Return to Transcripts main page

CNN Newsroom

Tensions Spike After Encounter in Taiwan Strait; NORAD: Civilian Aircraft Unresponsive Before Crash; Weekend Attacks in Ukraine and Russia Kill Civilians; At Least 275 Killed in Indian Train Accident; Officials Probe Deaths of 3 Israeli Soldiers; Nikki Haley Takes on Republican Frontrunners; Migrants Promised Jobs, Shelter for Relocation to California; Hollywood Directors Reach Tentative Deal with Studios. Aired 12-12:45a ET

Aired June 05, 2023 - 00:00   ET


MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. I'm Michael Holmes. Appreciate your company.


Coming up on CNN NEWSROOM, A new spike in tension between the U.S. and China after warships come dangerously close to colliding.

Ukrainians are urging silence around the counter-offensive in a new video posted to social media after a weekend of strikes in Russian- held territory.

And we'll take you to the scene of one of the deadliest railroad disasters in India's history.

ANNOUNCER: Live from CNN Center, this is CNN NEWSROOM, with Michael Holmes.

HOLMES: And we begin with a new spike in tensions between the U.S. and China, as both sides trade sharp words after a close naval encounter in the Taiwan Strait.

Have a look at this video. It shows that moment, over the weekend, when the U.S. says a Chinese military ship set sail in front of a U.S. destroyer, causing the U.S. vessel to have to slow down to avoid a collision. The ships are said to have come within about 140 meters of each other. You can see the distance right there.

Now, all of this happening as the U.S. was taking part in a joint exercise with the Canadian navy. China's defense minister accusing the U.S. of staging provocations and trying to destabilize the region.

And as relations remain strained, a top White House official says President Joe Biden will meet with his Chinese counterpart, quote, "at some point."

Here's how one former official believes the U.S. should respond.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) JOHN BOLTON, FORMER U.S. NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR: I think what this requires is the kind of strategic response that shows that the United States, whether it's in the Taiwan Strait or the South China Sea, or anywhere else, is simply not going to give up its rights to transit the straits to have innocent passage for its naval vessels. And, to show to China their assertion of sovereignty over any part of China -- of the world that we don't recognize already as China, something we're simply not going to accept.


HOLMES: CNN's Kristie Lu Stout following developments; joins me now from Hong Kong with the latest.

Good to see you, Kristie. So, you know, while the U.S. and China sparred at that security forum in Singapore, there was that near- collision between warships at sea.

Tell us more about what happened and what's being done to try to cool things.

KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, it was an eventful weekend, Michael. U.S.-China friction on full display at Asia's largest security forum in Singapore and also in the Taiwan Strait.

On Saturday, warships from China and the U.S. were involved in this near-collision. And now we have fresh video of this incident. Let's bring it up for you.

Now, what was happening was the U.S. and Canada were staging a routine transit through the Taiwan Strait, when that Chinese ship right in front cut in front of the American vessel.

According to the U.S. military, that Chinese vessel came within 150 yards or 137 meters of the U.S. destroyer in a, quote, "unsafe manner," and that forced the U.S. ship to slow down and avoid a collision.

And hours after this incident, we heard from Chinese defense Li Shangfu, who accused the U.S. of creating chaos in the region. He was speaking in Singapore, Asia's largest security forum. And he said this. Let's bring up the statement for you. Quote, "They" -- in reference to the U.S. -- "are not here for innocent passage. They are here for provocation," unquote.

Now, Li, in his speech in Singapore also said that the U.S. and China should seek common ground and common interests. But remember, China earlier rejected an offer from the Pentagon chief, Lloyd Austin, to meet at the summit in Singapore, citing sanctions.

Austin, he expressed deep concern about the lack of high-level communication between China and the U.S., and, in his speech in Singapore, he said this. He said this, quote: "For responsible leaders, the right time to talk is anytime. The right time to talk is every time. And the right time to talk is now." Now, the U.S.-China relationship is at its lowest point in decades.

These two superpowers at odds over an array of issues, from Taiwan, to tech, to territorial disputes.

But some engagement is happening. Now, a U.S. official told CNN, on Friday, that a -- the CIA director, Bill Burns, secretly traveled to China last month to help reset relations.

And, also, don't forget that handshake on Friday night. That dinner in Singapore, Secretary Austin shook hands with his Chinese counterpart. But that was it. Without high-level military talks, that single gesture, Michael, is just not enough to cool down the tension.


HOLMES: No, not moving it forward. Kristie, good to see you. Kristie Lu Stout in Hong Kong.


HOLMES: For more, I want to bring in Josh Rogin. He's a columnist for the global opinion section of "The Washington Post," where he covers foreign policy and national security.

Josh, good to see you. Before we begin, I wanted to play a soundbite from the Chinese defense minister, Li Shangfu, in Singapore. Let's have a listen to that.


LI SHANGFU, CHINESE DEFENSE MINISTER (through translator): We will never hesitate to defend our legitimate rights and interests, let alone, sacrificing the nation's core interests. As the lyrics of our well-known Chinese song goes, when friends visit us, we welcome them with fine wine. When jackals or wolves come, we will face them with shotguns.


HOLMES: Jackals, shotguns, what did you make of the rhetoric that we heard? I mean, it seemed to be from the Chinese side, a particularly aggressive tone.

JOSH ROGIN, COLUMNIST, "WASHINGTON POST": That's exactly right. I think General Li had two missions. One was to attack the United States and blame it for all of the problems in the region.

The other one was to appeal to the Southeast Asian nations and provide them with a Chinese alternative to the U.S.-led ruled-based international order.

And the alternative that General Li laid out is actually a pretty appealing one. Of peace and stability, and commerce and everything wonderful that you could imagine.

The problem, of course, is that in many of the Southeast Asian officials of the communist (ph) part of the South is that China's words and his actions don't match.

And we saw a pretty striking example of that during the conference as the Chinese general was preaching peace and stability. A Chinese warship, almost rammed into a U.S. warship in the Taiwan Strait, an aggressive and unprovoked move.

So, you know, I think the Chinese general did his best to present a charm offensive at Singapore. Fortunately, I think at large, it fell upon deaf ears.

HOLMES: Yes, yes, that hymn (ph) just wasn't very stabilizing and, of course, there's always the fear of unintended consequences. It's interesting. When it comes to Taiwan, the defense minister clearly stated the use of force is not excluded.

Given that sort of rhetoric -- I mean, they've said that before -- but the question is, you know, what could trigger the Chinese to actually make a move on Taiwan in a military sense? Did you get any sense that that rhetoric is ramping up to that sort of level?

ROGIN: Right. Well, U.S. officials have stopped putting timelines on a possible Chinese invasion of Taiwan, because they don't think it's really helpful to say.

But most of them believe that China will have the capability to invade Taiwan, although it hasn't made the decision to invade Taiwan. By about 2027.

Now, what the Chinese defense minister said very clearly is China will reunify with Taiwan, whether you like it or not. And anyone who tries to get in the way, we'll fight. And so, that was a very aggressive message. He didn't put a timeline on it either.

But he said it eventually will happen, and that reserves the right to use force to make it happen.

The question, I think, from the audience was, well, if you're not going to use force, what are you doing to entice the Taiwanese? What are you doing to persuade them? What are your efforts towards a peaceful reunification?

Because from Taiwan's perspective, it doesn't look like China's doing much at all to make the Taiwanese want to rejoin. So, they're really leaving themselves no other option but to attack.

So, again, I think this is where you see a very reasonable message coming from the Chinese, which is we want to peacefully reunify but a very aggressive posture which undermines that decision, and really scares the heck out of a lot of people in the region, including the Taiwanese.

HOLMES: So when do you see the state of the U.S.-China relations, in the wake of all of this. It's something that's a delicate dance, isn't it? Neither side wants to make concessions or even much in the way of direct overture.

How does that increase the risk of stumbling into something that could lead down a dangerous path? How do you see the state of relations?

ROGIN: Well, I mean, it was pretty obvious by the fact that the Chinese defense ministers who refused to meet with the U.S. Defense secretary, despite the fact that they were in the same room at the same time, that China is not ready to talk. At least not with the security officials. They want economic engagement. And they don't want to be pressed on any of their negative actions in the national security realm.

And they're holding fast to that, and I think what they're trying to do is to they're trying to wait out the Biden administration. They're trying to pressure the Biden administration into making concessions. They're trying to use dialogue as a carrot, as a thing that the Biden administration --


ROGIN: -- should chase. Now, the Biden people know that, but they're still chasing it anyway because, as you said, they don't want their relationship to get any worse. And that's where the stalemate lies. Neither side wants to give.

But at the end of the day, talking is not a concession. Talking is just a basic thing that two -- that countries should do. And now the Chinese don't want to do it.


HOLMES: Yes, and to that point, I mean, it's a deeply competitive relationship. But, along with that -- the conflict and geopolitical visions and so on, the two countries are deeply intertwined economically, aren't they?

I mean, how does that mutual interest, perhaps, mitigate the serious differences in policy, at the moment anyway. They need each other.

ROGIN: Well, make no mistake. The economic warfare between the U.S. and China is ramping up fast. First, we have the U.S. side cut off China's supply of the highest-level chips and semiconductors. That's a pretty aggressive move.

Now we have the Chinese government going after the U.S. businessmen and U.S. businesses inside China. So, that's escalated. So, there's just no doubt that both sides are looking not to decouple but to de- risk. They reduce their dependence on the other.

And again, that's not what they want. We don't want economic warfare. But that's what we got. And I think that attitude amongst many in Washington is, well, if we're going to be an economic war, we might as well win it. But, right now, that -- that win looks far from assured.

HOLMES: Yes, fascinating. Great analysis, as always. Joshua, thanks so much.

ROGIN: Anytime. HOLMES: Now, police say they found no survivors from a small plane

that crashed in Southwest Virginia on Sunday. And the search is now on hold, at least for now.

The plane ventured near the U.S. capital before going down, causing enough concern that fighter jets were set to intercept it.




HOLMES: Yes, that sound you heard there was a sonic boom heard throughout the region, caused by the F-16 scrambling overhead, breaking the sound barrier.

Defense officials say they were unable to make contact with the plane's pilot before the plane crashed. We've now learned it is registered to a company in Florida, and there are reports the company's owners lost family members in the crash.

CNN's Natasha Bertrand with more.


NATASHA BERTRAND, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A loud sonic boom that was heard across Washington, D.C., and Virginia on Sunday, was caused by U.S. F- 16 air fighter jets --

BERTRAND (voice-over): -- that were scrambling to intercept an aircraft that traveled over Washington, D.C., and was unresponsive, according to a statement from the North American Aerospace Defense Command.

The fighter jets were called in, in coordination with the FAA, to try to intercept this aircraft, where the pilot was not making contact with the F-16 fighter jets.

Ultimately, the plane did crash in Southwestern Virginia. However, the Defense Department says that the -- the F-16s did not actually shoot down that aircraft.

Now, according to NORAD, which released a statement on Sunday, that aircraft did fly over Washington, D.C., essentially violating the airspace. And because the pilot was unresponsive, the FAA worked with the Pentagon in order to try to intercept this aircraft before it could potentially crash and cause any damage to civilians on the ground.

The civilian aircraft, according to NORAD --

BERTRAND: -- was intercepted at approximately 3:20 p.m. Eastern Time. And according to the Pentagon, the plane crash near George Washington National Forest in Virginia.

There were four people on board the small aircraft. However, we do not yet know the conditions of those people at this time.

Natasha Bertrand, CNN, Washington.


HOLMES: Russia is trying to send a message that it is ready to wipe out Ukraine's counteroffensive before it's officially begun.

A Russian-appointed official in occupied Zaporizhzhia claims Russian forces repelled the Ukrainian attack in the neighboring Donetsk region. He also says Russian forces have pushed back a Ukrainian advance on the front lines.

Ukrainian officials, however, are refusing to comment. It is, of course, difficult to assess what might be an offensive as opposed to probing moves.

The Ukrainians, though, sending their own message, posting this video on social media, urging silence around the counteroffensive, and saying that Ukraine's military will not be announcing its plans.

All of that happening after a weekend of deadly attacks on Ukrainian cities in and inside Russia territory. Sam Kiley brings us up to date from Eastern Ukraine.


SAM KILEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Once again, if ever there was needed proof that the Russians were continuing to target civilians, they have given it, this time with a missile strike by an Iskander missile in a residential building close to the city of Dnipro. A 20-year-old child was killed, 17 people according to local authorities were injured.

This, just the latest of the civilian deaths, have hit this country after almost nightly missile attacks. A Russian missile strikes, once again, renewing their calls for help from the international community with their air defenses.

But similar calls are coming from authorities inside Russia in the border areas now, they say, under bombardment from Ukraine, or from Ukrainian-backed Russian dissidents who, split into two different groups, have attacked villages across a substantial stretch of territory.


Now, inside Russia just across the Northern border with Ukraine, with the local authorities there saying, over the last ten days or so, at least seven civilians have been killed. Four thousand have had to have been evacuated from a number of towns and villages where they've been burning buildings, and a number of artillery strikes that they blame on the Ukrainians.

And the Russian dissidents have paraded a number of prisoners of war, at least the people they claim to be prisoners of war. Russian prisoners of war that they've offered, today, to exchange with the local governor if he agreed to meet them. He didn't make the rendezvous.

And so they posted online a commitment now to hand those prisoners of war over to the Ukrainian authorities. We've got no independent way of proving whether or not these men were prisoners of war.

But we do know that these Russian dissidents are very fast on the draw when it comes to social media. This is very much part of their campaign to try to spread the dissident message, to try to spread, ultimately, some kind of revolution against Vladimir Putin.

The last few days, he has picked up that energy, responding in exhorting his subordinates not to fall for the forces and not to allow those forces to catch fire in their own country.

Sam Kiley, CNN, in Eastern Ukraine.


HOLMES: Meanwhile, Sunday was the Russian political dissident Alexei Navalny's 47th birthday. Human rights activists say at least 90 of his supporters were detained by police after they took to the streets to call for his release from prison.

Video shows a woman who was detained in Moscow Square for walking with a balloon that read, "Happy birthday."

There's no estimates of how many people participated nationwide, and CNN cannot independently verify claims of the numbers detained, nor their status.

Meanwhile, hundreds of protesters demonstrated at Berlin's iconic Brandenburg Gate, calling for Navalny's release.

Navalny is serving a nine-year sentence in a maximum-security prison outside of Moscow, and he's about to go on trial again on extremism charges which could result in another 35-year prison sentence.

The NATO secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg, says Sweden has fulfilled its obligations for admission to the alliance. Stoltenberg was in Istanbul on Sunday, meeting with recently-reelected Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Turkey has been blocking Sweden's accession to NATO, mainly because it accuses Stockholm of housing terrorist organizations. Stoltenberg said Sweden has done its part.


JENS STOLTENBERG, SECRETARY-GENERAL OF NATO: Sweden has taken significant concrete steps to meet Turkey's concerns. This includes amending the Swedish constitution, ending its arms embargo, and stepping up counterterrorism, cooperation including against the PKK. Important new terrorism administration has come into force, just a few days ago. So Sweden has fulfilled its obligations. (END VIDEO CLIP)

HOLMES: Swedish, Turkish, and Turkish officials will meet next week to discuss Sweden's membership bid.

Meanwhile, hundreds of demonstrators protesting Sweden's new terrorism legislation in Stockholm, which it passed as a condition of admission into NATO from Turkey.

The search-and-rescue efforts in India's deadly train crash have ended. Now, authorities are scrambling to repair and reopen critical rail lines. We'll have the latest on that and the investigation, coming up.

Also, Israel buries the soldiers killed in a rare cross-border attack, as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu calls for accountability. We'll be right back.



HOLMES: Well, authorities in India are working to reopen royal lines, damaged in one of the country's deadliest train accidents. Crews toiling in extreme heat to clear and repair the trucks. And they hope to have normal services restored by Wednesday.

Search operations ended on Sunday. At least 275 people were killed, more than 1,000 injured. Authorities blame the train's high speed for the number of casualties. We're also hearing more stories from survivors.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): People who were alive were shouting for help, praying to God. Rescue teams were doing their best to save people. A lot of people were crying.


HOLMES: Some are still trying to locate loved ones, unsure if they've been killed or injured or simply unable to make contact.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): They're saying you will get to know at the hospital. I've been to all the hospitals, and I found that nothing. Now, I'm going to Bavanajwar (ph) to find out. I just need my husband. I don't want anything else.


HOLMES: Disruptions in rail service caused by the accident are making travel difficult in the region. CNN senior international correspondent Ivan Watson is at the scene and has more on the devastation and what is next for investigators. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

IVAN WATSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This is the scene of one of the deadliest railroad disasters that India has seen in its modern history.

On Friday night, at least three trains, two passenger trains and a cargo train, derailed and collided here after dark. So what you see along the side of the tracks here, is it least 20 railroad cars like this one, which was reserved for passengers with disabilities.

And you could still see the luggage, the belongings of the many people who were on board when this terrible accident took place. The loss of life is simply staggering.

At least 275 people killed, more than 1,000 people wounded, and the authorities say at least 100 of those survivors are in need of critical care.

The disaster zone runs as far as the eye can see here, with railroad cars scattered on the side of the road. And hundreds of workers here in just brutal heat and humidity, with heavy equipment. And, also, doing a lot of the work here by hand, with picks and shovels, trying to reopen the road.

As you can see here, more of the railroad cars in his -- in this terrible accident.

The Indian prime minister came to share condolences with the families of victims, with the survivors, to call for an investigation.

The cause has been identified as a change in the electronic interlocking here. And there have been vows from top government officials to bring to justice anybody who's responsible for this accident.

But it highlights both the importance of the railroad for India. More than 13 million people a day move along on trains in India. But also, a tragic history of accidents with more than 16,000 people killed, according to government statistics in 2021 alone, in railroad accidents.

The authorities insist that this stretch of railroad will be re-opened and operational again by Wednesday morning. Bigger -- a bigger question would be how to make the trains in this country and its aging infrastructure safer for future use.


Ivan Watson, CNN, in Odisha state in Eastern India.


HOLMES: Three Israeli soldiers killed in a rare attack along the border with Egypt have been laid to rest. The Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has called for a full investigation into their death, and both sides say they're working together to determine what happened, despite highly conflicting accounts, as CNN's Hadas Gold reports.


HADAS GOLD, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Early Saturday morning, two Israelis soldiers who were manning an outpost along the border between Egypt and Israel along the Sinai Peninsula.

When they did not respond to a check-in by their comrades, that triggered them to be checked in upon, and that's when their bodies were actually found to have been shot to death.

That triggered a manhunt, and then in ensuing a firefight between what turned out to be an Egyptian security officer and Israeli soldiers ended in a third Israeli soldier being killed, as well as the Egyptian security officer.

Now, the Israeli military says it appears as though this Egyptian security officer crossed the border fence, the barrier between the two using what appeared to have been some sort of emergency exit and entry point.

And we do have an image that was reported by the Israeli public broadcaster, Kan News, which shows what seems to be a sort of small square opening in the fence. The Israeli media reporting that it was helped shut just by zip ties. So the zip ties must have been cut some way for the security officer to be able to cross the border.

Now, the Egyptian military is saying that this security officer was actually in pursuit of drug smugglers when he breached the border and then engaged in the fire fight, although, the Egyptian military also saying that they are expressing condolences to those who were killed.

Now, the Israeli media is reporting that this officer was found to have not only his regular weapon but extra magazines on his persons. But all indications we're seeing from both the Egyptian and Israeli officials is that they are trying to treat this as a very unusual and isolated incident. And that it does not -- that it does not spiral into a bigger situation.

The Israeli minister of defense and the Egyptian minister of defense have already spoken on the phone together, saying that they're going to cooperate on the investigation.

And the Israeli Defense Forces spokesperson saying that this situation is not indicative of the relationship between the two militaries, who often cooperate with one another, especially to try to thwart guns and weapon smuggling along this portion of the Sinai desert.

But a lot of questions still to be -- still unanswered, including why was this Egyptian security officer crossing the border fence without alerting the Israeli military, and he seemed to be by himself.

Why was he going after drug smugglers, as the Egyptian military says, by himself. And from the Israeli military, there's a lot of questions about the -- those two soldiers in those outposts. They should've been checked in upon once an hour. That was not done so, according to the Israeli military.

How, also, did somebody cross the border without -- without triggering some sort of alarm? Lots of questions still to be answered on this very unusual incident.

Hadas Gold, CNN, Jerusalem.


HOLMES: The U.S. presidential candidate, Nikki Haley, took on her opponents as she aimed to show why she thinks she's the best candidate to represent Republicans in the next year's election. We'll have highlights from Haley's town hall in Iowa, when we come back.



HOLMES: Welcome back to our viewers, all around the world. I'm Michael Holmes. We're watching CNN NEWSROOM.

Now, the U.S. presidential candidate, Nikki Haley, is trying to set herself apart from the Republican frontrunners in the race for the White House. She took part in a CNN town hall on Sunday night in Iowa to try to convince voters why they should choose her over former President Donald Trump, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, and others.

CNN's Jeff Zeleny with our report.


JEFF ZELENY, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Former South Carolina governor, Nikki Haley, making a generational appeal to Republican voters in Iowa on Sunday night at a CNN town hall, telling voters, she's in it to win it. Making clear that she's trying to elevate her candidacy in the growing field of Republican candidates.

She did so by taking direct aim at former president Donald Trump and Florida governor Ron DeSantis, particularly on Social Security and Medicare.

NIKKI HALEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I know that Trump and DeSantis have both said we're not going to deal with entitlement reform. Don't lie to them and say, well, we don't have to deal with entitlement reform. Yes, we do. Yes, we do! It's the reality. I'm always going to tell the truth. Is it going to hurt? Yes!

ZELENY: She sought to walk a careful line on abortion policy. She said she's "unapologetically pro-life," in her words. But, declined to say whether she would sign a federal abortion ban, saying it's simply would not happen in this deeply divided Congress.

That could be one of her challenges, as she goes forward to try and win over Republican primary voters. But she made the case that it's time for consensus.

HALEY: I don't judge anyone for being pro-choice any more than I want them to judge me for being pro-life.

So what can we do with consensus?

That's exactly what it is. We come through with consensus and say what can we all agree on? I think we can all agree on banning late-term abortions. I think we can all agree on encouraging adoptions and making sure those foster kids feel more loved, not less.

ZELENY: After going through issues after issue, from trade to China to Ukraine, and domestic policies, as well, one voter said that she is a breath of fresh air.

When asked directly if she faced sexism as a woman running for president, she said she did not look at it that way. She said there's never been a line for the women's room for any job that she has applied for. But then she said it's time for a woman to break the glass ceiling.

HALEY: I'm a big fan of women. We balance, we prioritize, we know how to get things done. I mean, honestly, we've let guys do it for a while, and it might be time for a woman to get it done.

ZELENY: And Haley is gaining two more rivals this week, when former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and former vice president, Mike Pence also throw their hat into the ring.

The field is getting incredibly crowded. There's no doubt about that. The first Republican presidential debate, in August.

Jeff Zeleny, CNN, Des Moines.


HOLMES: California says 16 migrants from Colombia and Venezuela were flown to the state capital on a private jet and dropped off at a church without any prior warning. They were allegedly lured there with promises of jobs, clothing and shelter.

Well, now California officials are investigating who transported them and whether any laws were broken.

CNN's Camila Bernal with the story.


CAMILA BERNAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Officials here in California say they will get to the bottom of this. It's now an ongoing investigation. Both the governor and the attorney general here in California say they met with these migrants that, according to the nonprofit group that's taking care of them, says is 16 people from Venezuela and Colombia, all in their twenties and 30s.

Now, in terms of their journey, we know they were in Texas, and they were taken to New Mexico. And in New Mexico, they boarded this private jet that brought them to Sacramento, California.

Once they were here in the state of California, they were dropped off outside of the offices of the Diocese of Sacramento. And according to officials here, there is going to be an investigation into all of this.

And, of course, the documentation that these migrants have, according to the attorney general in a statement he released. This is what he's saying about that documentation. He says, "We can confirm these individuals were in possession of documentation, purporting to be from the government of the state of Florida."

That statement then goes on to say, "State-sanctioned kidnapping is not a public policy choice. It is immoral and disgusting."


Now the attorney general is looking at potential criminal and civil options here for the people that either arranged the transport or transported these migrants.

He's also saying he's looking into who paid for all of this, and whether or not these migrants were given false promises or misled into coming here to California.

Now, there is a faith-based nonprofit organization that is currently taking care of these migrants. They say they will continue to support them in whatever they need and also say these migrants had no idea where they were or where they were going.

But they also have questions in terms of how they got here, and what happens next with their legal process. Here is a representative from that nonprofit group.

SHIREEN MILES, SACRAMENTO ACT: Well, we are happy to receive them. And welcome them, and want to give them whatever support they need. They will be in trouble if they don't show up at the court hearing that's been scheduled for them.

BERNAL: Of course, there's a lot of questions as to what happened here in California and who sent these migrants to California. But officials here are saying they will investigate while also treating these migrants with dignity and respect.

Camila Bernal, CNN, Los Angeles.


HOLMES: CNN has reached out to state officials from Texas and Florida for comment. Nothing yet.

Still ahead on the program, Hollywood directors reach a tentative deal with the big studios, but no such luck yet for the writers. We'll have details when we come back.


HOLMES: Prince Harry is expected in London's high court, early this week as he sues a British tabloid. The trial resumes Monday in Harry's lawsuit against the publisher of "The Daily Mirror." He would be the first senior British royal to testify in court in some 130 years.

Prince Harry is one of more than 100 celebrities and high-profile people suing Mirror Group Newspapers. His lawsuit accuses MGN of unlawful activities, including phone hacking, to obtain private information.

MGN is contesting most of the claims, although it did apologize for one instance, and agreed that Harry is entitled to compensation.

Hollywood directors have reached a tentative deal with movie and television studios on wages, work hours, the use of A.I. and more, while the writers' strike continues.

CNN's Chloe Melas with the details.


CHLOE MELAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The DGA is calling this a, quote, "truly historic deal," but what's in that deal? Well, I'm going to break that down for you.

MELAS (voice-over): There are 19,000 Directors Guild members, and they wanted more money. They wanted artificial intelligence and streaming concerns to be addressed. And it looks like they got that.


So there's going to be a 5 percent wage increase in the first year. Assistant directors are going to see their workdays cut by an hour. We have been hearing that many members in multiple guilds feel not only overworked but underpaid.

And something that is interesting is that in the contract, it also bans live ammunition on the set. This is coming a little over a year after what happened on the set of "Rust," with cinematographer Halyna Hutchins being killed by a live round of ammunition that somehow got its way onto set and in that prop gun that actor Alec Baldwin was holding.

When it comes to artificial intelligence, the agreement would also put into writing a clause about the use of A.I., stating, quote, "A.I. is not a person" and that generative A.I. cannot replace duties performed by members.

And, for the first time, global streaming video on demand residuals would be paid on the number of international subscribers. So, this results in a 76 percent increase in foreign residuals for the biggest services.

So, this is tentative. This is going to be submitted to the guild's national board in a meeting on Tuesday. But, again, we still have the writers on strike. We still have SAG that's currently figuring out their own deal.

And this is important, because the content that we all watch and we consume, this is -- this means we need directors. We need writers. We need actors to do that.

So the Writers Guild has come out and said that they support their friends in the DGA, but that they are still holding out for their own deal and for their own agreement on wages and residuals and concerns with A.I.

So we'll see. You know, I've had writers telling me that they think the writers' strike could go through the summer.

Back to you.


HOLMES: Our thanks to Chloe Melas there.

Now, thousands of people gathered on Sunday in Paris to compete in a mass dictation competition. School desks took over the boulevard as contestants from ages 10 to 90 attempted to write down passages read by an announcer without making any mistakes.

Readings ranged from French classics to sports literature, and even contemporary writing. CNN affiliate BFM-TV says the event broke the world record for the largest dictation.

Take a letter.

Thanks for spending part of your day with me. I'm Michael Holmes. Do stick around. WORLD SPORT up next. I'll see you at the top of the hour with more news.