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U.S. Intelligence Leaker Arrested; President Biden Visits Ireland; Supreme Court Needs to Intervene on FDA Approval of Mifepristone; Record Rainfall Floods Fort Lauderdale; Trump Answered Questions In 7-Hour Long Deposition; At Least 47 People Arrested In Paris Protests; War in Ukraine Not Part of Lula-Xi Meetings Agenda; Jupiter and Its Moons to Be Explored by European Space Agency. Aired 3-4a ET

Aired April 14, 2023 - 03:00   ET



KIM BRUNHUBER, CNN HOST: Hello and welcome to all be watching us here in the United States, Canada and all around the world. I'm Kim Brunhuber. Ahead on "CNN Newsroom," an Air National Guardsman is expected in court today, arrested in the Pentagon documents leak case (inaudible) some to ask are too many people able to see intelligence information.

The question of access to an abortion pill in the U.S. is headed to the Supreme Court, and the search for life beyond our planet. Why scientists are turning towards Jupiter in the hunt.

And we begin with the damaging leaks of highly classified Pentagon documents that have the U.S. and its allies rattled. Twenty-one-year- old Massachusetts Air National Guardsman Jack Teixeira is expected to make his first appearance in court in the hours ahead. The FBI arrested Teixeira Thursday in connection with that case. The Air Force says he was a Cyber Transport Systems Journeyman, among those responsible for the military's global communications network.

U.S. officials believe Teixeira was the leader of an online chat group known as Thug Shaker Central where he posted documents about the war in Ukraine and U.S. spying operations. U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has ordered a review of who has access to intelligence and the Pentagon spokesperson called the leaks a deliberate criminal act. CNN's Oren Lieberman has more.


OREN LIEBERMAN, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A 21-year- old member of the Massachusetts Air National Guard is in custody, arrested in connection to the massive leak of classified documents online. The FBI swooping in on Dighton, Massachusetts, a tactical team moving in to arrest Jack Teixeira after surveilling him for a couple of days, a U.S. official said.

The plan was to arrest Teixeira when he left the house away from the stash of weapons, they worried he might have. MERRICK GARLAND, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: Today, the Justice Department

arrested Jack Douglas Teixeira in connection with an investigation into alleged unauthorized removal, retention, and transmission of classified national defense information.

LIEBERMAN (voice-over): The arrest comes after a fast-moving search by the U.S. government only one week after President Joe Biden and other senior U.S. leaders were briefed about the leak that exposed the trove of top-secret documents. The documents were accessible to thousands of people, military and civilian.

But the digital trail of information led investigators to a small group for closer scrutiny, allowing the FBI to home in on a suspect. The Pentagon having to explain how such young members of the military have access to such national secrets.

PATRICK RYDER, PENTAGON PRESS SECRETARY: You receive training and you will receive an understanding of the rules and requirements that come along with those responsibilities, and you're expected to abide by those rules, regulations and responsibility. It's called military discipline.

LIEBERMAN (voice-over): According to the "Washington Post" the man behind the leaks posted the national security secrets for a group of his online acquaintances to see, which CNN could not independently verify. The documents were leaked on Discord, a chat and messaging platform often used by gamers.

The post spoke with a friend of the man who claimed the leaks began last year long before they were first made public.

UNKNOWN: I was first made aware of these documents; I want to say about 6 to 8 months ago. I was in a Discord server by the name of Thug Shaker Central, and in this channel, there was classified documents being posted by a user who I refer to as OG from this point. The documents were often listed as Ukraine versus Russia at first. However, it slowly spiraled into just intelligence about everything.

LIEBERMAN (voice-over): The Pentagon has begun a damage assessment and has already begun to limit who receives highly classified intelligence briefs after the information exposed, U.S. spying on allies like South Korea and Israel, critical information about Ukrainian military capabilities and top-secret intel about Chinese weapons development.

GLENN GERSTELL, FORMER U.S. NATIONAL SECURITY AGENCY GENERAL COUNSEL: If indeed it is true that it's a military base, then there's certainly going to be a lot of military officials who have to be called for account.

LIEBERMAN (voice-over): The Biden administration has downplayed the consequences of the leaks, but the question of how to stop someone with top secret access determined to spread secrets remains unanswered.

JAMES CLAPPER, FOMER U.S. DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE: The concern here is people, and people, if they are bent on exposing classified information, they'll figure out a way to beat the administrative procedures.

LIEBERMAN (on camera): According to Teixeira's service record, he joined the Air National Guard three and a half years ago in September 2019. His job, Cyber Transport Systems, would require him to have seven a half weeks of basic military training and then 136 days of technical training.


It is that job that led him to be in a position where he can have access to some of these classified documents that were leaked, and that certainly is one element of the Pentagon investigation and the look into all of this and the consequences of it that will be under severe scrutiny. Oren Liebermann, CNN, at the Pentagon.


BRUNHUBER: In the last hour, I spoke with retired FBI supervisory special agent Steve Moore and I asked him how someone knows such a junior rank, get his hands on sensitive documents? Here he is.


STEEVE MOORE, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT CONTRIBUTOR: You're going to have information coming in and out that he will have access to, but he doesn't really need to. That's one part of it. The other part of it, though, is that there's top secret and then there's top secret. The owners of the classified information say, hypothetically, the CIA had a source somewhere.

They are not going to put this into the standard military distribution system. They're just not, because something like this might happen. So, I think the potential damage from this -- from these leaks is not as catastrophic as it could have been.

BRUNHUBER: Yeah. It is still very embarrassing for the U.S. and you, you know, highlight an obvious vulnerability.


BRUNHUBER: I mean, there were -- there were changes made after the Edward Snowden and the Chelsea Manning cases, millions of dollars that were spent to harden the systems. But it seems as though not all the right lessons were learned.

MOORE: No, I'm kind of concerned that he had the access he did. And it seems that he had some really unsupervised access to this information. I mean, you can't even bring a cellphone into the type of facility in which he was working. So, obviously he was breaking that rule pretty frequently because he was taking pictures.

So, I think what we have here is just lax command structure that allowed somebody who could go off to go off. BRUNHUBER: So, that's, you know, his access, but then there's the

fact that it took so long for this breach to be discovered. What does that tell you?

MOORE: Well, the issue here is that until you see the breach out in public, you don't know it's gone necessarily. And to have access to top secret information you have to sign saying you view the document, you have all these different issues, different hoops you need to jump through just to view the document, which is why he was found so quickly. But you don't know if the person is taking that information and using it against you until you see it in the press, or you have bad consequences internationally.


BRUNHUBER: The U.S. president quoted an Irish proverb on Thursday while visiting his ancestral homeland saying, quote, "Your feet will bring you where your heart is." In the hours ahead, Joe Biden will travel to County Mayo in Western Ireland to meet relatives from one side of the family tree. And on Thursday, he helped plant a tree, literal and metaphorical roots.


BRUNHUBER: President Biden later arrived at the Irish Parliament to loud applause and a standing ovation. His speech was filled with praise for the country's close ties. Here he is.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Because of the story of my family's journey, those who left and those who stayed, is emblematic of the stories of so many Irish and American families, not just Irish-American families. And these stories are the very heart of what binds Ireland and America together.


BRUNHUBER: CNN's Kevin Liptak joins us now from Dublin. So, Kevin, take us through the highlights and what stood out to you.

KEVIN LIPTAK, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Yeah. Certainly, the president's speech yesterday really trying to talk up this idea of democracy. You hear him talk about that when he's on these foreign trips fairly frequently and Ireland does represent the kind of, you know, modern progressive democracy that he believes can act as a bulwark against this tide of populism that you've seen over the last decade or so.

So, the president really trying to emphasize the importance of standing up to Russia. That is something that he talked about Ireland has taken in more than 75,000 refugees from Ukraine, and so the president wanted to thank them and recognize them for that. You know, but really this trip is not one that has a major policy objective, and I don't think anyone at the White House is really pretending anything else. This is really a personal trip for President Biden, of course, and you

did hear him in that speech to parliament yesterday. As soon as he walked in, he said, in the Irish language that he felt like he was at home, and he really did appear very comfortable speaking to those lawmakers, really sort of engaging in areas that you don't hear him engaging much when he's back home.


And the most interesting one to me was when he referenced his age. He said that he was at the end of his political career, and that his age lent him some wisdom and perspective on foreign issues and issues that are important to Ireland and the United States. And so later today, the president will continue this ancestry tour in the west of Ireland. He's going to County Mayo. They are expecting quite a large crowd to greet him there in the town of Ballina.

And the cathedral that he will be speaking in front of actually has an interesting family connection. His great, great, great grandfather sold the bricks to build that cathedral, used the proceeds in part to fund his passage to the United States. Kim?

BRUNHUBER: Kevin, I want to go back to what you said about by not really having a major policy objective. He did urge Ireland and the U.K. to work more closely to restore northern Ireland's power sharing agreement. As you all know, the Clinton administration was so influential in brokering that -- the Good Friday Agreement. So, how much influence does Biden really have now on this issue?

LIPTAK: Yeah. I mean, it appears somewhat limited because, of course, I think President Biden and the British prime minister, Rishi Sunak would have liked to see that power sharing agreement restored before the president got to Belfast. Of course, it didn't. He did encourage the two sides to come together in his speech there on Tuesday. He really tried to avoid getting drawn in directly to the disputes that these two sides have.

Remember, it's over this right this -- those Brexit trade rules for Northern Ireland, but it was interesting. As soon as he crossed over the border into the Republic of Ireland, and then he spoke yesterday at the parliament, he said he thought that the United Kingdom actually needed to do more to help bring this power sharing agreement back into fruition so, that those institutions that are part of the Good Friday Agreement can be fully fulfilled.

And so, it remains to be seen. You've heard some pushback from the unionist leaders in Northern Ireland. They aren't necessarily convinced that the president is a neutral arbiter and all of this. So, I don't think that the president has had a huge amount of influence on that particular issue as part of this trip, Kim.

BRUNHUBER: Yeah. All right. So, Kevin Liptak in Dublin. Thanks so much. Appreciate it.

Florida now has some of the harshest restrictions on abortion access in the United States. Late Thursday, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed into law and measure that bans most abortions at six weeks after the state house approved a final version of the bill. It also bans the use of telemedicine for abortion prescriptions and requires medication be dispensed by physicians, not by mail.

Now this, as the national battle over access to abortion medication is headed to the U.S. Supreme Court. The Justice Department is asking the high court to intervene in a case involving mifepristone n drug used for medication abortions. CNN justice correspondent Jessica Schneider has the story.


JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN JUSTIC CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The clock is ticking as access to the abortion pill mifepristone could soon be restricted.

GARLAND: The court's unprecedented decision --

SCHNEIDER (voice-over): Attorney General Merrick Garland saying the Justice Department will ask the Supreme Court to step in to stop a ruling from the Fifth Circuit from taking effect, pledging to defend the FDA's scientific judgment and protect American's access to safe and effective reproductive care.

KARINE JEAN-PIERRE, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: We believe, again, the law is on our side, we're going to prevail, we're going to continue to fight. That is the commitment that we're going to make.

SCHNEIDER (voice-over): While the Fifth Circuit's ruling guarantees mifepristone will stay on the market, it will also significantly restrict its use unless the Supreme Court steps in. Doctors will now be instructed to only prescribed if mifepristone up to seven weeks of pregnancy instead of the 10 weeks now.

However, doctors typically do have discretion to ignore those instructions and it will get harder to access the pill. Women will have to see a doctor in person and pick it up instead of talking to a doctor online and receiving it by mail.

According to a newly published study, nearly one in 10 abortions obtained last year after the Supreme Court reversed Roe v. Wade used mifepristone subscribed during a telehealth visit with a doctor.

JANE HENNEY, FORMER FDA COMMISSIONER: The safety profile on this drug is good, if not better than when it was originally reviewed because now it's been out in the marketplace. It's been used on some five million patients. And so, it has been extraordinarily well studied.

SCHNEIDER (voice-over): The mainstream medical community has been in an uproar since Texas Federal Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk ruled last Friday night to halt FDA approval of mifepristone, effectively taking it off the market.

MATTHEW KACSMARYK, FEDERAL JUDGE: I follow the law as it is written, not as I would have written it. SCHNEIDER (voice-over): The Trump appointee's ruling has been significantly watered down by the Fifth Circuit, leaving FDA approval in place and it may be completely put on hold if the Supreme Court decides to pause the entire ruling while the appeals process plays out. But in the meantime, some Democratic members of Congress are already talking about measures they might have to take to protect access to abortion.

REP. KATIE PORTER (D-CA): If it doesn't get overturned by a court then I think it's going to be on Congress to act, and I think we're going to have to do that.


SCHNEIDER (on camera): Now, the Justice Department Still needs to file its motion to the Supreme Court. And then the Supreme Court would need to step in before midnight on Friday. In the meantime, a Washington federal judge is doubling down on his ruling from last week saying that under his order, the FDA must not change any of the rules surrounding mifepristone in 17 states plus D.C., which, of course, will likely lead to even more confusion in how this will all play out in the coming days. Jessica Schneider, CNN, Washington.


BRUNHUBER: Still ahead, a historic amount of rain leads to a flood emergency in south Florida. Residents are taking stock of the damage after the rainiest day ever and they're not out of the woods yet. Stay with us.



BRUNHUBER: The area around Fort Lauderdale, Florida is trying to recover from its rainiest day in history. Officials say Wednesday's rainfall was a one in 1,000-year event. Widespread flooding was made even worse by more rain Thursday and into Friday. Drivers were forced to abandon cars as the water rose. Rescue teams brought 600 people to shelters. Florida's governor has declared a state of emergency. CNN's Carlos Suarez has more from Fort Lauderdale.

CARLOS SUAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: More rain fell across parts of Broward County on Thursday, a day after two weak tornadoes moved through parts of the county. You're taking a look at the flooding in one neighborhood just to the north of Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport. Rescue teams here spent the day going from home to home rescuing people that were trapped inside of their house.

According to Ford Lauderdale Fire Rescue, a number of drivers were also rescued from their cars. Now, from their homes, residents were taken to a nearby shopping center where the Red Cross offered them clothes, food and shelter. Here now is one man we caught up with who told us just how high the water got in his home.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) PAUL GUERRERO, RESIDENT, FORT LAUDERDALE, FLORIDA: We put towels and stuff in front of the doors because we didn't have time for sandbags. We didn't know it was going to rain this bad. So, we did the towels and then we just got overwhelmed. It just kept coming in and coming in. It went over the thresholds. Next thing you know, we're in two, three feet of water. I had to run over and shut off all the power so that way we didn't get electrocuted. All sorts of things going through my mind. I tried calling, really, nobody could come out and help us because it just kept raining and raining and the water just kept coming up and up and up.


SUAREZ: Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport remains closed through at least Friday morning, late Thursday. The Broward County school district said that classes are canceled on Friday. Carlos Suarez, CNN, Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

BRUNHUBER: All right. Let's get the latest from CNN meteorologist Britley Ritz. And Britley, I mean, we heard from that resident there how relentless this water was. So, what's the latest? Is the rain done with them yet?

BRITLEY RITZ, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Not quite yet. We typically get the sea breeze to kick in and unfortunately, we do have scattered thunderstorms. So once again as we (inaudible) to the afternoon hours here across southeast Florida. I want to take you back two days, the last 48 hours, West Palm to Miami, a wide range between two and over 20 inches of rain.

The bull's eye, Fort Lauderdale where we have reports coming in of nearly 26 inches. And if we can confirm that, yes, it would be a one and 1,000-year event, but also breaking records for the state of how much rain we got in 24 hours.

A lot of that fell within a matter of 6 to 7 hours. You have to keep in mind, these cities aren't built to take on that much rain. They're built to take on three, four inches during a 24-hour period. So, it gets built up and that flash flooding becomes a big concern. Like I said, we would have broken a 24-hour state record for rainfall if that is confirmed, 23 inches, just over back in November of 1980 in Key West. It's the original record.

The area of low pressure finally starting to make its way up into the Tennessee River Valley. Most (ph) of the rain and moving offshore. That is good news, but again through the afternoon as that sea breeze kicks in, will bring in the chance for a few scattered showers and thunderstorms. And through Friday, we can expect an additional one, possibly two inches of rain. Regardless, we don't need anymore.

And from one extreme to the next, we hop on over to the ridge from the north east back through the plains, records broken every which direction yesterday. On Thursday, Newark, New Jersey 92 degrees. The previous record 86 back in 1977. We have a possibility of breaking records once again across the Great lakes in the northeast today. Thirty-plus possible records, each one of those black dots indicating that. Places like Albany, New York, back on up into Boston, typical highs this time of year.

Mid to upper 50's, shattering them, once more pushing 86 degrees in Albany, New York, 75 in Boston. We'll eventually get a cool down to slide on through once we get into the weekend, will fall back closer to where we should be. Kim?

BRUNHUBER: Yeah. Wonder if that heralds a hot summer. We'll see. Britley Ritz, thanks so much. Appreciate it.

Right now, western Australia is still getting battered by a historically powerful cyclone. Ilsa broke wind speed records when it smashed into the coast, making landfall late Thursday night with the strength of a Category 4 Atlantic Hurricane. The storm has weakened as it moves further inland, but it still has the potential to cause significant damage with high winds and heavy rains over the coming hours. Ilsa is expected to weaken below tropical cyclone strength later Friday night.

After being arrested last week for falsifying business records, former U.S. President Donald Trump face today questions in another legal battle. Details on the case that could decide the fate of his business empire next.


And violent protests in Paris as a crucial court ruling on France's pension reform law is just hours away. We'll have live report from Paris when we come back. Please stay with us.


BRUNHUBER: Welcome back to all of you watching us here in the United States, Canada and around the world. I'm Kim Brunhuber. This is "CNN Newsroom." Former U.S. President Donald Trump answered questions under oath on Thursday in a lengthy deposition meeting. It's related to the New York attorney general's lawsuit alleging business fraud with the Trump Organization.


Now, the case, that could ultimately bar Trump or his adult children from operating businesses in the state.

CNN's Kara Scannell reports.


KARA SCANNELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Former President Donald Trump met with investigators with the New York Attorney General's Office for nearly seven hours on Thursday. A source telling CNN that he answered numerous questions under oath during that period. The New York Attorney General Letitia James was in the room for part of that time, the source says.

Trump's decision to answer questions marks a significant shift in strategy. In August, he asserted his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination when asked nearly 400 questions. James sued Trump, his eldest children and the Trump organization in a $250 million lawsuit alleging they defrauded lenders, insurers and others by inflating the value of their properties on their financial statements. Trump and his children have denied any wrongdoing.

Since then, a shift in strategy, one factor in a civil lawsuit, the jury can make an adverse inference, meaning they can hold it against someone when they don't answer any questions. And either Trump or James had made any official statements following this deposition. This case, though, is going to trial in October.

Kara Scannell, CNN, New York.


BRUNHUBER: At least 47 people were arrested in Paris and at least 10 police officers were injured on Thursday as protesters clashed with police. And smoke bombs, projectiles and tear gas were fired in a fresh round of protests against the government's controversial plan to raise the retirement age from 62 to 64.

Now, in the coming hours, the nation's highest Constitutional Court is expected to decide whether to approve the Pension Reform Law, asked to make some changes to it or scrap it altogether.

Joining us live from Paris is CNN Senior Producer Saskya Vandoome.

SASKYA VANDOOME, CNN SENIOR PRODUCER: So, first Saskya, take us through what we saw on the streets there.

VANDOOME: Yes, Kim. Well, yesterday was the 12th day of pension reform protests and we did see a lower turnout than in previous weeks, 380,000 people took to the streets and it was relatively peaceful, but we did see some violence throughout the day. In the morning, protesters stormed the headquarters of LVMH and then there was some tensions between them and riot police throughout the day, and they did head to the constitutional council, where they set off red flares. Kim?

BRUNHUBER: Yeah, and then, of course, Saskya, all eyes now are on the Constitutional Council in its ruling today. Is it expected to appease the protestors or perhaps pour more fuel on the fire here?

VANDOOME: Well, that's a great question, Kim. And you know, I think we've got live pictures of the constitutional council right now. And this is an extraordinary scene. You are seeing barricades being erected by police around the Constitutional Council and this is unprecedented. We've never seen this before. And it goes to show just how charged this ruling is and obviously they are expecting more protests today. There is a ban around the Constitutional Council. They're not meant to get anywhere near it, hence, the barricades.

But we do expect protesters to show up probably in other parts of Paris. And indeed, across the nation but we won't know the ruling until later on this evening. Now, President Macron has already asked to meet with trade union heads after that ruling, but it's hard to see what kind of common ground they may be able to find. Kim.

BRUNHUBER: Yeah, interesting. We'll be following that story throughout the day. Saskya Vandoome in Paris. Thanks so much.

New video shows the sheer devastation that months of fighting have left on the Ukrainian city of Bakhmut. Have a look here.


Well, this footage released by a Russian state-owned news outlet shows entire city blocks obliterated by brutal battles. Ukraine says Russian forces launched dozens of attacks per day trying to take full control of the city.

Meanwhile, the European Union is slapping sanctions on Wagner mercenaries over their role in the invasion of Ukraine. The sanctions will also apply to Russian media group with ties to Wagner's boss, Yevgeny Prigozhin. The announcement means their assets could be frozen and they can't receive money from anyone in the E.U.

North Korea says the rocket that it launched on Thursday was a new type of intercontinental ballistic missile. State media reports that leader Kim Jong-un guided the weapons test. It was reportedly a solid fueled ICBM, which can be moved more easily and launched quicker than a liquid fueled rocket. South Korea says Pyongyang needs, quote, "more time and effort to get the technology to work correctly."

Brazil's president is in China for a visit that marks his country's return to the diplomatic stage. But, as Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva mint (ph) meets with Chinese President Xi Jinping, one top chief political issue isn't on the agenda. Well, the detail is next, coming up. Stay with us.




BRUNHUBER: Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is in Beijing and expected to meet in the coming hours with trade union leaders and Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Earlier, Lula laid a wreath at the monument to the people's heroes at Tiananmen Square. His visit to China is seen as an indicator of Brazil's return to the world diplomatic stage. But despite previously vowing to discuss peace-making strategies with Russia's ally, there's no mention of the war in Ukraine on Lula's official schedule and said he and Xi are expected to focus on issues of trade and investment.


Anna Coren is following the story from Hong Kong. So, Anna, take us through the major issues they will be discussing here.

ANNA COREN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, Kim, it is all about trade. You know, last week it was the French president. Last month, it was Spain's prime minister. Now, it is the Brazilian president who is going to be having an audience with Xi Jinping in just over half an hour.

China is open for business after three years of self-isolation as a result of COVID, but you know, this highlights China's economic importance as the world's second largest economy, and also this potential shift in the global order. Something that Xi Jinping is pushing hard for this end to the dominance of the U.S. dollar for international trade.

President Lula is behind China on this. And during yesterday's visit to the new development bank in Shanghai known as the Brics Bank, Lula called on developing countries to work towards replacing the greenback.

Let's take a listen.


LUIZ INACIO LULA DA SILVA, BRAZILIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): Every night I ask myself, why should every country have to be tied by the dollar for trade? Why can't we trade in our own currency?


COREN: Now, earlier this year, Kim, the two countries announced a deal to trade in their own currencies that's ditching the dollar as an intermediary. And you know, just this month, Brazil's Central Bank announced that the yuan had overtaken the euro as the country's second largest international reserve currency.

Now, Lula will meet with Xi Jinping at the Great Hall of the People in just over half an hour at 4.00 p.m. local time. That will be followed by a banquet. For Lula who took office back in January, this is actually his third state visit to China. During his first presidency in the early 2000, Lula was particularly close to the Former Chinese President Hu Jintao. And during that partnership, China overtook the U.S. as Brazil's top trading partner and it still remains its largest importing Brazilian soybeans, iron ore and oil. We understand that more than 20 business deals are expected to be signed on this three- day trip.

And the issue of Ukraine, as you mentioned in the introduction, it has been removed from the official agenda . We know that Lula has been calling for a peace club of non-aligned countries to mediate between Russia and Ukraine. There is obviously hope that Lula and Xi may discuss, you know, this to some extent later this afternoon.

BRUNHUBER: So, Anna, I mean from a U.S. perspective, Lula so far as president, I mean, attacking the U.S. dollar as you mentioned, he's allowed Iranian warships to dock in Rio. He hasn't condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine as you mentioned, and now, potentially, you know, growing even closer to China. Will this antagonize the U.S.?

COREN: Yeah, look, very interesting point, Kim. Certainly, Lula is trying to walk the tight rope. He wants to remain friends with the United States. He was in the U.S. visiting with Joe Biden earlier this year. Obviously, he's now with Xi, the emphasis being on trade.

But, you know, Lula Da Silva, he does his own thing. He is a veteran leftist leader and as far as he's concerned, he sees this as a return for Brazil to the world stage. You know, Brazil is back, that is something that we heard from him when he was in Shanghai yesterday. So, he will try to navigate, you know, the international, certainly, this, you know, sphere, hoping that he can remain friends, I guess, Kim, with everybody.

BRUNHUBER: We'll see. Thanks so much, Anna Coren, appreciate that.

All right, still to come. Searching for life in our solar system. The spacecraft mission to Jupiter set to launch today. A lot more details on that, coming up. Please stay with us.




BRUNHUBER: The European Space Agency is about to send a spacecraft to explore Jupiter and three of its moons. The Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer Mission, nicknamed "Juice" was expected to lift off on Thursday, but a lightning risk postponed the launch, which has now been rescheduled for today.

So, joining me now is Olivier Witasse, who is the mission's project scientist. Thanks so much for being here with us. It must be incredibly exciting as you look forward to this launch. I mean, your agency said, this is one of the most exciting missions that you've ever flown. So why is that? What makes this so exciting?

OLIVIER WITASSE, JUICE PROJECT SCIENTIST EUROPEAN SPACE AGENCY: I agree with this statement. It's a fantastic mission. We are going to Jupiter and to explore the three icy moons, which are Europa, Ganymede, and the particular focus on Ganymede and Callisto.

Our prime mission is Ganymede, and it's very exciting because we are going to check for habitable places inside the icy moons around the giant planet like Jupiter. And we're going to explore the liquid water ocean in particular on the Ganymede, so it's very exciting.

BRUNHUBER: Yeah, before I ask you more about that, I just wanna ask about the process. I mean, it's been touted by your organization as by far the most complex that you've done. So, take us through what makes it so challenging. I mean, just getting there will be tough. It's a long and very unusual journey. So, talk to us about that.


WITASSE: Yeah, they are very challenges associated with this mission. The first one is indeed the lifetime of the mission. We need to go there and it takes ages and then we have four years of missions. It's a very long, long project but it's not the most difficult aspect of the project.

One of the most challenging that -- challenge that we have to face with this mission is the harsh radiation environment at Jupiter which is very difficult for electronic spacecraft instruments. So, we had to build a spacecraft which can resist to the very harsh radiation environment. That's one thing, including large solar panels. We are far from the sun, so we need to pull out. The spacecraft is 85 square meters solar panels that we need also to protect against the radiation environment.

The other challenges that we want to make precise measurement of electric and magnetic field around Jupiter and the icy moons. It's very important for our science objective to study the liquid water in particular, and for that we need to have a very clean spacecraft from the electromagnetic point of view. We don't want to measure the disturbances from the spacecraft. We want to measure the electric field and magnetic field from the environment around the icy moons. And for that we need to build a very clean spacecraft, and we managed. That's one of the most challenges of the mission.

BRUNHUBER: Yeah, and to try and find these -- the liquid water oceans under the surface. I mean, it's way down there. So, what implications could this have? This is about finding evidence of a past life for -- or sustaining life in the future?

WITASSE: One of the -- of the big ideas of exploration of solar system and of the universe is, are we alone? Is there life somewhere else? And the first step is to find places that we call habitable so -- that have all the ingredients necessary for life.

And one of the many ingredient is the liquid water. So, we need to find places in the solar system where we have liquid water. And it looks like the icy moons of Jupiter but also around other giant planet may be the best place to find liquid water. This is why we go there.

So, that will be the first step to characterize those liquid water where all the oceans? How deep they are underneath the surface? How much water do we have? What is the composition? That will be the first step to understand this environment. And then if we are -- if we find that these environments are interesting for life, the next mission will be to -- maybe to search for life.

BRUNHUBER: Oh, it's so fascinating. It -- as you mentioned, it'll take about eight years, you know, to get there. But you don't get to just put up your feet on the desk and wait for it to get there. What will you be busy doing?

WITASSE: So, when we arrive there in 2031, we'll have four or five years of mission ahead of us with a very complicated trajectory. We have two orbiting session, one around Jupiter, and one around the Ganymede moon that believe the first time that will orbit the moon of another planet.

We have certified fly-bys of the icy moons doing that mission, so Callisto, Europa and Ganymede. So, in terms of navigation, it will be quite complex and there will be always a lot of opportunities to do science. Sometimes, like Jupiter, sometimes like the moon, sometimes in the system, I.O. (ph) the dust.

So, we need to carefully plan all those observations and to plan four - five years of observation, we need four, five years at least of work with the scientists to make sure that we have the best operation sequence, because we have to take care of the priority of the mission. The power (ph) available on board -- we don't have a lot of power -- only the power of a microwave oven to power all the instrument and the spacecraft.

We are far from the earth, so we have a limited amount of data that we can get back on earth. So, we need to take that all into account to do the best science planning and it will take four or five years.

BRUNHUBER: Well, listen, though. We'll have to leave it there, but we wish you the best as you look forward to that launch later today. Certainly, the world will be watching. Olivier Witasse, from the "Juice" Jupiter mission at the European Space Agency, thank you so much.

WITASSE: Thank you very much.

BRUNHUBER: All right. But before we go, we want to introduce you to a new program that could make you see immigration issues in a whole new light.

Coming up on the premiere episode of "The Whole Story with Anderson Cooper", CNN's Nick Paton Walsh travels with a group of migrants as they make the arduous trek on foot through the Darien Gap from Colombia to Panama. Have a look.


NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL SECURITY EDITOR: And literally, meters from Colombia. The ground turns. People as they walk, just discarding their shoes, a real sense of the atmosphere changing now we cross the border into Panama. People clumping together, perhaps fearing for their own safety. And this mud, is just impossible to go and get your feet out of it.


This man, who didn't want to be named, now, with nothing on his feet but his resolve, pause and imagine where you've come from, if you're willing to do this barefoot with a woolen sweater and plastic bags. Pierce your feet or break an ankle. And this mud, maybe your grave.


BRUNHUBER: You can tune in to see the full report on Sunday night, 8.00 p.m. Eastern in the U.S., 8.00 a.m. Monday in Hong Kong.

That wraps this hour of CNN Newsroom. I'm Kim Brunhuber. More in just a moment with Max Foster and Bianca Nobilo.