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Allies Gather in Japan to Discuss Ukraine, China; U.S. Won't Block Allies Sending Jets to Ukraine; Israelis Mark Capture of East Jerusalem in 1967 War; Arab World Normalizing Ties with Assad Angers Some Syrians; Myanmar's Travel Restrictions Delay Vital Aid to Storm Victims; Two Tech Giants Win Legal Battle Over Terrorist Posts; Confusion Over Fate of 4 Missing Children 18 Days Later. Aired 12- 12:45a ET

Aired May 19, 2023 - 00:00   ET


MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. I'm Michael Holmes. Appreciate your company.


Coming up on CNN NEWSROOM, standing together against China and Russia. Western allies travel to Japan for the start of the important G-7 summit.

Thousands of Israelis, most peaceful, but some chanting racist insults, hold a contentious march through Jerusalem's Old City.

And once labeled an international pariah, Syrian President Bashar al- Assad joins the -- rejoins the Arab League for the first time since his country's brutal civil war.

ANNOUNCER: Live from CNN Center, this is CNN NEWSROOM with Michael Holmes.

HOLMES: It is 1 p.m. in Hiroshima in Japan, where the annual G-7 summit gets underway this hour. And already, world leaders are making some headlines.

U.S. President Joe Biden visiting the city's Peace Memorial Museum, honoring those who lost their lives when American forces dropped an atomic bomb on the city near the end of World War II.

The war in Ukraine is expected to be high on the agenda in the days ahead. Sources tell CNN the U.S. will not stand in the way of allies who want to send F-16 fighter jets to Kyiv.

Also, the U.K. and the European Union announcing new sanctions, restricting Russia's diamond trade.


CHARLES MICHEL, EUROPEAN COUNCIL PRESIDENT: Trade in Russian diamonds. Russian diamonds are not forever. They're really out, openly and frankly, why these sanctions are necessary and justified. (END VIDEO CLIP)

HOLMES: All right, let's go right now to Hiroshima, and CNN White House reporter Kevin Liptak.

Good to see you, Kevin. So tell us more about the day's events and what are some pretty and varied agenda items. Pretty important and varied.

KEVIN LIPTAK, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: -- working lunch after that powerful moment at the Peace Memorial here in Hiroshima. The laying of wreaths at the Flame of Peace. And the leaders really sort of seeing the history of this city firsthand, feeling the import of the backdrop of the nuclear bomb here in 1945 and sort of taking that to heart.

As they enter these very important summit talks of the G-7. Today, Ukraine is the topic of -- the main -- main topic on the agenda. They will have a dedicated session to that later today.

And they are expected to announce a coordinated set of new sanctions, including more than 300 Russian individuals and entities just from the United States alone. New expert controls that would restrict the import of products made with American technology to Russia.

So really trying to close some of the loopholes and the sanctions of the regime that have allowed people and entities to evade the sanctions going forward, hoping that they might have some more bite.

And you also mentioned the United Kingdom, also announcing today that they would ban the import of Russian diamonds. That had been some sort of -- one of the last remaining Russian industries that had not been touched by the sanctions so far.

So significant efforts underway. We also expect the G-7 leaders here at some point over the course of the summit, from the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy. The Japanese government said earlier today that that would be virtual. American officials have been a little more cagey about what the format of that might be -- what that might look like.

There are some rumors that he may attend the summit in person, which would be an audacious trip from Ukraine to Japan. He has been traveling around, certainly, more than he had at the start of the war.

So certainly, some heavy topics for these leaders to discuss. China also on the agenda here. Of course, the G-7 is taking place this year in Asia. It only happens in Asia every seven years. So it will sort of loom larger than it might ordinarily at a G-7 summit.

But President Biden certainly goes into these talks, either to coalesce these fellow world leaders around these very important issues. The debt ceiling crisis that is happening back in Washington still looms very large. The president, we were just told, received an update on those negotiations from his team earlier this morning. He also cut short half of his trip so he could return to engage in

those negotiations himself, beginning next week. So certainly, a packed schedule for the president over the next several hours and days.


HOLMES: Yes. Yes, and we did just get word that Zelenskyy will be traveling to Japan to address these leaders. Which is as you said, quite an extraordinary thing for him to do. We're just sort of getting new details on that.

Kevin, appreciate it. Kevin Liptak, in Hiroshima, in Japan, appreciate that.

All right, more now on the push to send F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine, which could be a game-changer in the war with Russia.

CNN's Oren Liebermann with details from the Pentagon.


OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: The Biden administration has signaled to several European allies in recent weeks that it would allow them to export their F-16s, according to several sources familiar with the matter.

This, as the White House faces increased pressure not only from Congress, but also from allies to get Ukraine advanced fighter jets, because of the increased barrages of aerial attacks that the country has faced, especially in recent weeks from Russia.

However, the administration hasn't gotten any formal request to approve the transfer of foreign F-16s to Ukraine. Nor have State Department officials begun the paperwork that would be required to do so.

Several European countries possess F-16s, and fly the U.S.-made fighter jet, and have signaled a willingness to put together some sort of package that would allow them to transfer their F-16s to Ukraine.

However, as the pressure has increased, the U.S. hasn't shifted its own position on its own F-16 fighter jets, mainly that the U.S. isn't willing to right now. And is reluctant to send its F-16s to Ukraine at this time. Instead, focusing on several other areas. That is armor, and mechanized capabilities, as well as aerial defenses, which has really been the priority for the U.S. sending Ukraine those at the moment.

It is worth noting that just earlier this week, there was a bipartisan letter sent to the White House, urging the White House to shift its position on F-16s. I'll read you a part of this right now.

"As a bipartisan group of lawmakers, we view the transfer of aircraft to Ukraine as essential for providing Kyiv with the air support capability required to fully defend their nation against Russia's unprovoked, illegal, and brutal invasion. And to make the territorial gains necessary to reclaim their country."

The National Security Council's coordinator first for strategic communications, John Kirby, has said the administration is willing to consider future capabilities, though not specifying whether that includes F-16s.

It is worth noting that there were two Ukrainian fighter pilots in the U.S. earlier this -- this year, from late February to early March, having their skills assessed for a short period there to see what it would take for them to learn advanced fighter jets. But at least, as of right now, that hasn't shifted the administration's position.

Oren Liebermann, CNN, at the Pentagon.


HOLMES: All right. Joining me now from Hiroshima is CNN political and national security analyst, David Sanger. He is also the White House and national security correspondent for "The New York Times," and author of "The Perfect Weapon."

Always good to see you, David.

So the Japanese Prime Minister Kishida, he kicked off the whole thing warning that Russia's war in Ukraine has put the world at a crossroads, as he put it.

And now the U.S. already saying it's not going to block other countries from exporting American fighter jets to Ukraine. What sorts of discussion and action do you expect on the war after the G-7?

DAVID SANGER, CNN POLITICAL AND NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: I think it will go into sort of three major buckets. The first, as you say, is what kind of aid and arms the Ukrainians can expect in the future.

That debate on the F-16s is really just a small part of it, although the important part, because there's no question that the Ukrainians would want to have the F-16s, even if there was a peace agreement or an armistice in the future, to make sure that they could maintain a significant deterrent.

The second big part of it, I think, is going to be looking at whether or not there is a path forward to some kind of a negotiated settlement. So far, President Zelenskyy has said he won't do that unless there is a move to actually make sure that the Russians withdraw from his country.

The Russians have shown no interest at all in pursuing this.

And then the third big element of it, I think, will come if we see President Zelenskyy actually show up here, which American officials and some European officials tell me they now fully expect sometime this weekend.

They're being a little bit vague about when, because I think they're concerned about the security arrangements. But we've certainly seen Mr. Zelenskyy travel around Europe in the past week. He showed up at the Munich security conference a year ago just before the war broke out. He obviously showed up at the U.S. Congress and the British Parliament at various moments.


So at this point, it would not be a huge surprise to see him there, and that, of course, would sort of galvanize the group and particularly the fence sitters who are here, the Indians. The Indian government, the Brazilian government, and others.

HOLMES: Yes. There's so much on the agenda that's important. There's the Indo-Pacific tensions, instability, China and Taiwan just one example of that. What are you expecting on that front? Dealing, you know, with the West's worsening relations with China in many ways?

SANGER: You know, I think the Europeans had been happy to see that the administration has recently toned things down a little bit with China. I'm not sure that that will last, to tell you the truth.

But we saw Janet Yellen, the treasury secretary, give a speech about two weeks ago that said that she could imagine cordoning off security concerns from broader, commercial relationships. I'm not sure the Chinese view it the same way.

Heard something similar from Jake Sullivan, the national security adviser. And then Mr. Sullivan met in Vienna for two days with China's top foreign policy official. And the accounts that came out of that sounded a little bit more constructive than what was going on around the time that the U.S. shot the balloon out of the sky off of the U.S. East Coast.

So I think that the Europeans are feeling as if maybe they are getting more in alignment with the U.S. at this point. Or the U.S. is getting more in alignment with them.

HOLMES: Yes, President Biden, you know, he was meant to be doing a longer trip. He's putting off part -- part of it, a trip to Australia, Papua New Guinea, as well, because of the looming, potential debt ceiling crisis.

Is that being discussed in Hiroshima? I imagine it will be, given the potential international implications of the default. It's not just America's problem, if it happens.

SANGER: That's right. I mean, if a default does happen, it would ripple around the world, starting with the interest rate and stock market effects, although in past cases, though we've never actually gone into default, those have been relatively temporary.

There is a question about whether the president was doing this more for optics, than for negotiations. The debt limit ceiling wouldn't be heads until June 1 at the earliest. It would have been, under the old plan home for a week.

But I think that he did not want to probably open himself up to the criticism that you're already hearing from Republicans that he's abroad at a time that these negotiations are going on.

Frankly, I think the bigger damage is being done to American diplomacy in the South Pacific, by his not showing up in a meeting with 17 leaders who were going to see him in Papua New Guinea. They are sending Secretary of State Tony Blinken to the region to try to go do that meeting in his stead, but it wouldn't be the same as having a first time the president that has ever shown up in the Pacific islands.

HOLMES: Yes. David, thank you. David Sanger there in Hiroshima in Japan for us.

Well, Palestinians were mostly out of sight on Thursday, as thousands of Israelis held their annual march through Jerusalem's Old City. It marks the anniversary of Israel seizing control of the mostly Muslim quarter back in 1967.

Since then, the march has become a magnet for Israeli nationalists, with several far-right ministers joining Thursday's procession.

Unlike recent years that saw violent clashes, this year's event was largely peaceful, thanks in part to heavy security. There were skirmishes, though.

Here's what the prime minister had to say to mark the occasion.


BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER (through translator): In Jerusalem, we have our roots. In Jerusalem, we have our identity. Jerusalem has the details of our lives. Jerusalem gives us the strength.


CNN's Hadas Gold is in Jerusalem and has our report.


HADAS GOLD, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): By the thousands, they came, nearly all and white, waving Israeli flags.

For these marchers, this is a celebration of when Israel took control of East Jerusalem from Jordan in the 1967 war, giving Jews access to their holy sites in the Old City.

Four Palestinians, it marks the beginning of the occupation of East Jerusalem.

But in recent years, the march has also become more like a right-wing nationalist rally and a pretext for violence between Jewish Israelis and Palestinians, who make up most of the population in this part of the city.

While most marchers were peaceful, some groups sing songs about getting revenge on Palestinians, erasing their names. Others going even further, chanting, "may your village burn."


They were emboldened by the presence of right-wing government ministers, like National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir, who marched alongside them through the Old City and to the Western Wall.

Thousands of police showed how tense the situation was, even before the marchers started, using heavy-handed tactics to clear the route, including on senior CNN correspondent Ben Wedeman.



GOLD (voice-over): The marchers, too, targeted the press, throwing rocks, bottles and cans at our position, forcing reporters to cower for cover.

But Jerusalem Day has seen much more serious violence than this. It was in 2021, as the thousands of Israelis made their way to the Old City, that the Palestinian militant group, Hamas, fired rockets toward Jerusalem, setting off an 11-day war.

Hamas and Islamic Jihad threatened the march again, if any of their unnamed red lines were crossed, but this year, most of the drama stayed on the ground, in clashes and scuffles, and not rockets in the sky.

Hadas Gold, CNN, Jerusalem.


HOLMES: Some Palestinians held their own counter demonstrations to protest the Israeli march in Gaza. Hundreds faced off against Israeli security forces along the border fence.

According to Palestinian media, the Israelis fired tear gas to push people back. We have not received any word of casualties, but some people were seen being carried to ambulances.

Still to come here on the program, anger from some Syrians as Arab leaders welcome Syrian President Bashar al-Assad back into the fold, despite more than a decade of waging war against his own people.

Plus, powerful Cyclone Mocha left the most vulnerable people in Myanmar in dire need of humanitarian aid. But the government's travel restrictions is holding up access to basic necessities. We'll have details when we come back.


HOLMES: The high-level Arab League summit is set to begin in the coming hours as leaders got together in Saudi Arabia. This year marking the controversial return of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for the first time since the outbreak of his country's civil war in 2011.

Mr. Assad still controls vast swaths of Syria, although he remains a world pariah, with sanctions on his own country.

Many Syrians are angry and disheartened to see the Arab world welcome the Syrian president back into the fold after years of killing and brutalizing his own people.

CNN's Jomana Karadsheh with our story.


JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Assad or we burn the country, vowed his supporters, and the country burned.


It was a regime's existential battle, where no holds were barred. Hundreds of thousands of lives lost, maybe many more. And millions forced into a miserable existence, far from home, victims of a civil war. Their pain was the world's to see.

Atrocities so shocking, yet the world did little.

Twelve years on, Assad still denies attacking civilians and claims he was fighting terrorism. Now, the ruthless president who unleashed hell on his people with the help of his ally, Russia, is not only a free man. He's now welcomed in some world capitals with red carpets and handshakes.

WAFA MOSTAFA, SYRIAN ACTIVIST: Defeat is something that, you know, one at some point should accept. But this is beyond -- beyond any conversation about defeat or win. This is about -- you know, this is about the man who is responsible for the pain and for the suffering that I've been going through in the past ten years.

KARADSHEH (voice-over): Wafa Mostafa recounts the days since she last saw her father, more than 3,600 days of searching, waiting, campaigning. Ali Mostafa vanished into the black hole of the regime's prison system, one of more than 130,000 forcibly disappeared by the regime.

MOSTAFA: And living years of your life, wondering every night before you go to sleep if your own father is still alive or not, is something that, you know, is hard to explain and hard to describe.

And state of normalizing is that, now after 12 years, they should have, you know, held him accountable for the war crimes, if committed, for the war crimes that he is -- most importantly, for the war crimes he is still committing.

KARADSHEH (voice-over): Bringing Bashar al-Assad into the regional fold, Arab leaders argue, is for ability in the Middle East, is for an end to a refugee burden its neighbors say they no longer can bear.

Those who survived his brutal battle for survival, now facing the Middle East and new reality, where they fear they may be forced back to the horrors of Assad's regime.

NABIL AL OTHMAN, SYRIAN ACTIVIST, REFUGEE IN TURKEY (through translator): It's a monstrous regime in every sense of the word. We heard from many telling us what they went through. I'm from Idlib, where he used chemical weapon and banned weaponry against us.

KARADSHEH (voice-over): Twenty-seven-year-old Nabil Al Othman is a former rebel, now an activist. Like millions of other Syrians, he found safety in. Turkey. But with anti-immigrant sentiments on the rise, and the fate of Syrian refugees now at the heart of the country's political debate, Syrians feel their safe space is shrinking.

OTHMAN (through translator): Even if the whole world normalizes this regime, Syrians will never trust it. For me, going back to this monstrous criminal is impossible. If I return, I'll be sent straight to jail, torture, and to my death. If they want to forcibly return me, I'll try to get to Europe.

KARADSHEH (voice-over): For more than a decade, they begged the world to end their nightmare. But they were left to face it all alone, and now face a world where their oppressor got away with it.

MOSTAFA: They think that, instead of welcoming Assad to -- to Riyadh, I think he should be welcomed to the ICC. There is still this hope that, you know, my father will be free. I -- I might be able to save him, one day. But, you know, normalization feels like the end of everything. It feels like the end of this hope. It feels like the end of, you know, what started in 2011, and it is like the end of my life.

KARADSHEH (voice-over): Jomana Karadsheh, CNN, Istanbul.


HOLMES: Ten days before Turkey's runoff election, the president's rival vowed to send all migrants and refugees back to their home countries. Kemal Kilicdaroglu's bold promise is aimed at securing the support of a third candidate, the far-right secular (ph) Sinan Ogan, who is now poised to play kingmaker.

Kilicdaroglu needs his backing to have any real chance of beating the incumbent who barely fell short of an outright majority.


KEMAL KILICDAROGLU, TURKISH OPPOSITION LEADER (through translator): I announced it to you here. I will send all the refugees home as soon as I come to power, period.


HOLMES: Meantime, Turkey's president says he feels confident ahead of the runoff election, Recep Tayyip Erdogan joining CNN's Becky Anderson for an exclusive in-depth interview.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) BECKY ANDERSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Sir, up until last Sunday, you had comfortably won every election that you have competed in. That is a remarkable record over 20 years. Now your leadership is challenged, and you are from competing in the first ever presidential run-off in Turkish history. How confident are you, sir?

RECEP TAYYIP ERDOGAN, TURKISH PRESIDENT (through translator): The current competitor has been challenging us for 15 times now. And he was defeated each time that he challenged us.


In the forthcoming runoff elections, which will be held next Sunday, I feel confident that my people will invest in a strong Turkish democracy. And I hope and pray that out of the runoff elections, our people will not let us down.


HOLMES: And you can watch the full interview with President Erdogan on "Connect the World" at 5 p.m. in Istanbul and 10 p.m. in Hong Kong right here on CNN.

All right. Now to Myanmar, where humanitarian groups say the military junta's travel restrictions are delaying vital aid from reaching hundreds of thousands of people displaced by Tropical Cyclone Mocha.

People in Rakhine state have been in urgent need of clean water, food and shelter since the storm struck on Sunday.

CNN's Paula Hancocks with more.


PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It was one of the strongest cyclones to ever hit Myanmar. And it hit the most vulnerable and desperate.

Temporary shelters in this Rohingya refugee camp were destroyed. More than 400 people have died, and entire villages have been wiped out, according to eyewitnesses.

Those who survived tried to salvage anything left of their home.

And laid to rest those who were lost. Aung Saw Hein already lost his home once, fleeing a religious persecution by Myanmar's military 10 years ago, leaving everything behind. He's now homeless again.

AUNG SAW HEIN, ROHINGYA REFUGEE: Let me just show you the situation over here. My home is completely destroyed. Some of the people have already cleared my area.

HANCOCKS (voice-over): He's been helping search-and-rescue missions, looking for the bodies of his neighbors, and helping to bury the dead.

HEIN: My heart is very, very broken. I don't know how to mention in what. But when I see the dead bodies, I can't control my tears.

HANCOCKS (voice-over): Myanmar's military has been accused of killing thousands of Muslim Rohingya in a bloody and brutal crackdown. It's been described by the United Nations as a genocide.

About a million Rohingya fled to neighboring Bangladesh starting in 2017, but hundreds of thousands still live here in Myanmar, many displaced and in dire need of humanitarian aid.

Abdul Hussein says he saw his wife and three daughters swept away by the water as they tried to flee to safety.

ABDUL HUSSEIN, STORM SURVIVOR (through translator): There are a lot of families like us. We need shelter. We have no food. We don't know what to do tonight. What we eat for lunch, and what we will do tomorrow. We just lost everything.

HANCOCKS (voice-over): Hussein shows us where he slept with his surviving children and grandchildren last night.

HANCOCKS: Do you think there will be any help coming from the military?

HUSSEIN (through translator): I don't believe they will come to help us. I will just have to struggle to feed the six members of my family that are left.

HANCOCKS (voice-over): Myanmar's junta leader, Min Aung Hlaing, visited this same hard-hit area, Sittwe, on Monday. He promised aid from the military.

But the U.N. and many international aid organizations say they have been heavily restricted from entering the country and the junta rule since they seized power two years ago, leaving the residents of Rakhine, many living in camps, to fend for themselves.

HEIN: This storm completely destroyed our life and bring us on the road again.

HANCOCKS (voice-over): Already-vulnerable communities, hoping for help that may never come.

Paula Hancocks, CNN.


HOLMES: Still to come here on the program, a big win for big tech. The U.S. Supreme Court's ruling celebrated by online platforms. We'll have the details, when we come back.



HOLMES: All right. I want to give you an update on our breaking news this hour. The Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, will be joining the leaders of the G-7 at their summit in Hiroshima, Japan.

That's according to a source familiar with the matter. We're talking about attending in person. The war in Ukraine, obviously high on the agenda for the weekend meetings with the U.K. and European Union, already announcing new sanctions on Russia's diamond trade.

Also, sources telling CNN the U.S. will not block allies from sending F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine, something Kyiv has been requesting for months.

The U.S. Supreme Court handed Silicon Valley twin victories on Thursday by protecting online platforms from liability for terror- related content posted by users.

In one of the two cases, the court ruled that Twitter will not have to face accusations it aided and abetted terrorism when it hosted tweets from the terror group ISIS.

The ruling, effectively raising the bar for future such claims.

The Supreme Court also dismissed a case against Google. It left intact a lower court ruling that said the company is immune from a lawsuit that accuses its subsidiary, YouTube, of aiding and abetting terrorism.

Joining me now is Mike Isaac. He's a technology correspondent with "The New York Times." He joins me now from San Francisco.

Good to see you. The court's decision focused on a specific case, of course, but the ramifications are pretty far-reaching, aren't they? What do you think the main impacts of the ruling are?

MIKE ISAAC, TECHNOLOGY CORRESPONDENT, "NEW YORK TIMES": Yes, you're exactly right. I think today, honestly, was a big win for tech companies that have basically been assailed for a long time, as to how much responsibility they have for the content that's posted on their platforms, whether it's Twitter, or Facebook or any of the different social media companies like YouTube under Google.

And, you know, basically, there has been a long-standing sort of argument that they should be no longer shielded by this law called Section 230, which essentially gives them indemnity from the types of different content that's posted on the networks, whether it's violent extremism, like in these cases, that led to the deaths of people or, you know, things that are more benign.

But the Supreme Court, essentially, punted today and said that it wasn't going to make any major changes to the laws.

HOLMES: Yes, yes, yes. Sort of a sidestep. But in the -- in the broader conversation -- I know you've had these conversations, too. How delicate is that balance between, you know, protecting social media, and media more broadly, when it comes to the third-party post or a lawsuit defamation.

And at the same time having some responsibility to stop inflammatory posts, particularly in the realm of terror. I mean, not allowing a social media Wild West for terror groups. How do you walk that line responsibly?

ISAAC: Right. I think you put it exactly right.

I mean, folks like you and I rely on different mediums, whether it's broadcast or social media, or you know, cell phones or whatever to get out important messages, or just, like, to communicate with people across the world.

And I think that these United States, you know, the First Amendment, and there's something that the courts take pretty seriously. And so I think balancing that with what role do these platforms have, in flashing really dangerous content.

And not only that but amplifying that content is, like -- is an entirely legitimate question for debate. [00:35:05]

And there are groups that come down on both sides of it very hard and say that companies like Facebook or, in one of these cases, Twitter, aren't doing enough, which is, in some cases, right. And then there are folks who are saying no, it should all be fair game, which is what opened up a whole other can of worms.

HOLMES: Yes, yes. We're seeing on Twitter sometimes. And can you foresee that this is at the end of that overall debate on media responsibility or potential culpability, particularly Section 230, which of course, has become very political? Do you think more cases are going to come? Or laws?

ISAAC: Yes, 100 percent. I think that there was a professor Berkeley today, saying that the facts of the cases that landed in front of the Supreme Court today weren't necessarily the best for the arguments that they were trying to further but perhaps if someone puts together a different case, that they may rule differently.

That perhaps if the fabric of the Supreme Court changes in the future, some justices retire, or -- or, you know, different folks are appointed, they may have a different ruling.

But it's definitely -- they didn't really issue a definitive sort of sweeping change or not, it was more just sort of kicking it down the line, so I think this is just going to keep continuing.

HOLMES: Yes. What would a different Supreme Court decision have potentially done to the functionality of tech platforms. I was reading someone was saying Reddit, you know, those who monitor Reddit could have been implicated.

ISAAC: Yes, 100 percent. I think the -- I mean, it's really interesting. In the Republican Party now, there are kind of different factions. There are folks who believe that, you know, that there's too much clamping down on social media, and that all speech should be completely unfettered. And to do that, they're sort of hammering the companies and

bludgeoning them to -- to social media companies like Facebook and Twitter to, like, let up and let anything go.

And then there's sort of maybe more traditional, conservative kind of just wants to let these companies do what they will. But I don't think that the fraction of the right-wing is going to let that go, especially with this decision, and they'll probably keep pressing for more on that.

But I think the other -- the sort of more Democratic side is he was agora ureus (ph), which is these platforms are being used for serious abuses and should be reined in, in some ways, responsibly without quashing, you know, other voices that might accidentally get caught up in the filters.


ISAAC: And to your point, if you come down really hard, maybe you quash a lot of speech, including speech that shouldn't be quashed. So it is totally a fine line.

HOLMES: Absolutely. Absolutely. Mike Isaac with "The New York Times." Always a pleasure. Great to get your thoughts. Thank you.

ISAAC: Thanks for having me. Appreciate it.

HOLMES: A race against time to find four missing children in Colombia. Coming up, questions and confusion over their fate more than two weeks after their plane crashed deep in the Amazon jungle.



HOLMES: An indigenous community is accusing Colombian authorities of negligence in the death of its leader in a plane crash in a remote part of the jungle.

It says the government is responsible for the tragedy, due to a lack of safety controls and procedures.

The bodies of three adults have been located since the small Cessna crashed in the remote part of the Amazon, but the fate of four children is still mired in confusion, after conflicting reports from government officials.

Stefano Pozzebon with the story.


STEFANO POZZEBON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A glimmer of hope. Colombia's president tweeting that four children on board the single-engine aircraft that crashed in the jungle on May 1 had been found alive and well, rescuers using scatter debris to trace them. But on Thursday, the president's tweet was deleted, saying the information could not be confirmed, government officials blaming poor communication.

And the head of the country's Children Welfare Authority later saying she was, quote, "very confident" about the rescue. She said, quote, "We're still missing that very, very last link that confirms all our hopes. Until we have the photo of the kids, we won't be stopping. We're not underestimating the information we received, but we want to confirm directly ourselves."

The Colombian armed forces have been using dogs to search for the children. The plane had taken off from the remote area of Araracuara, bound for San Jose Del Guaviare.

Rescuers from the military and local indigenous communities aren't giving up hope to bring home the little ones, as they follow a trail of small objects, such as hair scrunchies and baby bottles, even bringing in a recording of the grandmother to at least one of the children, to help in the search.

But efforts are difficult, given the rainfall in the dense parts of the jungle.

DAVID CANTERBURY, SURVIVAL EXPERT: Once the rivers start to swell and things like that, you have areas that are rapids. It makes it more difficult to navigate.

Obviously, as I said, the rivers are kind of the highway. So they're going to be using those waterways to get to and from places, obviously, to extract the survivors out and things of that nature.

POZZEBON (voice-over): Stefano Pozzebon, CNN, Bogota.


HOLMES: I'm Michael Holmes. Thanks for spending part of your day with me. I will be back at the top of the hour with more CNN NEWSROOM. But first, WORLD SPORT after the break.