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CNN International: Zelenskyy to Join G7 Leaders in Japan; Biden's Message to G7; Biden and Allies Visit Hiroshima Peace Memorial; U.S. Won't Block Allies Sending Jets to Ukraine; No Deal Yet on U.S. Debt Ceiling; White House: Steady Progress Being Made on Negotiations; Governor's Feud with Disney Costing Florida Jobs; TikTok Users Sue Montana Over Statewide Ban on App; Twitter, Google Not Held Liable for Terror-Related Content. Aired 4-4:30a ET

Aired May 19, 2023 - 04:00   ET



BIANCA NOBILO, CNN ANCHOR: Hello and warm welcome to our viewers joining us in the United States and all around the world I'm Bianca Nobilo live from London. Max Foster has a well-earned day off. Just ahead on CNN NEWSROOM.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: When our countries stand together, we stand stronger and I believe the hold world is safer when we do.

REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA) U.S. HOUSE SPEAKER: Look, we have an agreed on anything yet, but I see the path that we can come to an agreement.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They should have held him accountable for the war crimes they've committed, for the war crimes that he is most importantly, for the war crimes he is still committing.

RAFAEL NADAL, PROFESSIONAL TENNIS PLAYER: Next year will probably be my last year in the professional tour.


ANNOUNCER: Live from London, this is CNN NEWSROOM with Max Foster and Bianca Nobilo.

NOBILO: It is Friday May 19th, 9:00 a.m. here in London, 5:00 p.m. in Hiroshima, Japan where the G7 summit will soon be welcoming a special surprise guest, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. He's due to attend the gathering after first stopping in Saudi Arabia to attend today's Arab League summit -- according to CNN sources.

The war in Ukraine is already making headlines in Japan. A source tells CNN the U.S. will not stand in the way of allies who want to send F-16 fighter jets to Kyiv. And the U.K. and the European Union taking aim at Moscow's funding for the war with new restrictions on Russian diamond sales. Salma Abdelaziz joins me here in London, and Kevin Liptak in Hiroshima

with the latest on the G7. Kevin let's go to you first. What more do we know about this trip? Initially we thought it was going to be via video link, his appearance, and now we understand that he will physically be there.

KEVIN LIPTAK, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Yes, a source familiar with the planning tells me that he will be here in person and certainly he wouldn't make this journey if he didn't feel like he could accomplish something real with these leaders face to face. It's almost certain that he will bring with him in appeal for a more advanced weapons, more advanced technologies to help him in this planned counteroffensive against Russia. And the real hope among the leaders here is that Ukraine will be able to gain some territory that will lend some leverage at an eventual negotiating table with Russia. Of course, when that takes place, where that takes place, all remains to be seen.

But certainly, it will be a dramatic visit. It is a long way for Zelenskyy to come, halfway across the world really, the longest trip he has been on since the war began. He has recently begun traveling more. He didn't travel much at the start of the war. He's traveling more now. Most recently in that trip across Europe last week and he did secure billions of dollars in commitments in military aid from the leaders that he met there.

Now the leaders are behind closed doors here in Hiroshima right now talking about Ukraine. A special session is devoted to Ukraine. They are expected to emerge to announce new sanctions on Russia. The United States applying new sanctions on 300 individuals and entities. And really the goal is to try and close some of the loopholes that exist in the current sanction regime try and prevent those that have been evading the sanctions. So, certainly a lot needs to be done when it comes to Ukraine at the summit this week. A lot of other topics of on the agenda. But up first is Ukraine and certainly that moment with President Zelenskyy will be a real high point of this summit, Bianca.

NOBILO: Salma, President Zelenskyy is fighting for his country's survival and sovereignty but is it possible he's under even more pressure at the moment with this much talked about counteroffensive. There is a huge amount of pressure on him to deliver, isn't there, in order to sustain momentum and the continued lethal aid from NATO.

SALMA ABDELAZIZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A huge amount of pressure to deliver and to deliver quickly, right, Bianca. And that is why he is showing up in person. He does not want fatigue to set in over a year into this conflict. This is his diplomatic strategy if you will. Show up, shake hands, look my allies in the eyes and ask them for what I want and I might get more. I'll give you an example.

Just earlier this week he was on this whistle stop four country European tour. He was able to get three billion dollars in aid from Berlin. He got air defense support from France. He got attack drones from the U.K. So, he knows as a strategy that showing up being there in person, that matters.


And he needs that help all along those very complicated, very tough frontlines. And we're already seeing push towards Bakhmut. Remember they've made some small gains recently there. But he is going to need more. More advanced weapons -- as you heard there from our colleague Kevin -- more help and more support.

But beyond the defense help that he needs, he also wants to tighten that noose around Russia. He wants serious economic consequences for this invasion -- and he's already getting that. The U.K. has already announced more sanctions. I know we have a graphic to pull up just talk to those sanctions for you. 86 individuals and entities sanctioned by the U.K. This package includes companies accused of theft of Ukrainian grain and companies connected to Rosatom that's the nuclear company and its support of Putin's military efforts. He's going to want to see more of those sanctions. Remember, some of those countries in the G7 -- including the host nation Japan --continuing to receive imports from Russia. He wants to see an end to that.

NOBILO: And Kevin. Obviously, the fact that the G7 leaders are meeting in Hiroshima, it has this devastating historical significance to the location that wouldn't be lost on President Zelenskyy and the rest of the leaders as they fear for Russian escalation?

LIPTAK: Right, and there was this stirring moment that we saw earlier today. The leaders are laying a wreath in the Hiroshima Peace Memorial. They also toured the museum that is near the site where the atomic blast occurred in 1945. I've been at that museum. I was there when President Obama came here in 2016. It's quite a dramatic view of the horrors of what occurred on that day. You know, you see the scorched tricycles, you see tattered clothes.

And I think that is the backdrop against which these talks are taking place. Because for all the hope that the world would be eradicated -- or nuclear weapons would be eradicated and is the goal of this museum and of this memorial. We are on a moment where the nuclear threat is potentially at its highest in decades. Whether it's from Russia withdrawing from the New Start Treaty with the United States, or from North Korea which is rapidly advancing its nuclear program. Or from Iran, which is rapidly enriching geranium, there are all these threats that aren't lost on these leaders as they're gathering here. And certainly, they were reminded today of what the potential for nuclear war could look like. Their collective goal is of course to prevent that.

But it's hard to ignore those threats that are lingering in the background, sometimes not so much in the background, sometimes in the forefront particularly when it comes to Russia and these threats. These hints from Russian officials that they could use a nuclear weapon on the battlefield, that's something that these leaders will certainly be thinking about as these talks continue.

NOBILO: Kevin Liptak and Salma Abdelaziz, thank you both.

A U.S. made Patriot air defense system is reportedly fully back up and running after taking damage during Russian missile strikes in Ukraine. Moscow claim that it's hypersonic missiles hit a Patriot battery during an attack near Kyiv on Tuesday. But according to the Pentagon that didn't make much of a difference.


SABRINA SINGH, DEPUTY PENTAGON PRESS SECRETARY: So, for more specifics on the Patriot itself, I would refer to the Ukrainians. What I can confirm is that one Patriot system was damaged but it has now been fixed and is fully back and operational.


NOBILO: Multiple U.S. officials told CNN the damage on the Patriot battery -- similar to this one -- was only minor. It's still unclear if the damage was called by a missile strikes or from falling debris.

Sources tell CNN that the U.S. will not stand in the way of allies who want to send F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine. That's something Ukraine has been requesting for some time. CNN's Oren Liebermann has the details from the Pentagon.


OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: The Biden administration has signaled to several European allies in recent weeks that would allow them to export their F-16s to Ukraine -- 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 transfer of 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 defense 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 F-16

aircraft to Ukraine as essential for providing key with the aircraft 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 for strategic communications, John Kirby, has said that the administration is willing to consider future capability. 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 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 for right now that hasn't shifted the administration's position.

Oren Liebermann, CNN, at the Pentagon.


NOBILO: U.S. House Speaker, Kevin McCarthy, says he can see a deal being done on raising the debt ceiling. The Republican lawmaker wants Congress to vote on a bill next week.


REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CD) U.S. HOUSE SPEAKER: Look, we're not there. We haven't agreed to anything yet. But I say the path where we come to an agreement. I think we have a structure now. Everyone is working hard. We are working two or three times a day. They're going back, getting more numbers.


NOBILO: Meanwhile, the White House says steady progress has been made towards getting a deal done. U.S. President Joe Biden held a call with his top negotiators Thursday morning from Japan, where he is attending that G7 summit. CNN's Manu Raju has the latest from Capitol Hill.


MANU RAJU, CNN CHIEF AGGRESSION OF CORRESPONDENT: In a sharp shift, Kevin McCarthy, the House Speaker, indicating new optimism that a deal to avoid the first ever debt default in American history could actually be reached. For days McCarthy has been pessimistic, has been critical of the White House, has questioned whether they could actually be a deal. But a conversation that I had with him on Thursday morning, he indicated that they could get there. He believed that he sees a path to getting a deal. He believes that there is a structure to getting the deal. He even praised the White House negotiators who are in the room, and thanks that the bill could be in the house as soon as next week.

That would mean they need to get a deal in principle over the next few days in order to get legislative texts drafted and get in on to the floor of the House.

Now there are still a lot of questions, including what exactly is in there. Republicans have pushed for a slew of spending cuts. They have demanded work requirements on certain social safety net programs. As well as caps on discretionary spending on domestic programs. And they want to ease the permitting process for energy projects. All of which has caused pushback from a number of Democrats -- and particularly liberals. In the aftermath of the president's decision to negotiate with Kevin McCarthy, after insisting for months that he would not negotiate. The president and the White House reverse course. And now progressives are concerned.

PRAMILA JAYAPAL (D-WA): We should not reward the hostage takers.

RAJU: You're referring to the work requirements. He said that it would be of no consequence. Can there be work requirements and no --?

REP. RASHIDA TLAIB (D-MI): It's a consequence to my constituents and we're worried about the work requirements. We're worried about what's going on in environmental justice communities. They're asking, hey, are we going to be sold out regarding the permitting process? I think the leadership of the congressional progressive caucus is -- we're moving very cautiously. We just don't want all those committees being sold out, because McCarthy wants to play politics.

RAJU: Are you concerned the White House may be giving too much to McCarthy in these negotiations?

REP. JAMAAL BOWMAN (D-NY): Yes, I'm concerned about that. Because again, we shouldn't be negotiating.

RAJU: That one comment from Pramila Jayapal, the chairwoman of the progressive caucus was a response to President Biden saying that there would be no work requirements of consequence that would be added to the social safety net programs. That issue is part of these discussions. They are saying that those have significant consequences to her constituents.

But on the right, Kevin McCarthy faces pressures himself. A number of conservatives do not want him to water down the house passed bill which included a wide range of spending cuts. They are say that they will oppose it if it is watered down substantially.

So, that means that McCarthy, if he is to get a deal with the White House, he'll have to get a coalition together that could lose significant support from the right and left wing of the House in the Senate. But can they get enough support to get it through both chambers of Congress, and get it done before the first ever default could occur in early June? All of that is still a question as we head into critical negotiation days and to see if the two sides can reach a deal and raise the $31.4 trillion borrowing limit without any wreckage to the economy.


Manu Raju, CNN, Capitol Hill. (END VIDEOTAPE)

NOBILO: The office of U.S. Senator, Diane Feinstein, now confirms her recent bout with shingles has been more serious than she acknowledged. Feinstein is back in Washington for the first time since February. On Thursday, she initially denied a "New York Times" report that she had developed encephalitis, a brain inflammation when she was hospitalized. She told CNN it had been the flu. But a short time later, her office set the record straight. It confirmed that the Senator had had encephalitis but that she'd recovered.

Feinstein's office also revealed that she is currently dealing with another complication of shingles, known as Ramsay Hunt Syndrome. Which could affect the facial muscles.

Donald Trump's greatest Republican rival is expected to officially enter the U.S. presidential race finally, next week. Sources familiar with the matter say Florida Governor Ron DeSantis could file his paperwork as early as Wednesday in a possible soft launch to his campaign. But the big announcement may not come until the following week.

Over the past year, DeSantis has repeatedly targeted the Disney company, Florida's highest taxpayer, after Disney publicly criticized a state law limiting classroom talk about gender identity and sexual organization. Now Disney is scrapping plans to build a new billion- dollar campus outside of Orlando. That would have brought 2,000 high paying jobs to the state. CNN's Natasha Chen has these details for you.


NATASHA CHEN, CNN U.S. NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, in a memo written by the Disney Chairman of Parks, Experiences and Products, Josh D'Amaro said that given the considerable changes that have occurred since the announcement of this project -- including new leadership and changing business conditions -- we have decided not to move forward with the construction of the campus. This was not an easy decision to make, but I believe it is the right one.

This memo did not mention Governor Ron DeSantis. This does refer to the Lake Nona campus that was supposed to be the site of this office complex east of Walt Disney World. 2,000 people were supposed to move there, but now they are going to stay in Southern California.

Some people had already moved to Florida and the chairman in that memo said they would work on an individual case-by-case basis on their options, including the possibility of returning to Burbank here in the Los Angeles area.

Governor Ron DeSantis' office, through a spokesperson, gave a statement to our colleague Steve Contorno that read: Disney announced the possibility of a Lake Nona campus nearly two years ago. Nothing ever came of the project and the state was unsure whether it would come to fruition. Given the company's financial straits, falling market cap and declining stock price, it is unsurprising that they would restructure their business operations and cancel unsuccessful ventures.

Now, on the same day, Disney did announce that they are shutting down the Star Wars Galactic Star Cruiser at the Walt Disney World Resort. That is a premium experience where families paid thousands of dollars for a two-night voyage through the galaxy. That has only been open for about a year. Despite that announcement, D'Amaro in his memo did say that they are still going to invest $17 billion and add 13,000 jobs to that Florida resort in the next 10 years.

The Orange County mayor said that these 2,000 jobs not moving to Florida was a result of Disney not having an inclusive and collaborative work environment. The Florida Democratic Party chair said that this loss happened because of DeSantis unhinged personal vendetta against Disney.

Natasha Chen, CNN, Los Angeles.


NOBILO: The legal battles already beginning after Montana became the first state to launch a total TikTok ban.

A highly anticipated case within the global art world, the Supreme Court rules on Andy Warhol's usage of the portrait of the late singer, Prince.

Plus, a man is in custody after reportedly ramming his car through the gates of the Vatican. Details on the security breach. When we return.



NOBILO: Hours after Montana's total ban of TikTok were signed into law, a group of users is suing the state. They say that the new law is unconstitutional and violates the right to free speech. And as Tom Foreman reports more legal challenges are expected.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My money don't jiggle, jiggle, it folds. I like to see you wiggle, wiggle, push --

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Nearly half the country 150 million Americans turn to TikTok for inspiration, information and entertainment. But now Montana is turning it off, banning the app and potentially slapping $10,000 a day fines on app stores making it available.

The governor says, with TikTok owned by a Chinese company called ByteDance, the ban is to protect Montanan's personal and private data from the Chinese Communist Party. TikTok is pushing back, saying the Chinese government is neither a partner nor party to information in the app.

ERIC EBENSTEIN, TIKTOK SENIOR DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC POLICY: To be clear, there's never been any evidence, never any proof about any kind of information sharing. And we've steadfastly denied that.

FOREMAN (voice-over): Yet, big sky country is not alone, more than half of U.S. states have put some restriction on TikTok. For example, by banning it on government devices. Many are talking about taking it further. And some federal lawmakers are also up in arms.

REP. BUDDY CARTER, (R-GA): The Chinese Communist Party is engaged in psychological warfare through TikTok to deliberately influence U.S. children.

FOREMAN (voice-over): The chief fear is that the app could serve as a gateway to peddling anti-American ideas, meddling in elections, and spying. Again, TikTok disagrees.

SHOU ZI CHEW, TIKTOK CEO: We will firewall protect the U.S. data from unwanted foreign access. TikTok will remain a place for free expression and will not be manipulated by any government.

FOREMAN (voice-over): Some suggest worries about TikTok are overblown.


REP. JAMAAL BOWMAN (D-NY): It poses about the same threat that companies like Facebook and Instagram and YouTube and Twitter pose.

FOREMAN (voice-over): And free speech advocates see a big court battle brewing.

ASHLEY GORSKI, SENIOR STAFF ATTORNEY, ACLU NATIONAL SECURITY PROJECT: The ban is blatantly unconstitutional. It's an act of political theater. It is rooted in xenophobia, and it is trampling on the free speech rights of hundreds of thousands of people in Montana.

FOREMAN: Unless a court steps in, Montana's ban will go into effect next January. And it's worth noting, it will not be directed at individual users, just the companies providing access to TikTok.

Tom Foreman, CNN, Washington.


NOBILO: The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Thursday that the late artist, Andy Warhol, violated copyright laws in his portraits of the singer prince. The court ruled 7-2 that Warhol infringed the copyright of celebrity photographer, Lynn Goldsmith. Rejecting the argument that that pop artist pioneer had sufficiently transformed the original photo of the rock star. It's a significant step in the debate between artistic freedom and intellectual property.

And in other rulings handed down by America's top court, Silicon Valley won two cases on Thursday, giving online platforms protection from liability for terror related content posted by users. CNN's Jessica Schneider has this story.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Big tech companies winning big at the Supreme Court. Not only did a unanimous court say Twitter, Facebook and Google could not be held liable for aiding and abetting terrorism merely by letting terrorist groups post on their sites. But the court also let stand Section 230. It's a law that's been in place for decades. It shields internet companies from liability for any content that's posted by third parties on their site.

So, the Twitter case involves an anti-terrorism statute that does allow individuals to sue anyone who has aided or abetted an international terrorist group. But the Supreme Court saying that the family who brought this suit just couldn't prove aiding and abetting.

Justice Clarence Thomas, who wrote the opinion, wrote: The mere creation of those platforms, however, is not culpable. To be sure it might be that bad actors like ISIS are able to use platforms like defendants for illegal and sometimes terrible ends, but the same could be said of cellphones, email or the internet generally. Yet, we generally do not think that internet or cell service providers incur culpability, merely for providing their services to the public writ large.

And as a result of this ruling, the court then dismissed a broader case against Google and its platform YouTube, from the family of an American student who was killed in the 2015 Paris attacks.

In that case, the family wanted the Supreme Court to really take drastic action and declare that Section 230, which again for decades has shielded tech companies from liability. They wanted to say that Section 230 would no longer apply when social media companies allowed terrorist organizations to post content on their sites.

Now tech companies have warned that if the Supreme Court went that far, it would really throw the internet into chaos. But of course, the Supreme Court not wading into that Section 230 debate and really giving tech companies a big win by saying that they do not aid and abet terrorism when all they do is allow groups to post on their sites.

Jessica Schneider, CNN, Washington.


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