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Putin And Xi Pledge To Expand Ties In Show Of Unity In Moscow; Crowd Clashes With Police Over Government Reform By Decree; Boris Johnson To Be Quizzed By Lawmakers Over Claims He Misled Parliament; Uganda Passes A Law Making It A Crime To Identify As LGBTQ. Aired 1-2a ET

Aired March 22, 2023 - 01:00   ET




JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone, I'm John Vause, you're watching CNN Newsroom. Ahead this hour, Xi Jingping proclaims China's relationship with Russia is crucial to the world order after his summit in Moscow. This comes as U.S. fast track delivery of tanks and the Patriot missile defense system to Ukraine. And state sponsored bigotry. A new law and Uganda makes it a crime to identify as LGBTQ.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Live from CNN Center, this is CNN Newsroom with John Vause.

VAUSE: China and Russia have wrapped up a three-day love fest in Moscow on the surface matters a show of unity and deepening ties between both countries. But Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping have also used these talks supposes peacemakers, telling us suppose plan to end the war in Ukraine. That plan presented by Beijing calls for negotiations and a ceasefire, but critically, no requirement for Moscow to withdraw forces from Ukraine.

To make any sense of most of what was said during these two met, by these two men during the past couple of days requires a willing suspension of disbelief. And the U.S. says their peace plan is nothing more than excuse for Putin to buy time to press on with his war of choice.

On Tuesday, Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping signed a joint declaration and deepening their partnership. Xi says he built a close relationship with Putin and that relations between Russia and China are crucial to the world order.

Later, they raised a glass of a toast at a steak dinner where Putin declared relations between the two countries at the highest point ever. And when it was time to say goodbye, Xi told Putin they should put forward changes quote, that have not happened for 100 years, whatever that means. CNN's Selina Wang has more now reporting in from Beijing.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) SELINA WANG, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voiceover): Russia's Vladimir Putin rolling out the red carpet for his quote dear friend, Chinese leader Xi Jinping greeting each other for their second day of meetings in Moscow. Despite skepticism from the West that the visit is more about supporting Russia and furthering Beijing's own self-interests, Putin and Xi signing an economic deal deepening their partnership and calling for an end to actions that increase tensions in the prolonged war in Ukraine.

VLADIMIR PUTIN, RUSSIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): Of course, we did not ignore the situation around Ukraine. We believe that many of the points on the peace plan put forward by China are consistent with Russian approaches and can be taken as the basis of a peaceful settlement when the West and Kyiv are ready for it. But this readiness is not observed on their side.

WANG: Since the war began, Russia has become far more dependent on China. China has been propping up Russia's economy amid Western sanctions by purchasing its energy, replacing Western suppliers and electronics, cars and aircraft and providing an alternative to the U.S. dollar.

Xi is inviting Putin to China this year and told Putin they share similar goals. Putin says Russia has closely studied Beijing's peace proposal for Ukraine. A plan that Washington says would solidify Russia's grip on occupied land,

STEVE TSANG, DIRECTOR, SOAS CHINA INSTITUTE, UNIVERSITY OF LONDON: China would not want to see Putin fail, it would set a terrible example for the Chinese system.

WANG: China and Russia have a complicated history. But their shared adversarial relationship with Washington is driving them closer.


WANG: In Russia there's some cynicism about Beijing's motives on a Russian state TV talk show. This military pundit said China can have only one ally China itself. China can only have one set of interests, pro Chinese ones. Chinese foreign policy is utterly devoid of altruism.

But Chinese media is in overdrive touting the benefits of the Russia- China relationship. And it's all positive comments on China's heavily censored social media. This one says cooperation and win-win, the next one says long live China, Russia friendship disagreements, if any are censored.

By meeting with Putin, Xi wants to highlight his role as a global statesman that can offer an alternative to the current world order. Selina Wang, CNN, Beijing.


VAUSE: Live now to Hong Kong, CNN's Kristie Lu Stout. So, you know, we know they've obviously they're very close. They're very good friends. We know now that now. It's been (INAUDIBLE) for the world to see, and a bromance, which has been quite stunning.


But at the end of the day, what does it mean for the war in Ukraine? Well, we know if there'll be any change here is anything we'd said behind closed doors but we don't know about.

KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: No, I mean, we only can report on what's been reported through Russian state media, Chinese state media, what our cameras were able to pick up. And yes, their chumminess was on full display. But what these two leaders are calling for is not acceptable to Ukraine, or to the rest, much of the rest of the world.

So on Moscow, we heard from Xi Jinping, and from Vladimir Putin and they posed as these peace break -- brokers and they were putting up this peace plan that China had put forward for peace in Ukraine and a plan that calls for ceasefire and talks but does not include any calls for Russia to withdraw from occupied territory. It was drawn up without any involvement from Ukraine. And it's a plan that's been roundly criticized again and again by the West, including the U.S. and NATO.

And overnight, we heard from the Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who said that a ceasefire, which is called for in this plan is not in Ukraine's interest.

Now in addition to the overtures that we heard from Moscow for peace, Xi Jinping and Putin, they emphasize their ever deepening relationship in a very big way. At the start of Tuesday, state dinner, the two leaders raised glasses to toast and Putin proclaimed that Russian- Chinese relations are at the highest point ever. We also heard from Xi who touted their ever closing economic ties. Take a listen.


XI JINPING, CHINESE PRESIDENT (through translator): We have signed a joint statement to deepen our comprehensive partnership and strategic engagement as we enter a new era and a joint statement on the development plan for key areas of Chinese-Russian economic cooperation for the period up to 2030.


LU STOUT: Since the invasion, Russia and China have been edging closer on all fronts, especially economically with China buying Russian energy softening the impact of Western sanctions. Putin says that Russia is ready to increase uninterrupted oil supplies to China. He points out that Russia is the fourth largest supplier of liquefied gas to China, and that supply will grow.

Putin also said that Moscow will support Chinese businesses who have swooped in and replacing Western enterprises that left Russia. Now there will likely be another meeting, Xi Jinping invited Vladimir Putin to make another visit to China this year. And separately we heard from a senior Ukrainian official tells CNN that talks are underway for a possible Xi-Zelenskyy call, but nothing has been locked in. John.

VAUSE: Yes, so we had Xi Jinping there in Moscow. We had another Asian leader, though also in Ukraine. And this was interesting -- let's split screen moment here. If you wanted to know where Japan stood with in the war in Ukraine, if you wonder where China's stood with war in Ukraine, said, look what was happening today. We had the Prime Minister of Japan in Kyiv and we had, you know, Xi Jinping in Moscow. How does China (ph) respond to this visit by the Japanese Prime Minister?

LU STOUT: You know, it's interesting how you put it was a split screen moment when you had these two parallel summits taking place on the same day with two Asian leaders. You have China's Xi Jinping in Moscow. You had Japan's Fumio Kishida in Kyiv for that surprise, an anticipated visit to Ukraine, visiting Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Tuesday. The question was posed to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Beijing on Tuesday, and let's bring it up. This was the response according to the spokesman he said this, the international community needs to stick with the right path of promoting peace talks and to create conditions for the political settlement of the Ukraine crisis. Japan has hoped to do more things that can help de-escalate the situation not otherwise. Unquote.

These parallel visits underscore the deepening geopolitical divide here in Asia in the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Of course, Japan is a very close ally of the United States. And Fumio Kishida has been very vocal about his concerns in regards to Ukraine and the fate of that country with those comments that warning he issued last year saying Ukraine today may be East Asia tomorrow. Back to you.

VAUSE: Kristie, thank you. Kristie Lu Stout live in Hong Kong. Well, the seven-month long battle for the Ukrainian city of Bakhmut continues to see Ukrainian fighters holding defensive lines despite ongoing and increasing Russian attacks.

Ukrainian senior Army officer in the area says the Russians are losing their offensive potential as they try to capture the city at any cost. The head of Russians Wagner mercenaries says his forces now control but 70 percent of the city and independent NSO says parts of backward in Russian hands closer to 60 percent. While the Ukraine general says intense fighting is ongoing across the entire eastern front.

U.N. Human Rights Office reports more than 8,300 civilians have been killed and nearly 14,000 injured across Ukraine since the beginning of Russia's invasion more than a year ago. The agency says it believes the actual figures are much higher.

U.S. is accelerating the delivery of Abrams tanks and the Patriot missile defense system to Ukraine. The Pentagon will was initially sending -- oh it will now send it older refurbished models for the Americans main battle tank which means arrival time of September, October much earlier than initially planned.

[01:10:04] Defense Department officials have also been impressed by the Ukrainian soldiers training on the Patriot missile defense system in Oklahoma. The Pentagon says Ukrainian troops have been a quick study, their baseline knowledge of air defense systems has allowed the U.S. to significantly speed up the timeline.

Lieutenant General Mark Hertling is a CNN military analyst and the former commanding general of U.S. Army, Europe and Seventh Army. As always, it's good to see you.

LT. GEN. MARK HERTLING (RET.), CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Great to be with you again, John.

VAUSE: OK. So here's the Pentagon Secretary -- press secretary on the new timeline for the delivery of the Abrams tanks to Ukraine. Listen to this.


BRIG. GEN. PATRICK RYDER, PENTAGON PRESS SECRETARY: DOD in close coordination with Ukraine has made the decision to provide the M1A1 variant of the Abrams tank, which will enable us to significantly expedite delivery timelines, and deliver this important capability to Ukraine by the fall of this year.


VAUSE: The U.S. president made this announcement like January that 31 MA-2A Abrams would be sent and that could have taken up to two years for these tanks to be built from scratch. Has it really taken two months for someone depending on to say, hey, wait a minute, instead of selling brand new tanks to Ukraine, two years from now, perhaps a better idea would be to refurbish these existing holes from the stockpiles, and send those and have them there by you know, in a few months.

HERTLING: John, it's an interesting question. And a lot of people like me were pushing for the M1A1 Abrams, because it's a simpler tank. But there are some downsides to it, it doesn't have the firepower or the protection that the M1A2 does.

So, you know, I'm sure there are a lot of smart people that were saying, Hey, we really need to get more combat vehicles to Ukraine faster. Now, these tanks are not new. They're going to be a little bit worn out. They're older. They don't have the capability of the M1-A2 in terms of their logistic, well, primarily their fire control systems or their maintenance components, they take less, or they take more fuel.

So all of those things are contributing to the decision making. And again, Secretary Austin has always said, we want to get things as fast as possible to the Ukrainians and so that they can use them right now. Some smart people finally said, hey, the M1-A1 might be a better tool to have them use, although it's not going to be as good. It will give them the capability. VAUSE: Still, yes, delivery over, you know, deliver the good as opposed to wait for the great, I guess is one option, way of looking at it. But is this basically coming down to the fact that the Ukrainians are learning how to use these weapons, not just Abram tanks, but also the Patriot defense missile system as well, a lot faster than many anticipated.

HERTLING: Well, the Patriots a different story. Now, you know, I'm going to pull on that thread for a second. There were 65 soldiers that were sent to Fort Sill, Oklahoma to train on the patriot. What was different and what -- then what was expected is all of these soldiers were not new Ukrainian soldiers. They were old air defenders. So they had the capability to start at a higher level than what was anticipated.

In addition to that the trainers at Fort Sill, the U.S. Army trainers adapted their program a whole lot faster when they saw, hey, they're teaching soldiers that know the theory and practice of air defense. And it's not going to be as hard to start from the basics.

So, you're talking about 60 soldiers there. When you're talking about a tank battalion, you're not only talking about that tankers the four members of each crew of the 31 tanks that are being provided, but also the entire logistics and maintenance and support system for these vehicles.

VAUSE: One of the reasons for the urgency of the delivery of the battle tanks because of the Russian spring offensive, you know, they're very concerned about that moving forward. But the Institute for the Study of War Washington think tank has this assessment. The overall Russian spring offensive is likely approach in combination, and Russian forces may be intensifying efforts to make even marginal gains before they lose initiative to Ukraine.

Here's the question. Did it ever even get started? Or did the battlefield group simply don't believe the Russian forces of manpower material?

HERTLING: I think the Russians attempted to create an offensive much faster. And this is the thing that boggles my mind, truthfully, John, is that the Russians did start earlier. They started in the wintertime. They started when their forces were not prepared and were not equipped and they still hadn't resupplied them.

This is a lesson they should have learned last February, but they're learning it again this January and February and I'll counter what the ISW said and say I think the Russians have already culminated. They are going on the defensive. They can't conduct any more offensive operations.

In the meantime, the Ukrainian forces have marshal their forces, have trained their people, have received new equipment and have conducted an intelligence preparation of the battlefield. In other words, where are they going to attack with a monumental effort.

[01:15:00] So I think we'll see a spring effect offensive from the Ukrainian forces in a relatively short period as soon as they get all of their trained forces out of Germany and Portugal and the U.K., where they've been training for the last several weeks.

VAUSE" And both the U.S. and the E.U. have announced major plans for shipments of ammunition to Ukraine. At the same time, Russian stockpiles, I believe they're already critically low as well. So if Putin is unable to get help from China, which seems to be on the agenda, at least, what are his other options now?

HERTLING: Well as other options is, is to try and use dual technology use from China getting the microchips. But interestingly enough, John, and this wasn't reported much today. But there was a major strike of Ukrainian drones on a rail crossing within Crimea, which allegedly destroyed quite a few of the guided missiles of the Russian force.

So you're talking about the Ukrainian ability not only to hit and destroy more and more Russian capabilities, but also the Russians running out while they're desperately trying to get their allies read that being China and Iran to deliver the goods.

VAUSE: General Hertling, as always, thank you for your time and your insights. Sir, thank you.

HERTLING: Thanks, John.

VAUSE: A sixth consecutive night of protests across France of the government's plan to raise the retirement age from 62 to 64.

Hundreds of demonstrators clashed with police in Paris, piles of garbage were also set on fire. In the coming hours, President Emmanuel Macron will appear on television for an interview over the controversial legislation. Meantime, unions are calling for a ninth day of nationwide strikes and protests.

New York grand jury is expected to be back at work in the coming hours investigating Donald Trump's alleged hush money payment to the adult film star Stormy Daniels. Despite Trump's prediction of an indictment and arrest, protests outside the office of the Manhattan district attorney were small on Tuesday, and now the former president is facing an even bigger legal problem in another case. Details on that with CNN Evan Perez.


EVAN PEREZ, CNN SENIOR U.S. JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT (on camera): A federal judge has ruled that former President Donald Trump use one of his defense attorneys in furtherance of a crime or fraud related to existence of classified documents at Mar-a-Lago.

Sources tells CNN that the ruling from Judge Beryl Howell makes clear for the first time that the Justice Department is arguing that Trump himself may have committed a crime. And Judge Howell believes that prosecutors have met the burden to require Trump's attorney Evan Corcoran to testify to a grand jury, meaning he can't claim attorney client privilege to broadly decline to answer questions from prosecutors.

Sources say Howell in her sealed ruling determined the prosecutors were able to show Corcoran's illegal services were used in furtherance of a crime. The Justice Department is still seeking Corcoran's testimony after he cited attorney client privilege, as well as testimony from another Trump lawyer, Jennifer Little, CNN has learned.

Trump's lawyers have sought emergency intervention from the appeals court. Three judges from the DC Circuit Court of Appeals have moved very quickly to respond as they're still considering whether the put the decision from Howell on hold. Evan Perez, CNN, Washington.


VAUSE: Authorities in Ecuador have opened a terrorism investigation after explosive devices were sent to these five journalists. A TV reporter suffered minor injuries when a memory stick detonated after you plugged it into his laptop. The government said in his statement, it categorically rejects all types of violent acts perpetrated against the media.

The party gate scandal cost Boris Johnson the sport of many in Britain, who were infuriated over parties held at Number 10 during COVID locked out and now he's facing tough questions from lawmakers did he mislead parliament, he doesn't notice, next. Also, a powerful deadly earthquake hits Afghanistan and Pakistan causing landslides and damaging homes.



VAUSE: It's been 197 days since Boris Johnson stepped down as British prime minister. But in the coming hours, he'll be back in the spotlight to face hours of televised questioning that might just determine his political future. He'll be asked about the so called partygate scandal and whether he misled Parliament about parties held while the U.K. was under severe COVID 19 locked out.

In written testimony, Johnson said it is clear from that investigation that there is no evidence at all that supports the allegation that I intentionally or recklessly misled the house.

If (INAUDIBLE) find Johnson's deceptions were deliberate, he could be suspended from the House of Commons and potentially lose his seat in Parliament. More details now from Bianca Nobilo.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. Johnson, you made the rules. Surely you must have known that they were being broken.

BIANCA NOBILO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voiceover): Boris Johnson out of office but not the spotlight. The former prime minister to be grilled on live television by a panel of lawmakers on this scandal that destroyed his premiership, partygate. KEIR STARMER, BRITISH LABOUR PARTY LEADER: The hubris and arrogance of a government but believed it was Ron Wolf (ph) put them on another roll for everyone else.

NOBILO: Johnson will once again have to answer questions about these damning photos, evidence that he and members of his government attended gatherings within 10 Downing Street while the country was under COVID-19 restrictions.

As the allegations hit the British press Johnson categorically denied any rules were broken.

BORIS JOHNSON, FORMER BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: All guidance was followed complete. I certainly break their rules. All their guidelines were observed. There was no party.

NOBILO: But Johnson was forced to apologize after an internal report showed rule breaking did occur and he was fined by the Metropolitan Police.

JOHNSON: I take full responsibility for everything that took place on my watch.

NOBILO: Now the key question being considered is whether Johnson deliberately misled Parliament when he was Prime Minister. If found guilty, Johnson could be suspended as a member of parliament potentially triggering a by election where he could lose his seat, stymieing his efforts to grow his reputation as an international statesman or return to frontline politics.

Johnson maintains he did not intentionally mislead parliament and has submitted a dossier in his defense where he claims the inquiry is highly partisan. His supporters say that he'll be vindicated and they see it as an opportunity to clear his name. But Wednesday is a make or break moment for Boris Johnson's turbulent political career and legacy. One his critics hope will snuff out any chance of a political comeback. Bianca Nobilo, CNN London.


VAUSE: Anyone who identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender in Uganda can now face up to 20 years in prison. Parliament passed the door on Tuesday and since we state sponsored bigotry. CNN's Larry Madowo has more.


LARRY MADOWO, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voiceover): Ugandan MPs 389 of them just passed the anti-homosexuality bill 2023. It now goes to President Museveni to sign it. And it's been described as one of the most strict anti-gay laws anywhere in Africa probably anywhere in the world.

I wanted to read for you a specific section of this bill that criminalizes not just same sex acts but even identifying as gay, lesbian, queer, transgender, any of those identifications is now criminal in Uganda if this act that's been passed by Parliament is assented to by President Museveni is even the name itself is a dead giveaway the anti-homosexuality bill 2023.

And in a long session in the Ugandan Parliament, there was very rowdy debate, sometimes homophobic, sometimes ignorant, oftentimes using very dangerous rhetoric against people who identify as LGBT in the country, and it's unlikely that President Museveni wants to send to it because he's called homosexual people in the country deviance. Listen.


YOWENI MUSEVENI, UGANDAN PRESIDENT: The homosexuals are deviations from the normal. The western countries should stop wasting the time of humanity by trying to impose their practices on other peoples.

MADOWO: This anti-homosexuality bill in Uganda -- so I ran a moment of bipartisanship and then again in Parliament, it was moved by an opposition MP Osman Rosaliwa (ph), but it was supported by MPs across the aisle, many of them from President Museveni's NRM party and from other parties in Parliament.

They appear to conflates homosexuality with grooming, with pedophilia and appear to use all these words interchangeably at least the intentions and that is why it's got lots of popular support not just in Parliament, but within many Ugandans, which is a very religious nation, because as long as you say that homosexuals groom children that they are pedophiles, then you can see why that quickly translates across the country. And now it's up to President Museveni who is likely to sign it into law.


VAUSE: And we had this ad, Ugandan lawmakers have amended the bill to include the death penalty for some cases involving homosexuality. Uganda is not alone in this discrimination. All in 30 African nations have banned same sex relations.

At least 11 people have died including two children after a powerful earthquake struck in a remote area in northeast Afghanistan Tuesday, dozens more were hurt. Tremors from the 6.5 magnitude quake also fell in Pakistan and India.


JAMAL RASHID, STUDENT: The intensity was so high it felt like something is shaking very rapidly and the sound of rattle still haunting my ears right now.

REHAN RASHID, STUDENT (through translator): Women were calling for Allah and the men were running quickly. They were not slowing down for anyone. Even for the children who were almost crushed under people's feet. Women were following, the elderly too.

ABRAR, SALESMAN (through translator): We were waiting for customers when suddenly it felt that the earth was shaking. I thought it's only me who was feeling vertigo, I could not figure out what was happening. (END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: The quake triggered landslides which blocked roads in parts of Pakistan, internal cause cracks in homes as far away as Islamabad the capitol.

Still to come here on CNN Newsroom, Vladimir Putin warning U.K. against providing certain types of ammunition to Ukraine. His reasons for this and the U.K.'s response, just ahead.



VAUSE: Welcome back everyone. I'm John Vause. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM.

The first (ph) day of talks between Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping has ended in Moscow for the supposed peace plan put forward by China's leader to end the war in Ukraine. The plan ridiculed by the West as nothing more than a one-sided deal that would give the Russian president cover to continue with his war of choice.

Putin also made reference during those meetings to Britain's plan to send ammunition containing depleted uranium to Ukraine. And the Russian leader warned Britain not to do so.


VLADIMIR PUTIN, RUSSIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): Today, we found out that Great Britain, through its deputy defense secretary to (INAUDIBLE) not only the delivery of tanks but also shells with enriched uranium. It looks like the West has really decided to fight Russia to the last Ukrainian, not only in words but in deeds. I would like to note that if this is to happen, Russia will be forced to react accordingly.


VAUSE: In response to that, the British defense ministry said quote, "The British Army has used depleted uranium in its armor piercing shells for decades. It is a standard component and has nothing to do with nuclear weapons or capabilities. Russia knows this but is deliberately trying to disinform.

CNN's Nic Robertson has been following the developments. He has more now on the meetings in Moscow, reporting in from London.


NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Yes, the highest point ever in the relationship between China and Russia is how President Putin put it. President Xi talking about strengthening and deepening the relationship, talking to business terms of, you know, working together from science to agriculture, from manufacturing of cars and airplanes, across pharmaceuticals. So a real idea there to strengthen the economic link President Putin talking about building more roads including a train network, improving border crossing. But he comes in to all of this the weaker partner.

He needs this financial support from China and China for President Xi's part can get some good deals here. Historically, he's been able to do that when Putin is weak.

Putin needs the economic boost from this because he's facing international sanctions. It will allow him to continue to fight the war in Ukraine. He wants weapons from China. That's what Jen Stoltenberg, the NATO secretary-general has said, no clues (ph) but he's getting them.

But if that was part of the behind-the-scenes discussion, it certainly wasn't made public that that was another narrative that emerged here which wouldn't seem to particularly if you're in Ukraine's shoes or supporters of Ukraine, NATO, the United States, would seem to use inverted logic.

The peace plan for Ukraine that President Xi talked about he said upholding the U.N. Charter. President Putin talking about how it's their rights that are being violated, that China and Russia are the one's that are going to uphold the U.N. principles of democracy when from Ukraine's perspective, and many countries' perspective it would seem odd that neither Putin nor Xi mentioned that it was Russia's unprovoked, illegal, massive invasion of Ukraine that started the war.

So Putin's and Xi's analysis of how this peace plan could work very well, Putin was saying he agrees with much of what President Xi was putting forward.

But in terms of how they frame as upholding the values of the United nations, it really seems to be a peace plan but it's totally one-sided and not something that's going to advance the situation with Ukraine any time in the near future.

Nic Robertson, CNN -- London.


VAUSE: Something of a sigh of relief from Wall Street as U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said the federal government would guarantee deposits held by smaller banks if the banking meltdown continues.

Let's take a look at how markets are reacting to that news. As you can see, green across the board there in Asia, the Nikkei up almost 2 percent. Hong Kong Hang Seng up by more than 1.5 percent. Shanghai just about flat. Still closed up by over 1 percent.

And in the United States, the Dow gained more than 300 points, happy days are here again. The S&P finished up one and a third percent. The Nasdaq added more than 1.5 percent.

Janet Yellen says Treasury efforts will help the entire financial sector.


JANET YELLEN, U.S. TREASURY SECRETARY: The steps we took were not focused on aiding specific banks or classes of banks. Our intervention was necessary to protect the border U.S. banking system. And similar actions could be warranted if smaller institutions suffered deposit runs that pose the risk of contagion.


VAUSE: The U.S. Fed is set to announce its decision on interests in the day ahead. Most economists are predicting a modest quarter point hike, meant to curb inflation with out upending the bond market.

CNN's Karen Kaifa has this report.



KAREN KAIFA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The Federal Reserve sees inflation easing but a shaky banking sector making their decision on interest rates more complicated.

BILL DUDLEY, FORMER PRESIDENT, NEW YORK FEDERAL RESERVE: I think what matters is can they stabilize the banking system so they can free up their ability to tackle inflation.

KAIFA: Since last March, the Fed has pushed interest rates higher to make borrowing more expensive and cool spending.

Annual inflation was down to 6 percent in February, from a 40 year high of 9.1 percent last June. The Fed's target inflation rate is 2 percent.

The lab or market remains strong, keeping labor costs high per company so these economic indicators would typically point to another rate increase Wednesday.

JAY BRYSON, MANAGING DIRECTOR, WELLS FARGO: Taken in isolation, I mean the economy looks very, very good right now. And yes, you know, the Fed was probably raising rates by 25 basis points with out what's going on right now. Instead, you know, what's going on right now is very unsettling.

KAIFA: But the Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank collapse has raised questions about what banks can handle.

With higher interest rates pushing down the value of bond they purchase when rates were low.

Professor Valentina Bruno of American University says the Fed has little room for miscalculation. VALENTINA BRUNO, AMERICAN UNIVERSITY: The Fed hit the breaks too hard.

It could be the beginning of a slow down or even worse, a painful recession.

And if the Fed hit the breaks too little then inflation may go out of control.

KAIFA: The recent rate hikes put pressure on consumers from both sides still facing high inflation at the grocery store and elsewhere while paying more in credit card interest on mortgages, and auto loans.

In Washington, I'm Karen Kaifa.


VAUSE: To Las Vegas now, Ryan Patel, senior fellow at the Drucker School of Management at Claremont Graduate University, our returning champion Ryan Patel. Good to see you.


VAUSE: Just say (ph), you wouldn't be Jerome Powell for (INAUDIBLE) right now would you? What is the decision to make? What are you expecting in the day ahead on interest rates?

PATEL: Ok. You want to hear what the best case scenario is?


PATEL: It's going to be 25 basis points. You know why, John?


PATEL: It's because -- if he's got to stay consistent with his message, the last data round did not show it was going -- inflation with curve so he has to stick to this.

Now should he not do that, John, we're going to be in trouble because if he goes to zero, that means there's a panic, that means there's a bigger, stronger risk of the banking system so that there is something.

And if he goes above, you don't want to know that either because they obviously put book (ph) contagion on the thing. So I can't believe I'm saying this. But we should be rooting for 25 basis points so we can keep on going toward the route that they want to go to.

VAUSE: Armageddon on either side, oh, joy.

Let's get to Janet Yellen because this is a kind of "Riddle me this, Batman", it's all good, the situation with the banking sector, it's stabilizing but hey, we're ready to bail out more banks at any moment now.

Square that circle for me, please. PATEL: Yes. I mean I think what she's trying to say is that we're going to be there, trying to stop the contagion piece. I think why she came out to me too John is the small banking community. I think there's some worry there and I think that they needed to show up to that community that don't -- they started taking deposits out from the small banks.

That's really hard for them to kind of you know, catch up and people have that fear and that could give another contagious.

But I do want to point out one more thing for small banking because it is an important part for small businesses and communities and they invest obviously differently and know the interest of the community but the FDIC, just to be clear, if you're co-owner of a joint couch, each co-owner or depositor gets up to 250,000. So technically that would be if you have two people on it, it's a half a million dollars.

So there might be a little more room to breath there and the FDIC has never really faltered on any of the payments underneath that insurance. So she didn't -- I mean not that she didn't mention that but I think there's some more comfort there, I think is what she was trying to do.

VAUSE: I guess the big question is, are we heading for a repeat of the financial crisis right now? Yellen says no. That was all caused by sub prime loans, it was a solvency crisis. 2023, it's just a good old fashioned bank run.

But just because there's different underlying factors, it doesn't mean we're not heading for a similar kind of crisis, right.

PATEL: You know, that's actually a great point. The crisis what you define and I define is not the same from '08-'09. We could see a different kind of crisis where contagion -- I hate to use that word -- where people just are not -- you know, just panicky. If people are panicked and keep doing that we can't stop that, right John.

And that's going to cost a run on print and they now have a trickle effect because in no-good, no trust is in any of the systems. Again, I'm not saying that's going to crash -- I don't think it's going to occur but that's what -- that's what you see all the moves from all these political leaders, government leaders is trying to do that.

Right now, is to calm the fears, back if they're struck but, you know, you said there's good days coming. That also scares me with jobs as good days coming because that means there's going to be a lot more conversation around this.

VAUSE: I made that up. What do I know. I know nothing.

That's why I need lots of things. That's why we had you on return. Thank you.

PATEL: Thanks, John.

[01:39:55] VAUSE: Take care.

The head of NATO is urging member states to step their defense spending this year. Jen Stoltenberg says seven of the 30 allies do not meet NATO spending target last year which is super thin (ph).

He blamed the shortfall on an unexpected rise of DUP (ph)) so to at least (INAUDIBLE). He's urging member nations to do more and do it faster. Then quote, "In a more dangerous world, we need to invest more on defense. There you go.

Still to come, condemnation and criticism which swept up in to a finance minister who says quote, "There's no such thing as a Palestinian people."

How the U.S. and the E.U. are reacting. That's after the break.


VAUSE: One of the most senior members of the Israeli government, the finance minister an ultra light nationalist has publicly denied the existence of the Palestinian people and nationhood.

His comments were condemned by the Palestinian Authority as well as we move according to the mark which controls Gaza. And also there was criticism from the U.S. and the European Union.


JOSEP BORRELL, E.U. FOREIGN POLICY CHIEF: It is wrong. It is disrespectful. It is dangerous. It is counterproductive to say these kinds of things in a situation which is already very tense.


VAUSE: These words by the finance minister created a dispute with neighboring Jordan.

CNN's Hadas Gold has details.


HADAS GOLD, CNN JERUSALEM CORRESPONDENT: One of Israel's top government ministers Betzalel Smotrich once again causing a diplomatic dust up while speaking in Paris at a memorial service for right-wing activist and former executive of the World Zionist Organization.

Smotrich not only claimed that there is no such thing as a Palestinian identity, claiming it was invented in the past century in response to the creation of Israel. But also on the podium was a flag that appeared to show an extended map of Israel that included Gaza, the occupied West Bank and parts of Jordan.

The remarks about Palestinians and that image of a senior Israeli minister speaking alongside that extended map drew swift condemnation from the Americans, Europeans, Emiratis, Saudis and of course, the Jordanians who summoned Israel's ambassador in Amman.

AYMAN SALADI, JORDANIAN FOREIGN MINISTER (through translator): The Israeli government should say clearly that this minister's comments do not represent it. I saw the speeches already made by the government, they pointed to their position on this. But we continue to follow up to make sure that we send a clear message on our stance.

GOLD: Now, without directly disavowing Smotrich, the Israeli national security adviser, Tzachi Hanegbi said he called the Jordanian foreign minister and assured him quote, "of the commitment the Israeli government has to uphold the peace treaty between the two countries".


GOLD: The relationship between Israel and Jordan who signed the peace treaty in 1994 is very important but it can often be tense. The Jordanian kingdom is the traditional custodian of the holy sites in Jerusalem which is often the site of clashes between Palestinians and Israeli police.

Smotrich's comment actually also came on the same day that Israelis and Palestinians were holding a summit attended alongside the Americans, Egyptians and Jordanians in Sharm al-Sheik, a meeting that was meant to try and help calm tensions ahead of the upcoming Ramadan and Passover holidays.

But clearly other elements of the Israeli government, like Betzalel Smotrich, seem to be doing the opposite.


VAUSE: Our thanks to Hadas Gold there, reporting in from Jerusalem.

U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak says he knows trust in Britain's largest police force has been hugely damaged. Sunak's comments in an interview with the BBC followed the release of an independent review into London's Metropolitan Police also known as Scotland Yard -- reports of a culture of quote, "racism, misogyny and homophobia".

London's Mayor Sadiq Khan urged all recommendations to be implemented quickly.

Britain's Home Secretary suggested the findings do not represent the vast majority of the Met police force. But does concede a need for change.


SUELLA BRAVERMAN, BRITISH HOME SECRETARY: Today's report commissioned by Sunak's predecessor makes for a very concerning reading.

It's clear that there have been serious failures of culture, leadership and standards within the Metropolitan police.


VAUSE: Met police commissioner Mark Rowley says the police force fully accepts the review's findings, and intends to act on them.

Seven sheriff's deputies and three hospital workers in the U.S. state of Virginia have been indicted over the death in custody of Irvo Otieno, a 28-year-old black man.

Otieno's mother tells CNN she's hoping for justice and the indictment is just the beginning. New video shows officials pinning her son to the ground as she describes it, smothering the life out of him.

CNN's Brian Todd has more now from the Virginia and a warning: his report contains graphic content.


BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Handcuffed and leg shackled, Irvo Otieno is brought into the intake area of Virginia's Central State Hospital with some difficulty. Within minutes he is on the floor.

For the next 12 or 13 minutes, he will be held down by deputies and staffers, sometimes with a deputy on top of him. At points his position changes or the officers reposition their grip.

There is no audio and for much of the video, Otieno is not in full view. At least once, a deputy seems to use his knee to restrain him. Later he is turned on his side. A person appears to administer an injection and then CPR.

It is not clear exactly when he died or his official cause of death. On Tuesday, seven deputies were indicted by a grand jury for second degree murder as were three hospital staffers.

ANN CABELL BASKERVILL, DINWIDDIE COUNTY COMMONWEALTH ATTORNEY: The victim in this case was not (INAUDIBLE) after anything. There's no general purpose for putting him down on the ground.

TODD: 911 calls show how a hospital staffer described the incident.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He used to be aggressive, right. So they're trying to put him in restrains. Then eventually he's no longer breathing. They're doing a CPR right now and he's still -- there's no pulse anymore.

TODD: Also just released, jail video that the prosecutor says shows Otieno before he was transported to the mental facility. It shows commotion around the slot in the door of his cell. The prosecutor alleges Otieno is handcuffed yet even so she says, pepper spray is sprayed through the door slot.

In that video, at any point, is he combative, is he resisting.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Not that I could see frankly at all.

TODD: Six officers then entered the cell and the prosecutor alleges blows are delivered. Nearly 15 minutes later, he is carried out in handcuffs and deputies load him into an SUV to drive him to the mental facility. An attorney for one charged deputy says the cause of death could have been something else, like the injection and says Otieno was violent, aggressive and non compliant.

CALEB KERSHNER, ATTORNEY FOR DEPUTY RANDY BOYER: The officers who were there had to go -- had to hold him and constrain him given not only his resistance previously but our concern for others around given his mental state.

TODD: But Otieno's mother says that's not what the video showed.

CAROLINE OUKU, MOTHER OF IRVO OTIENO: My son was treated like a dog, less than a dog. I saw it with my own eyes on the video.

TODD: Only a couple of attorneys for the deputies and security guards charged have come out and commented specifically on the charges, denying that their clients did any wrongdoing. One attorney for deputy Randy Boyer has come out and said it was the employees of Central State Hospital who were supposed to handle the intake the restraint of Irvo Otieno that day and they failed.

Contacted by CNN, a spokesperson for the Central State Hospital declined to comment on that allegation.

Brian Todd, CNN -- Dinwiddie County, Virginia.


VAUSE: Cuba lost the World Baseball Classic and the Cuban (INAUDIBLE) lost a player.

More on that player who defected from our man in Havana after the break.



VAUSE: Japan has won the World Baseball Classic beating the United States 3 to 2 in the tournament final denying the Americans a second straight championship.

The U.S. (INAUDIBLE) one run in the 8th inning but lost the game when U.S. team captain Mike Trout struck out facing his Los Angeles teammate Japanese pitcher Shohei Ohtani.

The Americans lost the final on the home (INAUDIBLE), Florida with (ph) third World Baseball Classic title, also the first Classic title since 2017 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Cuban team lost in the baseball tournament, they also lost a player, 26-year-old catcher who defected to the United States.

CNN's Patrick Oppmann reports in now from Havana.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) PATRICK OPPMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: One of the members of the Cuba's National Baseball Team apparently did not make the flight home after his (INAUDIBLE) match between the U.S. and Cuba in Miami over the weekend. Catcher Petro Ivan Prieto (ph) apparently defected according to multiple reports, choosing to stay in Florida after his team lost 14 to 2 against the United States.

It was a game that was shrouded in Cold War era tension. This was historic game between Cuba and the U.S. taking place in Miami's Little Havana neighborhood. This is the heart of the Cuban exile community in the United States, a community that's largely anti-Cuban government, a community of people that have had to flee from this island over many, many years.

So after this went to this game with signs calling on the Cuban government to release critical prisoners. They chanted protest anthems. Knowing that the game would be shown live here in Cuba. It was an opportunity for them, this World Baseball Classic semi-final to broadcast their message here in Cuba.

The city government blasted the atmosphere at this game saying it was an atmosphere of hate directed at their players and at the government here. But they have celebrated the players upon their return even though they lost, it was their best showing of the Cuban National Team in years.

It included some members of the team last year have left Cuba to play abroad and were welcomed to play -- welcomed back to play, we're all with this team.

But while what happened afterwards is still something of a mystery because there's one player, Ivan Prieto did not make the flight home. He has not talked at this point. We've asked the city government for comments.

So far, they have not but in years past, they have blasted players who leave on official trips like this one saying that they are deserters and traitors and often ban them from returning to this island for years.

Patrick Oppmann, CNN -- Havana.


VAUSE: New pictures show a better look at the moment from NASA's dark mission from last September. Each of these photos showed debris streaking away from an asteroid after NASA tried to crash a spacecraft into it, part of a test to find out if the trajectory an object moving in space could be changed should it be a threat to our planet.

Experts tracking debris from the impact took these photos using a telescope in Chile.

California in clearing (ph) mode after yet another atmospheric river dumped heavy rain across the state. On Tuesday, more than 35 million residents were under some type of weather alert. Right now more than 160,000 customers are without electricity, thanks to the storm damage.


VAUSE: Just in California, more than 20 million people are under high wind alert across the southwest region in the U.S.

(INAUDIBLE) with CNN affiliate KGO has more now on how California is faring.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE, REPORTER, KGO: Take a listen to the sounds of the ocean, winds absolutely ripping along the coast of Santa Cruz at West Clip (ph). \

Street signs shaking, trees quaking, birds practically flying completely still -- a sight to see for tourists far and wide. But if he got caught looking at the incredible waves for too long, you'd get a sharp taste of salt water.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's crazy to watch the waves because it's so big.

ALEXANDRA CASSAGIO, MODESTO, CALIFORNIA RESIDENT: It was pretty cool and they like to take the (INAUDIBLE) and they like to spray back at you. Kind of like a (INAUDIBLE) that they would go and it feels invigorating and lively and gives you a lot of respect for mother nature out here. This is calm but you know, I wouldn't want to be out there in a boat.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The awe on the coastline quickly turned to concern. Santa Cruz came under a thunderstorm warning due to destructive winds up to 80 miles per hour. Santa Cruz County officials are worried about the damage it would cause.

JASON HEPPIN, PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER, SANTA CRUZ COUNTY: That's what we're mainly concerned about because we have saturated ground throughout the county and so when we see these winds pick up knocks over trees, that takes out roads. And when the trees come down, that takes out wires and that causes power outage.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Power was out in the neighborhood near natural (INAUDIBLE) state park. At one point in the afternoon, PG&E outage map showed hundreds to thousands of people without electricity in Santa Cruz. The fear about trees falling down proved to be a valid one as well.

GREGORY GRIFFIN: I'm thankful it went that way. Because when we drove up we're like oh my goodness.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Gregory Griffin wasn't at all surprised to return home and find a massive cypress tree down.

One side of the road completely blocked oncoming traffic. Griffin watched as a second three came crashing down moments later, crushing this Prius and injuring the driver inside. GREGORY GRIFFIN, SANTA CRUZ, CALIFORNIA RESIDENT: We're safe here now.

I live right here and I've been watching this tree for the last few storms as it stand just like going and listing and then the roots have been just like heaving the grounds like this. He's lucky to be alive. For sure because that car's pretty totaled.


VAUSE: It is. And finally archeologists in England have discovered a vibrant Roman mosaic on land earmarked for construction of a supermarket. (INAUDIBLE) site near the city of Milton Keyes, north of London because evidence of a Roman settlement has been found in the area once before.

Once they are digging, they unearthed the covered tiles of a mosaic which they believe is part of a Roman villa with a bath house nearby.

Archeologists say the mosaic had intricate decorative patterns made up of red, white and blue tiles.

Thank you for watching. I'm John Vause.

CNN NEWSROOM continues at the top of the hour with my friend and colleague Rosemary Church.

Hope to see you right back here tomorrow.