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Queue to View Queen's Coffin at or near Capacity; Newly Discovered Mass Burial Site in Ukraine; Florida Joins Texas in Moving Migrants to Northern Cities; Modi Publicly Rebukes Putin over Invasion of Ukraine; Book Banning on the Rise in the U.S. Aired 3-4a ET

Aired September 17, 2022 - 03:00   ET




KIM BRUNHUBER, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Live from CNN headquarters in Atlanta, welcome to all of you watching here in the United States, Canada and around the world, I'm Kim Brunhuber. This is CNN NEWSROOM.

In the coming hours, the queen's grandchildren will be holding a public vigil by her coffin. We'll take you to the line that stretches for miles as visitors queue to bid their farewells.

Signs of torture uncovered at a mass burial site in Ukraine after Russia retreats. We'll hear from one investigator in Kyiv about building a war crimes case.

And one Republican governor says he's just beginning when it comes to sending migrants like these to other states. We'll hear how the White House is responding.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): Live from CNN Center, this is CNN NEWSROOM with Kim Brunhuber.

BRUNHUBER: It's now 8:00 am in London, the first full day of lying in state for Queen Elizabeth. The flood of people hoping to pass by her coffin before Monday's state funeral has exceeded expectations, with up to 2 million now predicted.

Authorities warn the miles-long queue is at or near capacity and have shut it down multiple times.


BRUNHUBER (voice-over): Inside Westminster Hall, the queen's four children, led by King Charles, held a silent vigil by their late mother's coffin on Friday. In the coming hours, the queen's eight grandchildren, led by Prince William, will hold their own vigil.

We've been keeping tabs of the government's live tracker of people waiting to get into Westminster Hall. The site continues to warn people not to travel to join the queue. The wait is currently so long that people in the back of the line may not get to view the queen's coffin until sometime tomorrow.

Nada Bashir is speaking with people.

So what's the mood there as they wait for hours and hours and some people possibly in vain?

NADA BASHIR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We've been here for the last two nights. And it has generally been a very upbeat mood of people queuing overnight, waiting for their chance to file past and pay respects to the queen. That is what we're hearing for the most part.

But I have to say it's extremely cold this morning and has been very cold overnight. And people waiting in these queues for hours and hours unable to bring things with them. So they carry small bags because of those security checks; only a few snacks with them, some with blankets trying to keep them warm.

We spoke to people waiting since 7:00 pm yesterday evening and are still waiting here to going to across the river to enter the palace in Westminster, where the queen is lying in state.

We spoke to a family a few minutes ago, the mother telling us this is the second time waiting in line to pay respects to the queen; the first time with her two young children, the second time with older children.

She said it's important to share this moment with her family. It's something they'll remember when they're older. This is perhaps the only time they'll see a queen on the throne. This is something many people want to be a part of.

While there are many people waiting to they pay their respects to the queen, it is also a reflection for many people across the country because we are now ushering in a new era, King Charles III.

And outside of Westminster, away from Buckingham Palace, there is a wider conversation going on about whether or not the monarchy should perhaps consider modernizing in order to find its new place in modern Britain.


BASHIR (voice-over): Deeply admired and widely revered, Queen Elizabeth leaves behind a towering legacy, drawing mourners in the thousands to commemorate her life.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We just wanted to pay our respects.

Everyone that can wants to pay their respects, I think. It's very popular.

BASHIR (voice-over): But while statistics show that two-thirds of British people support keeping the monarchy, for some young people, the prospect of a new royal era strikes a different chord. [03:05:00]

BASHIR (voice-over): With recent polling showing over twice as many 18- to 34-year-olds favored Britain becoming a republic, compared to those age 65 and older.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I guess as an immigrant here, I can fully understand the reverence of people from an older generation and that, I guess the fact that this is a big loss for them, especially in their lifetimes. So each to their own, really.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's nice to keep the tradition but it's just I'm not very --



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They're not as important as they were back like 100 years ago.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think it's definitely time to rethink and I know a lot of people loved Queen Elizabeth and I don't think that same fondness is there for King Charles. For a lot of people, it represents colonialism and it represents concentration of wealth at the top.

BASHIR (voice-over): The royal family has faced criticism over its colonial past, which it has acknowledged. The enduring Commonwealth, a legacy of the British Empire. And there continues to be debate around the financial cost of maintaining a monarchy, particularly as the country faces a deepening cost of living crisis.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They should definitely pull more money back from those guys and feed into the system for people who actually genuinely need the help.

BASHIR (voice-over): But while statistics show that the royal family is still popular amongst the British public, King Charles now takes on the responsibility of cementing the monarchy's place and relevance in modern Britain.


BASHIR: And look, Kim, while there is that wider conversation ongoing, it is remarkable to see just how many people have taken to the streets, taken to this queue but also gathered on the other side, still leaving flowers and messages of their condolences for the queen and the royal family.

This evening, we are, of course, expecting the queen's grandchildren to stand in vigil around her coffin in the Hall of Westminster, much we did see yesterday with her children, including King Charles III.

This will be a significant moment. And, of course, the queen's grandchildren are the representation that the monarchy is trying to forward of their place in modern Britain. BRUNHUBER: We'll keep covering this throughout the weekend. Thank you

so much.


BRUNHUBER: CNN is learning the United Nations will get involved following the discovery of a mass burial site in Ukraine. The U.N. says its human rights investigators will go to the site in the city of Izyum as soon as possible.

A U.N. source tells CNN, war crimes investigators may follow later. The White House called the discovery "horrifying and repugnant," while Ukraine now says some of the bodies recovered show signs of torture.

On Friday president Volodymyr Zelenskyy made another case for declaring Russia a state sponsor of terrorism.


VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): We need to act. It is necessary to act so that Bucha, Mariupol and Izyum do not happen again. Russia must be recognized as a state sponsor of terrorism; otherwise, Russian terror cannot be stopped.


BRUNHUBER: Zelenskyy also met with top military commanders on Friday to consider next steps after a rout of Russian troops from the northeast. Russian President Putin says his plans aren't changing. Listen to this.


VLADIMIR PUTIN, PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA (through translator): No, the plan is not subject to adjustment. The general staff, in the course of the operation, make operational decisions that are considered key.

The main goal is the liberation of the entire territory of Donbas. This work continues, despite these attempts to counter attack by the Ukrainian army.


BRUNHUBER: The mass burial site we just mentioned was discovered after Ukraine pushed Russian troops out of the city of Izyum a week ago. It's located in a forest, where, according to a CNN team on the ground, the horror can be easily seen and smelled. CNN's Nick Paton Walsh saw the site first-hand.


NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Here is where the horror gets names and numbers. Russia's unprovoked invasion killed many anew but only now in liberated cities like Izyum are we finding out who and how.

And even this rain cannot erase the smell how death haunts these pines.

WALSH: It's important to point out that this was a military position. These are tank positions around the city, presumably for the Russians when they occupied it, burying these bodies where their troops would lay to rest and defend the city.

Ukrainian officials have said over 400 bodies were buried here, even children, all showing signs of a violent death.

Through the day, they have been exhuming dozens of bodies, most individual graves, numbered and orderly, one bearing a number as high as 398.


WALSH (voice-over): But this, we are told -- and can smell and see -- is a mass grave where 17 dead were found, a policeman here told us.

Ukrainian officials said bodies found included the family killed in an airstrike, Ukrainian soldiers shot with their hands bound and bodies showing signs of torture.

WALSH: Some of the graves are marked just by a number and others have someone's full history. Zolotaryov Alexei Afanasyevich (ph), who looks like he dies, aged 82, buried here.

This investigator tells us what he found in this spot.

WALSH (voice-over): "Here are civilian bodies and military ones further along," he said. "Over 20 have been examined here and will be sent for further investigation."

It seems to be the horrid extension of the long-term cemetery nearby. Wreaths, coffins, candles -- some people knew who they were burying, others next to this invader's campsite, likely not.

WALSH (voice-over): Nadezhda said the Russians first hit the graveyard with an airstrike and then moved in.

NADEZHDA KALINICHENKO, IZYUM RESIDENT (through translator): We tried not to go out because it was scary where they brought their special machines. They dug some trenches for their vehicles. We only heard how they were destroying the forest.

When they left, I don't know if there was fighting or not. We just heard a lot of heavy trucks one night a week ago.

WALSH (voice-over): We saw multiple refrigerated lorries leaving town but we were asked not to film the contents of this one. Part of where the history of Russia's brutal occupation will be written and nothing can wash this site clean -- Nick Paton Walsh, CNN, Izyum, Ukraine.


(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) BRUNHUBER: And we're joined now by Oleksandra Matviichuk, the leader of the Center for Civil Liberties in Ukraine and she's speaking with us from Kyiv.

Thanks so much for being here with us. The details, as we just heard there, are still emerging. But from what we've seen so far it points to potentially more horrors from this war.

OLEKSANDRA MATVIICHUK, KYIV-BASED HUMAN RIGHTS LAWYER: Russia did arrest civilians in occupied territories. We see the same pattern Kyiv region, Chernihiv region, Soma region and other regions where Russians were. And now we're documenting the same war crimes on those territories. Only in Izyum, six torture chambers were found of a national polistalt (ph).

BRUNHUBER: Yes, it's just really sad to see this. I mean, one image was particularly haunting: a body wearing a bracelet with the colors of the Ukrainian flag. Now we've chosen not to show this picture. It is very disturbing. But I know, for you, for other Ukrainians, it was particularly poignant.

MATVIICHUK: Yes. And will just say prescient (ph) and I want to say that it doesn't matter what color it is because like, each people who love their country, can feel the same, when you have -- when you will be killed only because you love your country.

BRUNHUBER: Now we don't know exactly what happened here. We know that the U.N. will investigate.

Do you have any insight into how investigators will determine whether war crimes had been committed here and what role you want from international organizations in this investigation?

MATVIICHUK: This occupation lasted for a half of year, So we have to provide a forensic expertise and understand what was the cause of each death and whether or not the people who are dead were tortured or subjected to sexual violence before their deaths.

So it's very important work and we will see the result. But (INAUDIBLE), we spoke with locals. And locals talked about kidnapping of civilians, about tortures of civilians, about extrajudicial deaths of civilians, which was made by Russians.

BRUNHUBER: Yes, as this counter offensive has gained momentum and more and more cities and towns have been liberated, just like you've been telling me there, what other stories have you been hearing about oppression of those under Russian rule of people, who are now free to speak?

MATVIICHUK: My colleague from this region told that he spoke with a man. And this man told that he was forced to dig a grave for killed civilians. But once again, we need to collect all information, to verify all information. And then we -- and other stakeholders --

[03:15:00] MATVIICHUK: -- like the U.N. Commissioner on Human Rights, national investigative bodies, will make the final results what happened on this territory. But just to see what we see for the current moment, the hell (ph) what's happened on this territory.

BRUNHUBER: You've written about how it's not just Ukrainians who are being pressed by Russia; it's also some members of the Russian army, indigenous peoples, who are being forced to fight for Russia. Explain what you mean by that.

MATVIICHUK: Russia started the to force the mobilizations of the occupied territories of Ukraine and this is a clear war crime. They engaged people in the Luhansk and Donetsk region and obliged them to go and to fight with their native country. And this is a very cynical policy, how to kill Ukrainians.

BRUNHUBER: I want to ask you before we go, as the momentum for this counter offensive increases, as Vladimir Putin gets perhaps more and more desperate, do you think he might turn more increasingly to desperate measures, to the detriment of the Ukrainian people?

MATVIICHUK: For me, it's all (INAUDIBLE) the tactics of Russia. It will be militaristic (ph) tactics. When Russia army was defeated and withdrawn from Kharkiv region in response and in revenge (ph), Russia attacks by their missiles, their electric power plant and deprived the Kharkiv without electricity and water.

And I expected a very hard winter without electricity, water, light, heating under Russian shellings, because they will obviously destroyed their objects of critical civilian infrastructure.

BRUNHUBER: Listen, we have to leave it there but we really appreciate your expertise. Oleksandra Matviichuk, thank you very much for talking to us.


BRUNHUBER: Migrants who traveled to the U.S. for asylum and safety picked up and flown thousands of miles to the north by Republican leaders. We'll have details on the latest controversial move in just a few moments. Stay with us.





BRUNHUBER: Some Republican governors in the U.S. are vowing to send more migrants from states at the southern border to northern cities run by Democrats.

Florida governor Ron DeSantis flew dozens of Venezuelan migrants from Texas to Martha's Vineyard in Massachusetts on Thursday, apparently without notifying officials there. The migrants have since been taken to a military base for shelter and humanitarian support.

The flights took off from San Antonio, Texas, stopped to refuel in Crestview, Florida, before continuing onto Massachusetts. It's similar to the move started by Texas Republican governor, who has sent thousands of migrants by buses to northern cities. Now the Republicans say they're protesting President Biden's immigration policies that failed to secure the border. CNN's Ed Lavandera has more on the political fallout.


ED LAVANDERA, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): While residents of Martha's Vineyard hugged and cared for a group of about 50 Venezuelan migrants sent to the island from Texas on chartered planes, courtesy of Florida's Republican governor Ron DeSantis, a group of Venezuelan and Latino activists gathered in Miami to lash out.

ADELYS FERRO, DIRECTOR, VENEZUELAN AMERICAN CAUCUS: He has to stop. We demand him to stop using our pain, our suffering and our desperation for his political games.

JUAN-CARLOS PLANAS, FORMER FLORIDA STATE REPRESENTATIVE: This was a publicity stunt that is the lowest common denominator of human decency.

LAVANDERA (voice-over): Juan-Carlos Planas is the son of Cuban exiles and a former Republican State Representative from Miami. He says at this point, it's not clear yet if DeSantis has angered the reliably Republican political base of Cubans and Venezuelans in Florida.

PLANAS: From what I've heard on Cuban radio today, they haven't mentioned it, which is probably the fact that they don't know how to deal with it. So there probably will be a negative side to this. This may be the step too far.

LAVANDERA (voice-over): Governor DeSantis vows to keep as many migrants out of Florida as possible through his relocation program.

DESANTIS: I've got $12 million for us to use and so we are going to use it and you're going to see more and more but I'm going to make sure that we exhaust all of those funds.

LAVANDERA (voice-over): Florida is home to the largest populations of Cuban and Venezuelan immigrants fleeing socialist dictatorships but there are deep political divisions in these communities.

PLANAS: There are, you know, Venezuelans who are hardcore Trump supporters, they're called the MAGAzuelans and basically, these are folks that that believe that there should be a hard line on everything.

LAVANDERA (voice-over): For several months, Texas Governor Greg Abbott has put more than 11,000 migrants on some 250 buses, with some going to cities with Democratic leaders like Washington, D.C., Chicago and New York.

Texas Division of Emergency Management figures show, it has cost the state more than $12 million.

Abbott has repeatedly appeared on FOX News to showcase the busing program.

GOV. GREG ABBOTT (R-TX): Most of America has not really understood the magnitude of the problem that we have on the border until we started sending these buses up to New York.

PONCHO NEVAREZ, FORMER TEXAS STATE REPRESENTATIVE: For any politician that uses this issue in the way these two gentlemen have, it is the worst kind of cynicism that we have in politics today.


LAVANDERA (voice-over): Poncho Nevarez is a former Democratic state representative from the Texas border town of Eagle Pass. His home overlooks the Rio Grande into Mexico.

Nevarez says if there is a political price to pay for these political stunts, Abbott and DeSantis haven't experienced it yet.

LAVANDERA: There are a lot of people who criticize Abbott

and DeSantis and say what they're doing is inhumane and not right. But do you think for the average voter out there, it matters?

NEVAREZ: I think it may not.

LAVANDERA (voice-over): A University of Texas and Texas Politics Project poll this week found that Abbott's busing of migrants has about 52 percent support among Texas voters, including 50 percent support among Independent voters.

NEVAREZ: The response that they got was exactly what they wanted, which is what are you doing?

Why are you sending them here?

And it looks like the border town. That's what they wanted and they got it.

LAVANDERA (voice-over): And the governors of Texas and Florida say they will continue to do more of the same -- Ed Lavandera, CNN, Dallas.



BRUNHUBER: President Biden has criticized the Republican officials for, quote, "playing politics with human beings." The White House press secretary is comparing them to human smugglers. Listen to this.


KARINE JEAN-PIERRE, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: These vulnerable migrants were reportedly misled about where they were heading; promised shelter, refuge benefits, and more. These are the kinds of tactics we see from smugglers in places like Mexico and Guatemala.

And for what, a photo op?

Because these governors care more about creating political theater than creating actual solutions to help folks who are fleeing communism, to help children, to help families. Instead, they want to do political stunts.


BRUNHUBER: And Vice President Kamala Harris is also calling the Republican governors' actions political stunts. On Thursday, the Texas governor sent two busloads of migrants to the vice president's residence in Washington, D.C.

Harris says, quote, "I think it is the height of irresponsibility, much less -- just frankly a dereliction of duty when you're an elected leader to play those kinds of games with human lives and human beings."

The U.S. Justice Department is asking that parts of an order relating to documents seized from former president Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate be put on hold. The request filed Friday night asks the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals to exclude classified documents from a special master assessment and to allow its criminal investigation to proceed.

On Thursday the district judge Aileen Cannon rejected a similar request, casting doubt that the materials were actually classified. The DOJ said in its filing that she disregarded evidence about the risks to national security.

It also argued that this isn't a court matter because of the potential for disclosure of classified information and because the documents belong to the U.S. government and aren't Mr. Trump's personal records. The new filing fast-tracks the dispute and raises the possibility that the U.S. Supreme Court will weigh in.

All right, much more to come here on CNN. I'll speak live with an expert about the security preparations underway for Queen Elizabeth's funeral. Stay with us.





BRUNHUBER: Welcome back. I'm Kim Brunhuber and this is CNN NEWSROOM.

Central London is filled with people hoping to pay their final respects to Queen Elizabeth this hour. Authorities have shut down the miles-long queue multiple times. It's largely remained at or near capacity.

In the coming hours, the queen's eight grandchildren will hold a vigil around her coffin. Authorities say more than 2,000 officers will be deployed in Windsor for the queen's burial on Monday. And London police say there will be a huge presence in the city. Highly visible officers will line many parts of the funeral route.


BRUNHUBER: Will Geddes is the managing director for the security company International Corporate Protection, he joins us from London.

Thanks so much for being here with us.

So first just are you surprised by the number of people who are willing to wait, you know, 24 hours in a queue to pay their respects?

I think they expect some 2 million people, all told.

WILL GEDDES, MANAGING DIRECTOR, INTERNATIONAL CORPORATE PROTECTION: Yes, I mean, it's quite extraordinary. But this is a quite unprecedented event in terms of the passing of Her Royal Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

She was much loved and she was very much the standard bearer for all royals and pretty much the standard bearer for the royals to come and certainly for King Charles. So you know, I'm not entirely surprised by those that have waited incredibly patiently. But as far, as we've seen so far, it's been a pretty successful security and police operation.

BRUNHUBER: You say it's an unprecedented event; unprecedented in terms of a security standpoint as well. I understand the city's biggest security challenge since World War II, so talk to me about the scope of the security forces that are arrayed here.

GEDDES: You say since World War II. I would say it's probably bigger than that. I don't think we've seen anything quite as large and quite as multifaceted as what we're seeing right now --


GEDDES: -- and have done over this week, right up until the funeral the beginning of next. Perhaps the way to compare it would be to combine the 2012 Olympics, all the royal weddings, the London marathon and many events all on particularly a week.

And what's particularly challenging for the authorities -- and there are many different strands, from the security services, MI-5; the secret intelligence services MI-6; GTHQ (ph) that monitor all cyber and cellular traffic, and Metropolitan Police who are holding the primacy of protection within the palace of Westminster.

That also includes many other stewards and anybody who's been walking through London or has seen some of the recent footage will see that on every day there are 10,000 police officers deployed. And in addition in support to that, about 1,500 military personnel as

well. We are under the world's spotlight right now. And all of those people, working all those different agencies, know we need to get it right.

BRUNHUBER: Yes, a massive apparatus, as I said -- as you say. But I'm curious about the fixated threat assessment center. It's an unusual unit. Explain what they do and what role they have now.

GEDDES: Well, I've worked alongside this team. And they are a specialist team that operate within the Metropolitan Police. And they deal with the threat management of individuals that are commonly or in most common parlance would be called the stalkers.

And these are people who are fixated with members of the royal family. And there's been a number of incidents we've had over the years on intrusions and incursions into Buckingham Palace. Michael Fagan being one very perfect example of an individual fixated with Her Majesty.

And got as far as sitting on the side of her bed in the middle of the night. And the queen herself, Queen Elizabeth, charming and talking to him until the footmen could arrive obviously and remove him.

But we saw an example perhaps of that fixated attitude or the types of individuals that the fixated unit are working against; 10:00 pm last night from those individuals that had queued to see Her Majesty lying in state, who had made a rush for the standard bearer, which is the Royal Standard, which is the flag right next to the coffin.

And he got as far as touching the coffin. But the footage that I've seen circulating showed that obviously the military and the police dealt with it beautifully.

BRUNHUBER: Yes, just some extreme situations that they have to deal with, one of them being all the foreign dignitaries who will be arriving. I think some 70 of them, each with their own needs, with their own specifications.

How do you mesh and coordinate their security demands with the existing infrastructure?

GEDDES: As you can probably imagine, incredibly difficult. I've looked after a number of former heads of state and a few foreign royal families and quite often, on a state visit or on a particular gathering, it will only be perhaps only for a day or two.

With this immense number of heads of state and former heads of state which will be attending and flying into the United Kingdom, most of them will have to fall, obviously, within the protective directions of the Metropolitan Police.

However, there are three exceptions to that rule; one being obviously President Biden, the emperor of Japan and also the premier of Israel, who have been forwarded because of their heightened potential threat levels, with their own ability to utilize their own security teams. Obviously in President Biden's case, he's using the U.S. Secret

Service detail. But everyone else has to fall within the security bubble that the Metropolitan Police will provide.

And that security bubble will also involve many of them traveling together in the journey management (ph) to the funeral ceremony on Monday, is going to be quite a complex project.

But by moving them all in minibuses together -- and we've seen this before on Harry and Meghan's wedding, William and Kate's wedding and on other occasions. It's a way for them to insulate and control the security of those heads of state until they've left the country.

BRUNHUBER: Yes, an unprecedented situation. Let's hope it all goes smoothly. Will Geddes, thank you so much for your expertise in this. Really appreciate it. Thanks so much.

GEDDES: Thank you.


BRUNHUBER: And coverage of the queen's funeral begins on Monday right here on CNN. That's at 6:00 am in New York, 11:00 in the morning in London.

Well, after humiliating defeats on the battlefield, Moscow faces new setbacks on the diplomatic stage. We'll have details on India's stunning rebuke of Russia's president coming up. Stay with us.





BRUNHUBER: The leader of one of Russia's most important trading partners has openly rebuked Vladimir Putin over the war in Ukraine.

During a televised meeting in Uzbekistan, India's prime minister Narendra Modi said now is not the time for war. It's the latest public sign that Russia's partners are questioning the invasion. Earlier this week, Putin acknowledged that China's leader also had concerns about the war. Ivan Watson is joining me with more.

So after getting lukewarm support from president Xi, the meeting with Modi didn't go as well as Putin might have hoped, is that fair to say?

IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, we did not see Putin in this time, where his military has just suffered some pretty serious setbacks in the Ukraine war.


WATSON: We did not hear a resounding show of support in this military adventure from either Narendra Modi, the prime minister of India, nor his close friend, Xi Jinping, the president of China.

Both of these leaders of enormous countries that have deep economic relationships with Moscow are clearly concerned about the conduct of this disasters conflict, so much so that Putin said it himself in meetings with both Xi Jinping and with Narendra Modi. Listen to what he said to the Indian prime minister.


VLADIMIR PUTIN, PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA (through translator): I know that your position on the conflict in Ukraine and I know about your concerns. I know of -- that you share these concerns. And we want all of this to end as soon as possible.

But the other party, the leadership of Ukraine, has claimed that they refuse to engage in negotiation process.


WATSON: Of course for Ukraine's part, it would argue, Russia launched the invasion in the first place and needs to end its occupation of Ukrainian territories and destruction of Ukrainian cities and towns.

But moving on, the Indian prime minister, in his comments on camera, was talking about the need for a path of peace and saying this should not be an era of war.

So the Vladimir Putin that we've seen in years past, who is known for his swagger, who is known for doing things like making other heads of state wait for him for photo ops in front of the assembled press, he seemed to be on the back foot here.

Speaking more humbly, being forced to wait for other leaders, like the president of Kyrgyzstan, like the prime minister of Turkiye, for them to show up later than him in front of the cameras and also signaling that certainly New Delhi and Beijing are uncomfortable and uneasy with this terrible conflict.

BRUNHUBER: An interesting development. Ivan Watson in Hong Kong, thank you so much.

Right now, Alaska is being hit by possibly the strongest storm in more than a decade. We're live in the weather center right after the break. Stay with us.





BRUNHUBER: Parts of Alaska are now being battered by what could be the strongest storm to hit the state in more than a decade. The National Weather Service warns that some areas along the coast may experience the worst flooding in nearly 50 years.

The storm is what is left of typhoon Merbok. Flood warnings and high wind warnings are now in effect.


BRUNHUBER: The American Library Association says efforts to censor books in U.S. schools, universities and libraries are growing. And so are challenges to the bans.

The association says there have been 681 attempts to ban library resources in the first eight months of the year. Brooklyn Public Library has launched a books unbanned effort to push back on the bans --


BRUNHUBER: -- by giving thousands of electronic library cards to young people nationwide. The association says the books most likely to be banned in the U.S. deal with race, sexual identity and gender.

Soon the chandelier will crash for the last time. The music of the night will go silent and the phantom won't be haunting the Broadway stage anymore. The curtain will fall on Andrew Lloyd Webber's "Phantom of the Opera" in February.

The longest running show on New York's Great White Way has been performed 13,000 times and turns 35 in January. The closing is blamed on ticket sales that never reached pre-pandemic levels. Other productions will go on in London, Australia and China.

And that wraps this hour of CNN NEWSROOM. I'll be back in a moment with more news. Please stay with us.