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Severe Flooding Caused Breaching in a Ukrainian Dam; Mar-a-Lago Flooding Adds to Trump's List of Investigation on the Classified Documents; 150 Bombings Recorded in India after Friday's Train Crash. Aired 3-4a ET

Aired June 06, 2023 - 03:00   ET




LAILA HARRAK, CNN ANCHOR: Hello and welcome to our viewers joining us from the United States and all around the world. I'm Laila Harrak.

A dam breached in Ukraine happening right now, severe flooding underway. Fears they could lead to major destruction that could threaten thousands of lives. Who's behind it? We'll have a live report.

Now, the pool guy at Mar-a-Lago is now factoring into the special counsel's investigation of Donald Trump and his handling of classified documents.

And, we are just hours away from Prince Harry taking the witness stand in a historic legal case against Britain's tabloid media.

UNKNOWN(voice-over): Live from CNN Center, this is "CNN Newsroom" with Laila Harrak.

HARRAK: We begin in Eastern Ukraine where a major dump in the Kherson region has been destroyed. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy will hold an emergency meeting to discuss the situation. And as you can see, water pouring out from the breach, threatening the lives of thousands of people.

Ukrainian officials are planning evacuations and telling residents near the Nova Kakhovka dam to do everything you can to save your life. Right now, both Ukraine and Russia are blaming each other for what both described as a terrorist attack.

Let's get more on these developments that are unfolding right now. We are joined by Clare Sebastian in London. Clare, do we know what caused the breach? And can you situate this for us? Where is the dam with respect to the front lines?

CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's pretty much on the front lines, Laila. It is on the edge of the Dnipro River just on the southern bank, and it supplies waters to the Kherson region and to Russian-occupied Crimea in the south as well, of course, power from the hydro electric power plant.

It is south of the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, which relies on water from the reservoir and cooling, even across the power plant is right now is in various stages of shut down, so a really critical piece of infrastructure. It has been occupied though, by Russia since pretty much the beginning of this war.

We're learning more in the last hour about the potential effect on civilians from the predicted flooding. Apparently, they're already seeing signs of flooding, according to the head of the Kherson Regional Council. A Ukrainian official, he says, that the water levels are expected to reach critical levels, really in about an hour from now. Estimates on that are varied, though he says signs of flooding is visible in settlements. The water is rising and they're already starting evacuations in civilians from areas.

HARRAK: How does this affect now Ukraine's counteroffensive plans in the region?

SEBASTIAN: So, first of all, we don't know exactly what Ukraine's counteroffensive plans were in this region. We've certainly seen an uptake in the activities in various parts of the frontline in the last day or so. There had been forecasted they would potentially try to push south towards the Azov Sea if they are trying to pursue south. Certainly, if areas are flooded causing the Dnipro River to do that becomes much more difficult.

One adviser to the Zelenskyy administration this morning claiming that Russia has done this in order to sort of deter Ukraine from doing so. He said Russians deliberately hit the residents of the occupied Crimea because, of course, the water supply to there, they exchanged them for certain opportunities, he said, to deter the offensive. So, that was certainly the hint coming from the Ukrainian side this morning.

HARRAK: Clare Sebastian, reporting, thank you very much.

And we will bring you more on the war in Ukraine later in the show including the latest attacks across the border into Russia.

A swimming pool flood Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort late last year is raising more suspicions among prosecutors looking into the former president's handling of classified documents of possible obstruction. It comes amid the investigation winding down as CNN's Katelyn Polantz reports.


KATELYN POLANTZ, CNN SR. CRIME AND JUSTICE REPORTER: 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.

[03:05:00] This is a sort of meeting that appears to be coming and 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 into 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, we're 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 would you 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.


HARRAK: Well, the field of Republicans seeking he party's nomination for next year's U.S. Presidential Election is growing this week. Former U.S. Vice President Mike Pence has filed his paperwork to run. He plans to formally announce his bid on Wednesday just ahead of his appearance at a CNN Town Hall. Well, that's put him toe-to-toe with his former boss, Donald Trump, who had this to say about Pence's bit.


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: Well, I wish him a lot of luck. He is a nice person. We had a very good relationship until the very end. We had a very strong relationship until the very end. I wish he would've put the vote back to the legislature and legislators also. We disagreed on that last moment in time on that very issue, and I wish he did that, and I think he'd be way up, I think he'd be doing much better in the polls.


HARRAK: Well in the meantime New Hampshire's Republican Governor Chris Sununu tells CNN he won't be entering the presidential race, but he still has sharp criticism for Trump's candidacy.


GOV. CHRIS SUNUNU (R-SC): The math is shown Donald Trump has no chance of winning in November of '24. He wouldn't even win Georgia. If you're a Republican that can't win Georgia of November '24, you have no shot, and he's proven that. If Republicans nominate him, then we're seeing a vote for him in the primary is effectively a vote for Joe Biden.


HARRAK: Well earlier I spoke with Daniel Strauss, a senior political reporter for "The New Republic" and I asked him about the challenges Mike Pence faces in the race for the Republican nomination. We also talked about Donald Trump's ongoing legal battles. Here's part of our conversation.


DANIEL STRAUSS, SR. POLITICAL REPORTER, THE NEW REPUBLIC: Pence still pulls at the lower end of the perspective primary field. We'll have to wait and see. But I think that he's going to get an unusual amount of attention from the former president simply because it's his V.P., and he sees his candidacy in this primary alongside Trump himself as sort of a betrayal.

And Trump is always eager to, as you say, be it a counterpuncher and he sees counterpunching as knocking out his former vice president early in the primary. So, that's what we're looking at for Pence.

HARRAK: Let's look briefly at former president Donald Trump's legal troubles. We understand that Trump's lawyers have met with the Justice Department officials just as, of course, this classified document seems to be nearing the end. Why do you think they requested this meeting? Is this normal? What does this signal to you?


STRAUSS: It's still hard to say. A lot of these legal procedures are very much shrouded in secrecy. But at the same time, it is pretty clear that Trump's lawyers are taking this very seriously. And while it's unclear if they're asking for a deal or to settle, that's definitely a trademark reaction of the former president. He's always eager to try and make a deal and to make things go away. And so, that's very well what this could be. But it's still hard to see because there's very little details about it.

HARRAK: And Daniel, in a few words, could these legal challenges, these ongoing legal challenges, impact Mr. Trump's run in the 2024 election. Where do you seeing?

STRAUSS: Absolutely, and that's why he's privately sort of worried about it and ranted about these legal issues, and that's partially why he's run again. He sees his candidacy as sort of a shield against indictment and the various legal troubles stalking him. But at the same time the prosecutors do not see that as a problem. And we know that because he's already been fingerprinted in a very, very televised sort of news cycle brought to a courthouse in New York in one of the investigations within. So he is not in pervious to any of these lawsuits.


HARRAK: And our thanks there to Daniel Strauss for his insights.

Be sure to catch CNN's Town Hall, Wednesday with former U.S. Vice President Mike Pence live from Grandview University in Des Moines, Iowa. He will take impressions for CNN anchor and chief political correspondent Dana Bash as he prepares for that expected presidential bid. It starts at 8 p.m. Wednesday in Des Moines, and 9 a.m. Thursday in Hong Kong, right here on CNN.


And with that, another candidate is entering the 2024 race but this time from outside the Republican Party. Scholar and former Harvard professor Cornel West will be running as a candidate for the People's Party. He was a supporter of Bernie Sanders in his last two presidential bids. West started in politics during the U.S. civil rights movement and it has come to be known as a voice of radical political thought.

Still ahead, authorities of India are launching an investigation into the deadly train accidents in Odisha that killed 275 people and will head to India for a live report.

Then, dangerous encounters between the Chinese and U.S. militaries with state media adding fuel to the fire in China.




HARRAK: In India, officials say more than 150 bombings have been identified so far following a train crash in Odisha. Authorities also launched an official investigation, Monday, into one of the country's deadliest actions in decades. It killed at least 275 people and injured more than 1000 others.

CNN's Ivan Watson has more. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

IVAN WATSON, CNN SR. INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This is what happens when a passenger train moving at 80 miles per hour, that's run around 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, authorities say, was caused by a switching malfunction. So a passenger train was moved onto a track where there was a parked 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 sights, 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.


HARRAK: And Ivan Watson joins me now live from Odisha, India. Ivan, as you have been reporting rail services have resumed, but the investigation into the crash is ongoing. What more are you learning about where that stands?


WATSON: Right, well, I mean we've actually witnessed how officials were interrogating some of the railway workers who might have been in charge in signaling. The signal house was very close to where the crash actually took place. This was taking place just at the scene of a disaster zone. So, the authorities have promised a high-level investigation, and they also promised to bring people to justice. What is not clear is whether or not the train that collided, that passenger train, was equipped with one of the train collision avoiding systems.

Some reporting here in the Indian presses say that they did not have that, which could've perhaps prevented this terrible disaster from taking place. The big question would be that maybe before rolling out lots of high speed trains, do you need to have your slower trains to equip with something like this.

Then, there is as the railway has been reopened, and we saw crowded passenger trains again rolling through the crash site a number of them yesterday had slower speeds, I might add, but packed full of passengers, so you could get a sense of how full the train was when the accident took place Friday night.

And so, as those trains are starting to roll again, Laila, you do also still have that very grim work of identifying the victims of the initial crash. Again, at least 275 people killed. The latest statistics coming out of the Odisha government more than 180 victims have been identified, but there's still a lot of work, difficult work, to do and the authorities have put a toll-free line out, they're trying to get information and help with that. They've also pledged for free transport of the victims bodies back to their home places.

And that's a very big deal for families who may be at very low income levels, and this would be a very big burden for them. And of course, any of this talk, compensation, which is also being pledged half a million rupees to the families of each victim who died, that's around $6,000, a bit more than that. None of that will replace the loss of a loved one. Laila?

HARRAK: All right, Ivan Watson, thank you for your continued coverage. Thank you.

The U.S. and Chinese government say candid and productive discussions were held in the Chinese capital Monday, the latest effort to keep tensions from spiraling out of control, well that's after two dangerous incidents in recent weeks, over the weekend. The U.S. accused a Chinese warship of cutting in front of an American navy destroyer in the Taiwan Strait. Well the U.S. vessel had to slow down to avoid a collision.

Now, last month, the U.S. military said that the Chinese fighter jets intercepted an American spy plane in international airspace. The White House says these incidents are results of the Chinese military's, quote, "increasing level of aggressiveness."


JOHN KIRBY, NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL FOR STRATEGIC COMMUNICATIONS: It won't be long before somebody gets hurt. Now, that is the concern with these unsafe and unprofessional intercepts, they can lead to misunderstandings, thy can lead to miscalculations.


HARRAK: Well meanwhile, animosity to work the U.S. is growing inside China. CNN's Will Ripley explains.


WILL RIPLEY, CNN SR. INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): On the streets, in the skies and on the sea, rising rhetoric and 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. polls show 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 a Chinese warship of cutting of 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 collusion. A close encounter U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin called extremely dangerous.


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

RIPLEY (voice-over): Austin speaking at this Asia 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. And Li had plenty to say after the near collision, blasting U.S. claims of a peaceful passage through the Taiwan Strait, with a Canadian warship. They are not here 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 midair incident caught on camera, a Chinese jet dangerously close to a U.S. reconnaissance plane. The U.S. calls this an unnecessary aggressive maneuver. China says it was just safeguarding its sovereignty, accusing the U.S. military plane of deliberately intruding into China's training area.

The 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 McCrthy and Tsai Ing-Wen, president of Taiwan. China also claims sovereignty over the self- governing democracy and its communist rules 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.

(on-camera): The White House says that 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, it 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 fall when President Biden and President Xi met in Bali last December that was derailed the Chinese spy balloon has resulting in ability for both sides to high-level talks. Perhaps, the fact that there is a meeting in Beijing could signal a turnaround.

Will Ripley, CNN, Taipei.


HARRAK: And coming up on "CNN Newsroom," Ukrainian officials urging residents to evacuate after the destruction of a critical dam in the south.



HARRAK: Ukrainian officials in Kherson are warning water levels from a destroyed dam will rise to critical levels soon. Ukrainian officials are urging residents in potential flood zones to evacuate after the Nova Kakhovka dam was breached. Both Ukraine and Russia accusing each other of attacking the critical structure and committing acts of terrorists separately on the battlefield.

Ukraine's military is making moves that has its allies speculating about its long awaited counteroffensive. On Monday, Ukraine's deputy defense minister said the country's forces are making, quote, "successful advances in several directions around the city of Bakhmut." Still, Kyiv has not said if it has begun its counteroffensive. But America's top general says, they are ready to do so.


GEN. MARK MILLEY, U.S. JOINT CHIEFS CHAIRMAN: 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 have provided training, ammunition and device, intelligence, et cetera.


HARRAK: Well, meanwhile, Russia's defense forces claim it repelled a Ukrainian military advance in the Donetsk region.

Fred Pleitgen brings us now the details.


FRED PLEITGEN, CNN SR. 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 Russia's defense ministry 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. The local government 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 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.

PLEITGEN: The streets that you are seeing up there in the sky, and we can see them directly right now, you can see more artillery rockets, apparently firing from Russian territory, towards the territory. I would say around Kharkiv, you can hear this right now.

PLEITGEN (voice-over): Today, Russia's army appears 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, with several killed and wounded, and thousands evacuated. The leader of the Wagner private military, ripping to the defense ministry.

We surrender our historical lands, he says. Today, children are getting killed, civilians are getting killed in Belgorod, and the Ministry of Defense is not in a state to do anything at all as a de facto does not exist. It is chaos.

And the Russians are also on the back foot in the area Prigozhin's mercenaries just left, Bakhmut in 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.


HARRAK: A preliminary hearing in a new criminal case against Russian opposition figure, Alexey Navalny, is scheduled to begin in about 30 minutes from now. The new charges include allegations of extremism. A spokesperson says the courts denied an appeal from Navalny's legal team for more time to review documents related to the case.

Meanwhile, police detained at least 90 protesters across Russia, Sunday, who were calling for Navalny's release. The demonstrations were held on his 47th birthday. Navalny is serving a nine-year sentence at a maximum security prison east of Moscow.

Still ahead, Prince Harry due in the U.K.'s high court in the coming hours and a lawsuit against British tabloids. But the trial is off to a rocky start for him. We'll have the latest for you, from London.




HARRAK; In just a few hours, Britain's Prince Harry will make an incredibly rare appearance in the U.K.'s high court to testify in a trial against British tabloids. He's among dozens of high-profile figures suing the Mirror Group Newspapers, claiming they were subject to phone hacking and other illicit means of obtaining private information.

CNN's Nada Bashir joins me now from outside the courthouse in London with more. Nada, as always, good to see you. Prince Harry did not turn up to court Monday. Talk us through what will happen today.

NADA BASHIR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Laila. He wasn't present for the opening of what is said to be a three-day hearing. The judge himself saying he was a little surprised by the fact that Prince Harry chose not to attend the first day, given that he'd asked the witnesses to present in case there is time for evidence.

Now, that evidence is set to be heard today. Of course, Prince Harry is expected to arrive in the coming hours to deliver his evidence. But we did hear those opening statements yesterday, including from Prince Harry's legal representative, David Sherborne, who detailed the allegations put forward by not only Prince Harry but, of course, the other dozens of claimants in this case against the Mirror Group Newspapers.

Now, according to Sherborne, Prince Harry is set to go into graphic detail as to how the Mirror Group Newspapers invasion of privacy impacted him personally. We heard yesterday a little bit of that details around the invasion of Prince Harry's privacy gave light to personal information, which was published in some 147 articles, which have been submitted by his legal team as part of his claim, though details around his relationship with his brother, William, the Prince of Wales, arguments in conversations that were held privately between the pair, as well as details around his relationship with long-term former girlfriend Chelsea Daley.

His legal representative there saying that the invasion of his privacy led to a breakdown in that relationship, but also that it caused him to suffer damage to his personal relationship, to his friendship, and also suffered some bouts of depression.

Of course, Prince Harry will go into further detail today, but of course, the key allegation there, as you mentioned, not only just phone hacking but interception of voicemails, as well as the use of private investigators. These are all investigations the Mirror Group Newspapers has contested. Laila?

HARRAK: Well, Nada Bashir, reporting from London, thank you so much, Nada.

Let's discuss this in further detail with Bidisha Mamata, a broadcaster, royal watcher, and presenter in the U.K. She joins me now from London. So good to have you with us. Thank you for your time. What will Prince Harry face when he takes the stand moments from now?

BIDISHA MAMATA, BROADCASTER AND ROYAL WATCHER: Prince Harry is going to face the full power of the Mirror Group Newspapers. Prince Harry is of course a royal, he's a prince, so this is not a completely unequal match. It's not David versus Goliath. But it's extremely difficult for any one individual to go up against the might and power and the wealth of these tabloid newspaper groups.

These are large, very, very powerful media corporations. And we have remember that in a trial, Prince Harry has brought this around, and he has got to prove legally not that the tabloids are nice or not nice, but they specifically used a number of illegal methods, pertaining to himself to gain access to information they should not have done. So, that's a very specific requirement that he has to prove.


And the Mirror Group Newspapers is going to make sure that that evidence is not available. They're going to cross question him. But they're also gonna be saying, well, look, you're seeing all the stuff about what we've done. We've been convicted for things before, afterwards, that's unrelated to this case. You need to show that what you are saying is true and back it up with evidence.

HARRAK: As you point out, I mean, the Prince is determined to see this through to the very bitter end. How have other phone hacking cases been dealt with?

MAMATA: There is a huge amount of scandal and consternation around these issues of phone hacking cases. There have been journalists, organizations, entire groups, and let's not forget, bosses as well as scapegoats at the other end of the hierarchy who have been found guilty of using illegal methods.

By illegal methods, I mean phone hacking, surveillance, use of private investigators, acquiring information from plants and sources and leads, none of which, of course, were authorized by the target of those leads. We know the story for decades now because of Prince Harry's connection to his mother, Princess Diana.

And you mentioned seeing this fight through to the bitter end. This is so personal, and that's where it's grabbing people's attention because we can read through to the subtext. Harry sees himself as an advocate, not just for celebrities, not just for royals, but for his own mother.

HARRAK: How significant is it that a royal will be cross-examined in court?

MAMATA: It has not happened in well over a century. And that case, well over a century ago was the future Edward VII being questioned about possibly cheating at a card game. So, nothing of the seriousness has ever happened before.

All of the barrister's, the legal brains who were on both sides of this conflict are called KCs, the King's Counselors. It's a bit like having representatives of your parents cross-questioning you and then getting some more representatives of your parents to defend you.

He is laying himself bear with this, mind, body, heart, and soul. And it's quite hard to watch for that reason. And yet, at the same time, even though this is the crusade of Prince Harry's life, he's already mildly surprised justice fan court by not showing up on the first day. That doesn't mean he's slacking or on his truancy, that means the previous arguments didn't go completely to schedule, so there's time left of when he got called up as a witness early. But I'm surprised, because if this is the fight of your life, wouldn't you be in the country 12 hours beforehand? Wouldn't you be prepping? Wouldn't you be in a huddle with all of your representatives?

HARRAK: Bidisha, just a final few words. This is a very high-stakes case for both parties involved, as you have eloquently outlined. How will this play out?

MAMATA: This is going to be a knock out drag down fight, because both parties are so concertedly wedded to that argument. This is not mediation. This is not conflict resolution. Prince Harry is alleging something that the Mirror Group did, and the Mirror Group will be saying to themselves and to the judges and all the public know, we did not do that. And if we ever did, that was in the past.

HARRAK: Bidisha Mamata, thank you very much. It was so great having you on. Thank you.

And still to come, Apple unveils its new mixed reality headset. But will price be a concern for some users? Details ahead.




HARRAK: Apple has unveiled its new mixed reality headset called Apple Vision Pro. It will cost you $3,500, and will be available early next year. Well, the device blends virtual reality and augmented reality, which allows users to overlay virtual images on live video of the real world.

CNN's Jon Sarlin has the details.


JON SARLIN, CNN DIGITAL PRODUCER: A big day here in Cupertino, California, where Tim Cook and Apple have unveiled Apple's biggest new device since the Apple Watch in 2015.

Vision Pro, a mixed reality headset, sits atop your head like a ski goggle. Now, you might know virtual reality, a full screen that blocks everything out. This is mixed reality, a combination of the real world and a virtual world overlaid on one another that Apple is banking on being the future of computing.

Now, what does it do? That is the big question. Apple showed a video which had a desk with different workstations with different screens you can adjust. They showed a home cinema with a TV screen as big as you want. But the big question though is, will people spend $3,500 on it, especially when it's closest competitor, Meta's Oculus, is only around $300.

Well, Tim Cook and Apple say they've cracked the code on any device they're calling historic. It will be available in stores early next year.

Jon Sarlin, CNN, Cupertino, California.


HARRAK: And it's not a Barbie world without the color pink. And the new Barbie movie needed so much fluorescent pink paint for the set, it apparently contributed to a global shortage.

As the film's production designer put it, the world ran out of pink. Well, the director said she wanted everything very bright to help bring the Barbie universe to life. The movie, produced by CNN's sister company, Warner Brothers Pictures, hits theaters July 21st.


And finally this hour, she's a global superstar selling out stadiums and arenas worldwide, but even Taylor Swift can suffer an oops moment from time to time.


TAYLOR SWIFT, SINGER: I swallowed a bug, I'm so sorry.


HARRAK: That happened during Sunday's concert at Chicago's Soldier Field, in front of 60,000 fans. But Swift was able to shake it off, joking that the bug was delicious and the show went on.

And that wraps up this hour of "CNN Newsroom." I'm Laila Harrak. Bianca Nobilo picks up our coverage after a quick break. Do stay with us.