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Biden Arrives in Hanoi for High-Level Talks; More Than 2,000 People Dead After Morocco Earthquake; Ukraine: 25 Russian Drones Shot Down Sunday. Aired 5-6a ET

Aired September 10, 2023 - 05:00   ET




ANNOUNCER: This is CNN Breaking News.

KIM BRUNHUBER, CNN ANCHOR: Hello and welcome to all of you watching us here in the United States, Canada and all around the world. I'm Kim Brunhuber. I want to get to our breaking news this hour. I want to show you live pictures from Hanoi, Vietnam right now were Air Force One carrying U.S. President Joe Biden has just landed moments ago.

President's arrival in Hanoi marks a major turning point in diplomatic relations between the two former adversaries. We're going to have much more ahead on the significance of this visit and how it came about. But first, we just want to see if we can catch the president as he actually de-planes Air Force One here.

All right, he's in Asia, of course, in Vietnam specifically to promote his relations and diplomatic relations in those countries in the context of the tensions with China. He's going to go to a welcome ceremony and make some remarks later on. We're going to be following this in Vietnam with a live reporter coming up later.

All right, now to Morocco, where a nation is in shock and grief after being ravaged by its deadliest earthquake in decades. More than 2,000 people have died since the disaster struck Friday night and many of the victims are already being laid to rest.

There are also fears that the death toll will continue to rise as emergency crews dig through the rubble of collapsed buildings. But many are still holding out hope that they'll find people alive under all that debris.

Those who survived are now coping with trauma. Many are sleeping outdoors after losing their houses, others who still have a place to live or hasn't to return to their homes worried that they could also collapse.

Morocco's king is instructed officials to set up an interministerial commission to provide much needed relief for the victims. CNN's Sam Kiley has more from the city of Marrakesh, a world heritage site where historic buildings have been badly damaged.


SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The residents of the Medina here in Marrakesh are still coming out to look at what has happened to their own city. And this very often is what they're greeted by, a building that has collapsed into the street.

So far more than 2,000 Moroccans have been killed in this earthquake and the figures could rise very rapidly. Here in Marrakesh the numbers about 13, possibly more. And there are about 1,500 or so people who have been very seriously injured.

But the government is saying that the problems are really focused to the southeast of Marrakesh, up in the Atlas Mountains where there are many, many villages, perhaps dozens, perhaps even more that have been completely flattened, flattened down into rubble just like this.

But in those cases they're very, very, very difficult to get to. Many of the roads have been destroyed by landfalls. It is the military really, the only route to safety for these people who are stuck there. Many, many thousands of people have been spending their second night out in the open if they survived at all. All they are desperately needing, all kinds of humanitarian help and particularly help from the military who are able to reach them in some cases by air.

But already there have been some dramatic rescues with people being pulled out of the rubble after at least 12 hours pressed down with mud and concrete weighing heavily on top of them. And of course they have also already begun the funerals in many other villages, Berber villages predominantly in the foothills of the Atlas Mountains.

Very significant numbers of people are already being buried. And at the moment the government is saying they are mobilizing all of the possible national resources to this and they have called for a three- day period of national mourning.

Sam Kiley, CNN in Marrakesh.


BRUNHUBER: And join me now from Marrakesh is Tom Saintfiet. He's the head coach of the National Soccer Team of Gambia and he was in Marrakesh when the quake hit. Thank you so much for making the time to speak with us.

First off, just what is the situation now? How are things where you are there?

TOM SAINTFIET, NATIONAL TEAM HEAD COACH, GAMBIA: Yeah, we are still based in our hotel in the modern part of Marrakesh. Yesterday evening we had the first time that we went out of our hotel because we had a training session to do. Crossing the streets of Marrakesh we were a little bit surprised about that there was no damage in the modern part that we saw many people sleeping on the roads with tents and around the roads and sleeping in the grass and everything.

[05:05:20] But we know that in the old part of Marrakesh there's a lot of damage.

BRUNHUBER: Yeah, it just must have been a terrifying moment for you and the players when the quake hit.

SAINTFIET: Yeah. It's something I think we will remember forever. We were in shock, we never experienced this. And I have to say last night, the majority of the staff and the players decided to sleep outside again around the pool area together with a lot of tourists.

So we still don't feel secure. We are still the fear that there could be an aftershock and even the traumatic feeling of every noise we hear. We always remember on that, but on the other side, we can be happy that we were sitting in a strong structure. It is very sad that so many people lost their life and were not so comfortable as us.

BRUNHUBER: Yeah, you must be thankful it could have been much, much worse. So from what I'm hearing from you, there seems to be a big divide between sort of the more modern part of the city and the older part of the city in terms of when you look around and see the extent of the damage. Is that right?

SAINTFIET: Yeah, naturally Marrakesh is a world-famous heritage with beautiful historical buildings. And naturally they are not built for such a magnitude of earthquake. And there is the biggest damage. There is also the biggest part of the population.

And there are the most casualties in the modern part, which is a very modern city and high sophisticated with beautiful buildings. You almost see -- don't see any visible damage at least. You only notice that the people are afraid and that people are sitting outside on the street also in the modern part. So people are scared. But the damage is less in the modern part compared to the old part.

BRUNHUBER: Are you faring in terms of things like water, electricity, food?

SAINTFIET: Yeah, for us, we don't see any problem. We only advise, naturally, the players not to brush teeth with the tap water because you don't know if there is any damage on the water pipes. But we have no problem.

Even during the earthquake, the electricity in the hotel was always on. And even the seconds after we had all internet, we all talk about that. How is that possible after such a shocking moment? But we can imagine that in the other parts of the city, the problems were more also in electricity, water and other safe cases. But we were lucky. We were in the lucky part of the city.

BRUNHUBER: Yeah, I find that incredible. Also incredible that you guys actually went out for a training session after all of this. I mean, you know, soccer must be the last concern for you right now, but you were there to play a match. So what happens to you and the team next? Are you going to, you know, I know a lot of people have tried to leave the city. Is that what you're going to do? Are you going to hang tight and sort of see what happens? SAINTFIET: Yeah, we got yesterday the message from the CAF, the

African Football Confederation. You can compare the United States with the CONCACAF. The show must go on, the game has to be played today at 8 o'clock in Marrakesh against Congo-Brazzaville. What is a very important last crucial qualifier for both teams. We need a point to be qualified for the African Cup of Nations, the CONCACAF Gold Cup for Africa. And Congo-Brazzaville needs to beat us to qualify.

Our minds are totally not on football. We think about the casualties. We think also about the mental problems, the moral problems of our players and staff members. But we are forced to play and then we have to be focused as sportsmen to do that. The best we are representing our team, our country, our Federation. And tonight we have to be prepared for 90 minutes. We have to try to pull our focus away from the terrible things we experienced and we see around us to play football.

For me it would be much more respect to the Moroccan casualties and also to have one involved. That this game was postponed to a later date. But it's out of my hands and the authorities have decided that we have to play this game.

BRUNHUBER: Gosh, yeah, I have to shake my head at that. It seems like a strange decision, but certainly, as I say, you know, soccer the last thing on most people's minds right now, and we just wish everyone is safe out there.

Really appreciate you speaking to us. Head coach of the Gambian National Team, Tom Saintfiet. Thanks for speaking with us.

SAINTFIET: You're welcome.

BRUNHUBER: All right, and for more information about how you can help victims of the Morocco earthquake, go to


All right. We want to take you now live to Hanoi, Vietnam right now, where U.S. President Joe Biden just arrived moments ago for a rare visit in some very high-level talks. Biden has traveled to Vietnam from New Delhi, India, where he participated in the G20 summit. So we have the President's trip to Vietnam covered from start to finish with Kevin Liptak in New Delhi and Anna Coren in Hanoi.

I'm going to start with you, Anna. So take us through what President Biden now fresh from this G20 summit. What are you trying to accomplish in Vietnam?

ANNA COREN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kim, as of today, President Biden arrived about 20 minutes ago. He is just disembarked from Air Force One and has got into a car and he's heading to the presidential palace where he will meet with General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong in the coming hour.

They will hold a bilateral meeting and then the president will address the press a little bit later this evening. But Kim, this is a very significant trip. You know, some analysts are saying that this is the most important trip by a U.S. president since Bill Clinton came here in 2000 to re-establish diplomatic ties with Vietnam.

We are getting an upgrade from both sides, from the Vietnamese and also from the Americans. The Vietnamese will be upgrading their relationship to a comprehensive strategic partnership. While the Americans have said, just on Air Force One, that they will be upgrading their relationship with Vietnam to a top level and that will have a security component embedded in it.

But look, let's walk through what this really means. It's symbolic but also highly substantive. For the Americans, it's about countering China's influence and assertiveness in the region. They are trying to shore up friends and allies in the Indo-Pacific region.

They also want to diversify their supply chains away from China. And Vietnam is a key component in all of that. For the Vietnamese, this is about economic development as well as security. You know, this is a country of 100 million people over the last 20 years since relations have been normalized, 20-plus years. We have seen incredible growth. 20 years ago, Vietnam was making, you know, T-shirts and running shoes. Now they've invested in the semiconductor industry. And this is something that the Vietnamese will be speaking to the Americans about.

You can certainly expect some lucrative business deals happening in the coming day. There is a large contingent of American businessmen traveling with President Biden. But the biggest concern you would have to say for the Vietnamese is their maritime security.

The South China Sea is a place that, you know, China is encroaching on. They've claimed the Spratly, the Paracel Islands. Vietnam says that is part of their territory. So the Vietnamese are looking also for security agreements. And that is something we are expecting to hear, Kim.

BRUNHUBER: All right, we'll be following this throughout the day. Really appreciate that. Anna, standby, I want to bring in Kevin Liptak, who's in New Delhi, where the President just wrapped up two days at the G20 summit.

So Kevin, the Biden administration, I imagine they'll be hailing the G20 as a victory for the president. I mean, it's a -- it's a cliche that we always sort of talk about foreign trips or a break from domestic troubles. I want to bring in the poll numbers. I mean, for Biden, it's been, you know, fairly dismal news for the president in the context of his re-election hopes.

KEVIN LIPTAK, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Yeah, he left for this trip with some pretty significant political headwinds in that CNN poll and certainly no president wants to travel abroad with that kind of sort of political standing. And it is interesting, the president's advisors really do view these foreign trips as a moment to present the president as a commanding figure on the world stage. And they do think that that provides an important contrast with Republicans.

And in fact, just before he left for this trip, his campaign released television ad highlighting his trip to Ukraine earlier this year with its, you know, 11 hour back and forth train ride really trying to present the image of a strong leader.

And it does really try and get at the questions of President Biden's age. And that is in our polling, at least one of the most significant concerns for voters when it comes to President Biden. And certainly I don't think that when President Biden is on these trips, he his advisors really do view him in his best light, whether it is on that trip to Ukraine, whether it's at these G20 summits putting in these long hours in a far-flowing time zone.


But at the same time, those images are not necessarily translating to voters back home. And it is interesting at these summits when you get all of these world leaders in the same room, you remember, these are politicians too. We kind of see them as leaders, but they are politicians. They understand politics as well as anyone.

And certainly when President Biden is making the case to them for sustained American commitment abroad, a sustained role for the United States in these countries, they have to be wondering how sustained that can really be if President Biden cannot win reelection.

Because certainly his opponent -- his most likely opponent, Donald Trump, has a very different view of America's role abroad. And so I think this is something that has sort of cast a shadow over the President's trip and it will be something that he's returning to when he gets back home next week, Kim.

BRUNHUBER: Yeah. I appreciate the context in which these foreign trips are taking place. Kevin Liptak in New Delhi, Anna Coren in Hanoi, thank you so much both.

Still ahead, Donald Trump courts voters in Iowa at the biggest college football game in the state, we'll details just ahead.

Plus, an update from Pennsylvania in the search for convicted killer who escaped from prison near Philadelphia. And then later, nations around the world step up to offer assistance as Morocco struggles to cope with a deadly and devastating earthquake. We'll that and the latest on the search and rescue operations after the break. Stay with us.



BRUNHUBER: More on our top story this hour, authorities in Morocco say more than 2000 people have been killed in the deadliest earthquake to strike the country in decades. The tremors ravaged remote villages on the foothills of the high Atlas Mountains.

Survivors say homes and buildings in the area have been completely flattened. Rescue teams are now combing through all that rubble hoping to find any sign of life under the weight of the collapsed buildings. Although there has still been no official request for international

help, countries across the world are offering assistance to Morocco in the wake of the deadly earthquake. Michael Holmes says now more on the aid being offered by the community of nations.


MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR: 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 Marrakesh 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 G20 Summit in New Delhi.

NARENDRA MODI, INDIA 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: 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, PRES., FEDERAL AGENCY FOR TECHNICAL RELIEF (through translator): And a 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: 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 a thousand 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, "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. Michael Holmes, CNN.


BRUNHUBER: And again, for more information about how you can help victims of the earthquake, go to

All right, now to Iowa, where several Republican presidential hopefuls descended Saturday for the state's biggest football rivalry game in a bid to court voters. Take a look.

You see him there, former president Donald Trump being greeted with cheers by hundreds of students as he waited through the crowd. That was rival Ron DeSantis was also there meeting voters and attending pale gate parties. Taking a dig at Trump. DeSantis said he's optimistic about winning the state's caucuses in January. Here he is.


GOV. RON DESANTIS, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: And I'm actually starting to hear a lot of people saying, because you're showing up, I'm supporting you, because that's the way you got to do it. Iowans don't want the campaign to be about the past, or to be about the candidates' issues. They want it to be about their future, and the future of this country. And that's what I represent.


BRUNHUBER: Pennsylvania authorities are still locked in on their manhunt for an escaped, convicted killer. And they say they've added more officers to help with the search with a total now about 400.


They're looking for Danilo Cavalcante, who escaped after he crab-walk up this wall, got through razor wire and took off from this prison near Philadelphia more than a week ago. The U.S. Marshals Service says after confirmed sightings of the inmate Friday in an area near the prison, authorities are keeping their focus right on that area. Listen to this.


ROBERT CLARK, SUPERVISORY DEPUTY, U.S. MARSHALS SERVICE: Our guys are literally in the woods going through bushes, checking sheds, checking unclear houses. We are in line with the CERT and the tactical teams.


BRUNHUBER: Law enforcement officials in charge of the manhunt stress they will catch Cavalcante however long it takes.

Hurricane Lee is still churning in the Atlantic Ocean with sustained winds of 105 miles per hour or 165 kilometers an hour. It's a Category 2 storm right now. But the National Hurricane Center says it'll likely re-strengthen. In the next several days, Caribbean islands in the region can expect dangerous surf and life-threatening rip currents. Forecasters expect the storm to make a hard turn to the north in the

coming days. That's not clear where or even if it'll make landfall, but they say it will create hazardous conditions along the east coast of the U.S.

All right, still ahead much more on the devastating earthquake in Morocco. We'll look at the challenges the country still faces and what people are doing to help.


BRUNHUBER: Welcome back to all of you watching us here in the United States, Canada and all around the world. I'm Kim Brunhuber. This is 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. Many of them are in critical condition and urgent need of aid.

The Moroccan National Soccer Team has been stepping up by donating blood for the victims. Players are also urging others to do what they can to help.

The government has deployed rescue teams to help those in need, but on Saturday some places were still waiting for support. A travel blogger in Marrakesh spoke about the immediate response in that area.


JANA MEERMAN, TRAVEL BLOGGER: There's no official guidance coming from anywhere that we've received. We don't know what to do next. Some people are starting to make their way to the Medina and see their shops as you've seen, there's damage everywhere.

Some people are opening their businesses and trying to get on with their day. Nobody knows if there's more aftershocks coming. So at the moment, we're just really unclear about what to do next. Everyone's walking around and trying to figure out where they feel.


BRUNHUBER: Stephanie Busari is CNN's Senior Editor for Africa and she joins us live from Lagos, Nigeria. So Stephanie, bring us up to speed. What's the latest on the rescue efforts?

STEPHANIE BUSARI, CNN SENIOR EDITOR, AFRICA: Yes, they're ongoing, Kim, as Moroccans try to come to terms with the devastating aftermath of this earthquake. It's a race against time and rescuers are trying to pull people out of rubble. And it's hampered by being the epicenter being in very remote mountain villages and people reporting that the roads to some of these areas are littered with debris.

We've been speaking to some of these people and take listen to what they have to say.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): We are living in a crisis situation. We ask that King Mohammed VI intervenes and sends us some help because we are living through a traumatizing situation that people don't have electricity. They have nothing to eat or drink, no bread, nothing.


BUSARI: So government officials say that they have been prioritizing, trying to get drinking water and food kits, tents and blankets to victims in the worst affected areas. But as I say, they are hampered by some of the rubble and the debris that makes it difficult to get to some of these areas.

But some people are reporting a community spirit as neighbors gather to pull others out of rubble themselves. And Moroccans themselves have been donating blood, flocking to hospitals and centers since a nationwide call went out to get blood into these centers.

And King Mohammed VI has ordered mosques nationwide to hold funeral prayers, and the country has declared three days of national mourning. So those -- that's what the kind of immediate situation looks like right now, Kim.

BRUNHUBER: Yes, sounds as if Marocco needs more help. And Stephanie, plenty of offers of international support pouring in?

BUSARI: Absolutely. This Morocco, this is -- Morocco has not had to deal with earthquake of this impact for about six decades. So they will need all the help they can get. And that is coming in the United Nations as pledged search and rescue support and humanitarian efforts.

And they have said that they're confident that the government of Morocco will respond quickly to these offers of support. The World Bank has also pledged support as well as global leaders who've been speaking out about the devastating impact of this earthquake.

And also pledging their support whilst the Red Cross, doctors without borders, all the international aid agencies will be really very keen to lend their expertise in disaster areas similar to this, Kim.

BRUNHUBER: All right, thanks so much, Stephanie Busari in Lagos.

Now, earlier I spoke with Moritz Schmoll, Professor at Mohammed VI Polytechnic University, and he's in Morocco when the Earthquake struck. And I asked him about the damage that he witnessed. Here he is.


MORITZ SCHMOLL, MOHAMMED VI POLYTECHNIC UNIVERSITY ASSISTANT PROFESSOR: So I'm currently in Marrakesh. I live in Rabat and so we drove to the affected areas yesterday to try to bring some food and water to people. So we bought some supplies like around Marrakesh and then drove about an hour south to Amizmiz and some surrounding localities.

The situation there is really bad, especially, you know, I mean, people often cannot travel to places where there's more help. So we've seen people from the Red Cross in Amizmiz. They're trying to help and distribute food and water and other important necessities. And -- but there are other parts that are, you know, more remote and, you know, where we tried to basically reach families that have had their houses collapse or partially collapse or in any case they're afraid to stay in there. And so they're basically camping outside.


And even in Marrakesh, to be honest, there's thousands of people who are camping in the public areas and the green spaces because they're afraid of sleeping in their homes.

BRUNHUBER: Those more rural areas that you've been to obviously the needs are far greater there, give us a sense of what those areas actually look like and how they're so hard to access why it's been so hard to get aid up there?

SCHMOLL: Well, these reasons are some of the poorest areas of Morocco. And so even before the earthquake, the infrastructure wasn't particularly good there. And so the population is quite scattered throughout the mountains, some of the villages and hamlets.

And yeah, we basically took some unpaved roads, but we weren't even in the -- we weren't even close to the hardest hit areas. I mean, these areas were affected badly, but I mean, some of the pictures that I've seen from the real mountain villages that are deep in the mountains are really horrific.

And these are places that, even with sort of like unpaved roads, are really, really difficult to access. And so it's just a lack of basic infrastructure even before the earthquake.


BRUNHUBER: All right. Again, for more information about how you can help victims of the Morocco earthquake, you can go to

U.S. President Joe Biden flies straight from the G20 summit to India to Hanoi, Vietnam, where he's headed to the presidential palace. We'll explain why this rare visit is so significant. We have live report from Hanoi.

Plus, Ukraine's air defenses shoot down a wave of Russian drones taking aim at Kyiv, but parts of the city still take a hit from the falling debris. Stay with us.


[05:40:13] BRUNHUBER: All right, we want to take you back to Hanoi. You're looking at live pictures now where U.S. President Joe Biden is expected at any time at the Presidential Palace. That's it, you're seeing it there. We've greeted by Vietnam's leader, General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong.

Now this visit has been in the works for a while. It marks a major shift in how these two governments will conduct their relations going forward and it can't be overlooked that it's happening on China's doorstep.

CNN's Anna Coren is covering this for us and joins us live from Hanoi. So Anna, with reports swirling about a Vietnamese arms deal with Russia, will that make it any more challenging for President Biden to sell the U.S. as a viable alternative to Russia and China?

COREN: Kim, that report in the New York Times really comes as no surprise. Vietnam and Russia have had a long and deep history, particularly when it comes to weaponry. Remember that it was the Russians that supplied the Viet Cong with military hardware during the Vietnam War.

Also many of Vietnam's military commanders, the top brass, have gone to, whether it be the Soviet Union or later Russia to train. So there is a very deep history there. And we know that Vietnam has certainly got its weapons from Russia.

But we did hear from U.S. officials aboard Air Force One several hours ago saying that they are working to help Vietnam diversify away from Russian military hardware. That is something that they are working to do. Whether there is an arms deal that will be announced on this visit, that is yet to be known. But certainly we heard from the U.S. officials saying that there will be a security component.

You know, you mentioned China, you know, this northern neighbor for Vietnam. They share an 800-mile-long land border. And obviously China is going to be watching Biden's visit very, very closely. Hanoi is not in a position to upset Beijing. It cannot afford to upset its largest trading partner. So it knows that it is walking a very delicate tightrope.

But obviously the Americans are coming to Vietnam. Relations are being upgraded from the Vietnamese side as well as the American side. And this is not just symbolic, it is highly substantive economically but is also when it comes to security.

The South China Sea, but then also the component of weapons, diversifying away from Russian weapons. But, you know, we spoke, Kim, to one U.S. government official that said that Vietnam is incredibly pragmatic. You know, they know that they need to walk this tightrope. They know that they need to remain autonomous. They don't want to jump into bed with either camp and be part of this superpower showdown that they need to do what is best for Vietnam. And what is best for Vietnam is having a healthy relationship with the U.S. as well as China.

BRUNHUBER: OK, so concretely then, I mean, you sort of alluded to weapons, but from the Vietnamese perspective, what more are they concretely hoping to come away with here from the U.S.?

COREN: Well, Kim, they want economic development. They look to China and see, you know, the China miracle and they want to replicate that. And they have, you know, taken extraordinary strides over the last few decades. Remember that Vietnam only normalized relations with the United States in 1995.

Bill Clinton then came here in 2000 and reestablished diplomatic ties, so much has been done since then. The U.S. is Vietnam's largest export partner, second largest trading partner behind China. Between the U.S. and Vietnam, there's something like $138 billion in bilateral trade last year. That is only expected to grow.

So certainly we know that there is a business delegation traveling with the president. We're expecting, you know, lucrative deals to be signed here in Hanoi tomorrow. But as far as Vietnam is concerned, you know, they've moved from manufacturing into semiconductors. And they have ambitions, Kim, to form their own fabs. And the Americans have indicated that they are prepared to share with the Vietnamese, that's technology.


So there is real opportunity here and that is something that that the Vietnamese are certainly looking to get out of the Americans.

BRUNHUBER: All right, appreciate it. Anna Coren in Hanoi, thanks so much.

Russia claims its air defenses have foiled a Ukrainian drone attack on Crimea. The Russian Defense Ministry says eight drones were shot down near the peninsula this morning, but further north the tables were turned. Have a look at this.

That's one of the drones Ukraine says it shot down over Kyiv. Military officials say more than two dozen drones were knocked out of the sky. Most of them targeting the capital. Debris ended up crashing all over Kyiv and causing damage on the ground.

So for more on this, Fred Pleitgen joins us from London. So Fred, I mean, the battle of the drones here, what's the latest on all these attacks?

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, the battle of the drones, and it's certainly something that has been escalating, especially if you look at the Ukrainian drone attacks on Russian territory, that's pretty much become a common place for people in Russian cities.

And it's not only Russian cities now that are close to the Ukrainian border, but in many cases, of course, we've also seen them fly to places like Moscow, but also even to the border between Lithuania, between Latvia, and Russia as well.

So certainly from the Ukrainian side, there has been an escalation that has happened in that. They've certainly had their drone capabilities upgraded considerably over the past couple of months and certainly a year and a half since this war has been going on. And I know that it is a priority for the Ukrainian government to upgrade their drone capabilities to not only help their troops on the battlefield, but to be able to strike in Russia as well.

And then we did just see those dramatic pictures over Kyiv tonight. And that's also something that still remains commonplace. And one of the things that we see especially around the Ukrainian capital is that it gets targeted by an array of ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, and also those drones as well. And this past night happened to be one with a wave of drone attacks.

It was quite interesting because we were looking at some of the details that we were getting from the Ukrainian government, from Ukrainian authorities, and they said around the Kyiv areas, that it was really not one large drone attack, but waves of drone attacks with these drones coming from different directions.

Kyiv has an elaborate air defense system. Still, these drones, while they move very slowly, the fact that they come in swarms does make it difficult. And also the other things for the Ukrainians as well, when they take down these drones, they fire at them mostly using cannons, using rifles or cannons.

They don't usually use missiles to take them down, which might be one of the reasons why some of those drones did make it through. Again though, for the Ukrainian capital, for many people, they're obviously a sleepless night, but once again, that elaborate air defense system in Kyiv seems to have worked despite the fact that we did see that through fire debris coming down over the Ukrainian capital, Kim.

BRUNHUBER: Lots of interesting details there. Fred Pleitgen in London. Thanks so much for that.

All right, still ahead on CNN Newsroom, a big night for American tennis star Coco Gauff, how the teen sensation pulled off her first Grand Slam victory on home-turf. CNN Sports Coy Wire joins me live next. Stay with us.



BRUNHUBER: All right, we want to take you back to Hanoi. You're looking at live pictures where U.S. President Joe Biden has arrived at the presidential palace and he will be greeted by Vietnam's leader, General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong.

Now, this visit has been in the works for a while now and it marks a major shift in how these two governments will conduct their relations going forward. You'll see if we can see the president getting out of the car. I can't quite see him there but -- oh, there we go. We see the President and there's the band as they strike up. He's shaking hands with Vietnamese dignitaries. He, of course, just finished the G20 summit in New Delhi and now he'll be spending some time in Vietnam where he's hoping to increase the American diplomatic presence as he is trying to counter the effects of the influence of China. So we're going to have much more on the significance of this visit in the coming hours here. Please do stay with CNN.

All right, home court advantage might have been the special ingredient for American Coco Gauff after dropping the first set in the women's U.S. Open final, the 19-year-old took command to win her first career major.

So with me now is CNN Sports Coy Wire. I mean, New York, the rest of the U.S. has been waiting a long time for this. I mean, what a match.

COY WIRE, CNN WORLD SPORT: Yeah, Coco Gauff becoming the first American team, Kim, to win the U.S. Open since her idol did it. Serena Williams back in 1999 and she had to rally after losing the first set. 27 of the last 28 players to win the first set in the final had gone on to win the U.S. Open.

But the crowd started chanting, let's go Coco. And she did go. Aryna Sabalenka, the Australian Open champ never stood a chance. Coco taking the first four games of the third set and watch, Kim, when she hits the winner. Collapsing to the court, Coco Gauff turned pro at 14 years old. She graduated high school virtually in Paris during the French Open last year. And now at 19, she claims her first ever Grand Slam title just over a decade ago. She was in the stands at Arthur Ashe Stadium as a as a fan and now she's showing that dreams really can come true.


COCO GAUFF, 2023 US OPEN CHAMPION: That little girl like she had the dream but, you know, I don't know if she fully believed it. As a kid you have so many dreams and you know as you get older sometimes it could fiddle away and I would tell her don't lose that dream. Honestly, I felt like I lost a little bit of the dream as this journey has gone. But I would just tell her just keep working hard and keep believing in that dream and don't let the doubters diminish that.



WIRE: Keep believing in that dream. Now it's Novak Djokovic's turn to take aim at history. Standing in his way though, Daniil Medvedev, the man who beat Djokovic at Arthur Ashe in the final in 2021. Since then though, Djokovic has beaten Medvedev four out of five times while also winning three majors. With another win Sunday afternoon, the joker would equal the Great Margaret Court with 24 career Grand Slam singles titles. Kim?

BRUNHUBER: Amazing. All right, so I want to switch gears here, Coy, the first Sunday of the NFL season kicks off today so you played nine years in the league so Sunday night you have a fascinating new documentary coming out called hard hits can football be safe would you learn about the NFL efforts to -- to make the game safer?

WIRE: Went to a research lab, Kim, and I think people are going to be as shocked as I was by everything happening behind the scenes to make the game safer. Hundreds of millions of dollars, epidemiologists, biomechanical engineers, researching, developing technology and new equipment, testing shoulder pads, cleats, new helmets.

Helmets are evolving at nine times the rate they used to, and the helmet that I wore in my playing days, Kim, is now banned. So it is what the NFL is doing to make the game safer is vital because it will have a trickle-down effect on the high school and youth levels, hopefully making the game safer for everyone. I can't wait for people to check out all that's going on behind the scenes.

BRUNHUBER: Yeah, I'm going to watch for sure. Coy Wire, thanks so much for that. And hard hits, can football be safe premieres Sunday night, 8 p.m. Eastern and Pacific in the U.S. and around the world right here of course on CNN.

All right, that wraps this hour, CNN Newsroom. I'm Kim Brunhuber. CNN This Morning is next.