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Putin And Kim Meet At Russia's Vostochny Cosmodrome; McCarthy Orders Impeachment Inquiry Into Biden; More Than 5,000 Presumed Dead, 10,000 Missing. Aired 1-2a ET
Aired September 13, 2023 - 01:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. I'm John Vause. And this is just got 1:00 a.m. here on the East Coast.
Ahead on CNN Newsroom, right now in eastern Russia, Kim Jong-un and Vladimir Putin are holding a historic face to face meeting at a space launch site in eastern Russia. Meantime, North Korea's own launch sites are busy firing at least two short range ballistic missiles.
In Libya, a staggering loss of human life. Authorities now believe over 5,000 people have been killed by catastrophic flooding. More than 10,000 people are still unaccounted for.
Also a remarkable discovery in the search for a habitable planet outside our solar system. Why exoplanet K2-18b has astronomers so very excited.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is CNN breaking news.
VAUSE: We begin with that breaking news. After days of speculation mystery and secrecy, Kim Jong-un and Vladimir Putin and now finally meeting face to face for the first time in four years. Within the past hour, the two leaders arrived at the Vostochny Cosmodrome, Russia's spaceport. They shook hands as cameras from Russian state media rolled and these images were broadcast live.
They've been touring the facility. And according to Russian state media, Kim Jong-un has been asking detailed questions about how the Cosmodrome works, and which rockets are launched from the center. He also signed what looks to be a guestbook. It's believed the two leaders will discuss a possible weapons deal. The Russians need artillery, the North Koreans have a lot of it.
Meantime, South Korea says North Korea fired two rockets ahead of this meeting before Kim actually arrived in the city. There is lot to cover. Let's go to CNN's Kristie Lu Stout who's following all of this from Hong Kong. OK, let's just start with the big picture. What are they expected to talk about? What's expected to come out of this meeting? Why is the U.S. and other Western allies so concerned? KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, a lot of parties watching this very closely, John. The North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and Russian President Vladimir Putin are meeting right now at the Vostochny Cosmodrome, the Russian Spaceport in Eastern Russia.
Earlier they shook hands all happening in front of the cameras they greeted one another. They've been touring the facility Kim Jong-un sign the guestbook. According to Russian state media, Putin was asked the question, will Russia help North Korea build satellites and Putin responded that is why we are here at the Vostochny Cosmodrome, unquote.
Now ahead of this meeting, Putin also said that the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un showed great interest in space. Other state news agencies have report that the leaders will discuss space satellites but will discuss all issues. And this meeting comes just hours after North Korea fired missiles, fired to more short range ballistic missiles, fired two missiles today into the waters off the east coast of the Korean Peninsula. This is what we learned from South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff.
And analysts point out that this is the first time we've seen a missile launch with the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un out of the country, though, bear in mind this is a leader who rarely travels abroad. Now this meeting between Kim and Putin it comes as the U.S. is warning that the two are actively advancing their talks over another potential arms deal.
We know that Kim Jong-un he arrived in Russia early on Tuesday, setting foot 6:00 a.m. Early in the morning Tuesday morning in Hassan that is the main rail gateway to Russia's Far East. Kim dressed in a western suit smiling as he stepped off that train onto the red carpet, given the red carpet welcome by the Russian delegation.
He left Pyongyang days ago on Sunday to go to Russia by that private green slow chugging, slow moving armored coach. And also traveling with them onboard and with him now at the spaceport is some of North Korea's top officials including its leading military officials as well as the chief diplomat of North Korea.
This is Kim Jong-un's first overseas trip since 2019 before the COVID- 19 pandemic. Back in 2019, he traveled by that green train to Vladivostok for his first summit with Vladimir Putin. The United States has warned of this meeting and says it remains concerned that North Korea will provide arms to Russia.
I mean, last week, we heard from U.S. officials that Kim and Putin are expected to discuss potential arms deals, you know, a deal for Russia to get more North Korean weapons to use in its war against Ukraine. And in exchange for those weapons, what is North Korea want? Well, Pyongyang reportedly wants advanced technology for nuclear powered submarines for satellites. It also is seeking food aid.
The relationship between Kim and Putin between North Korea and Russia is edging ever closer together. And it has taken a significant step forward with this meeting currently underway at Vostochny, the Spaceport in eastern Russia. This is their second meeting since Kim came to power. Back to you, John.
VAUSE: And Kristie, what is interesting here is that if the North Koreans end up supplying the Russians with artillery shells with munitions that will be a violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions. And then in turn of the Russian sends supply to North Koreans with missile technology, which is also satellite technology, nuclear submarine technology that also will be violations of U.N. Security Council resolutions.
What it seems to indicate here right now is that with Russia now in this sort of family, this group of Beijing, Pyongyang and Moscow, North Korea now can act with a lot more impunity than it has in the past because it has a new supplier of oil possibly, has a new supplier of economic aid, has a new supplier of munitions and, you know, it can play Beijing off against Moscow as much as they want. The happiest man today, it seems to me would be the North Korean leader.
STOUT: You're absolutely right. North Korea's found a new friend in Russia to supply advanced technology like satellites to supply food aid, to supply additional technologies like nuclear powered submarines.
And the international community, the U.S. and its allies in the region and China are watching this very cautiously. And the U.S. and its allies in particular, just scratching their heads wondering what could possibly deter North Korea. North Korea having this meeting, it's going on anyway with Vladimir Putin just an hour, so after it tested two more short range missiles.
Not much has deterred Pyongyang. Decades of sanctions have not deterred Pyongyang. U.N. Security Council resolutions have not deterred Pyongyang. Demonstrations of shows of force by the U.S. and its allies in the region have failed to do so as well. It is really difficult to see what could be done to reverse this trend that is underway of these two isolated nations edging closer together, Putin and Kim meeting now in Vostochny. John?
VAUSE: Kristie, great to have you with us. We appreciate live coverage, all the analysis and reporting. Kristie Lu Stout there live for us in Hong Kong.
STOUT: Thank you.
VAUSE: Well, despite no direct evidence of wrongdoing, U.S. Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has ordered a formal impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden over allegations he profited from his son's business deals.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA), HOUSE SPEAKER: These are allegations of abuse of power, obstruction and corruption. And they warrant further investigation by the House of Representatives. That's why today I am directing our House Committee to open a formal impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden. I do not make this decision lightly. And regardless of your party, or who you voted for, these facts should concern all Americans.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: The move comes amid increasing pressure from far right MAGA Republicans in the House, who threatened to remove McCarthy from the speakership. McCarthy's needs secure votes to avert a looming government shutdown. Ron Brownstein is a CNN senior legal analyst and senior editor at The Atlantic. He joins us now live from Los Angeles. Good to see you, Ron.
RON BROWNSTEIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Hi, John.
VAUSE: OK. I wanted to listen to Republican congressman from Colorado, Ken Buck, talking about the current Congressional investigations into the president's son, Hunter Biden. Here he is during a short time ago.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. KEN BUCK (R-CO): The three committees, the Oversight Committee, the Judiciary Committee, the Ways and Means Committee are investigating and they're investigating Hunter's Biden's activities. They should be investigating, they're uncovering interesting information. Like I said, they haven't found that link yet to Joe Biden, if it exists.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: If it exists, though, but so far at best, is this impeachment inquiry, a fishing expedition?
BROWNSTEIN: Well, I think what we saw today was more about Kevin McCarthy's job security than Joe Biden's. You know, McCarthy, only a few weeks ago, told the conservative news site Breitbart that he would not open an impeachment investigation on his own. He would only do so through a vote of the House. He doesn't seem to have the votes in the House to go forward. So he went forward on his own, because as you noted, the far right flank of his caucus is beginning to more loudly, again threatened to remove him.
And this is a pattern we've seen, really, throughout this kind of short and rocky tenure as speaker that McCarthy's posture has been at each juncture to try to mollify his critics on the right and assume that Republicans in more competitive districts would fall in line in the end. That's what he's done again. But he can only take this so far, John, before he will ultimately need a vote on the floor of the House for anything consequential to happen.
And I think the fact that he did this unilaterally is a pretty clear indication that he does not have those votes at this point.
VAUSE: Yes. Impeaching Biden, if history is any guide here will motivate Democrats and Independent leading Democrats to, you know, support the president. I want you to listen Democrat Congressman Jamie Raskin, who led the second impeachment of Donald Trump. Here he is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. JAMIE RASKIN (D-MD): You've got all these Republicans who could not bring themselves to vote to impeach Donald Trump, who tried to overthrow a presidential election and attacked our constitutional order, now moving to impeach Joe Biden, for reasons unstated. Now, so I think that that's absurd.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: So that's the view from the left. So impeaching Biden is likely to give Biden amounts, right? So you know, that's bad news for Republicans. Shutting down the government is also bad news for Republicans with Speaker McCarthy in charge. So this play that McCarthy is now, you know, in the middle of is it likely he's going to end up with the worst of both worlds and impeachment inquiry and the government shutdown?
BROWNSTEIN: Highly likely that he will have to, you know, I think we talked about this last spring. Once he diffused the debt ceiling crisis, it was almost inevitable that he would have to, again, mollify the far right of his caucus by agreeing to a government shutdown, which is on the relative order of things, less of a threat to, you know, bring down the global economy than defaulting on the U.S. debt.
And so look, I you know, I don't know if this is going to solve Joe Biden's problems, you know, in the electorate. I mean, he obviously is facing a lot of concern about inflation, and three quarters of voters saying in multiple polls now that they think he's too old to do the job for another term. So, you know, it's not going to magically make all of those problems go away. But it almost certainly is going to compound the problems of Republicans in those competitive districts.
There are 18 House Republicans in districts that voted for Biden, there's another dozen or so in districts that only narrowly voted for Trump. And what we saw in the fall of 2022, in that midterm election, was that there was an unusually large number of voters who are dissatisfied with the economy, dissatisfied with President Biden's performance and voted for Democrats anyway, precisely because they consider the Republican alternative to extreme. And they are certainly putting more logs on this fight -- on that fire by going down this road at a moment where even many in their own caucus will acknowledge. They have no evidence to justify such an action.
VAUSE: Once you listen to Kevin McCarthy back in 2019, when Democrats open an impeachment inquiry without a vote into then President Donald Trump.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MCCARTHY: Our job is to legislate not to continue to investigate something in the back when you cannot find any reason to impeach this president. She cannot unilaterally decide we're in an impeachment inquiry.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: If it was 2023, and he was talking about Joe Biden, would he be absolutely correct?
BROWNSTEIN: Well, yes, I mean, look, they did have a vote, right, later on to authorize the impeachment inquiry. And of course, then they did have a vote on the impeachment itself. And that's why I said, you know, these same committees have been looking for evidence, and they have certainly found, you know, kind of unseemly behavior by Hunter Biden, and maybe some lapses in judgment by President Biden in going on the phone with him when, you know, when he was trying to impress as many lobbyists to in Washington, his clients by the important people that he knew.
What they haven't found is any evidence that President Biden, you know, did favors for Hunter Biden's clients or that he benefited in any way from this arrangement. So, you know, McCarthy is as on all things throughout the speakership, with the exception of the debt ceiling, where I think the you know, kind of the Wall Street wing of the Republican Party kind of warned him that the consequences are too serious to play around with. His strategy has been consistently to give the far right flank what it wants and to assume that those members and competitive districts will fall in line in the end.
Sooner or later that rubber is going to have to meet the road again. He cannot take this very far unless he can get enough of those Republicans to vote, to move forward on this. And then of course, it's dead on arrival in the Senate. And this is the calculated risk that they're taking.
Plus, as you know, Donald Trump was involved in this. Donald Trump was lobbying them to do this. So this is just another way in which McCarthy is tying his House Republican majority even more tightly to the ultimate voter reaction on Donald Trump.
VAUSE: As you say, at this level about Kevin McCarthy keeping his job, they're removing Joe Biden from his. Ron Brownstein is always good to have you, sir. Thank you.
BROWNSTEIN: Thanks, John.
VAUSE: Still to come here on CNN, Morocco continues to grapple with a mounting death toll from last week's earthquake. We'll have the very latest on the disaster, just ahead.
VAUSE: Welcome back, 19 minutes past the hour. Now to eastern Libya, where the death toll from catastrophic flooding has more than doubled in the past 24 hours. Authorities now say more than 5,000 people are presumed dead. Another 10,000 remain unaccounted for. That's according to the Red Crescent. The coastal city of Derna appears to be the hardest hit. Many buildings have just collapsed. One government official says a quarter of the city has disappeared. Some of the images from the disaster are graphic. The only hospital in Derna is no longer taking patients where bodies are lined up on the sidewalk.
Others been swept out to sea. Mass burials are now underway in some parts of the country. Volunteers searching for survivors and caring for the injured say, they're just not enough people to help so many in so much need.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MOHAMMED QAMATY, VOLUNTEER: These are the victims. May God protect us all. We are still looking for victims. We call on all young Libyans, anyone with a degree or any medical affiliation to please come and help us. We have a shortage of nurses and we need help. We hope God will bless their souls and ascend them to the heavens and I pray that families are reunited. God bless those in Tripoli and Misrata. Libya is all one country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: Getting help to those who need it most has been made even more complicated by Libya's rival governments, one on the east, one on the west. CNN senior international correspondent Ben Wedeman has our report.
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A wall of water rushes toward the eastern Libyan city of Derna. Upstream to dams have burst. Tens of thousands of people now in mortal danger after a freak storm dumped eight months of rain in a single day. An army spokesman said entire neighborhoods in Derna were washed out to sea. Officials fears many people may have been killed by the floods in eastern Libya. With many more unaccounted for.
TAMER RAMADAN, HEAD OF IFRC DELEGATION, LIBYA: We confirmed from our independent sources of information that number of missing people are -- is hitting 10,000 persons.
WEDEMAN (voice-over): Dozens of bodies covered with blankets are strewn about outside Derna's morgue, now full to capacity. Communications with the city are spotty, Storm Daniel knocked out many of the cell phone towers and rendered many roads impassable.
Libya was convulsed by the 2011 uprising against the rule of Muammar Gaddafi and ripped apart by civil war. After years of human folly preparing for nature's wrath may not have been anyone's top priority. Turkey has dispatched search and rescue teams in emergency supplies. Italy is also sending in teams to assess the damage. But the level of death and destruction may be more than Libya can handle. Tuesday afternoon a simple message appeared on the Facebook page of the Derna municipality. The situation in the city is out of control it said. International intervention is needed.
Ben Wedeman, CNN, Rome.
VAUSE: The U.S. Embassy in Tripoli is working to authorize funding because what relief efforts in Libya. Turkish aircraft have already arrived part of a plan to send 168 search and rescue teams. Egypt, Italy, Malta, United Arab Emirates and other countries are also sending help. The U.N. is mobilizing emergency teams. And the International Rescue Committee is working with other aid organizations to distribute supplies.
Morocco is hopes further finding more survivors. The official death toll from Friday's earthquake is now approaching 3,000. State media reports more than 5,000 people are reported wounded. And in his first public appearance since the quake, Morocco's King visited a hospital in Marrakech, Tuesday. He met with injured survivors and also donated blood. But CNN's Sam Kiley reports, survivors in some hard hit remote villages are still desperately waiting for government assistance.
SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Moroccan airmen scan the landscape below for earthquake survivors. The remains of villagers have been crushed back into the hillsides are inaccessible by land, some so remote that aid is dropped from the sky. Below the search for survivors is turning to recovery of the dead.
LIEUTENANT MONSIF ASIF, ROYAL MOROCCAN ARMED FORCES: So since the day that we arrived here, we found more than 200 dead bodies and we saved 153.
KILEY (voice-over): The helicopter collects more of the quakes victims, leaving homes that no longer exist. There are many areas yet to see government help in these foothills.
(on camera): The further you get into the foothills of the Atlas Mountains whether by air or on foot, the more one fine scenes like this. Locals tell us that two people were killed when these three homes were flattened.
(voice-over): The death toll has climbed to more than 2,900 now as the poorest, the most isolated, are getting counted.
(on camera): And as one gets into these remote villages, and you look back down the hillside, you get the really strong impression of the giant steps of this quake stamping on villages as it runs down the slopes.
(voice-over): Climbing further, we come across a desperate search for buried savings. All that remains when Akhmet's (ph) home collapsed. The catastrophe killed his 10-year-old niece, Hakima (ph). He tells me, I lost my niece. My brother lives in the house just above us. When the earthquake struck the roof of the house flattened all the way to the ground. I went and pulled her out under the rubble.
(on camera): What is the future for you?
(voice-over): He says, I want to rebuild my house, but everything has been lost. I want to stay in my village. I don't want to leave it. I'm committed to staying on my land. But with his livestock dead and Akhmet's (ph) life so shattered, the question he can't answer is how.
Sam Kiley, CNN, in Tafraout.
VAUSE: Dozens of residents in one hard hit rural town and are finally receiving some long awaited aid. Sam Kiley just reported health has been slowly trickling into remote villages where roads have been damaged or destroyed or blocked by debris. Rescuers from several other countries are also assisting Morocco's team on the ground. But the U.S. says they've not yet received an official request for assistance.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MATT MILLER, U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESPERSON: The conversations are ongoing, where in close contact counterparts, USA or close conversations with our counterparts USAID has been in conversation with them about what assistance that we can provide. We have yet to receive an official request but we're standing ready to provide all the assistance we can when we get that request.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday reiterated his support for the cape devastated country. Meantime, South Korea set to donate $2 million in aid relief to the disaster zone.
Still to come here on CNN, the latest on our breaking news, North Korea's Kim Jong-un now in eastern Russia meeting with Vladimir Putin touring a spaceport, there's talks of a possible arms deal in the works. A live report the very latest you'll see it here on CNN.
VAUSE: Coming up to 30 minutes past the hour, welcome back.
We have more now on our breaking story.
The Russian and North Korean leaders meeting right now in Russia's Far East. Their first face to face talks in four years.
They've been touring the Vostochny Cosmodrome. President Vladimir Putin told reporters that Kim Jong-un shows a great interest in space and rocketry. He says that's why they're there to show off Russia's new objects.
Putin also said the leaders will quote, "talk about all the issues without hate. There is time.
Images released by the Kremlin show the North Korean leader's sister also at the meeting with President Putin. She stood beside her brother as he signed what appears to be a guest book.
Much to cover still with this story. CNN's Kristie Lu Stout tracking all this live for us, joining us once again from Hong Kong.
You know, after all the speculation or the questions about the whereabouts of Kim Jong-un after the launch of a couple of North Korean ballistic missiles, finally this meeting is underway.
The visit which the Kremlin describes a full scale state visit, one which has raised concerns from Washington to Seoul and beyond. So what are we looking at here? What's the very latest?
STOUT: Yes. The meeting is happening, and it's happening now. Kim and Putin are meeting at the Vostochny Cosmodrome, this is of course the space port in eastern Russia.
Earlier, they were seen on camera shaking hands, greeting one another. And they have been touring the facility.
Kim signed the guest book and he was seen on camera writing this, quote, "Russia, which gave birth to the first conquerors of -- dot, dot, dot -- before the camera turned away.
Now, his sister and a high-level official, Kim Yo-jong, was also seen on camera as he signed the guest book.
Now according to Russian state media, Vladimir Putin was asked the question will Russia help North Korea build satellites. And Putin responded that is why we are here at the Vostochny Cosmodrome.
Now ahead of this meeting Putin said that Kim showed great interest in space, and Putin also said that the leaders plan to discuss all issues without haste.
Now, Putin also referenced the Russian defense minister, Sergei Shoigu, and his recent visit to North Korea and how he was so well- received there, a visit that took place earlier this year in July. And Shoigu is also there in Vostochny at the space center.
Now, this meeting comes just hours after North Korea fired two short- range ballistic missiles into the waters off the east coast of the Korean peninsula, this, according to South Korea's joint chiefs of staff.
And analysts point out that this is the first time we have seen a launch with the North Korea leader Kim Jong-un out of the country though we're keeping in mind that this is a leader who rarely travels overseas.
Now, the meeting currently underway between Kim and Putin, it comes as the United States has been saying that the two are, quote, actively advancing their talks over another potential arms deal.
Now, Kim arrived in Russia early on Tuesday. It was 6:00 a.m. on Tuesday morning when he set foot in Khasan, that's the main rail gateway to the far east of Russia. And Kim, decked out in a suit, smiling as he stepped down from that famous train.
He was welcomed on the red carpet by the Russian delegation. He left Pyongyang on Sunday to go to Russia by that private train, that famous forest green, slow-chugging, heavily-armored coach.
And also on board with him, leading officials of the DPRK, including top military leaders, the chief diplomat of North Korea as well.
Now, this is Kim's first overseas trip since 2019, when he also traveled by train to Vladivostok for his very first meeting with Vladimir Putin.
The United States remains concerned that North Korea will provide arms to Russia. Last week was when you heard from U.S. officials that Kim and Putin were expected to meet, expected to discuss potential arms deals for Russia to get more North Korean weapons to use in its war against Ukraine.
And in exchange for that, North Korea is reportedly seeking advanced technology for satellites, as well as desperately needed food aid.
Russia and North Korea, they have been edging closer and closer in recent months. They are taking a significant step closer with this meeting currently underway in Vostochny, their second meeting since Kim Jong-un came to power.
Back to you John.
VAUSE: Yes, Kristie, as you mentioned, the initial reports had Kim heading to Vladivostok for this meeting with Putin. It was meant to happen, initially at least to the thought on the sidelines of the Eastern Economic Forum, which is where they met in 2019.
VAUSE: Yet notably back then, Putin was working as kind of a mediator there to try and restart stalled nuclear talks between Pyongyang and Washington.
Now he has his tin cup out to the North Koreans hoping for artillery shells and other munitions for his war in Ukraine.
If nothing else, this is symbolic of how far, you know, the Russian leader sort of is now compared to where he was on the world stage. You know, his friends now are North Korea, Iran, and Beijing.
STOUT: Yes, very much so. It's very interesting to see how North Korea and Russia are drawing very closer together, especially in regards to how China is watching all of this.
You know, there was some thinking that this meeting would not take place because it would not please Beijing. But this meeting is indeed taking place.
That question was raised at the ministry of foreign affairs meeting on Tuesday. How did Beijing view this at the time expected meeting between Putin and Kim in Russia?
And what we've heard from the spokesperson was a very cool response of the DPRK leader's visit to Russia is -- an arrangement between the countries but behind the scenes, analysts point out that China is watching this very, very closely.
Now, China does have a friendly relationship with North Korea. It has shielded North Korea, along with Russia, shielded North Korea at the United Nations. It has conducted trade with North Korea. It has also blamed the United States and its allies for the tension in the Korean Peninsula. It also visited Pyongyang last July, along with the Russian delegation and the Russian defense minister.
But between these three powers, the most powerful one with the most economically most to lose, most at stake here is China, watching these events very closely and wondering how it is going to affect it and its interest. Back to you, john.
VAUSE: Kristie, thank you for the live coverage. Thank you for the analysis. Thank you for being with us throughout the hour. We appreciate it.
Kristie Lu Stout live for us in Hong Kong.
Well, the future of the Internet is on trial in a Washington courtroom. At least that's how prosecutors described their antitrust case against Google in opening statements on Tuesday. Many observers say this could be the most significant anti trust case against the U.S. Trust company since the government sued Microsoft back in the 1990s.
Details now from CNN's Anna Stewart.
ANNA STEWART, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Tuesday was day one of a multi- week trial. And it kicked off with explosive opening remarks from U.S. prosecutors, who say this case is about the future of the Internet.
They accuse Google of operating an illegal monopoly to promote their own search engine, stifling competition and thereby harming every computer and mobile device user in the United States.
The Department of Justice's lawyer says Google pays more than $10 billion a year to Apple and other companies to ensure that Google is the default or only search engine on browsers and devices.
And with more users come more user data which the DOJ argues then feeds back into Google's dominance in other areas, like online advertising.
Google maintains their business practices are lawful and argues that their search engine is the preferred option for many. The company's president of global affairs said "People don't use Google because they have to. They use it because they want to. It's easy to switch your default search engine. We're long past the era of dial up Internet and CD-ROMs.
This is one of the biggest antitrust cases filed since the DOJ successfully sued Microsoft in the late 90s. The trial is expected to feature witness testimony from Google's CEO as well as other senior executives and former employees from Google, Apple, Microsoft, and Samsung.
If Google loses, possible ramifications could include a break up of the business or a significant change in Google's business practices relating to their search engine. And given it accounted for more than half of Alphabet's annual revenue last year, that could have a significant impact.
Anna Stewart, CNN -- London.
VAUSE: Thank you, Anna.
And with that, we'll take a short break. We'll be right back. You're watching CNN. See you in a moment.
VAUSE: Welcome back, everyone. 42 minutes past the hour.
We want to head back to Vostochny Cosmodrome there in Far East Russia. We have been following this meeting between Kim Jong-un and the Russian president Vladimir Putin. (INAUDIBLE) -- now on what appears to be some kind of photo opportunity.
We've seen Vladimir Putin chatting away there with Kim Jong-un. This is their first face-to-face meeting in four years.
Many believe this is a meeting to discuss a weapons sale. Western officials have been watching this very, very closely with some degree of concern.
So far though, the images that we have seen from the region both leaders seem very happy, very pleased to be in each other's company.
We will continue to follow this story. we'll bring you more details as we get them, but that is the latest from the region.
42 minutes past the hour there in the Far East of Russia.
Pennsylvania state police have set up a new perimeter in their search for an escaped murderer now on the run for the past two weeks. They believe he is armed with a rifle and are urging residents to secure their homes and vehicles.
CNN's Brian Todd has the very latest on the manhunt.
BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: New urgency in the Pennsylvania manhunt. Convicted murderer Danelo Cavalcante now armed with a .22 caliber rifle, and shots have been fired.
LT. COL. GEORGE BIVENS, PENNSYLVANIA STATE POLICE: He has killed two people previously, I would suspect he is desperate enough to use that weapon.
TODD: The escaped convict entered a garage on Monday night and grabbed the rifle from a corner of it. The homeowner was there at the time and shot at the intruder several times with a handgun, but he escaped.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: With this weapon, that is going to increase the risk of carjacking.
TODD: The rifle he took also had a scope and a flashlight attached.
DANIEL BRUNNER, FORMER FBI SPECIAL AGENT: What is most concerning is with the rifle and the scope, he could set up an ambush or if he sees the officers coming through the woods, he is able to pre-position and get ready.
TODD: There is no evidence the fugitive was injured by the shots fired at him.
JOHN MILLER, CNN CHIEF LAW ENFORCEMENT AND INTELLIGENCE ANALYST: What the state police has put out to the search team is, if you encounter him and he does anything other than surrender peacefully, you have a green light to use deadly force.
TODD: He stole the gun just two hours after yet another reported roadside sighting. Police responded within minutes, but found only matching footprints in the mud and discarded prison shoes. A pair of boots were stolen from a porch.
Locals say many residents know how to use firearms against a trespasser.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: God help them if he tries to, you know, anything like that.
TODD: Upwards of 500 officers are now involved in the search, working shifts as long as 20 hours. The search area now 8 to 10 square miles, 20 miles north of the person he escaped from. Over the weekend he managed to steal a van from a dairy farm and ring the doorbells of at least two former work associates.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He has spent time in that area in the past. So he is familiar with it.
TODD: Residents in the search area receiving this warning by phone.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Block all external doors and windows. Secure vehicles, and remain indoors.
TODD: One nearby school district closing on Tuesday. Three others keeping kids inside.
JOSH SHAPIRO, PENNSYLVANIA GOVERNOR: We do not have evidence at this time that there is assistance being rendered to this individual. In fact, quite the contrary. We have had wonderful cooperation from the public.
If you do anything, anything to try and assist this individual, we will hold you accountable.
TODD: Cavalcante was sentenced to life in prison without parole for killing his former girlfriend in 2021. He is also wanted in his native Brazil in a 2017 homicide case.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's possibility that he'll attack the police to try and get away. It's possible that he would attack a civilian. It is a possibility that it would be a suicide by cop.
TODD: One of the possible advantages that Danelo Cavalcante has? Police say he has been in this area before and is familiar with at least some of it.
One of his possible disadvantages? He could be moving around shirtless. Police say he ditched a green hoodie and white t-shirt at the foot of the driveway of the home where he was fired upon by that home owner.
And at last word, they have no reason to believe that he had other clothing on it.
Brian Todd, CNN, South Coventry Township, Pennsylvania.
VAUSE: Well, it's 120 light years from earth and it might just be a Goldilocks planet with the catchy name K2-18B, an exoplanet which might just have all the elements to sustain life as we know it.
VAUSE: Welcome back.
Far outside our solar system at 120 light years away, astronomers have found a planet which they say could support life.
Data from the Webb Telescope suggests the planet, named K2-18B, has carbon based molecules in its atmosphere. They say that might mean it has a watery ocean on the surface that may have a molecule that on earth is a sign of life primarily produced by photo-planktons in our oceans.
Joining me now is Professor Nikku Madhusudhan professor of astrophysics and exoplanet science at the University of Cambridge. He is also the lead author on the study of that exoplanet K2-18B. Thanks for being with us.
PROF. NIKKU MADHUSUDHAN, UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE: Thank you for having me.
VAUSE: And firstly, congratulations to you, I guess to everyone else involved in this discovery. Do you recall what your initial reaction was and the reaction of those around you when it became obvious that methane and CO2 were in the planets atmosphere? And explain why those two gases are so important and why it's so exciting to find them in a planet so far away.
MADHUSUDHAN: Thank you, yes. So, first of all, the detection of any carbon bearing molecule in the atmosphere of a habitable zone planet -- (INAUDIBLE) exoplanet is a huge advancement for the field, and not least because for more than a decade we have been trying to find such molecules, especially methane in these planets because methane is available -- is present in all the solar systems giant planets but we have never found that in any exoplanet that was temperate like this.
That was called the missing methane problem. And for the first time ever, we actually detected it in this planet, in a temperate planet, which is a huge deal for the field.
It has various implications for the atmospheric processes and the interactions with the surface of this planet, especially the detection of methane and CO2 and the non detection of other important species (ph) like ammonia or carbon monoxide tells us that the only way to explain that composition is that a hydrogen rich atmosphere overlying an ocean covered world, which we call I the (INAUDIBLE) world. That is the only way we could currently explain that composition.
It is a huge deal that for the first time we are able to not only say what is in the atmosphere, but infer what the surface of such a planet could be like.
VAUSE: It must be just so incredibly exciting and surprising and a whole bunch of stuff at once.
This is also a very complicated discovery --
VAUSE: -- too because these molecules were detected by the James Webb Telescope, and an analysis of the light which passes through the planet's atmosphere, as I said this is complicated.
The light has chemical signatures of different molecules. Here is an illustration by NASA on their Web site with the three purple blocks on the left are methane next to this sort of small orange block which represents carbon dioxide. Then the green is methane, again. But also, dimethyl sulfide, DMS, which is in the last two blocks there.
Explain you know, the spectral (ph) analysis and also what the presence -- possible presence of DMS could mean here.
MADHUSUDHAN: Yes. The technique is called a transit spectroscopy, this (INAUDIBLE) the planet is going in front of the star in some of the starlight that reaches the observer on the way is being intercepted by the planet's atmosphere, and the interception happens because the molecules in the planet's atmosphere that are absorbing some of that light.
And we can tell how much absorption is happening of the light as a function of wavelength, and because we know from a lab-based research on earth the properties -- the absorption properties of these materials, we can use that information to back up (ph) how much of each material is present in the planet's atmosphere.
This is a technique called atmospheric retrieval and using that, we have been able to put -- measure the evidences of all these molecules in the atmosphere.
On the other hand, it is a hugely important molecule, this dimethyl sulfide, because on earth the only way to make this molecule on earth is through life, ok? There is no other way we know of currently to make it.
MADHUSUDHAN: So a detection of dimethyl sulfide has huge implications in that sense.
VAUSE: And K2-18B is 120 light years away from earth, that is about 1.1 quadrillion kilometers -- there's that number. It's a long way to go.
What else do we know about this planet I guess in terms of size, possible climate, and why focus on K2-18B in the first place?
MADHUSUDHAN: Yes. So the planet is about eight times the mass of the (INAUDIBLE) mass of the earth, and the size is about two and a half times the size of the earth.
Like if you were talking to me three or four years ago, I would not have thought such a planet would be habitable at all. In fact, most people did not think it would be because we have no analog of such planets in the solar system. And we generally thought that a planet that big would have two thick a layer of hydrogen to enable life.
But over the past few years, we have made some advancements in the understanding of such planets and we think that K2-18B could belong to a class of planets called (INAUDIBLE) worlds, which are effectively planets with ocean covered surfaces and thin hydrogen atmosphere which could have habitable conditions on the surface, at least.
And that is why it is very interesting for us to study these planets, and this could be a way to enhance and accelerate our search for life as well, if K2-18B is indeed habitable.
VAUSE: It's exciting stuff. It is complicated to some point, but it is a big day and we wish you all the best for your further research. Professor, thanks for being with us.
MADHUSUDHAN: Thank you. Yes. Thanks for having me.
VAUSE: And thank you for watching.
I'm John Vause. Please stay with us.
CNN news continues with my friend and colleague Paula Newton in New York after a very quick break.
You're watching CNN. See you right back here tomorrow.