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Debt Ceiling Bill Hurdles Continues; Tensions Between Two Koreas Intensified after North Korea's Failed Launch Attempt and South Korea's False Alerts; Drone Strikes Reported in Russia's Belgorod, Krasnodar Regions; DeSantis Kicks Off Campaign Tour; Indian Teen Girl Stabbed in Public, Sparked Outrage; Wildfire Continues in Canada, Thousands Evacuated. Aired 3-4a ET

Aired May 31, 2023 - 03:00   ET




PAULA NEWTON, CNN ANCHOR: And a warm welcome to our viewers here in the United States and all around the world. I'm Paula Newton.

Ahead right here on "CNN Newsroom." The bill to increase the U.S. debt ceiling clears its first hurdle in the house, but it still has a way to go to cross that finish line.

North Korea admits that it failed to launch a military spy satellite and, orbit, but the attempt has increased tensions and rattled nerves in the south.

And unnecessarily aggressive, that is how the U.S. is describing a Chinese fighter jets encounter with an American spy plane over the South China Sea.

UNKNOWN(voice-over): Live from CNN center, this is "CNN Newsroom" with Paula Newton.

NEWTON: So, a deal to avoid defaulting on tens of trillions of dollars of debt is now moving forward, but U.S. government is by no means out of the woods. In the coming hours U.S. House members will vote on a bill to raise the debt ceiling, as well as other measures tacked on to limit spending.

Now, the House Speaker will be busy trying to wrangle last-minute support from Republicans who just do not like this deal. Some Democrats are also angry about White House concessions, but House leaders facing confident they'll will get the votes to send this bill to the Senate. Listen.


REP. STEVE SCALISE (R-LA), U.S. HOUSE MAJORITY LEADER: There are members this morning who are undecided, and had some very valid questions. We are getting them the information. And by tonight, they came up and spoke and said they are now going to vote for the bill. So I think that you are going to continue to see that vote grow, and that is what happens with any major bill.


NEWTON: Meantime, the White House is trying to assure Democrats that they have got the best possible version of the debt deal, given the circumstances.

CNN's Phil Mattingly has the details from Washington.


PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: White House officials entered this week keenly aware that the deal they struck, a deal to raise the debt ceiling until 2025, was one that not everyone would like. There certainly be conservatives that have major issues with them, but there would also be progressive Democrats that were upset about certain elements.

Progressive Democrats, White House officials knew they needed to try and explain why they did what they did and what the potential ramifications of not passing that bill would actually mean. And that has been the biggest part of their approach behind the scenes over the course of the last couple of days and according to officials will continue to be their approach going forward.

Basically, briefing after briefing, phone call after phone call, all taking place behind the scenes, letting Democrats know that they need their support because the alternative is simply unthinkable. This was how Office of Management and Budget Director Shalanda Young put things.

SHALANDA YOUNG, DIRECTOR, U.S. OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET: My job is to tell members what is in the bill. You get into trouble when you try to tell members what their opinion is. Every member is -- should have whatever opinion. Our job is to say, this is what is in the bill, this is how some of the worst things Republicans wanted were mitigated.

MATTINGLY: Now, to some degree, this bill is to try to move it both the House and Senate represents a balancing act, one in which, not the White House officials nor their Republican counterparts got everything they wanted.

Certainly, there were plenty of issues that they wished could have been different, but when you talk to White House officials they made clear to some degree that this is just the reality in the Biden government. And part of their pitch beyond not defaulting is what could have been in which is simply not, because they had these negotiations and how critical that is, given what House Republican started with.

Whether or not that is enough to actually sell this to get it across the finish line, the large part that is going to be up to House Republicans where Democrats made clear they are not involved in whipping process trying to get votes on their side.

For now, White House officials are keenly focused on House Democrats on Senate Democrats, trying to make the pitch that this was the deal the president wanted, this was the deal the president got. And while it certainly is not the deal that everybody dreamed of going into this moment, there is a reality and one that pretends no default, which is probably more important according to officials than anything else.

Phil Mattingly, CNN, the White House.


NEWTON: With me now from New York is Rana Foroohar. She's an editor and columnist at the "Financial Times." She's also CNN's global economic analyst. Good to see you, Rana. Have you weigh in on what is --


NEWTON: -- what has been really a complicated set of negotiations and numbers. And, I want to get just to the numbers. We've talked so much about the politics, but is this -- do you see a transformative in any way? Is it really changing how and where the U.S. Government spends its money?

FOROOHAR: So, look, it changes things directionally a little bit. Let's make that clear. I mean, we have seen a lot of fiscal spending in this administration, and I think a lot of it has been necessary. I'm a big fan of some of the infrastructure programs, the IRA, but debt is an issue, you know.


Even some Democrats are beginning to say that the U.S. debt deficit issues are a concern. And clearly, getting to a debt ceiling every few years where we are finger biting and you know, speaking to each other as we have been over the last few weeks about whether the U.S. govern, that is something that we do not want to get to again. And so, so I think creating a compromise where you can say, look, we are going to save $1.5 trillion in the next decade, that is not nothing, you know.

And I think that is something that the House Leader McCarthy has said to his constituents that, look, if you want to turn up your nose to this it's fine but 1.5 trillion is a pretty big number and it says we are concerned about the debt even as we are rolling out some big fiscal stimulus programs at the same time.

NEWTON: And in terms of that, the Congressional budget office came out and said it is indeed it is 1.5 trillion over the next 10 years, but there is also some unsettling numbers in there, especially when it has to do with certain specific programs and in terms of how it could change, even how entitlements could change over the next four years. Now, also, of course, Rana, there is the issue that defense will remain untouched.

FOROOHAR: Right. Well, do you know that's something that I think both sides were pretty keen on because let's face it, Paula, we are in a multipolar world. We are in a very uncertain world with U.S.-China relations, potential conflict over Taiwan. I think that the defense spending leaving that untouched was probably not a hard place to get to a lot of ways, at least for all of but the most conservative members of the Republican Caucus.

I would say that this is a good deal in the sense that it is not going to please everybody, you know. We have really come out in the middle. Both sides have had to give some things up. It is quite interesting that the Republicans pushed strongly for work requirements as part of welfare, understandable and a reasonable issue the Republicans have fought for a long time.

But what's fascinating is that when you actually tally up from the estimates, it may end up giving out more entitlement benefits because of some of the compromises that we're remaining, even though you've got new work requirements for older people. You don't have them for veterans and other groups.

So, you know, all of these things are estimates. But to me, the fact that there is bipartisanship again in this deal -- I mean, bipartisanship, when was the last time we used that word in a sentence about anything that was being done in Washington? That is something to be thankful for.

NEWTON: Yeah, you know it's interesting, thus not many people brought that up. Many people are just talking about how difficult that is to get this deal through. I mean, since both flanks of each party don't like it, it must mean that, look, the compromise has been had, right?

FOROOHAR: Right. That is absolutely right. I mean, you know, I find it kind of weirdly heartening that, all right, it is a handful of Republicans who are complaining, and a handful of Democrats but people in the middle are pretty happy. That is a good place to be.

NEWTON: Okay, Rana Foroohar for us, thank you so much. We really appreciate you weighing in as we continue to see how this deal ends up. I appreciate it.

FOROOHAR: Great to speak to you.

NEWTON: After weeks of hype, preparation, and international concern, North Korea says that its attempt to launch its first military spy satellite has failed. State media reports the missile carrying the satellite malfunctioned during the second stage of launch and crashed into the sea.

South Korea says, you are looking at right there, this is a piece of it, and is also trying to explain why it sent out a worrisome urgent alert to millions of residents of Seoul.

For more now we want to go to CNN's Paula Hancocks who's live in the South Korean capital. You've got that alert this morning as well. It must of been terrifying for millions. OK, so besides the confusion about the alert, we now know that South Korea has some of the debris from whatever was launched there. What more are you learning? PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, what we have heard from North

Korea itself is that the launch has failed. It is worth mentioning because Pyongyang doesn't usually admit failure quite so easily and it was very fast as well that did acknowledge that this was a failure, and it's specified what it believes had gone wrong as well saying that it has lost propulsion because of a problem with the engine in the second stage. So, suggesting that the first stage was successful.

Now, what we are hearing from the South Korean military and they're giving images as well, is what they believe they have found or what they have found in the waters about 200 kilometers off the west coast. They believe it is part of the debris. They will be investigating and analyzing that very closely to see what it can tell them and just how far along in the process Pyongyang is.

Now, of course, it is only a small part of the rocket, but Pyongyang has said that it will try it again. They have said this was a failure, but they are going to do it again as soon as possible.


So, at this point, what we are seeing is condemnation as you might expect from the U.S., from Japan, from South Korea. All say that North Korea is violating U.N. Security Council resolutions by using ballistic missile technology to launch the satellite into space.

It's not the first time that North Korea has tried to do this, and they have necessarily been successful in the past. There has been some political fallout here in Seoul though, as there has been criticism of the air raid siren and alerts earlier this morning.


UNKNOWN (through translator): I thought it was an urgent situation, and soon it turned out to be false so I was very confused. Such important issue must be delivered cautiously, but this time, it was not.

UNKNOWN (through translator): At the moment, the Korean government seems to have a backwards system on issues as warnings and disasters, so it needs to be improved. But it seems that it is not going well.


HANCOCKS: And Seoul's mayor has apologized for the confusion, but it does raise concerns that there is erosion and trust in emergency system in a country that is still technically at war with its northern neighbor, Paula?

NEWTON: Yeah. That is such a good point. And in terms of people being rattled, you want to have faith that those alerts are being used as intended. Paula Hancocks for us in Seoul, really appreciate that.

Now, to the war in Ukraine, which many -- which may be shifting ever so slightly to the war in Russia. Authorities in Krasnodar, south of Ukraine, report a possible drone strike that caused a fire at an oil refinery, and the governor of Russia's Belgorod region says four people have been injured in new shelling there. He says residential buildings and schools have been damaged.

Now all of that comes the day after drones hit three residential buildings in Moscow, causing minor damage. Russian President Vladimir Putin blames Ukraine, but Kyiv denies direct involvement.


VLADIMIR PUTIN, RUSSIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): Kyiv shows the path of intimidation of Russian citizens, and attacks on residential buildings. It is a clear sign of terrorist activity.

MYKHAILO PODOLYAK, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENTIAL ADVISER (through translator): Of course, we enjoy watching him predicting an increase in attacks but, of course, we have nothing to do directly with it. What is growing in Russia is the comic payment that Russia will gradually pay, more highly, for everything it does in Ukraine.


NEWTON; We're going to go live to London and CNN's Clare Sebastian is following all of this for us. You really have to know Vladimir Putin, the absurdity of him making that comments giving that night after night, so many cities and towns in Ukraine have been going through this. But it's true, Clare, right, the war has been reaching more inside of Russia's borders. What more can you tell us about these incidents?

CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, I think, Paula, they separate Moscow out a little bit, that sort of across the new Rubicon where Moscow residents and leafy suburbs are waking up and seeing drones being shot down outside the windows, but we have with an increasing degree of regularity being seeing incidents in the regions that border Ukraine, the western Russian regions.

And just overnight, as you say, that oil refinery, reportedly a possible drone attack at an oil refinery in Krasnodar which is in the south border of the Black Sea, and what seems to be a pretty big sort of attack potentially on Belgorod, which is up towards the north bordering Ukraine. You can see it there.

The governor there saying a massive strike damaged eight apartment buildings, four private houses, a school, and two other buildings, and four people injured, two of them hospitalized.

They are a region -- we've been the epicenter of these cross border attacks. It was an important staging ground at the beginning of the war for Russian troops entering Ukraine, continues to be so. So it has really been seen as a target, but this is something that, you know, creates a delicate situation in some ways for Ukraine.

They don't intend to claim responsibility for these attacks, but they do clearly see these regions as a threat, an adviser to the president on Tuesday saying that any kind of peace settlement in the future, with Russia should include a demilitarized zone in these specific regions, Paula?

NEWTON: And Clare, I know that there is some confusion really, or let's say a disagreement between the allies about exactly if this is an escalation or not.

SEBASTIAN: Yeah, I mean, certainly. In terms of the Moscow strike, the drones that were fired at Moscow, Ukraine has not claimed responsibility for that, although you heard there the official saying that they watched with interest and he believes that it is Russia's comic payment. So they do allude to potential involvement there, or at least not opposition to that.

But the Ukraine's allies, where you see a lot of western weapons being donated, a lot of them demanding insurances from Ukraine as they are donated that they won't be used to attack Russian territories. Of course, there is no suggestion that western weapons were used in this incident. We have the White House press secretary coming out and saying that we do not support attacks inside Russia, period. It crosses a line for them however as you say not everyone is everyone on the same page. This was the U.K. foreign secretary.



JAMES CLEVERLY, BRITISH FOREIGN SECRETARY: Ukraine does have the legitimate rights to defend itself. It has the legitimate rights to do so within its own borders, of course. But it does also have the right to project force beyond its borders to undermine Russia's ability to project force into Ukraine itself.


SEBASTIAN: So, Russia, of course, seizing on this and you could see James Cleverly choosing his words very carefully that the Russian Foreign Ministry on Tuesday saying that reserves the right to use the most severe measures in response to the drone attack on Moscow, saying that any assurances that came from the NATO countries about not attacks happening inside Russia were all hypocritical. Paula?

NEWTON: Clare, thank you for all of that. And we remind you that the latest strikes on Russia and Russian-held territory will be the precursor to Ukraine's long-awaited counteroffensive. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy saying this week that he in fact has decided on the dates.

We're going to live now to Brisbane. And Retired Australian Army Major General, Mick Ryan. He's also the former commander of the Australian Defense College, and nice to have you here as we try and (inaudible) exactly what's going on.

Before we talk about strategy though, could you just lay on the line first, what must Ukraine's counteroffensive accomplish if it's to be a success?

MAJ. GEN. MICK RYAN (RET), AUSTRALIAN ARMY: Well, hello. It's good to be with you, again. Now, that Ukrainians in the coming offensive have to achieve a few things. Firstly, they have to take back as much territory as possible. They may not be able to take back all of Ukraine, but they need to take back a considerable amount.

Secondly, they need to destroy as much of the Russian Army in Ukraine as possible. But third and probably most importantly, western countries and the United States have to believe that Ukrainians are being successful to continue the level of support that they've been providing so far.

NEWTON: Yeah, it's interesting that they have to try hard as well to shore up confidence among the allies, which is something they pretty much done since the first day they were attacked by Russia. Can you game out a few scenarios for us? I mean there has been a lot of discussion about which regions to prioritize, or if you try and headed for two different fronts, so to speak.

RYAN: Well, I think we are not going to see, something like the single big push that some people are expecting, I think we'll see a variety of attacks in the east and the, south some of these and long-range strikes, some of them will be in close combat, reaching through minefields and obstacles, and not the Ukrainians will be seeking to do here in their attacks is to penetrate deep behind the Russian lines and compromise the (inaudible) of these Russian defensive lines.

NEWTON: And in terms of disrupting that cohesion, I do want to point out that RUSI, the think tank in the U.K., did put out an analysis saying that in fact even though Russia obviously has suffered losses, obviously, way behind really expected to be in the prosecution of this war, they are learning that they have become dynamic. So when they think about the Russian response, what do you think -- what should we expect even the expectations have been low given all the problems in Bakhmut?

RYAN: Yeah, that is an excellent report from RUSI and they provided great analysis on this war so far. The Russians have learned throughout this war and they have adapted but it's been very uneven, and a lot of the time it has been slower than Ukrainians.

So, what the Ukrainians will be seeking to do in the coming weeks and months is to generate a temple of operation that prevents the Russians from learning that every time they make a decision they already behind the (inaudible) because of Ukrainian's change and that is what the Ukrainians are trying to do, probably for the remainder of this year.

NEWTON: Yeah. And it's true that military commanders need to commit to their strategies, because the minute that they lose confidence, and that's likely when they become incredibly vulnerable. I want to ask you about all the new military hardware that they've gotten from allies. In terms of the game-changer that's going to be, I mean, what do you point to specifically in terms of everything they've got in the last few months?

RYAN: Yeah. Well, if things -- these are tanks and it's not going to look like the tanks (inaudible) Kharkiv or Kherson, this will be a different kind of campaign. The Ukrainian army looks different. It has much more western equipment, but it's also received a lot of training at a lot of levels as well as a higher level command.

So, it will look different but it will probably fight different as well. And hopefully, that will put the Russians off of the game and compromise their ability to defend the occupied pieces of Ukraine they currently have.

NEWTON: And in terms of that, do you think is the tanks that will make most of a difference? We've already seen air defenses making a huge difference. I mean, what is it?


RYAN: Well, military operations are conducted as a system, so tanks, infantry fighting vehicles, artillery, precision ammunitions, drones, all these kind of things are melted together. And at the end of the day, it will be the quality leadership and every level of the Ukrainian force wielding all these different weapons. But hopefully, it will bring them success on the battlefield.

NEWTON: Yeah. And, as you remind us before, the coordination certainly a huge issue in terms of how they behave in the field. Mick Ryan for us. Thanks so much. I appreciate it.

RYAN: Thank you.

NEWTON: Now relations between the U.S. and China take another hit after a Chinese fighter jet and an American spy plane tangle over the South China Sea. The incident, you see it there, captured on video. We're going to show you more of that, next.


NEWTON: Tensions between the U.S. and China are rising again after a Chinese fighter jet intercepted an American spy plane over the South China Sea.


U.S. Military says China carried out, and quote, "unnecessarily aggressive maneuver" during the incident. Oren Liebermann has details now from the Pentagon.


OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: This latest encounter between the Chinese fighter jet at and U.S. Reconnaissance aircraft happened on Friday over international waters in the South China Sea, according to U.S. Indo-Pacific Command.

That's when a Chinese fighter jet, a J-16, approached very close to U.S. RC 1-35 Rivet Joint. That's a type of reconnaissance aircraft and U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, or Indo-PaCom for short, put out a video of this intercept, this encounter from inside of the cockpit of that U.S. Aircraft. You can see the Chinese fighter jet off to the right, then it cuts or slices in front of the U.S. Aircraft, and you see it shaking inside that U.S. Aircraft.

According to Indo-Pacific command, that is when the wake turbulence of that Chinese fighter jet disturbed the flight path of the U.S. aircraft, and what the U.S. is calling an unnecessary aggressive maneuver to carry out this intercept. U.S. goes to great lengths to point out this happening in the international airspace, over the international waters in the South China Sea.

It's not the first time we've seen this sort of aggressive behavior from Chinese aircrafts. In fact, we saw something very similar back in December, that's when a Chinese navy fighter jet, a J-11, came in within 20 feet of the nose of another RC 1-35 Rivet Joint, according to the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, forcing the larger heavier U.S. Aircraft with some 30 people on board to carry out evasive maneuvers before the two aircraft got too close.

The U.S. sees this as a pattern of a more aggressive behavior coming from Chinese aircraft. It is worth noting the broader context in which this is all happening with a tremendous amount of tension between Beijing and Washington.

In fact, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin is in the Indo-Pacific region right now in a couple days about to attend, what's known as the Shangri-La Dialogue, a meeting of some of the important countries in the region, including the U.S. and China.

The U.S. had been trying to set up a meeting between Austin and his Chinese counterpart Minister of National Defense Li Shangfu. But the Chinese, after essentially not getting back to the U.S for awhile, rejected the offer of a meeting and that gives it the broader tension between China and the U.S. between Beijing and Washington right now.

It is worth noting that President Joe Biden said, earlier in May that he would eventually meet President Xi Jinping of China. But it's worth asking, how, where, when and under what conditions such a meeting might be possible.

Oren Liebermann, CNN, at the Pentagon.


NEWTON: Now, the U.S. sanctioned more than a dozen Chinese and Mexican companies on Tuesday over their alleged links to counterfeit pills. The sanctions are directed at seven entities and six people based in China, as well as one entity, and three people based in Mexico.

The U.S. Treasury Department said they are directly or indirectly involved with selling equipment used in imprint counterfeit trade markings on the illegally made pills. Those pills are often laced with a deadly drug, fentanyl, and frequently destined for U.S. Markets.

The sanctions are part of Biden administration's efforts to crack down on imports of illegal fentanyl, which fuels America's deadly opioid epidemic. The Chinese Embassy in the United States condemned the sanctions, Tuesday. Okay, coming up for us, Florida's governor is trying to reposition

himself as the top Republican candidate for president, the one who will bring the U.S. Even further to the right than Donald Trump. We will take you inside his first campaign stop. That's ahead.



NEWTON: Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is telling conservative voters its timely impose our will on Washington. He is in Iowa on his fist camping tour for a presidential candidate. And while he didn't cough up Donald trump by name, DeSantis says he'll accomplish more republican goals than the former president did in a single term.

CNN's Jeff Zeleny gives us the latest.


JEFF ZELENY, CNN CHIEF U.S. NATIONAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: A week after formally announcing his Republican presidential bid, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis in Iowa, making his first campaign appearance Tuesday night just outside Des Moines, the first of a three-state tour of early voting states going on to New Hampshire and South Carolina.

But meeting with Republican voters, he made the case that he is the Republican for this moment. He did not make a reference by name, at least, to former president Donald Trump. But there were thinly veiled messages in his speech.

GOV. RON DESANTIS (R-FL), U.S. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Though, the point of all that is that when we say that we will do something it is not fluff. We follow through, and we produce results. And so, as president, I pledge to be an energetic executive that will take these important issues head on and deliver results.

ZELENY: So even though there were no direct references to former president Donald Trump clearly he is the one candidate who hangs over this race, looms large in this field. But at this point, Governor DeSantis is doing something he has really done. He's holding press conferences which he did Tuesday night here in Iowa. He's also meeting voters individually, one-on-one, trying to make the case that he is from a new generation, that he says he has the energy for this job. So, clearly some subtle distinctions there. There are more to come.

Jeff Zeleny, CNN, Clive, Iowa.


NEWTON; Brazil's president is hoping to bring South American nations closer together in a more unified block for greater trade opportunities and influence. He's hosting 11 South American leaders in Brasilia. But their unity may not be so easy to achieve thanks to the controversial presence of Venezuelan President Nicholas Maduro.

Steffano Pozzebon has the latest. [03:35:00]


STEFFANO POZZEBON, JOURNALIST: Tuesday's meeting of 11 South American heads of states in Brasilia hosted by President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva served to bolstering regional corporation and trade integration after the years of the COVID-19 pandemic, and a period of deeper polarization across the region.

It was the first time in years that the representatives of all South American countries met in a regional summit to discuss policy. As a host, Lula proposed the creation of a currency to sustain trade and further funding for social and economic developments in the Americas.

The meeting however also marked the return of Venezuelan leader Nicholas Maduro to the full front of regional diplomacy after the Venezuelan constitutional crisis of 2019 and the violent cycle of protests and repression that followed it.

Lula, who accused the United States of imposing sanctions to hurt Venezuela's economy in his remarks, drew criticism from human rights organizations in the region, saying Maduro committed widespread human rights abuse to crush the protests. And we should also note that the Maduro government is currently under investigation by the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

For CNN, this is Stefano Pozzebon, Bogota.


NEWTON: Brazil's lower house of congress has approved a bill that would limit the recognition of new indigenous ancestral lands in the countr. The bill will now head to the senate for a vote.

Indigenous groups protested along highway outside Sao Paulo on Tuesday, burning tires and clashing with riot police who fired tear gas and water cannons, quite a scene. The bill has drawn criticism, not just from indigenous groups but also from human rights and environmental organizations.

NATO is deploying hundreds of additional forces to Kosovo following Monday's clashes with Serbian protesters in the northern part of the country, 30 peacekeepers from NATO's Kosovo force known as KFOR were injured during the clashes. Kosovo's prime minister condemned the protesters telling CNN his country's political process must be respected.


ALBIN KURTI, KOSOVO PRIME MINISTER: It is not possible in municipal buildings not to have elected mayor. Power in Kosovo cannot be gained by short bombs and by crimes and by violence, only by elections.

(END VIDEO CLIP) NEWTON: Meantime, Serbia's president is expressing concern for the survival and security of Serbs in Kosovo when these unrests took place in the northern part of Kosovo, which is a majority Kosovo-Serb area.

Okay, still ahead for us, opening statements in the first testimony in Pittsburgh, as the man accused in the Tree of Life synagogue shooting goes to trial.




NEWTON: Testimony is underway, in the trial of a man accused of killing 11 people at a Pittsburgh Synagogue in 2018. Now, on Tuesday, jurors heard chilling details of the attack and a 911 call from an 84- year old victim.

CNN's Danny Freeman has our details.


DANNY FREEMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Four and a half years after the deadliest anti-Semitic attack in modern U.S. history, the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting trial finally began, loved ones of the victims arriving with police escorts and hugging each other in front of the court.

STEPHEN COHEN, CO-PRESIDENT, NEW LIGHT CONGREGATION: Today is another chapter, and hopefully, almost a final or closing chapter of what happened four and a half years ago.

FREEMAN (voice-over): Defender Robert Bowers, accused of killing 11 Jewish worshippers, and wounding several others in October 2018, sat in a courtroom, wearing a collared-shirt and olive sweater actively speaking with his attorneys.

All while the government graphically laid out the deadly rampage he's accused of committing. Federal prosecutors said in the months leading up to the shooting, Bowers looked up Jewish organizations and posted anti-Semitic and anti-immigrant rhetoric online. Then that Saturday morning, Bowers armed himself with several handguns, an AR-15 and a shotgun, and drove to the synagogue.

The prosecution said Bowers then methodically went through the synagogue and hunted Jewish worshippers, sometimes shooting victims at such close range, they had singe marks from the rifle that killed them.

Ninety-seven-year old Rose Mallenger, was shot through the head while hiding behind a pew. Her daughter hid from Bowers under her body.

WENDELL HISRICH, THEN-PITTSBURGH PUBLIC SAFETY DIRECTOR: It's a very horrific crime scene, it's one of the worst that I have seen. FREEMAN (voice-over): After shootout, with members of the Pittsburgh

police SWAT team, Bowers surrendered. An officer asked him why he had done this. Prosecutor Sue Song told jurors that he responded in part, all Jews need to die. The Jews are killing our kids.

In her opening statement, Bower's defense attorney, Judy Clark, called her client's actions incomprehensible and an excusable, saying there will be no doubt as to who shot 11 congregants and wounded seven others. But Clark said the jury must determine if his, quote, irrational motive in his misguided intent applies to the federal charges Bowers faces. Twenty two of the 63 charges against Bowers are eligible for the death penalty.

Steve Cohen is the co-president of New Light, one of the three congregations attacked at the synagogue that day.

COHEN: It's like today is a beautiful day. There is not a cloud in the sky, it's sunny, it's warm. But there's a huge cloud that sits over our head. It's an ugly gray, rainy sleet filled crowd. And we want that cloud to go away. This is the beginning of that process.

FREEMAN (voice-over): Danny Freeman, CNN, Pittsburgh.



NEWTON: Outrage, meantime, is growing across India, after a 16-year old girl was beaten and stabbed to death in a busy public alley in the nation's capital on Sunday. The brutal crime was captured on security camera. It shows several people walking by as a man attacks the young woman.

CNN's Vedika Sud reports.


VEDIKA SUD, CNN REPORTER (voice-over): Surveillance video catches the Delhi street quarter to nine on Sunday evening. What the man in blue is about to do is too violent to be shown. In the next moments, a 16- year-old girl's life is taken, stabbed and bludgeoned with a rock against the wall of her house. Witnesses passed by, but no one intervenes.

(on-camera): Violence against women is so pervasive in India that a young girl can be stabbed in public in a busy neighborhood against the wall of her home.

(voice-over): The killing of this teenage girl is the latest in a long-line of violent crimes against women in India. This time, it's on film, shared rapidly online and it has gripped the nation.

The man in blue has been arrested for the murder and named by police simply as Sahil. Police say the two were in a relationship and had an argument shortly before the killing. The family, pleading for justice. Even as across India demands grow to

do more to protect women and punish their male attackers. But public anger is no comfort to families stricken by grief at the loss of their child.

JANAK RAJ, GIRL'S FATHER (through translator): I feel lifeless. I miss her so much. She was such a good child. What to do?

SUD (voice-over): Her mother inconsolable, as her daughter was cremated Monday.

UNKNOWN (through translator): She went to the bazaar to buy some things, and then want to celebrate her friends birthday. She had gone to buy some new sandals for the birthday. The sandals are now at the police station.

SUD (voice-over): Life continues in this poor neighborhood in northwest Delhi. Investigators have marked a small cross in the place where the young girl was killed, one more place where women aren't safe from man.

Vedika Sud, CNN, New Delhi.


NEWTON: Officials in Davenport, Iowa have delayed demolishing what's left in the apartment building for fear there may still be people inside. Now, rescue workers managed to saving 9th person from the rubble late Monday, nearly two days after much of this century old building suddenly collapsed.

Now, on Tuesday, emergency workers searched for other survivors but found no signs of human activity. The city's mayor says five people are still unaccounted for. Now, officials are weighing when did demolished the said building before it poses a danger to anyone else.

Out of control wildfires in eastern Canada have forced thousands of people from their homes and now they are impacting that region as well as parts of the United States. We'll have the latest, next.




NEWTON: The disgraced founder of the failed blood testing start-up Theranos has reported to federal prison. Elizabeth Holmes was sentenced more than 11 years behind bars for defrauding the company's investors. She will serve her sentence at a minimum security prison in Texas.

Theranos was once valued, think about this, at $9 billion, but the company collapsed in 2018 after flaws in its technology were exposed. Holmes's ex-boyfriend and former business partner is also in prison. They have been ordered to pay more than $450 million to their victims. More than 18,000 people in Nova Scotia have fled their homes as 13

wildfires spread through that Canadian province. God, the pictures are incredible. Eight of those fire started on Monday as the region experiences record-breaking heat. More than a dozen schools will be closed on Wednesday. The fires have destroyed or damaged hundreds of buildings and caused huge plumes of smoke to smother the area. Officials hope the weather will be on their site to help with containment.

And of course, that smoke from the wildfires, Nova Scotia is now impacting parts of the northeast United States. CNN's meteorologist Chad Myers has the latest.


CHAD MYERS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: So, the satellite picture from earlier today when the sun was still up, you can see the haze on the picture here.

The white down the south, this is just cloud cover, that's not smoke. But all of this up, here that's a little bit gray intent, that is the smoke that is coming from those Nova Scotia wildfires, from Halifax all the way down to the southern tip, and then the smoke being blown back into the northeast, especially Long Island, New York City, even into Philadelphia. And for tomorrow, we push this even further inland, across parts of New Jersey into Pennsylvania. The areas that you see here in orange will be that sickest smoke. You might even be able to smell that smoke.

So far this year, in Canada, 6.4 million acres of wild land have burned. On a normal year, if there was such a thing, an average year, about 12 times less than that should have burned by now.

Now granted, most of the smoke that we're seeing in the northeast is from Nova Scotia, and Nova Scotia's only a small percentage, maybe 1 or 2 percent, of those total acres burned. But the high pressure that is centered right there will push that smoke right into the northeast and that will be our forecast for the next few days. It will eventually be pushed out, but there will be hazy skies, there will be sunsets that are red, sunrise is the same story.


And there will be docked on our map that are orange, which means unhealthy for sensitive groups. And you may need to stay inside, keep your local forecast handy where the smoke is going to go, where it is going to blow, maybe down into a valley, it could even get more concentrated.

There will be some rain though, not a lot yet until Sunday, but there is rain in the forecast here in Nova Scotia. Probably a half inch, calling for somewhere the ballpark of about 10 millimeters, which does not seem like very much. But if you just get those forests that aren't burning a little damp, all of a sudden the fire spread is much slower.

(END VIDEOTAPE) NEWTON: Chad Myers, we certainly hope for good news there. Thanks for

your company. I'm Paula Newton. "CNN Newsroom" continues in just a moment with Max Foster and Bianca Nobilo.