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At least 6,000 people were missing in a major flood in Libya; NoKor Leader Apparently Arrived in Russia; Israel's Supreme Court Begins Arguments on the Controversial Judicial Overhaul Bill; Flooding Left Thousands Missing in Libya; Death Toll Mounting in Morocco's Earthquake. Vladimir Putin Mobilize Russian Troops; American Caver Mark Dickey Miraculously Saved. Aired 3-4a ET
Aired September 12, 2023 - 03:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
PAULA NEWTON, CNN ANCHOR: Hello and a very warm welcome to our viewers watching from all around the world. I'm Paula Newton, ahead right here on "CNN Newsroom."
More devastation in North Africa. Thousands now confirmed dead in Libya after heavy rainfall triggered catastrophic flooding that swept away entire neighborhoods.
And then in Morocco, help is starting to arrive in some of the hardest hit areas since that devastating earthquake Friday. But for many residents, help did not arrive in time.
Plus, Kim Jong-un has now crossed into Russia where he's expected to meet with Vladimir Putin amid concerns the two leaders could be planning on arms deal.
We begin with another devastating natural disaster in North Africa. Just days after the deadly earthquake in Morocco, Libya is now coping with major flooding that has wiped out entire villages and reportedly killed thousands of people.
Video from the region, you can see it there, shows buildings collapsed, cars submerged, torrents of water rushing through the streets. The Libyan National Army and a health official say more than 2,000 people are dead, 5,000 to 6,000 missing. Now of course it's impossible to verify those numbers as many areas are still unreachable and without communication.
The city of Derna was especially hard hit. Authorities say two dams collapsed, three bridges were destroyed and phone lines remained down. The storm system dumped about eight months worth of rain on the region in just a single day. It caused catastrophic flooding in Greece just last week.
The pictures are just staggering. We go live now to CNN's Eleni Giokos, who's been following developments for us from Dubai. Now, shockingly, the head of Libya's emergency and ambulance services admitted to CNN that there was no warning for people, no warning to evacuate, to get to higher ground, or to really understand what was coming at them.
ELENI GIOKOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And you know those emergency services also said that there was just lack of preparedness, that weather conditions weren't studied, there wasn't an understanding of the sea levels rising and just what the storm could mean.
And of course many are asking about negligence in this situation. People woke up in the middle of the night when the storm hit, seeing their homes flooded, some say up to three meters, and then desperately trying to find a way to get out. And of course, we've seen these images of just water everywhere. Cars were swept away, people swept away.
So many areas are now isolated, making it very difficult for search and rescue teams to try and figure out who they need to save and what is the next process. I mean, some of the search and rescue teams can't even get access and communications up with teams that are currently on the ground.
So we're talking about immense catastrophe here, exacerbating the situation. You have two dams that were burst in where we're seeing now the epicenter of the big tragedy in the city of Derna and that of course causing more pressure water coming through filling up the valley causing more catastrophe. I mean what it seems like you've got roads that are basically and homes that are melting away with this water authorities are telling us there are still bodies lying around so when we say that the death toll now is over 2000 difficult to ascertain the number at this point in time between 5 and 6,000 people, Paula, still missing.
You got the U.N. on the ground, Turkey, UAE, as well as Qatar sending assistance; storm Daniel causing havoc not only now what we've seen in Libya but also in Greece and Turkey just a few days ago and now moving towards northern Egypt the next two days they're expecting an extra 50 millimeters of rainfall to understand sort of what kind of rainfall the city of Derna has in the month of September it barely gets to 10 millimeters so we're talking about numbers that haven't been seen and felt before right now.
Search and rescue is the most important thing to try and get access to people. Phone lines are down, internet is down. Power lines are down, making it a lot more difficult for the people there.
NEWTON: I mean, look, the pictures that we're seeing are simply shocking. And again, it seems that the devastation is widespread.
Eleni, what more can anyone do here in terms of trying to coordinate aid to this country? I mean, Libya has been in turmoil politically for quite some time. GIOKOS: Exactly, it has. And you know, the question is, is there a
centralized system where, you know, both the East and the West can be in communication to figure out the next steps here? You've got to remember that the East is controlled by the Libyan National Army, and then the West is controlled by an internationally recognized government. Both of these factions have been vying for power for a very long time. So clearly a disconnect in communication here.
What we do know is the West has declared three days of mourning. Clearly, this happening in a coutry that has a lot of political turmoil, but at a time where they need to come together to try and figure out the next steps here. The fact that we've already got international cooperation is a step forward, but a lot more, Paula, is needed because search and rescue is still on.
Catastrophe is going to continue for at least the next two days, and then the question then becomes the clean-up after. But of course, that would be the aftermath of this, as you say, apocalyptic scenario that is playing out where villages, and we're talking about Derna here but you've had Benghazi hits, you've got another city, Jabal al-Aqdar, as well being impacted. And now the villages entirely swept away and underwater as we speak.
NEWTON: Yeah. This would be like a large storm hitting the United States, a large hurricane, and no one getting any warning whatsoever and it's just slamming into shore. Eleni Giokos, I mean you'll continue to follow this story for us, I appreciate it.
To Morocco now, rescuers are working urgently to find survivors in the rubble more than three days after the country was hit by a devastating earthquake. And the death toll has now climbed past 2,800, with that number still expected to rise in the days ahead.
Aid has been slow to reach some of the hardest hit remote villages, where roads have been destroyed or blocked by debris. State media report Morocco's military has now reached the epicenter with aid and equipment to help clear the roads. Now, according to UNICEF, initial reports show about 100,000 children have been directly impacted by Friday's quake. For so many in Morocco, their lives have been, of course, changed forever.
CNN's Nada Bashir is in the hard-hit area where residents are losing hope of finding any more survivors.
NADA BASHIR, CNN REPORTER (voice-over): Stone by stone, hour by hour, the desperate search for survivors pushes on.
The silence in this remote mountainous village, punctured only by the wails of those who survived, now left to mourn.
(on-camera): Well, for the rescue team here, this really is a race against time. There is a woman and her 12-year-old daughter buried beneath the rubble and fall, their family waiting anxiously for news of whether they have survived Friday's earthquake. They are quickly losing hope.
(voice-over): Berzika has already buried 19 members of her family. Now she fears she will soon have to bury her niece, Sheyma.
On Saturday morning, we could still hear her voice, she tells me. She was alive. Now we can't hear her. They took too long to get here. Until now we've been digging through the rubble with our bare hands. If help had arrived sooner, we could have rescued them in time.
Though small in size, the village of Imi N'Tala was among the hardest hit by the earthquake. The deadliest Morocco has suffered in decades.
But three days on, rescue teams have only just arrived, the high mountainous range simply too remote, the roads, up until now, still obstructed by debris from the quake.
And with time running out, rescuers say this has now become a recovery operation.
SAAD ATTIA, INTERNATIONAL SEARCH AND RESCUER VOLUNTEER: I think they are all working, working very hard. But till now, they don't need a dog who serves for life. So they confirm there's all the victims which in this rubble has already passed away.
BASHIR (voice-over): Few lives in this close-knit community have been untouched by death. Each body recovered, a gut-wrenching reminder of the climbing death toll already in the thousands.
It's unclear just how many in this village are still missing. But for those buried beneath the rubble, just like little Sheymar. Rescuers fear it is already too late.
Nada Bashir, CNN, in Imi N'Tala, Morocco.
NEWTON: Now for more information about how you can help victims of the Morocco earthquake, go to cnn.com/impact.
Russian state media says the Arward train carrying the leader of North Korea has entered eastern Russia. Kim Jong-un will be holding talks with the Russian president that could lead to an arms deal. It's unclear exactly when or where that meeting will be happening, but the Kremlin says this will be a full-blown visit and dismissed U.S. warnings about any weapons sales.
More now from CNN's Paula Hancocks in Seoul.
PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This was four years ago. North Korean leader Kim Jong-un traveled to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin. Friendship was pledged and closer ties promised, but little changed. Fast forward to today, Russia's war in Ukraine is faltering, and the
dynamics between the two leaders are different.
ALEXANDER VINDMAN, FORMER EUROPEAN AFFAIRS DIRECTOR, NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL: Certainly it means that Putin is in somewhat of a desperate situation, trying to acquire munitions that are severely depleted during this war effort. A lot of this would be, have been coordinated ahead of time, so he had some promises in that regard.
HANCOCKS (voice-over): Putin's defense minister Sergei Shoigu visited Pyongyang in July, the first such visit since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. Kim Jong-un gave him the red carpet treatment, showing off the full range of his weapons capability in a military parade and an arms expo.
South Korean intelligence says a second Russian delegation visited at the start of August, and a Russian plane believed to be carrying unknown military supplies left Pyongyang on August 8th. But Moscow and Pyongyang both deny any arms deal.
CARL SCHUSTER, FORMER DIRECTOR, U.S. PACIFIC COMMAND'S JOINT INTELLIGENCE CENTER: North Korea makes good what I call heavy industrial weapons. Artillery and the ammunition is very good. It's very similar to Russian designs, in fact it uses the same calibers as the Russians.
HANCOCKS (voice-over): Meaning certain North Korean ammunition could be used in Russian weapons immediately. The Biden administration believes North Korea already delivered infantry rockets and missiles for use in Ukraine by Russian mercenary group Wagner late last year.
As for North Korea, U.S. officials believe it could gain satellite technology or nuclear-powered submarine technology in return.
(on-camera): This strategic alliance is mutually beneficial for both Russia and North Korea, and not just politically. They're both isolated and sanctioned by the West and they also both enjoy the support, although sometimes tacitly, of China making them an increasing force against the current world order.
Paula Hancocks, CNN, Seoul.
NEWTON: CNN's Clare Sebastian is tracking developments from London, but we go first to our Beijing bureau chief, Steven Jiang. Steven, good to see you on the surface. This is an arms deal, or perhaps an arms deal. Nothing has been confirmed, certainly not by Russia. But given North Korea's nuclear ambitions, is there a possibility that Russia will help North Korea with that program? And I am very curious to learn from you what China is making of this meeting.
STEVEN JIANG, CNN BEIJING BUREAU CHIEF: Yeah, Paula, as you heard our Paula Hancocks was saying, that was certainly the expectation in terms of this potential Russian weapons technology transfer to North Korea. But the question right now is whether or not -- whether or not Moscow is actually willing to transfer some of its most closely guarded secrets in the military. In the past, they had been reluctant to do so even to close allies like China, but obviously the dynamic has changed substantially.
And right now, they do desperate need ammunition that North Korea, one of the world's most militarized nations that haven't fought a war for a long time, they have a surplus of that. So that is why there is growing concern from the West. But standing where I am, China has not publicly commented on this Putin and Kim meeting, actually, the daily press briefing by the foreign ministry. The spokeswoman was just asked about this meeting, and she simply ignored the question. I think if and when she does respond, she is probably going to strike this delicate balance given China's very much interdependence with the West economically.
That's why I think they're going to stick to their usual talking points about their neutrality on the war in Ukraine while supporting other countries' independent foreign policy that includes opposition to global hegemony. Because when you think about it, geopolitically and ideologically, North Korea, Russia and China, they do share the same grievances against this current world order dominated by the West. And they have not been shy about trying to reshape it.
That's also why at the U.N. Security Councils where Russia and China do wield veto powers, they have been working together to block U.S.- led efforts to impose and strengthen sanctions against North Korea over its recent missile testing activities. Instead, they have been pointing a finger at the U.S. for its military presence and activities in the region as underlying reasons for North Korea's behavior. And that obviously is a similar argument we have heard from Russia on the invasion of Ukraine and something that Chinese and North Korean state media have parroted as well, Paula.
NEWTON: Yeah, it was interesting to hear in Putin just also though while the vice premier was there singing China's praises and saying how good that relationship was.
Claire, to you now, I do want to get to Putin. He was speaking, I'm not sure if he's still speaking now, but what did he have to say at this economic forum ahead of Kim's visit?
CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, Paula, I mean, this was mostly, I think, designed for a domestic audience. There was a lot about development in the Far East.
But he did bring in some of that anti-Western, anti-sanctions rhetoric that we've been so used to hearing from him at many of these public events, which, frankly, have been increasing in frequency over recent months. Take a listen to a portion of what he had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VLADIMIR PUTIN, RUSSIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): We see how over the past few years the global economy has changed and is changing, including because of how some countries, mainly Western ones of course, are with their own hands destroying the system of financial, trade and economic relations that they created.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SEBASTIAN: So I think, look, you have to view the potential meeting, and it seems like it is definitely happening now between Putin and Kim in the coming days, in this context. It's not just about a potential arms deal, which, of course, would be in itself significant, given the depletion in terms of its equipment that Russia has seen in Ukraine, given the strain that it's put on its defense industry, but it's also about this sort of multipolar world which Putin also mentioned today, this axis that is being formed around these anti-Western anti- sanctions ideologies.
I think in that sense, North Korea would fit into that, which is why the optics of this forum, which Russia very much wants to be seen as an international event and this meeting happening on the sidelines of that, are crucially important for Putin.
But, Paula, he's also being confronted with the impact of the war on his economy. He was asked in the Q&A after this session about the ruble collapse, which has fallen by some 30 percent this year, and he very much played it down, saying the situation is manageable. It's not insurmountable, but he is facing this and of course facing re-election next year. Paula.
NEWTON: Yeah, it is interesting just to see him in this kind of form at all. Again, taking a Q&A even as a structured, it is, he is taking those questions and his answers are quite long in fact.
Steven, just back to you for a moment. Given everything that has been said about the China-Russia relationship, I mean, where do you see this? Because Putin, just in his speech right there, made it a point to single out the close relationship with China. He, in fact, said that it was the close personal and political relationship that he had with China's leader that made economic partnership possible. I'm very interested that the foreign ministry actually ignored the question, even about the Kim meeting. What do you make of all of it?
JIANG: Yeah, I think they are trying to strike this delicate balance, right, because their economy, as you know, is facing its strongest headwinds in decades. So at this juncture, they still have such a substantial trade and economic relationship with the West. So they do want to be careful about what they say. But on the other hand, Xi Jinping, their top leader, has basically stuck to his friend Putin that no limit partnership very much remains strong even after the invasion of Ukraine.
And Putin, of course, is coming here next month to attend the Belt and Road Forum. And that would be one of the few foreign trips he's now able to take. And just interestingly, Paula, I, you know, noticed the location of this forum, Vladivostok. That actually used to be Chinese territory. And it was only ceded to the Russian empire back in the 1800s. So in China, there are still quite some Chinese people who still hold a grudge against Russian over that. But look at that. Over there, you know, at the forum, their leaders are sharing the same stage with Putin and also with Kim talking about this united front. So it's really a reminder of ever-changing global political dynamics throughout history, Paula.
NEWTON: And Clare, before I let you go, there is this question as to whether or not if this arms deal does happen between North Korea and Russia, what kind of consequential difference could it make in the war in Ukraine?
SEBASTIAN: Yeah, Paula, I think the consensus among experts is that it would help sustain it while perhaps not leading to a breakthrough. As I said, Russia's defense industry, which by the way, before the war, and I think it's still just about is the second biggest arms exporter in the world. So it did come into this with huge stockpiles of weapons, but they have been greatly depleted.
Sanctions have contributed to difficulties in manufacturing new weapons, new ammunition quick enough. They're having trouble recruiting enough people. They put a sort of increasingly acute demographic crisis on that score.
So this would certainly help Russia get enough ammunition to the front line by the way where ammunition expenditure has been extraordinarily large in this war and by all accounts still is even though Russia is mostly on the defensive. So I think that is the key thing.
Ukraine is also greatly in need of ammunition from its western allies. Russia looking to new partnerships. All of this will feed into what is potentially now looking like a very long war, much longer than Russia had initially expected, which of course why it finds itself in this situation now of having to court North Korea of all countries for help.
NEWTON: Yeah, certainly a conflict that Vladimir Putin thought would last a few days now may last a few years. Clare Sebastian and Steven Jiang, really thank you for your insights, I appreciate it.
Still to come for us, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's controversial plan to reshape Israel's judicial system faces a critical hurdle in the Supreme Court. We'll go to Jerusalem for a live report.
And a British parliament researcher speaks out about accusations he's a spy for China. We'll have details on the strange case causing a diplomatic dust-up between London and Beijing.
NEWTON: And welcome back. Israel's Supreme Court is hearing arguments right now in an historic case over Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's plan to overhaul the country's judicial system.
For the first time ever, all 15 Supreme Court judges are hearing a case together. They'll have to decide whether to uphold or strike down a law passed by Netanyahu and his supporters designed to limit the court's ability to nullify government decisions deemed unreasonable. Israelis have been protesting for months over the issue that critics say erodes the court's independence and harms Israel's democracy.
Journalist Neri Zilber joins me now from Jerusalem with the latest. You know, I'm pretty curious as to what the timeline is here in terms of hearing the arguments, but then also how quickly they could expect a decision with this contentious issue.
NERI ZILBER, JOURNALIST: Good morning, Paula. That's right, an extraordinary day in Israel, a historic day in Israel. We're standing outside the Supreme Court in Jerusalem.
As you can see in here behind me, protesters for and against the Supreme Court, making their voices heard, trying to penetrate the thick walls of the courts where 15 justices are sitting in judgment over this controversial law passed by the ruling coalition of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in late July, effectively taking away and stripping the court of any judicial oversight powers, over government decisions, and critically the appointment and firing of key civil servants and officials.
Now in another historic first, the Supreme Court may actually this time decide to strike down this law passed a few months ago, deeming it unconstitutional. Now, the timeline for that decision is not expected to be imminent. Perhaps in another few weeks, the decision by all 15 judges will come down.
But the Netanyahu government, in a historic first as well, has already made it clear in recent weeks and in recent days, from the prime minister on down to senior ministers, that for the first time ever, it may not abide by whatever decision is made by the Supreme Court, potentially analysts fear setting up a constitutional crisis here in Israel.
Now, inside the chambers, about an hour, a little over an hour ago, arguments were being made and put forward by both sides. The government's position, being represented by a private lawyer, not by the Attorney General of Israel, the highest legal official in the land, but the argument by the government essentially the court has no standing to deliberate over the legality of this law, that the court has to abide by the will of the people, the sovereign, as the government ministers have called it.
And under the side of the ledger, the opposition politicians and civil society groups who brought the petition in front of the court are arguing that the law itself is undemocratic, unconstitutional, essentially erodes the very tenets, the very foundations of the Israeli democratic system. So fundamentally, Paula, this is a question of who gets to decide what is legal, what is constitutional here in Israel.
NEWTON: Alright, we appreciate the update there as we continue to follow those developments in the Supreme Court. I Appreciate it. Now, a British parliament researcher arrested on suspicion of spying
for China says he's completely innocent. But now his arrest and that of a second parliament employee have triggered a diplomatic dust-up between London and Beijing. CNN's Nick Robertson has our details.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Well, the speaker in the House of Commons, Lindsay Hoyle, saying that there wouldn't be detailed discussion of this case because it is a national security issue. He did say if members of parliament had concerns, then to come and talk to him or consult with authorities outside of the House of Commons, of the chamber there.
But his point was really to try to quell concerns that there hadn't been adequate security checks into this researcher saying that in parliament, they provide the same and do the same, do diligence security checks as the government does.
Now the police arrested these two men, the researcher and another man, 20 year old in Scotland and a 30 year old in Oxfordshire near London. Back in March they were brought to London for questioning, released on bail but expected to be charged under the Official Secrets Act.
So these are very serious and significant charges. There are conservative members of Parliament who actually have been sanctioned by Russia and hadn't been informed about this case. There's upset in the conservative ranks there, upset that a researcher could potentially have been providing information to China.
The researcher himself, named in a British newspaper over the weekend into the beginning of the week, actually released a statement saying that essentially to call him a spy for China is wrong, that is not a case. He says the opposite is true that he in fact has been trying to tell people, teach people about the dangers of the Chinese Communist Party and the Chinese embassy in London pushing back themselves very strongly that there could be any truth in these allegations that there was a researcher in parliament with high security access and access to senior members, senior conservative members of parliament.
Any idea that that's true, China says, is a fabrication, malicious. This is clearly something that will get more debate going forward when the two men are expected to appear in court in October, but until then the precise charges against them aren't clear.
Nic Robertson, CNN, London
NEWTON: Still ahead for us, anguish and anger in Morocco where some villagers say they've been left to fend for themselves after last week's deadly earthquake.
Plus, differing claims from the battlefields in Ukraine as the war grinds on in the region
PAULA NEWTON, CNN ANCHOR: Authorities in eastern Libya report more than 2,000 people are dead in major flooding there. The Libyan National Army and health officials say another 5,000 to 6,000 people are missing.
Now, CNN can't independently verify those numbers, but video from the region shows the utter devastation. You can see some of it there with empty villages just swept away.
The storm system caused catastrophic flooding increased last week and it could bring another 50 millimeters of rain to northern Libya and Egypt over the next few days. Here is our report.
NEWTON: Swept away. That's what a top Libyan official says was the fate of some coastal areas after devastating floods inundated the eastern part of the country. One of the hardest hit places centered in the coastal city of Derna. Video shows water flowing through the town. Buildings, roads and embankments left in shambles after the deluges caused by heavy winds and rain overpowered the city.
The spokesperson for the Libyan National Army that controls eastern Libya says it was a catastrophic series of events that led to such sudden and intense flooding.
AHMED MISMARI, SPOKESPERSON, LIBYAN NATIONAL ARMY: Two dams in south Derna collapse, leading to the valley and the city filling up. As a consequence, three bridges were destroyed. The flowing water carried away entire neighborhoods, eventually depositing them into the sea.
NEWTON: The death toll could be staggering. In Derna alone, the LNA says more than 2,000 people have been killed and thousands more are missing. Though the head of the Red Crescent Aid Group in the region says the figures are only in the hundreds. Some residents say they were caught off guard by the floods. Witnesses say they were asleep and woke to find their homes surrounded by water measuring three meters high in some places.
Search and rescue missions are underway to look for the stranded and the missing and some hospitals have had to be evacuated to waterlogged to be functional. Authorities say the scale of the destruction is still unfolding and they expect it to get worse since many areas are still inaccessible.
Libya's divided political system is adding another layer of complexity to this crisis. The country is divided between two rival administrations, the LNA in the east and the internationally recognized government in the west. The western entity has declared three days of mourning for the flood victims. A political council that works with both governing bodies has asked
for international assistance. So far, the UAE, Turkey and Qatar have pledged to help.
NEWTON: And we will continue to update that story for you. In the meantime, we go to Morocco where the death toll from Friday's powerful earthquake is now more than 2,800, as rescuers continue searching the rubble for survivors. Another 2,500 are injured. That's according to state media. Many people are still sleeping in the streets in tents, too afraid to go home.
Morocco's military has reached the epicenter of the quake, but aid has been slow to reach some of the hardest hit areas, especially in those remote villages. Officials say destroyed roads are, of course, making it difficult to access those regions. But some villagers are upset and say they've been left to fend for themselves. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNKNOWN: The government didn't come. We didn't see anyone. After the earthquake they came to count the number of victims. Since then, not a single one of them is left. No civil protection, no assistance force, no one is here with us.
UNKNOWN: We feel completely abandoned here. No one has come to help us. Our houses have collapsed and we have nowhere to go. Where are all these poor people going to live?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NEWTON: Now Morocco's army has set up a field hospital for victims in one of the hardest hit areas.
CNN's Sam Kiley was there.
SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Here in Asni the Royal Moroccan Armed Forces have established a field hospital in response to this earthquake. But the problem in this location in Asni, at the bottom of the foothills of the Atlas Mountains, is that people are going to be coming down off those mountains seeking urgent medical assistance.
And this is a highly sophisticated hospital that's been deployed around the world to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, to Jordan and elsewhere to deal with emergencies internationally. But here, they're dealing with emergencies locally, obviously. But they've got radiology. They've got laboratories. They've got operating theaters. They've got pharmacological tents and they've even got psychiatric helpers here. And ultimately though, the real problem is for the rescue services up in those mountains where the needs are gravest because the roads up there have been cut. Helicopters are being sent in to deliver aid, to try to pick up patients, to try to do assessments, to try to figure out how wide this catastrophic problem really extends in this country.
There have been some amazing successes because this is still within the golden hours of three days when people buried under the ground have a reasonable chance of survival. People have been pulled out in almost miraculous recoveries around the country, particularly in these very isolated areas.
And the doctors here have said that one of the really striking things for them is the importance of the psychological help. Because everybody recognizes here that even after the end of the emergency response to this massive earthquake, the shock waves, the psychological shock waves are going to be felt by this country for years to come.
Sam Kiley, CNN, in Asni.
NEWTON: Now, as you've just been hearing, rescue teams in Morocco's hard-hit mountainous areas are dealing with a number of challenges. And of course, as you can see for yourself, that includes the terrain.
CNN's meteorologist Jennifer Gray explains more.
JENNIFER GRAY, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Where this earthquake occurred in Morocco is going to pose a huge logistical challenge when it comes to recovery efforts. You can zoom in a little bit and we can see that this, the terrain is really mountainous. We're looking at peaks that are as much as 10 to 13,000 feet high.
And so, you have to think getting to these small villages around the mountains is not going to take crews much. much longer, but also the roads might be much more narrow, than say, if you were just going to -- to one large city. You know, these are very rural areas in the mountains, and so logistically, it's going to be a huge challenge for rescuers not only to get in there, but also get the equipment that they need into these small towns and villages high in the mountains as well.
I want to show you the forecast. Because moving forward, we are going to see a pretty dry forecast which is good. We've been very hot in this region over the last couple of days. And so, we are going to see a couple of passing clouds. But as far as rainfall goes, we're going to stay dry which is good. We do hit the 90s once again Wednesday and Thursday. Sa the hot temperatures will stick around for the foreseeable future.
NEWTON: Now for more information about how you can help victims of the Morocco earthquake, go to CNN.com/impact.
Ukraine's president is warning his country that the conflict with Russia will not end anytime soon, telling Ukrainians to prepare for a long war. And Ukrainian officials are urging Western allies to send more military help, including long-range missiles.
A U.S. official tells CNN that President Biden is expected to make a decision about sending those missiles soon. That official saying, quote, there is a much greater possibility of it happening than now than before.
Melissa Bell has more.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Ukraine has repeated its call for American long-range missiles, specifically the ATACMS that a spokesman for President Zelenskyy's office says would make a big crucial difference on the battlefield. These are long-range American missiles that can reach some 190 miles. The idea is that it would allow Ukraine to make that progress against Russian supply lines specifically, where it's hoping to get them between Russia and Crimea, the aim of the southern counter-offensive.
We hear on Monday that there's been more progress along that line with intense fighting both to the south and to the east of Ukraine. Both fronts seeing intense fighting along several points there, even as early results from the voting over the course of the weekend in several Russian-held regions in Ukraine suggest that with little surprise, the Kremlin-backed candidates appear to be winning.
The elections had largely been decried not just by the international community and Ukrainian allies but by Kyiv as a sham with Ukrainians urged not to vote. The elections that were both regional and municipal elections held throughout Russia also held in those four regions, none of which are entirely in the hands of Russian forces. Still, the early voting suggests that, as expected, it is the Kremlin's candidates that have won.
Melissa Bell, CNN, in Zaporizhzhia.
NEWTON: Meantime, Ukraine claims its recaptured oil and gas drilling platforms off the coast of Crimea. Russia has used the platforms as helicopter landing sites and for other military uses since it annexed the region in 2014.
Mark Galeotti is the founder and CEO of Mayak Intelligence, a consultancy firm focusing on Russia. He's also the author of "Putin's Wars from Chechnya to Ukraine." And he joins me now from Broadstairs in England.
Good to have you in on these issues, as Putin is speaking this hour from Vladivostok. Perhaps we are a bit reductive, though, about the war in Ukraine. It's always about winning, losing, defense, offense. Is it -- that makes it easier for us to digest, no doubt. But what about the nuance and the deeper analysis? I note that to that end, you say the front line really doesn't betray much about what's going on. Why not?
MARK GALEOTTI, FOUNDER & CEO, MAYAK INTELLIGENCE: Well, I think it's this obsession that we've acquired with exactly how many yards have been moved forward today and how many miles and so forth. Obviously, yes, it matters. Ukraine is committed to regaining all its occupied territories.
But I think what we sometimes miss in that is precisely all the other indices. It's not just about territory. It's about positioning, it's about how much of the other sides' stocks of advanced weapons have been degraded, and so forth. And when one puts all these different calculations together, it's clear that while Ukraine is undoubtedly winning, there's no way of getting around that, it does suggest that this is precisely, as you've already said, going to be a rather long war than some people rather so triumphalistically expected.
NEWTON: You know, Zelenskyy, that's his stand and he has said that for a while but he is much more emphatic now and seems to be taking a tougher stand towards any kind of peace negotiation. What more can Putin throw at this war or is a stalemate good enough for him, a frozen conflict? Would that serve Vladimir Putin's purposes just fine?
GALEOTTI: I think from Putin's point of view, he wins by not losing. Because his calculation is this. I think he's now reached a situation where he's not going to be winning some grand victory on the battlefield as things stand.
However, he hopes that he can extort some kind of a settlement that he can then spin as a triumph. If he can outlast, outlast Ukraine's will and capacity to keep fighting, but even more outlast the west, because the critical potential point of failure is us. If we decide that we've had enough, if we decide to stop or scale down the amount of financial and military support we provide Ukraine, then Kyiv finds itself in a much, much tougher position.
So, precisely, for -- from Putin's point of view, actually, a stalemate is very good. So, I mean, he will continue to throw soldiers into the fight. He almost certainly will launch a new mobilization wave. All really intended to try and deny the Ukrainians the chance at that kind of decisive victory.
NEWTON: And to that issue of the mobilization, what do you make of the claim from British military intelligence and Ukrainian officials that Putin might be on track to mobilize as many as 400,000 more troops by the end of the year? Is that plausible?
GALEOTTI: I think that's probably, let's put it politely, an extreme end of what is really plausible. It's not about just simply gathering together recalcitrant 40, 50-year-olds who last saw a gun 30 years ago. And it's also about, and who's going train these people? Where they're going to house them? What weapons have they got? I mean, there's a limit to how much old 1970s and 1980s kids they can drag out of warehouses and so forth.
To be honest, I think a more credible figure is between 200 and 300,000. Now that's still a lot of manpower to have at your disposal. But given that, as I say, these are not going to be good troops by any means, all they can really do is at best hold the line.
NEWTON: Yes, and unfortunately for Russian families, they may be injured or worse, dead troops very soon. Given that, if we go back to how Putin can pros -- prosecute this war at home, you know, do you believe, post Prigozhin here, that he could still have some trouble with Russian public opinion?
GALEOTTI: I think so. I mean, I think we have to realize there's two different threats here. One is from the public. We're not likely to see grand protests, because remember, this is an increasingly brutal authoritarian police state. If you go out and protest, you're almost certainly going to be arrested. If you're lucky, you're going to be fined. If you're unlucky, you're going to prison and going to be roughed up by the police.
So, I mean, I think that there is a concern about not pushing the population too far, but we have to keep that in -- in sort of limited constraints. Secondly, though, it's the elite. And that's, I think, what the Prigozhin mutiny really brought up. It's really striking how many within the military and the security operators did not really want to get involved. They didn't want to join the mutiny, but they didn't want to protect Putin either.
So, I think already we're beginning to see a certain kind of calculus. People thinking, what is more dangerous? Letting Putin drag this country into increasing chaos and misery or actually going against him. So far, at least the risks in turning against Putin are greater, but the longer this war goes on, the more the misery accrues at home, then people may well start to change their minds about that.
NEWTON: Yes. And again, as you're saying, that will likely be motivated in some way by the elite.
Mark Galeotti, we'll leave it there for now. Thanks so much. I appreciate it.
Still to come for us, finally back on the surface after days trapped in a Turkish cave. We will have the latest on the treacherous rescue of an American caver.
NEWTON: Hawaii's Kilauea Volcano which started erupting again on Sunday after being quiet for nearly three months. Kilauea is the youngest and most active volcano in Hawaii. Some visitors were able to see the eruption up close. Hawaii's Volcano Observatory has lowered its alert level from warning to watch, saying the eruption has stabilized now and is not a threat to nearby communities. An American caver is thanking the Turkish government and a team of
more than 150 rescuers from multiple countries for saving his life. The man was trapped for days in Turkey's third deepest cave after falling ill while more than 1,000 meters underground.
CNN's Jomana Karadsheh has our details.
JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Shortly before one a.m. local time in Turkey, the cave rescue operation of American caver Mark Dickey came to an end. A successful one as we saw those images of his stretcher being pulled out of Turkey's third deepest cave.
Dickey appeared to be smiling, giving thumbs up. We heard from Turkish officials saying that he seemed to be fine and that they were going him to get him on a chopper out of there and move him to Mersin Hospital in southern Turkey where he will be headed for the medical treatment he needs.
Now, this has been a very, very complex operation. It has lasted days. Mark Dickey, an experienced caver, was part of an international and local expedition. When he fell ill at about more than 3,000 feet, more than thousand meters from the surface of the cave.
This was as a result of gastrointestinal bleeding, we understand, and he lost a lot of blood, but over the past few days he had been stabilized. He was improving. He was walking. He was talking. We even saw a video recorded by -- released by Dickey where he spoke about his condition but also explaining that he was still not OK on the inside and that he needed medical treatment.
And this was such a complex operation. Again, because this is one of the deepest caves in the world. We're also talking, according to experts, about a cave with very narrow and winding passages. So, putting him on a stretcher and getting him out of there would have been very, very difficult. So, they have to look at the different options, consulting with doctors to make sure they can get him out of there.
And finally, this operation, this extraction began on Saturday and it involved nearly 200 rescuers from different countries. It was a real multinational effort to try and get him out of there. And they moved in phases over the past few days. They would move, they would stop, rest a bit, and then move again until they made it out of that cave.
Certainly, it's going to be good news for the family, friends, colleagues of Mark Dickey and all those who have been involved in this rescue operation that has brought an end to this ordeal.
Jomana Karadsheh, CNN, London.
NEWTON: The Spanish court is moving forward with the complaint against Spain's former Football Federation president who gave an unwanted kiss on the mouth to a member of the World Cup winning women's team. Luis Rubiales will now be investigated for alleged sexual assault and coercion.
Reaction is pouring in after Rubiales reluctantly stepped down over the weekend. The coach of the Spanish men's team who had once applauded Rubiales for his initial refusal to resign later apologized for that misguided support. Now, he says he just wants to focus on football. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LUIS DE LA FUENTE, SPAIN MEN'S COACH (through translator): On the squad, we think about soccer and we live in a bubble which is necessary for us to be completely concentrated on soccer, which is our utmost responsibility. I think, I understand that there is a lot of interest in other things, but I think we have to focus on soccer, in soccer and what we soccer professionals can control.
Tomorrow is a really important match which puts us in the fight for the top spot in the group for the next Euro Cup. I think that is important enough for us to focus on.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NEWTON: Now, many female footballers are not ready to give in or forgive or forget what happened to Spain's Jenni Hermoso. They say the kiss and subsequent fallout should be the start of a whole new movement. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGIA STANWAY, MIDFIELDER, BAYERN MUNICH: Everybody's fought and we've fought as a women's football group. We've fought as players, we've fought as staff, we've fought as journalists for the outcome to be the -- what it is. And obviously, the outcome is what we want, but at the same time we want this to be the start of something rather than the end of something.
We want to continue to be able to have these conversations, feel comfortable to have these conversations, feel comfortable in your workplace to be able to stand up for whatever you think is right. And I think that's why we're so good in the women's game, is the fact that together we are so much more powerful and together we can make change.
And this can be the start of something going forward where we can be united as a team to continue to push for what's right.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NEWTON: Still to come for us, bad news. If you're a night owl, a brand new study finds a link between staying up late and developing a certain disease. We'll give you the details when we're back.
NEWTON: So, if you are a night owl, and I know many are, a new study has linked staying up late to an increased risk of diabetes. Researchers found people who stay up late had a 72 percent greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes over eight years.
It also found that people stay up late are likely to have poor diets, drink alcohol, or more alcohol that is, be less physically active, and have more body fat. They also tend to sleep too much or too little than the suggested seven to nine hours. The study was published Monday in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine.
Now, far above the Earth, an American astronaut has just set a new record for time in space, but he did it by accident. Dr. Frank Rubio has now reached his 356th consecutive day aboard the International Space Station, the longest any U.S. astronaut has spent in Earth or Earth's orbit. But it wasn't supposed to be that way.
Yes, this was an accident. He was supposed to return to Earth after just six months. But the stay spacecraft he was slated to take home sprung a coolant leak. So, he stayed and stayed and he's still there. He's finally scheduled to return home later this month, extending his stay to 371 days. And my goodness, I hope there is a good meal waiting for him when he lands.
I want to thank you for your company. I'm Paula Newton. CNN Newsroom continues with Max Foster and Bianca Nobilo.