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U.S. Debt Ceiling Talks Resume on Impending Deadline; President Volodymyr Zelenskyy Attends G7 Summit in Japan; Wagner Group Leader Declares Victory in Bakhmut; Paul Whelan Confident of his Release; Private Mission to ISS Puts First Saudi Woman into SpacE; Massive Fire Burns Historic Manila Central Post Office; Outer Bands Hitting Guam As Storm Gains Strength; Italian P.M. Meloni Visits Flood-Ravaged Northern Region. Aired 2-3a ET

Aired May 22, 2023 - 02:00   ET




ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN HOST: Hello, and welcome to our viewers joining us here in the United States and all around the world. I'm Rosemary Church. Just ahead on "CNN Newsroom," down to the wire, the U.S. has 10 days before it could default on its debt. President Biden returning to Washington from an all-important meeting with Kevin McCarthy in the coming hours.

It was a bountiful trip to the G7 for Ukraine's president, heading home with pledges of military aid as the bloody battle for Bakhmut reaches a critical stage.

Plus, a historic mission, SpaceX and Saudi Arabia's first female astronaut into space. Hear her message to the world aboard Axiom-2.

Good to have you with us. Well, with the G7 summit now behind him, U.S. President Joe Biden is back in Washington to face his most pressing issue right now, the impasse over the U.S. debt ceiling. In the coming hours, President Biden will meet yet again with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy to try and strike a deal on raising the country's borrowing limit.

McCarthy says he had a productive phone call with Mr. Biden, as the president was returning from Japan on Sunday. There's only about 10 days left until the U.S. could potentially default on its debt. And to date, there have been no real signs either side is willing to budge. Well, at the G7, President Biden even took a swipe at Republicans warning they could try something outrageous as the clock ticks down. CNN's Arlette Saenz has the latest.

ARLETTE SAENZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: President Biden returns to Washington the same way he left it, without any clear resolution in sight for averting a default, which could occur in as little as 10 days. The president will host House Speaker Kevin McCarthy for another high stakes face-to-face meeting here at the White House on Monday. The two men did speak on Sunday as the president traveled back from

Japan. And negotiators from both sides met on Capitol Hill on Sunday evening. But each side still remains incredibly far apart in their approach to solving this debt ceiling and budget issue.

The president, in a press conference in Japan, warned about the stakes of this moment and said that Republicans need to come off their, quote, "extreme positions." And that ultimately, a bipartisan deal is necessary and Republicans need to compromise.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Now it's time for the other side to move from their extreme positions because much of what they've already proposed is simply quite frankly unacceptable. It's time for republicans to accept that there is no bipartisan deal to be made solely, solely on their partisan terms. They have to move as well.


SAENZ: Now, sources have told us one of the key issues and sticking points in these negotiations has been around spending levels. The White House has proposed keeping spending at the current fiscal year 2023 levels. But Republicans want to see it cut back to fiscal year 2022 levels. That is likely one of the issues the president and McCarthy will need to discuss in their meeting here at the White House.

But this all comes as the treasury secretary is once again repeating her warning that the U.S. could default on its debts as soon as June 1st. If that were to happen, that would have widespread and potentially catastrophic consequences for the U.S. economy and the global economy at large.

This is all setting up just another high stakes meeting between President Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy as they are looking for some type of resolution, some way out, to try to avert a default. Arlette Saenz, CNN, the White House.

CHURCH: Jessica Levinson is a professor of law at Loyola Law School and host of "The Passing Judgment Podcast." She joins me now from Los Angeles. Great to have you with us.


CHURCH: So, President Biden returned from the G7 Summit with the debt ceiling crisis looming large. He will meet with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy in the coming hours in an effort to make a deal before the country default on its national debt and plunges this country into an economic crisis on June 1st.


So, how likely is it that they can make a deal and get it through Congress within that very tight timeframe?

LEVINSON: I still think it is likely and there is nothing motivational like a timeline that is very, very real. And I think it is not an overstatement to say that there would be an economic catastrophe if we default on our debt. It would be hugely harmful to Americans; it would hit people very directly in their pocketbooks.

There would be an enormous number of federal employees who would be hurt. There would potentially be runs on banks. It would do really tremendously harmful things to the housing market, only to name a few. So, I think again, there is no motivation like a looming deadline.

CHURCH: And President Biden has warned Republicans that they have to compromise on their hardline partisan spending cuts. And he has gone so far as to suggest he may, if they don't, invoke section four of the 14th amendment of the U.S. Constitution. How viable is that option, do you think?

LEVINSON: It's a viable option legally, but it's not the one he wants to take politically. I mean, we do have, for instance, other presidents saying, you know, I don't want to go that route. And I think that there is a good argument to be made. If you look at the plain language of the 14th amendment, that in fact all of this could go away based on a legal argument, based on a case we can't have a debt limit like this, that we have to pay for the things that we say we are going to pay for.

But politically speaking, I think it's a loser to win this in the courts. And of course, there is a very real economic potential catastrophe here. But there's also a political catastrophe if President Biden can't show that he is the person who can get Kevin McCarthy to bend in negotiations and to understand how important this is and not, frankly, to conflate two different things, which are what do you want the budget to look like on the one hand versus are we going to pay our debts, which is the debt ceiling, on the other hand.

CHURCH: And Republicans they raised the debt limit three times in fact under Donald Trump, and no preconditions were asked for. But they are refusing to do the same for Joe Biden. Is this a manufactured crisis perpetuated by Republicans in an effort to perhaps destroy or really harm Biden politically ahead of the 2024 presidential election?

LEVINSON: Well, I certainly think it would be a win to try and draw blood from President Biden for the Republicans. And many of them ran on this issue of we're going to impose cuts and they think that this is their best, basically, pressure tactic, because they understand that, again, there's a real economic catastrophe, but also a political one.

I think people in some part would of course blame whoever president, President Biden, if in fact we do default on our debt. And so, Kevin McCarthy understands he does have some cards to play here, but as you said, this is something that Republicans, and frankly, there's a little bit of this across both sides of the aisle, but they care a lot about when they have a democratic president and they think that they can try and extract promises for the next budget when they are having to negotiate this.

CHURCH: And I do want to quickly turn to other political news because Ron DeSantis is expected to officially declare his candidacy for the GOP nomination for president in what's starting to be a very crowded field. We're expecting that anytime this week. What impact would the Florida governor's entrance into the race likely have on how Donald Trump is currently running his race?

LEVINSON: So, I think Donald Trump can't help but run the race that he's going to run, in the sense that I don't think the people who are running against him matter all that munch in the sense of its Trump and everybody else. And the former president has, I think, done a good job at least for his base of trying to weaken Governor DeSantis and say that he's essentially a poor man's Trump.

It will be interesting because DeSantis wants Trump's voters, but -- and he doesn't want to criticize Trump too much. But he also can't run to him and embrace him. So, it would be really interesting to see in the beginning when there's a lot of fundraising, when there's a lot of early polling, will he be able to grab some of those base Trump voters?

CHURCH: It will certainly be fascinating to watch. Jessica Levinson, many thanks for joining us and for your analysis.

LEVINSON: Thank you.

CHURCH: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has received promises of support from Ukraine's allies in Japan including a $375 million security assistance package from the United States.


But his biggest win during the trip has been to get U.S. President Joe Biden's backing for F-16 fighter jets and pilot training for Ukraine. CNN's Nic Robertson has the details.

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: While, undoubtedly, getting an agreement on the F-16 fighter aircraft was the single biggest take away for President Zelenskyy at the G7. In fairness, there was a lot of diplomatic light work done in advance. But by virtue of having all those leaders there together, it gave a focus point to bring an agreement to a conclusion.

And President Zelenskyy spoke in a press conference afterwards, not just about the importance of the F-16 aircraft to help give the Ukrainian air force better reach, better able to tackle the threat of the Russian forces, but he said that he -- by virtue of being there in the room, face to face with the leaders, he gets better results that way. So, bringing everything together, bringing allies and partners together, showing unity to Russia that they unify behind Ukraine was important.

But for Zelenskyy, I think just having this meeting, being there in person with so many allies are a bolster. And certainly, that's what we hear on the ground here. We've talked to commanders and troops at the frontline, the F-16 very important for them. And knowing in this very, very hard fight against Russia, a much bigger enemy in this hard and tough fight, they know they've got allies and partners in the rest of the world that are supporting them.

But I think the other takeaway from the G7 was that President Zelenskyy was able to meet with people like the prime minister of India, the leader of Indonesia as well, and try to break the Russian narrative of victimhood, that Russia is the victim of western and NATO aggression, to put it plainly to these leaders and say, look, Russia has invaded our territory.

And this is going to be very important when President Zelenskyy is looking at these nations around the table at the United Nations, ultimately trying to get a peace deal agreed with the U.N. And for these other countries, to put some kind of pressure and bring some reality to bear on Russia.

So, the takeaway for Zelenskyy, a big trip, a big reach around the world, a big diplomatic reach, and take away successes. When those F- 16s actually arrive and are in service, not clear. But for Zelenskyy, a good trip to Japan. Nic Robertson, CNN, eastern Ukraine.

CHURCH: Meanwhile, Ukraine's Dnipro region came under missile attacks overnight. Multiple people are reportedly injured and several buildings damaged. A local official says Ukrainian forces shot down 15 drones and four cruise missiles over the region. This comes one day after Russia claimed control of the bitterly contested city of Bakhmut.

Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin says his forces will be pulling out of Ukraine on Thursday and hand over its positions to the Russian military. But there's been no response on that yet from the Russian ministry of defense. For more on these latest developments, I'm joined by Malcolm Davis. He is a senior analyst at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute and he joins me now from Canberra. I appreciate you being with us.


CHURCH: So, the new $375 million pledge from the U.S. to Ukraine along with a plan to provide F-16 fighter jets and training is clearly a massive boost for President Zelenskyy. But Bakhmut appears to be lost for now at least. How significant would that loss be at this juncture?

DAVIS: Look, I don't think we should get too worried about the loss of Bakhmut. The Russians have taken horrendous losses in trying to take this town. And this town of Bakhmut strategically has no real significance. It doesn't really affect the outcome of the war per se. It doesn't interfere with the Ukrainian forces' lines of communication.

So, ultimately what everyone is focusing on now is that Ukrainian counteroffensives that's coming, probably focus in the south around Kherson and Zaporizhzhia. It ultimately may be the case that the Wagner forces, if they pull out and hand over to Russian forces, that ultimately Bakhmut is surrounded by the Ukrainians, cut off from supplies and they may surrender in any case. So, I am not convinced that Bakhmut is that significant a win for the Russians.

CHURCH: And you mentioned that imminent counteroffensive from Ukraine. It's been much hyped up, hasn't it, and that has concerned Ukraine, that the expectations are too high. Is that a worry here?

DAVIS: I think it is. I think that a lot of commentators are saying that this is a war winning move by Ukraine and it probably, we will be successful.


And the ultimate goal should be to isolate Crimea, to prepare the ground for a 2024 spring offensive to retake Crimea. But ultimately, I don't think the counteroffensive is necessarily going to win the war for Ukraine. It will deal a body blow to Russia and sent it reeling. But Putin is pushing for a protracted war. He is willing to wait.

And so, the ultimate way for Ukraine to win this war rests not only with the fighting spirit and skill of the Ukrainian forces, but also the willingness on the part of the United States and its allies in the west to sustain its support for Ukraine to make sure they have every capability they need to fight and win this war.

CHURCH: And as we just reported one day after claiming to have won control of Bakhmut, the leader of the Wagner Group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, says his forces are pulling out of Ukraine. What do you make of that announcement and what would the Kremlin's view of Prigozhin be, given he has gone rogue on occasion, hasn't he, despite being very useful in this war, at least at this time?

DAVIS: Prigozhin has his own political agenda. Ultimately, I think he sees himself as moving into the Kremlin at some point after Putin has, shall we say, been removed from power. I think that he's suggested that he'll pull out of Bakhmut in the past and he hasn't done it. I don't see him pulling out of Bakhmut if the Russians are not there to take over his position.

So, I'm not sure what exactly he means by pulling out of Bakhmut. But he clearly does have his own political agenda. He's got ambitions to challenge Putin and ultimately put himself into a position of power. And I think that would be very dangerous for the world because, you know, we all worry about Putin's intentions in regard to escalation. I think Prigozhin would be a more dangerous actor if he was in a position of power.

CHURCH: Yeah, it would be interesting to see what Putin does to Prigozhin if he is concerned that that's a possibility. But big picture, how would you assess this war so far and where do you see it going from here? Do you see an endgame at this point?

DAVIS: We're nowhere near an endgame. This war continues through this year, into the next. Depending on how the Ukrainian counteroffensive goes, wherever it lasts through 2024 into 2025, I think no one knows that. But certainly no one is thinking that this war is going to be over within this year. I think that we are heading into essentially a Ukrainian Russian conflict into 2024 that will increasingly focus on Ukraine's ability to seize Crimea.

The Russians will try to fight a defensive fight. They will continue to rattle nuclear sabers to warn of escalation. I think it's really important that the United States and its western allies do not allow Russian nuclear threats to intimidate them into winding back support for Ukraine.

Ultimately, what needs to happen is for Ukraine to impose a decisive defeat on the Russians, such that the Russians are visibly routed for the entire international community. Their forces basically sent reeling and running back to the border. That's what needs to happen.

But at the same time, the west does need to ensure that its deterrent strategy vis-a-vis Russia, is strong enough so that Putin or whoever is in charge in the Kremlin at that point is not tempted to reach for tactical nuclear weapons. That will be the real test in this war and that's yet to come, probably sometime next year.

CHURCH: Malcolm Davis, appreciate your analysis. Thanks for joining us.

DAVIS: Thank you.

CHURCH: Paul Whelan, an American citizen detained in Russia says he feels confident his case is a priority for the U.S. government, but wishes it could be resolved faster. Here's what he told CNN in an exclusive interview.


PAUL WHELAN, AMERICAN DETAINED IN RUSSIA: I feel that my life shouldn't be considered less valuable or important than others who have been previously traded. And I think there are people in D.C. that feel the same way, and they're moving towards a compromise and resolution to this as quickly as they can. There will be an end to this, and I hope it's coming sooner than later. But it is depressing on a daily basis, you know, going through this.


CHURCH: Whelan also said he was encouraged by recent public speeches by his sister and U.S. President Joe Biden calling for his release, which he was able to see in prison.



WHELAN: The public displays and events such as the, you know, the press corps dinner and the U.N. visit demonstrate to not just me, privately, but to the world that our leaders are impacted by this and they do want me back. And they are working to try to get me home. And if you consider all of the people and all of the agencies in my four countries that are working on this, it's incredible, and I think they're going to get it done.


CHURCH: Whelan has been detained in Russia for more than four years on espionage charges he denies.

Still to come, another crew of all private astronauts launches into space. We will tell you which member of the Axiom-2 mission is making history. Back with that, in just a moment.



UNKNOWN: Three, two, one. Engines full power and lift off. Falcon 9 go active.


UNKNOWN: Copy, one alpha.

UNKNOWN: Together, we expand what is possible in low earth orbit. Add Astra and Godspeed AX-2.



CHURCH: A successful launch for AX-2, the latest all private space flight from Axiom Space. In the coming hours, the crew will dock with the International Space Station, carrying four private astronauts. Among them, the first Saudi woman in space. Stem cell researcher Rayyanah Barnawi will spend the next eight days conducting breast cancer research before returning to Earth with the three other crew members. She left this message from the Earth's orbit.


RAYYANAH BARNAWI, MISSION SPECIALIST: To the people around the world, the future is very bright. And I would like you to dream big, believe in yourselves and believe in humanity.


CHURCH: And CNN's Carlos Suarez has more now on Sunday's launch.

CARLOS SUAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The mission commander called it a phenomenal ride into space. The Axiom-2 mission is on its way to the International Space Station after lifting off from Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Sunday.

According to Axiom Space, it will take the four-member crew 16 hours to get to the ISS where the crew will spend about eight days. The stage one rocket boosters successfully landed at Kennedy Space Center some eight minutes after liftoff. A sonic boom was heard as the rocket landed. Two Americans and two Saudis make up the Axiom-2 crew. Commander Peggy

Whitson is a former Nasa astronaut who has spent 665 days in space and served as commander of the International Space Station. She is joined by mission pilot John Shoffner, Ali AlQarni, and Rayyanah Barnawi, our mission specialist. Barnawi made history on Sunday by becoming the first Saudi woman in space. Carlo Suarez, CNN, Kennedy Space Center, Florida.

CHURCH: And still to come, Pakistan's former prime minister, Imran Khan, speaks to CNN about his ongoing standoff with the military and concerns about his safety.



ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: A massive fire has gutted the historic Manila Central Post Office in the Philippines' capital. The fire broke out late Sunday and teams of firefighters battled it for more than seven hours overnight, before finally getting it under control. The Post Office was first built in 1926, then rebuilt in 1946 after it was badly damaged in World War II. It sits near other tourist landmarks. No word yet on the cause of the fire or any injuries.

Pakistan's former Prime Minister Imran Khan is lashing out at the law- and-order situation in his country. Speaking to CNN Sunday, Kahn says there's "no rule of law" and the Pakistani government is violating the Constitution and his rights. Khan has been involved in a tense standoff with the country's military for months now, deepening political instability in Pakistan and leading to violent protests.

And for more, let's go to CNN is Paula Hancocks who joins us live from Seoul in South Korea. Good to see you, Paula. So, what is the latest on the situation in Pakistan for Imran Khan?

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Rosemary what he has said to Fareed Zakaria on Sunday is that he believes democracy is being dismantled in his country. Now he pointed out that he is currently holed up in his home in Lahore in Pakistan, and there is police all around his facility. Now we have heard from officials from the government, that they believe that there are individuals within that compound who have been starting fires and who have attacked military and governmental institutions after Imran Khan's arrest earlier this month.

There were violent clashes with police after that event as well. But Imran Khan says that's simply not true. He also says that he does not agree with the fact that the government having arrested thousands of people after those clashes are now going to try them in a military court rather than a civilian one. It's one that human rights activists have also said should not happen.


IMRAN KHAN, FORMER PRIME MINISTER OF PAKISTAN: Everything is being done to dismantle our democracy. So right now, as we speak, over 10,000 workers have been arrested. My entire senior leadership is in jail. On Tuesday, I'm going to make an appearance for various bails in Islamabad. 80 percent chances are that I will be arrested. So, right now, there is no rule of law.


HANCOCKS: Now Khan was ousted as prime minister in April of last year after losing a no-confidence vote. He blames the army chief for that. He believes that he colluded with the current government to get him out of power. Now, this is an accusation that both the government and the military deny at this point. But Imran Khan has tried to specify that he's not an enemy of the military itself.

He is not pitting himself against the very powerful military in Pakistan. He is talking solely about the army chief.


KHAN: All I know is that the last six months that he just worked to remove my government. And he's openly afterwards in an interview claim that he decided that I was too dangerous for the country. And so, my government was ousted since then.

All I have said is that the solution to Pakistan's problems are in free and fair elections because that's the only thing that would bring political stability in this country.


HANCOCKS: And Khan has also said that the economy cannot recover until there is that political stability. Rosemary?

CHURCH: All right. Paula Hancocks joining us live from Seoul. Many thanks.

In Greece, the ruling conservative party has won Sunday's parliamentary election but fell short of the majority needed to form a government. With most votes counted, New Democracy took a significant lead with more than 40 percent of the vote trouncing the opposition and left us Syriza which got only around 20 percent. Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis hailed his party's when calling it a political earthquake.

The prime minister also ruled out the possibility of forming a coalition which will likely set the stage for another election in about a month or so.


Still to come. Typhoon Mawar is slowing down and gaining strength in the Pacific. We'll tell you where it's posing the greatest threat. Back with that and more in just a moment.


[02:38:26] CHURCH: Typhoon Mawar is gaining strength in the western Pacific and it's also slowing down as it heads for Guam. The outer bands are already starting to impact the U.S. Island territory. The typhoon is currently the equivalent of a category two Atlantic hurricane. Heavy rainfall flooding, damaging winds and high surf are all possible as the storm comes ashore in the days ahead.

And meteorologist Britley Ritz is at the CNN Weather Center with the latest on the typhoon and its current path. She joins us now. Britley, what are you seeing?

BRITLEY RITZ, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Oh, Rosemary, that convection deepening which signifies strengthening with the system itself. Typhoon Mawar notice the deepening in the brighter whites, that's the convection, the storms within the center. Around the center and then the outer bands already impacting Mawar and all the way up through the northern islands. So, we're watching this closely as it moves quickly toward the islands themselves.

North northwest at 15 kilometers per hour. Gusts 195, sustained winds around the center, 160 kilometers per hour. We have typhoon warnings for Guam and Rota as well as tropical storm warnings for the northern islands. The system within the next 24 to 48 hours pushing toward Guam with winds of 185. Then pushing back off into the sea toward the northern provinces of the Philippines within the next 120 hours.

Gaining strength, taking on that warm water and fueling it to potentially become a category-four storm on the Atlantic basin.


Winds expected to head Rota. Wednesday morning the strongest in the upper right-hand quadrant still dealing with strong winds through Guam. But the strongest winds through Rota, then pushing again back out to sea and our winds for the islands will start to tame back a bit. But we are already experiencing tropical storm force. Winds 168 kilometers out from the center. We're expected to tap into typhoon force winds Wednesday morning, local time.

And of course, the heaviest rain expected to hit Guam here within the next 24 hours. Rosemary.

CHURCH: All right. Britley Ritz, thanks so much for keeping a close eye on that. Appreciate it. Well after cutting short her trip to Japan for the G7 summit, Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni has returned home and visited the flood ravaged northern region on Sunday. Residents there are cleaning up the damage from the flooding and mudslides which killed at least 14 people. More than 36,000 had been evacuated during the storms. And by Sunday evening, about a third of them were able to go home.

Well, thank you so much for joining us. I'm Rosemary Church. For our international viewers World Sport is next. And for our viewers here in the United States and of course, Canada, I will be back with more CNN NEWSROOM after a short break. Do stick around.



CHURCH: Seventy thousand. That is how many immigrants New York City Mayor Eric Adams says have passed through in recent months. He says the rest of the country has to share the responsibility not just a few large cities. CNN'S Gloria Pazmino is in New York to tell us how the city is coping and what Adams wants Washington to do about it.

GLORIA PAZMINO, CNN NEWSOURCE NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: And for several days, Mayor Eric Adams has been talking about the city of New York and needing financial intervention from the federal government. In recent weeks, he has been asking the surrounding suburbs around the city of New York to help and to share the "burden" of having to provide shelter and resources to migrants that continue to arrive here in New York City.

In the last several days since the expiration of Title 42, the city has continued to see a record number of arrivals in the city every single day. According to city hall, they are seeing hundreds of people arrive per day. The city has set up the Roosevelt Hotel which you see here behind me as a welcome center. A place where migrants can arrive and be connected to resources and eventually be placed in shelter while migrants figure out their next move.

Now in the meantime, Mayor Eric Adams is asking the federal government to step in and for neighbors around the city of New York to help out.


ERIC ADAMS, MAYOR OF NEW YORK CITY: If this is properly handled at the border level of this issue can be resolved while we finally get Congress, particularly the Republican Party to deal with a comprehensive immigration policy.


PAZMINO: Now, it's not the first time that the mayor makes this request of the federal government and he has also clashed with his neighbors outside of the city of New York in recent weeks. Some municipalities in the area have filed lawsuits, trying to stop the city from busing migrants to their suburbs, citing a lack of resources and saying that they don't have the infrastructure to help migrants.

But the city has said that they also are running out of space and resources. Specifically shelter capacity continues to be a major issue here in the city as more migrants continue to arrive and many of them are in need of shelter.

In New York City, Gloria Pazmino, CNN.

CHURCH: In Kansas City, Missouri, three people are dead and two more injured following a shooting at a nightclub early Sunday. Police say all five victims are believed to be adults. The two people injured remain hospitalized, one in critical condition, the other stable. Police are asking anyone with information to come forward. They're offering a reward of up to $25,000.

Minnesota has joined a growing list of states that are tightening gun control laws. On Friday, Governor Tim Walz signed new legislation into law that includes red flag measures. They allow the temporary removal of firearms from a person who poses a risk to themselves or others. Walz was joined by former Arizona Congresswoman Gabby Giffords who has focused on gun control since she was shot back in 2011.

The governor told CNN that the new laws were not about restricting responsible gun owners but about keeping people safe.


GOV. TIM WALZ (D-MN): We've seen it across the country, Newton to Uvalde and it goes on and on every single day. And we know that there are things like these two pieces of legislation make a difference. And so, if we make an impact on one of the shootings or if we get the firearms out of the hands of someone who is going to commit suicide, which we know especially for men, it is what they will do.

It -- that's a win. And these things have nothing to do with a threat to the Second Amendment. This is totally about safety of our children and our citizens and as a 24-year veteran and a lifelong hunter and gun owner, I'm not impacted negatively at all on this. And I think we need to take that narrative back, responsible gun owners that do believe that you can -- you can have them responsibly.

We need to lean into it. So, I'm just proud that Minnesota were finally able to do it.


CHURCH: In addition to the red flag law, the new legislation expands background checks to include most private gun sales. The measures passed the state senate by a single vote.

The suspect in the stabbing deaths of four University of Idaho students last year is set to appear in court in the coming hours.


Bryan Kohberger was indicted last week on four counts of murder and one count of burglary. He has not yet entered a plea but is expected to do so today. However much remains unknown about the case due to a wide-ranging gag order. CNN's Mike Valerio has more on that and what to watch for at today's arraignment.

MIKE VALERIO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, we will be watching a few things because the trajectory of this case utterly changed last week. A grand jury handed down its indictment on Wednesday saying yes indeed, Bryan Kohberger should be put on trial. And because of that decision, the path to a jury trial is no longer up in the air like it was before. There will be an arraignment and Kohberger will likely enter a plea.

So first, we're going to be watching to see how Kohberger pleads to four counts of murder and one count of burglary. Most likely he will plead not guilty. But there's always a chance that either side could ask for more time and the plea is entered later. Second, the judge is expected to entertain arguments on a gag order, which has limited what information we know about the case.

Because right now, all of the lawyers involved here, including those representing victims, families and witnesses cannot say anything publicly about this matter. Nothing at all, except for what is written in court documents. One of the victims' families wants to make the gag order less restrictive. And this matters because six months later, we still do not know what prosecutors think is the motive here.

We still don't know what investigators think could link the suspect to the four victims. Information is very tight, and a less restrictive gag order could increase what we know. But farther ahead, we'll see if there's a potential timeline. Will a trial date reset or just a status update put on the calendar? And then finally, will the state of Idaho seek the death penalty? After ko Berger enters a plea within 60 days, prosecutors need to file written notice if they are going to seek capital punishment.

So, a lot of things to watch all of a sudden. Now that we know this high-profile case is indeed headed towards trial. Mike Valerio, CNN, Los Angeles.

CHURCH: At least 230 people have been arrested at a Jeep gathering in Texas. Authorities say most of those arrested face misdemeanor charges. Thousands of people flocked to the crystal beach event and jeeps and other vehicles to drink and party. The Galveston County Sheriff's Office says there have been disruptive incidents despite preparations.


MAJ. RAY NOLEN, GALVESTON COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE: We had one accident crash last night where we had a female that was thrown from a vehicle that suffered a pretty severe head injury. And then we had an armed robbery on the beach where we had a subject walk up to another subject on the beach and brandish a firearm and take his wallet. And we're still investigating both of those cases.


CHURCH: Police say about 40 people were taken to the hospital for various injuries and illnesses since the event started on Thursday.

American golfer Brooks Koepka has captured his third career PGA Championship and fifth major overall. With a big victory Sunday at New York's Oak Hill Country Club. He is now the first golfer to win a major while playing in the breakaway live golf series. But the guy who arguably stole the show this weekend has barely even played on the pro tour. He is a 46-year-old golf instructor from California who not only contended with the sports' biggest stars but also hit the most amazing shot of the whole tournament.

More now from World Sport's Patrick Snell. PATRICK SNELL, CNN INTERNATIONAL SPORTS ANCHOR: Well, while it would be America's Brooks Koepka crowned a major champion for the first time in four years, we would witness an absolutely remarkable storyline in the shape of the 46-year-old PGA Teaching Professional Michael Block. Amazing exploits all week long from him right here at the Oak Hill Country Club. The thousands out on the course delighting in his every single move.

And he himself feeding off their energy. Water performance he delivered. He would end up at one over par for the tournament. Just extraordinary when you consider as I say this is a PGA Teaching Professional. Wonderful to see that his moment in the spotlight would be lavishly rewarded with what happened on hole number 15 on Sunday, a stunning hole in one. The ball flying in on the fly.

The ace at the par 315. The wonderful resonating global video of the high fives with Rory McIlroy himself, a four-time winner from Northern Ireland.


And Block saying afterwards quite simply he's living the dream and the weeks like this, well they just can't ever be replicated. Let's listen now to what he had to say.


MICHAEL BLOCK, ARROYO TRABUCO GOLF CLUB PRO: I'm like the new John Daly but I don't have a mullet and I'm not quite as big as him. Yes. But, you know, I mean -- so I'm just a club professional, right? I work. I have fun. I got a couple of boys I love to play golf with. I got a great wife. Got great friends. I lived a normal life. I love being at home. Less in my backyard. My best friend in the world is my dog can't.

Can't wait to see him. I miss him so much. It's ridiculous my little black lab. But yes, it's been -- it's been a surreal experience and I have this weird kind of sensation that life's not going to be quite the same moving forward. But only a good way which is cool.

SNELL: Michael Block, remember the name because we may well be hearing about him again. Those emotions running so high. He really did wear his heart on his sleeve. Right for this week. A week he will save it and cherish for a long time to come and as well ceiling a top 15 finish. Just extraordinary stuff in anyone's book.

Patrick Snell CNN, Rochester, New York.

CHURCH: The Boston Celtics are clearly feeling the heat now just one loss away from being swept in the NBA Eastern Conference Finals. Before a packed hometown crowd, the Miami Heat dominated Boston winning game three of their series by 26 points. The final, the Heat 128, the Celtics 102. Miami now leads Boston three games to none in the best of seven series. Game four is set for Tuesday night in Miami.

And thanks so much for your company. I'm Rosemary Church. I will be back with more CNN NEWSROOM after a short break. Do stay with us.