Return to Transcripts main page

CNN Newsroom

U.S. Debt Ceiling Deal Struck; Governor Sununu Plans to Run for the Presidency; President Erdogan Wins Turkey's Runoff Election; Russia Launched Drone Attacks on Kyiv; Russia's Tactical Nuclear Weapons Transferred to Belarus; Displaced Sudanese People at 1.4 Million; Shootout Between Bus Driver and Passenger in North Carolina. Aired 2-3a ET

Aired May 29, 2023 - 02:00   ET




LAILA HARRAK, CNN HOST: Welcome to all of our viewers watching from around the world. I'm Laila Harrak. Ahead on "CNN Newsroom," President Biden and House Speaker McCarthy are racing to sell their debt deal to lawmakers ahead of crucial votes in Congress.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan secures a historic third term as Turkey's president. We'll take a look at what it means for the country's relations with Washington.

And we'll show you the dramatic video of the moment a driver and a passenger fired at each other while on board a moving bus.

We begin this hour in Washington where there is an urgent push to pass a tentative deal that would raise the debt ceiling and avert a government default. U.S. President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy struck that deal and are now trying to build support, even as they faced pushback.

The House is set to return on Tuesday with a vote expected Wednesday. The bill also has to clear the Senate. Mr. Biden says he is confident it will make it to his desk.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: The Speaker and I made it clear from the start that the only way forward was bipartisan agreement. That agreement now goes to the United States House and to the Senate. I strongly urge both, both chambers to pass that agreement.


HARRAK: McCarthy has released the text of the 99-page bill, which includes raising the debt ceiling for two years, increasing spending on defense and veterans' issues, and imposing new work requirements on food assistance programs. And lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have voiced concerns over the

deal, but prospects for passage have improved. Many Democrats signal they're willing to support the plan. Republicans expect the majority of their House members will fall in line. Here are some of their reactions to the deal so far.


REP. TIM BURCHETT (R-TN): I'm not willing to vote this country into more debt as I see it. I sent my daughter to the store. She says dad, I'm going to spend -- I gave her $10 and she goes down there and she decides she wants to spend $20. And then she comes back and said dad, I only spent $15. So, by Washington math she saves me $5. In reality, she spent five more dollars than we have. That's Washington math.

REP. DUSTY JOHNSON (R-SD): When you're saying that conservatives have concerns, it is really the most colorful conservative. Some those guys you mentioned didn't vote for the thing when it was kind of a Republican wish list, limit, save, grow. Those votes were never really in play. We get that. But overwhelmingly, Republicans in this conference are going to support the deal. How could they not? It is a fantastic deal.


HARRAK: And CNN's Eva McKend is tracking developments and has details now from Washington.

EVA MCKEND, CNN U.S. NATIONAL POLITICS REPORTE: President Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy racing to sell this tentative debt ceiling agreement to lawmakers. But so far, pushback from hard right conservatives like Congressman Chip Roy of Texas and Ralph Norman of South Carolina. They both sit on the powerful House Rules Committee that ultimately plays a role in shepherding legislation to final passage.

And progressives, they're pushing back as well. Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal who leads the 100-plus members in the House Progressive Caucus, saying the White House has reason to worry and that the decision to negotiate to make work requirements more stringent for some food stamp recipients, she referred to that decision as unfortunate.

So, passage is not guaranteed. And all of this is unfolding as the June 5th debt ceiling deadline ticks a closer. A consequential week ahead here in Washington. The House will return on Tuesday giving leadership a chance to whip its members in person ahead of an expected Wednesday vote. Eva McKend, CNN, Washington.

HARRAK: Joining me now is CNN senior political commentator Scott Jennings. Scott, so good to have you with us. Cautious optimism all around but we're not yet out of the woods. Looking at the outline of the deal, if this goes to the floor for a vote, will it get passed?


to pass. I believe you may have some fringe on the right and fringe on the left that don't like it, and they may vote against it. But broad majorities of both parties I think will support it in both chambers and so I'm quite optimistic about passage right now.

HARRAK: Now, looking at this deal and what we know about it, what do you make of it?

JENNINGS: Well look, it's a divided government, right? You have Democrat in the White House. You have Republicans in control of half of Congress. And so, you get what you get, which is not much for either side. I think Democrats think it could've been worse. I think Republicans think it could've been better. But ultimately, what happens, the debt ceiling gets increased for a couple of years, the world keeps spinning.

The average voter won't notice much of a difference. And a lot of this fiscal policy is going to get litigated in the next presidential election. So, I really think Kevin McCarthy did a nice job of bringing Joe Biden to the negotiating table and Joe Biden is selling this to his Democrats as, you know, not much really changed here and we did not go over the edge of a default. So, both sides actually are claiming victory. And I think that's broadly probably true for both of them.

HARRAK: So, everybody is claiming a win-win, but this has been a very bruising exercise.

JENNINGS: Yeah, maybe. But at the same time a lot of these debt ceiling negotiations over the last several times this has happened, going back more than a decade, have gone right to the end of the line. I do think Joe Biden frankly could've settled this much earlier. He spent several months saying he would not negotiate and that he would accept nothing but a clean increase of the debt ceiling.

That obviously turned out not to be true. I think Kevin McCarthy showed his political chops by getting the House Republicans to pass their plan a few weeks ago. I don't think Biden was expecting him to be able to do that. And when he did, that brought Biden to the table.

And look, McCarthy has delivered a checklist of things that most Republicans are going to be perfectly happy with. So, overall, this thing is going to come and go and I don't think we'll be thinking too much about it in the next couple of weeks after it passes.

HARRAK: Are we, though? Because, you know, taking things to the breaking point, it's quite damaging.

JENNINGS: Well, look, again, I think these debt ceiling fiascos, if you want to call them that, have often gone right up to line several times, especially when you have divided government. I remember back during the Trump years when Democrats had part of Congress and Trump was in the White House, you had some back and forth between the two parties. But look, if you are a Republican, conservative Republican, and your

mad about this deal, you need to take a hard look in the mirror and say, hey, this is the wages of losing elections, this is the wages of Donald Trump losing the White House, and these are the wages of Donald Trump's Senate candidates losing in 2022.

If you had more Republicans in office over more branches of government, you wouldn't have to be so disappointed. So, really for the political lesson here, for Republicans, but maybe for both parties is try to win more elections because divided government obviously isn't getting you what you want.

HARRAK: And how would you describe the position of Speaker McCarthy right now?

JENNINGS: Pretty strong, actually. He is really, I think, overperformed expectations. A lot of people didn't think he'd be a very strong speaker when he got elected on the 15th ballot late that night back in January, but he has time and again I think overperformed on this one. Getting the Republicans a few weeks ago to pass a debt ceiling plan on the floor of the House that put Biden on the back foot.

Biden never expected them to do that. It brought Biden to the negotiating table. So, I think McCarthy can claim a real victory here and that he was able to get some concessions out of the White House that for months Joe Biden said we're not even on the table. So, that's a big win for the Speaker.

HARRAK: A big win for the Speaker, but he still has to get this over the line.

JENNINGS: I think he will. You're going to have over 100 Democrats vote for this. He will probably have at least 160, 170 Republicans vote for it. He's got plenty of votes in the U.S. House. And I think he'll get easily over 60 in the U.S. Senate. You've got both Leader Schumer and Leader McConnell backing it in the senate. All the pieces are in place here. I'm not expecting a lot of drama, actually.

HARRAK: All right. Well, we'll check in with you about that. Scott Jennings, thank you so much. Good talking to you.

JENNINGS: Yeah. Thank you.

HARRAK: And we're still months away from the start of the 2024 U.S. presidential primary season, but the field of Republican candidates may soon have another contender. New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu told CNN on Sunday he could unveil plans for a presidential bid within a week. He said he's already secured money and family support. But there are still a few factors he's considering before making a final decision.


CHRIS SUNUNU, GOVERNOR OF NEW HAMPSHIRE: The one thing I'm looking at is where can I be most effective. And both in terms of making sure I can be a good governor; I still have a 24/7 job. I'm one of the few people that I still very much focus on my state and the state is in great shape so that's good.

Making sure that when it comes to where I want to see the party go, these things -- maybe I talk a little differently, I talk with a different approach. I want more candidates to be in power. Can I do that more effectively as a candidate?


Can I do that more effectively as someone who's kind of traveling the country, maybe speaking a little more freely, kind of being that -- I don't like using the word referee, but kind of like a referee of the first of the nation primary and I can show where pulling the levers to narrow things down.

I just want what's best for the party. It doesn't have to be the Chris Sununu show all the, just what's best. So, that's kind of what I'm narrowing down now. The money's been lined up. The supports been lined up. There's a pathway to win. All those boxes are checked. The family is on board, which is always a big one. I just got to make sure it's right for the party and right for me.


HARRAK: Well, if he decides to run, Sununu would join a long list of contenders, including Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and South Carolina Senator Tim Scott, looking to unseat former President Donald Trump as the Republican Party's standard bearer.

President Biden and other world leaders are congratulating Turkey's Recep Tayyip Erdogan for his re-election to an unprecedented third term as president after a highly contested runoff vote. With almost all votes counted now, the results show Mr. Erdogan won just over 52 percent of Sunday's vote, defeating opposition leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu, who received almost 48 percent.

Mr. Erdogan called for unity in his victory speech and he told supporters one of the government's main priorities would be fighting the country's rampant inflation. CNN's Scott McLean joins us now live from London with more on this. Scott, good to see you. A closely fought campaign, a contentious campaign, and a country split almost right down the middle.

SCOT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, you're absolutely right, Laila. Look, this is the closest the president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has come to losing the presidency in two decades in office. It's also the first time in Turkish history that the election has gone to a runoff election. And it's not surprising, considering all of the huge issues in this election that were front and center.

There is, as you pointed out, the issue of inflation, hitting some 85 percent, really reducing people's buying power. And the government's response to it has been pretty bizarre, to lower inflation rates rather than hike them, which has been happening in the rest of the western world. The results of the earthquake in February and plenty of government

criticism of the initial response to it. And of course, in this election cycle, the issue of refugees was front and center, mostly Syrian, who've been there for years and years. But both parties were debating what to do with them and how to get them out of the country.

And so, given all that, it is surprising that Erdogan did as well as he did. But the government has a lot of built-in powers to begin with. In April, for instance, Turkish state T.V. gave 32 hours of coverage to President Erdogan and just 32 minutes to his opponent Kemal Kilicdaroglu. That explains why Kilicdaroglu in casting his ballot on Sunday, said that there were all kinds of -- all sorts of black propaganda and slander, in his words.

He said that his country is in the midst of one of the most unfair political eras. He also said that the result, despite the loss, show that the country is -- that the country is wanting some kind of a change again, despite the loss. Listen.


KEMAL KILICDAROGLU TURKISH OPPOSITION LEADER (through translation): We will continue to fight until we have established a real democracy in our country. And we will continue to be the vanguard of the struggle. My greatest sorrow is about the difficulties awaiting our country. But I want you to know, that we will be the first to stand up to the problems.


MCLEAN: So, after the first ballot, President Erdogan came within half a percentage point of getting the 50 percent that he needed to win on the first ballot two weeks ago. And since then, he has managed to secure the support of one the right-wing parties which got 5 percent of the vote. And so, this time around, it seemed like one of the biggest risks for him was complacency.

Obviously, in the results now, that seems to have not been the case. He re-committed himself to rebuilding after the earthquake to lowering inflation and to sending 1 million Syrian refugees back to Syria. He also called for national unity. Listen.


RECEP TAYYIP ERDOGAN, TURKISH PRESIDENT (through translation): It is time to unite and unify around our national goals and national dreams, leaving aside all discussions and disputes regarding the election period. No one has lost today. All 85 million people have won.


MCLEAN: And while he called for national unity, he also took a swipe at his opponent, Kemal Kilicdaroglu, pointing that his party's -- the number of seats that it has in parliament has actually decreased since the last vote in 2018. In Turkey, votes are held every five years. So, it will be quite a while before Turks get another chance to unseat Erdogan. Laila?

HARRAK: Scott McLean, reporting for you live from London. Thank you so much, Scott. Thank you.


And earlier I spoke with Steven Cook, a senior fellow for Middle Eastern Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, and I asked him what Erdogan's victory means for his relationship with Washington, which is at times quite rocky. Take a look.


STEVEN COOK, SENIOR FELLOW FOR MIDDLE EAST STUDIES, COUNCIL ON FOREIGN RELATIONS: The relationship between the United States and Turkey is quite difficult over a variety of issues, but mostly having to do with the support that the United States has lent to a Kurdish fighting force that Turks regard as a terrorist organization.

And of course, on the Washington side, it's Turkey's purchase of the Russian manufactured air defense system that is designed specifically to shoot down NATO aircraft. Of course, Turkey is an important member of NATO. The Turks have been seeking a reset in the relationship, but what they mean by a reset is essentially the United States accepting Turkey's view of issues and adjusting accordingly.

And I don't think that the Biden administration or importantly Congress, which has become an important actor in the U.S.-Turkey relationship, as ready to accede to what are essentially Turkish demands. So, Erdogan will likely respond to his victory by once again, perhaps in a more aggressive tone, seeking a change in relation with the United States that he's already requested new F-16 fighter planes and a variety of other things.

We'll just have to see how President Biden weighs the importance of keeping Turkey in the tenth, so to speak, or continuing to have these tense relationships with Ankara.

HARRAK: Well, on that note, do you see the Biden ministration maybe wanting to patch up things, just for peace's sake?

COOK: I will note that President Biden has congratulated President Erdogan on his victory, despite the fact that the opposition insists that the vote was riddled by fraud. So, it does seem that President Biden who did stay away from Turkey during this long campaign period, is willing to continue to have a relationship.

I think that the United States wants to have a strategic relationship with Turkey, but I think that they believe that much of the problem lies with the leadership in Ankara. So, my sense is the White House is going to take a wait and see attitude beyond the congratulations that they transmitted to President Erdogan today.


HARRAK: And you can watch my full interview with Steven Cook in the next hour. Now, just ahead, the Ukrainian capital endured an onslaught of drone attacks from Russia on Sunday. We'll have a report from Kyiv.

Plus, as Russia moves tactical nuclear weapons into Belarus, the Belarusian president offers some nukes to potential allies. Details on his proposition, next.



HARRAK: Ukrainian officials report explosions in and around the Russian occupied cities of Berdiansk and Mariupol. They say at least five strikes targeted Russian positions in Berdiansk on Sunday. And one official says the explosions in Mariupol caused casualties, but gave no further details.

Meanwhile, the Ukrainian military says Russia launched one of its largest drone attacks yet on Sunday. It coincided with Kyiv Day, the anniversary of the city's founding more than 1,500 years ago. Kyiv's mayor also says more explosions have been reported across the Ukrainian capital in recent hours. There are no reports of injuries and the mayor wrote on Telegram that air defense is at work. CNN's Fred Pleitgen is in Kyiv with more on these attacks.

FREDRIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the Ukrainians are calling this one of the largest attacks, using those Iranian-made Shahed drones since Russia started its full-on invasion of Ukraine. The Ukrainian military is saying that of 59 Shaheds that were launched towards its territory, they were able to take out 58. So, that's obviously a pretty big success rate there for the Ukrainian military and it's ever improving air defense.

Certainly, the bulk of those drones seem to be directed at the Kyiv region, the Kyiv and surrounding region. And there was some damage that was caused. There were two people who were killed. There were a lot of buildings that were damaged as well. Most of that, the authorities say, came from falling debris. Also, there were some drone parts apparently found near a warehouse that had also sustained some damage as well.

There was also some pretty dramatic video that came out from the Chernihiv region, that's in the north of Ukraine, with border guards they were saying that they fired into the sky when they saw and heard the Shahed drones approaching, and they managed to take one down using small arms fire.

President Zelenskyy of Ukraine, he came out and he praised the forces that are fighting against those drones, fighting against missiles, as well as the air defense forces. He called him heroes here in Ukraine for keeping so many people on the ground safe.

At the same time, the Ukrainians pretty angry at the Iranians for giving those drones to the Russians. In fact, an adviser to Ukraine's presidential administration, he came out and he warned the Iranians that there could be retaliation. Fred Pleitgen, CNN, Kyiv.

HARRAK: Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko is offering nuclear weapons two nations willing to join the so-called Union State Alliance of Russia and Belarus. It's not yet clear how or why that Lukashenko extended the invitation, as he did not offer specifics. It comes several days after Mr. Lukashenko said Moscow had begun transferring some of its tactical nuclear weapons to Belarus. Though Russian President Vladimir Putin has said Russia would retain control over them.

Gunfire rang out Sunday on the streets of Sudan's embattled capital, one day before a shaky cease fire expires.


Khartoum residents trapped in the conflict say both sides have repeatedly violated the seven-day truce negotiated in Saudi more than a week ago.


And right now, there's no agreement to extend the cease-fire when it expires in the coming hours. The U.N. says the fighting that erupted in April between Sudan's Armed Forces and the Paramilitary Rapid Support forces has displaced almost 1.4 million people. Almost 350,000 of them have fled to neighboring Chad, Egypt, or Ethiopia. The U.N. also says there are increasing reports of gender and domestic violence among the displaced, particularly among those who have remained inside sudan.

A routine trip on a city bus turns into a violent shootout. Coming up, new video showing the incident between the driver and a passenger, which left both men injured.


HARRAK: New video out of North Carolina shows a violent shootout between a bus driver and passenger while the bus was moving. Both men were injured and now CNN has learned that the driver has lost his job. CNN's Isabel Rosales has more on what exactly happened.

ISABEL ROSALES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Before seeing this video, I want to set the stage a little bit. According to the interim CEO of CATS, the Charlotte Area Transit System, this argument lasted about two minutes before and shots were fired between the driver and a passenger. The argument concerning the passenger wanting to be let off of the bus, the driver refusing to do that saying that it needed to be the next authorized to stop in the route.

That is when the passenger, as you can see in the video, and according to the interim CEO, pulled out a gun. That driver -- that passenger being Omarri Tobias.

The driver of the bus being that gun, his name is David Fullard, pulled out his own gun then a shootout occurred. Before showing you this part, we do want to warn you that the video is graphic.

(VIDEO PLAYING) [02:30:00]

And you can see Fullard's stopping of the bus, and then he starts to approach down the hallway. There's two bystanders inside of the bus that were unharmed. They're trying to exit as well. One moving to the rear of the bus and then the suspect crawling on the floor of the bus. The driver Fullard, firing another couple of rounds and then continuing to follow the suspect once he's able to exit the bus.

Both of them were shot. The driver, shot in the arm. The suspect, shot in the abdomen, and sent to the hospital in stable condition.

Here's what the CEO, the interim CEO of CATS had to say about this incident.


BRENT CAGLE, INTERIM CEO, CHARLOTTE AREA TRANSIT SYSTEM: I understand everyone's need to protect themselves. I also believe that this incident may have been avoided.


ROSALES: And the passenger there, Tobias faces several charges. Police have not indicated whether the driver will also be facing charges. According to the interim CEO of CATS, the driver did not follow de- escalation protocols, saying that it would have been reasonable for him to stop the bus and allowed the passenger off in that situation. The bus driver was hired by a third-party contractor, and they're not allowed per policy to have any weapons.

That driver was terminated. Now, our CNN-affiliate WSOC spoke with the driver's attorney who said see -- he's been working on the bus for 19 years. Working on that city bus, and that him having a weapon is an indicator of how these drivers feel about their safety. Listen.


KEN HARRIS, BUS DRIVER'S ATTORNEY: Anyone in the workplace who is consistently confronted with dangerous scenarios could reasonably be expected to find a way to protect themselves so that they can get home safely.


ROSALES: And the CATS's interim CEO says that there's three ways for these drivers to try to get some help if something goes wrong, including a radio to contact other employees and to silent alarms, adding that this driver did not trigger any of those systems.

Isabel Rosales, CNN. Atlanta.

HARRAK: Authorities in New Mexico have charged a man with an open count of murder after gunfire at a Motorcycle Rally Saturday night. Left three people dead and another five injured. The man who was charged, Jacob David Castillo is currently in the hospital after he was also injured in the shooting.

The State Police Chief had harsh words for those involved.


CHIEF TIM JOHNSON, NEW MEXICO STATE POLICE: These gangbangers who are lawless, and what they are, gangbangers, choose to have a three-day sleepover in New Mexico and not following any of our laws and bully people around here. And that's not going to be tolerated for the rest of this weekend or any Memorial Days moving forward.


HARRAK: Well, it all happened at the Red River Memorial Day Motorcycle Rally, which typically draws nearly 30,000 bikers annually. Police said everyone involved has been taken into custody.

As tens of thousands of migrants flood into New York, the city is finding a new group of partners to help house them. We'll show you who they are and hear why they are stepping up to help.



HARRAK: As tens of thousands of migrants pour into New York City, officials are looking for new places to house them all. The New York's governor says one of those places will be a former correctional facility that also served as a place of refuge for migrants more than 100 years ago.

And as Polo Sandoval tells us, faith-based centers also are stepping forward to help with the humanitarian effort.


POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voiceover): Just below a bustling Brooklyn interstate, this brick building offers shelter in the face of New York City's ongoing migrant crisis.

SONIYA ALI, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, MUSLIM COMMUNITY CENTER: We have 17 migrants staying with us. So, basically, each bed is their living space.

SANDOVAL: Soniya Ali helps run the Muslim community center which, she says, for the last nine months or so have collectively offered respite to 75 asylum seekers of all faiths as New York city struggles to keep up with the demands of housing nearly 45,000 homeless migrants. This organization does what he can to help shoulder that wait all while aiming to live up to the guiding principle that's painted outside.

ALI: As a Muslim, it is an obligation upon us to help house, you know, migrants and people who are travelers. Basically, we decided to all take that step.

SANDOVAL: Ali was five when her family immigrated to the U.S. from Kashmir.

ALI: I can definitely understand what they're feeling when they talk about their families and the children that they left behind or their wives or whoever they left behind. I understand that because I do have family members that are back home, that are not here, and you do feel that sense of longing. So, I understand that part of their journey and their situations.

SANDOVAL: Ali says their community center is among the faith-based organizations that have applied to team up with the city of New York starting the summer. A local government official familiar with the city's planning tell CNN that the city will soon announce a program that seeks to open up 50 faith-based shelters starting in July, each offering about 19 beds the goal, the official says, is the count on at least 950 additional beds for asylum seekers by the fall.

However, the institutions will have to meet building codes to house large groups, the official says.

For Ali, that means installing fire sprinklers.

ALI: This is something that might take a little longer than we expected. The -- from what I was told or what I'm aware of, is that there are two slots in June and September. We are hoping for June, but it doesn't look like it. So, we're probably going to be approved in September.

SANDOVAL: The plan to use some of New York City's houses of worship comes as city and state are forced to get creative to expand shelter space.

GOV. KATHY HOCHUL (D-NY): There are some schools that have empty dorms. There are some schools that are not reopening. There are former correctional facilities, which are not ideal but, that is space if we can change the environment.

SANDOVAL: And some new and unusual options emerge, faith-based community centers are already offering sanctuary.

ALI: Spiritually, it has been humbling to hear the stories and to be able to know that we are making a difference in these -- in these individuals' lives.


SANDOVAL: And on Sunday, a spokesperson for New York City confirmed for me that there is a plan to use a 10,000-square-foot facility in the Upper Manhattan neighborhood of Harlem to house additional asylum seekers. The facility had been previously used in 1940 to house newly arrived Jewish migrants. In 1942, used for World War II soldiers. And it's also been used previously as a correctional facility.


State official telling CNN that it has no cells and they're currently in the process of transforming it into a welcoming space for asylum seekers. As recently a deputy mayor in New York said that this migrant crisis, there is no end in sight.

Polo Sandoval, CNN, New York

HARRAK: Asiana Airlines is not selling certain seats on some of its planes after a passenger was caught on video opening an aircraft door in midair. While the plane landed minutes after the incident Friday and the man was arrested.

The airline now says it's suspending sales of some emergency exit seats on several of its aircraft as a safety precaution.

And a possible breakthrough in sustainable energy. A Danish company says it has cracked an issue with the blades on wind turbines like these. The blades usually are incinerated or end up in a landfill when they reach the end of their lifetime because they're made with materials like fiberglass that are extremely difficult to break down. Well, now Danish company Vestas says it has discovered chemical technology that could eventually be used to recycle the old blades into new ones. One expert says it could be a game changer.

Thanks so much for joining us. I'm Laila Harrak. For international viewers, World Sports is up next. Wherever you are in the United States and Canada. I'll be right back with more CNN NEWSROOM.



HARRAK: Welcome back to our viewers in North America. I'm Laila Harrak. As the fates of a key abortion medication hangs in limbo in the U.S., more women are likely to face tough decisions. The young couple in Georgia is speaking out after the wife suffered a life- threatening miscarriage when she was prescribed only one of the two abortion pills that are meant to be taken together.

CNN's Elizabeth Cohen has their story.


ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voiceover): Melissa Novak and Stewart Day met in Florida 15 years ago.

MELISSA NOVAK, HAD MISCARRIAGE: We kissed on New Year's and then we have not been separate since.

COHEN: They married, move to Atlanta, and earlier this year, they were thrilled when Melissa got pregnant. They had an ultrasound at eight weeks.

NOVAK: We were really excited to go and see the heartbeat.

COHEN: But when you showed up for the ultrasound, was there a heartbeat?

NOVAK: No. There was not.

COHEN (voiceover): Melissa was having an early miscarriage, which is very common. But what happened next was not, and Melissa nearly died.

To help a woman miscarry safely, it's standard practice for obstetricians to offer these two drugs together, mifepristone and misoprostol. The FDA says the combination is approved to end a pregnancy. Melissa's miscarriage was at the end of March just when a judge at this federal courthouse in Texas was considering whether to block access to misapprehend nationwide.

Melissa's doctor mentioned the lawsuit and prescribed her only misoprostol, while that drug has shown to be effective, it is less effective when used on its own. Nine days after Melissa took misoprostol, she developed a fever.

NOVAK: My fever was really -- it came on hard and strong. And then, suddenly I had incredible back pain. I was having trouble standing.

COHEN: Her medical records show she had a septic incomplete abortion.

STEWART DAY, WIFE HAD A MISCARRIAGE: When she is laying in the hospital shaking with, you know, 100-degree fever, like there is nothing I can do about it. So, the feeling of helplessness, especially when it is somebody that you love so much, we didn't know if she was going to live or die.

COHEN: The mifepristone lawsuit is still winding its way through the legal system towards the Supreme Court. Depending upon how judge's rule, Americans could lose access to the drug nationwide.

In a statement to CNN, one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, an antiabortion obstetrician seeking to take mifepristone off of the market wrote that medical management of miscarriage with misoprostol has been standard of care for decades but didn't provide evidence for that. In fact, misoprostol is not approved on its own for miscarriages and many physicians are worried about what the courts might do.

DR. ERIKA WERNER, CHAIR OF OBSTETRICS AND GYNECOLOGY, TUFTS MEDICAL CENTER: Any of us that care for women who have miscarriages are very concerned. More women are going to have unnecessary surgeries, more women are going to have complications, and we are just not going to be providing the best care across the country.

COHEN: After four days in the hospital and emergency surgery, Melissa recovered, and she and storied already to try for another baby. They said they are telling their story because they are worried about what might happen to others in a similar situation. And a special session either annual meeting this week, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists acknowledge the confusion about mifepristone, and advised their members that it is still available in all 50 states.

But if the plaintiffs succeed, it won't be.

DAY: The fact that non-medical professionals are able to dictate medical care to like my wife or anyone is absurd.

COHEN: Under Georgia law, Melissa could have been offered mifepristone. But obstetricians in various states tell us that under the current legal climate, it's a little bit like the fog of war. Day to day it can be unclear about what they're allowed to do to take care of their patients. And if they get it wrong, they could go to prison.


HARRAK: Our thanks to Elizabeth Cohen for that report.

Authorities want to know why Venice's Grand Canal is looking green. They're investigating after fluorescent green water appeared in part of the canal on Sunday while it was first spotted near the famed Rialto bridge, but slowly spread and officials have taken water samples and I now hoping surveillance video will offer some clues. No environmental group has taken responsibility for the change in color.

Lithium, a crucial metal and a key resource for electric car production is set to be extracted from underneath California's Salton Sea.


While demand for the material has skyrocketed as electric vehicles grow more popular. CNN's Mike Valerio explains how the new lithium rush could save the dying Salton Sea.


MIKE VALERIO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voiceover): It looks like a shimmering sea that was once called a miracle in the desert.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Salton Riviera beside the Salton Sea is a place for you to take charge of your future.

VALERIO: A Hollywood hideaway three hours from Los Angeles where Sinatra and the Rat Pack played. But now after decades of drought and farm run off, raising the water's salinity. The Salton Sea today is surrounded by dust and decay.

PROF. MICHAEL MCKIBBEN, UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, RIVERSIDE: The hope is that the chronic unemployment and poverty down here can be alleviated by the development of the Silicon Valley.

VALERIO: This gurgling and sputtering from underground gases potentially heralds a new beginning, a transformation from languishing vistas to lithium valley.

MCKIBBEN: These are called on mud volcanoes from (INAUDIBLE) ground.

VALERIO: Geologist Michael McKibben explains deep underneath us where two tectonic plates are pushing past each other, magma heats ground water. And within that salty water called brine, minerals dissolve including the valuable metal, lithium.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is the gold right here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. VALERIO: Solid lithium is essential for electric vehicle batteries. Right now, most lithium battery production is in China. But experts say the Salton Sea region could provide enough lithium to move the U.S. toward lithium independence supercharging our E.V. transition.

ERIC SPOMER, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, ENERGYSOURCE MINERALS: Our intention is to be in construction this year and be in operation in 2025.

VALERIO: Eric Spomer is CEO of EnergySource Minerals, one of three companies planning to draw lithium from the underground hot brine.

This is where the separation begins.

DANIEL ALEXANDER, OWNER'S REPRESENTATIVE, HUDSON RANCH POWER: Yes, this is where the high temperature, high pressure fluids coming up into our high-pressure separator.

VALERIO: Boiling brine already fuels 11 Salton Sea geothermal power plants, among them Hudson Ranch One. The brine steam spins its turbines and that creates clean energy. The plan now is to extract dissolved lithium from that same brine.

SPOMER: We developed a technology that is incredibly efficient at extracting lithium from brine and rejecting impurities.

VALERIO: One of the hopes with lithium extraction is that it could bring vitality back to the Salton Sea and so much of what we are looking at all around us.

Fewer than 10 years ago this was underwater and people who live in and around the area hope that with more money into the economy at least a fraction of the Salton Sea can be restored to its former glory.

Simply put Ruben Hernandez owner of the nearby Buckshot Deli and Diner hopes a lithium boom leads to a boom in customers and a flood of tax revenue for a better future.

My grandchildren will grow up here, he tells us. I hope they will have good services and a good quality of life.

That is if lithium leads to a second miracle in the desert, one for our time and for the road ahead.

On the banks of the Salton Sea, I'm Mike Valerio reporting.


HARRAK: The environmental group Greenpeace is using art to highlight the connection between fossil fuels and plastic pollution. The climate lobbyist unveiled this sculpture in Paris on Saturday. It represents an oil derrick churning out an endless supply chain of plastic bottles. Canadian artist Benjamin Von Wong calls his piece the perpetual plastic machine.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BENJAMIN VON WONG, ARTIST: It's an installation that's trying to highlight the connection between fossil fuel production and plastic production because 99 percent of plastics is actually made from petrochemicals. Plastic pollutes during its entire lifecycle, from extraction to production all the way until final disposal. And this idea that plastics can be recycled infinitely, is only kind of half true because every single year we produce 300 million tons of plastic.


HARRAK: Well, the installation was unveiled ahead of the U.N. conference in Paris where delegates will try to come up with a legally binding pact to eliminate plastic waste.

Belarusian tennis player is defending the Ukrainian opponents who refuse to shake her hand. It happens at the end of this match at the French Open. Aryna Sabalenka beats Marta Kostyuk, 6-3, 6-2. Well, Kostyuk refused to meet Sabalengka at the net for the customary post- match handshake instead going straight to the umpire and then back to her seats.

Well, Sabalengka who is the second ranked women's tennis player in the world spoke to reporters after the match.



AYNA SABALENKA, BELARUSIAN TENNIS PLAYER: I understand why they're not shaking hands with us. I can imagine if they're going to shake hands with us and then what's going to happen to them Ukrainian side. So, I understand that, and I understand that this not kind of like personally, you know. About the war situation, I said it many, many times. Nobody in this world Russians athletes or Belarusian athletes support the war. Nobody. How can we support the word? Nobody. Normal people will never support it.


HARRAK: Marta Kostyuk is from Kyiv, and she said at January's Australian Open that she would not shake hands with any Russian or Belarusian opponents with war raging in her country.

Crashes, fires and a tire launched into the parking lot. This year's Indianapolis 500 had a host of dramatic events including a first-time winner. Three different crashes all in the last 60 laps. Stomped the race momentarily. One driver even lost a tire which flew over the fence and into the parking lot. Damaging at least one car. Well, this marks the first Indy 500 win for Josef Newgarden who even seems to enjoy the traditional winner's bottle of milk in victory lane.

Now rock band Queen could be in the running for historic sale of their music.



HARRAK: A source tells CNN that discussions are well underway for Universal Music Group to acquire Queen's catalog from Disney Music Group. Well, the deal could potentially surpass billion dollars, making it the highest-valued catalog on record. And that title is currently held by Bruce Springsteen's catalog which -- get this, was sold in 2021 for a suite $500 million. Pocket change.

Thank you so much for watching, I'm Laila Harrack. I'll be back with more on CNN NEWSROOM after this short break.