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Ukraine: Russians Suffering Heavy Losses Around Bakhmut; Mexico To Issue Arrest Warrants Over Deadly Incident; Taiwan's Leader Embarks On 10-Day Diplomatic Mission; Ceremony, Symbolism Greet King Charles III In Germany; Police Believe The Nashville School Shooter Had Weapons Training; Israel Prime Minister Calls For Balance In Judiciary. Aired 12-1a ET

Aired March 30, 2023 - 00:00   ET




KIM BRUNHUBER, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, I'm Kim Brunhuber. Ahead on CNN NEWSROOM, with being called a slaughter fest, reports Russian soldiers are suffering heavy losses in the battle for Bakhmut, and have little to show for it.

Plus, Catholics around the world are praying for the help of Pope Francis, who is expected to spend days in the hospital leading up to the Holy Week.

And some of the biggest names in tech are calling for a pause to the "out of control A.I. race for the sake of humanity."

ANNOUNCER: Live from CNN Center, this is CNN NEWSROOM with Kim Brunhuber.

BRUNHUBER: And we begin this hour in Ukraine where the defense minister is suggesting that a counter offensive campaign could begin as early as next month. Oleksii Reznikov says German Leopard tanks now arriving in Ukraine will likely be on the battlefield in April or May as Ukraine prepares to launch a counter attack against Russian forces.

And outward comes as Ukraine reports heavy Russian losses around the eastern city of Bakhmut. Officials say in just one day, nearly 100 Russian soldiers were killed. Though they acknowledged Russians have had partial success in their attacks.

Still the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman says it's the Russians who are paying the highest price, here he is.


GEN. MARK MILLEY, CHAIRMAN, JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF: These forces are very undertrained. They're essentially doing frontal assaults into machine gun positions etcetera and they're getting slaughtered, the Russian troops are. Ukrainians are doing a very effective area defense that is proven to

be very costly to the Russians for about the last 20-21 days. The Russians have not made any progress whatsoever, in and around Bakhmut. So, it's a slaughter fest for the Russians. They're getting hammered in the vicinity of Bakhmut and the Ukrainians have fought very, very well.


BRUNHUBER: To the southwest of Bakhmut, the head of the U.N. nuclear watchdog traveled to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant to assess the current conditions. It was his second visit since Russian forces took over the plant last March.

Rafael Grossi says the situation at Europe's largest nuclear power plant hasn't improved. And the International Atomic Energy Agency is now focused on plans to protect the plant. He said there has been a significant increase in the number of troops in the region, here he is.


RAFAEL GROSSI, DIRECTOR GENERAL, INTERNATIONAL ATOMIC ENERGY AGENCY: The increased military activity which I was referring to, on the basis of the information I had before going in is obvious in terms of military presence, signs, visible signs of damage and destruction before you get to the place.

So, it is obvious that this area is facing a perhaps more dangerous face.


BRUNHUBER: Joining us now is CNN military analyst and retired U.S. Air Force Colonel Cedric Leighton. Thanks so much for being here with us again.

So, I want to go back to General Milley's comments about the Russians getting "hammered" in Bakhmut. Is that the way you see things there? And what does this long stalemate mean for Ukraine?

COL. CEDRIC LEIGHTON (RET.), CNN MILITARY ANALYST (on camera): Yes, Kim, it's good to be with you. It's really both sides are the ones that are getting hammered in this particular case. But the Russians are definitely getting the worst end of the field, at least at the moment.

So, as far as the state of play on the ground is concerned, the Russians are basically surrounding Bakhmut on three sides. And they're trying to close the gap in the west by attacking the towns in that particular area.

So, they have certain advantages, but they're not being able to really prosecute those advantages. And right now, the city of Bakhmut has lasted a really long time. And this lasted longer than the siege of Stalingrad did in World War II. And we're approaching eight months now for the siege of Bakhmut and that is a very long time for the Russians not to be able to move forward in this place.

So, in essence what we have is a basic area where the sides are really in a stalemate right now.

BRUNHUBER: Does that stalemate kind of being a win for Ukraine in a way?

LEIGHTON: It does because the Ukrainians were not expected to hold Bakhmut, and as long as they can keep Bakhmut, that is, in essence, a bit of a Ukrainian victory and now, if the Russians should still take Bakhmut, it will be a victory for them. But it won't be as meaningful a victory as it would otherwise have been.


BRUNHUBER: Yes, because of that enormous costs and the amount of time it took to take it.

Now, we spoke earlier of the suggested counter offensive that could take place as soon as next month, which seems, you know, remarkably soon, I mean, would they be ready and how and where would it start do you think?

LEIGHTON: Yes, that's a really good question. So, if the Ukrainians are smart about this, and they usually are, they're going to pick a place that is a bit of a surprise, and then take advantage of that situation of that tactical surprise and move their forces very quickly.

So, as soon as they have the ability to move fast, you know, with things like infantry fighting vehicles, like they received from Germany, of the Leopard 2 tanks, like you mentioned, those things are going to be really important for mobility and mobility is going to be the key for the Ukrainians.

If it can move with lightning speed, they can capture territory just like they did over the summer, where they were able to get a large portion of the area, just to the east of Kharkiv. And of course, in the south, where they were able to get Kherson in the fall.

BRUNHUBER: Yes, you sort of referenced some of the arms that Ukraine got from the West, while Russia, you know, now is in a possible convergence, at least that that was the words of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, possible convergence between Russia, China and Iran. How challenging would that type of military and diplomatic alliances be for the U.S. and for Ukraine?

LEIGHTON: It could potentially be quite challenging, you know, you run into China and Iran, they do share borders that at least two of the -- of the three countries share borders with each other. And that becomes an important situation from a logistical standpoint.

The key thing, though, is you know, how quickly each side can replenish the stockpiles of its -- of its ally.

So, if the Chinese and the Iranians replenish the Russian stockpiles, that's of course Russia's advantage. If the Ukrainians get their supplies from the west quickly enough, that can help them at least stave off a lot of what the Russians wouldn't be willing to do in this case.

BRUNHUBER: Yes, listen, we'll have to leave it there. But always appreciate your analysis Col. Cedric Leighton, thanks so much for being here with us.

LEIGHTON: You bet. Anytime.

BRUNHUBER: All right. Pope Francis is in hospital after having trouble breathing on Wednesday and the Vatican says he'll stay there for a few days. Catholics around the world, including in the Pope's hometown of Buenos Aires are praying for the quick recovery of the 86-year-old pontiff. The Pope has had some health issues recently including colon surgery and chronic knee pain.

CNN's Delia Gallagher has the details.


DELIA GALLAGHER, CNN VATICAN CORRESPONDENT (on camera): The Vatican says Pope Francis had been complaining in the past few days about some respiratory difficulties, and on Wednesday afternoon, he went to Rome's Gemelli Hospital for what the Vatican calls previously scheduled tests. Those tests revealed that the Pope has a respiratory infection. They have ruled out COVID but they say that he will need to stay in hospital for medical attention for the next few days.

Now, we saw Pope Francis on Wednesday morning at his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square. He seemed to be speaking and breathing just fine. But of course, he is 86 years old and when he was a younger man, he had part of his right lung removed due to respiratory illness.

This begins an important Easter week, one of the busiest weeks in the Vatican on Sunday for the Pope. He has scheduled masses and other events but for the moment, we will be monitoring his progress in the hospital.

Delia Gallagher, CNN, Rome.


BRUNHUBER: Mexican officials have announced that they will issue arrest warrants over the deadly fire at a migrant Detention Center near the U.S. border. Outrage is growing after video emerged from the facility. We just want to warn you, some of the video you're about to see is graphic.

Now, authorities say none of the public workers or private security officers made any attempt to open the door to the migrants who were locked inside the burning building as you can see there. At least 39 people died in the disaster Monday night.

Now, protesters are demanding justice for the victims and accountability from the government. They gathered outside the interior ministry in Mexico City and held banners reading the migrants didn't die, they were killed.

A move that's already angered China, Taiwan's leader has embarked on another diplomatic trip abroad, this time to visit Belize and Guatemala in Central America. President Tsai Ing-Wen arrived in New York City late Wednesday on the first leg of her 10-day trip. Her stopover in the U.S. isn't an official state visit but Beijing quickly condemned her trip as a provocation.


CNN's Anna Coren joins us live from Hong Kong. Anna, certainly a politically fraught trip to say the least, take us through what we're expecting, some of the reaction so far and possible implications as well.

ANNA COREN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (on camera): Yes, Kim President Tsai Ing-Wen, she is transiting through the United States before heading to Central America for her official visit as you say, with Guatemala and Belize.

Now, while her stopover is unofficial, it certainly has deeply angered China's spokesman saying China firmly opposes the visit, claiming her true purpose is to promote Taiwan's independence. You can see those scenes there greeting the president.

But it's Tsai's expected meeting with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy in California on her way back that has really angered China. McCarthy would be the highest ranking U.S. official to meet a Taiwanese leader on American soil.

Now, China has threatened to "resolutely fight back if they meet in Los Angeles". Let's have a listen now to China's top diplomat in the U.S. speaking to the press before Tsai's arrival.


XU XUEYUAN, CHARGE D'AFFAIRES, CHINESE EMBASSY IN THE U.S.: It could lead it to another serious, serious, serious, I repeat, confrontation. We urged the U.S. side not to -- not to repeatedly playing with fire on the Taiwan question. As we say, those who play with fire will perish by it.


COREN: Some strong language there. Well, when U.S. -- former U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan in August of last year, China responded by firing ballistic missiles over Taiwan, deploying warships in the Taiwan Strait and conducting a simulated blockade of the island.

Now, China believes Taiwan belongs to China, it's refused to rule out the use of force to bring Taiwan under its control. And while the U.S. acknowledges China's position, it maintains that Taiwan status should be settled peacefully between Beijing and Taipei.

Tsai's trip comes amid heightened tensions between Washington and Beijing, but U.S. officials say China should not overreact and that such transits which Tsai we should say has done six times as president is simply routine. Let's have a listen to National Security Council Spokesperson John Kirby.


JOHN KIRBY, PRESS SECRETARY, PENTAGON: This transit is consistent with our long standing on official relationship with Taiwan and it is consistent with the United States One China policy, which remains unchanged. It is Taiwan's decision to make these transits based on their own travel. Transits are not visits, they are private, and they're unofficial.


COREN: Well, analysts believe that Tsai's 10-day visit is designed to strengthen diplomatic and economic ties with the West and also to assert her island's autonomy. They also believe that she wants to project strength at home. Tsai of course is stepping down as president next year following a drop in support for her Democratic Progressive Party. She wants to bolster confidence in the DPP before presidential elections next January, Kim.

BRUNHUBER: All right, appreciate it. Anna Coren in Hong Kong.

There was ceremony symbolism and some royal firsts as Britain's King Charles III and his wife Camilla arrived on a formal visit to Germany. The king stood at Berlin's historic Brandenburg Gate, an expression of the bond between the two countries that emerged from the ruins of the Second World War. CNN's Max Foster reports from Berlin.


MAX FOSTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): A grand entrance fit for a king's first official state visit. King Charles and his wife Camilla, the Queen Consort welcome to Germany with a 21 gun salute and a flypast.

In an unprecedented start to his 29th official visit, the Royals were escorted by fighter jets, one of the many firsts.

Adding to the sense of history, this was the first full ceremonial welcome for a head of state here at the Brandenburg Gate since the Second World War, and a first chance for the new king to meet German fans.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The atmosphere it was really -- I have never experienced something like that before.

FOSTER: Is it symbolic having him here in the shadows of the Brandenburg Gate?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think so, yes. I think there is a strong bond between both countries for centuries. And there were two World Wars and it's actually great to kind of go together, there's a friendship and again. [00:15:02]

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We all know about him when he was Prince of Wales. He did a lot for the environment, which I think is a good thing. And I think we'll have to see what will become of it when he's -- now that he's king.

FOSTER: King Charles is focused on the environment was on the agenda as usual, with a reception focused on green energy, and a tree planting ceremony. Part of the Green Canopy initiative in memory of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II.

KING CHARLES III, UNITED KINGDOM: Overall these years and in so many ways, I have been struck by the warmth of the friendship between our nations, and by the vitality of our partnership in countless areas.

It was Mr. President, a friendship, which mattered greatly to my mother.

FOSTER: The King's visit and state banquet in Berlin is intended to celebrate the U.K.'s relationship with both Germany and France following the postponement of his visit to Paris due to protests.

Buckingham Palace says Charles will use this historic trip to highlight the importance of sustainability and community, ideas integral to both nations.

Max Foster, CNN, Berlin, Germany.


BRUNHUBER: All right, still ahead, the city of Nashville mourns as investigators search for a motive in the school shooting that left three children and three adults dead.

Plus, a simmering diplomatic dispute over judicial reform is looking more like a rift. We'll hear more from both Israel and the U.S. just ahead, please stay with us.


BRUNHUBER: Singer Sheryl Crow performing there in Nashville, Tennessee, the vigil for the victims of Monday's school shooting. U.S. First Lady Jill Biden was there as residents came together to pray and pay tribute to the three children and three adults who were killed.

Now, to the investigation, police are turning to an expert who previously conducted active shooter training at the covenant school. He says all six victims were in open areas or hallways, the shooter fired into several classrooms who didn't hit anyone. More now from CNN's Carlos Suarez.


CARLOS SUAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): The motive for why 28- year-old Audrey Hale shot and killed six people at the covenant school is still unclear. Nashville Police Chief John Drake spoke to CNN about the investigation.

CHIEF JOHN DRAKE, METRO NASHVILLE POLICE: What we know is the suspect actually went to that school and as I said once before, that there may be some resentment. But we haven't been able to confirm that.

SUAREZ: The Chief said detectives are still going over a notebook that Hale left behind with writings inside. Authorities believe Hale had weapons training and may have stopped somewhere between leaving home and arriving at the school.


According to the chief, Hale did not have problems at the school while a student.

DRAKE: The suspect was under doctor's care for an emotional disorder of some type. As of right now, we don't have any indication there was any problems at the school or at home.

SUAREZ: The Chief said detectives believe the parents did not know about the seven weapons Hale legally owned.

DRAKE: The parents felt like she should not own any weapons. She did have one weapon that they encouraged her to sell which she did so they thought she didn't have any more.

SUAREZ: An art instructor who taught Hale for two semesters in 2017 at Nossi College of Art told CNN Hale had an emotional outburst on the first day of class.

MARIA COLOMY, TAUGHT HALE IN 2017: During the creation of the password where it asks you for a non-alphanumeric character, meaning a special character. She didn't know what it was asking for and she got really flustered and she like turned red, started crying.

SUAREZ: Maria Colomy said that was the only outburst Hale ever exhibited in class.

COLOMY: I just think that Audrey had easier access to guns and rage than she did to compassion or proper mental health care.

SUAREZ: We're also learning more details about the six victims. Tennessee Governor Bill Lee released a video statement saying his wife Maria had a close relationship with one of the victims Cynthia Peak.

GOV. BILL LEE (R-TN): Maria woke up this morning without that one of her best friends, Cynthia Peak. Cynthia and Maria and Katherine Koonce were all teachers at the same school and have been family friends for decades.

SUAREZ: However, Governor Lee said right now is not the time to discuss and debate policy.

LEE: There will be a time to talk about the legislation and the budget proposals that we brought forth even this year, and clearly there's more work to do. SUAREZ (on camera): A city council member tells CNN that the head of school 60-year-old Katherine Koonce may have died protecting the children. The city official said that a witness said that Koonce was on a Zoom call when the shooting began and that Koonce left that call.

Now according to police, where Koonce's body was found leads them to believe that Koonce encountered the shooter in a hallway.

Carlos Suarez, CNN, Nashville, Tennessee.


BRUNHUBER: Israeli negotiators held a second round of talks on Wednesday over the judicial reform plans that plunged the country into political chaos. Now, many doubt whether a compromise is possible.

Again, demonstrators in Tel Aviv rallied against the Prime Minister plan to weaken the power of the courts even though that plan is on hold.

For now, Benjamin Netanyahu called the debate public and often painful, but he says he hopes an agreement can be reached, here he is.


BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: We have to make sure that as we shift the pendulum from one side of an ever powerful judiciary, which is different from an independent judiciary, how do we ensure that the judiciary remains independent, and that we balanced the need to strengthen the executive and the legislative and at the same time, protect individual rights. I think that balance can be achieved. And that's why I've promoted a pause.


BRUNHUBER: His taped remarks are played at a White House hosted democracy summit despite concerns about democratic backsliding in Israel and amid growing strains between the two allies.

CNN's Nic Robertson explains.


NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR (voice over): The action has been swift. Israeli T.V. leading with and debating President Joe Biden's rejection of any near term visit by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Consensus, it's unprecedented, a clear put down by Israel's most important ally.

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Hopefully, the prime minister will act in a way that he can try to work out some genuine compromise. But that remains to be seen.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Have you invited Prime Minister Netanyahu at the White House, Sir?

BIDEN: No, not in the near term.

ROBERTSON: Biden's message back off on contentious judicial reforms has touched a raw nerve in the Israeli government.

Itamar Ben-Gvir, Netanyahu's hard right cabinet member firing back on Israeli radio saying we are an independent country, not another star on the U.S. flag.

And Netanyahu during a U.S. hosted virtual summit for democracy also shrugging off Biden's cold shoulder.

NETANYAHU: Israel and the United States have had their occasional differences. But I want to assure you that the alliance between the world's greatest democracy and a strong, proud and independent democracy, Israel in the heart of the Middle East, is unshakeable.


ROBERTSON: But on the streets at the many antigovernment protests, Biden's snub of Netanyahu is exactly what protesters have been calling for.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We need to do all to help us not let him in. Just punish this guy. This guy is a dictator, it's very, very bad for democracy.

ROBERTSON: But among opposition leaders here, concern the U.S. President isn't tough enough.

AHMAD TIBI, ISRAELI KNESSET MEMBER: It's a new and interesting statement by President Biden unprecedented. Good one. I am not sure that this is enough for Netanyahu to stop.


TIBI: Because he can -- he loves Washington more than Tel Aviv, Netanyahu, but he can live without visiting the White House for the next year.

NETANYAHU: This alliance is something that President Biden is committed to, I've known him for 40 years. He's a true friend of Israel.

ROBERTSON: Not for the first time this year, Netanyahu defending his hard right government to U.S. officials.

ANTONY BLINKEN, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: The discussion that the Prime Minister and I had today was no exception.

ROBERTSON: In January, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken came to call spiking Israeli Palestinian tensions. President Biden's blunt comments Tuesday, signaling growing frustration in the White House and taking conversations here to a whole new level.

Nic Robertson, CNN, Jerusalem.


BRUNHUBER: The leader of Russia's Wagner mercenaries does some straight talk about his military losses. He says his forces took a pounding in Bakhmut but claims the price is still worth paying. We'll explain that coming up. Stay with us.


BRUNHUBER: A battle that's often called a meat grinder is taking a toll on Russia's Wagner mercenaries in Ukraine. They've been leading the charge in Russia's brutal offensive in Bakhmut for months. The top U.S. General now says more than 30,000 Wagner mercenaries and recruits could be involved in the battle. He also says Russian forces have racked up so many losses that the fighting has turned into, in his words, a slaughter fest.

As Matthew Chance reports, Wagner's boss is no longer denying that his troops took a beating.


MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In the darkness, Russia's Wagner mercenaries edging their way to the front line. The open ground here in Bakhmut is a killing zone. Only its devastated buildings are any kind of cover.


Like this destroyed school, where Wagner's leader, Yevgeny Prigozhin, is again visiting his troops. The 61-year-old frequently appears near the front lines to see what can be done better, he says.

The new plan, he informs them, is to go forward.

Even Prigozhin admits Wagner has been battered by the fighting. The sacrifice, he says in a new audio statement, for a greater cause.

YEVGENY PRIGOZHIN, LEADER OF WAGNER GROUP (through translator): If Wagner dies in the Bakhmut meat grinder and takes the Ukrainian army with it, giving the regular Russian army the opportunity to further protect the interests of Russia, then we will have fulfilled our historical role.

CHANCE (voice-over): Wagner's role in Russia's present remains fragile. This funeral of killed fighters in Southern Russia nearly didn't go ahead at all. The town's reluctant administration, saying there was no room to bury Wagner's dead.

Only after this group of masked Wagner gunman issued a public threat, extraordinary in Russia, did local officials back down.

"Wait until we come and deal with you," one of them warns. "You're worse than the Ukrainian army." On the Ukrainian battlefield, Wagner has often criticized Russian

military command, accusing defense officials of intentionally cutting off the mercenaries from ammunition supplies. Even deviating from the Kremlin's war justification against NATO and Nazis.

PRIGOZHIN (through translator): We are fighting the Ukrainian army exclusively. In terms of de-Nazification, I don't know if there are any Nazis or not. I haven't checked it out myself.

CHANCE (voice-over): Emboldened, Wagner, which is trying to recruit new members, is also intervening in non-military matters. Like the highly-publicized case of the anti-war picture that got a young Russian girl sent to an orphanage and her father sentenced to jail.

Wagner issued a public letter condemning the case as unjust. "We fight a war against evil for the sake of our children's future," the letter reads, calling on the Russian authorities to revisit the case.

But it is uncertain if Wagner will continue to enjoy Kremlin support or have any further impact, either on or off the front lines.

Matthew Chance, CNN, Moscow.


BRUNHUBER: Ukraine says it won't use force to remove the current clergy from a historic monastery in Kyiv. On Wednesday, hundreds of worshippers prayed outside the Lavra monastery, whose monks faced a deadline to leave by the end of the day.

Ukraine's government says some members of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church are still loyal to Moscow, but the church says it cut its ties with the traditional orthodox church last year and calls the order to leave legally baseless.

All right. Still ahead, a potential risk to humanity. Tech leaders warn of the dangers artificial intelligence poses to society. Coming up, why they say we need to slow down before it's too late.

Plus, the climate crisis enters the courtroom. A group of Swiss women say they're at risk because of global warming, and now they're taking the case to Europe's top human rights court. More on that coming up. Stay with us.


BRUNHUBER: Tech leaders have signed an open letter warning of the dangers of artificial intelligence. They're calling for a pause on developing the most powerful A.I. systems for at least six months.

The letter comes just two weeks after the firm OpenAI announced an even more powerful version of the technology behind the viral A.I. chatbot tool, ChatGPT. Even the CEO of OpenAI signed onto the letter.

It reads, in part, quote, "A.I. systems with human competitive intelligence can pose profound risks to society and humanity. Recent months have seen A.I. labs locked in an out-of-control race to develop and deploy even more powerful digital minds that no one, not even their creators, can understand, predict or reliably control."

More than 1,000 tech professionals have signed the letter, including Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak; SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk; and former U.S. presidential candidate Andrew Yang; as well as our next guest, professor emeritus of computer science at the University of Southern California, Paul Rosenbloom.

Thank you so much for being here with us. I mean, the warnings in this letter are quite apocalyptic, I guess I'd say. What concerns you the most?


What concerns me the most is that these are incomplete intelligences. So I've compared them to, essentially, the human subconscious. They're enormously broad in terms of what they know and in terms of the kind of capabilities they have, but they're very shallow.

And so what can happen is they don't know what they're doing. They can't reflect on what they're doing. They haven't been educated. They just sort of induced what they know from large bodies of information.

And so there's a sense in which they're both extremely powerful and extremely unsafe.

BRUNHUBER: But I mean, so that's how they are right now. But I mean, the question is, how far could it go? I mean, and the question posed rhetorically in the letter here is should we develop nonhuman minds that might eventually outnumber, outsmart, obsolete and replace us? I mean, you know, no is the answer. But is that really where this is inexorably heading?

ROSENBLOOM: These scholars (ph) find themselves or not. They're tools of a certain sort. They do, in my view, yield a certain form of artificial general intelligence. They're clearly artificial. They're general in the sense of being able to handle a wide variety of problems, and they achieve a certain level of intelligence.

These are not the kinds of AGI, which is another term for it, that would be able to essentially design -- design their next iteration, unless lead to something called the singularity.

So in my mind, the issue is the kind of problems that can occur because of the limits of the technology and the ways that that can cause problems, than the fact that these are directly so powerful that they're going to overtake us in some important way.

BRUNHUBER: Yes, but still --

ROSENBLUM: They're --

BRUNHUBER: Yes, I don't want to cut you off, but I mean, you know, some of the implications are frightening. I mean, they can -- they can write their own code. You just think about what -- what implications that could have for, you know, for bad actors, for instance.

So, you know, in the letter, the letter's asking to -- to "jointly develop and implement a set of shared safety protocols for advanced A.I. design and development that are rigorously audited and overseen by independent outside experts."

But I mean that, you know, even if people were to agree with that, you know, let's say here in the U.S., I mean, that won't stop bad actors elsewhere.

ROSENBLOOM: No. So I think we need a broader approach than that. If the U.S. were just to regulate these, that would be completely insufficient.


In my view, what's actually needed is to understand how to make these more into complete minds.

Again, to go back to the analogy of the subconscious, there's a whole bunch of aspects of human intelligence that are missing from that, and that's part of what makes them so dangerous.

We can't stop other people from doing this. And so what we need to do is to understand how better to enhance them to make them safe participants in society. Essentially.

As other people have said, a powerful technology can be used both for the good and bad. The best we can do is try to understand how to use it for the good and how to regulate it, improve it, do what you can to control the bad side.

BRUNHUBER: So make them safer by making them smarter, I guess. I don't know if I'm heartened by that thought, but it's certainly just an interesting avenue to go down.

We'll have to leave it there. But so many implications there that we could explore another time. Paul Rosenbloom, thank you so much for speaking with us. Really appreciate it.

ROSENBLOOM: Thank you.

BRUNHUBER: A historic win for Vanuatu at the United Nations on Wednesday. The island nation won a vote calling the International Court of Justice to define the obligations countries have to combat climate change.

Vanuatu's prime minister praised the outcome. Here he is.


ISHMAEL KALSAKAU, VANUATUAN PRIME MINISTER: Together, we will send a loud and clear message, not only around the world but far into the future, that on this very day, the peoples of the United Nations, acting through their governments, decided to leave aside differences and work together. (END VIDEO CLIP)

BRUNHUBER: Vanuatu has taken a beating from escalating severe weather. Just this month, two cyclones ripped through the islands.

It could take more than a year for the world's top court to issue its official opinion on the matter.

And a group of women in Switzerland are pushing for action on climate change, as well. They've taken their case against the Swiss government to Europe's highest human rights court.

The Swiss Senior Women for Climate Change Protection group has thousands of members who argue that changing weather trends and heat waves have become a human rights violation. Listen to this.


ANNE MAHRER, CO-PRESIDENT, SWISS SENIOR WOMEN FOR CLIMATE PROTECTION (through translator): We are here because this is a historic day. For the first time, the European Court of Human Rights will consider climate justice and fundamental rights to people's health and rights.

GISELE SALLIN, SWISS SENIOR WOMEN FOR CLIMATE PROTECTION (through translator): The Swiss government has done too little on climate change. You have health consequences, and the quality of life for elderly people and women are particularly vulnerable.


BRUNHUBER: This will be the first climate lawsuit heard by the court.

The women's group has been fighting the Swiss government in court for years over the matter.

Swiss officials formally presented a plan to cut emissions by 2030. But voters rejected a first version of the plan.

I'm Kim Brunhuber. I'll be back at the top of the hour with more CNN NEWSROOM, but first WORLD SPORTS starts after the break.