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CNN International: Biden, McCarthy Race to Sell Tentative Agreement to Lawmakers; Republican-Led Texas House Impeaches Attorney General; Faith-Based Centers Stepping Up to Help Asylum-Seekers; Bola Tinubu Aims to Mend Nigeria's Deep Divisions; Ukrainian Tennis Player Refuses to Shake Opponents Hand; Venice's Grand Canal Turns Green, Prompting Investigation. Aired 4:30-5a ET

Aired May 29, 2023 - 04:30   ET



REP. PRAMILA JAYAPAL (D-WA): And let's be clear that what they got from this was not that. They may have gotten other things. I'm not happy with some of the things I'm hearing about but they are not helping the deficit and they are not cutting spending.

I think that, you know, you've got to ask yourself, what was all the drama for? Because they didn't get what they said they wanted. We knew that was never actually what was on the table.

JAKE TAPPER, CNN ANCHOR: Do they still have to worry about the progressive caucus and whether or not your caucus will support it?


Tapper: Yes, they do. OK, Congresswoman Jayapal, thank you so much.

JAYAPAL: Yes, they'll have to worry.


BIANCA NOBILO, CNN ANCHOR: Some Republicans have been critical of the deal, while others say the GOP will walk away with wins.


REP. KELLY ARMSTRONG (R-ND): We're getting really legislative wins that are going to be hard to unwind. You know, taking just take the food stamps and I think, making to got down from 12 to 8 percent and phasing the age in from 49 to 55. Those are winds that are going to exist long after this and we're going to -- I mean, rescinding of the agents in their first year, rescinding on the COVID funding. This federal money will be more than all of them combined.

REP. DUSTY JOHNSON (R-SD): There were no wins for Democrats. If you look at the state of policy today in this country, and you say, OK, we're going into a deal, and one side is going to get half and the other side is going to get half. Republicans will pull their half this way. Democrats will pull their half that way. There is nothing after the passive of this bill that will be more liberal or progressive than it is today. It's a remarkable conservative accomplishment.


NOBILO: The now suspended Attorney General of Texas is lashing out after the states Republican dominated House of Representatives voted to impeach him. By a vote of 121-23, lawmakers voted to remove Ken Paxton from office. He's calling that move illegal, unethical and profoundly unjust. Paxton is now suspended from his duties until the Texas Senate holds a trial. All of this follows a legislative investigation that accused the third term Republican of several offenses including abusing his powers, retaliating against whistleblowers and obstructing justice.


STATE REP. ANN JOHNSON (D-TX): What seems to be a long-standing form of corruption has now been voted out. And I think that is a significant step for the integrity of the state and for our constitution.


NOBILO: Texas Republican lawmakers have passed two bills on party line votes which target the election process in Harris County. It's the state's largest county which includes Houston and has grown increasingly Democratic. One bill passed on Sunday authorizes the Secretary of State to offer administrative oversight of a county if there are complaints or problems with how elections are administered. The other bill, which passed last week, eliminates the position of election administrator. Both bills will be sent to the governor for his signature. Voting right activists are calling these moves a power grab.

And as tens of thousands of migrants pour into New York City, officials are looking for new places to house them all. Polo Sandoval tells us how faith-based centers are also stepping forward to help with this humanitarian effort.


POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): 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 that are staying with us. And so basically each bed is their living space.

SANDOVAL (voice-over): 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 it can to help shoulder that weight, all while hoping to live up to the guiding principle that's painted outside. ALI: As a Muslim, it's an obligation upon us to help house, you know, migrants and people who are travelers. And basically, we decided to, you know, take that step.

SANDOVAL (voice-over): Ali was 5 when her family immigrated to the U.S. from Kashmir.

ALI: I can definitely understand what they're feeling when they talk about, you know, their families and their children that they left behind or their, you know, wives or whomever it is that they've 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 situation.

SANDOVAL (voice-over): Ali says her community center is among the faith-based organizations that have applied to team up with the city of New York starting this summer. A local government official familiar with the city's planning tell CNN the city will soon announce the program that seeks to open up to 50 faith-based shelters starting in July, each offering about 19 beds. The goal, the official says, is to 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 bit longer than we expected.


The -- from what I was told or what I'm aware of is that there are two slots, June and September. We were hoping for June, but it doesn't look like it. So, we're probably going to be approved in September.

SANDOVAL (voice-over): The plan to use some of New York City's houses of worship comes as the 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 (voice-over): As some new and unusual options emerge, faith- based communities are already offering sanctuary.

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

SANDOVAL: On Sunday, a spokesperson for New York City confirmed for me there is a plan to use a 10,000 square foot facility in upper Manhattan neighborhood of Harlem to house additional asylum seekers. This was a facility that had been previously used in 1914 to house newly arrived Jewish migrants. In 1942 used for World War II soldiers. And it also had been used previously as a correction facility. A 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. Recently a deputy mayor of New York said that this migrant crisis, there's no end in sight.

Polo Sandoval, CNN, New York.


NOBILO: Gunfire rang out Sunday on the streets of Sudan embattled capital one day before a shaky cease-fire was due to expire. Khartoum residents trapped in the conflict say both sides have repeatedly violated the seven-day truce negotiated in Saudi Arabia more than a week ago. And right now, there's no agreement to extend the cease-fire when it expires today. The U.N. now says that the fighting that erupted in April between Sudan's armed forces and the power military 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 remain inside Sudan.

Nigeria is about to swear in a new president. Coming up, we'll take you to Lagos for a look at the promises that he's making and the challenges he'll face trying to carry them out.



NOBILO: An update in the story that we brought you moments ago. A CNN team reports hearing explosions in the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv a short time ago. It was not immediately clear if these sounds were intercepted by air defense systems, or they were impacts on the ground. This comes shortly after Ukraine's military said it destroyed almost 70 aerial targets launched by Russia, and its latest onslaught overnight. Clearly, Russia is putting Kyiv more and more in its sights as we gear up to this much awaited counteroffensive.

Sunday, Ukraine reported that one of the largest drone attacks to date against Kyiv so far in the war. We'll bring you updates on these developments as soon as they become available.

China has announced it will launch its Shenzhou-16 crewed spacecraft to its fully operational space station on Tuesday. The country says its first civilian astronaut will be part of the three-member mission. They'll swap places with another crew to man the Chinese space outpost. This will be the fifth manned mission to the station since 2021. Beijing said that it plans to launch two manned spacecraft every year.

Nigeria's Bola Tinubu has called for national unity in the deep social divisions and other endemic problems. And now, he'll have a chance to try to achieve it. Tinubu is set to be sworn in today as Nigeria's president. He ran for office promising a broom revolution to sweep away corruption. But Africa's most populous nation faces many other problems as well. CNN's Stephanie Busari in Lagos introduces us to the new president.


STEPHANIE BUSARI, CNN SENIOR EDITOR, AFRICA (voiceover): He is the man on a so-called broom revolution. Bola Ahmed Tinubu is poised to become Nigeria's president on Monday, promising to clean up Africa's largest economy.

BOLA TINUBU, NIGERIAN PRESIDENT: Sweeping corruption away.

BUSARI (voiceover): But that's only one of the challenges he faces. His first is slightly more immediate, a legal one from the country's opposition. Tinubu, from the ruling APC party, may have been declared a winner back in March. But many have criticized the election for voting irregularities, violence and attempts to disenfranchise voters.

TINUBU: To those who didn't support me, I ask that you are not allowed in this appointment of this moment to keep you from realizing the historic national progress we can make by working together.

BUSARI: Former two-time Governor Tinubu, has long harbored ambitions to rule Nigeria. But it will be a challenge of a lifetime to unite a fractured nation, fix an economy on life support and tackle spiraling insecurity.

BUSARI (voiceover): Nigeria's total debt stands up more than $103 billion. And some analysts say, the incoming president must get to grips with this urgently.

ROLAKE AKINKUGBE-FILANI, CHIEF COMMERCIAL OFFICER, MIXTA AFRICA: Is now really a focus on the structural aspects of building sustainable economic development. How are we going to plug some of the inefficiencies and the way stages in the system?

BUSARI (voiceover): Well, that's not all. The country's grappled with violence, insurgency and crime. Leaving some wondering, which way forward?

AKINKUGBE-FILANI: One of the challenges of Nigerian societies here is there's still huge polarization between the ultra-rich and the super poor. And in some ways, successive governments have lost the social contract with the majority of the population.

BUSARI (voiceover): Nigeria also faces a multitude of social problems. Including inadequate access to education and health care, widespread poverty and gender inequality. And expectations are high that Tinubu will hit the ground running.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I believe there's a future. And I believe he will be -- he say -- he is speaking for the position.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We really don't need a government coming and saying they are going to give us all the job. We just need a government that puts things in place for us to achieve what we can naturally, achieve as very strong-willed people. BUSARI (voiceover): As he assumes office, Tinubu must work to provide real solutions to these pressing problems. And only time will tell if he can live up to the aspirations of the Nigerian people.



NOBILO: CNN's senior editor for Africa, Stephanie Busari, is in Lagos, Nigeria for us right now. Stephanie, it's all well and good when a politician says they want to sweep away corruption and make all these bold promises. What is the mood in the country? Do they believe him?

BUSARI (on camera): Good morning, Bianca. So, the mood is very somber in some respects, because the streets are deserted. A public holiday, a national public holiday has been declared in the country. So, people are pretty much just staying at home. The security forces have warned in no uncertain terms that if you have no business around Eagle Square, where the inauguration is taking place, that you should not be anywhere near it. And they have suggested they will use force if people come to that area and they're not supposed to be there without an invitation for example.

And also, on social media there is a hashtag that is going on that is saying Tinubu is not my president. So, as you heard in that report, the elections polarized the country. And Tinubu's closest rivals are currently in court. So, there is a lot of tension around these inaugurations. It's the first time really where the streets are kind of very deserted, and people at home. There's no sense of any festivities or any kind of jubilation. It feels almost, some believe, like just a private party with the ruling APC party and their supporters. So, you know, Nigerians are watching closely and they will be holding him to his promises -- Bianca.

NOBILO: Stephanie Busari for us in Lagos, thank you very much.

State Farm, one of the largest insurance providers in the U.S., is no longer selling insurance policies for homes in California. The company says it stopped accepting applications on Saturday because of the risks of wildfires and skyrocketing construction costs. Data from California's governor's office shows the state has averaged more than 7,000 wildfires each year over the past five years.

And a warning now to those celebrating Memorial Day on the beaches of New York and New Jersey. You might guess what that warning is. A marine research group has detected four great white sharks swimming off the coast over the past weeks. It seems that they're making their way south to the Florida Keys, according to experts. So, be aware if you are getting in the water.

Someone in Italy has taking the saying, going green way too far. Coming up the mystery surrounding how part of Venice's Grand Canal got its current fluorescent shade.



NOBILO: 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 interrupted the last 16 laps of the race. One driver even lost a tire which flew over the fence and into the parking lot damaging at least one car.

This marks the first Indy 500 win for Josef Newgarden. And he could take home some $3 million. But, in Victory Lane, it also me wanted a traditional bottle of milk.

From the U.S. to Monaco, where Red Bull's Max Verstappen won the Monaco Grand Prix, on Sunday, on a rain-soaked track. The double world champion driver extends his lead to 39 points with his fourth win in six races this season. The rain made conditions dangerous for drivers, causing some to slide on the track or clip walls. This Verstappen's second victory in Monaco and the 39th one of his career.

A Belarusian tennis player is defending the Ukrainian opponent who refused to shake her hand. It happened at the end of this match at the French Open. Aryna Sabalenka beat Marta Kostyuk 6-3, 6-2. Kostyuk refused to meet Sabalenka at the net for the customary post match handshake. Instead going straight to the umpire and then back to her seat. Sabalenka, who is the second-ranked women's tennis players in the world, spoke to reporters after the match.


ARYNA SABALENKA, BELARUSIAN TENNIS PLAYER: I understand why they are not shaking hands with us. I can't imagine if they're going to shake hands with us and then what's going to happen to them from the 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, Russian or Belarusian athletes support the war. Nobody. How can we support the war? Nobody, not normal people who will support it.


NOBILO: Kostyuk is from Kyiv and she said a January's Australian Open that she would not shake hands with any Russian or Belarusian opponent with war raging in our country.

Now, for the stories in spotlight this hour. Authorities want to know why Venice's Grand Canal is looking very green. They are investigating after a fluorescent green water appeared in part of the canal on Sunday. Officials have taken water samples and are hoping surveillance video will offer some clues to the mystery. For more now we are joined by CNN contributor Barbie Nadeau, who is live for us in Rome. Barbie, this is deeply mysterious. Which hypotheses abound explain this?

BARBIE NADEAU, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well you know, at first when this water appeared, this green, fluorescent water appeared on Sunday, everyone assumed it was a act of climate activism. We've seen so many of these acts all across the country in the last couple of months. But none of the usual climate activists said that they did it. You know, they all said it wasn't me, it wasn't me. Great idea but it wasn't me.

So they started to do more of an investigation and what they are coming around the idea is that it is a tracer chemical that's used in Venice all the time in building construction. Just to identify essential water movement if there is a leak or something like that. It's usually used about a teaspoon at a time. It has to be registered with the commune of Venice.


And so, they are trying to determine if there is some kind of an accident that this chemical somehow spilled into the water with such a great quantity that it turned almost the entire length of the Grand Canal green. So. we're expecting to hear a little more this morning when they have the final test. But right now they are saying it's not toxic, from the initial test. It's not dangerous to the flora and fauna or the people in Venice. At least I think that for, now -- Bianca.

NOBILO: Barbie Nadeau, live from Rome for us thank you.

Rock band Queen could be in the running for a historic sale of their music.


QUEEN: Now is such a good time for having a party. If you want to have a good time ...


NOBILO: sources tells CNN that discussions are well underway for Universal Music Group to acquire Queens catalog from Disney. The deal could potentially surpass a billion dollars making it the highest valued catalog on record. That title is currently held by Bruce Springsteen's catalog which was sold in 2021 for around $500 million.

"The Little Mermaid" made big bucks at the U.S. box office this Memorial Day weekend.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't know how But I know something starting right now ...


NOBILO: The new Disney release is reportedly on track to make $180 million in its debut. Making it the fifth highest Memorial Day opening in history. A live action retelling of the 1988 animated hit film sees Halle Bailey's aerial hit many of the story beats that fans know and love. Yet still showcases new faces, new songs and a few surprising updates to the original story.

That does it here on CNN NEWSROOM, I'm Bianca Nobilo in London. "EARLY START" with Omar Jimenez is up next. [05:00:00]