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Saudis Make Big Moves In Sports, Entertainment; Pope Undergoes Hernia Surgery; U.S. Cancer Centers Report Chemo Drug Shortages; Canadian Wildfires Create Dangerous Air Quality; Reanimated Hearts Work For Transplant; Urgent Rescues After Dam Collapse In Kherson Region. Aired 2-3a ET

Aired June 08, 2023 - 02:00   ET




PAULA NEWTON, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Hello everyone. And I'm Paula Newton. Ahead right here on CNN NEWSROOM. Rescuers are reportedly being shot by Russian forces as they try and save people stranded by catastrophic flooding from that dam breach in southern Ukraine.

Smoke from Canadian wildfires blots out the sun in New York City creating the worst air quality of any major city in the world.

And a game changer in the field of heart transplants. Reanimated hearts work just as well. It turns out and could make more organs available for patients in need.

ANNOUNCER: Live from CNN Center. This is CNN NEWSROOM with Paula Newton.

NEWTON: So, it is 9:00 in the morning in southern Ukraine where urgent rescues have been ongoing in a flooded Kherson region. Now two days it is after a critical dam collapse. The Ukrainian President calls the damage catastrophic and is issuing a plea to the international community for a clear and swift humanitarian response. Now more than 1900 homes are flooded. And Volodymyr Zelenskyy says Ukrainian forces are rescuing as many people as possible and that is despite Russian shelling.

So far more than 1500 residents have been evacuated from the Ukrainian-controlled areas of the region. And now the United Nations has stepped in to try and help as Ukraine claims. Russian forces are offering no help to get residents out of the areas occupied by Russia.


VOLODYMR ZELENSKYY, PRESIDENT OF UKRAINE (through translator): The situation in the occupied part of the Kherson region is absolutely catastrophic. The occupiers have simply abandoned the people in these dreadful conditions without rescue, without water, they are left on the rooftop and flooded communities.


NEWTON: Now as Ukraine and Russia accuse each other of being responsible for the Nova Kakhovka dam collapse, Ukraine is now investigating the destruction as a war crime and possible ecocide. CNN's Fred Pleitgen is in the flooded Kherson region and witnessed firsthand those rescue missions.


FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voiceover): Raging flood water with whole town submerged. This Ukrainian military drone video purports to show a family trapped in a Russian-controlled village pleading for help. But all the small drone can do is drop a bottle of water.

We went on a rescue mission in Kherson where the water levels are still rising.

PLEITGEN: So, these guys tell us that they've been at work here since last night. They said the work during the night was extremely difficult and that they're really tired but of course they have to keep going.

PLEITGEN (voiceover): They found this house abandoned but rescued three kittens. Roman Skandrakov (ph) tells me the volunteers face Russian shelling on nearly every sortie.

Of course, it's extremely dangerous, he says, especially today it's very loud. Russia and Ukraine continue to blame each other for the destruction of the Nova Kakhovka dam and hydroelectric power plant.

The Ukrainian say on their side alone, hundreds of thousands are without normal access to water and nearly 2000 homes are underwater. While the rescue efforts are hampered by the near constant artillery and mortar barrages.

We're working despite the possibility of us being shelled. We're taking risks every day Ukraine's interior minister tells me. We understand that this is war and it is very difficult to completely avoid a drone or incoming missile.

And that dangerous work is far from over. The authorities here say they expect there'll be busy all night getting more people to safety.

Fred Pleitgen, CNN, Kherson, Ukraine.


NEWTON: Now, as Russia has worn Ukraine takes a devastating toll on the people of the country. We're now getting a sense of the environmental costs here. According to a new report, the first 12 months of war have produced a total of 120 million metric tons of planet heating pollution. Now that's the amount that would come from 27 million gas powered cars driving for an entire year.

Researchers measured emissions from the warfare itself like weapons, productions and fuel for tanks and other equipment. And they also looked at impacts outside the war zone like the sabotage of the -- of the Nord Stream pipelines in September.


But the report actually says that the biggest chunk of pollution will come from the post-war reconstruction of Ukraine.

Seventy-five million people in the U.S. and millions more in Canada are breathing a noxious smoky haze spewed by wildfires in Canada. Now, this time lapse shows smoke engulfing New York City over a three-hour period, just three hours Wednesday afternoon. The skyline you can see nearly vanishes behind the thick orange haze by 2:00 p.m. Its air quality is the worst of any major city in the world and designated hazardous at the most severe level.

Now, the smoke is emanating mainly from more than 100 fires active in central Quebec. Officials warm the smoke could blanket and much of the U.S. and Canada in fact for the next several days. Authorities are urging people to stay inside and if you do go outside, use a mask. CNN Medical Correspondent Meg Tirrell has the latest now from New York.

MEG TIRRELL, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, experts tell us that the most vulnerable groups to wildfire smoke are kids, the elderly, pregnant people and those who have underlying lung or heart conditions. There are risks obviously of things like respiratory disease, asthma or COPD. There's also an increased risk for heart disease as a result of exposure to wildfire smoke, and there is a specific risk for pregnant people for a slightly increased risk of preterm birth.

So, there is really a recommendation to try to protect yourself. You know, doctors tell us that it's not just people with conditions or in these specific groups who could potentially be vulnerable. Even healthy folks could be at risk of developing asthma or COPD, depending on how much smoke they inhale and for how long. So really, the recommendation is that everybody should try to take precautions.

The American Lung Association saying "Iff you can see or smell smoke, know that you're being exposed, and they are really recommending folks should try to stay indoors as much as possible."

If they have to go outside experts recommend that you could wear a high-quality mask like an N-95 Or a KN-95. Those are things we're very familiar with from COVID, of course. And in the home experts really recommend good high quality air filters using HEPA filters. But they say even if those aren't available, shutting the windows running the air conditioning can be very helpful.

And of course, don't forget about animals as well. A lot of these warnings can apply to our pets, in addition, so we have to look out for that as well. Back over to you.

NEWTON: Our thanks to Meg Tirrell. Now, former U.S. Vice President Mike Pence launched his campaign for the White House Wednesday, setting up a showdown with his former boss Donald Trump. During a CNN Town Hall in the early voting state of Iowa, Pence spoke about how families are struggling with inflation. And he made a big push to rein in U.S. government spending. Listen.


MIKE PENCE (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm proud of everything that we did during our administration to come alongside families and businesses in the midst of the worst pandemic in 100 years. But hear this -- these Democrats came in and they just use the excuse of COVID for a gusher of spending and a wish list of liberal policy priorities. And American families have been paying the price cut ever since.

Well, the first thing we need to do, we need to get federal spending under control. I think we ought to impose a freeze on all non-defense discretionary spending across the board and we have to turn off all that unnecessary COVID spending.


NEWTON: Now earlier in the day, Mike Pence said different times call for different leadership and cast himself as a Reagan Republican looking to return America to conservative principles. CNN's Kyung Lah has a closer look at his campaign launch. And what came out of that town hall.

KYUNG LAH, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Former Vice President Mike Pence in his town hall we saw an unabashed conservative. Someone who took strong conservative positions. Someone who displayed his faith proudly. And then someone who was also running against the president he served under. Trying to do a high-wire act of separating himself from Donald Trump, yet trying to work on that legacy to parlay it into a strength.

And we saw this play out in the town hall as he tried to answer a question about the possible indictment against Trump in the classified documents case. Take a listen.


PENCE: Those classified, I had no business having classified documents in my residence. And I took full responsibility for it. President Biden had no business having him in his residence from when he was vice president as well. And the same with former President Trump. But I would just hope that there would be a way for them to move forward without the dramatic and drastic and divisive step of indicting a former president of the United States.

We've got to find a way to move our country forward and restore confidence in equal treatment under the law of this country.



LAH: That difficulty was also seen at the rally during those lies. The most forceful attacks against Donald Trump where he talked about the constitution trying to admonish Trump as being unfit for the presidency because of what happened on January 6. Those were not his strongest applause lies. There were some people in the crowd who were standing up, giving him a standing ovation and others who simply remained silent, underscoring the challenge ahead that lies for Mike Pence in Iowa.

Kyung Lah, CNN, Des Moines.

NEWTON: The U.S. Justice Department has informed Donald Trump that he is a target in its classified documents investigation. Now that's according to sources familiar with the matter. Legal experts say it's a clear sign prosecutors may be close to indicting the former president. And it's also an indication, the special counsel's investigation is focused on Trump's actions and not just the people around him.

Prosecutors are looking into Trump's handling of sensitive materials found at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida after he left the White House. FBI agents retrieved more than 100 classified documents in a search last August.

Prince Harry wraps up his appearance in a British court with a second day of testimony. What caused the Duke of Sussex to get emotional on the witness stand. That's just a head.


NEWTON: FBI agents have arrived in Peru to bring the prime suspect in the disappearance of Natalee Holloway back to the United States. Peru is temporarily transferring Joran van der Sloot to the U.S. to face charges of trying to extort Holloway's mother after her daughter vanished. He's already serving 28 years in a Peruvian prison for murdering another woman in his hotel room in 2012.

Holloway was lastly seen alive 18 years ago as she left a nightclub with van der Sloot and two other men in Aruba. Her body has never been found.

A gang of cybercriminals appears to have pulled off a massive hack potentially compromising data at hundreds of companies, agencies and organizations in the U.K., the U.S. and Canada. The hacker group Clop is known as Russian-speaking ransomware gang began last week to exploit a flaw in a widely used file transfer software called MOVEit. The BBC and British Airways are among the victims, but experts say there could be hundreds of organizations affected.

A dark web posting indicates Clop is getting victims until June 14th to discuss a ransom or it will start publishing the hacked data of those who don't respond. One cyber expert calls -- says Clop is likely overwhelmed by the number of victims.

Now it was an emotional day for Britain's Prince Harry as he concluded giving testimony and his phone hacking lawsuit against those British tabloids. He appeared uncomfortable during the continued cross examination where at times he clashed with a lawyer for Mirror Group Newspapers. CNN's Max Foster breaks down the day's events for us.


MAX FOSTER, CNN ROYAL CORRESPONDENT: Day two of Prince Harry's evidence and we saw more details emerge of his accusations against Mirror Group Newspapers as well as one point of pretty emotional display from the Royal. He was again cross examined by the lawyer for MGN Andrew Green on dozens of stories which Harry says were obtained using illegal means by the group's journalists, including phone hacking.

At one point he alleged that the private investigator working for MGN fitted a tracking device in the car of former girlfriend Chelsy Davy. He described an article in the now defunct British magazine, the People that gave great detail on a private conversation between him and his father. Now King Charles, saying that kind of article just perpetuated feelings of distrust within all of my relationships.

Harry highlighted this picture, an article published by the Sunday Mirror in 2007, which shows him dropping Davy off in a private road near Kensington Palace. He said he was suspicious of the means by which the photographer knew about this location, and it posed a security risk. One by one, the court went through articles published in the 1990s and 2000s. Harry detailing his suspicions about how the information was sourced.

Green would then point to legitimate ways MGN reporters could have gathered information on him such as via Palace spokespeople. He repeatedly accused Harry of entering into the realms of speculation, and it's this accusation that led to Harry's only real show of emotion in his two-day appearance. Later, he was questioned by his own lawyer about how it felt to be repeatedly accused of speculating, having to sit through so much cross examination.

Harry paused for a long time and got visibly choked up. Harry's evidence finished early in the afternoon and the court then heard from Jane Kerr, a former Mirror journalist who wrote many of the articles Harry identified in his testimony. Kerr has been defending her stories and has denied using any illegitimate means to obtain information. MGN is contesting all of Harry's claims saying he lacks evidence or they've been brought too late.

Harry said in court today that he would feel some injustice if he and other claimants lost their case. We'll have to wait a while to hear the result, though the hearing is expected to go on for another three weeks or so. Max Foster, CNN London.

NEWTON: Still ahead for us. Golfer Rory McIlroy is speaking his mind about the sports in partnership telling reporters I hate LIV Golf. That's not the end of the story. Stay with us.


NEWTON: Ukrainian press Volodymyr Zelenskyy is issuing an urgent plea to the international community requesting a clear and swift humanitarian response following the devastating dam collapse in the South.


Now, he calls the damage there catastrophic. But despite the growing humanitarian and ecological disaster, I mean, it's apparent if you just see it there. The fighting on the frontlines. It just hasn't stopped. Ukraine's Deputy Defense Minister is reporting gains around the eastern city of Bakhmut which she says remains the epicenter of hostilities. CNN's Sam Kiley has more now.


SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voiceover): Ukraine's 3rd Assault Brigade is in action near Bakhmut. And they claim they're making advances around the city. But their attack is dependent on Soviet-era weapons. Modern equipment from the USA and NATO is apparently being held in reserve for Ukrainian offensive.

Do you have a name for your grad?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (text): This truck's called Pensioner.

KILEY: Is it good enough for this fight?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (text): It's good enough. But I'd like something never.

KILEY (voiceover): Ukraine gets no help at all with aircraft. Not so far. This Soviet-era helicopter is ancient, but in combat almost every day. Flying dangerously low to avoid missiles and Russian jet Hunter killers.

SERHIY, PILOT, UKRAINIAN ARMED FORCES (text): These helicopters are probably older than my parents and maybe even like my grandparent's age. To fly them, they are very reliable machines.

KILEY (voiceover): This aircraft will fly more sorties as fighting intensifies in a relentless cycle of war. Ukraine has now got added rage at what it's calling a Russian Ecocide. This part of Kherson has suffered Russian bombardment across the river for months. Now near total destruction from up river. Russia is widely blamed for the collapse of the Nova Kakhovka which has been under its control since March last year.

Civilians who survived the Russian occupation of their town and an offensive to free it and now facing down a new horror. Thousands have no drinking water. Here a drone delivers help, an adaptation of a system originally designed not to save life, but to take it.

Sam Kiley, CNN in eastern Ukraine.


NEWTON: One of the most successful golfers on the PGA Tour is speaking out about the new partnership with LIV Golf. Now Rory McIlroy says he still needs a lot of answers, but feels the move will eventually be good for the game. McIlroy became one of the leading critics of LIV Golf when it launched a year ago. At the time Tiger Woods had players who joined LIV turned their backs on the organization that helped them succeed. McIlroy now says he has mixed emotions.


RORY MCILROY, PROFESSIONAL GOLFER: I still hate LIV. Like I hate LIV. Like I hope it goes away. And I fully expect that it does. It's hard for me to not sit up here and feel somewhat like a sacrificial lamb and, you know, feeling like I've put myself out there and this is what happens. Again, removing myself from the situation. I see how this is better for the game of golf. There's no denying that.


NEWTON: OK. So, after a year of criticizing LIV Golf, PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan is now defending the new partnership on the Golf Channel Wednesday. He said a lot of players were shocked by the news. But said he's trying to convince them of the positives. Listen.


JAY MONAHAN, PGA TOUR COMMISSIONER: I understand the criticism I'm receiving around the hypocrisy and me being hypocritical given my commentary and my actions over, you know, over the last couple of years. I'm confident that we've done something that's in the best interests of our sport, and ultimately in the best interests of PGA tour members.


NEWTON: So the new partnership is just the latest example of Saudi Arabia exerting its influence on the world stage.

CNN International Diplomatic editor Nic Robertson has our report.


NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR (voiceover): Whether it's gobbling up Golf rates or signing yet another global soccer star, or setting oil price trends, Saudi cutting production by one million barrels a day or in diplomacy. Secretary of State Antony Blinken's three-day visit, many roads now seem to lead to Riyadh. U.S. relations with the desert kingdom have been rocky.

President Biden making democracy and human rights a core issue. But increasingly Saudis Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, setting his own agenda.

Blinken hoping to thought U.S.-Saudi tensions and build on recent cooperation hoping both Yemen and Sudan and internal conflicts.


Ahead of his arrival, Blinken putting Israel on his agenda too. ANTONY BLINKEN, UNITED STATES SECRETARY OF STATE: The United States has a real national security interest in promoting normalization between Israel and Saudi Arabia. We believe that we can. And indeed, we must play an integral role in advancing it.

ROBERTSON (voiceover): Blinken's days long visit meeting not just Saudi officials, but regional and other diplomats too, discussing ISIS and Africa and Asia, and likely Iran's nuclear enrichment program as well as Russia's war in Ukraine, or point Saudis growing influence.

Monday, the Crown Prince hosted Venezuela's president. Tuesday, Iran reopened its diplomatic mission in Riyadh. Thanks in part two bin Salman strengthening ties with China.

Last month, he hosted Ukraine's President Zelenskyy, hopes to help broke a piece there one day. Whether diplomacy or sport, MBS is thinking big. Eye-poppingly big. Listen to the Saudi private investment fund governor who bankrolled Saudis LIV Golf Tour, explain Saudis growing influence in the world of golf.

YASIR AL-RUMAYYAN, SAUDI PIF GOVERNOR: The potential there is really big. I mean, if you look at the size of golf of monetary wise, it's about 100 billion today. And I think the growth is there.

ROBERTSON (voiceover): From Formula One to boxing to music festivals. MBS is reimagining his kingdom. As strange as it seems to many outside the region outraged at the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, bin Salman is offering his population entertainment unimaginable a decade ago, when religious conservatives he banished held sway. At home, his rebranding of Saudi Arabia has gained traction, albeit detractors' rich jail if they speak out.

Significantly, however, he has yet to persuade the world he can be trusted.

Nic Robertson, CNN, London.


NEWTON: Joining us now from Dubai, Middle East Correspondent for The Wall Street Journal, Stephen Kalin. And I will say I don't think there are many people better place than you to kind of explain to us what the kingdom's goals may be here. You are usually based in Riyadh. You know, how do you rate what's happened in the kingdom over the last few years? And what's the grand plan here for Saudi Arabia's future?

STEPHEN KALIN, FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: Yes. It's been a tremendously busy two years, and especially the last few months, the Crown Prince has been on a bit of a diplomatic spree, you know, at least starting in March with restoring ties with Iran, in the deal brokered by China. And it's just gone on and on from there. And so, I think what we've been seeing over the past few years is Saudi Arabia, that is trying to stand on its own feet being more autonomous, more self-reliance, and in some ways that serves U.S. interests.

With the Secretary's visit this week, there are lots of areas of common interest. But there are also areas of friction because the Kingdom is moving in some directions and pursuing some policies, for instance, getting closer to, you know, deepening its relationship with China maintaining ties with Russia that concerns Washington. And so, there are also points of friction at the same time.

NEWTON: Yes. And one of those points of friction, of course, is human rights. Some of the conditions that kingdom will say have improved. But will this be a hallmark of this kind of reimagining of what Saudi Arabia will be? Do you see that happening? Because to make a fine point of it, everything from women's rights, as you know, all too well, to freedom of expression, executions. These are all human rights abuses that continue at this hour in Saudi Arabia.

KALIN: Yes. And I mean, Wall Street Journal reported ahead of Lincoln's visit, that one of the things he was planning to bring up privately with the Crown Prince and other Saudi officials was some of these -- some of the ongoing human rights issues. When President Biden was in Jeddah, last summer, that was one of the points that he raised and sort of defined as one of the U.S. interests in this relationship.

But there are -- it continued to be very important security interests. There's a meeting today about the with the counter-ISIS coalition. That's just one example. There's also very deep business interests, economic and trade relationships. And so, I think, you know, it will continue to be most likely a point that that visitors like Secretary of State bring up in these -- in these meetings.


But it's not clear that it's going to, you know, it seems like the relationship is moving forward in other areas, despite some ongoing concerns.

NEWTON: Yes, and the West complicity in all of this is pretty glaring, starting with President Biden. I mean, he promised when elected that he would make the Kingdom of Pariah it makes Saudi Arabia a Pariah. Instead, his administration is courting the Kingdom again. You know, what would the Biden administration say to us about this, that it's a necessary evil, that energy security and global security are at this point, much more important?

KALIN: I think it's been, you know, up and down road, for the -- for the Biden relationship with the Saudis. You know, there was the first year and a half. I mean, when the President came into office. One of his first moves was to freeze arm sales to the Saudis, made resolving the Yemen crisis, the end of the war, a top priority. And for a year and a half, there was a lot of friction and not a lot of progress in many areas.

I think the war Ukraine probably had a lot to do with moving that relationship past that point where it was sort of stuck. The President's visit last summer seemed to go a long way. There have been stops and starts including on the oil issue, which is -- which has a connection to Russia, of course. But it seems like they're, you know, they're trying to maintain some pressure where they can on issues, human rights issues, and others that are important. But recognizing that, you know, in order to engage with the Middle East, you need to be talking to the Saudis.

NEWTON: Yes, you do wonder what's possible here on the diplomatic end, and at certain point in time, it's going to be all hands-on deck for the next issue. I'm about to raise with you is your colleague Evan Gershkovich remains in detention in Moscow. The State Department has declared that he is wrongfully detained. He's now had his detention extended until August 30th. I mean, what are you and your colleagues hoping for at this point in terms of bringing pressure to bear to actually win Evan's release?

KALIN: Yes, I mean, we continue to try to keep Evan's case in focus and to keep pressure on the administration. Because, you know, this -- we continue to insist that everyone was doing his job as a journalist, and as being held on bogus charges. And so, the only thing that's acceptable really is for him to be released. We're hoping that the administration we're very pleased with how quickly he was -- he was designated as wrongfully detained, that opens up a lot of resources for the administration to pursue getting him out. And to be continue to insist that they do everything in their power to do that.

NEWTON: Yes, for all of us who have reported from Russia, nothing could be more important at this point in time and that Evan is free very, very soon. And we continue to offer our support in that endeavor. Stephen Kalin for us. Thanks so much for the analysis, appreciate it.

KALIN: Thank you.

NEWTON: Pope Francis is back in hospital recovering from yet another abdominal surgery. A live report from Rome on the Pope's health next.



NEWTON: Doctors in Rome say Pope Francis is awake and fine after hernia surgery. He's expected to remain in hospital for about 10 days. The Pope who is 86 has been fragile health for years with numerous painful ailments. CNN's Jim Bittermann is in Rome with our report.


JIM BITTERMANN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voiceover): A Day after Pope Francis made a surprise trip to the Gemelli Hospital in Rome. He was back in, this time for surgery. And the man who performed the operation said it all went well.

DR. SERGIO ALFIERI, SURGEON, GEMELLI HOSPITAL: This surgical operation and the general associate were well-treated by the Pope. Now he's awake and he's fine. And he's already at work.

BITTERMANN (voiceover): It's the second time this year the 86-year-old Pope has worried the faithful, after spending four days in the hospital in March for bronchitis. And it's the second time he's had abdominal surgery in two years. This time the Vatican says he was placed under general anesthesia, so doctors could repair the hernia. The Vatican said was causing recurrent painful and worsening symptoms. Medical sources say it's probably related to the surgery that the Pope had to remove half his colon in 2021. The Pontiff has been dogged with health issues for years. He often uses a cane or a wheelchair due to the pain in his right knee. He also suffers from chronic sciatica which has caused him to cancel engagements. As the surgery went on, the faithful and even non-Catholic showed concern.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, I'm not Catholic, but he's an important person and he does a lot of good. And I hope he does well, and he recovers quickly.

BITTERMANN (voiceover): But the recovery period could be long. The Vatican has preventatively cancelled the Pope's audiences and events until June 18th. Even so afterwards, he'll need to be fully recovered because he has big summer plans. First to Portugal in August for World Youth Day, where he'll spend a grueling four days meeting with young Catholics from all over the world and visiting the shrine of Fatima. And then, to Mongolia at the end of August. Jim Bittermann, CNN Rome.


NEWTON: CNN Senior Vatican Analyst John Allen is editor of Crux, and he joins us now live from Rome. Really good to see you, John. You know, it always makes me laugh of the Pope sense of humor there. He said in Jim's report when asked how he's doing he said, I'm still alive. So, he obviously takes us in his stride. But how do you assess the Pope's overall ability to push through these significant health struggles? You know, given how ambitious he is for his own schedule?

JOHN ALLEN, CNN SENIOR VATICAN ANALYST: Well, in a word part of the answer to the question of, you know, how do we assess the Pope's ability to bounce back? The word would be remarkable. And Paula, this is not our first rodeo, right? In terms of concerns about the Pope's health, as Jim Bittermann package indicated. You know, he had a colon surgery two years ago. He's had an operation to remove cataracts from his eyes.

He's been confined to a wheelchair on a cane because of his sciatica and his knee problems. As a young man, he had part of his lung removed and on and on yet, in every instance, he seems to bounce back stronger than ever. I mean, there is a determination and a resilience about this Pontiff, that it's just, it's truly remarkable. Now, of course, you know, at some point, the end will come, it has to for everyone. But I certainly would not say that anyone who was counting trans is out right now he's making the smart bet.

NEWTON: Yes, that's such a good point, as you said. He's been through a lot. You know, this is a Pope though, that has said that, look, if I can no longer do the job that the way he wants to do it, that he would step down in a fashion. I'm not exactly sure what that would look like. And yet when you see him now pushing through all of this, how important do you think it is for him to really continue in his position with rigor?

ALLEN: Well, Paula, let's bear in mind that this is a Pope with a strong sense of unfinished business. He has launched this process called a Senate to try to make the church a more listening and participatory governance system. He's got a big meeting in Rome this October and another one next October. We heard in Jim's package; he's got some very important upcoming trips. We also know, he is trying to be a peacemaker in the conflict in Ukraine.

So, I think this is not a Pope who believes that he's already checked off all the items on his to do list. Let's also bear in mind, Paula, that this is a Pope who said that yes, he would be prepared to resign if he was incapacitated. But he's also said that you don't need legs to run the Catholic Church. All you need is a brain, and we have no indication right now that his brain is in any sense impaired.


NEWTON: It is such a good point and I have seen him. You've seen him up close. I saw him in Canada last year. He sends -- he tends to send out such a message of empathy. People know they can see the times he's even in pain. But they do appreciate all the travel. John, I have to leave it there for now, but really good to see you. Now, many of America's largest Cancer Treatment Centers say they're seeing disturbing shortages of life saving drugs. The national survey of more than two dozen cancer facilities found, more than 90 percent of them had been impacted by dwindling drug supplies. Especially if two medications commonly used together to treat many different kinds of cancer.

Now, the FDA says it's working with Chinese and Canadian drug makers, to help restock U.S. supplies. Researchers believe reanimated hearts could be a viable way to provide more organs to patients in need of a transplant. Now, that's according to a new study in the New England Journal of Medicine. Now, usually only hearts from donors who are declared brain dead are used but surgeons at Duke University conducted a trial using hearts from people experiencing circulatory death or simply put their heart stop beating after removing life support. Donation after circulatory death is becoming more popular in the U.K. and Spain. But some U.S. doctors still have reservations. The Duke University team says this could in fact be a game changer, listen.


DR. CARMELO MILANO, HEART TRANSPLANT SURGEON, DUKE HEART TRANSPLANT CLINIC: Our center has experienced significant increases in heart transplant volume and other centers that have begun to use DCD donors have shown up to a 30 percent increase in the total heart transplant volume. So, this is the biggest change in terms of new potential donors that the treatment has seen since really since its inception.


NEWTON: Out of nearly 200 people in the trial who received the reanimated heart 94 percent were still alive six months later. I'm Paula Newton, "WORLD SPORT" is next. I'll be back though with more CNN NEWSROOM at the top of the hour.