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Biden, McCarthy to Hold Another Key Meeting Days Before the Default Deadline; G7 Leaders Want Peace to Ukraine; Fire Razed Manila Central Post Office; Former Pakistani PM Speaks to CNN; Climate Activists Turned the Water at the Famous Trevi Fountain Black; Michael Block steals the show at the PGA Tour. Aired 3-4a ET

Aired May 22, 2023 - 03:00   ET




ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: Hello and welcome to our viewers joining us here in the United States and all around the world. You are watching CNN Newsroom and I'm Rosemary Church.

Just ahead, the clock is ticking for the U.S. to raise the debt ceiling or risk default. And in the hours ahead, another key meeting between Joe Biden and Kevin McCarthy is on the agenda.

Leaders of the G7 summit say they want to bring peace to Ukraine as President Zelenskyy disputes Moscow's claim that Russian fighters control Bakhmut.

And despite a resounding victory, Greece's ruling party fails to secure a majority in parliamentary elections, setting the country up for another round of voting soon.

UNKNOWN (voice-over): Live from CNN Center, this is CNN Newsroom with Rosemary Church.

CHURCH: Good to have you with us. 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. And the president confirmed their Monday meeting just after landing in Washington.


CNN's Melanie Zanona has the latest.


MELANIE ZANONA, CNN CAPITOL HILL REPORTER: Well, the United States is closer to a default, but Congress is nowhere closer to a deal. This weekend saw a serious setback in the talks, with both sides rejecting each other's offers, exchanging sharp words, and even deciding to put a momentary pause on the talks. And so negotiators were seeking a much needed reset in these negotiations.

And on Sunday, Speaker Kevin McCarthy and President Biden did speak by phone. By all accounts, it was a cordial conversation. They talked about the debt limit. They even talked about Biden's trip abroad for the G7. And perhaps most importantly, they decided to keep talking.

President Biden and Speaker McCarthy will meet one on one on Monday and their staff are continuing to talk on Sunday evening. Here's a little bit more about what McCarthy had to say about that phone call.

REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY, U.S. HOUSE SPEAKER: I believe it was a productive phone call and so at the end of the phone call what we agreed to do is we're going to have Congressman Gary Griggs and Patrick McHenry get back together with -- he's going to ask his team get back together, so we can walk them through literally what we've been talking about. I think some of the challenges here they might not completely understand how we're coming about this.

ZANONA: So the good news is they do have a mechanism in place to continue talking, but the bad news is the two sides are still very far apart. I'm told that one of the biggest sticking points is spending levels.

Republicans want to cap future spending at fiscal 2022 levels, whereas the White House wants to stick to current funding levels, in other words, a funding freeze.

And then there's the issue of tougher work requirements for social safety net programs. That's something Republicans are insisting on, but Democrats are much more reluctant to give into that.

And then finally, even seemingly basic issues have yet to be resolved, like the length of a potential debt ceiling hike. Republicans want a shorter window, whereas Democrats are pushing for a longer window into 2025 so they don't have to deal with this issue again until after the next presidential election. So a long way to go and not a lot of time to figure it out.

Melanie Zanona, CNN, Capitol Hill.


CHURCH: Japan's Prime Minister says G7 nations are striving to bring just and lasting peace to Ukraine as soon as possible. The group wrapped their high-stakes summit in Japan Sunday, which included a visit from the Ukrainian president.

Volodymyr Zelenskyy got pledges of unwavering support and more military aid for his country. U.S. President Joe Biden announced a new security assistance package worth $375 million as the two leaders sat down for talks. Zelenskyy says now is a crucial moment for the fate of peace in Ukraine. He says his forces are still fighting inside the battered city of Bakhmut, which he says is not occupied by Russia.


The Ukrainian leader, as photos of Hiroshima following the atomic bomb, reminds him of Ukrainian cities like Bakhmut that have been devastated by this war.


VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): Let me be sincere, that the pictures of ruined Hiroshima really remind me, totally remind me, of Bakhmut and other similar settlements and towns. Just the same, nothing alive left. All of the buildings have been ruined.


CHURCH: One day after claiming to have taken control of the bitterly contested city of Bakhmut, Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin says his forces will be pulling out of Ukraine on Thursday. And you can see the city has been completely decimated after the intense fighting, with people's homes now just a mass of concrete and rubble.

Prigozhin says Wagner will hand over its positions to the Russian military. But there's been no response on that yet from the Russian Ministry of Defense. A top Ukrainian commander who visited troops on the frontline near Bakhmut says his forces control an insignificant part of the city although they've made progress in the suburbs and other areas immediately outside the city.

Well for more on the story, I'm joined now by Clare Sebastian in London. Good morning to you, Clare. So what more are you learning about the situation in Bakhmut and who is in control of this embattled city?

CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, Rosemary. There is no question that Ukraine when it comes to the actual town itself does not have much left in its control. We've known that for several weeks. They've been fighting over a small section on the very western edge of the city that's been heavily contested and any more significant advances that we've seen from Ukraine recently have been on the flanks to the north and south.

Also by the way significant because, you know, both sides have at points in this battle attempted to encircle the city, cut off supply lines for each other, so it's not insignificant that they would take ground in the south.

And I think, you know, Ukraine is clearly trying to show with the visit of the commander of the land forces on Sunday to the area that they are still going to fight for this despite that claim by Wagner followed up by a congratulations by President Putin himself on the claim that they had taken the whole town after months and months of brutal battle. So Ukraine is not giving up on this town.

And I think, you know, the claim by Prigozhin and Wagner that he's going to pull out on Thursday, on the 25th, I think that remains to be seen as well. We've heard him threatened before. You'll remember he threatened to pull out on May 10th, just after Victory Day, when he didn't think he was getting enough supplies from the Russian Ministry of Defense. So I think, you know, you should not be taking Yevgeny Prigozhin, who is the head of an organization that's been designated by the U.S. as a transnational criminal organization, who made his name, frankly, in the game of disinformation, should not be taken him at face value.

But Bakhmut has never been a linear battle. There's fighting in pockets. It ebbs and flows. Perhaps it flowed a little bit to Russia's advantage over the weekend, but it's very clear that Ukraine is still claiming that it controls parts of it and is still going to try to look for an opportunity to take more ground there, Rosemary.

CHURCH: All right. Our thanks to Claire Sebastian joining us live from London.

Meantime, Ukrainian soldiers are building can-sized bombs by-hand, under instruction from British explosives experts.

CNN's Nic Robertson shows us how these small bombs are having a big impact on the battlefield.



NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR (voice-over): Ukrainian troops get a lesson on covert bomb making.


ROBERTSON (voice-over): British explosives and counterinsurgency specialists pass on decades of know-how to soldiers already well- versed in normal frontline combat.


ROBERTSON (voice-over): But these are no ordinary bombs. They are secret weapons in Ukraine's clandestine arsenal to kill Russians on Ukrainian land.

SKIF, OFFICER, UKRAINIAN ARMED FORCES (through translator): If we have a high priority target, we of course use this equipment against it.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): And it's not just individual targets. Similar technology already in very experienced Ukrainian hands was used to bring down a building, on dozens of Russian troops recently in Bakhmut.


SKIF (through translator): This equipment is used to destroy the enemy. We use it to produce explosive devices we can use on the ground, on the battlefield or in the air as munitions for drones. (VIDEO PLAYING)

ROBERTSON (voice-over): But it's not just the subversive skills and techniques the British experts bring that are needed in undercover operations. It's the bomb components too.

Sophisticated switches, specialized microchips, night vision goggles, covert monitoring devices, even 3D printers. Some relatively easy to buy outside Ukraine are in high demand, because troops here are in a race against time against the Russians. And getting them through NATO partners simply takes too long.

SKIF (through translator): It's hard to measure this help with words or numbers because it's a great moral support for us straight to our hearts. And we are very, very grateful for this help.

ROBERTSON (on-camera): It's a measure, even on the eve of an expected big counteroffensive, of just how much help Ukraine's military still needs, that more than a year into the war even the smallest of components, the most modest of hands on help, is so gratefully received.

Nic Robinson, CNN, Eastern Ukraine.


CHURCH: Beijing and Moscow are lashing out at G7 countries after G7 leaders slammed what they call China's economic coercion and pledged new measures targeting Russia. Beijing has now summoned Japan's ambassador to China, accusing Tokyo of collaborating with other countries to, quote, "smear and attack China" during the G7 meeting.

CNN's Anna Coren is following developments for us, she joins us now live from Hong Kong. Good to see you, Anna. So what more is China saying about G7 countries and -- and what about Russia's reaction?

ANNA COREN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Rosemary, China certainly has voiced its anger towards those G7 countries, in particular the host Japan summoning Japan's ambassador to China to express serious (inaudible) regarding discussions on China during that three-day summit in Hiroshima. China's increasing aggression and Russia's war in Ukraine very much top of the agenda.

Let me read you some of the statement released by China's Foreign Ministry late last night following Japan's dressing down. It says, Japan, as the host of the G7, collaborated with relevant countries to smear and attack China in a series of activities and in the joint communique. It went on to say that such activities have grossly interfered in China's internal affairs, violated the basic principles of international law and the spirit of the four political documents between China and Japan.

Now, Rosemary, at the G7 Summit, the leaders of the world's richest democracies were united in their growing concern over China, stressing the need to obviously cooperate with the world's second largest economy, but also to counter its, quote, "malign practices and coercion."

The U.S., as we know, views China as the most serious long term challenge to the international order. And this was backed up by the British Prime Minister over the weekend, who said that China posed the greatest challenge of our age in regards to global prosperity and security, Rosemary.

CHURCH: And what about Russia? What measures against that country did the G7 nations come up with?

COREN: Well, the leaders of the Group of Seven, they pledged new measures targeting Russia to choke off its ability to finance and fuel its war on Ukraine. And that surprise visit by Ukrainian President Zelenskyy really cemented leaders' resolve and commitment. We heard from the U.S. President Joe Biden pledging ongoing support saying, quote, "We have Ukraine's back," obviously music to the Ukrainians ears.

Some experts actually believe that Zelenskyy actually traveling here to Asia put pressure on China, which as we know, stood by Russia's invasion, China's peace plan. We know that it favors Moscow and Zelenskyy's message to China is really to support a solution more in line with Kyiv's interests.

China and Russia, they both hit back at G7 leaders. Russia's foreign minister attacked them for indulging in their own greatness, whilst China said that the G7 leaders were hindering international peace. Rosemary.

CHURCH: Alright, our thanks to Anna Coren joining us live from Hong Kong.

Still to come, the ruling Conservative Party wins big in Greece's parliamentary elections but still can't form a government. We'll break down the results.


Plus, officials in El Salvador reveal what they believe contributed to a deadly stadium crush at a soccer match.


CHURCH: The ruling Conservative Party has won Greece's parliamentary election but fell short of the majority needed to form a government. With almost all votes counted, New Democracy took a significant lead with more than 40 percent of a vote, trouncing the opposition leftist Syriza, which got just over 20 percent. Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis hailed his party's win, calling it a political earthquake.


KYRIAKOS MITSOTAKIS, GREEK PRIME MINISTER (through translator): I am proud. I am also touched as I feel the heavy responsibility that has been placed on my shoulders by such an impressive percentage. I pledge that I will work even harder in order to honor your trust. (END VIDEO CLIP)

CHURCH: The Prime Minister also ruled out the possibility of forming a coalition, which will likely set the stage for a second election in about a month or so.


And for more, journalist Elinda Labrapoulou joins me now live from Athens, Greece. So Elinda, another election looks likely here because the Prime Minister is ruling out forming a coalition. What's the latest on all this and why does he refuse to do that?

ELINDA LABROPOLOU, JOURNALIST: Well, it's a little bit complicated. It's a lot to do with the Greek electoral system and the fact that a next election will take place under more beneficial law for the winning party.

So having seen the landslide victory that he won yesterday, the prime minister is hoping to be able to this time be able to garner enough votes to have a strong government. He has already signaled that this is what he's likely to do. It is not surprising really, because Greeks have known all along in this election that probably due to the change in the electoral system making it very hard for any party to win an outright government. There might be a second vote.

What is surprising though is the distance, the difference between the two parties. Nobody expected the difference between the two to be more than six or seven percent according to the initial polls. And yet what happened is the winning party managed to basically garner twice as many votes as the main opposition and this obviously gives a very strong lead to the prime minister.

What is also very interesting in this election is that although it was an election that was marred by a number of scandals, including a wiretapping scandal, including a train crash that killed 57 people, the deadliest crash in Greece's railway history, and the blame for both of these went primarily on the government. It seems that the people decided to choose with the economy first in mind. And this is because Prime Minister Mitsotakis has a very good track record on the economy.

Greece has shown immense growth in the four years that he's been in power. His predictions, he's been talking about growth, his pledges are all about growth, and it seems that this is the way that Greeks chose to vote this time. And we expect, you know, if there is another election, which looks very likely, that the economy will dominate these elections again.

CHURCH: All right, Elinda Labropoulu, many thanks for joining us live from Athens.

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.

Officials investigating the deadly crush at a soccer stadium in El Salvador believe the overselling of tickets and issuing of fake tickets may have contributed to the tragedy. At least 12 people were killed Saturday when a large number of fans stormed the general seating area during a match at a stadium that holds more than 44,000.

Journalist Stefano Pozzebon reports.


STEFANO POZZEBON, JOURNALIST: Authorities in El Salvador are investigating the causes behind a stadium crash that killed at least a dozen people on Saturday night during a football match.

The match between Alianza FC and FAS, two of the country's most popular football teams, was suspended around the 20th minute as fans attempted to enter the Cuscatlan Stadium in San Salvador, the largest sports venue in the country, causing what authorities have described as a stampede.

El Salvador Interior Minister Juan Carlos Bidegain, said that one of the causes could be the over-selling of tickets, with fans outside the venue allowed to enter the stadium without a valid ticket. The Attorney General also said on Sunday that the company that manages the Cuscatlan Stadium, as well as the leaders of the two football clubs are being investigated.

For CNN, this is Stefano Pozzebon, Bogota.


CHURCH: Still to come, the U.S. risks a financial catastrophe if the White House and Congress don't strike a deal on the debt limit soon. I'll speak with an expert about what's at risk.

And New York's mayor appeals to Washington for help with tens of thousands of migrants arriving in the city, what he thinks the federal government needs to do next, after the break.




CHURCH: More now on our top story, the race to raise the U.S. debt ceiling before reaching the default deadline. U.S. President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy are set to meet later today for another round of talks. Republicans want to cap federal spending to stop the nation's debt from skyrocketing even more. But they've also added provisions for immigration reform and stricter requirements for food stamps to their proposal. While at the G7 Summit in Japan, President Biden called parts of their plan unacceptable.

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 defaults 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's 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's no motivation like a looming deadline.


CHURCH: And President Biden has warned Republicans that they have to compromise on their hard-line partisan spending cuts and he has gone so far as to suggest he may, if they don't, invoke Section Four of the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. How viable is that option, do you think?

JESSICA LEVINSON, PROFESSOR OF LAW, LOYOLA LAW SCHOOL: 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 that we can't have a debt limit like this, that we have to pay for the things that we say we're going to pay for.

But politically speaking, I think it's a loser to win this in the courts. And of course, there's 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're 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 political one. I think people in some part would, of course, blame whoever's 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 candidacy for the GOP nomination for president in what's starting to be a very crowded field and 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 much in the sense of it's 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 criticize Trump too much, but he also can't run to him and embrace him. So it will 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: New York Mayor Eric Adams says the city has received more than 70,000 migrants in recent weeks and that 42,000 of them are still in the city's care. As more asylum seekers are expected to arrive, he's calling on Congress to deal with the immigration issue and for the federal government to send migrants to cities all over the country instead of just a few.

CNN's Gloria Pazmino has more now from New York.


GLORIA PAZMINO, CNN U.S. CORRESPONDENT: And for several days, Mayor Eric Adams has been talking about the City of New York 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, quote/unquote, "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.

MAYOR ERIC ADAMS (D-NY): If this is properly handled at the border level, 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: Authorities in New York are working to identify the cause of death for two boys whose bodies were found in two different rivers in Manhattan late last week. Police believe 11-year-old Alpha Barry and 13-year-old Garrett Warren were friends. They were last seen walking together in Harlem sometime between May 12th and May 13th. They were each reported missing just a day or two later. Their bodies were found more than two miles away from one another.

Brian Kohberger, the suspect in the murder of four University of Idaho students, is set to appear in court in the coming hours. He was indicted last week on four counts of murder and one count of burglary. But because of a wide-ranging gag order, much remains unknown about the case. CNN's Mike Valerio has more on that and on 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, Brian 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 Koberger 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 victim's 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 be set or just a status update put on the calendar? And then finally, will the state of Idaho seek the death penalty? After Kohberger 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: Just ahead, Paul Whelan, the American detained in Russia, tells CNN he's confident the wheels are turning toward his release. More of that exclusive interview, next.

Plus Pakistan's former Prime Minister Imran Khan speaks to CNN about his ongoing standoff with the military and what he thinks could be a possible solution to the crisis.



(COMMERCIAL BREAK) 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, U.S. CITIZEN 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 that and I hope is coming sooner than later but it is depressing on a daily basis you know going through this.


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

Pakistan's former Prime Minister Imran Khan is lashing out at the law and order situation in his country. Speaking to CNN Sunday, Khan said there's, quote, "no rule of law," and the Pakistani government is violating the constitution and his rights. He also said that the solution to the crisis in Pakistan is free and fair elections.


IMRAN KHAN, FORMER PAKISTANI PRIME MINISTER: All I know is that the last six months, he just worked through to remove my government, and he's openly afterwards in an interview claimed that he decided that I was too dangerous for the country, and so my government was ousted. Since then, all I have said this, that the solution to Pakistan's problems are free and fair elections, because that's the only thing that would bring political stability in this country.


CHURCH: Khan has been involved in a tense standoff with the country's military for months, leading to violent protests.

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 2 Atlantic hurricane.


And Meteorologist Britley Ritz is at the CNN Weather Center with the latest on the typhoon and its current path. So, Britley, what are you seeing?

BRITLEY RITZ, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Well, right now, Rosemary, we have deep convection around the center, which signifies the strengthening. And it is forecast to become a major typhoon just before landfall. Current wind speeds around the center of the storm, 100 miles per hour

with gusts of 120, it's moving north-northwest at 9 miles per hour and the center of the storm is just over 300 miles from Guam itself, so it still has room for strengthening with this warm ocean waters.

We're talking about sea surface temperatures that are roughly about 78 to 84 degrees Fahrenheit. Once it moves past the island and toward the Philippines, even warmer water. So, yes, further strengthening is expected once it moves past the islands. Typhoon warnings for Rota and Guam northern islands, tropical storm warnings already in place. Within the next 24 to 48 hours, we can expect the storm to strengthen and moves through that water. It's fuel for this.

So 48 hours from now, we have winds of 115 miles per hour. That again pushing near category three strength on the Saffir-Simpson scale for the Atlantic basin in the U.S. That is a strong storm as it comes in on Guam, then pushing back out to sea, strengthening further with winds reaching 145 miles per hour within the next 120 hours.

Stronger winds expected to hit Rota. That's the upper right hand quadrant of the storm typically where we get the stronger winds. Guam still dealing with strong winds itself. So yes, onshore flow will cause major storm surge and wind damage, nonetheless. The system itself again, moving back out to sea so the winds will start to taper back for Guam and Rota over the weekend.

Now, for our wind speed, it's already pushing 105 miles from the center for tropical storm force winds. Typhoon force winds expected early Wednesday morning and heavy rain expected for Guam moving in late Tuesday and into Wednesday. Rosemary.

CHURCH: All right. Thank you so much for that, Britley Ritz, joining us there.

Well, climate activists are arrested in Rome after they colored the water of one of Italy's most famous fountains black. Ahead, we will explain what was behind the protest.




CHURCH: Climate activists in Rome gave the phrase dying for attention a new meaning. On Sunday they dumped black colouring into the water of the Trevi Fountain, trying to draw attention to the hazards of fossil fuels. But officials are calling the protesters eco-vandals.

Michael Holmes has our report.


MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT: A black cloud spreads through the waters of one of Rome's most iconic landmarks as climate activists dumped charcoal into the Trevi Fountain. All seven were arrested and charged with vandalism, city officials

referring to the protesters as eco-vandals, calling their acts a protest of worrying escalation, and Rome's mayor calling it an absurd attack on the city's artistic heritage.

The activists condemned the use of fossil fuels, pointing to the recent situation in northern Italy where deadly floods have displaced tens of thousands, which researchers say is a sign of the accelerating climate crisis.

This latest protest comes after the same activist group dumped charcoal in the Fountain of Four Rivers in Piazza Navona in May and in the Barcaccia Fountain near the Spanish Steppes in April.

And while the Trevi Fountain has now been cleaned, the climate crisis and the mounting anger of activists is far from over.

Michael Holmes, CNN.



CHURCH: A successful launch for AX-2, the latest all-private space flight from Axiom Space. The craft will soon dock with the International Space Station, carrying four private astronauts, among them the first Saudi woman in space. Stem cell researcher Rayana Barnaoui will spend the next eight days conducting breast cancer research before returning to Earth with the three other crew members.

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's 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's a 46-year-old golf instructor from California who not only contended with the sport's biggest amazing shot of the whole tournament.

More now from World Sports Patrick Snell.


PATRICK SNELL, CNN WORLD SPORT: While it would be America's Brooks Koepke 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 and himself feeding off their energy. What a 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 3 15 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 that 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 yet, 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 live the normal life. I love being at home, love sitting in my backyard. My best friend in the world is my dog. Can't wait to see him. I miss him so much. It's ridiculous, my little black lab.

But yeah, it's been a surreal experience. I have this weird kind of sensation that life's not going to be quite the same moving forward, but only in 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 throughout this week, a week he will savour and cherish for a long time to come and as well, sealing a top 15 finish, just extraordinary stuff in anyone's book.

Patrick Snell, CNN, Rochester, New York.


CHURCH: And thanks for your company. I'm Rosemary Church. Have yourselves a wonderful day. CNN Newsroom continues with Max Foster, next.