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CNN International: Kim Jong-un and Vladimir Putin Wrap Up Talks in Russia; White House Slams Opening of Biden Impeachment Inquiry; Possible United Auto Workers Strike Days Away; Israeli Supreme Court Hears Argument on Reasonableness Law. Aired 4:30-5a ET

Aired September 13, 2023 - 04:30   ET



BIANCA NOBILO, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back to CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Bianca Nobilo.

MAX FOSTER, CNN ANCHOR: I'm Max Foster. If you just join us, let you let me bring up with the top stories this hour.

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has announced that he'll open an impeachment inquiry into President Biden, bypassing a formal vote on the floor.

Kim Jong-un and Vladimir Putin have finished their rare face to face meeting in Russia's Far East. But no word yet if that included arms talks. The Kremlin says the two leaders didn't sign any documents during their visit to a remote Russian Space Center.

NOBILO: CNN investigative reporter Katie Polglase joins us now to discuss this. Katie, we're getting word of a state dinner, so obviously all the bells and whistles for this trip. Kim Jong-un's dramatic return to the international stage after four years. But what does Vladimir Putin get out of it?

KATIE POLGLASE, CNN INVESTIGATIVE PRODUCER: Well, Bianca, while they may be discussing North Korea's space program, economic cooperation, humanitarian cooperation, really for Putin, there is one thing and one thing only. And that is ammunition. He needs ammunition for this war in Ukraine. He is clearly scouting for people that can provide it, and he's been witnessing Ukraine get plenty of support from its allies. If you look at the United States with their $1 billion package for Ukraine. As well as Secretary Blinken in town in Kyiv last week. All of this showing Ukraine is shoring up support as we head into the winter months in this counteroffensive.

Russia needs ammunition, it is depleting its stocks and this war has potentially gone on a lot longer than they anticipated it would. And if you look at these southern frontlines, this progress has been marginal. Ukraine actually has been making some gains in the recent weeks as we've been discussing.

And North Korea may fit the bill in terms of solving this issue for them. Because they have ammunition. They have industrial production capacity in North Korea to provide this ammunition. [04:35:00]

And some of this will actually fit into Russian machinery directly. You can slot it in the front lines and it would work immediately. Now the issue is getting it there because North Korea, of course, is thousands of miles away from this Ukrainian frontline. Most of it would likely be transported in railways, on trains, probably Cold War era trains. So not necessarily that's sturdy, that good for transporting over such a long distance. But definitely this is what Putin is likely to be aiming for. This is what the U.S. officials have been warning about, for weeks, that there is potentially an arms deal on the table.

And the concern really is where this takes the war next. Clearly, it's going to prolong the conflict if they get more weaponry. How long for, we don't know. And will it significantly change the course of the war? We don't know that either. And it's clear just at this stage that this is the tactic from Putin, renewing support, gaining more stocks that are desperately needed for his side of this conflict.

NOBILO: Katie Polglase great reporting as ever. Thank you so much.

More now on U.S. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy's formal impeachment inquiry into President Biden. The White House is calling the move extreme politics at its worst. CNN's Kayla Tausche has more reaction from the White House.


KAYLA TAUSCHE, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: The decision by House Speaker Kevin McCarthy to move forward with an impeachment inquiry despite not holding a vote among his members to do so, is being seen by the White House as an acknowledgment of what I suspected all along, that Speaker McCarthy did not have the votes to move forward and did not have the evidence to garner that support.

Ian Sams, who's the White House's spokesman for oversight and investigative issues, posting this message on social media. Saying:

House Republicans have been investigating the president for nine months and they've turned up no evidence of wrongdoing. His own GOP members have said so. He vowed to hold a vote to open impeachment. Now he flip-flopped because he doesn't have support. Extreme politics at its worst.

The Biden campaign, also using the development to try to tie Speaker McCarthy more closely to former President Donald Trump, issuing this missive, saying:

Kevin McCarthy cemented his role as the Trump campaign super surrogate by turning the House of Representatives into an arm of his presidential campaign.

Now the White House and the Biden campaign are now on the defensive, but they're looking to shift into offense. The White House has been hiring dozens of staff members in recent years, preparing for the onslaught of investigations and yes, an impeachment inquiry after Republicans retook control of the House of Representatives. The expectation was that this would reach a fever pitch going into the 2024 election and a senior Biden aide says that the White House is going to be developing an impeachment playbook with Democratic allies on The Hill. We expect more in that space to come.

Kayla Tausche CNN the White House.


FOSTER: A potential strike by the United Auto workers is just days away. 145,000 union members could walk off the job at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time, Thursday night, if they don't reach a deal with the big three automakers.

NOBILO: The auto workers are demanding the return of cost-of-living adjustments and immediate 20 percent pay rises. They also want protections against job losses as production shifts to electric vehicles.


ORVAL PLUMLEE, FORMER UAW PRESIDENT, FORT WAYNE LOCAL 2209: After we gave up such benefits pay. They slapped us in the face with more plant closures, more layoffs, moving a product, a new product to Mexico, the Blazer. And the list goes on and on, and it's time that we have some due respect.

JACOB STEINECKER, UAW MEMBER, FORT WAYNE, INDIANA: They have their own interest ahead of the collective interest as auto workers and the big three together. I feel like the corporate greed is a little bit too much and we're just asking for our fair share of -- we produce these vehicles that sell from -- they're making billions in profits every year. I believe it's a quarter of a trillion in the last 10 years of North American profits share. We're just asking for them to share some of that profits with us to make us whole.


NOBILO: UAW President Shawn Fain says he's not worried about a strike hurting the economy or driving up car prices. He say it's only the rich who need to worry about that.

FOSTER: Apple has unveiled its newest devices, including the latest iPhone line up with an all-new design.

NOBILO: The iPhone 15 features updates to the camera and what's described as an expanded dynamic island tool that is home to alert, notifications and other controls. One of the biggest changes how customers will charge their phone. Apple is getting rid of the lightning port and charger after 11 years and turning to USBC chargers, a cable that's compatible with non-Apple products.

FOSTER: The companies also rolling out its new Apple iWatch Series 9, which is billed as Apple's first ever carbon neutral product. The device is fitted with a new chip to make it faster and brighter. [04:40:00]

NOBILO: Regulators in France want the iPhone 12 withdrawn from the market immediately. Claiming that it emits too much radio frequency radiation and is not compliant with EU standards. Interesting.

FOSTER: The French government says all sales of the iPhone 12 will be halted until it's brought into compliance. Apple has been given two weeks to respond.

NOBILO: In the U.S., five former Memphis police officers involved in the deadly police beating of Tyre Nichols have been indicted by a federal grand jury. According to court filings, they're facing several charges, including federal civil rights, conspiracy and obstruction offences. The indictment says the five men willfully deprive Nichols of his constitutional right to be free from an unreasonable seizure and unlawfully assaulted him.

FOSTER: The 29-year-old Black Man was violently beaten by the officers in January following a traffic stop. He later died in hospital from his injuries. Nichols family on Tuesday welcomed the indictment, saying they're grateful.


ROWVAUGHN WELLS, TYRE NICHOLS' MOTHER: On behalf of my family and I, we like to thank everyone that was involved in the indictment of those police officers today. It was a surprise to us that it happened so quickly. But we're very thankful that it did.


NOBILO: Still to come, a historic day in Israel. We'll break down Tuesday's Supreme Court hearing over a controversial law limiting the court's powers.


FOSTER: Israel Supreme Court heard arguments from more than a dozen lawyers on Tuesday about the reach and scope of the courts power.

NOBILO: Lawyers from the Knesset defended a new law which limits the Supreme Court's ability to strike down government decisions deemed unreasonable. But as CNN's Hadas Gold reports, now the court has the difficult task of deciding its own fate.



HADAS GOLD, CNN JERUSALEM CORRESPONDENT: Never before in Israeli history have all 15 judges sat together in the Supreme Court in Jerusalem to hear arguments in a case. And what the Supreme Court was listening to was arguments about its own power, about what the Supreme Court does, and whether it should continue being able to strike down laws as it used to be able to do until this law was passed in July. Now what happened in July was that the Israeli Parliament, the

Knesset, that is now controlled by Benjamin Netanyahu's right-wing coalition? They passed a law that strips the Supreme Court of its previous ability to nullify government actions that the Supreme Court deems unreasonable. This law was an amendment to a basic law. It's the closest thing Israel has to a constitution is this series of basic laws.

Now the Supreme Court has never before nullified or struck down a basic law. But that is what they're potentially considering doing as a result of this hearing today. The government was represented actually by private counsel. And their argument was that the Supreme Court should actually have no authority in reviewing basic law and that should rest with the people and who and the people that they democratically elect to the Israeli Parliament. That the Supreme Court should have essentially no power to be able to change the basic laws if they are passed by the Israeli Parliament.

The petitioners in this case are arguing that this law damages Israeli democracy and that it harms the authority of the judicial branch. Because keep in mind that in Israel there is really no other check on the executive or on the Parliament, which are run by the same party usually, except for the Supreme Court.

It is interesting to hear the questions that some of these judges posed to the attorneys. They were asking the attorneys who were representing the government. OK, so fine, if all of this power should rest with the people, then what is the check on the power if, let's say, the government decides that there should be no elections for 10 years, for 20 years, what will be the check on what is reasonable or unreasonable? Who will be able to check that on them?

And the government -- a lawyer for the government, said that this, that the law does not undermine democracy. And this response is really telling from one of the judges. They said democracy dies in a series of small steps. And I think that will be one of the main quotes that will be taken away up from this hearing.

Now, although this hearing was a marathon hearing, that doesn't mean necessarily that a decision will come quickly. The Supreme Court judges have some time before they need to make that decision. That's expected to come before the deadline that is in mid-January. But there is still a looming, a very big looming question. That is whether the Netanyahu government would even abide by a Supreme Court ruling that that strips this law away, that nullifies this law. Because so far, they have yet to commit to even adhering to a Supreme Court ruling that nullifies this law.

Hadas Gold, CNN, Jerusalem.


FOSTER: In the coming hours, the wife of Mexican drug Lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman is expected to be released from prison as she pleaded guilty to federal drug trafficking and money laundering charges connected to her husband's narcotic empire in 2021, after her arrest earlier that year.

NOBILO: Her husband was sentenced to life in prison, plus 30 years for charges connected to his time leading the Sinaloa cartel. At the time of her guilty plea, her attorney said that their client was happy to take responsibility, to quote, get on with her life.

FOSTER: The former Spanish football chief, is heading to court after kissing a member of the World Cup winning women's team, coming up details on his upcoming testimony.



FOSTER: Kim Jong-un getting the full treatment there in Russia for this visit. It's effectively a state visit, isn't it? Because this is a state dinner organized by the Russians and he's giving a speech. We'll bring you the highlights of that at the moment. We've heard a bit about what his thoughts have been so far about the strong relationship between Russia and North Korea.

NOBILO: And we have. And people are often interested to know what these world leaders are dining out on. They're starting with a duck salad. Moving on to some grass carp fish soup, sturgeon with mushrooms and finishing off with some tiger lingonberries with pine nuts and condensed milk. Plenty to discuss, and a mutually beneficial symbiotic relationship emerging potentially between the two.

The former head of Spain's Football Federation, has been summoned to testify before the Spanish National Court on Friday. And that is after prosecutors submitted a complaint against Luis Rubiales for the alleged crimes of sexual assault and coercion. This is part of the investigation into the unwanted kiss that he gave player Jennifer Hermoso at the Women's World Cup final. Rubiales resigned from his position over the weekend following weeks of criticism.

FOSTER: The International Tennis Integrity Agency has banned Romanian tennis star Simona Halep for four years for anti-doping violations. The two-time Grand Slam champion has been suspended since last October after the agency said she tested positive for a substance that artificially stimulates red blood cell production. Her coach says he can't believe it's come to this.


PATRICK MOURATOGLOU, SIMONA HALEP'S COACH: I'm extremely shocked. I'm shocked because I've been with her through the whole process. And the decision is completely for me impossible to understand. And also the way she has been treated by the ITIA all the way through the process so unfairly. It's shocking on all levels. During that whole year the treatment she has received is not normal, unfair and unacceptable for me. She's a victim. She has been contaminated by a by a product that was supposed to be clean. So she's literally a victim.

When you're a victim and you are entering into this process with the ITIA, it's horrible. When you are provisionally suspended, which was the case, you are -- and this is written in the rules -- you are entitled to a quick hearing.


So this is this is a parody for me. This is a parody of justice.


FOSTER: Well, for its part, the Women's Tennis Association says:

It is of the utmost importance for players to be aware of the tennis anti-doping program rules to follow them.

And adding it would continue to follow Halep's case very closely. The 31-year-old plans to appeal the ruling, saying she's never knowingly or intentionally used any prohibited substance. If it stands, Halep would be not eligible to return to the tennis tour until October 2026.

Now McDonald says it's planning to phase out its self-service soda machines by 2032 at its U.S. restaurants. It's been one of the biggest perks for the fast-food chain. Would you agree? I can't imagine you even going into a McDonald's.

NOBILO: No, I don't. The company says consumer behavior has changed since the pandemic and the chain experienced a surge in the drive- through and delivery business. McDonald's says fewer people are opting to eat in their dining rooms, reducing the need for the self-service soda machines.

FOSTER: I thought it was these people cheating and going back too many times.

NOBILO: Could be that too. Perhaps it's multifaceted.

The MTV Video Music Awards brought out some of music's biggest stars on Tuesday, including a surprise reunion by pop music group *NSYNC. The boy band appeared together for the first time in 10 years. They last appeared together on the same award stage in 2013.

FOSTER: This time, they reunited to present singer Taylor Swift. Just reminding me of when she was singer. The best Pop award for her song and --

NOBILO: Campton, David Smith.

FOSTER: Well, she's a great businesswoman as well, to be fair. For her song "Anti-Hero." Swift also won a video of the year for the second year in a row. She took home two more awards as well on Tuesday, including Song of the Year and Best Direction. I mean, she's consistently grand up there. Isn't she?

NOBILO: She is. And many millennials and those of my generation will be so excited to see *NSYNC all back together. But they didn't sing. So there's a hope that maybe they will reunite -- all five of them.

FOSTER: Going in stages.


FOSTER: Thanks for joining us here on CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Max Foster.

NOBILO: And I'm Bianca Nobilo. "EARLY START" is up next right here on CNN. We'll see you tomorrow.