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Anti-Putin Militia Claims To Have Overrun Village In Russia Border Region Of Belgorod; Biden, McCarthy Hold "Productive" Meeting But No Debt-Ceiling Deal Yet; Guam Prepares For Possible "Direct Hit" From Typhoon Mawar; Republican Senator Tim Scott Announces President Bid; Greek PM Rejects Coalition Government Second Vote Likely; New Search Underway for Missing British Toddler; E.U. Slaps Meta with Mega Fine; Activist Want so Change Conversation About Disability. Aired 1- 2a ET
Aired May 23, 2023 - 01:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR: Ahead here on CNN Newsroom, Russian forces playing Bakhmut, city in ruins, the longest battle the war in Ukraine my finally and Putin a long awaited military victory. But it will come at incredible cost.
Optimism, but still no deal. The U.S. President and Speaker of the House hold direct talks over raising the debt ceiling. And 16 years after Madeleine McCann went missing investigators from three different countries to sending on a remote debt in Portugal.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Live from CNN Center. This is CNN Newsroom with John Vause.
VAUSE: Thank you for joining us to CNN Newsroom and we begin with a rare attack on Russian soil. Two groups of pro-Ukrainian Russian fighters known as the Freedom of Russia Legion and the Russian Volunteer Corps, so they liberated a settlement in the Belgorod region, which sits on the border with Ukraine.
The attack left eight people injured and a number of buildings damaged from shelling. Ukrainian officials are insisting neither group is directly linked to the government in Kyiv and both were acting independently.
A spokesman for the Kremlin says security forces are working to find what he called a sabotage and reconnaissance group, and claims the attack was meant to divert attention from Wagner forces claiming victory in the battle for the Eastern Ukraine city of Bakhmut.
Over the weekend, the head of the Russian mercenary group, Wagner claimed his fighters had taken the city and would hand it over to the Russian military this Thursday. To get more details down from CNN Matthew Chance threatened.
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voiceover): Tonight Russian forces insists that taking back control from a group of what they call saboteurs infiltrating this leafy border. These images purporting to show a Russian soldier detaining three of them was broadcast on state media.
Meet the anti-Kremlin Russians. Now taking the fight back home. This is how we work he says. I made a bold armored raid across the Ukrainian border into Russia itself.
CNN can't independently verify any of the images. But this entire column of vehicles was spotted crossing the frontier. Ukrainian forces insist it's not them. But exiled Russian groups fighting against the Kremlin.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): We don't usually see any clue. We are Russians just like you. We want our children to grow up and peace and be free so they can travel study and be happy. But this is not possible and Putin's Russia.
CHANCE: And the raid caught Russian border guards unawares. This one tried to be a hero the narrator says, amid the scattered passports and a portray to Vladimir Putin overlooking the carnage below.
The border is now unlocked, says one of the fighters. Grandpa Putin will soon turn to honey says the other, in other words die. On Kremlin controlled television, the presenters stood like statues as the day's events replay.
On videos from stunned locals witnessing the fight. The Kremlin called the attack a diversion. But already there's sharp criticism from Russian hardliners that this was allowed to occur.
This Russian region right next to Ukraine is no stranger to cross border attacks. But armed incursions like this are rare. And the mood here, according to local Russian officials has shifted. With empty buses coming in to evacuate residents, while those who can a leaving by themselves. Matthew Chance, CNN, London.
VAUSE: Liam Collins is a retired U.S. Army Colonel who's now a permanent member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He's also the co-author of "Understanding Urban Warfare." Thank you for joining us.
COL. LIAM COLLINS, U.S. ARMY (RET.): You're welcome.
VAUSE: So there have been similar if not more limited smaller attacks carried out by these pro-Ukrainian anti-Putin Russian fighters. But is this one the more recent one is it significant? And is it a step up from previous attacks? And how serious should they be taken when a spokesman tells CNN, they want to, quote, liberate our motherland from the tyranny of Putin? COLLINS: Yes, in terms of the conflict in Ukraine is not going to significantly impact the tactical or the operational fight there. But in terms, right, Russia, I think it is somewhat significant. I mean, this is a sizable attack by Russian citizens on Russian territory. So Putin doesn't have the firm grip of his populace, they would like the world to believe.
But until they can repeat this and demonstrate that they're able to do this repeatedly, then it's not really going to impact the fight. They've got to do it repeatedly for Russia divert combat forces from Ukraine to their border.
VAUSE: You know, I guess what there may be trouble brewing at home for Putin, there is victory for him, at least in name in Ukraine, the battle for Bakhmut, which began almost a year ago with Moscow failed to Kyiv ramp up back in August.
So assuming for a time that there is some strategic value to Bakhmut, does Putin have the manpower, the resources to go to use that city to try and move Russian forces further into the day? The Donetsk region?
COLLINS: No, I mean, absolutely not. I mean, this is a city that really has little tactical and no strategic value. No doubt Putin will try to sell this as a win. But I don't think his own populace believes that it's the success that they're trying to sell it as.
And if you look at it, really, it's an unmitigated disaster for the Russians. Right. As you mentioned, it took them 10 months of heavy fighting, just to take this, right, really small city of little tactical value. And in that process, right, last 10, you know, probably hundreds, maybe thousands of soldiers at the expense of great ammunition that's not easily replaced.
So really, it I mean, their ability to launch and move forward from this is very debatable based on how much it took just to take this and how long it took to take it.
VAUSE: I want you to listen to the Ukrainian president. He was taking questions from reporters over the weekend at the G7 Summit. Here he is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. President, does Bakhmut still in Ukraine's hands? The Russian say they take Bakhmut.
VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT: I think no. But you have to understand that there is nothing. They everything. There's random buildings. It's a bit -- it's a tragedy, but for today, Bakhmut is only in our hearts.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: Yes, there's nothing really left to the city, which seems to have any value, and you're maybe in Zelenskyy's heart, but will the Ukrainians now try and actually retake Bakhmut? Is there any value for that? Or will they just sort of focus on this counter-offensive?
COLLINS: Yes, I mean, Ukraine shown throughout the war, I mean, they will attack at the time and place of their choosing because they are much smaller military and do that very effectively. So they defend where they can, they give up territory where they must to preserve combat power to fight another day. And they've done that effectively throughout.
So, they won't retake what is left of Bakhmut unless, right, they feel that there's a strategic position to do that. But I wouldn't expect them to do that, because I think they're going to launch the counteroffensive in other locations where the Russians aren't quite were their combat power is not masked.
VAUSE: The weekend, Yevgeny Pregorgen, the head of the Wagner mercenary group, he claimed victory in Bakhmut. I want you to listen to part of what he said. And he begins here addressing Ukrainian soldiers. Here he is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
YEVGENY PREGORGEN, WAGNER GROUP LEADER (through translator): Without sarcasm, your guys fought, bravely fought well. And if you follow this path, then you can become the second army in the world, of course, after the most powerful army in the world, that is Wagner PMC. Today, when you see Biden, here's some on the top of the head, say hello for me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: He said, well, he did not say the Russian military as being the best in the world, but rather his mercenary group. But if this is, in fact, not a strategic win, but instead a political win, then is it a political win for Pregorgen or Putin?
COLLINS: Yes, again, I would -- it be hard to sell this as a political win for Putin at all. If anything, it's for Pregorgen, he could try to sell it as a win. But then again, this just shows the dysfunction in the Russian military, that you have this private army that arguably fights better than the Russian military and all the conflict that's causing with him and the general also. And so it really shows the lack of unity among the Russian command.
VAUSE: And also Pregorgen seems to be using this as some kind of springboard to setting himself as an heir apparent to Putin. Is that how it's been written (ph)?
COLLINS: I mean, that's how a lot of people are interpreting this ship. Of course, that's a fine line to try to set yourself up as his heir apparent versus a political rival. And so he's got to walk that fine line because a lot of rivals may not live to be a rival.
VAUSE: Good points finish on Colonel. Thank you so much for being with us. We appreciate your time.
COLLINS: You're welcome.
VAUSE: Ukraine Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant has now reconnected to the national power grid after a brief outage on Monday. According to Ukraine's national energy company, Russian shelling dam is a high voltage power line which supplies electricity to run cooling stations and other critical functions.
The facility was occupied by Russian forces during the first weeks of the war, and it's been a constant target of artillery fire and other attacks. According to the Reuters news agency, a plan to safeguard the plant and avoid a nuclear disaster is expected later this month after U.N. broken negotiations between Russia and Ukraine.
A tenuous start for a seven-day ceasefire in Sudan with witnesses in Khartoum reporting fighter jets overhead and gunfire in neighboring cities. The Sudanese armed forces and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces agreed to the truce starting Monday night. It would allow humanitarian aid to reach thousands of trapped civilians.
Sudanese reserve police were on patrol in the capitol late Sunday ahead of the start of the ceasefire. Five weeks of urban warfare has forced more than a million Sudanese from their homes, including a quarter million who fled the country.
The U.S. government is set to run out of money in about nine maybe 10 days from now. And unless Republicans in Congress agree to raise the debt limit, and the U.S. and the global economy will be heading into treacherous uncharted territory.
The President and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy met Monday, they described their talks as productive, and staff level negotiations are expected to continue through the night. U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has been a constant reminder of the urgency of this and a letter to Congress. She informed lawmakers another week of data and negotiations have done nothing to avoid a looming default.
CNN's Melanie Zanona has warned our reporting it from Washington.
MELANIE ZANONA, CNN CAPITOL HILL REPORTER (on camera): Negotiations wrapped up for the night without a deal on hand at least not yet. Speaker Kevin McCarthy and President Joe Biden met in the White House for an hour and a half on Monday. And afterwards, they instructed their staff to keep negotiating and keep talking to see if they can come to an agreement or at least come closer to an agreement which is a welcome development after a weekend of tumultuous talks, rejected offers and heated rhetoric. So, following that meeting at the White House Speaker Kevin McCarthy struck a far more optimistic tone. Take a listen.
REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R) HOUSE SPEAKER: I felt we had a productive discussion. We don't have an agreement yet. But I did feel the discussion was productive in areas that we have differences of opinion, I believe we can still get it. I believe we can get it done.
ZANONA: Now, despite the cautious optimism there, there is still a long way to go. First of all, they are still very far apart on the steps since (ph). We are told that spending levels remains one of the chief sticking points.
Republicans want to cut spending, whereas the White House is only offering to freeze spending. So that remains a huge point of contention. And there's a number of other issues that have yet to be resolved as well.
But even if and when they come to an agreement, then they still have to turn it into legislative text than they have to turn on and sell it to their members, then they have to pass it in the house before they send it over to the Senate. So there is still a long way to go. And not a lot of time to figure it out. Melanie Zanona, CNN, Capitol Hill.
VAUSE: Wall Street has been oddly calm despite the looming deadline and possible default. Analyst investors have seen this before. They're banking on another last minute deal. Instead of a major sell off the NASDAQ closed more than 60 points higher on Monday, you can see the Dow Jones they're down by almost half of 1 percent, while the S&P 500 pretty much flat.
Economist from Moody's Analytics says the plunge in the markets is what's needed to pressure lawmakers to get something done.
Rana Foroohar is a CNN global economic analyst and a global business columnist and associate editor at the Financial Times. She is with us this hour from New York and it's good to see you it's been a while.
RANA FOROOHAR, CNN GLOBAL ECONOMIC ANALYST: It's great to see you, John.
VAUSE: OK, so let's begin with Congressman Patrick McHenry, a Republican, who's part of the debt negotiations or debt ceiling negotiations. And a key ally of House Speaker Kevin McCarthy. Here he is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you in all optimistic about what we could accomplish today? Could we get there?
PATRICK MCHENRY, U.S. HOUSE REPUBLICAN: No.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Not at all?
MCHENRY: I've been pessimistic for a while, and something needs to change.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: Okay, so let's just jump right into Armageddon. If the Republicans refuse to increase the debt limit, they refuse to budge for days or weeks after the government runs out of money, or what happens to the U.S. economy?
FOROOHAR: Well, I think it's a very short, sharp shock immediately. You know, I think you'd see markets crashing. Frankly, I think that you would see a lot of panic in the consumer space, a lot of panic amongst folks that are depending on Social Security checks, government workers, folks that, you know, have debt that might start to become more expensive, because, you know, if you start to get a rise in interest rates because of credit deterioration in the U.S., you know, all kinds of dominoes began to fall.
Janet Yellen has basically said, the treasury secretary and Janet Yellen has said that this would be a major economic catastrophe. And I can tell you that this is not a woman who's given to hyperbole. So if she's willing to go on out on that limb I think it's a big deal.
VAUSE: What about for the rest of the global economy? And where there are losers, read (ph) the United States, are often usually winners as well.
VAUSE: So other ways from this situation if the government -- if the U.S. government does not pay its debts?
FOROOHAR: You know, one of the things that has amazed me about this entire debacle is that Republicans have sounded as we just heard so intransigent. It's worth pausing and thinking about, what would it really mean for say, China, if the U.S. went over the debt limit? Well, that would be like a gift to the biggest strategic adversary of the U.S. hawkish Republicans, you know, are concerned about China.
But by making the U.S. currency and the U.S. dollar, and the U.S. dollar system less trustworthy, they would basically be saying to cut other countries, put your money elsewhere, because you can't trust that the U.S. government is going to pay back its debt. It's just an incredible statement, really, to anyone who cares about the position geopolitically of the country, but also anybody that has dollar based assets.
VAUSE: You touched on this just (INAUDIBLE) but the federal government's obligations, which are coming up next month, the bills are due. So first of the month in June, military and civilian retirees are owed $12 billion, $47 billion is needed for Medicaid providers. The next day after that June 2nd, $25 billion for Social Security payments, jump forward to June 7th, a billion dollars in tax refunds was set to go out. And then two days after that, $4 billion in federal salaries come through.
And, you know, we know from last time around, when we talked about this, a lot of federal workers and others are living paycheck to paycheck, and the number of people who will be directly impacted by this and go through a lot of pain. It seems to be in the millions.
FOROOHAR: Oh, 100 percent. Now, I would expect that you would see this President and this administration really do everything that it could to try and buffer the human cost. They're going to try and be juggling budgets. You know, there have been some estimates, even though Janet Yellen is saying, we could be out of money and into the red by June 1. There are some estimates to say you've got another couple of weeks.
So, I expect there's going to be a lot of string pulling. But yes, there is no getting around the fact that this would be a major economic catastrophe, not just in the U.S., but abroad, because the ripple effects in the dollar market would be huge.
VAUSE: And while there may be 10 days or nine days left before the money runs out, one of the concessions that Kevin McCarthy made to the far right, MAGA Republican so he could become speaker is this three- day rule, lawmakers will have three days to read a bill before a vote is scheduled to be held. Here's Speaker McCarthy, listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MCCARTHY: No, I'm not going to waive the three day rule because we'll have the three-day rule for a reason. If you want to move a bill such as this, and I know and pass Congress's under Speaker Pelosi was different. They would move trillions of dollars in a day and nobody could read the bill.
I'm not going to be afraid of what the agreement comes in, in the end, because I would sit that bill down. And I would give everybody 72 hours. So everybody knows what they're voting on.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: So whenever it happens, you know, it comes down to the wire. And there is this, you know, need for a vote for Republicans to approve the lifting of the debt ceiling. You know, is it worth all of the consequences of the economic damage caused by a default by running out of money versus, you know, not giving lawmakers 72 hours or maybe 24 hours to read a bill before they vote on? It seems kind of, you know, that's way out of whack.
FOROOHAR: Well, I mean, there's that. But John, really, the bigger issue is why are we again and again, and I feel like you and I've had this conversation. It feels like Groundhog Day, you know, several years ago being in this exact same place. Why are we getting to the point where we're down to the wire where you would even need that three-day, you know, a time slot and we'd be worried about it as we are now.
It's absurd. It's like being in the Titanic and seeing the iceberg coming and just continuing to steam ahead. Not -- that's really the metaphor here.
VAUSE: Which is what the Titanic actually did.
VAUSE: And then actually, maybe for another iceberg.
FOROOHAR: You know what I mean?
VAUSE: Yes, exactly. Yes, a lot of icebergs out there. Rana, good to see you. Thanks very much.
FOROOHAR: Thank you.
VAUSE: A car accident near the White House late Monday night is now under investigation by the Secret Service. A truck crashed into security barriers placed at a public square opposite 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Officials believed the driver may have intentionally hid the barriers and will be facing charges.
Still ahead, Typhoon Mawar now the equivalent of a category four hurricane with a direct hit on Guam still possible. Very latest from the CNN Weather Center in a moment. Also, the search resumes. 16 years after Madeleine McCann went missing on a family holiday. Investigators are now zeroing in on a remote woodland in Portugal.
VAUSE: Typhoon Mawar continues to hit towards Guam and has strengthened to the equivalent of a category four hurricane. There's a chance the storm could push brush past Guam, but authorities are bracing for a direct hit with landfall possible in the coming hours.
Wind speed will continue to strengthen approaching 225 kilometers per hour. Typhoon Warning also in effect for the island of Rota. Meteorologist Britley Ritz is at CNN Weather Center with the very latest. And it's still not known if it's going to be a direct hit 100 percent certainty but it's looking like that's going to happen. Right?
BRITLEY RITZ, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yes, John, one of the things to note with this and thank you for bringing that up is the eye itself has now jumped a bit to the right as of the latest run on satellite, and you can slightly see it well defined eye. That's one of the big key factors in how you can tell it's strengthening and a lot of convection around the center with that jump to the right means that there's a greater chance unfortunately, that the system could potentially make a direct landfall on to Guam.
Right now sustained winds around the center 215 kilometers per hour, that is 38 kilometers per hour shy of a Cat 5 on the Saffir-Simpson scale based on the Atlantic basin. The gusts of 260 continue to get higher as this takes on warm ocean waters as it slows down. We have sea surface temperatures in the mid to upper 20s. That is just fuel for the system.
One of the things that we can hope for as the system has slowed down significantly, and you can see it on the American and European model, we originally thought landfall would be around 9:00 local time on Wednesday. It looks like it's saying just offshore at that time.
But one of the things to notice, hopefully we can get what we call upwelling where the colder waters get drawn to the surface. And then we can hope for that cooler water to weaken it, but again, really warm ocean waters at this time it's very slender that would even happen over the next 24 hours expect landfall could potentially be direct on Guam.
Now don't pay attention to that middle line. We can still get a bit of wiggle room there which is why we have the (INAUDIBLE) being out for uncertainty, but gusts and sustained winds still expected to be over 200 kilometers per hour.
In the next 24 hours you could get 230 kilometers per hour. This has the potential to become a super typhoon just before landfall, nearly in Cat 5 strength.
And the first storm over the last few years to make landfall wasn't even a typhoon, it was actually a tropical storm Maria back in 2018. So this would potentially be the first one and that many years and a typhoon and of course could be the strongest in the Westpac.
The first band has rolled through now we're expecting the next band in the upcoming hours. You'll see quite a bit of rain and a well-defined eye on radar here. Expect some of the heaviest rain to roll in Wednesday evening, the southern part of the island. That's it shift further south and then rains finally starting to taper back as we move into Friday morning.
Rainfall totals over 250 millimeters over the next five days time, tapping into typhoon a force winds over 100 kilometers per hour rolling into Wednesday morning, and we're already starting to see tropical storm force winds within the next 24 hours. Regardless, we have the onshore flow and what that's going to do is pull in the water all across the islands from the Northern Mariana Islands to Rota to Guam, we could see a storm surge up one to two meters, John.
VAUSE: Britley, thank you. We appreciate there. Britley Ritz there at the CNN Weather Center.
In Central Mexico, millions of residents may be forced to evacuate because of increased volcanic activity. Over the weekend and into Monday, flights into Mexico City work delayed because of ash and smoke already spewing from the volcano. Nearby schools are also forced to close.
The huge volcano has been mostly dormant last erupting in 1994. It's just 45 miles from Mexico City with 25 million people living within 60 miles, making it one of the most dangerous in the world.
At least 19 children have died several others badly hurt after a fire at a school dormitory in Guyana. Initial investigations have found the blaze may have been deliberately lit with at least 56 children in the dorm as the fire took hold Sunday night. Stefano Pozzebon has details.
STEFANO POZZEBON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voiceover): Guyana has declared the three days of national mourning on Monday after at least 19 people including 18 girls died in a fire at a female school dormitory in a central city of Mahdia.
President Irfaan Ali said that Monday was one of the saddest days in his presidency, and offered all public support to the families of the victims, as well as the survivors. 56 students were in the door at the time of the blaze, according to Guyana department of public information, and at least seven had been flown to the country's capitol Georgetown to receive treatment.
Ali also announced the creation of two task forces to investigate the fire, which is spokesperson of the Guyanese fire department said was maliciously set according to an initial investigation, and one little boy who was also sleeping in the dormitory at a time of the blaze also lost his life, the president said. The president urged the nation to pray for the children and their families in this time of pain. For a CNN, this is Stefano Pozzebon, Bogota.
VAUSE: Still ahead on CNN, on the frontlines in the battle for Bakhmut, Ukrainian soldiers morale is low because they're under constant Russian attack. More details when we come back.
VAUSE: Welcome back, I'm John Vause. You're watching CNN Newsroom. The latest now on our lead story --
JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back. I'm John Vause. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM.
The latest now on our lead story. A group of pro Ukrainian Russian nationals claiming responsibility for an attack in the southwest of Russia. The governor of the Belgorod Region says eight people were injured.
The group calls themselves the Freedom of Russian Legion and the Russian Volunteer Corps. Ukraine insists they're acting independently.
This is the first time Ukrainian aligned forces have launched a cross border land operation against Russian targets.
Despite Russian claims of victory, Ukrainian forces say Bakhmut remains the epicenter of fighting.
CNN's Nic Robertson and his team met with Ukrainian soldiers still fighting for what's left of this ruined city. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Barely out of the armored troop carrier, incoming artillery.
We're just going to wait in this little basement until the shelling is over. Then they say it will be safe to move forward to the front position.
A few minutes later, safe to come out of this army outpost a few miles from Bakhmut. Last night was hard, a lot of shelling.
Callsign "Gambit" tells us the soldier is still shell-shocked from an anti tank rocket attack.
We're going to get back in the vehicle, try to get a little closer to the front lines.
Ten days ago, these troops pushed the Russians back around Bakhmut. But their advance is slowing and harder. We get to a small HQ, callsign "Fox", a former farmer, is readying his troops for their coming shift on the front line stopping the Russians in Bakhmut from advancing.
How hard is that?
"It's impossible to describe these feelings," he says. "You can only experience it. No words can express it. They shell a lot."
As we talk, it is clear this war is taking its toll. You only have to look at the soldiers faces here to know how tough this battle is. They all look worn. They say morale is high, but their faces are telling a different story. We move on towards other positions and stop as the shelling increases.
We've just been told the place that we were going to is under heavy shelling so we're going to pull back here and go somewhere else. In the battalion bunker, the commander tells us the Russians have ramped up their shelling on his troops since the advance.
Tons of ammo, shrapnel, tanks firing, everything. His units drones recorded their recent successes, but now the Russians have regrouped and in a moment of candor, following losses the previous night, admits morale is flagging.
"Let's be honest," he says. "We are fighting heavily for more than a year. My soldiers went through many battles and two rotations near Bakhmut. Troops are exhausted, but we endure."
Bakhmut which is just over the hill in that direction has become an object lesson in how Russia's wealth and men and ammunition can prevail, and unless Ukraine gets the modern weaponry support from its allies, it's going to struggle to tip the balance.
Callsign "Fox" and his unit load up for their hard miles at the front an end the war, getting back to their families -- what drives them into the shelling.
Nic Robertson, CNN -- eastern Ukraine.
VAUSE: Russia's deputy science minister has died after falling ill on a plane on Saturday according to the Ministry of Science and Higher Education. The Putin critic was part of a Russian delegation returning from a business trip to Cuba. The plane made an emergency landing in southern Russia where doctors unsuccessfully tried to treat him. Cause of death is not yet known but an autopsy is scheduled for Wednesday.
This is the latest in a string of mysterious deaths of Russian government officials as well as executives. More than a dozen high profile Russians have mysteriously died since the beginning of last year. Some falling from a high window, others down a flight of stairs, or maybe falling off a boat.
After two months in a Russian jail American journalist Evan Gershkovich may learn if his pre-trial detention will continue. A hearing is scheduled this week. Last month the "Wall Street Journal" reporter (INAUDIBLE) his detention on spying charges, asking for house arrest instead.
VAUSE: That appeal was denied and Gershkovich was ordered to remain in a notorious Moscow prison until May 29th. It's unclear if he will appear at this week's hearing.
Another Republican is entering the race for the White House. Tim Scott from South Carolina, the only black Republican in the Senate, announced his candidacy on Monday. GOP front runner Donald Trump wished Scott good luck, while taking a swipe at another rival, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, or as the former president called him, Ron De Sanctimonious.
CNN's Jeff Zeleny has details.
SENATOR TIM SCOTT (R-SC): My family went from cotton to Congress in his lifetime.
JEFF ZELENY, CNN CHIEF U.S. NATIONAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: From cotton to Congress, those weighty words form the arc of Senator Tim Scott's rise and framed the argument for his presidential aspirations.
SCOTT: My grandfather said to me, son, you can be bitter or you can be better. But you can't be both.
ZELENY: As he opened his Republican campaign for the White House today in his native South Carolina, Scott made clear his biography is his message. An optimistic vision for America, he said, is shaped from opportunity, not oppression.
SCOTT: This isn't just my story, it's all of our stories.
ZELENY: It's his story that Scott believes sets him apart from a growing field of contenders. He's a son of a single mother whom he invited on stage in North Charleston.
SCOTT: Thank you for standing strong in the middle of the fire.
ZELENY: And praised her guidance through a challenging childhood and for believing in him when he didn't yet believe in himself.
SCOTT: We live in the land where it's absolutely possible for a kid raised in poverty in a single parent household, in a small apartment, to one day serve in the People's House and maybe even the White House.
ZELENY: Today at 57, he's the only black Republican in the Senate and the only African American to serve in both chambers of Congress. He was elected to the House in 2010 and appointed to the senate two years later by then-Governor Nikki Haley.
NIKKI HALEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It is important to me as a minority female that Congressman Scott earned the seat.
ZELENY: Who is now a rival in the GOP primary.
Scott won a special election for a Senate seat in 2014. He was elected again in 2016 to a full term, and in 2022 seized reelection in a landslide.
If elected, Scott could also be the first unmarried president since Grover Cleveland. Along the way, his faith has been a central tenet.
SCOTT: People will say that our message is naive, that our faith is foolish. But they don't know who they are talking to. Conservatism is my personal proof there is no ceiling in life.
ZELENY: As he presented himself as a candidate offering optimism over anger, and hope over grievance and race is pivotal to his message, using it as shield and sword and as a warning to Democrats.
SCOTT: I'm the candidate the far left fears the most. When I cut your taxes, they called me a prop. When I refunded the police, they called me a (INAUDIBLE). I disrupt their narrative. I threaten their control. The truth of my life disrupts their lies.
ZELENY: Senator Scott did not mention any of his rivals by name including the front runner former President Donald Trump but he reminded Republican voters that they do face a choice in this primary. He framed it as grievance or greatness.
Jeff Zeleny, CNN -- Washington.
VAUSE: Greece is likely heading to another election late next month after the ruling political party fell well short of a majority in Sunday's general election. And the prime minister is ruling out a coalition government.
Elinda Labropoulou has more now reporting in from Athens.
ELINDA LABROPOULOU, CNN JOURNALIST: After a much bigger victory but not an outright majority, the Greek prime minister has said that he will not be going to coalition talks with any of the other parties following yesterday's election, where the result was much better than expected for his party.
It seems that it was the economy that dominated these elections in Greece and he is the prime minister who has seen the country come back to growth after ten years protracted financial crisis that saw the country's GDP shrank by a quarter.
The people have clearly voted with that in mind. They'd voted for growth. The prime minister has said that this is a clear indication that they want him to continue on his path of reforms.
Well now, what we expect is that soon, new elections will be called. They're likely to be held towards the end of June.
Elinda Labropoulou, CNN -- Athens, Greece.
VAUSE: And the European Commission wants a please explain from the Greek government after reports the Greek coast guard was abandoning migrants at sea.
VAUSE: A senior official for the bloc tweeted Monday, "One year ago I met with the Greek government to discuss border management, I made clear that there is no place for illegal deportations." She also said the European Commission is ready to take formal steps as necessary.
All this comes after the "New York Times" published a report showing a video of Greek coast guards, allegedly abandoning migrants in a raft in the middle of the sea.
A new tip from German investigators has sparked renewed search for British toddler Madeleine McCann who disappeared 16 years ago while on a family holiday. Investigators from three countries are now heading to a remote woodland area in Portugal.
McCann was just three years old when she vanished from a hotel room.
CNN's Scott McLean reports that new information is from the same German prosecutor who has a long time suspect in custody.
SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Madeleine McCann would've turned 20 this month. Her family last saw her when she was three. She disappeared into 2007 during a family holiday in the Algarve region of Portugal. She was with her younger twin sibling while her parents were dining with friends nearby in the resort of Praia de Luz. The mystery of her disappearance gripped many across the UK, Portugal and Germany.
On Tuesday, Portuguese police at the request of German authorities, will search a reservoir near the Portuguese city of Silves, around 50 kilometers from Praia de Luz.
Over the past 16 years police did search numerous wells and properties in the area, including this one which was searched in 2008. It is unclear whether it is connected to Christian Bruckner, the German suspect first named in the case in 2020. Bruckner, a convicted sex offender, lived in the Algarve between 1995 and 2007 in an apartment about a mile away from the resort where the McCanns were staying.
He's in prison in Germany for the rape and murder of a 72 year old woman committed in Portugal at the same resort. He has not been charged in McCann's disappearance and denies any involvement.
But one German prosecutors said he believes she was killed by Bruckner.
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: What makes you so certain that Madeleine McCann is dead?
HANS CHRISTIAN WOLTERS, GERMAN PROSECUTOR: We have some evidence for this. We have no forensic evidence, but we have other evidence.
MCLEAN: Her family cling on to the hope that she could still be alive.
GERRY MCCANN, FATHER OF MADELEINE MCCANN: No parent is going to give up on their child unless they know for certain that the child is dead. They just don't have any evidence.
MCLEAN: Scott McLean, CNN -- London.
VAUSE: A mega fine Meta. Coming up why European regulators are demanding Facebook's parent company pay more than a billion dollars.
VAUSE: Facebook's parent company meta is planning to appeal a record fine by E.U. regulators for violating European privacy laws. Authorities say the social media giant has been storing data about European users on U.S. based servers so U.S. intelligence agencies can have access.
VAUSE: CNN's Melissa Bell explains from Paris, the case has broad implications for many big tech companies worldwide.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: $1.3 billion dollars being levied against Meta by European regulators for what they describe as continuous breaches of their signature privacy data law, the GDPR that was brought in -- implemented, rather, in 2018.
It will be the five year anniversary in just a couple of days time. Perhaps no coincidence that this particular fine as large as it is, has come at this particular moment.
It comes even as the United States and Europe try and hammer out some new framework that will allow for the free flow of data between those very two different legislative frameworks.
It's something they found before time after time European courts have struck it down because it is so difficult to square that circle. What American legislation allows in terms of American agencies like the NSA being able to get hold of that data and what European law prevents, that is European data finding itself on those American servers.
Now, it is, of course, a fine that targets Meta specifically, but it has implications for all of big tech. Their argument, Meta's argument, is that this could be a serious problem for the global economy, for their business models, since they keep trying to find ways -- having to find ways, to go about their business despite those European rules.
It's likely also -- to put extra pressure on the U.S. and European administrations as they seek to hammer out a fresh framework that we expect as early as July, but that could take as long as October.
Now, the timing, of course, could have significant impact as well on Meta's ability to carry on doing business for the time being. The company has said that it will appeal the ruling.
Melissa Bell, CNN -- Paris.
VAUSE: With us now from San Francisco, Josh Constine, a venture partner at SignalFire, former editor at large for Tech Crunch. Welcome back.
JOSH CONSTINUE, VENTURE PARTNER, SIGNALFIRE: Thank you so much for having me.
VAUSE: Ok. So looking beyond the impact on Meta, just explain what this really means in the wider implications here for other companies and for -- you, know for this data transferring and what it actually means for commerce.
CONSTINE: Absolutely. So E.U. regulators claim that Facebook moved fast and broke laws but really, it's the trade and data transfer deal between the United States and the E.U. that has broken down and is causing these problems.
They're saying that yes, companies that have offices or servers in the E.U. cannot be transferring their data back to the United States in case American spy agencies might be able to look at it.
But Facebook is far from the only company that actually has to deal with this problem. If it starts to actually have to pay with this fine, you can see other companies, you know, other major tech giants look for new ways to avoid having to pay similar fines and stop potentially operating out there in the European Union. So we're going to see if Facebook calls the E.U.'s bluff.
VAUSE: This all began back in 2013 after revelations by whistleblower Edward Snowden about domestic intelligence gathering by the U.S. government, is that right?
CONSTINE: Exactly. The idea was that European citizens do not have a proper way to appeal surveillance of their data that happens in the United States. You have to remember that the E.U. also really courted a lot of these American tech companies. You know, they are many of them A lot of the moved and set up headquarters in (AUDIO GAP) because of the lower taxes that they would have to pay in the United States.
And that I think is causing a lot of this whiplash, people are saying, this is like repainting the sidewalk, repainting the crosswalk, and then giving someone a ticket for jaywalking in the middle of the repainting.
Just because this transfer agreement isn't in place right now, doesn't necessarily mean these big tech companies should pay these huge fines.
But it really does underscore that tech is no longer the underdog, but the problem is THAT efforts to regulate these lions, tigers, and bears that are frightening everyone could actually stunt the growth of start up (INAUDIBLE) that might one day grow up to compete with them and give us a fair market shake at other alternatives.
VAUSE: Ok. So an online statement by Meta says it's trying to appeal the fine on the basis of that (INAUDIBLE) was justified and unnecessary pointing out that policy makers is both the E.U. and the U.S. are on a clear path to resolving this conflict with the new data privacy framework, the GPS (ph).
In March 22, President Biden and Commission president Von Der Leyen announced that they've reached an agreement on the principles over the new framework. Tonight, we'll have a free-flow of Transatlantic data.
A couple of things here though. There's no guarantee that this new data privacy framework will actually appear any time soon.
It's been united wants more for three years now. And even if they do come up with a new protocol for data transfer, will it stand up to E.U. privacy regulations in a European court.
CONSTINE: It's unclear what will actually happen with the re-agreement here. But it seems like the E.U. took its opportunity to extract this enormous $1.3 billion dollar fine almost twice as large as the largest fine the E.U. has ever laid down for GDPR violations before, $746 million dollar fine against Amazon.
And I think what this really means is that start-ups around the world, regardless of size, need to be thinking about regulation. Our venture funds SignalFire offers advice on navigating regulations, just like we do with helping with recruiting or growth, because this is becoming such a prevalent issue.
And you know, just last month, you saw all of the AI giants saying that they want regulation, and one of the big problems there is that the tech giants love regulation in a lot of ways because it closes the door behind them. It makes it hard for start-ups to come up and compete with them, because the giants have the money to be able to afford jumping through these hoops or paying lobbyists, and the start- ups never will.
And so they might just lock them instead of monopoly tech giants in places they are right now, and that's a problem for all consumers.
VAUSE: ok. To your point, is a billion dollar fine it's a lot of money, but it could have been four times higher. So this is not the maximum amount, it's 25 percent of what they could've fined Facebook.
The ruling does not require Facebook to immediately stop the data transfer and in anyway. They actually have -- what about a five month grace period to do that. It only applies to Facebook, not to Meta's other big companies like WhatsApp and Instagram.
So you know, a $1.3 billion fine, it's like a parking ticket for Facebook, right? Is that really going to convince them to stop doing what they are doing and earning billions of dollars from doing it any time.
You know, beyond the headlines, beyond the number, it also kind of like weak tea.
CONSTINE: I mean, Europe has 255 million of Meta's users. It's a quarter of its revenue. It doesn't want to lose access, so I think it would be a really tough move for Facebook to tell shareholders, hey, we're pulling out of Europe entirely just because of fines like this which do effectively amount to a speed bump.
But it really shows that we need intelligent, informed, regulation. We can't just allow people who don't necessarily understand the long term impacts here to be able to find these laws and I think it's actually really frightening to see what happens to the rest of these companies like, will more U.S. companies say we don't want to bring our jobs or you know, our technology to Europe because we are just afraid of these European regulators extracting these fines?
So I think the E.U. is going to have to do some soul searching about whether they still want to seem friendly to technology.
VAUSE: And on that, josh, good point there. Thank you so much. Josh Constine there in San Francisco, we appreciate it.
Artificial intelligence, fake images likely generated by artificial intelligence made the rounds on social media Monday, showing what appeared to be an explosion close to the Pentagon.
This is the fake image which was posted on twitter. Artificial intelligence and Twitter what could possibly go wrong?
Despite what you wee there was no explosion. The building shown is not the Pentagon, but it was enough to show multiple accounts, even some media outlets into sharing it. Twitter has suspended the account as posted the fake picture.
And earlier, CNN's Donie O'Sullivan spoke with Jake Tapper about the potential danger of AI. Especially ahead of the 2024 White House election.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONIE O'SULLIVAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It certainly could supercharge the misinformation environment, right? Especially, we've seen some extremely realistic AI Generated images of people like Trump and Ron DeSantis, and also, of course, fake audio.
I mean you think back through history, the role that audio has played in the election campaigns, elite (ph) tape is the word, Access Hollywood tape, that could very now easily be faked. But also on the flip side of that, if a real tape were to emerge, a candidate could claim, I never said that. That's a fake. So we're living in the dystopia.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: And TikTok is taking legal action over a ban announced last week by the U.S. state of Montana which is the first American state to ban the platform entirely. Mandating a daily $10,000 fine on the company or app store that make it available to personal devices within the state's borders.
TikTok argues it's a violation of the constitution and other laws. Critics though fear personal data collected on the Chinese owned app could end up in the hands of China's government, a claim which Tiktok has repeatedly rejected.
Just ahead here on CNN, a major magazine shining light on people with disabilities as part of an effort to change perceptions. Hear from one of the magazines cover stars, up next.
VAUSE: Irish activist, Sinead Burke (ph) is gracing the covers of British Vogue this month, along with four other stars with disabilities in a special addition called "reframing fashion", the series was produced in tandem with both companies, (INAUDIBLE), features the stories of 19 people with disabilities from around the world of fashion, sport, the arts and activism.
Now they both spoke with CNN's Christiane Amanpour about the importance of inclusivity.
SINEAD BURKE, ACTIVIST: I think the pressure and visibility, representation, or the lack thereof, even as we begin to question usually standard the norms.
It's a dialogue that we must continue. I think asking about whether was representation on side covers or 19 people, included in the portfolio is enough. It's never enough.
But what you talked about there is the importance of intersectionality. For too long when we think about or have representation of disabled people it is one type of disability and one type of person.
But as we look through disability through a global lens and look through the ways in which identities over love. So for example, we have Aaron Rose Philip (ph) who's on the cover who's a black trans, disabled women, ensuring that we are including those who are marginalized of the heart of our conversation.
But, as regards to how what we think about the future of those norms it's about continuously expanding the definition, so as many people can continue to feel included. But I think it's also doing it with disabled people, not for disabled people. And that goes back to marginalized groups as possible.
But as we think about the future of people and whether it's the Internet, whether it's different forms that create biases and that ensure that people feel excluded we have a collective responsibility to continue to extend the explicit invitation. Because people are valid as they are whether or not they run a cover magazine.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: Great point to finish on definition. Thank you for watching CNN NEWSROOM, I'm John Vause, please stay with. Us news continues, with my friend and colleague, rosemary church after a very short break.
You're watching CNN. See you right back here tomorrow.