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CNN INTERNATIONAL: King Charles Arrives In Germany For First State Visit; Report: Zelenskyy Invites Chinese President To Visit Ukraine; Israel PM: Our Decisions Not Based On Pressures From Abroad; Biden Says He Hopes Netanyahu Abandons Judicial Overhaul Plan; Taiwan's President Visiting U. S. And Central America; Police: Shooter Was Under Care For Emotional Disorder. Aired 8-8:30a ET

Aired March 29, 2023 - 08:00   ET



BIANCA NOBILO, CNN ANCHOR: Hello and welcome to CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Bianca Nobilo in London in for Max Foster today.

Just ahead, powerful blast reported in a Russian held city in Ukraine this morning. Details from the ground in a moment. Also ahead, police released body cam footage from officers responding to that horrific school shooting in Nashville.

Plus, American and South Korean troops practice storming a beach with state of the art equipment. More on the military drills happenings on the Korean peninsula.

Britain's new monarch is making his debut on the world stage. You are about to be looking at live pictures we have of King Charles. We understand he will be deflating any moment now, arriving in Berlin, Germany for his first official state visit as King Charles III. So we should see him any moment now.

This was an expected visit. It was meant to be following a visit to France where he was going to be meeting with the French President Emmanuel Macron, but that was postponed because of the protests which are widespread over France at the moment. A slight political embarrassment for Emmanuel Macron there.

This will be the start of a visit spanning several days for King Charles in Germany. Two countries where the U.K. is trying to restore relations that were somewhat damaged throughout the trials and tribulations of Brexit. We will keep following that for you and give you the latest when we get eyes on King Charles.

But for now, we begin the show in Ukraine, where some residents in the Russian occupied city of the Melitopol area are in the dark today after several explosions were reported. Russian backed officials say that the power was knocked out by Ukrainian shelling and local officials say a locomotive depot in Melitopol was hit by shelling earlier today as well. Now Melitopol is a hub for Russian forces.

Meanwhile, in the embattled city of Bakhmut, Ukraine says that it downed a Russian Su-24M bomber Tuesday. CNN can't independently verify those claims.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has invited Xi Jinping to visit Ukraine. In an interview with the Associated Press, Mr. Zelenskyy says that he wants to engage directly with the Chinese leader who's fresh off a state visit to Moscow. Mr. Zelenskyy told the AP he had contact with Xi before the full scale war, but hasn't in more than a year.

Lots of lines to get into today with CNN's Senior International Correspondent Ben Wedeman, who's following all of these developments live from Eastern Ukraine. Ben, perhaps if we start with these reports of shelling in Melitopol, if you could explain to our viewers the significance of that and then also what potential there might be for President Xi and Zelenskyy to make any progress here. Could Xi's aims ever complement Zelenskyy's in terms of ending Russia's invasion of Ukraine?

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: As far as Melitopol goes, Julia, that's an extremely important city, which is really on the main supply route between Russia proper and the Crimean peninsula, which has been occupied by Russia since 2014.

Now, according to Ukrainian media, there as many as 10 explosions in that city early Wednesday morning. Even TASS, the Russian news agency is acknowledging that there was -- there were explosions in the city. Now there is much speculation that if and when Ukraine launches its much anticipated spring offensive, that Melitopol will be one of those areas or towns it will try to take control of because potentially it could cut off Russian forces in parts of the Kherson region and the Crimean peninsula from the rest of Russia.

And therefore, these activities, these -- it appears to be shelling from the Ukrainian lines could perhaps presage further actions by the Ukrainians in that direction. As far as President Zelenskyy's statements that he has extended an official visit invitation to the Chinese president to visit Ukraine, that's certainly interesting.

It's somewhat doubtful that the Chinese president, who just a little while ago had a very high profile state visit to Moscow, will turn around and visit the capital of Russia's arch enemy, Ukraine. Nonetheless, it's not -- it's a fairly clever move by the Ukrainian president. You'll recall the Chinese put out a proposed peace plan or suggestions to resolve this issue.


Now the United States and some of the western allies have dismissed that plan but the, but the Ukrainians, perhaps wisely, have not. And this could, I think, symbolically it's important that Zelenskyy is extending this invitation. But in practical terms, I think, it's highly unlikely the Chinese President will accept this invitation. Julia?

NOBILO: Ben Wedeman, thank you.

U.S. President Joe Biden is urging Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to abandon his government's judicial overhaul proposal that has triggered mass protests across the country. America is, of course, one of Israel's key allies. But Mr. Biden said that he made it very clear to the Netanyahu administration that they, quote, cannot continue down this road.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, I don't know they're an inflection point, but I think it's a difficult spot to be in and they've got to work it out.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And what do you hope the Prime Minister will do on that particular law?

BIDEN: I hope he walks away from it.


NOBILO: Mr. Netanyahu's response was immediate. He issued a statement saying, "Israel is a sovereign country which makes its decisions by the will of its people, and not based on pressures from abroad, including from the best of friends."

Let's bring in CNN International Diplomatic Editor Nic Robertson, who joins us now from Jerusalem. Nic, how unprecedented an intervention is this from the American President and what does it tell us about the impact that these protests in Israel are having on the perception of the country abroad?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: It's certainly having a perception in the United States. We know that because members of Prime Minister Netanyahu's right wing Cabinet, the Finance Minister, for example, Smotrich, have been to the United States and have found themselves shunned by organizations that would have normally opened their doors.

So it's been made clear, if you will, to the Prime Minister Netanyahu that his Cabinet at least is not as welcome in the United States. And Secretary of State Antony Blinken was here just a couple of months ago telling Prime Minister Netanyahu to his face that the policies, that the Cabinet's policies on the Palestinians were not helpful and not taking the country in a good direction. That was the view of the United States.

So this -- the relationship has been strained, is strained. The messages have been getting through to Prime Minister Netanyahu and this is, as you say, unprecedented. And that's the perception here. The strongest message yet from the White House that on the internal Israeli matters over the judicial reforms, that the White House is simply not happy.

And in the past, we've heard Prime Minister Netanyahu say, look, you know, I've known President Biden for 40 years, we have a good relationship. And this is what is saying at the moment, that Israel has a strong relationship with the United States and it's endured before and this is what will endure now. But it is very clearly being interpreted here as a very clear message to the Prime Minister to not go down the full road that his right wing Cabinet want to take him down on the judicial reforms. We've heard that from protesters just yesterday. I was speaking to protesters on the street saying that the world needs to help Israel right now by not allowing Prime Minister Netanyahu to come and visit.

And I was speaking to an opposition member in the Knesset just a couple of hours ago who said, look, this is a great message from the president. It's unprecedented, but not strong enough. This member of the Knesset told me, look, Biden likes Washington more than he likes Tel Aviv. Tel Aviv perceived as more liberal than Jerusalem.

The Prime Minister likes Washington more than Tel Aviv, but he can live without going to Washington for another year. So is this going to be enough for a course correction for Prime Minister Netanyahu? Not clear.

NOBILO: CNN's Nic Robertson in Jerusalem, thank you.

Taiwan's President is enroute to the U.S. for a 10-day trip across North and Central America. Tsai Ing-wen is making stopovers in York and Los Angeles between her official visits to Guatemala and Belize. And there are reports that she will meet with U.S. Speaker Kevin McCarthy while she's in California next week, despite a warning from China.

At the airport, Taiwan's President held a news conference and struck a defiant note.


TSAI ING-WEN, TAIWAN'S PRESIDENT (through translator): External pressure won't stop our determination from moving towards the international society. We're calm, confident, uncompromising and unprovocative.


NOBILO: Let's bring in CNN's Marc Stewart, following the story live from Tokyo. Marc, tell us, do you think the payoff, the potential payoff of this 10-day trip is worth the political tightrope that has to be walked?


MARC STEWART, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This is a very tense time without question, Bianca. And certainly a lot of things are being weighed. And certainly this potential meeting is drawing a lot of conversation on this transpacific trip. But it's very important to point out that, for the moment, Taiwan is yet to acknowledge any kind of meeting between President Tsai and Speaker McCarthy would even occur.

Speaker McCarthy has made remarks suggesting that this will happen, but he hasn't said exactly when this could take place. And if you hear the discussion, a lot of care is being used to not categorize this as any kind of diplomatic visit, but rather just a meeting, because the United States and Taiwan have no formal diplomatic ties.

And again, that could cause some big problems in this relationship with China. Already we have heard comments from Beijing, from several government agencies condemning a possible meeting between President Tsai as well as Speaker McCarthy.

Now, it is also very important to stress the importance of this trip beyond North America. President Tsai is going to be visiting both Guatemala and Belize. This comes at a time when Taiwan is really trying to shore up diplomatic relations. It was just on Saturday that --

NOBILO: Marc Stewart in Tokyo, I do apologize, we are going to have to cut us a little short there because we have some live pictures to bring to our viewers. Thank you, though.

You are looking at King Charles III and the Queen Consort Camilla on their first trip since King Charles became monarch. They are being greeted by a 21 gun salute arriving in Berlin, Germany, for a state visit. Let's take a listen.

And we understand that King Charles and Queen Consulate Camilla will be greeted by the German President and we expect those two heads of state to discuss issues that we know are dear to King Charles III's heart, like sustainability, transitions to renewable energy.

There'll also be the opportunity for the German public to get the chance to come face to face with Britain's relatively new monarch at the iconic Brandenburg Gate. Spectators have been asked to get there early if they want to ensure that they can set eyes on the couple.

Once again, this will be the King's first overseas trip since becoming monarch.

You can see them being greeted there. Shaking hands there with the British Ambassador to Germany. We understand that the royal couple will also be meeting with the German Chancellor, Olaf Scholz, and the Mayor of Berlin.

King Charles also potentially giving a speech to the German Parliament, the Bundestag, which would make him, I believe, the first monarch, the first British monarch to do so.

Greetings continuing there, and this trip is several days, so it will begin in Berlin, moving on to Hamburg. Of course, the King, though this is his first trip as monarch, it's very much not his first trip to Germany. He's been there around 40 times as Prince of Wales.

Not long out, of course, from the coronation, which will be happening in England on the 6th of May.

And as we see King Charles and Queen Consulate Camilla shaking hands there, we're minded to remember that this could be a diplomatic coup for the United Kingdom, who was seeking to mend ties and try and restore relations as best they possibly can with Germany and what would have been France if that trip hadn't been postponed due to widespread protests, particularly after Brexit and all of those fractious discussions which the British government and then Boris Johnson had to have with both countries.


This could be an opportunity to smooth things over, also the United Kingdom will be hoping.

And you've been watching the arrival of King Charles III and Camilla in Berlin, Germany for a three-day state visit. We'll keep our eyes peeled for their next movements. We understand that they'll be heading to some iconic German monument, meeting with the crowd and then taking some political meetings later in the day.

We'll be right back after the short break.


NOBILO: Will anyone be held accountable for the recent U.S. bank failures? That's what lawmakers want to know from U.S. bank regulators who are facing a second hearing on Capitol Hill. It's part of an investigation into what led to the collapse of SVB and Signature Bank. They're the second and third largest bank failures in U.S. history.

Lawmakers are also asking bank officials what can be done to prevent more banks from collapsing. That's after the Federal Reserve deputy chairman said that SVB imploded because of mismanagement. Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren is calling for tighter banking rules.


ELIZABETH WARREN, U.S. SENATE DEMOCRATIC: Executives at SVB and Signature took wild risks and must be held accountable for exploding their banks. And I'll soon introduce a bipartisan bill to do exactly that. But let's be clear, these collapses also represent a massive failure in supervision over our nation's banks.


NOBILO: CNN's Clare Sebastian joins me now from London for more discussion on this. Clare, what are the chances that there will be accountability for these recent bank collapses, and what would that accountability even look like?

CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, there seems to be quite a lot of momentum behind this idea, Bianca. As you heard Elizabeth Warren say there, she is introducing a bipartisan bill to try to expand the ability of regulators to impose penalties on executives of failed banks. It's something that the Biden administration has also been calling for to expand the powers that regulators have to do things like claw back bonuses or executive pay, like ban bankers from ever working again in the banking industry. Those kinds of civil penalties.

They'd have to prove, of course, that the bankers breached existing rules or violated their fiduciary duty as regards to shareholders. But certainly that is something they are looking into. The former CEOs of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank have already been call to testify before the Senate Banking Committee.


So they are very much at pains, Bianca, to emphasize that this is something they are looking at very closely, partly because of the controversy in 2008. You'll remember that there was a lot of concern afterwards in the years that followed, that there had been very little in terms of accountability for executives at the big banks, which were seen to have essentially caused the financial crisis. So this is addressing that sort of scar tissue, distancing this crisis from that one by showing that they're trying to hold these people to account.

NOBILO: There might be these proposals for legislation, but obviously there are clear hurdles to the passage of any legislation like this. Republicans traditionally more reluctant to see regulations, but it doesn't split neatly along party lines. How difficult do you think it will be to make any progress on this issue with a divided Congress?

SEBASTIAN: Well, I think at the moment, they're at the stage of trying to figure out what in terms of regulation might be needed, whether it was the regulation that was deficient or regulators themselves. That's why these hearings are so important.

But they're looking at things like supervision. The warning signs that might have been missed. Is the supervision framework enough to have addressed those? The warning signs were pretty stark. I mean, there was even a downgrade of the management of Silicon Valley Bank to deficient by the Fed in the middle of 2022.

So there were very clear red flags. And why weren't they acted on? So they're looking at that. They're looking at the issue of the midsized banks, banks with more than $100 billion in deposits up to $250 billion. Those are the banks that were sort of exempted when the Dodd- Frank rule was reformed in 2018 under Donald Trump.

They have since then faced less stringent things like capital requirements, stress tests, things like that. So they're looking at all of that. But as you say, it doesn't split neatly down party lines. There is some agreement between the parties on this.

NOBILO: Clare Sebastian, thank you so much.

And we'll be right back after a short break.


NOBILO: Nashville police have released dramatic body cam footage of officers responding to Monday's deadly shooting at Covenant Elementary School. CNN's Carlos Suarez has this report and a warning that his report contains some disturbing video.



CARLOS SUAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Body camera video from two Nashville police officers showing them rushing into the Covenant school on Monday.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We don't know where he is. Nashville police.

SUAREZ (voice-over): Going room to room.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's upstairs. It sounds like it's upstairs.

SUAREZ (voice-over): And up to the second floor. Before confronting the shooter, surveillance video at the school released by police captured 28 year old Audrey Hale shooting through doors at the school, entering and starting the attack. The authorities revealed more about the writings they said Hale left behind.

CHIEF JOHN DRAKE, METRO NASHVILLE POLICE: There's several different writings about other locations. There were locations of -- there was talks about the school. There was a map of the school, a drawing of how potentially she would enter and the assaults that would take place.

SUAREZ (voice-over): Police said they've interviewed the shooter's parents, who said Hale was being treated for an emotional disorder.


DRAKE: We've determined that Audrey bought seven firearms from five different local gun stores here legally. They were legally purchased. Three of those weapons were used yesterday.

SUAREZ (voice-over): According to investigators, Hale hid the guns at home.

DRAKE: Her parents felt that she should not own weapons. They were under the impression that when she sold the one weapon that she did not own anymore.

SUAREZ (voice-over): As a search for answers continues, so does the mourning for the six people killed.

KAYLEE FRANZEN, NASHVILLE RESIDENT: I think that it's always terrible to hear about something like this happening, but when it's just down the street from your house, it's -- it hits another part of you.

SUAREZ (voice-over): Among the killed was Cynthia Peak, believed to be a substitute teacher. Mike Hill, a 61 year old custodian at the school, and 60 year old Katherine Koonce, she was the head of the school who police believe encountered the shooter in a hallway.

JIM LEE, KATHERINE KOONCE'S FRIEND: Have no question and whatsoever. She gave her life because she was trying to protect students, protect faculty.

SUAREZ (voice-over): The children who were killed were all just nine years old. William Kinney, Evelyn Dieckhaus and Hallie Scruggs. Scruggs and the other victims were remembered in a service that was held at the Park City's Presbyterian Church in Dallas, where Scruggs' father served as associate pastor before coming to the Covenant Presbyterian Church.

PAUL GOEBEL, ASSOCIATE PASTOR, PARK CITIES PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH: We're here because our hearts are broken. We're here because we weep with our friends.


SUAREZ: The chief of police was asked why it took officers 11 minutes to respond to the school after the initial 911 call was made. The chief said based on what he had seen so far, he did not have a problem with it, but that the department would look into that response.

Carlos Suarez, CNN, Nashville, Tennessee.

NOBILO: Thanks for joining me here on CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Bianca Nobilo in London. "WORLD SPORT" with Amanda Davies is up next.