier days or a lot of people who came out on the streets and protested, now they're very, very few. And that's why Ovsyannikova is pretty notable for what she's doing.

But the figures right now are 15,000 detentions, according to a human rights organization, that tracks and I think is quite believable. And then somewhere around 178 cases that are going through the courts. And remember the law against publicly speaking out, criticizing what's called, you know, the war as a war or the invasion as an invasion. You can get up to 15 years in prison. And it is very -- yes, it's not -- it's a very difficult situation to be in those camps or in those prisons.


DOUGHERTY: So certainly, it's having an effect.

HOLMES: Yes, yes. And if you're going through the court system in Russia, I think it's more than 90 percent of court cases in and a guilty verdict. Real quick to, human rights groups reporting record numbers of Russians trying to escape conscription. There's billboards everywhere trying to recruit, they're trying to recruit prisoners as our own Nick Paton Walsh reported this week. What does that tell you?


DOUGHERTY: Well, I mean, that tells me they're having trouble getting people who really want to fight this war. I mean, these -- the infant information about the war has to be seeping back to people. So what they're turning to is exactly prisoners, people who are in it for the money, a group that's called Wagner, which are essentially mercenaries. And they don't want to admit that directly, but that is what's happening. I mean, we both know that a lot of people have been killed on the Russian side.

HOLMES: Yes, yes. Wagner camp apparently hit by the Ukrainians this weekend. Jill Dougherty, we'll leave it there. Appreciate it as always. Thanks so much. India is marking a major milestone 75 years of independence from British rule. It's also an anniversary shared by Pakistan, which held its celebrations on Sunday. At a border post that stretches across both nations, guards from India and Pakistan performed a flag ceremony amid the Independence Day observances. And just a short time ago, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the nation.

For many of the anniversaries a bittersweet occasion. The end of British colonial rule in 1947 divided the subcontinent into the two nations and quickly led to a deadly mass migration. The partition also marked the beginning of a rivalry that persists to this day between two nuclear armed neighbors.

Our correspondents are covering the anniversary from both India and Pakistan. Sophia Saifi is in Islama bad but let's begin in Delhi with Vedika Sud. So Vedika, 75 years, how do we Indians view their their nation's strengths and challenges?

VEDIKA SUD, CNN REPORTER: Michael, on 15th August 1947, at the stroke of midnight, India became an independent nation of like you mentioned, almost 200 years of British colonial rule. Today, this fervor all across India, people are celebrating. It's been a long journey. It's been a journey of struggle, it's been a journey of achievements.

But today, India is seen, according to analysts CNN has spoken to, as a rising superpower. And there are many reasons for this. As far as its economy is concerned, it's the fifth largest economy in the world and it's growing. Also, in terms of geopolitical powers, It has growing clout, and that's because of the positioning it has.

A lot of countries including the U.S. of A see India as the right counterbalance to China in the region. According to historians we've spoken to, India's journey in the last 75 years is its story. Today at about 7:30 a.m. local time, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the nation from the ramparts of the iconic red Ford, that's where the Prime Minister's address the nation from on the 15th of August.

And what he had to say, was talking about India, taking larger steps and leaps towards advancing itself as a nation. He said the last 75 years, India was establishing itself, in the next 75 years, India is going to be a powerhouse. And we've seen that, haven't we?

When it comes to the global conflicts, Michael, we've seen so many nations reach out to India, be the Ukraine Russia conflict, you had so many representatives from so many countries coming to India, asking them to take a stand on the Ukraine, Russia conflict. But otherwise, as well, there are challenges. You have China to the east, you have Pakistan to the west, two rivals for India, especially militarily. Along with that, obviously, climate change is a challenge, as well as poverty, amongst others, Michael?

HOLMES: Yes, indeed an important day. Sophia, to you now in Islamabad, what are the challenges that lie ahead for Pakistan, particularly in the context of relations with India? SOPHIA SAIFI, CNN PRODUCER: I think, Michael, you know, to understand the future and the present of Pakistan 75 years of independence from British rule, we obviously have to look back, Pakistan has had a tumultuous history. It's obviously, inherited. The scars of partition, it is a memory that has been handed down. You know, millions of people were shifted from one country to the next.

And those millions of people share those memories down to their children, which has led to hostilities between India and Pakistan, Pakistan, obviously, being in the geographical position that it is in has, you know, Iran, Afghanistan and China, along with India as its neighbors and has an interesting and complicated relationship with all of these countries regardless of just India.

I spoke to analyst Raza Rumi last night in Africa and he is a public policy analyst who also works with reconciliation between Indian and Pakistani students there.


And what he said was that the most important thing is, is that despite the fact that there have been wars with India and Pakistan in the past, we're not at the complete lowest ebb of relations between these two countries. They've, of course, then a complete lack of dialogue between India and Pakistan in the past couple of years.

But what's really needed is for activists and students and academics and artists to talk to each other to continue that conversation, because both India and Pakistan have that shared legacy that you spoke of earlier that, you know, there were freedom fighters in that region, and what became these two countries that fought together to get rid of British imperialism.

So, of course, we're commemorating partition today, but we're also celebrating independence from British rule. And then of course, you've got the wider issues of climate change, which Pakistan's Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif actually spoke about in an op ed that was published late last night in The Economist, and he said, that is a wider problem that is affecting the region.

And it is more than 500 people died in flooding just in Pakistan alone. There was flooding in India and Bangladesh as well. And it is a situation like he said, as well, that maybe it's time for all adversaries to sit down and come together to come up with solutions. Michael?

HOLMES: Yes, fascinating. What a big day for both countries, Sophia Saifi, Vedika Sud, thanks to you both.

And there is much more to come on CNN Newsroom, including the changes that have taken place in Afghanistan in the year since the Taliban received power.


HOLMES: Welcome back. It has been exactly one year since the Taliban seize control of the Afghan capital Kabul. It fell as you remember amid the chaotic U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, America's longest war. And since U.S. troops left Afghans have seen reversals of hard- won gains.

Taliban leaders have blocked women from most workplaces and banned girls from high school. poverty and hunger also spreading. In a recent report, the United Nations Children's Agency estimated more than 1 million Afghan children under five will suffer severe malnutrition this year.

Earlier this year, Human Rights Watch found that 95 percent of Afghan households regularly do not have enough food to eat. And to save the children, a report said that 82 percent of Afghan families lost wages in the last year.

Now, CNN's Fareed Zakaria spoke with the former Afghan President Ashraf Ghani. When asked if he felt betrayed by the U.S., Ghani said, there was too much work to do to waste time thinking about that.



ASHRAF GHANI, FORMER AFGHAN PRESIDENT: We need to draw lessons from the past and deal with the present. Our country is in dire condition. I do not have the luxury to engage in blaming or sense of betrayal. Super powers, big powers decide on the base of their national interest. What I hope is that they've considered the implications of those.


HOLMES: Now, Ghani expressed hopes that one day, he could go back home and said, the suffering of Afghanistan could have ripple effects across the world.


GHANI: That three majorities, woman, youth and the poor, are collapsing. Hope is gone. A sense of belonging is not there. The world needs to think in terms of its own interest. Do you want millions more of refugees to knock on your doors? Or can you think about ways of stabilizing?

Those who are saying that the Taliban have changed, that Taliban needed healing, they needed the embrace of a society to be able to integrate them. And don't forget, they're highly traumatized. And now, unfortunately, their sense of revenge, their sense of repression, and reciprocating some of the repression that they'd experienced in exclusion is being repeated on escape. I want to be able to help my country heal, and I hope to be able to do that, from the place that every cell of my body belongs.


HOLMES: That was former Afghan President Ashraf Ghani speaking with CNN's Fareed Zakaria.

Michael Kugelman, is the Deputy Director and Senior Program Associate for South Asia at the Wilson Center. He joins me now. And thanks for doing so. When we look back at the Western withdrawal a year ago, one of the demands of the West as they pulled out and Taliban assurances were given was no terror threat on Afghan soil, then we have the killing of the al-Qaeda leader. Ayman al-Zawahiri last month really made a mockery of that assurance as we look back over the last year, didn't it?

MICHAEL KUGELMAN, DEPUTY DIRECTOR & SENIOR PROGRAM ASSOCIATE FOR SOUTH ASIA, WILSON CENTER: Yes, it really did. And I think what really makes it such a mockery of that assurance is that the Taliban had given that assurance again and again. It's not like the Taliban had simply shrugged off the issue and hadn't said anything about it. But it would explicitly and repeatedly say that it was not going to give space to terrorists.

And so clearly, the fact that Zawahiri was found right in the middle of Kabul, really explodes the myth, so to speak. Propagated by the Taliban, that it's a group that does not provide space to terrorist groups and terrorists.

HOLMES: And to that point, the Taliban, they want international recognition, they want their frozen funds released and so on. Does the presence of al-Zawahiri in the heart of the capital, make it less likely, the West will do what the Taliban wants in that regard?

KUGELMAN: I think that recognition of the Taliban regime from the West was always a long shot. But certainly, the fact that Zawahiri was found in Kabul, I think, makes it all been an impossibility that any Western government would recognize the Taliban regime. And of course, you know, Western governments not only are concerned about the terrorism issues in Afghanistan, they're also concerned about the Taliban's human rights record.

But that said, I mean, there are some things that both the Taliban and the West still want. And one of those things is to get more funds to Afghanistan. So you are going to see humanitarian assistance continue to flow into Afghanistan from the West, and especially in the coming months as the weather starts to get worse in Afghanistan.

But I also think that we will see efforts on the part of the U.S. to try to work out some arrangement to get these frozen African bank assets back into Afghanistan, somehow. There is a lot of pressure on the U.S. government to do this from a lot of key constituencies.

Just in recent days, you had a group of very prominent economist who issued a letter calling on the U.S. government to release those funds. Now, not long before the Zawahiri raid happened, there had been some negotiations between the U.S. government and Taliban leaders, and some proposals were exchanged about how to return those those funds.

Now we're talking about $3.5 billion in funds, but they hadn't gotten very far. And then we had this our hearing rate, so the negotiations may take a while to pick up. But if the U.S. does get assurances, that the Taliban will not get its hands on those funds once they're returned to the Afghan central bank in some way that would work, then we can't rule out the possibility.


But we're still a long way from that. And of course, as well that the U.S. government would need to be careful that if it were to work out some arrangement, where those those frozen funds were returned to Afghanistan, it would have to be done in a way that does not --


KUGELMAN: -- violate the sanctions regime.

HOLMES: Yes, yes. The humanitarian crisis, giving that a bit of an imperative. I mean, and to that point too,, a seizing power, it's different, as we know, to running a country. How would you evaluate the Taliban's ability to govern after a year and given the food situation, human rights, women's rights, and as we say, an unfolding human catastrophe?

KUGELMAN: Well, not to give too much credit to the Taliban. But the Taliban has achieved some successes in the sense that it's been able to continue to collect revenues for the government, particularly through customs tariffs. It was able to pass a budget some months ago. And there also are indications that corruption levels have gone down in Afghanistan.

I wouldn't necessarily give that credit to the Taliban, but it's more the fact that you don't have as much money flowing into Afghanistan from overseas. And obviously, the more money floating around, the more chances there is of corruption. But beyond that, absolutely. The Taliban have been in over their heads for the last year. You have this economic crisis they can't solve.

They also face the relentless threat of terrorism from Islamic State Khorasan. And the Taliban is also grappling with divisions, internal divisions within their ranks, which have made it even more difficult for them to focus on these immense policy challenges.

HOLMES: And we're almost out of time, but I wonder to ask you this in terms of the neighborhood, the geopolitical area. I know you follow Pakistan closely, I saw you quoted in foreign policy saying that, in your sense, perhaps Pakistan has a bit of buyer's remorse when it comes to its support of the Taliban. Now they're back in power. What do you see as the risks regionally?

KUGELMAN: Well, I mean, the Pakistan is, I think were initially encouraged when they saw the Taliban takeover, because for a long time, their main interest in Afghanistan had been a government in Kabul, that would be friendly to Pakistan. And the Taliban, of course, have been aligned with Pakistan for some time. But what Pakistan has discovered, and much of the region is discovering this as well, is that the Taliban are not addressing terrorism threats on their soil.

You know, we know about the Zawahir raid. The Pakistanis have been very concerned about the presence of militants on Afghan soil that have targeted Pakistan over many years, the Pakistani Taliban. The Taliban have refused to to curb that group, and that has led to a resurgence of attacks, a resurgence of this group, Pakistani Taliban.

They've been staging attacks in Pakistan. And this makes Pakistan worry that the Taliban, which had been their ally in the past is not addressing terrorism concerns. And I think that other countries in the region, Iran, Russia, China, they all worry about different terrorist groups in Afghanistan, that the Taliban has either been unwilling or unable to curb.

HOLMES: Yes. And the risk of it bleeding across borders, whether as you say, it's Russia or China or, you know, even Iran. I wish we have more time. Michael Kugelman, thanks so much. Really appreciate it.

KUGELMAN: Thank you.

HOLMES: And electrical fire swept through a church in Egypt setting off a stampede and killing at least 41 people, many of them children. Weeping families watched as the caskets of their loved ones were carried to a funeral service late on Sunday. The fire broke out during packed morning services. Egyptian officials say a second-floor air conditioning unit caught fire sparked by a short circuit in a power generator. Most of the deaths and injuries were caused by smoke inside church classrooms.

Two people have died and 60 are in hospital following an explosion at a fireworks warehouse in Armenia's capitol. Firefighters and rescue workers are still at the scene of the explosion in Yerevan, which happened early on Sunday. And the mayor's office says there could be more people remaining under the rubble.

Quick break here on the program. When we come back, a second U.S. Congressional Delegation is in Taipei, about two weeks after Nancy Pelosi's visit provoked outrage in China. We'll have a live report from Kristie Lu Stout when we come back.



HOLMES: A bipartisan delegation of U.S. lawmakers is in Taiwan on an unannounced two-day visit sparking renewed outrage from China. The five-member group led by Democratic Senator Ed Markey said the trip is meant to, quote, reaffirm U.S. support for Taiwan. The visit comes on the heels of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's trip to Taipei, which also angered Beijing and triggered Chinese military exercises near Taiwan.

CNN's Kristie Lu Stout joins me now live from Hong Kong. So you got another delegation there, just after the harsh response we thought of Pelosi visit. Why are they there? How might China react this time?

KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, this is a symbolic expression of solidarity and support. Yet another delegation, a U.S. Congressional Delegation is in Taiwan, this time led by the U.S. Senator Ed Markey on an unannounced two-day visit to Taiwan, part of a larger Indo-Pacific tour. And it comes less than two weeks after that controversial visit by the U.S. House speaker that really drew the ire of China.

They've already been having meetings this day. In fact, earlier today 10:00 a.m., this latest congressional delegation led by Senator Markey, they met with the Taiwan President's Tsai Ing-wen. They also plan to meet with other elected officials in Taiwan as well as business leaders.

On the agenda, expanding economic cooperation, which is emerging as a big theme between U.S. and Taiwan relations at the moment, including investments in semiconductors. Also on the agenda for this visit, how to tone down and tamper down rising temperature that tension in the Taiwan Strait.

As we mentioned before this visit, according to the U.S. is all about shoring up support. I want to bring up the statement for you. It's from a spokesperson of the Office of U.S. Senator Ed Markey, who writes this, quote, "On their visit, the delegation will reaffirm the United States' support for Taiwan is guided by the Taiwan Relations Act, U.S.-China Joint Communiques and Six Assurances and will encourage stability and peace across the Taiwan Strait."

Now Taiwan has already thanked the U.S. delegation for this visit. In fact, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Taiwan took to Twitter to post pictures of the arriving delegation, as well as supposed the following message, quote, "Vice Minister Yui extended the warmest of welcomes to Taiwan's longstanding friend, Senator Markey and his cross-party delegation. We thank the like-minded U.S. lawmakers for the timely visit and unwavering support."

Now we are still awaiting some sort of comment from Beijing. But in the meantime, there has been comment made from the spokesperson of China's embassy in Washington, D.C. We have that for you, and let's bring it up for you. In which Liu Pengyu, spokesperson of China's Embassy in the U.S. says this, quote, "China firmly opposes any kind of official ties between the U.S. and the Taiwan region." It goes on to say, "Members of the U.S. Congress should act in consistence with the U.S. government's one-China policy."

Now the White House has said that there is no change to the one-China policy. Washington recognizes the PRC, the People's Republic of China, as the sole legitimate government of China. But the U.S. also maintains unofficial ties with Taiwan and is bound by law to provide Taiwan with defensive arms. Back to you, Michael.


HOLMES: Yes, yes. Good wrap up there. Kristie Lu Stout in Hong Kong. We await the Chinese reaction. Thanks so much.

Now tensions are rising as Kenyans wait to hear the outcome of last Tuesday's presidential race. Votes are still being tallied, making it the longest wait for results the country has ever seen. Right now, Kenya's deputy president and the opposition leader of the front runners, the election closely watched around the world. The Electoral Commission has until Monday to declare a winner. If neither candidate wins more than 50 percent of the vote, there will be a runoff for the first time in Kenya's history.

The actress Anne Heche has died nine days after a fiery car crash into a home in Los Angeles. Her rep says that she was taken off life support on Sunday. Heche had an almost four-decade career in television and film, including her role in the soap opera, "Another World" which entered her a Daytime Emmy.

In a statement her family said, quote, Anne will be deeply missed, but she lives on through her beautiful sons, her iconic body of work and her passionate advocacy. And Heche was just 53 years old.


HOLMES: Parts of Japan are bracing for more rain this week, just days after a tropical storm hit the country. Wet weather is expected from seasonal rains with heavier storms forecast for the middle of the week. Meanwhile, more than 200 cities and counties across China are under their highest heat alert with temperatures soaring once again. Meteorologist Pedram Javaheri has more on that. Pedram?

PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yes. You know, Michael, it sounds like it's the summer that never ends for a lot of folks across this region. The temperatures another heatwave, another excessive heat here event building up over the next several days. Folks in Wuhan trying to find any which way to cool off here after essentially 40 plus days where temps have been very close to 35 to about 43 degrees and a lot of these areas.

And notice again, we're not running just say 3 to 4 degrees above average which would be your typical summer heat event, but running about 7 to 11 degrees above average climbing up into the 40s when the 30s are normal. In Shanghai 39. And only a few thunderstorms kept us to getting to 40 degrees which of course we know just about a month and a half ago or so. In fact, it was about a month ago precisely here where we had incredible heat in Shanghai, the hottest temperature ever observed back three red alerts so far this year.

17 of them prior to this year going back to the 1870s, so speaks to just how hot the summer has been. There it is. Back on the 13th of July of this year, we had temps climb up to almost 41 degrees all time hottest in Shanghai. So it's actually back at it again here.

Temps along areas of the East including Shanghai not going to get as hot this go round. We do have a front coming in, so you'll notice places like these eastern cities. Wenzhou and Shanghai dropping off a couple of degrees the next several days. It is those western cities way from the coast that really see significant impacts from this heatwave.


Look at Chongqing, climb up to 44 degrees and incredible departure from what is typical for this time of year 32. And we do have thunderstorms to tell you about again farther towards the east around the Korean Peninsula, some impressive rainfall amounts that have led to some flooding north of Pyongyang, upwards of 220 millimeters, which is about three weeks worth of rainfall in the span of 24 hours.

All that energy, Michael, is shifting away from this region. But if you're tuned in, in South Korea, portions of southern Japan, heavy rainfall in store for you in the next 24 hours.

HOLMES: All right, Pedram, thanks so much. Pedram Javaheri there.

JAVAHERI: Thank you.

HOLMES: Now the northern summer has, of course, also been brutal in Europe as we've been reporting. Drought in England, causing the headwaters of the Thames to dry up. The river now begin several miles downstream from where it once did. CNN's Scott McLean with more on that.


SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's one of the most famous waterways in the world, London's Thames River. But this year at its headwaters to the west, there's no water at all.

(on-camera): What would this look like on a normal year?

DR. ROB COLLINS, DIRECTOR OF POLICY & SCIENCE, RIVERS TRUST: Well, typically you'd find half a meter of water in here.

MCLEAN (voice-over): Local rivers expert Rob Collins toward us along the winding riverbed in southern England, that stretches on without water for miles as parched fields and through quaint villages, were the once mighty father Thames has been reduced to a stagnant puddle.

COLLINS: The very source of a river you might find drying up quite frequently, but what's quite unprecedented just here is there's absolutely no water and that continues to be the case, the best part of 10 miles downstream.

MCLEAN (voice-over): Collins says England uses far too much water and its aging pipes leak far too much. A fifth of supplied water is lost to leakage.

COLLINS: We have to adapt to this new normal. We have to use less water, use it more wisely, more efficiently.

MCLEAN (voice-over): Satellite images show why 2022 has just been officially declared a drought in some parts of England. Normally lush green, the nation is now scorched pale yellow.

At the nearby Oaksey golf club, they're hoping to be spared the watering bans already imposed in other places.

ANGUS COOPER, CLUB MANAGER, OAKSEY PARK GOLF & LEISURE: A golf course without grass on the greens is like a shoe shop without shoes on the shelf. MCLEAN (voice-over): In the quaint hamlet of North End, water has never felt so precious. Last week, locals were forced to rely on bottled water and water tankers when the taps ran dry. It's not clear if the persistent problems during hot weather are high demand or low supply in the local reservoir.

(on-camera): So this is the moment of truth.


MCLEAN (voice-over): The water is back now. But local farmer Peter Langford nearly had to give his cows bottled water.

LANGFORD: And it was getting quite desperate.

MCLEAN (voice-over): The drought has also killed off the grass his cattle rely on, forcing him to use the hay he saved for winter. Rain can't come soon enough.

LANGFORD: What it says to me is that these extreme temperatures that we've got, that's not Thames water's fault. That's everybody's fault. You know, we all fly off in planes, we all do our bet to increase the problem. And I think this is a wake-up call really.

MCLEAN (voice-over): Scott McLean, CNN, along the Thames River in southern England.


HOLMES: Thanks for spending part of your day with me. I'm Michael Holmes. You can follow me on Twitter and Instagram at HolmesCNN. World Sport coming up next. I'll see you in about 15 minutes.