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CNN International: Two Killed, Five Wounded in Virginia Shooting; Smoky, Hazy Skies Smother Canada and Northern U.S.; Chris Christie Announces Presidential Campaign; Kyiv and Moscow Trade Blame Over Dam Collapse; Mark Meadows Testifies Before Federal Grand Jury; Prince Harry Testifies in Hacking Lawsuit; DNA Led to Arrest of Serial Rape Suspect After 15 Years. Aired 4-4:30a ET

Aired June 07, 2023 - 04:00   ET



BIANCA NOBILO, CNN ANCHOR: Hello and a warm welcome to our viewers joining us in the United States and all around the world. I'm Bianca Nobilo live from London. Max Foster is on royal assignment again today. Just ahead on CNN NEWSROOM.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We were exiting the building when we heard approximately 20 gunshots in rapid succession.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A child should be able to go to their graduation and walk up at graduation and enjoy the accomplishment.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Smoke from the wildfires in Canada have been pouring into the U.S. causing some of cities to have the worst air quality in the world.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I recognize people will call me a hypocrite.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A complete 180 and saying that, you know, this is going to be good for golf. This is going to be good for our players. He sold out every single one of us.


ANNOUNCER: Live from London, this is CNN NEWSROOM with Max Foster and Bianca Nobilo.

NOBILO: It is Wednesday, June 7th, 9:00 a.m. here in London, 4:00 a.m. in Richmond, Virginia, where what was meant to be a day of joy, turned into a nightmare for many of the families. Gunfire broke out just after a high school graduation ceremony on Tuesday evening. Hundreds of people were gathered around taking photos and celebrating. Police say two people were killed including an 18-year-old graduate and five others were wounded. Survivors describe running for their lives.


THOMAS SONES, RICHMOND PUBLIC SCHOOL TEACHER: And just as I got to the back corner, I heard about ten shots fired. And so the people standing in the back of the theater went down the back stairs and theater security locked the back door immediately.

JASON ALEXANDER, WITNESSED SHOOTING: We're in the process of waiting for my son to come out. Behind us probably like maybe about 10 feet off to the back of us we heard like fireworks going off. Just everybody started running and I pushed her down on to the ground, got down on to the ground, and it was just chaos from there. You just kept hearing shots. It was like 8, 9, 10 shots.

ROBIN SPENCER, WITNESSED SHOOTING: Who the hell would do this on these kids' graduation. There is tons of kids. People walking around with babies.


NOBILO: Police say they have detained a suspect, a 19-year-old they believe may have known one of the victims. They also seized several guns from the scene. Officials say several people were also injured in the ensuing chaos.


RICK EDWARDS, RICHMOND, VIRGINIA INTERIM POLICE CHIEF: We had reports of many more people, because people were having panic attacks, falling on the ground, screaming. As I mentioned before, some people fell. One child was hit by a car. So, this was a very chaotic scene. But our officers with our partners in very short order started to make sense of the chaos.

LEVAR STONEY, RICHMOND, VIRGINIA MAYOR: This should not be happening anywhere. Anywhere. Whether it is in Richmond, whether it is in Virginia, whether it is in the United States, this should not be happening anywhere. A child should be able to go to their graduation and walk at their graduation and enjoy the accomplishment with their friends and their family.


NOBILO: According to a group that tracks gun violence, Tuesday's mass shooting was one of at least 279 that have happened in the U.S. so far this year. We'll continue to bring you the latest developments from the shooting as we get them.

New York City's mayor is urging people to limit their time outdoors as smoke from Canadian wildfires drifts over large parts of the northern U.S. This was the scene at Yankee Stadium Tuesday night. New York's air quality was among the world's worst on Tuesday due to the smoke. It's just one of several states warning of hazardous unhealthy air quality. Alerts remain in place for more than 30 million Americans.

This orange haze was hanging over Canada's capital Ottawa. Officials say they are tracking hundreds of fires. Dry conditions and searing temperatures have ignited an extreme and early start to the summer wildfire season. NASA captured this image from space. You can see on the left side

smoke blanketing much of Ontario and moving south and east. CNN meteorologist Jennifer Gray has the latest for you.

JENNIFER GRAY, CNN METEOROLOGIST: For the last several weeks, these wildfires across Canada have been burning out of control and it's just been sending a lot of smoke into the U.S. and most recently we've seen a lot of the smoke pushing into the Northeast as well as New England. In the Midwest as well.


And so you can see from the satellite imagery, we're just seeing that thick smoke, heavy haze pushing into these regions. And of course a couple of fires that have broken out in the Northeast and New England have added to it. But the bulk of this is from the fires in Canada. This is a picture of New York City skyline from midday Tuesday, you can barely see the buildings. We just have a very thick smoky sky across the northeast and that's going to continue as well throughout the day today.

It's creating a very poor air quality across the Northeast, New England, as well as back into the Midwest. And as mentioned, a lot of that is from the fires from Alberta that pushed in. But we're seeing very unhealthy for sensitive groups, especially people that have respiratory issues. They've been urged to stay inside, limit their outdoor activity because of the poor air quality and in fact, Toronto and New York City ranked for a brief period Tuesday evening as some of the worst air quality in the world. They ranked on the top ten list. And so, really significant.

So, we'll continue to see the poor air quality throughout the day today. In fact we have a cold front that's pushing through and that's going to drive that smoke even farther to the south, it is actually going to reach into the Carolinas. That's why portions of North Carolina are also under an air quality alert as well.

When the front passes through, those winds out of the north will really just keep the smoke coming in. It's not going to push it away by any means. And so, here's a near surface smoke forecast. And you can see it does slightly improve across New York City Wednesday morning. Gets worse across the Carolinas. In fact, this area in red is the smoke that we saw from yesterday across the Northeast pushing to the south and then because of that cold front, another wave of smoke is going to come into the Northeast by late tonight.

So it is going to be a little while before we start to get those skies clearing across these regions. But the smoke is here to stay until we have a definite shift in weather patterns.

NOBILO: A Florida government agency says three dozen migrants flown to Sacramento, California in recent days did so voluntarily.

A statement from Florida's division of emergency management reads: Florida's voluntary relocation is precisely that, voluntary. Through verbal and written consent, these volunteers indicated that they wanted to go to California.

California officials are also looking into whether the flights broke any laws. Meanwhile, a sheriff in Bexar, County, Texas is recommending criminal charges over earlier migrant flights to Martha's Vineyard.

Former U.S. Vice President Mike Pence is expected to announce his candidacy for the 2024 presidential election later on today. It comes after he filed official paperwork earlier this week. Pence is set to appear at a CNN Town Hall event this evening as well. So you can hear directly from the former vice president when he speaks with CNN anchor and chief political correspondent Dana Bash. The Town Hall will be live from Grandview University in Des Moines, Iowa starting at 8:00 p.m. in Des Moines, 9:00 a.m. Thursday in Hong Kong, and that is all happening right here on CNN.

Pence will join former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie who made his own campaign announcement on Tuesday in New Hampshire. This is Christie's second run for the White House after he dropped out of the Republican primary back in 2016. CNN's Omar Jimenez has the details on Chris Christie's big reveal on Tuesday.


OMAR JIMENEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It was a town hall event that lasted more than two full hours. But former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said those critical words. I intends to seek the Republican nomination for president of the United States.

He joins what has been an ever growing GOP field trying to break through and be the one to again secure that nomination. Over the course of the hours' long event, former Governor Christie took questions, while also making remarks. And while there were a lot of laughs, he highlighted the seriousness of the moment he believes the country is in. On the precipice of getting bigger or getting smaller in his words.

And he pointed to moments throughout United States history going back to the Revolutionary War where he saw leaders on the precipice of making decisions that made the country bigger or made it smaller. And he believes former President Donald Trump is one of those people that would make the country smaller. He also in regards to the former president said the rest of the field has treated him like he who must not be named -- for Harry Potter enthusiasts, like Voldemort. Take a listen to some more of what Christie had to say about the former president.

CHRIS CHRISTIE, U.S. REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You know, I've seen some of the press conference of me getting ready to run. And there is this thing like Christie doesn't really care about winning, all he cares about doing is destroying Trump. Now let me ask you something. How are those two things mutually exclusive? I am going out there to take out Donald Trump but here's why. I want to win. And I don't want him to win. There is one lane to the Republican nomination. And he is in front of it.

[04:10:00] And if you want to win, you better go right through him.

JIMENEZ: Now, up to this point, former President Donald Trump has polled the highest among the GOP candidate and those same polls show Governor Christie needing do a lot of work. That said, Christie said that the polls at this point in the campaign season are not usually indicative of who actually gets the nomination or at the very least could be very different from who eventually gets the nomination. And that dynamic is one he intends to capitalize on. He also said if you are looking for the perfect candidate, you should go ahead and leave the room -- speaking of himself. Instead, he says that throughout his campaign, the voters will know him and know what he stands for. And it'll be something that we look out for as his campaign officially kicks off.

Omar Jimenez, CNN, St. Anselm College.


NOBILO: We're monitoring developments in southern Ukraine following the devastating dam collapse in the Kherson Region. Flooding in towns and cities downstream led to evacuations with more than 1,400 people now moved to safer ground. A Russian appointed mayor has told state media at least seven people are considered missing.

And in the neighboring Mykolaiv Region, one official says bridges have been flooded or destroyed after the Nova Kakhovka dam collapsed. All this as Ukraine and Russia accuse each other of being responsible for the destruction.

CNN's Clare Sebastian is following these developments. And Clare, before we get to the sort of information blame game and verification, what is the latest that we know about the damage being caused?

CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: So day two, obviously, the sun has come up and we're starting to see the true extent of the flooding. We know that in some areas the water levels are still rising or at least they have stabilized but not expected to fall for another few days. These are live pictures as we understand from Kherson city. So, you can see that it looks like rescue and evacuation efforts are still ongoing. Significant flooding in parts of that city. That is, of course, the city that Ukraine liberated from Russia back in November.

What we know this affects both Ukraine controlled territory and Russian controlled territory on the opposite side of the river. In terms of the actual damage, we're getting new estimates from the Ukrainian government who says this will cost at least a billion to restore, would take five years. Even if, of course, they could get access to the opposite bank of the Dnipro River which Russia occupies.

10,000 hectares of agricultural land they say likely to have been flooded. And apparently 94 percent of the irrigation systems of Kherson -- 74 percent in Zaporizhzhia -- now without a water source. So, you can see the impact on agricultural, in terms of the environmental damage. The head of the Ukrainian hydroelectric power company has warned that 400 tons of turbine oil was actually in the dam. So he's worried that that will have leaked into the water which, of course, now gradually slowly flowing towards the Black Sea.

NOBILO: It feels uncomfortable to even ask this question given the scale of the devastation. But nevertheless, there is an active conflict. Who benefits strategically from what has happened?

SEBASTIAN: So I think, look, it's hard because there's sort of such a pattern when it comes to Russia attacking critical infrastructure and in certain instances in ways that have badly affected areas that are within their control. Don't forget Russia has occupied partially Kherson, Zaporizhzhia illegally annexed those regions.

Of course, the speculation is that the design was to try to thwart in some ways Ukraine's counteroffensive. If the plan is -- and we still don't know what the plan is -- but if the plan is to cross the Dnipro River and head south towards Crimea, towards the Sea of Azov to try to cut Russia's territory in half. Then obviously that is made to distantly harder by the type of flooding you are seeing around the Dnipro River.

I think, you know, some are speculating, certainly Russians are accusing Ukraine of doing this to cut off the water supply to Crimea, although the head of the reason says that they still have enough to go there. So, it is murky. I think if you look at the evidence, we can see from independent data that the water levels around the dam and reservoir behind it were at record levels in May. There is evidence from satellite imagery shows us damage to the dam in the days leading up. You can see there that the -- that bit of the roadway is intact on the dam and then just a few days later, it disappeared. We don't know what caused that, but obviously that will be a part of the investigations going forward.

NOBILO: And we heard from the British Prime Minister last night that the intelligence services are looking into it. So it's now a global effort to try and verify and ascertain exactly what happened here. Clare Sebastian, thank you so much.

Air India says it is sending a flight to pick up passengers stranded in Russia's far east. On Tuesday, an Air India flight from Delhi to San Francisco was diverted to Magadan, Russia due to technical issues with one of its engines. The plane thankfully landed safely with 216 passengers and 16 crew on board. U.S. State Department says they are likely Americans on the flight since it was headed to California.


A federal grand jury in southern Florida is set to hear from its next witness today in the investigation into Donald Trump's handling of classified documents. Sources first revealed the panel's existence to CNN on Tuesday. Another grand jury is already weighing evidence in the document's investigation in Washington. The special counsel could file charges in either of those jurisdictions.

Meanwhile, another source says former Trump White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows has testified before a grand jury investigating his former boss. CNN legal affairs correspondent Paula Reid has that story. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

PAULA REID, CNN LEGAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Former Trump White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows is not just a witness for special counsel Jack Smith, he is the witness. Why? Well, when it comes to the January 6th investigation, he was at the center of everything. The House Select Committee that looked into the event surrounding January 6th came to the conclusion that all roads led to Mark Meadows in and around the events on that day and the so-called pressure campaign on states and officials to try to overturn the results of the election.

Now when it comes to the investigation into the possible mishandling of classified document, Meadows increasingly appears to be a possibly critical witness there as well. Not only would he have been at the White House present when things were being packed up towards the end of the administration, but recent CNN reporting on a bombshell audio recording where Trump talks about having a classified document, reveals that that conversation was recorded by Meadows' auto biographers.

So clearly investigators could have a lot of different questions for Meadows in either investigation. But at this point it is unclear if he has spoken to investigators about both probes or just one.

But this certainly solves a long swirling question in Trump circles. They have been wondering what exactly is going on with Meadows. The former president tried to block Meadows from being able to testify citing executive privilege. He lost that fight. So it's expected that Meadows would testify, but there had been no communication between Meadows' attorneys and those for the former president. Leading to some concern about whether Meadows was indeed cooperating with investigators.

But at this point the fact that the special counsel has spoken to Meadows certainly signals that at least the classified document investigation is not only in its final phase but likely wrapping up sometime soon.

Paula Reid, CNN, Washington.


NOBILO: Ahead, an attorney is being accused of being a serial rapist who attacked women in Boston. How authorities revived a cold case and tracked him down.

Plus, the PGA commissioner announces a new partnership with Saudi backed LIV Golf and asked for a mulligan on human rights concerns.

And a historic day in court for Prince Harry who testified for hours and faced cross-examination in a phone hacking lawsuit. We'll have the latest on the trial.


(COMMERCIAL BREAK) NOBILO: Prince Harry will be back in court soon to finish his

testimony in a lawsuit against British tabloids. He faced hours of questioning on Tuesday including a cross-examination over phone hacking claims against Mirror Group Newspapers. Our Max Foster has the details.


MAX FOSTER, CNN ROYAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Prince Harry's years long battle with a tabloid press reaching its most dramatic moment yet, as he arrived at London's high court to testify in his landmark trial against British publisher Mirror Group Newspapers, MGN.

Court sketches showing a senior royal in a witness box for the first time in more than 130 years. Prince Harry's tell all memoir "Spare" and recent Netflix documentary have already detailed so many of the prince's grievances with the press, which he partly blames for his decision to leave the U.K. and life as a working Royal.

PRINCE HARRY, DUKE OF SUSSEX: I don't want history to repeat itself.

FOSTER (voice over): And while this is the Duke of Sussex's first-time giving evidence, it's just one of several lawsuits filed by him and his wife Meghan, in which they accused the British tabloids of breaches of privacy and publishing false stories.

The Duke of Sussex is central allegation in this case, the publisher's journalists hacked his phone and others in his circle and use other illicit means to gather information about his life between 1996 and 2009.

He alleges that about 140 articles published by MGN contained information gathered using unlawful methods. 33 of those articles including stories about his time at school in Eton, his gap year in Australia, and stories such as these about his first serious relationship with Chelsy Davy are being considered at the trial.

He says these invasions of privacy, especially when he was a minor, caused him distress and affected his mental health.

Speaking in court in a measured and hushed tone, Harry accused some British editors and journalists of having blood on their hands for the distress they caused him. And he added, perhaps, inadvertently death in reference to his mother, Princess Diana.

He faced forensic and detailed questioning from MGN's lawyer Andrew Green. Green questioned how the articles in Harry's witness statements could have caused him distress if the Duke was unable to specifically recall reading each article when they were published. Green also pressed Harry on whether the articles contained information that could only have been obtained through illegal means such as phone hacking.

Harry believes both the U.K.'s press and government are at rock bottom -- according to his witness statement. But his time in London isn't over yet. He's expected to continue giving evidence on Wednesday.

Max Foster, CNN, London.


NOBILO: CNN's Nada Bashir joins me from outside the courthouse here in London. Nada, what are we expecting to see today?

NADA BASHIR, CNN REPORTER: Well, this will be another round of fierce questions for Prince Harry on the second day of cross-examination. We saw yesterday, Prince Harry facing questions from MGN's lawyer Andrew Green. Going through periodically the articles submitted as part of his case, published between the early 1990s and 2011.


Articles that his lawyer says show the telltale signs of unlawful information gathering.

Now they managed to get through around 20 of those articles yesterday. There are still 30 more to get through. Prince Harry facing some pretty tough questions around the time line, around how he is sure that the information gathered here was gathered through unlawful means. We heard from Andrew Green, MGN's lawyers, telling Prince Harry that lot of this is in the realm of speculation. There were certainly tough questions. Andrew Green has been described by legal analyst as a beast in court. And Prince Harry will have to face another round of cross-examination.

But he maintains that he believes many of the information featured in the articles were gathered through unlawful means -- as you heard there in Max's report. In the key allegations there are phone hacking, interception of Prince Harry's voice mails, as well as that of those around him. Including other senior members of the royal family. As well as the alleged evidence of payments made to private investigators to glean information from Prince Harry's activities, as well as the activities of his late mother, Princess Diana. And he has spoken very vocally in the course of the impact this had on his life, on his mental health. He spoke about his circle of friends growing smaller and smaller, him suffering paranoia and bouts of depression. And we certainly expect to hear more details from him today -- Bianca.

NOBILO: Nada Bashir live outside London's High Court, thank you.

The U.S. Homeland Security Department has less than a week to decide how to address a request for immigration records for Prince Harry. A conservative think tank called the Heritage Foundation is pushing to see those records. The group questions whether officials processed the paperwork correctly since Prince Harry admitted in his memoir that he has used recreational grounds in the past. That can be grounds to reject a U.S. visa application. And the Heritage Foundation's lawyers see this case as part of a larger effort to address alleged noncompliance with immigration laws.

Republican Congressman George Santos has lost an attempt to shield the people who put up his $500,000 bond. A judge has ruled their names must become public and here's how Santos responded when asked by CNN why it's important to hide their identities. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MANU RAJU, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Mr. Santos, doesn't the public deserve to know who paid for your bail? Why won't you tell your constituents who paid $500,000 to keep you out of prison?

You can tell us about the $500,000?

REP. GEORGE SANTOS (R-NY): I'm not commenting on it, Manu.

RAJU: Why is it so important to protect their identities?

SANTOS: Because it is.


NOBILO: Santos was released on bond nearly a month ago after his indictment on wire fraud and money laundering charges. He's pleaded guilty to 13 federal counts. For now the cosigners' names will remain under seal while Santos decides if he'll appeal the judge's ruling.

In Boston, authorities say a 15-year manhunt for a serial rapist is over. The accused is now a New Jersey attorney. And detectives say that they tracked him down by using DNA and forensic genealogy. CNN's Jason Carroll has this story.


JASON CARROLL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Matthew Nilo, an attorney by trade in a Massachusetts court defending himself against allegations he is a serial rapist.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How do you plead to those offenses? Guilty or not guilty?

MATTHEW NILO: Not guilty.

CARROLL (voice-over): Nilo appeared stunned at times as prosecutors laid out their case alleging that about 15 years ago, he raped three women and tried to rape a fourth. Prosecutors say the attacks occurred in Boston's historic Charleston neighborhood. The victims, they say, between 23 and 44 years old at the time. The prosecutor detailing how she says Nilo trapped some of his victims.

LYNN FEIGENBAUM, SUFFOLK COUNTY ASSISTANT DISTRICT ATTORNEY: One is outside of the car, the male told her to shut up or he would kill her, and that he had a weapon. He flashed a small knife at her. He then drove to Terminal Street in Charlestown, where he ordered the victim out of the car, knocked her to the ground and raped her.

CARROLL (voice-over): Nilo, who is now 35, faces three counts of aggravated rape, two counts of kidnapping, one count of assault with intent to rape, and one count of indecent assault and battery.

KEVIN HAYDEN, SUFFOLK COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY: Investigators never stop analyzing evidence, collecting information, and running down leads in order to bring dangerous offenders to justice.

CARROLL (voice-over): Prosecutors say the investigation went cold for over a decade, until last year, when investigators were able to link DNA from the crimes to a genealogy database and zero in on Nilo, who had since moved from Boston and was living in New Jersey. They put him under surveillance and got the DNA sample they needed to make an arrest.

FEIGENBAUM: FBI agents were able to obtain various utensils and drinking glasses they watched the defendant use at a corporate event.

CARROLL: Nilo was arrested at this apartment building in Weehawken, New Jersey last week.


We tried to speak to his fiancee, who lives here at the building, but we were escorted off the property and told by the building's management that we were not allowed to speak with her.

CARROLL (voice-over): Nilo's attorney says his client maintains his innocence and may fight how investigators obtained evidence in the case.

JOSEPH CATALDO, MATTHEW NILO'S ATTORNEY: It seems that they obtain DNA evidence without ever obtaining a search warrant. If that turns out to be true, that's an issue that will be pursued vigorously.

CARROLL (voice-over): Legal experts say publicly accessible genealogy databases have become an effective source for investigators to link DNA from crime scenes to individuals. Law enforcement officials in Boston say without it, the arrest of Nilo may not ever have happened.

Jason Carroll, CNN, New York.