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Kyiv Not Announcing Counteroffensive Plans; Authorities Launch Official Probe Into India Train Accident; Prince Harry To Testify In Trial Against U.K. Tabloids; Animosity In China Grows Over Flare-Ups With U.S.; Swimming Pool Incident at Mar-a-Lago Gets Prosecutor's Attention; French Journalist Covers Years of Protests. Aired 12-1a ET

Aired June 06, 2023 - 00:00   ET




JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR: Ahead here on CNN NEWSROOM. Is it the beginning of the end, the end of the beginning? And has it begun in Ukraine with increased combat operations raising speculation along the way to counter offensive might just now be underway.

The way Beijing sees this maritime encounter, it's the U.S. Navy in the wrong, the Chinese warship totally within its legal rights.

And Prince Harry said to be the first British royal to testify in court in more than a century. That is if he bothers to show up Tuesday in his phone hacking lawsuit, after failing to appear just a day earlier.

ANNOUNCER: Live from CNN Center, this is CNN NEWSROOM with John Vause.

VAUSE: Great to have you with us. We begin with Ukrainian officials who claimed to have destroyed a major dam in the east of the country. Images which appear to have been recorded by a drone show a major breach with water gushing down the Dnipro River towards the area of Kherson.

The city has been liberated by Ukrainian forces but surrounding areas remain under Russian occupation, raising fears for the safety of thousands of residents as well as speculation. This is just another sign a major Ukrainian counter offensive is underway.

Kyiv though maintaining complete operational silence, saying it will not broadcast its plans. But they are acknowledging their latest offensive maneuvers at least in some parts.

Monday, Ukraine's deputy defense minister said the country's sources are making successful advances in several directions around the beleaguered city of Bakhmut.

And President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is praising those soldiers for their work.


how hysterically Russia reacts to any step we take there, oppositions we take. The enemy knows that Ukraine will win, they see it. They feel it thanks to your hits warriors, particularly in Donetsk region. Thank you for that.


VAUSE: Officially, Kyiv continues to downplay the offensive saying it's all part of the country's regular defensive operations, not the full-scale operation to push Russian forces out of Ukraine.

Meantime, Russia's defense forces claim Russian forces repelled a Ukrainian military advanced in the Donetsk region, saying they wiped out more than two dozen Ukrainian tanks, more than 100 fighting vehicles.

CNN cannot verify that report and has reached out to Ukraine's Defense Ministry for comment. It has been a busy deadly day on the battlefield. Fred Pleitgen brings us details.


FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Russian military drone video allegedly showing a massive Ukrainian attack in the south of the country. Some vehicles appear to be hitting mines, or being the target of indirect fire.

The Russians claiming they are able to hold the line.

The enemy launched an unsuccessful attempt at a large-scale offensive in the south of Donetsk access, the spokesman for Russian defense said.

But is this already Ukraine's much anticipated large-scale counteroffensive?

The Ukrainians claim they have no info. Kyiv put out this video urging people to not even talk about a counteroffensive. Their message plans love silence.

But anti-Putin Russian fighters are loudly making their presence felt across the border in Russia's Belgorod region. A local governor saying hundreds of munitions have been fired at towns there just in the past day.

It's a far cry from when we were in this area in February of last year when Russia invaded the Ukraine. Belgorod was one of the main staging areas for the attack on Ukraine's northeast, teaming with tanks and armored vehicles, this military hub seemed invincible.

Those streets that you are seeing up there, you can see them right now, you can see more artillery rockets apparently be firing from Russian territory towards the territory, I would say around Kharkiv. I don't if you can hear this right now. Today, Russia's army appears to be bizarrely absent. This Russian military blogger dodging for cover in the Shebekino village in the Belgorod region.

We are lying in Shebekino on the ground under Ukrainian Grad missiles, he says. Strikes are coming one after another.

The local governor says the shelling from the Ukrainian side has been relentless, was several killed and wounded, and thousands evacuated.

The leader of the Wagner private military country ripping into the defense ministry.

We surrender our historic lands, he says. Today, children are getting killed. Civilians are getting killed in Belgorod, and the ministry defense is not due in a state to do anything at all as it de facto doesn't exist. It is chaos.


And the Russians are also on the back for the area Prigozhin's mercenaries just left, Bakhmut in the east Ukraine. Moscow's forces struggling to fend off a strong Ukrainian military both in the occupied territories, and inside Russia.

Fred Pleitgen, CNN, Kyiv.


VAUSE: Retired U.S. Air Force colonel and CNN Military Analyst Cedric Leighton is with us now from Washington. As always, Sir, good to see you.


VAUSE: I want to start with the latest news that we have now from Ukraine, just looking at these images from this dam which has been breached according to the Ukrainians, they did this, has been under threat from both Ukrainian and Russian forces for some time now.

We now have this claim that the Ukrainians have carried out this operation to breach a dam sending water, gushing down what is believed to be the Dnipro River towards the Kherson.

OK, so why would they do this? What is the military advantage here? And is this some kind of indication to you that this is a start in earnest have this long-waited spring offensive by the Ukrainians to force the Russians out of Ukraine?

LEIGHTON: Yes, I think it's certainly an indicator, John, that something like this, you know, is underway that a counter offensive or a major military operation is definitely going on.

The breach of the dam is very interesting, because surely you would expect the Russians to do something like this to flood the area, so that it would be very difficult for the Ukrainians to cross the Dnipro River in the areas below the dam and downstream from the dam.

So, you know, this is -- this is something that becomes very interesting, because it's going to be difficult for the Ukrainians to do what they should be doing. But it's also going to be difficult for the Russians to move their forces into, let's say, parts of the Kherson region that they vacated back in the fall.

So, this is going to be I think, a very significant development, and it could also greatly impact the civilian infrastructure in the area.

VAUSE: There's been some speculations that the Ukrainians could do this, and then follow up with amphibious vehicles as part of this attack, which kind of would then make sense of it all, wouldn't it?

LEIGHTON: To some extent, it would, yes. Because perhaps they've measure things out, so that into, you know, would make sense from an amphibious vehicle standpoint, to do you have enough water as service to go across and do things that way.

So, that is something that perhaps was part of the calculations, you know, by the Ukrainian engineers to do this, if that, indeed is what happened here.

VAUSE: And just to be -- to clarify this, the Ukrainians have confirmed the damage, not that they were the ones who carried it out. The assumption, I guess, at this point is that they were the ones but as you say, there is still a lot of speculation, a lot of unanswered questions here as to why they would do this, what the advantages, and would it be the Russians?

So, at this point, we have to wait, I guess, which is the hardest thing to often do in these situations, and find out more details as they come in from the Ukrainian side as well.

But whether this is the eve or the beginning of the Ukrainian counter- offensive, there doesn't seem to be a lot of agreement among U.S. officials, you know, when it comes to what success looks like. The U.S. president was asked about this while meeting with the -- I think the Danish Prime Minister on Monday, here he is.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Will the counteroffensive work in Ukraine?


VAUSE: Fingers crossed. Now, here's the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley on his take.


GEN. MARK MILLEY, CHAIRMAN, JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF: I think the Ukrainians are very well prepared, as you know very well, the United States and other allied countries in Europe and really around the world have provided training and ammunition and advice and intelligence, etcetera. (END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: And finally, very quickly, U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan, here he is.


JAKE SULLIVAN, NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: What we want to do is support Ukraine to make as much progress as possible on the battlefield so that it is in the strongest possible position at the negotiating table.


VAUSE: So, we have fingers crossed, Ukrainians are prepared, the offensive will and hopefully with Ukrainians in a good position for negotiations, isn't it time for the U.S. and NATO to come up with an end game here? Because this war could drag on for years, losing territory doesn't mean Putin loses the war, which means this going to get into a very long protracted conflict.

LEIGHTON: Yes, certainly, in my view, John, it would be very important for NATO, the rest of the West and certainly the United States to have a desired end state. They may have one in private, but certainly publicly, they should also state what that is, and make sure that Ukrainians are on board with it.

The desired state shouldn't be something like this where the Russians are told to vacate the remaining parts of Ukraine that they occupied. That would be the ideal thing for Ukraine.

And in this particular situation, I think what we're looking at is a, you know, unfortunately, a degree of protracted effort on the part of the Ukrainians to achieve something that they can at least use at the bargaining table.


So, that's going to be is going to take some time I'm afraid but hopefully it doesn't get into a perpetual grinding war.

VAUSE: And attacks on Russian soil escalating as well. We've seen and reporting that Ukraine has cultivated sabotage agents inside Russia supplying drones to stage attacks. This reporting goes on who exactly is controlling these assets is murky, sources told CNN.

The U.S. officials believe that our elements within Ukraine's intelligence community are involved. And apparently not every operation requires approval from the Ukrainian president. That implies some operations do.

Now, under the international rules of war, if there is this direct line, you know, of these attacks on Moscow to Kyiv, to Zelenskyy and the government, what are the implications? Not necessarily for Ukraine, but for the United States and other allies whose military hardware may be used in these attacks? LEIGHTON: Yes, certainly, the implications could be complex, and probably not, you know, really very favorable. But in these situations, they always use plausible deniability is one of the key things, a key aspect of this type of warfare, you know, going all the way back to the Second World War, even before that, we've had examples of this kind of thing.

And I think this is what you're seeing in the U.S. Russia war right now, we're seeing an unconventional effort to use other means to get to a desired end state.

VAUSE: Colonel Leighton, as always, it is great to have you with us. Thank you, Sir, your time is most valuable.

LEIGHTON: Thank you, John.

VAUSE: Well, one of the most notorious spies in American history died in U.S. Federal Prison Monday, age 79. Former FBI agent Robert Hanssen spy for the Soviet Union and Russia, close to 15 years was paid $1.4 million in cash and diamonds in exchange for information.

Hanssen was accused of compromising the identity of dozens of Soviet intelligence assets working for the U.S., some of whom were executed.

In 2001, he pleaded guilty to 15 counts of espionage and conspiracy, was sentenced to life in prison without parole.

In India, officials say more than 150 bodies have been identified so far after the train crash in Odisha. Authorities also launched an official investigation Monday into one of the country's deadliest accidents in decades, which killed at least 275 people and injured more than 1,000 others. Details now from CNN's Ivan Watson.


IVAN WATSON, CNN, SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This is what happens when a passenger train moving at 80 miles per hour that's run 128 kilometers per hour slams into an immovable object, you get enormous train cars like this thrown over, overturned as if they were children's toys.

Now, just days ago, this was the scene of one of the deadliest train disasters in modern Indian history. And already, the railroad has been reopened and we can see what looks like a brand new modern train moving down the tracks here. That is even as scores of people are still looking for their missing loved ones from the accident that took place on Friday night.

Now, the initial accident authority say was caused by a switching malfunction. So, a passenger train was moved on to a track where there was a part freight train loaded with iron ore. And that crash sent some of the train cars into the other track where there was an approaching passenger train coming from the other side. So, that mistake led to absolutely catastrophic results.

As you can see, the railroad here has been reopened. We have another train moving through right now. And the railroad system in India, it dates back in origins to when this country was a British colony. And it is essential to this country, more than 13 million people a day move around on trains in India.

So, that's part of why the authorities have worked so hard to reopen the rails after the train crash.

I'm going to show you over here. This is an example of a railroad station in the Indian countryside. And it also happens to be just within sight. If you see the lights down there of where the terrible train crash happened on Friday night.

The very next day, India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he was supposed to go inaugurate a brand new high speed train. Instead, he had to rush to the crash to survey the recovery efforts and to meet with some of the survivors.

The Indian government has great ambitions to modernize this country. But as this terrible tragedy has highlighted, there's also a lot of work to be done to maintain aging and essential infrastructure.

Ivan Watson, CNN in Odisha state in eastern India.



VAUSE: In Haiti, at least 43 people are dead, another 85 hurt after heavy rains triggered widespread flooding and landslides.

Officials say rain caused several major rivers to overflow. Nearly a dozen people remain missing and more than 13,000 have been displaced.

The forecast for parts of Europe is for extreme rainfall in the coming hours. Two alerts issued through Wednesday. The first includes parts of the Czech Republic, Austria, Hungary, Croatia and Slovenia. The second covers parts of Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan.

The European agency weather agency says the main threats to these areas of large hail, severe wind gusts as well as extreme rainfall.

In the coming hours, Britain's Prince Harry will testify and the U.K.'s High Court in a trial against the British tabloids. He's among dozens of high profile figures suing the Mirror Group Newspapers claiming they were subjected to phone hacking and other illicit means of obtaining private information.

It's very rare for members of the British Royal Family to appear as witnesses in court. Harry's appearance is already off to a rocky start as CNN's Nada Bashir reports.


NADA BASHIR, CNN REPORTER: Well, Prince Harry was a no show for the first day of court proceedings here at London's High Court much to the annoyance of defense lawyers representing the Mirror Newspaper Group. He is however set to give evidence in court on both Tuesday and

Wednesday. The Duke of Sussex has been selected as one of four representatives to testify in court out of a list of more than 100 claimants suing the British newspaper group for allegedly obtaining private information through unlawful means, namely through phone hacking, voicemail interception and the use of private investigators.

Now, in an opening statement on Monday, the Duke of Sussex's legal representative David Sherborne, told the court that 147 articles published in the early 1990s to 2011 was submitted as part of the British Royals claim which present in his words, telltale signs of unlawful information gathering.

Information featured in these articles include private conversations between Prince Harry and his brother, William the Prince of Wales, as well as details surrounding his relationship with long term former girlfriend Chelsy Davy.

MGN has however contested these claims, denying that senior editorial figures were aware of wrongdoing at the time, and maintaining that there is simply no evidence the Duke of Sussex was hacked.

But there remains a great deal of anticipation around Prince Harry's upcoming witness statement, which his lawyers say will describe very graphically the impact in MGN's alleged unlawful activities have had on him from damaging his personal relationships to leading the prince to suffer from bouts of depression.

Prince Harry has of course been a vocal advocate for reform across the media landscape, with a particular focus on Britain's tabloids. With repeated warnings from the Prince over the impact the media's intrusion has had not only on himself, but also on his wife Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex and his late mother, Princess Diana.

Well, while Prince Harry has spoken openly in the past, from his memoir to his Netflix docu series, the witness stand will offer no favors and could well shine a harsher spotlight on the Duke's personal life as he faces cross examination.

Nada Bashir, CNN of the High Court in London.


VAUSE: Still ahead here on CNN, a dangerous encounter on the high seas with a close call between Navy ships from China and the United States. And why is China's state media now ramping up the drama? More on that.



VAUSE: According to the U.S. State Department, candid and productive discussions were held in Beijing Monday, the latest effort to try and lower the temperature between both countries after two potentially dangerous military related incidents in recent weeks. On the weekend in the Taiwan Strait, a Chinese warship appeared to cut

dangerously in front of an American Navy destroyer, which avoided collision by suddenly reducing speed.

Last month, a Chinese fighter jet intercepted an American spy plane in international airspace. The White House says an increasing level of aggressiveness by China's military is to blame for both close encounters.


JOHN KIRBY, PRESS SECRETARY, PENTAGON: It won't be long before somebody gets hurt. And that's the -- that's the concern with these unsafe and unprofessional intercepts. They can lead to misunderstandings, they can lead to miscalculations.


VAUSE: And it seems these sort of sorts of incidents are fueling animosity towards the United States inside China. And CNN's Will Ripley explains why.


WILL RIPLEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): On the streets, in the skies, and on the sea, rising rhetoric in the U.S. warns real danger of military confrontation. A growing list of U.S. China flare-ups, fueling fears, anti-American sentiment among the Chinese public.

Chinese state media adding fuel to the fire, blasting the airwaves with outrage. Public perception of the U.S. plummeting. A recent Chinese poll reveals more than half of those surveyed have a very unfavorable, or somewhat unfavorable impression of the U.S.

The U.S. keeps picking on China, says this man in Beijing. It feels like the U.S. is bullying China.

Another making his views clear: I don't like the U.S. All bad things in the world are caused by the U.S.

U.S. poll so many Americans have similar views about China. Even in polarized Washington, countering Beijing has rare, bipartisan support. From the Taiwan Strait to the South China Sea to Singapore, the U.S. and China seem to be spiraling closer to conflict.

On Saturday, a near collision on the Taiwan Strait. The U.S. accused the Chinese warship of cutting off a U.S. Navy destroyer. The U.S. says both ships came within 150 yards, less than 500 feet of each other. The U.S. destroyer took emergency measures to avoid a collision.

A close encounter U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin called extremely dangerous.

LLOYD AUSTIN, U.S. DEFENSE SECRETARY: I'm concerned about, at some point, having an incident that could very, very quickly spiral out of control.

RIPLEY: Austin speaking at this Asian defense summit in Singapore. The Pentagon says China rejected a proposed meeting with its Defense Minister Li Shangfu. Their only interaction, this brief handshake. The U.S. says they did not have a substantive exchange.

General Li had plenty to say after the near collision, blasting U.S. planes of a peaceful passage of the through the Taiwan Strait with the Canadian warship. They are not yet for peaceful passage, he says, they are here for provocation.

Tensions already high, getting even higher. Just days earlier over the South China Sea, a mid-air incident caught on camera, a Chinese jet dangerously sly close to U.S. reconnaissance plane. The U.S. calls this an unnecessarily aggressive maneuver. China says it was just safeguarding its sovereignty, accusing the U.S. military plane of deliberately intruding into China's training area.

A government spokesperson saying, the U.S. should immediately stop such dangerous and provocative actions.

Washington rejects Beijing's territorial claims over nearly all the South China Sea, saying the United States will continue to fly, sail, and operate safely and responsibly wherever international law allows. Tensions rising ever since a controversial Taiwan trip by former U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi last year. And this year's meeting in California between House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and Tsai Ing-wen, president of Taiwan.

China also claimed sovereignty of the self-governing democracy its communist rulers have never controlled. Launching two rounds of massive military drills near Taiwan, only adding to U.S. concerns of a potential military miscalculation with massive consequences.

RIPLEY: The White House says the top U.S. officials did bring up the near collision at a meeting in Beijing on Monday. And just the fact that there is a meeting that both sides are talking is certainly a welcome development for those watching the situation in this part of the world because animosity between the U.S. and China has been on the rise significantly in recent months from Taiwan and the South China Sea to China's deepening partnership with Russia.


That brief thaw when President Biden and President Xi met in Bali last November that was derailed by the Chinese spy balloon has resulted in an inability for both sides to have high level talks. Perhaps the fact that there's a meeting in Beijing could signal a turnaround.

Will Ripley, CNN, Taipei.


VAUSE: Clayton Dube is the director of the U.S.-China Institute at the University of Southern California. He is with us this hour from Los Angeles. Welcome to the show. It's been a long time. It's good to see you.


VAUSE: OK, so we heard from the White House National Security Spokesman John Kirby just moments ago blaming China for these incidents saying someone's going to get hurt. Here's the view now from Beijing. Listen to this.


WANG WENBIN, SPOKESMAN, CHINESE FOREIGN MINISTRY (through translator): The truth is that the United States is provoking trouble first, and China is dealing with it in accordance with laws and regulations. The actions taken by the Chinese military are necessary measures to deal with the provocations of certain countries. And they are reasonable, legal, safe and professional.


VAUSE: On the surface, it seems hard to see how the U.S. is the aggressive party in both these incidents and is the one that's in the wrong. But from Beijing's point of view, does it come down to where all of this happened, as opposed to how it happened?

DUBE: You're exactly right. From Beijing's point of view, if the United States simply weren't in the area between Taiwan and China, in the South China Sea, in the East China Sea. None of this would be a problem. We wouldn't be coming into close proximity, dangerous encounters could not happen.

And so, from Beijing's point of view, it's the American presence that is the problem.

VAUSE: But given all of that, under international law, what does it say about allowing a U.S. presence in the Taiwan Straits, in the South China Sea, and all these other places?

DUBE: Well, of course, according to international law, all vessels are allowed to transit and innocent passage is permissible even within the territorial waters of another country.

Now, warships are not considered necessarily to be innocent in passing. But the vessels that we are talking about here are in international airspace, international waters, China contends that those areas are under Chinese jurisdiction, and that if asked by Chinese authorities, intruders such as the United States are expected to leave.

This, of course, is not how things actually work. We've had Chinese vessels off the coast of Alaska and the United States.

Again, as long as they're not intruding and not engaged in something nefarious, such as laying mines or something like that, they're permitted to be there. VAUSE: Is the danger here that not necessarily the U.S. but other countries, back off, fearing some kind of confrontation, and then it sort of becomes a fait accompli that those waters which, as we say, right now, international waters, then in a defector way become Chinese territorial waters?

DUBE: Well, that's exactly the calculation that the Chinese government has made, is that if we make enough noise, we make it inconvenient enough, if there is a risk of collision, and therefore driving some sort of decision making on the part of defense officials, that if you want to avoid any kind of risk, you'll withdraw. And if you withdraw, then it's not a factor and Beijing can do as it pleases.

VAUSE: I guess on the bright side here, it seems both sides do agree that a war between two nuclear armed nations with huge militaries is a bad thing. We'll hear from us General Mark Milley in a moment. But first, here's China's Ministry of Defense.


LI SHANGFU, CHINESE DEFENSE MINISTER (through translator): It is undeniable that a severe conflict or confrontation between China and the U.S. will be an unbearable disaster for the world. China believes that a major country should behave like one.

MILLEY: I personally don't think that war between China and the United States is inevitable. I don't think it's imminent. But it needs to stay in a status of competition. In order to do that, countries have to talk to each other. And in times of crisis, it's necessary to de- escalate.


VAUSE: Is it troubling that they're even talking about potential nuclear war, even in these terms being a bad thing? It seems indicative just how far relations have fallen in the past 20, 30 years?

DUBE: I think that's a correct assessment that once you have nuclear warfare and the chance of conflict being discussed as a real possibility, that's a dangerous spot. And so, it does signal the deterioration in the in the relationship.


On the other hand, again, at least they're talking. And all seem to recognize that the potential cost, not just of actual conflict, but pushing this envelope, are quite high.

VAUSE: Yes, they recognize it. Guess we'll have to wait and see what they're going to do about it.

Clayton Dube, as always, it's been a long time, but it's great to have you back. And it's good to see you again, sir. Thank you.

DUBE: Thank you. Take care. VAUSE: Thank you.

We'll take a short break here on CNN. When we come back, what's the link between that swimming pool at Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago country club, federal prosecutors, and classified documents? Find out after the break.


VAUSE: At the time, it was just a flooded swimming pool at Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort last year. But now it's raising suspicion among prosecutors investigating how classified documents were handled by the former president, as well as allegations of possible obstruction of justice.

All of this, amid signs the investigation may now be heading towards some kind of conclusion, as CNN's Katelyn Polantz reports.


KATELYN POLANTZ, CNN SENIOR CRIME AND JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: The top federal prosecutor investigating Donald Trump and the way he handled classified documents after he left the presidency, that prosecutor took a meeting on Monday with a team of defense lawyers representing Donald Trump.

They all met at the Justice Department headquarters in Washington, D.C., along with a career official from the Justice Department, who also sat down with Trump's lawyers.

This is the sort of meeting that appears to be coming at that final stage, or in a final stage of this criminal investigation around the former president and around what happened at his estate in Mar-a-Lago, and potentially other places throughout his business empire.

We don't know exactly what happened at this meeting at this time, but it is quite significant that people in the Justice Department would agree to meet with Trump's lawyers whenever they had requested this.

And so, there are potentially some additional people who could be brought in to a grand jury investigation. We do believe one witness is going to be speaking to a grand jury in South Florida this week. There may still be things happening in this investigation, but this is quite a significant moment for the Justice Department and for Donald Trump's legal team, as they prepare for the possibility of a federal indictment against the former president.

And then, also, we at CNN were able to understand a little bit more about the obstruction of justice part of this criminal investigation. That's because we have learned, and we are able to confirm of a flood that happened at Mar-a-Lago, at the resort, in October of last year.


That flood flooded a room, because there was the draining of the pool at Mar-a-Lago, and the water from the pool went into a room that stored I.T. equipment, including some of the videotapes and the surveillance system of the property.

The obstruction of justice investigation has looked at a lot of things over the course of the past year. But one of the things that they have pursued, that the prosecutors have pursued, was what was happening and how was the Trump Organization, or Donald Trump himself, responding to multiple requests for surveillance tapes.

And we do also know that the maintenance worker that decided to drain the pool at Mar-a-Lago, and then caused this flood in the room, that person was captured on surveillance tape moving boxes.

And so it is a moment that prosecutors have been asking about, as they ask about many different things that have happened around those surveillance footage, and also the moving of boxes at Mar-a-Lago in this ongoing criminal investigation.

Katelyn Polantz, CNN, Washington.


VAUSE: When we come back here on CNN, France is bracing for another nationwide round of pension protests on Tuesday. When we come back, we'll hear from the French journalist who's been covering these ongoing protests pretty much from the pretty beginning. It's been quite the experience.


VAUSE: The eight main trade unions in France will stage a 14th day of protests Tuesday, a last-ditch effort to pressure lawmakers to end the government's unpopular pension reform laws, which raises the retirement age from 62 to 64.

CNN's Melissa Bell spoke to a French journalist who's covered these protests from the get-go.


MELISSA BELL, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Another pitched battle between protesters and police in the heart of Paris. The images captured by a journalist who's made this his specialty.

Clement Lanot has covered every major French protest for the last seven years. His focus: to document that many uprisings against the government, and tell the stories of the anger behind them.


"The money is there," says one protester. "We just have to go and get it."

Traveling across the city, the protesters hush each other, as they get closer to the Euronext Stock Exchange. There, they pause, then charge.


BELL (voice-over): Through the flames and the smoke that engulf the building lobby, the sound of anger at the French president.

Shocking scenes, but for Paris, nothing new. The protests against the government upping of the pension age from 62 to 64 are just the latest round to draw people to the streets.

CLEMENT LANOT, VIDEO JOURNALIST (through translator): In Paris, there are protests almost every day, some smaller, some bigger, because in France, we are used to it. As soon as something goes wrong, the French protest.


BELL (voice-over): The hardest to cover, he says, were the Yellow Vest protests of 2019 and 2020.

LANOT (through translator): The police, the protesters, we've never seen protests that violent. Everyone was a little shaken. Everyone was a little changed.

BELL (voice-over): Over the years, the 25-year-old has been on the receiving end of rubber bullets, police batons, and angry tussles with protesters. Being a journalist is little protection, he says.

LANOT (through translator): Several times, I found myself in the middle of the police charges. They hit me with their shields, even though they could say I was a journalist, and they could have avoided me.

BELL (voice-over): But despite the dangers, images like these have been earning Clement Lanot a decent living for the last seven years, covering hundreds of protests, he says.

LANOT (through translator): Once a demonstration is over, everyone goes home, and life goes back to normal. You'll probably see bus stops that have been shattered, but life goes on, and everything is OK for the Parisians who go back out for a walk when the protest is done.

BELL (voice-over): In a city where the culture of protest runs deep, it's just another day, and another clean-up of the streets of the French capital.

Melissa Bell, CNN, Paris.


VAUSE: The woman once considered Australia's worst female serial killer now enjoying her first taste of freedom in 20 years. Kathleen Folbigg was pardoned Monday over the deaths of her four children; just released this video statement.


KATHLEEN FOLBIGG, PARDONED FOR DEATHS OF HER FOUR CHILDREN: My eternal gratitude goes to my friends and family, especially Tracy (ph), and all of her family. And I would not have survived this whole ordeal without them. Today is a victory for science and especially truth. And for the last

20 years I have been in prison, I have forever and will always think of my children, pray for my children, and I miss them and love them terribly. Thank you.


VAUSE: Word from a childhood friend says Folbigg had a cup of tea, first proper sleep in 20 years, on her first day out of prison.

Folbigg was convicting of killing her young children over a decade from 1989 to 1999. But new evidence later found a genetic defect caused at least three of the fatalities.

Apple's autocorrect has been a ducking bane of most people's texting experience for way too ducking long. A total witch at times, which now becomes a little easier, with Apple making it a little easier to vent frustration by using that most often used of four-letter words.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Autocorrect is also getting more capable, with refreshed design to better support you as you type. And in those moments where you just want to type a ducking word, well, the keyboard will learn it, too.


VAUSE: Ducking oath. The announcement came on Monday at a developers event. While the feature is supposed to correct spelling, auto correct is notorious for changing the meaning of text messages with substitutions.

So, a new predictive loading language model will help the phone's software be more accurate, with the more users actually use it.

I'm John Vause. Please stay with us. WORLD SPORT is up after a very short. I'll see you right back here in just over 17 minutes.