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Prosecutors Request New Trial for "Serial" Podcast Subject Adnan Syed; Mosquito Fire Grows to California's Largest of the Year; Video Shows Bird Flying into Engine in Military Jet Crash; Queen's Death Reignites Calls for Royals to Address Colonialism. Aired 4-5p ET

Aired September 17, 2022 - 16:00   ET




JIM ACOSTA, CNN HOST: You're live in the CNN Newsroom. I'm Jim Acosta. A touching tribute to Queen Elizabeth II from all eight of her grandchildren. Today, they stood vigil around her coffin as she lies and stayed ahead of her funeral on Monday. Prince William and Harry leading the way.

And as the Queen's grandchildren stood together in tribute so does the public, the line. You have to take a look at these pictures. They're just incredible. The line to seeing Queen Elizabeth lying in state is extraordinary stretches for miles across London. This has been going on for hours as people stand amid cold temperatures day and night, the weight reaching longer than get this 24 hours at times.

But some people in line got a memorable surprise. King Charles III and Prince William came to greet them earlier today. The new King telling one mourner his mother would have been so touched.

CNN Reporter Anna Stewart has been spending all day speaking to people waiting in the epic queue to see the Queen lying in state. Anna, how is everybody holding up? It sounds like this is almost -- there's so much reverence going on, obviously, but a bit of a festive atmosphere at times.

ANNA STEWART, CNN REPORTER: It really is. I've actually never seen anything quite like this. It has been days now. You mentioned the queue was 24 hours long, right now looking at the government tracker says 13.5 hours. It also says tonight's weather will be cold and I can attest to that is pretty chippy -- chili pretty nippy here in the U.K. since the sun's gone in.

You can see though the queue is moving pretty fast. And you're absolutely right about the atmosphere. People here generally quite cheerful. So we'll see whether we can stop anyone to ask and how they're doing.

How long have you been in the queue for now?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How long, about three hours.

STEWART: Three hours, how much longer?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I reckon it's probably about another four or five?

STEWART: Oh, I think that's been quite positive. I think it's more than four or five. Are you cold yet?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's getting a bit cold.

STEWART: I won't let you lose your place. How's everyone doing? Are you cold?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, we're good. We're moving. So it's nice and warm.

STEWART: How are you feeling mood wise? Cheerful?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, a mix of emotion, I think. Yes.

STEWART: Mixed emotions. An interesting one, Jim. I have to say here, you get lots of people very positive, obviously in a rush to get ahead in the queue. I think once you approach Westminster Hall, though, that's when the mood shifts. So up to this point, everyone's very happy to make new friends, get a coffee together. It's very sweet. People keep buying each other hot drinks and pints of beer at this stage.

But once you approach Westminster Hall, the mood does shift. And suddenly people get quite filled with emotion. The people I've spoken to that have left Westminster Hall, are really quite overwhelmed by what they see, the silence of it, I think the feeling of being in Westminster Hall and actually saying that final goodbye to Her Majesty the Queen.

ACOSTA: And Anna, tell us how this works. I mean, are you committed in this line? If you get in this line, as you mentioned, a pint that got my attention, if you'll forgive me, how does one get refreshments in this epic line, epic queue, I should say?

STEWART: Listen, Britain's very good at queues, the British lover queue. There have actually been queues for the queue. And they're also queues to go to the bathroom and to get your pint of beer. And of course, everyone wants to find a beer on a Saturday night.

So what they're doing is they're giving people wristbands that are color coded for different segments of the queue. Once you've got your wristband and you have to wait for a couple of hours for you get it, you can leave the queue and come back. And I've been intrigued as to whether this would work in practice, but everyone's been quite jovial about it, they let people back into the queue. So that is all fine. So bathroom breaks, pint breaks totally allowed at the stage.

ACOSTA: And what does it mean to people to wait through all of this? When they finally get to that moment and they see the Queen's coffin in person, what is that like? STEWART: I think it's actually overwhelmingly emotional, not least I suppose, because you have queued for upwards of 13 hours up to 24 hours in some situations. I think it is an emotional thing for people to do. And they do this for multiple reasons, primarily, obviously to pay the respects to the Queen who is so loved and the number of responses that I've had from people who say that she felt like their grandmother, she felt like a member of their family and they feel her loss deeply.

There's also the issue of history. People are doing this because it's reminding them that this is the end of a massive chapter of history, whether it's British history or global history, and they also want to ask you in the next monarch. So, sharing of memories of the Queen in these crowds.


People don't know each other, they ended up queuing together for, you know, a day. So they develop this new friendship. And I think sharing those memories and looking ahead is actually almost as beautiful as seeing the Queen itself. In many ways, this is how people will remember this week and this moment really. Jim?

ACOSTA: Absolutely, sounds like a national bonding moment. All right, Anna Stewart, thank you very much. We appreciate it.

And joining me now is the former Press Secretary to the Queen, Charles Anson. Charles, I wonder what you're thinking. Maybe you've already been in line, perhaps you're going to jump in the queue at some point. Charles, what are your thoughts as you see all of these folks lining up sometimes as long as 24 hours. You heard a man there say he was in line for three hours expect to be in line for another four or five hours. Help us understand this over here across the pod?

CHARLES ANSON, FORMER PRESS SECRETARY TO QUEEN ELIZABETH II: Well, I think everyone -- the numbers taking part is, there's an expression of their affection for the queen and admiration for the job that she did. But it's also an affection and interest in the family. So what we have here is the monarchy and the royal family. So the apex is the Queen and King Charles III.

But surrounding him and helping with the public duties and also being figures in public life, there's an affection for the family. So it's a mixture of both the constitutional arrangement and human relationship. And I think the Queen was held in very high regard. And more and more in her later years regret affections not only the head of state, head of the Commonwealth, head of the nation, but also a grandmother and someone with a strong sense of family. And I think that's what people have gathered round in these great long and marvelous lines waiting to go past the coffin.

And, of course, that sort of affection also existed before with the Queen's father, George VI, and also with some of our great figures like Winston Churchill, who had a state funeral and lay in state. And I remember as a student, queuing up not for 24 hours in those days, but for two or three hours, and filing Prince's coffin. Then when the Queen mother died in 2002, again, a massive sort of public expression of affection, which found its way into the lying-in state and these queues of people.

And I think, you know, what your contributors have been saying, people are enjoying it, that they're happy to be there. They don't mind waiting. It's a gregarious and bonding experience to be in that queue to be with fellow citizens, some of whom come completely different backgrounds. And people sort of gel together, and I think it's an expression of affection for the Queen and her family, but also part of our national history.

These moments with the monarchy and great figures, like Churchill is a sort of milestone of history, and people stop and pause for a minute and think through it. And I think walking in line, walking in file like that to pass the Queen's coffin is a way of people taking stock of what their country's like, what it feels like to live in this society. And despite all the differences and arguments, some of the time, monarchy tends to unify people.

And I think these great moments of either jubilees or now there's much sadder occasion, of course, is the Queen's death, that there is a expression of affection, and an appreciation of all that she's done and what she stands for, and the values of fairness and tolerance and open mindedness and embracing the Commonwealth and other nations and moving forward in perhaps a slightly better way. That's the purpose of a constitutional monarchy, is to make the world a slightly better places for the politicians to really do all the hard spade work. But the monarchy is there to try and encourage people.

ACOSTA: And Charles, the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Sussex just held vigil by the Queen's coffin. We've been looking at the stirring images inside Westminster Hall. What can you tell us about the ceremony? The -- what this world is just witnessed, just perfectly executed here. I just wonder, you know, how much planning must have gone into this, to be able to carry this out?

ANSON: A huge amount of planning goes into it, Jim. I mean, when I was press secretary to the Queen in the 1990 to '97, even then, you know, 30 years ago, there was a very highly developed plans for a royal funeral and other royal events.


And the fact is that with a monarchy, like that, you have to be prepared for any sudden turn of illness or whatever it may be, that may lead to a big occasion like this. The funeral plans are always very closely and carefully planned. And indeed, the monarch herself, or in the case of King Charles, would be aware of the arrangements for a funeral for the monarch. I mean, that is part of the planning. It involves thousands of people troops, the charitable sector, all sorts of planning within government, within the royal household, within the military, and so on.

So it needs to be constantly refined and made more precise. And of course, you have to bring in new dimensions in the modern age, the question of access for the media at all times, without sort of intruding too much on family grief is also in all our societies, the dimension of security and the risk of terrorism or some sort of incident or that kind of thing. So the planning, because it involves so many people and because the public like to turn out for these important milestones involves a great deal of planning.

And of course, your President Joe Biden will be arriving here very, very shortly. It will be the biggest gathering of international leaders for a very long time. And --

ACOSTA: That's right.

ANSON: -- probably since really the monarch coronation.

ACOSTA: Absolutely. Charles Anson, we know you'll be watching as we'll be watching, and thanks so much for your insights, as we remember Queen Elizabeth. Thanks so much for your time. We appreciate it.

ANSON: Pleasure to be with you.

ACOSTA: Thank you, Charles.

And join CNN and the rest of us from London as the U.K. and the world remember Queen Elizabeth II. Our live coverage of the Queen's state funeral begins Monday at 5:00 a.m.

Coming up, why did Trump's team tell the national archives that boxes at Mar-a-Lago only contained, quote, news clippings? Here's to be much more than that. We have new reporting on that.

Plus years after the hit podcast "Serial" brought national attention to his case. A man serving life for killing his ex-girlfriend is about to get a new trial. We'll talk about that.



ACOSTA: Right now, the Justice Department is in a pitched legal battle arguing that Donald Trump's lawyer should not get to see the classified documents seized at Mar-a-Lago during the upcoming special master review. As that appeal plays out, CNN has learned Trump's team told the National Archives last year that the missing White House documents at Mar-a-Lago were just 12 boxes of newspaper clippings.

But a few months later, they handed over 15 boxes containing 184 classified documents and then in August, the FBI seized another 33 boxes from Trump's property containing 103 classified documents.

Let's discuss with two former Trump administration officials Olivia Troye, she was an adviser to Vice President Pence and Stephanie Grisham, of course, was the Press Secretary in the Trump White House. Stephanie, let me start with you. This sounds like a game of telephone to some extent. Former Trump lawyer Pat Philbin told the archives that Mark Meadows told him that there were a dozen boxes with newspaper clippings. Does anybody actually know what was in those boxes? I mean, this is almost comical. STEPHANIE GRISHAM, FORMER TRUMP WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Well, that would in our entire administration. Good to see you, Jim. I would say that people do believe there were newspaper clippings in there because that is how he traveled. We would travel with the boxes is what we call them. And there were, in fact, newspaper clippings in there but there was also work in there and there were magazines and there were things he wanted to sign for people and to send to people.

So the boxes did always have newspaper clippings. I would imagine Philbin -- yes, Pat Philbin was told that there were clippings. He is an honest, righteous, moral attorney. I don't think he would ever do anything to cover up for Donald Trump or Mark Meadows or anyone else. So I believe he was told that and he in good faith, gave that message along.

Mark Meadows, he knows better. We I know what was in those boxes in terms of every day that we worked. The boxes followed the president everywhere. And there was always work in there with newspaper clippings. It was a mess. It was the Trump filing system. So Mark Meadows had to know.

And certainly, Trump seems like he knows (INAUDIBLE) says he declassified everything. So if it was just newspaper clippings, what is it that Trump declassified? That's kind of my question right now.

ACOSTA: Right. And Olivia, I mean, just if you could pick up where Stephanie left off on this whole mess of, you know, mixing top secret or SCI documents, as they're called, in some cases, just mixed in with scrapbook material, press clippings, magazine articles, and so on. I mean, what are your thoughts on all this?

OLIVIA TROYE, FORMER ADVISER TO PENCE: Yes, it's completely ludicrous insanity to have these classified documents just mixed in with it's like souvenirs, right? And they -- meanwhile, lives are on the line here. Very sensitive information that belongs to the U.S. government. It does not belong to the former president. This is something years, decades of service, and it's kind of working together to develop this.

And so the fact that, you know, I'm very confused about the fact that it seems like it's ping pong now. It's like a game of hot potato of who knew what was in the box, who didn't know it was in the box. And I, you know, I agree with Stephanie. I do think that that Pat Philbin was just repeating what he was told. But I do think that it's important to investigate and get to the bottom of this, and just who was involved in what appears to be the complete cover up of this.


ACOSTA: And Stephanie, Trump -- I'm sure you saw this spoke with the conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt, he was asked what would happen if he were to face charges. Let's listen to that.

DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If it happened, I think you'd have problems in this country the likes of which, perhaps, we've never seen before. I don't think the people of the United States would stand for it. HUGH HEWITT, RADIO HOST: What kind of problems, Mr. President.

TRUMP: I think they'd have big problems. Big problems.


ACOSTA: Stephanie, is Trump once again saying the riot part out loud?

GRISHAM: Absolutely, in my opinion, and you know, make no mistake, I think that was a call to arms. I think he's asking for the extremist part of the MAGA community to get prepared if something should happen to their king. You know, he learned nothing from January 6. Except (INAUDIBLE) king knows he's got a group of very, very loyal followers, who will believe anything he says, and will do anything he say says, which is exactly what we saw with the January 6 committee hearings, when they showed videos of some of the people on the Capitol steps saying the president said to go home or, you know, the president said, Mike Pence is a traitor. Let's get him.

It's clear, and he knows very well, that these people will do whatever he says. So in my opinion, it was another call to arms because he's getting nervous and it's disgusting. And once again, I am waiting for Republican leadership to start saying now there's no room for violence. I mean, we're ramping up, we've got how many investigations going now. So it's scary to me. I hate hearing that rhetoric. And I hope -- I don't really think but I hope that people will step up and say, let this play out.

ACOSTA: And Olivia having worked for Mike Pence, I suppose you understand exactly what Trump is saying here?

TROYE: Absolutely. And we've seen this before when he does this. And look, what he's trying to do is it's intimidation, and he's trying to scare Americans. That's what he's actually trying to do. He's trying to message and say, you know, he's holding me above the law. I don't want to be held accountable.

ACOSTA: Yes. And the Justice Department too, I suppose. He sent a message.

TROYE: Exactly. I mean, this is what he does.

ACOSTA: And Stephanie, let me ask you about this new book that's coming out from Peter Baker of The New York Times and his wife, Susan Glasser, who's also reporter. They say that Melania Trump slammed Trump's handling of COVID at one point telling him, quote, this is according to their book, "You're blowing this. It's going to be really bad, and you need to take it more seriously."

They're right that he dismissed her concerns. And I'm just wondering because you work with the First Lady. During this administration, you were there, during the first months of the pandemic, did -- many months of the pandemic -- did you hear any of this?

GRISHAM: Oh, yes. I mean, Melania Trump was the first in our administration to really come out and put videos out saying wear a mask. She was very responsible with COVID. And, you know, our whole east wing was not working in the White House when everybody else was working on the West Wing. So, I know she definitely talked to him about taking it seriously. And absolutely, I know he dismissed her and said, it'll be fine.

I'm not sure about, you know, if she said you are blowing this, but it rings true to me. She was very, very cautious and nervous and worried about Americans and staff and her family when COVID was going on.

ACOSTA: And Olivia, I know because you work with the Vice President's office that there were people across the administration, across the White House and the EOB (ph), who just thought Trump was blowing it on COVID. I mean, I would hear it all the time from Trump officials.

TROYE: Yes, look, that is absolutely true. And honestly, it's infuriating when I read these accounts, knowing that hundreds of thousands of Americans have died of COVID. I'm in my hometown of El Paso right now visiting. El Paso was certainly hit hard with COVID. They suffered under it as many other cities across the country. And look, I'm glad that these stories are coming out in books because it is true. Everyone knew the situation and this is the result of a man who exhibited complete recklessness when it came to leading our country during that really, really challenging time.

ACOSTA: All right, Olivia Troye, Stephanie Grisham, great to see both of you. Thanks so much.

GRISHAM: Thank you.

ACOSTA: And a programming note, tomorrow night Jake Tapper goes one on one with key witnesses in the January 6 investigation. The CNN special report "American Coup" begins tomorrow night at 9:00.

Coming up, he spent 20 years plus behind bars convicted of killing his ex-girlfriend. Now, a big announcement from prosecutors in that area after the true crime podcast "Serial" first raised doubts about the case years ago. The warrior who has never stopped fighting on behalf of Adnan Syed, he joins me next live in the CNN Newsroom.



ACOSTA: Three people are dead after a mid-air plane collision in Colorado. It happened earlier today in Boulder County about 35 miles north of Denver. You can see the wreckage of two small planes. One of them identified as a single engine Cessna carrying two people both of them died, the third victim was onboard the other aircraft. The FAA and the NTSB are investigating what happened.

Baltimore prosecutors are asking for a new trial for Adnan Syed, a man whose murder conviction was the subject of the hugely popular first season of the true crime podcast "Serial." Syed was arrested 23 years ago as a high school senior accused of strangling his ex-girlfriend Hae Min Lee and dumping her body in a park. Syed who has always maintained his innocence was sentenced to life in prison and many thought the case was over until the --


JIM ACOSTA, CNN HOST: Syed was arrested 23 years ago as a high school senior accused of strangling his ex-girlfriend, Hae Min Lee, and dumping her body in a park.

Syed, who has always maintained his innocence, was sentenced to life in life in prison. And many thought the case was over until the podcast "Serial" debuted.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is a prepaid call from --


ACOSTA: The podcast quickly broke records and has been downloaded more than 300 million times.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): On paper, the case was like a Shakespearean match-up. Young lovers from different worlds, thwarting their family, jealousy, suspicious and honor besmirched. The villain not a moor but a Muslim all the same.

And a final act of murderous revenge. On the main staged, a regular old high school across the street from a 7-Eleven.


ACOSTA: And now after a nearly year-long investigation, the state's attorney's office says there's new evidence pointing to the possible involvement of two alternative suspects and they say Syed should be released pending a new trial.

With me now to talk about this is attorney and advocate, Rabia Chaudry, who is the author of "Adnan's Story, The Search for Truth and Justice After Serial." She's also the executive producer of the HBO documentary series, "The Case Against Adnan Syed."

HBO, we should mention, like CNN, is a part of Warner Brothers Discovery.

Rabia, thank you so much for being with us.

This is a fascinating case. You've known Syed for years, since he was a child. You understand the human dimension of all of this. Have you had a chance to correspond with him since this announcement that prosecutors are asking for a new trial?

RABIA CHAUDRY, ATTORNEY & ADVOCATE: Yes. And thanks for having me, Jim.

I spoke with him the evening the motion was filed and I spoke with his family that day. We're very, of course, happy but cautiously optimistic. We have gotten close before to getting his conviction thrown out. In fact, it has been twice and it was reinstated.

So, you know, it has been a long 23-year battle but we've never had really the state on our side, which is essentially what has happened since the prosecutors filed the motion.

ACOSTA: And you've kept up the story with your own podcast, "Undisclosed," and you were the person who pitched his story to NPR who did the "Serial" Podcast. Tell us about that.

CHAUDRY: I was in the courtroom on the day that Adnan was convicted. He was my younger brother's best friend. I've known Adnan since he was a child.

And so the entire trial, conviction, prosecution, was really shocking to me. And I helped the family navigate through the appellate process. And then I gave up. And so I reached out to a reporter with the "Baltimore Sun" and the rest is history.

ACOSTA: And the podcast has been phenomenally popular globally. And it has been unbelievable to see the response to this case.

And you mentioned a previous order for a new trial was overturned. And this has been a long struggle for justice. Why is this time different for people who don't understand the law would you say?

CHAUDRY: Well, this time is different because, up until about three years ago, the attorney general of Maryland was handling the case. Only a year ago did the case finally go to the Baltimore City state's attorney's office.

We approached them to take a look at it to see if nothing else coming considered to resentenced. Because he was sentenced as a juvenile to life, which the Supreme Court says it is unconstitutional.

And they looked at it and said it might be an innocence case, which is what we've been saying. And this past spring, they joined us in the motion to test DNA and they are no longer convinced that he is guilty.

ACOSTA: Yes, state's attorney says that prosecutors are not asserting that Syed is innocent but that they lack confidence in the integrity of the conviction and that Syed should get a new trial. That is incredible.

What do you make of all this and where things stand? Do you think that you are on the path to justice?

CHAUDRY: I think that we are finally on that path. And you know, I think one of the most heartening things about this

development or the state's attorney is that it is not just about exonerating, but you have an open investigation. They have a team of homicide investigation investigators assigned to this case.

And I've worked about 20 odd innocence cases. And in many cases, when someone is exonerated, the guilty party is never caught. The state just lets the case go.

So we're happy that that is not happening here. And we're really praying for justice. And we hope that the person who killed her is, in fact, arrested for this crime.


ACOSTA: And we'll continue to watch and listen to all of the developments in this.

Rabia Chaudry, thank you very much. Please stay in touch with us on all of this. We greatly appreciate it.

To Las Vegas now where the accused killer of Jeff German, a local investigative journalist -- seen here -- speaking out for the first time from jail.


UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: What do you have to say for the charge you are facing now?

ROBERT TELLES, ACCUSED KILLER OF LAS VEGAS REPORTER JEFF GERMAN (voice-over): Unfortunately I can't comment on it, obviously, given that it is ongoing. And I hope you understand. I just want to try to -- I mean, I just wanted to try to do my best and be the best person I can be.


ACOSTA: Robert Telles is charged with stabbing German to death. The Clarke County administrator lost his re-election bid in June and allegedly was upset about articles written by German that detailed a hostile work environment at Telles' office and a relationship with a staffer.

German, a legendary reporter in the Las Vegas area, was found dead outside his home earlier this month. Police say DNA underneath his fingernails and surveillance video led them to Telles. He's being held without bail.

There's shocking new video to show you, showing what led to a military jet crash last year. Watch.







ACOSTA: California's Mosquito Fire has exploded to over 70,000 acres since it ignited just over a week ago. It is burning in the part of California between Sacramento and Lake Tahoe and is now the largest wildfire seen in California all year. Dozens of homes and businesses have been destroyed.

And CNN's Camila Bernal is in Los Angeles following this for us.

Camila, they say there might be rain on the way to help out. That certainly would be good news to firefighters who are working on this. What can you tell us?

CAMILA BERNAL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Jim. Yes, that will be extremely beneficial for those firefighters. They are waiting for the rain.

But before that happens, it is going to be windy. The problem with the wind is that, according to the CNN weather team, it can reach up to 25 to 35-mile-per-hour at around sunset time.

And that wind being so strong really is helpful for the flames because they spread very quickly. It picks up the embers and then it creates spot fires.

And that, of course, creates even more work for these firefighters who have been working around the clock. They to expect progress after that because we expect rain Sunday into Monday.

And so they continue that progress. But unfortunately, the fire has already burned at more than 71,000 acres.

We also are waiting for assessment teams to go in and give us an updated number of the structures that have already been destroyed. So moving forward, we'll be seeing those teams out there.

Some of the evacuation orders have been lifted. But there's still some work to be done in this region.

Now, big picture, what officials are saying is that they believe that the rain could also slow down this ongoing fire season. But it will not put an end to it.

That is key here. They are still concerned about what could happen because even later on in the week, they are expecting higher temperatures and more dry heat.

And the problem is that California is already going through an ongoing drought. It is really easy for those flames to spread. No matter where you look around the state, it is so much dry fuel that that is what is driving these fires to grow and to grow so quickly.

So moving forward, what officials and experts who look into all of this are saying is that we may slow it down, but we'll still see the fires later on in September and October -- Jim?

ACOSTA: All right. Camila Bernal, thank you very much for staying on top of it. We appreciate it.

And meanwhile, new shocking video showing what led to a plane crash in Texas. It is every pilot's nightmare and every passenger's nightmare. Watch this.











ACOSTA: You can see a bird flew straight into the plane's engine during a routine military training exercise near Joint Reserve Base, Ft. Worth.

The two crew members in the jet were ejected and hospitalized. One of the pilots was badly burned after his parachute became tangled in the power lines that were below him and was electrocuted.

The plane crashed into a neighborhood in Lake Worth. It didn't hit any houses directly and nobody on the ground was hurt. But obviously a very alarming situation.

Let's get more on this. CNN's transportation analyst, Mary Schiavo, is joining me.

Mary, what can you tell us about this incredible video is this we know this is a major concern for pilots. Something that they are always on the lookout for. But to have video of it and to see what it looks like, it is stunning.

MARY SCHIAVO, CNN TRANSPORTATION ANALYST: It is stunning. And it is very helpful because bird strikes, the FAA, the Federal Aviation Administration, started collecting data in about 1999. And the bird strikes have dramatically increased. For example, in

2021, bird strikes on aircraft increased 33 percent over 2020. So it is dramatically increasing. But you don't often have video like this.


But unfortunately, for this aircraft and these pilots, they just had a perfect storm. All the factors were working against them.

They were in a single engine trainer on approach to land, literally down to the end of the runway to land. Most bird strikes, by the way, do happen as you're coming into land.

Their plane is not one that can glide very well. They have a plane that can glide -- they glide better with long wings from aspect radio.

And we can see from the video that they very quickly lost the air flow over the wings and the plane just dived to the ground.

And so many things working against them, but fortunately, as mentioned, no one did die, although they are seriously hurt.

ACOSTA: Right. And how remarkable is that? That you didn't have a crew die in this crash. And nobody on the ground was injured apparently or seriously hurt.

There was some damage there. We showed that just a few moments ago. But it underlines how this is a serious problem.

SCHIAVO: It is a serious problem. And you know, it is kind of in the category of "no good deed shall go unpunished."

The wildlife bird population have dramatically increased over the last few years. For example, the eagle population, over the time the FAA has been collecting the data, has increased five-fold. Raptures and I think it was buzzards have increased threefold.

And so while they are climbing, they pose a huge danger to aircraft and airports.

And one the big issues is the land use around the airports. We still see them next to landfills, bodies of water.

And while there are lots of ways to try to scare birds away from the airports, they haven't been real successful yet. I mean, the FAA is even considering drone surveillance of bird populations.

And another thing is the aircraft have gotten quieter, so they don't scare away the birds as much.

So a lot of factors that go into these bird strikes that are really compounded by things beyond the pilot's control.

ACOSTA: Mary Schiavo, thanks very much. Hate to show folks that alarming video, but it is worth discussing. It is a serious problem.

Mary, thank you. We appreciate it.

SCHIAVO: Thank you.

ACOSTA: Coming up, we'll take you back to London in just a few moments live there where people are still waiting in line sometimes up to 13 hours to get a final glimpse at Queen Elizabeth's coffin.

Incredible images from inside Westminster Hall earlier in the day, just stirring images from London to show you in just a few moments. Richard Quest is covering it all. He will be with us in just a few moments.



ACOSTA: As the United Kingdom honors the life and legacy of Queen Elizabth II, thousands of miles away, a group of elders in Kenya hope her death with prompt her son, King Charles, to right the colonial wrongs of the past.

Here's CNN's David McKenzie.


DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Jim, the Nandi elders in Kenya are saying that their commander in chief at the turn of the last century who tried to stop railway construction through their ancestral land was killed by the British military after he was lured to an apparent peace negotiation.

They believe that his head was taken to the United Kingdom. They are now asking King Charles to send it back.

It speaks to the ongoing generational trauma felt by many in former British colonies. And these countries are of the opinion that the queen's legacy and of British royalty is complicated at best.


PAUL MUITE, HUMAN RIGHTS LAWYER: Colonialism treated Africans in Kenya resembling human beings but subhuman. That dehumanization is what I would plead with the British government, how His Majesty's government, to accept.


MCKENZIE: And to apologize for actions like the brutal suppression of the Mau Mau Rebellion that began the year the queen ascended to the throne in 1952.

Some 10 years ago, veterans received an expression of regret and some level of compensation. But some believe it was not broad enough.

Here in South Africa, there are growing calls for Cullinan Diamond, also known as the Star of Africa, this 500-carat diamond, central to the crown jewels, to be returned to the country.

It was given as a gift to the queen's uncle, King Edward. And as King Charles cements his reign, the call for atonement and restitution will likely only grow louder -- Jim?


ACOSTA: And thanks to David for that report.

In the meantime, Broadway's longest running show is closing its doors. "Phantom of the Opera" will play for five more months before the final curtain now scheduled for February 18th and months after the show's 35th anniversary.

Ticket sales for the production slowed during the pandemic, dropping by almost 75,000 weekly attendees over the last four months. But, luckily, international productions of the show will continue.

If you haven't seen it before, you can still see it in places like London, Australia and even China after they close the doors there on Broadway.

And one more programming note. All next week, CNN journalists will shine a light on those who inspire them.

Here is a preview of "CHAMPIONS FOR CHANGE."






UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK, girls, come on. Kick your knees up.

ANNOUNCER: As CNN journalists shine a light on those who inspire them.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's a huge commitment and sacrifice and generosity.

ANNOUNCER: The change makers.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I love it so much, man.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It comes down to everyone playing their role the right way.



ANNOUNCER: The dream makers.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I wanted to make a difference in the world.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's going to get better.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's going to get better.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's a "CHAMPION FOR CHANGE" because he is actually making the change.