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More Than 2,000 People Dead After Morocco Earthquake; Quake's Impact Felt As Far Away As Algeria, Portugal; Offers Of Assistance Pour In From Across The Globe; Biden & Other Leaders Pay Respects At Gandhi Memorial; Ukraine: Joint Declaration "Nothing To Be Proud Of"; Escaped Terrorism Suspect Back Behind Bars In England; Search For Escaped Convicted Killer Now In Week Two; NM Governor Suspends Open Carry Of Guns In Albuquerque; Kyiv Urges Ukrainians No To Participate In "Sham" Vote; Putin Urges Voters To Trust Online Balloting; Rescue Mission Underway To Save American Caver In Turkey; Biden Departing India To Visit To Vietnam; American Coco Gauff Wins First Grand Slam Title; Highlights And Lowlight At Top Rugby Tournament. Aired 12-1a ET

Aired September 10, 2023 - 00:00   ET




MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Hello and welcome, everyone. I'm Michael Holmes. We begin again in Morocco. A nation in shock and grieving after being ravaged by its deadliest earthquake in decades. More than 2,000 people have died, thousands more injured, many of them in critical condition.

Emergency teams have been desperately combing through the rubble of flattened homes using picks, as you see there, shovels as well, even their bare hands to search for any signs of life.

Earlier, a woman was rescued after being trapped under a collapsed building for about 12 hours. Those who did not survive the disaster are being laid to rest already as tradition dictates. And to honor them, the government says Morocco will observe three days of mourning.

The World Health Organization says the disaster has affected more than 300,000 people in Marrakech and the surrounding areas. Locals say the city's world heritage, old city in Medina have seen extensive damage.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People talking about a lot of buildings that collapse in Medina. And it'd -- it happens just down this road too. And when you go like further and further, there is a lot of damage that happened to a lot of buildings. Some of them are mosques, some of them are houses. A lot of communities got hurt.

Bella (ph) is one of the poorest areas in the city and those people need help, like food, water, blankets, all -- whatever you can help.

(END VIDEO CLIP) HOLMES: The Royal Moroccan Armed Forces have been mobilized to provide much needed support from evacuations to life saving supplies.

Let's get some more details now from CNN Sam Kiley in Marrakech.

SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I'm in the Medina of Marrakech here in the old city that is -- this is a very, very ancient city. And you can see the remains, the glorious remains of its past and now here is much of its present. This devastating earthquake killed 13 people here in Marrakech, mostly here in the Medina, because the city is ancient and it is very tightly packed.

There are buildings here that if there's another quake that have riven already by cracks that could come down. But elsewhere in the country, things have been even worse because in the foothills of the Atlas Mountains, where the devastation was most keenly felt, there are whole villages that have been destroyed, utterly flattened. We've seen that in pictures coming into us from the authorities and from the local media.

And it's those areas that the government is desperately trying to get to now. The king of Morocco, Mohammed, has declared three days of national mourning. The whole country is being mobilized to try to cope with this, but it's coming at a time when they are been very serious aftershocks, particularly south of the city.

If you look here, up through here, this is a building that has collapsed from within. I'm standing on what was up there. That black hole there is the sky. The whole thing just plummeted down and landed under where I'm standing. Now, there is a fear, of course, that these walls could collapse in further. So as a result of that, this major tourist destination here in the Medina is being evacuated.

Large numbers of tourists are being moved out of this Medina, and that's for their own safety. So far, it's kind of on the edge of feeling like a ghost town. And of course, it's a little bit frightening every time there's a fall of dust or rubble. But that wasn't an aftershock. It was just me being a little jumpy.

HOLMES: Sam Kiley there.

Now, the U.S. Geological Survey says the powerful quake struck at a relatively shallow depth that made it more destructive than had it been deeper. And among the factors now at play as rescues are underway, of course, the number and intensity of aftershocks, also the weather.

CNN Meteorologist Jennifer Gray breaks that down for us.


JENNIFER GRAY, CNN METEOROLOGIST: So the earthquake in Morocco, magnitude 6.8, occurred 11:11 local time, Friday night. The depth was around 11 miles, which may seem very, very deep, but actually when you're talking about geological standards, it is actually a pretty shallow quake, meaning you're going to feel it more. So 4.9 aftershock 19 minutes later, it was felt in Algeria as well as Portugal. So felt very far away and it's pretty rare. Since 1900, only nine earthquakes of a magnitude five or higher have occurred. So a lot of people felt very strong shaking. Almost 3 million people felt strong shaking, and almost half a million people felt either very strong to severe shaking with this particular earthquake.

So aftershocks of 5.8, there's normally an average of one could see up to 100 earthquakes at a magnitude of 3.8 or greater in the coming days and even weeks after the initial quake. So that's significant, especially because a lot of the buildings, the structures are already compromised from the initial quake and so any additional quakes could cause further damage. And that's a big fear.

Another thing to consider is the weather moving forward with recovery efforts. It's going to be brutally hot over the next couple of days. It is going to stay dry, but high temperatures are going to be in the low 90s with lows in the mid-60s.

HOLMES: Jennifer Gray there for us.

Now, some of the tourists who were in Morocco during the quake are now returning home and talking about what it was like being there and the fear that they felt.


BOUCHRA LOUDERAL, FRENCH-MOROCCAN TOURIST (through translator): In fact, everything fell off, the decorations, the windows. The windows really moved. It's like you're in a boat that's rocking. It's the first time I've experienced this and it's very, very hard psychologically because I have my parents who live in Marrakech and I couldn't reach them.

So you have a moment of panic and then you tell yourself that your time has actually come. A lot of people started reciting surahs from the Quran because we actually saw our time had come.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): There was a risk that the hotel would collapse on us. The earthquake threw us in the air. It was such a shock. I thought I was going to die. In the last minutes, I prayed and called my mother, that's all.


HOLMES: Offers of assistance are pouring into Morocco from around the world. Germany offering rescue teams, complete with sniffer dogs, to help find victims. France has activated local government funds, its embassy opening a crisis center, and it's working with Moroccan authorities to determine the best ways to help.

The UAE has also offered humanitarian aid and to establish an air bridge to help deliver critically needed supplies. And Algeria, which severed diplomatic relations with Morocco in 2021, has agreed to open its airspace to aid flights. Chama Tahiri is a cultural journalist and activist based in Casablanca, Morocco. She joins me now live. And thanks so for doing so. As a journalist, I know you've been reaching out and getting information. What are you seeing and hearing about the plight of people affected?

CHAMA TAHIRI, CULTURAL JOURNALIST AND ACTIVIST: Hi. Well, it's quite difficult to have reliable information. We have a lot of testimonies of people right now in the villages. There's a huge shortage of food and water at the moment, and we're still waiting to have instruction from NGOs. The efforts of the citizens at the moment are focused on raising money and donating blood.

HOLMES: As a cultural journalist, I'm just wondering -- I've spent time in Marrakech. It is one of the most beautiful cities, the Medina in particular. As a cultural journalist, I can't imagine how you feel when you see that it's been damaged.

TAHITI: Yes. Well, at the moment, to be honest, it's the deadliest disaster that we've ever experienced in Morocco. So we're more thinking about the death toll that keeps rising. There are landmarks that have been damaged, but to be honest, at the moment, it's human lives that we are focused on.

HOLMES: Of course, of course. Absolutely, that's the priority. Do you have a sense of how equipped the government and its emergency services are to handle the scale of what's happened?

TAHIRI: It's very difficult. We don't have regular updates on that matter. All we know is that we haven't accepted international help yet. The efforts have been deployed since yesterday during the night. I know that they're doing the best efforts, but they are outnumbered. And yes, it's very difficult to have an actual grasp of what's going on.


Some villages haven't even seen the help yet. And the thing is, our regions are really remote and so lacking a lot of infrastructures.

HOLMES: What are people telling you that they need most urgently? What are the gaps?

TAHIRI: To be honest, from the nonprofits that I've been into contact with, they need everything. People lost everything. So, from food to supplies to baby supplies, hygienic products. Most of the people aren't going to be homeless, so we're going to need tents and blankets, everything, everything.

Non-perishables because they lost electricity. So basically we need to help to be able to feed people without the need to actually cook. So, yes, it's a very difficult situation.

HOLMES: I'm curious, you're there in Casablanca, did you feel the quake there? It was fairly widely felt. What was your own experience? TAHIRI: Yes, yes, yes. It was pretty intense. And then when I -- my first reflex was to go on Twitter and check. I thought it was a mild earthquake in Casablanca. I was in total disbelief when I came to understand that it was all over the country and it took us a few hours to grasp the extent of the earthquake, yes, and to understand the severity.

One of the issues is, of course, that so much of the damage, the most impacted areas are remote areas. I mean, there's, I think, only 13 deaths horrible as that is in Marrakech, but more than 2,000 overall. Most of those are in the Atlas Mountains in remote areas. What are your concerns for those people? Because -- and those who survived are now having to stay outdoors, of course.

TAHIRI: Well, indeed, that really stresses an issue that's been laying around in Morocco for a while, for decades, actually like -- I don't want to jump to conclusions, but I mean, pretty much every winter is the natural disaster for these regions. And, I mean, this is not time to maybe talk politics and get into that.

But I hope that this will also make us have to talk about those regions and their needs and the fact that they don't have hospitals, they don't have -- even kids don't have access to schools. So, yes, the -- it's going to be very difficult to relocate all these people to house them. And we're looking at months or years of reconstruction, according to the Red Cross in France. Yes.

HOLMES: I just wanted to say, too, that there were -- after a previous earthquake, there were new regulations put into place for construction and engineering. Did you get a sense that that would have been followed through on, that the new buildings are better than the old ones, in that regard?

TAHIRI: I couldn't say. All I know is that the remote villages that we're talking about are already the most vulnerables in Morocco, and they are definitely not following the regulation, the systemic regulations. So those who are suffering the most right now are not protected to begin with, in my opinion.

HOLMES: Yes, yes, many of those places were hand built by the owners, in many cases, with what they had on hand.

Chama Tahiri, thanks so much. Appreciate you taking the time and the work that you're doing. Appreciate it.

TAHIRI: Thank you.

HOLMES: And for more information on how you can help victims of the Morocco earthquake, go to and you'll find plenty of resources there that have been vetted and trustworthy if you'd like to do that.

U.S. President Joe Biden is scheduled to depart India near the top of the hour and then fly to Vietnam for a series of high-level talks with leaders in Hanoi. He and other G20 leaders have been paying their respects in the last hour or so at the memorial for Mahatma Gandhi. You can see them all there now.

This was the place where the Indian independence leader's body was cremated. A wreath laying ceremony there has capped off an annual -- the annual two day summit of the G20 in New Delhi.

Now, the G20 did manage to produce a final declaration after a lot of diplomatic wrangling, but Ukraine was not happy with the language regarding the war, saying it fell far short of condemning Russia's aggression.

CNN's Vedika Sud joins me now live from New Delhi this hour. Before we get to that, tell us a little bit more about the images we were seeing there, this visit to Raj Ghat and what that means, that place means to Indians.


VEDIKA SUD, CNN REPORTER: Just moments ago, Michael, you saw leaders representing the world's biggest economies converge at the Raj Ghat. That's the location. That's the site where Mahatma Gandhi, known as India's father of the nation, that's where his ashes lie. And that's where all these leaders were paying their respects.

There was a wreath laying ceremony. All these leaders maintained a moment of silence as well. And after that, you could see Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi walking with the U.S. President Joe Biden. And alongside Biden was Rishi Sunak.

Quite a symbolic visual out there, really, of two global leaders who have strongly and repeatedly condemned Russia's invasion of Ukraine. But it was just yesterday that you saw a watered down version of what could have been a stronger condemnation of Russia's invasion of Ukraine in that declaration that was put out and announced by the Indian Prime Minister.

But also very symbolic, what you're seeing at the Raj Ghat in moments from now, you will see these leaders ahead to the venue of the G20 summit, where the third session will commence. But you did, a few moments ago, even see Modi put around the necks of these leaders a scarf. Highly symbolic again, because this scarf is a hand woven scarf made of a material called khadi, which is cotton.

And Mahatma Gandhi, decades back did endorse this as part of the freedom movement that he had started against the British in an attempt to boycott any of the textiles produced by the British here in India. It was a symbol of self-sufficiency, self-reliance that he led.

So highly symbolic here to see all those leaders, almost 40 representatives from India's -- from the world's topmost economies, as well as leaders from institutes, financial institutions right there, maintaining a moment's silence and then laying the wreath at the Raj Ghat in memory of Mahatma Gandhi.

HOLMES: Yes, yes. So very symbolic.

I wanted to ask you, too, about that statement. There has been criticism which alludes to Russia's war on Ukraine, but doesn't mention either country. How important was it for Narendra Modi to have a statement, though?

SUD: Well, for India's leader who has been talking about the G20 summit for months now, there have been over 200 meetings that, you know, that relate to the G20 in more than 50 cities across India in the run up to the big G20 summit. So there's a lot of money that's been invested in the G20 summit.

We believe, reportedly, there's more than $100 million that was spent for this summit here in India. Preparations, if you see, all across Delhi and the other cities, have been massive. So for the Indian Prime Minister, this has been a critical moment to push India and project India as a global power. And he has succeeded to a massive extent, really, because what he's done yesterday is actually get all these G20 leaders on the talking table and bring about some consensus.

There's been massive consensus on issues like climate change, but there hasn't been as much on Russia's invasion of Ukraine as much as he would have liked. But it's been a balancing act for the Indian prime minister. You know how close India is to Russia. They've been partners for decades.

Along with that, the proximity between Biden and Modi has been immense in the last few months as well. You saw that state visit of Modi's to the U.S. a couple of months back, and that was a statement, indeed, of how close the two strategic partners are getting.

So to have that statement has been critical for Modi, he can now step up and be seen as a global leader, and that's something he's really wanted to do. Along with that, what he's also done over the last year is he's tried to make sure that there's more representation of the global south at this G20 summit.

And to that effect, you have now seen the African Union being a permanent member to this bloc. A huge, huge symbolic step taken by the Indian prime minister. Many would say it's been a coup for him, but, of course, there's been condemnation that this declaration is pretty watered down, more watered down, some experts would say, than the Bali declaration last year. Michael?

HOLMES: Yes, yes, yes. A lot of people saying that.

Vedika, thanks so much. Vedika Sud there in New Delhi. Appreciate it.

All right, we've coming up on the program, an update from Pennsylvania and the search for a convicted killer who escaped from a prison near Philadelphia. The message law enforcement wants to make very clear when we come back.



HOLMES: In England, the manhunt for that terrorism suspect who escaped from a prison in London is now over. The city's metropolitan police say they have caught and arrested Daniel Khalife. He's been on the run since Wednesday, when he broke out of the Wandsworth prison. From the G20 summit in India, the British Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, expressing his gratitude.


RISHI SUNAK, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: Well, I'm very pleased with the news, and my thanks to the police officers for their fantastic work over the past couple of days, but also to the public, who came forward with an enormous number of leads to help the police in their inquiries. It's good news that we've recaptured the person concerned. As people already know, the Justice Secretary has initiated an inquiry into the circumstances of his escape, and that work will continue.


HOLMES: Now, that inquiry the Prime Minister mentioned will look into how Khalife escaped by strapping himself to the bottom of a delivery van while dressed as a chef. And in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania, authorities are still locked in on their manhunt for an escaped convicted killer.

The inmate crab walked up a wall, got through razor wire, and took off from a prison near Philadelphia more than a week ago now. CNN's Polo Sandoval with the latest on the search.

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, since the August 31 escape of Danelo Cavalcante, authorities here in the state of Pennsylvania have confirmed sightings almost on a regular basis. One of the most recent ones that happened was on Friday afternoon, as the 34-year-old convicted killer was spotted, according to authorities inside of the search perimeter here in Chester County, Pennsylvania, which is about 40 miles west of Philadelphia.

That is promising for authorities as it tells them or at least suggests to them that this individual is potentially still inside of that area that has been locked down and has been searched now for well over a week and a half. On Saturday, the Pennsylvania State Police also updated their search perimeter.

Now, most of it actually covers some botanical gardens, or at least it includes some botanical gardens that on any other weekend would normally be packed with families. But that facility, which is about 1,000 acres of gardens and meadows, has actually been closed because of this manhunt that continues.

In terms of what we heard from authorities, Lieutenant Colonel George Bivens saying recently that this particular fugitive had actually been able to elude authorities in Brazil after he allegedly committed his first murder, actually hiding out in the jungles in South America and eventually able to get away.

Lieutenant Colonel insisting that that is likely not going to happen here. This is what he said with some confidence.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) LT. COL. GEORGE BIVENS, PENNSYLVANIA STATE POLICE: I will keep up this search at whatever tempo is appropriate for as long as we need to. He's a dangerous individual. We'll keep this up. We've done it in the past. I would think that history should allow people to see that we mean it when we say we're here to stay until we capture.



SANDOVAL: And as helicopters continue to circle overhead in the community, there's certainly a growing sense of not just frustration, but also bewilderment that now, well, into a week and a half of this search, Cavalcante still remains out of the reach of authorities. But when you hear from the Pennsylvania state police, they will say with confidence, they believe that he is still here and that they will find him sooner or later.

Polo Sandoval, CNN, Chester County, Pennsylvania.

HOLMES: New Mexico's governor has ordered the suspension of laws allowing the open and concealed carrying of guns in Albuquerque. Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham has declared gun violence and drug abuse a public health emergency after a string of recent deadly shootings, some involving children. Her emergency order temporarily banning the carrying of guns on public property is effective immediately.

Grisham cited the recent shooting deaths of three children as well as two mass shootings in May. Some in law enforcement and elected officials say the order goes too far.

Still to come here on the program, much more on the devastating earthquake in Morocco, the challenges the country faces, and what people are doing to help. That's next.

Also, President Biden wrapping up his visit to India for the G20 will explain what came out of it, what did not. And we'll have a live report from New Delhi after the break.


HOLMES: Welcome back to our viewers around the world. I'm Michael Holmes. You're watching CNN Newsroom. More on our top story this hour. Authorities in Morocco say more than 2,000 people have been killed in the country's deadliest earthquake in decades.

Thousands more have been injured and are in desperate need of support. The Moroccan national football team has been stepping up by donating blood for the victims. Players also urging others to do what they can to help.

Spain's national team showed its support by observing a minute of silence before a training session on Saturday. And over the next few days other teams in Spain's top flight soccer league will do the same. Earlier, we spoke with Carmen Moreno, a humanitarian worker who was on vacation in Marrakech when the earthquake struck. She told us about devastation that the country has seen and the risk it could still face.


CARMEN MORENO, HUMANITARIAN WORKER: The worst is yet to come, I think, because we don't know what can happen. Maybe there won't be any more tremors but there is the risk of collapsing. We need engineers and specialists to check the building and to measure the impact and I'm not sure they have the capacity, especially in this poor neighborhoods.


So it's really risky that they go back home and we can't expect more casualties like this. So that's why people are staying on the streets because -- or either they cannot comeback or they already lost everything. But even if their homes are still there and not demolished or not devastated by this, it's risky to come back.

So it's an uncertainty that I think it's really terrifying because it's something that we cannot control, right? So people are very confused, they don't know what to do. And, yes, it's really traumatic.


HOLMES: Now, the World Health Organization says the disaster has affected more than 300,000 people in Marrakech and surrounding areas. The government says Morocco will observe three days of mourning to honor the victims.

Now, although there has been no official request for international help, countries across the world are offering assistance to Morocco in the wake of the earthquake. Here's more on the aid being offered by the community of nations.


HOLMES (voice-over): The scope of the devastation from the earthquake in Morocco may take days to become clear, but there is one thing that is certain the country will need help to recover from this disaster.

People in Marrakech are lining up to donate blood after hospitals and health centers in the area made a plea to stock up. But that's just a tiny fraction of what the country urgently needs.

Additional rescue teams, heavy equipment, specialized doctors and medical supplies are often critical in relief efforts. And many nations are pledging their support, with India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi offering his nation's resources at the G-20 summit in New Delhi.

NARENDRA MODI, INDIAN PRIME MINISTER (through translator): We pray that all the injured people get well soon. The entire world community is with Morocco in its difficult time, and we are ready to provide them all possible assistance.

HOLMES (voice-over): The U.S., the U.K., the UAE, France, Japan and the United Nations have also sent condolences and offers of help. Similar vows of aid from Germany with one agency making plans to deploy with highly trained sniffer dogs, which are crucial in search and recovery efforts.

SABINE LACKNER, PRESIDENT, FEDERAL AGENCY FOR TECHNICAL RELIEF (through translator): And the task will be, if we have an international request for help, and Germany's offer is also accepted, that we are briefed by the local forces, assigned a disaster area and then go into the search.

HOLMES (voice-over): Turkey, which is still recovering from its own powerful earthquake earlier this year, which killed more than 45,000 people, says it can send more than 200 aid workers and 1,000 tents to affected areas.

That same quake killed several thousand more in Syria. And the White Helmets, a volunteer group that provided emergency services in that crisis, is once again stepping up, saying, quote, "With our experience in search and rescue and in responding to earthquake disasters, we confirm our full readiness to aid in the rescue efforts in Morocco of those trapped under the rubble".

Israel, which routinely sends emergency personnel and supplies to disaster zones, says it is preparing to send a rescue team and humanitarian aid to the area. Even Algeria, which broke off ties with Morocco two years ago, said it would open its airspace for humanitarian and medical flights to Morocco. Help from all corners of the world is at the ready, even when Morocco asks for it.


HOLMES: Now, last hour I spoke with Joe English, he's an emergency communications specialist with UNICEF based in New York. I asked him what he was hearing about the situation from his teams on the ground.


JOE ENGLISH, EMERGENCY COMMUNICATION SPECIALIST, UNICEF: Many families are leaving their homes with just the pajamas, the clothes on their back, you know, and many of them now are scared to return to their homes because of structural damage. The threat of aftershocks, as Jennifer was highlighting there, after the earthquake in Syria and Turkey earlier this year, we saw thousands of aftershocks and we saw buildings continue to be damaged and destroyed and collapsed for days after.

So it's a very real threat to children and to families. You know, and as we've said, there's now over 2,000 people killed, more than 2,000 injured. These numbers are only going to go up and our estimate is just under a third of the population of Morocco is children. So sadly, we think that there will be many children among the casualties.

HOLMES: I was just about to ask you that your focus is children. What are your fears for the kids in Morocco right now, you know, obviously, if they're casualties, but also if they've lost their homes and schools and so on?

ENGLISH: Well, this is it. You know, I mean, there's obviously the direct impact of the earthquake and, you know, the first 72 hours in terms of search and rescue are absolutely critical. They call it the golden period because if you're going to be able to get people out from under the rubble, that's the time to do it.


I mean, sometimes we see miracles. I remember with Syria and with Turkey, we saw a teenage girl who was rescued after 10 days, 10-day- old infant who was rescued after, I think, about 90 hours. But really, this is the critical time for that. But as you say, these effects will continue longer, you know.

Children have seen their schools, their homes destroyed, damaged, now living out in the street, you know, without any shelter. So it's critical in terms of getting them safe drinking water, getting them shelter, getting them food and nutrition, and then longer term, you know, psychosocial support to help children, families, parents who've been through this terror begin to process that trauma.

HOLMES: Absolutely. That psychological dealing with that is going to be a massive issue, as it always is. With much of the damage and casualties, for that matter, in remote areas, what are the challenges in terms of even getting to those in most need?

ENGLISH: Yes, you know, any humanitarian response is always complex and complicated and challenging, you know, but I think this really will be, you know, very much. So, you know, many of these towns, these villages, they're remote, they're hard to reach, they're down with mountain roads switchbacks.

You know, we know that the communications are out. It's challenges that we face in humanitarian crises all around the world and, you know, it's possible to get in and to provide this support. But international solidarity, international support is absolutely critical.

And hearing the offers of support from around the world is always heartening. But it's not just going to be a short-term recovery. You know, this is going to have to continue for weeks, months, sometimes even years ahead.

HOLMES: Absolutely, the ongoing needs vital. What are the immediate needs? And how can people help, you know, organizations like yours that do such good work?

ENGLISH: Yeah, certainly. I mean, if anyone wants to support UNICEF, it's And donations to large humanitarian organizations like ours are critical because it means that we can respond quickly, you know, without that need for waiting for funds to come in. But I would also say that local organizations, you know, are hugely important. In these kind of crises, you know, it is the communities themselves, local organizations, who are working, who are those very first responders, you know, in the immediate hours. You know, in Sam's report, he was talking about people, you know, digging out, you know, rubble with their hands, you know? And so all the support that we can provide to these local organizations is critical.

You know, UNICEF, we were working in Morocco before the crisis. We will be here all the way through and we'll support children and families to recover after. But we can't do it without public support and donations and all of this is absolutely critical.

HOLMES: And organizations like yours do such great work. We appreciate UNICEF Emergency Communication Specialist Joe English. Thanks so much for being with us.

ENGLISH: Thanks so much, Michael.


HOLMES: Now, after participating in the annual G20 summit in New Delhi, U.S. President Joe Biden is set to leave India soon for a one- day visit to Vietnam. He and the other G20 leaders have been paying their respects meanwhile, at the memorial for Mahatma Gandhi.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi presenting each person with a special scarf. The leaders also took part in a wreath laying ceremony at the Gandhi memorial site.

Let's talk more about this G20 and what's come out of it. Kevin Liptak joins me now from New Delhi. Let's ask you first about the statement about the war in Ukraine. Well, sure of what a lot of western nations would have wanted in terms of condemning Russia. Doesn't even mention Russia or Ukraine, which the Bali one did a year ago. So it's almost going backwards.

KEVIN LIPTAK, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Yes, it was watered down language compared to a year ago, but in some ways, it was an accomplishment that they were able to come up with a joint declaration at all heading into the summit that had been the subject of quite furious negotiations among diplomats.

And, in fact, the Indian officials sort of responsible for corralling. The other nations said that this took, you know, 300 hours of talks, 15 drafts, and so it wasn't necessarily a foregone conclusion that they would be able to come up with anything at all that they did sort of reflect the divisions that still exist in this block.

The language in there didn't call out Russia's invasion. It didn't mention Russia by name. Instead, it referenced things like protecting sovereignty, territorial integrity, the importance of not using nuclear weapons. So that is far short of what, for instance, the United States typically says about the war in Ukraine and European allies.

[00:40:01] The White House has been very favorable of this communique. They said that it was consequential. That was how the U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, described it. And they say that President Biden is, of course, still working to obtain peace in Ukraine.

But one of the objectives certainly for the President here was to talk about this issue with the countries that haven't necessarily been as forceful in their condemnation, countries like Brazil, South Africa and India, the host country, which still buys plenty of fuel from Russia. It hasn't necessarily been as forceful in its condemnation of Moscow.

These leaders' statements do tend to reflect the host country's prerogatives. And certainly India is a country that has tried to maintain relations with Washington and with Moscow. And so I think that is part of why this statement wasn't necessarily as forceful as last year's. But certainly the fact that it exists at all is itself its own accomplishment, Michael.

HOLMES: And the President, Kevin, heading to Vietnam. There have been reports Vietnam's looking to buy arms from Russia. They're close to China despite some disputes over the South China Sea. What is he hoping to achieve there?

LIPTAK: Well, certainly the centerpiece of this visit to Hanoi will be an elevation of the U.S. Vietnam relationship. Vietnam moving the United States from the lowest rung of its diplomatic rankings to the highest. And it's interesting, the other countries on that highest rung are Russia and China. And this is all part of President Biden's effort to expand American influence in this region.

And when you talk to senior administration officials, they say this is not about countering China explicitly. And they do make the point that it would be impossible for Vietnam to cut off ties with Beijing. It is right in China's backyard. Those ties have gone back for decades.

But they say it is about trying to expand American economic influence in these countries, trying to improve living conditions, and really trying to act as a counterweight in some ways to China's economic and military aggressions.

And you see that President Biden has done that with other countries as well, including herein India and in the Philippines. Now, you mentioned that report about Vietnam purchasing Russian arms. That has, of course, been a long, historic tie between those two countries.

But I am told that tomorrow in Vietnam, President Biden will make announcements about U.S. providing its own systems to Vietnam, potentially trying to wean it from its dependence on Russian arms. So certainly some things to watch as this visit proceeds, Michael.

HOLMES: Yes, could be a productive one day visit. Kevin Liptak in New Delhi as always, thanks so much.

All right, for more now on Ukraine's reaction to the G20's declaration, here's CNN's Melissa Bell. MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Kyiv has condemned the final declaration coming out of New Delhi at the G20 leaders' summit, saying that it goes nowhere near far enough. It had been a difficult compromise to reach, given that both Russia and China needed to be on board.

In the end, a spokesman for the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said that the final language, which reflected the fact that there were different views and assessments within the G20 about the war in Ukraine, should have condemned far more strongly Russia's war of aggression, he said, and more strongly urged for it to come to an end.

This as the counteroffensive continues here in the Zaporizhzhia region to make very slow progress. We've been following some of the artillery's efforts as it seeks to inch forward under constant drone fire and replies from Russian artillery positions.

Still, the Ukrainian position is that the counteroffensive is making slow but steady progress as it seeks to head towards Tokmak on one hand and ultimately Melitopol further south. This as in the occupied regions, the voting has been taking place. Voting that's been happening around the Russian Federation, but also in those four regions that are now occupied by Moscow, voting that's been described by Kyiv as a sham, with Ukraine urging Ukrainian citizens not to take part.

Melissa Bell, CNN, in Zaporizhzhia.

HOLMES: But Russian President Vladimir Putin making a different argument to voters. He's urging them to take part in the elections and have faith in online voting. He says that practice has become more popular.

Sunday is the last day of voting in Russia and the occupied territories of Ukraine, where local and regional elections are being held. Voters have the options to cast their ballots online or vote at home or at a polling station.


Coming up here on CNN Newsroom, a complicated operation underway right now in Turkey to rescue a man trapped deep underground in that cave there. We'll have a report after the break.


HOLMES: Nearly 200 rescuers have started a delicate operation to bring an American trapped in a cave in southern Turkey to the surface. Have a look at the moment Mark Dickey began descending into the Morca Sinkhole, a cave more than 3,400 feet, well, that's about 1,000 meters deep. Dickey was on an exploration mission with an international team when he fell ill with suspected intestinal bleeding.

Nada Bashir with an update for us.

NADA BASHIR, CNN REPORTER: Well, a week on since alarm bells were first sounded around Mark Dickey's health, an operation to rescue him from Turkey's third deepest cave is now underway. The American caver has, over the last week, been receiving urgent medical attention at base camp more than 3,500 feet below ground for what is said to have been a case of gastric intestinal bleeding.

Now according to rescuers on the ground, Dickey has received a blood transfusion and is now set to be in a stable condition. But this is a complex operation and a lot of careful preparation has gone into this rescue mission.


In its latest update, Turkish Caving Federation says Dickey is currently being transported by stretcher through the passages of the cave. And you can imagine how tricky this will be, given the narrow and winding nature of many of these passages. The actual ascent is said to be divided into seven parts, according to the European Cave Rescue Association, with each segment being overseen by different rescue teams.

And this truly is a multinational rescue effort. More than 180 rescuers are on the ground from countries including Turkey, Hungary, Poland, Croatia, Bulgaria, and Italy. And while this route would typically take an experienced caver around 16 hours to reach the surface under ideal conditions, Dickey's rescue is expected to take days. The priority, of course, is ensuring that the American caver remains in a stable condition throughout.

Nada Bashir, CNN, London.

HOLMES: Still to come on the program, England, Australia, Ireland, and Italy, all big winners at the Rugby World Cup. We'll have die highlights of day two of competition. Also still to come, a dream comes true for 19-year-old American Coco Gauff winning what she has worked so hard for her first career Grand Slam title and on home soil.


HOLMES: OK, we're going to take you back to a rainy New Delhi where the U.S. President Joe Biden is now leaving India for Vietnam. You can see him there. He's actually just off the red carpet leading up to Air Force One there saying goodbye to dignitaries, getting a few photos for those local, probably U.S. Embassy workers to put on their desks.

He's going to be heading for Vietnam after the G20 summit. He's not going to be there very long, though, just 24 hours, but he's going to be holding some high level meetings with the nation's leaders and officials. So an important stopover in a country with ties to Russia and China. So the U.S. sees it as an important visit.

The American tennis fans are celebrating Coco Gauff's first career Grand Slam almost as much as she is. The 19-year-old had to overcome the pressure of high expectations for a few years now, but on Saturday she rallied from behind to become U.S. Open champion.

The crowd seeming to lift her game with chance of let's go Coco. She became the first American teenager to win the U.S. Open since Serena Williams did it back in 1999. She defeated number two ranked in a Sabalenka in three sets at Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York. Golf set to move up to number three in the WTA singles ranking.

Fans of England, Australia, Ireland and Italy are celebrating after wins at the Rugby World Cup. CNN World Sport Anchor Patrick Snell with more on Day 2 of the competition in France.


PATRICK SNELL, CNN WORLD SPORT: Well, Day 2 of action now in the books at the Rugby World Cup in France and this after a superb opening night on Friday in Paris, which saw the tournament host recording a thrilling come from behind win against three time champions of the world, New Zealand.

On Saturday, four matches taking center stage. Let's start with the 2003 winners, England, who began their campaign against Argentina on Saturday to the Stade Velodrome in Marseille, where the English had a very early setback to deal with as they're reduced to just 14 men after only three minutes of play when Tom Curry is sent off. This was why the bunker abuse system for a clash of the heads with Juan Cruz Mallia in that one.

England had to dig deep in this one, and they did. After that, it became the George Ford Show. The 30-year-old remarkably scoring every single point for his country in this game. All 27 of them, in fact. The playoff weighing in with three dropped goals. And then six penalties as well from him in total.

England with his 27 points to 10 or put another way, George Ford 27, Argentina 10. Welcome relief for Australia meantime, as they record their first win in six under head coach Eddie Jones following his return to the national team. The Wallabies with a superb start here against Georgia, taking the lead within the opening couple of minutes of play.

Jordan Petaia going over in front of more than 75,000 spectators at the famed Stade de France on Saturday. The Aussies, in fact, running in a total of four tries, two of them coming from their fullback. Ben Donaldson, who scored 25 points as his country record an emphatic win in Pool C. The 24-year-old with an occasion he really will have enjoyed on this, just his fourth appearance at test level. 35 points to 15, the final score in Paris.

And top ranked Ireland beginning their campaign with victory over Romania. And when we say victory, we mean emphatic. 82 points to 8, the final score this day. Will be remembered for a long time to come by Ireland's skipper Johnny Sexton, who scored 24 points to make a really impressive return from injury to the sport. He now becomes his country's record World Cup points scorer.

Sexton, as prolific as ever with the boot, and also scoring two of Ireland's 12 tries as the Irish recover from the shock of an early Romanian score in this game. Ireland's come back to the sport after a near six-month injury absence. Sexton's tally taking him to 102 points, surpassing his predecessor as fly half Rona Nogara, as Ireland's record World Cup scorer. The victory margin in Bordeaux, the largest ever for the Irish at a World Cup.

Italy also breezing past Namibia on Saturday. Three matches on tap for Sunday at the World Cup. First up, it's the 2019 host Japan who take on Chile in Pool B. We got defending champs South Africa facing Scotland at the Springboks like New Zealand aiming for a record fourth title. And Wales and Fiji meet also in action in Pool C.

But for now, with that, it's right back to you.

HOLMES: Thanks, Patrick. He goes for England, I go for Australia.

Thanks for spending part of your day with me. I am Michael Holmes. You can follow me on Twitter, Instagram and Threads, at holmescnn. I'll be back with another hour of news after the break.