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CNN International: Spanish Prosecutor Files Sexual Assault Complaint Against Rubiales; Ukraine Submits Proposal to Restore Grain Corridor; Hong Kong Sees Heaviest Rainfall in 140 Years; Freddie Mercury Auction Rakes in Over $15 Million. Aired 8-8:30a ET

Aired September 08, 2023 - 08:00   ET




MAX FOSTER, CNN ANCHOR: Hello and welcome to CNN "Newsroom", I'm Max Foster in London. Just ahead, as the G20 summit in India is about to kick off the real story isn't, who's coming. But who is coming, who isn't coming we're live in New Delhi. Under the ground but safe for now we here for the first time from an American trapped in one of Turkey's deepest caves.

And a week ago, Hong Kong was being battered by Typhoon now with humbled by extreme rainfall. Just how bad is it? We start with breaking news a Spanish prosecutor has filed a complaint against the embattled Spanish Football Federation President for sexual assault and coercion.

After the Spanish team won the women's world cup nearly three weeks ago Luis Rubiales kiss player Jenni Hermoso. During the award ceremony, she says she did not consent to that kiss. World Sport's Amanda Davies is here with more. How significant is this move, Amanda?

AMANDA DAVIES CNN WORLD SPORT: Well, Max, it is another step on this journey and to this story. Luis Rubiales still hasn't been charged with anything. But what we know is that the Spanish prosecutors have really revealed what they are investigating him for. They have put a name to a crime that they are investigating.

And that is, as you said, for the crimes of sexual assault and coercion against Jennifer Hermoso. It was revealed at a couple of weeks ago that the Spanish prosecutors Spain's top criminal courts were looking into the incident that happened in the wake of Spain's World Cup, winning trophy celebrations.

That unsolicited kiss, as you talked about that Luis Rubiales has always said was consensual. Jenni Hermoso has said were not they spoke we know too the player herself. Earlier this week, she filed an official complaint that was revealed by the prosecutors they told us on Tuesday that they were going to process that testimony as soon as possible.

And this is the next step on that journey. And really where we are now is that this is a case from the footballing world which has moved into the legal and criminal sphere but it may still have more ramifications for Luis Rubiales in that footballing context he has been suspended.

As we know by world football's governing body FIFA from all football related activities for 90 days. But as things down he has refused to resign himself from his position as Head of the Spanish Federation. Now the Spanish sporting tribunal had been looking at ways perhaps to remove him up to this point.

They've said that his crimes were serious, but not very serious. Perhaps this latest development might mean that he reaches that bar that they might be able to take some action themselves, Max.

FOSTER: Amanda, thank you so much for that update back with you later with more of course. A short time from now though, U.S. President Joe Biden will touch down in New Delhi for this year's G20 summit will be the first stop on a four day trip to Asia. Once you've arrived. You'll hold a bilateral meeting with host Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The summit is notable this year for two major absences though that's the Chinese President Xi Jinping and the Russian President Vladimir Putin. Jeremy Diamond is in New Delhi and joins us alive. The relationship with India is also crucial at this time with those other nations in mind, isn't it?

JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: No doubt about it. We have seen President Biden and the Indian Prime Minister try and tighten that relationship between these two countries. Today's bilateral meeting which will come just moments after President Biden touches down here in New Delhi will be another opportunity for these two leaders to tighten that relationship.

And perhaps to expand upon some of the commercial and security agreements that we saw them agreed to just a couple months ago when the Indian Prime Minister visited the White House for a state visit. Notably, though, there will be no press in the room to witness this meeting between the Indian Prime Minister and President Biden.

That is despite the fact that Senior U.S. officials including the National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, press their Indian counterparts to allow press into the room. This is an issue that will simply highlight India's terrible record on press freedoms here in the country.


Now President Biden will have a packed agenda after that G20 meetings over these next couple of days on issues ranging from climate change to developments but there's no question that while President Biden said that he's disappointed the Chinese President Xi Jinping will not be attending these meetings.

Privately, U.S. officials say that Xi's absence will in fact provide an opening, an opportunity perhaps, for President Biden to make more forcefully the case that he had already planned to make here. And that is that the United States is, and should continue to be a strong partner for developing countries across the world.

The President will come here armed with reforms to the World Bank additional funding billions of dollars in new funding that he is proposing for the World Bank. And the message essentially is as China tries to present itself as a leader of the developing world that the U.S. is a more reliable partner, a more shore partner and one that is showing its commitment by showing up here in New Delhi, Max.

FOSTER: OK, Jeremy Diamond in New Delhi, thank you. We're hearing more details from the American man who was trapped inside one of Turkey's deepest caves we're hearing directly from him. 40 year old Mark Dickey fell ill at about 1100 meters below the surface with gastrointestinal bleeding.

Turkish officials say the operation to lift Dickey out could begin tomorrow and take four days. More than 180 workers from several countries are on site. The good news is that Dickey is up in alert he's walking as well. As you can see, he spoke in a video shared by Turkish officials.


MARK DICKEY, RESEARCHER TRAPPED IN TURKISH CAVE: Mark Dickey from nearly 1000 meters. I want to thank everyone that's down here and think the response of the caving community. The caving world is a really tight knit group. And it is amazing to see how many people have responded on the surface.


FOSTER: Nada joins us with more on this complex rescue. I mean, it would be quite easy for someone like him to get out because he's got the skills but you can't press a stomach.

NADA BASHIR, CNN REPORTER: Exactly that is the concern because of the injuries that he has suffered. This is going to take far longer than it would typically take for an experienced caver like Mark Dickey. We've heard from the Turkish caving authority they say typically it would take around 15 to 16 hours in ideal conditions, but these are far from ideal conditions.

And as you mentioned, that rescue effort, the attempt to lift Dickey out from beneath this cave is expected to begin tomorrow they have been waiting for a couple of days in order to ensure that he is in a good and stable condition. He is said to be in a stable condition as you saw there at base camp.

But of course, because of the injuries that he has suffered the gastrointestinal bleeding that he has suffered, there is concern around putting pressure on his stomach. So that will be a key priority for rescuers. He will need assistance through the narrow and winding passages of this case but we heard from Dickey in a video message.

And he did speak to this and said that he is expecting to work with these rescuers who will be supporting. Take a listen.


DICKEY: I look forward to working with everyone to see, if we get myself out with your assistance on as you can see on me up on alert I'm talking but I'm not healed on the inside yet. So I need a lot of help to get out of here.


BASHIR: And of course we have seen an outpouring of support from teams from across the globe. This is expected to take several days but all eyes of course will be watching to see this rescue effort over the next couple of days.

FOSTER: Obviously we'll be talking a bit more about it as well with an expert later in the show. Turning now to Russia's war on Ukraine and a proposal by Kyiv intended to circumvent. Moscow, after dropped down to the U.N. brokered Grain Deal.

During an interview with local media, the Ukrainian ambassador said an official proposal has been submitted to Turkey to restore a corridor in the Black Sea used for exports but he said Russia would not be involved. Moscow withdrew from the agreement in July.

Meanwhile, Britain says it will discuss ways around Russia's grain blockade the G 20 summit this weekend. CNN's Nic Robertson joins me now. I mean, it's very difficult to make anything work without the full approval of Russia, isn't it?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: It has been, because Russia has that threat of violence. But I think that meeting between President Erdogan and President Putin in Sochi this week and what President Putin has said as the premium for Russia to reenter the Grain Deal, which is rolling back some of the sanctions that have been placed on Russia.

Its, access to the Swift international money transfer, financial institutions, its ability to get the revenues that it wants for its own grain and fertilizer exports that have been part of this deal. So Ukraine is saying that's blackmail and Ukraine is putting forward an alternate proposal which is basically stay closer to the coast in Romanian and Bulgarian and Turkish waters rather than international waters, which were part of that previous deal.

So that's a method that's been used four times over the past month or so since Russia pulled out of the deal. It's been used for ships that had been stuck since before the war to get out of Ukrainian ports, and get back on the high seas.


So it's a proven route, but not proven for grain yet and that's what Ukraine is pushing forward for and we've heard from the British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, saying, this notion, this support for an alternate method is something that he'll be speaking about putting forward Ukraine's position reminding the world. That since Russia pulled out of that deal it's destroyed 26 different grain storage facilities inside Ukraine. That's a significant number. That it is effectively cut by one-third Ukraine's ability to store grain that remind the world that prior to the blockade on the war, that Ukraine was exporting two-thirds of its grain to the developing parts of the world.

So there's going to be a very clear diplomatic push to get broader support for what Ukraine is trying to do here. But on top of that, British Insurers, Lloyd say that there weren't going to be continuing to work with the U.N. to provide that vital shipping insurance that was so, key for the last deal.

And support the U.N. in whatever it tries to do going forward. Perhaps with Ukraine's own potential alternate method here, Max.

FOSTER: OK. Nic Robertson, thank you. Now they've been keeping weather records in Hong Kong for 140 years and they've never seen as much rain as has hit the city in the past 24 hours. More than 100 people have been injured due to flooding as the skies opened up and dumped three months' worth of rain in just one day. Kristie Lu Stout has more.

KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It is a day of severe disruption here in Hong Kong as the heaviest rain since records began in 1884 has effectively shut down this city. A highest level black rainstorm warning was put into effect Thursday evening 11:05 pm local time. And that's why I'm reporting from home. All residents have been advised to shelter indoors.

Schools are closed, a number of bus routes and roads are closed the Hong Kong stock exchange is closed. Earlier we heard from the Hong Kong observatory that issued an advisory saying this "People should stay away from watercourses. Residents living in close proximity to rivers should stay alert to weather conditions and should consider evacuation if their homes may become flooded."

Now we've been monitoring and vetting dramatic video that's been circulating online showing both dilutes and the damage. In this video you see an example of how a Hong Kong street has been transformed into a river with cars including Hong Kong's iconic red taxis submerged in floodwater.

And in this clip, you see the impact of the black rain from the perspective of resident rainwater seeping into the stairway of an apartment building after the street is flooded outside and in this final video, a dramatic rescue. A person had to be taken out of a partially submerged vehicle by Hong Kong firefighters.

Heavy rain also reported in southern China including the mega city of Shenzhen. We have learned that authorities their plan to discharge excess water from its reservoir on Friday and that could potentially worsen the flooding situation in northern Hong Kong, including the northern new territories.

This is just the latest extreme weather to hit Hong Kong or we could go this area was pummeled by Typhoon Saola, which was the strongest typhoon to hit the city in five years. Kristie Lu Stout CNN, Hong Kong.

FOSTER: Friday marks one year since the death of Queen Elizabeth the second gun salutes have been held in both London and Edinburgh to mark the accession. The King Charles whilst union flags will be flown on government buildings. The King and Queen are in Balmoral where they attended a private memorial to remember the Queen and spoke to a few people outside after.

And still to come desperate rescue mission in one of Turkey's deepest caves what it will take to get an ailing American Explorer to the service, when we return.



FOSTER: As we mentioned earlier, cave rescue in Turkey has people rooting for a swift rescue. Though that might not happen, straight away more than 180 people from several countries have been to get American Mark Dickey out of one of Turkey's deepest caves. He fell ill at about 1100 meters below the surface.

The Turkish Caving Federation says the rescue mission is a tricky one because the cave is deep and narrow once started could take about four days. Yaman Ozakin serves on the board of Turkey's Cave Rescue Commission and joins us to explain just how complex this rescue operation is.

Thank you so much for joining us. Is it complex because of the route he has to take or because of, you know, the fact he's got these particular injuries?

YAMAN OZAKIN, CAVE RESCUE COMMISSION OF TURKEY: It's complex because of the sheer size of the operation that needs to be conducted to get Mark out of the cave. He's down at 1040 meters. And for a healthy person, to get out of that place is an effort in and of itself.

And if Mark needs to be hauled out of the cave, stretcher, that's going to take special rope, special rigging and a whole lot of coordination between hundreds of people and surface operations. So it's a big operation.

FOSTER: How many people are involved in how did you get them together?

OZAKIN: So right now, there are 142 rescue personnel on the ground and under the ground. We are as a federation, we are part of the European cave rescue group, we informed them and the government agency AFAD coordinated the whole logistics and the whole operation is running under AFAD.

And the foreign rescue teams keep coming in. And they are conducting the tech they are directing the technical part of the operation inside the cave.

FOSTER: As you say it's very likely it's going to have to come out on a stretcher. But isn't that almost impossible, with some of the bends in the route out?

OZAKIN: It's been done before in 2014, there was a rescue from a cave with similar depth in Germany called the Resending cave. In that case, the victim was 1000 meters depth, and he was taken out in about two weeks in a stretcher. So it's not exactly the same situation, the cave is different.

Narrow passages can prove more challenging in this case. So it's not possible to say an exact time but it is possible.

FOSTER: Do you think it could take more than two weeks then?

OZAKIN: It could, yes. It depends on a whole lot of unknowns, which will only come out during the operation. Mark might need to take some breaks during the operation of taking him out of the cave. Also, there could be the enlargement of the narrow passages could take some time, which is what's being done currently.

So there are a lot of unknown so it could take in the order of a few weeks.

FOSTER: Or two which could -- .

OZAKIN: And that's good considering the difficulties.


OZAKIN: It's actually amazing that it's possible to do it in such a short time.

FOSTER: And that he's in such good spirits at least at the moment. Yaman Ozakin really appreciate your time and our best your team and massive operation.

OZAKIN: Thank you.

FOSTER: Coming up, the days of the family farm in the U.S. seem to be dwindling now.


Lawmakers are concerned about who is taking in that place, details after the break.


FOSTER: Some U.S. lawmakers are concerned by what they see as a disturbing new trend the purchase of U.S. farmland by Chinese businesses. Some members of Congress are moving to restrict the purchases fearing the potential influence of the Chinese government. CNN's David Culver has the story.


DAVID CULVER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Just a couple of hours into our drive from Seattle, we start to see the markings of American pride Stars and Stripes lining the highways of rural Washington State. This is part of the agricultural backbone that keeps us fed.

But as we look closer here, we find what might be for America is in some cases, non-American.

REP. DAN NEWHOUSE (R-WA): This is something we've kind of woken up to and thought we should do something.

CULVER (voice-over): Dan Newhouse splits his time between Sunnyside Washington working as a hops farmer and the other Washington where he serves on Congress's recently created Select Committee on the CCP.

CULVER: I think a lot of folks Congressman would look at where we are and say, how does that relate to the committee that focuses on the Chinese Communist Party?

NEWHOUSE: I think there's a huge connection. We've seen a tremendous increase in the number of acres for instance, being purchased by Chinese businesses. The increase in the investments has grown by a factor of 10 over the last decade.

CULVER (voice-over): A sharp rise he worries will continue.

NEWHOUSE: But the one thing that people need to understand is China's not an ally. They're an adversary.

CULVER (voice-over): Lawmakers on both sides fear that with control of U.S. farmland, China could manipulate U.S. food supply, surveil sensitive military sites, or even steal valuable intellectual property. China's Foreign Ministry says the U.S. is playing off of unwarranted national security fears to discriminate.

We drive about an hour from Sunnyside to see how close the business ties to China are?

CULVER: You ready to see the sign? It's called Syngenta. This is a seed and pesticides manufacturer. It's one of the largest in the world. Let me show you something else. As you look from the outside here. Nothing about this suggests that it's for known in fact you can even see that right there. It's an American flag that's flying.

CULVER (voice-over): Syngenta is headquartered in Switzerland, but owned by ChemChina, which is 100 percent Chinese state controlled and designated last year by the Defense Department as a military company. It's CEO, a Former Government Official and member of the Chinese Communist Party.

Syngenta is operating here legally, and neither it, nor its parent company has been accused of wrongdoing. In a statement to CNN they stressed that Syngenta has approximately 4400 U.S. employees in 43 states and all its activities are conducted on fields and farms in the U.S. to benefit American farmers.

Newhouse is sponsoring a house bill that would heavily vet and restrict future investment from Chinese entities. A similar effort passed the Senate in July and more than two dozen states have either passed or proposed their own restrictions on foreign ownership of land.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They were all family. Now there are no families left.

CULVER (voice-over): The restrictions on certain foreign investment could mean fewer options for family farms facing increased financial pressures and needing to sell.


CULVER: Would you be hesitant in selling to any sort of foreign group that's coming in even if it was a Chinese own company.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I wouldn't like it. But money is money, if they're the only check that he got when he got to do.

CULVER (voice-over): The legislation could also have wider consequences.

CULVER: One of the biggest counter arguments is oh, that's going to lead to xenophobia, right? That's going to create a prejudice to that you say.

NEWHOUSE: I think we can make that distinction between the Chinese people in the Chinese Communist Party. And we're not looking at trying to create an anti-Chinese settlement in our country. We're just trying to be smart about how we respond to the Communist Chinese.

CULVER (on camera): Amidst increasingly polarized U.S. population efforts seen as tough on China, particularly leading into the 2024 elections are among the very few areas in which both Democrats and Republicans find agreement, common ground shared or what they consider to be a common adversary, David Culver, CNN, New York.


FOSTER: Finally, dozens of items once owned by musician Freddie Mercury raked in more than $15 million at a Sotheby's Auction. The price this item was a baby grand piano, the fetch over $2 million. Mercury uses it to compose many of Queen's hits including Bohemian Rhapsody.

The items are put on sale by Mercury's close friend Mary Austin, who inherited most of his state following his death in 1991. Thanks for joining us here on CNN "Newsroom", I'm Max Foster in London. "World Sport" with Amanda is next.