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Russian President Accepts NoKor Leader's Invitation to Visit Their Country; Biden and Zelenskyy will Meet for the Second Time in the United States; ICRC Described the Massive Flooding in Libya as Catastrophic and Brutal. Auto workers in Three States Launched a Simultaneous Strike to Demand Increase in Their Pay; Former Spanish Football Association Chief is in Court for Two Charges on Sexual Harassment and the Controversial Kiss; Hollywood Actor Makes his Directorial Stint in Tour De Rugby. Aired 3-4a ET

Aired September 15, 2023 - 03:00   ET




KIM BRUNHUBER, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome to all of you watching us around the world. I'm Kim Brunhuber ahead on CNN NEWSROOM.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un visits key military sites in Russia. As we learn, Russian President Vladimir Putin has accepted Kim's invitation to visit North Korea.

U.S. President Joe Biden and Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelenskyy are expected to meet in person next week. We'll look at where officials say the talks will likely happen.

And thousands of auto workers are on strike in the U.S., it's the first time that the union has called the strike against all of the three automakers at the same time.

UNKNOWN (voice-over): Live from CNN Center, this is CNN NEWSROOM with Kim Brunhuber.

BRUNHUBER: Kim Jong-un is forging ahead with his visit to far eastern Russia following his face-to-face talks with the Russian president. Earlier today, the North Korean leader toured an aircraft plant that builds and develops fighter jets. He also expected to view Russia 's Pacific fleet in Vladivostok.

Now this heavy military focus will do little to alleviate concerns about a possible weapons deal between these two heavily sanctioned states. And weapons were the gift of choice at the summit, according to the Kremlin, Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong-un both gave each other firearms. They were locally-made short barreled rifles.

CNN's Steven Jiang is covering this live from Beijing. So, Steven, what reaction, if any, are we seeing from China about this meeting?

STEVEN JIANG, CNN BEIJING BUREAU CHIEF: Not too much so far, at least publicly, Kim. The Chinese, of course, have been sticking to their usual talking points about both North Korea and Russia. Their friendly neighbors in Beijing maintain strong ties with both governments.

But, of course, when you think about it, the three countries are very much bonded with the shared grievances against the U.S., where they see Washington and its allies have been trying to contain and suppress their interests and contain their rightful place or rise on the international stage. That's why the Chinese and the Russians, both permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, have been working together to block U.S.-led effort at the council to impose or strengthen sanctions against Pyongyang over its recent missile testing activities.

But when it comes to this trip by Kim, I think Chinese officials are certainly keeping close tabs on what's happening in Russia 's Far East. But they are not really concerned as far as what Pyongyang and Moscow may say or do, at least publicly. Because of anything those to increasingly isolated regimes need Beijing's support and help politically and economically on the global stage as both countries are being sanctioned, as you said, very much heavily by the international community.

But as far as Kim's activity is concerned, obviously he is very much focusing on the military aspect even during this latest leg in the aircraft plan where apparently his father also visited according to Russian officials accompanying him. They're stressing that lineage, that common bond both Russians and North Koreans share when it comes to fighting Japanese and then as in their words, U.S. imperialists. So Kim in the plan inspected and saw the most sophisticated Russian fighter jet, the SU-57, and also saw a demonstration flight of the SU- 35, another warplane of the Russian military made there.

That's exactly what he needs most from Russia , that is sophisticated military technology could help him advance North Korea's military at a time he has devoted most of his resources to the country's nuclear program. But that's also another reason we may never find out officially that much talked about arms deal between Moscow and Pyongyang because obviously both sides have good reason to keep it secret, especially for Russia .

As I mentioned, as a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council, they have signed up to all those sweeping sanctions against North Korea, at least publicly, Putin has said they are sticking to those measures. Kim?

BRUNHUBER: Yeah, we'll see. All right, Steven Jiang in Beijing. Thanks so much.

For more on this, I want to bring in Nigel Gould Davies, who's a senior fellow for the Russia and Eurasia at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, and he joins us from London. Thanks so much for being here with us. So building on what Steven was just talking about, I mean, military and weapons seems to be the common theme throughout this visit. Is that what this is all about?

[03:04:53] NIGEL GOULD-DAVIES, SR. FELLOW FOR Russia AND EURASIA, INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR STRATEGIC STUDIES: Yes, an exchange of weapons for weapons so to speak. Russia on the one hand needs quite desperately needs sources of ammunition and in some cases artillery systems themselves it's seeking essentially support from North Korea to supply it with cold war stocks of those things.

On the other hand North Korea itself is looking for more advanced post-Cold War technologies potentially fifth-generation fighters as your correspondent just mentioned satellite technology as well ballistic missile technologies very destabilizing. There are other things in the mix as well, North Korea needs food it always needs food.

In addition, I think this is worth watching. Russia needs labor Russia is currently facing the most severe labor shortages since records began a consequence both of the large numbers of people who have fled Russia to escape from a conscription and those who have died in the fighting factories across Russia are complaining about shortages.

Now there is a long tradition of North Korea, more or less covertly supplying labor to at least some agricultural enterprises was always a possibility it could send more to -- to help Russia meet this labor force shortage that now he sets it.

BRUNHUBER: Yeah, that's an interesting angle that labor angle. You use the word, you know, Russia desperately needs this, I mean the U.S. and Ukraine are both framing this as a sign of weakness or desperation for Russia, is that true do you think?

GOULD-DAVIES: Very much considered the ironies here during the cold war when the soviet union had far-flung sub commitments and allies and clients around the world it was a Soviet Union that supplied other countries we have weapons systems of various kinds.

Here at least to a degree the position is being reversed Russia needs again all the generation weapons to continue of fighting in Ukraine with a further point here as well who are Russia 's closest tactical supporters and allies and suppliers now. Iran and North Korea. Now if you'd ask a western diplomat before Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, why is Russia helpful, why diplomatic relations with Russia helpful?

A big part of the answer to be, well we need Russia's help and support in order to constrain Iran's and North Korea's nuclear aspirations of Russia was part of the sanctions regimes on both of those countries and here in the case both of the Iran and of North Korea, it's now of Russia that is in effect enabling and helping those countries to acquire technologies that that the fundamentally undercut the wider security interests of international community.

BRUNHUBER: and is this all good news for Beijing do you think that there is a rapprochement between Russia and North Korea?

GOULD-DAVIES: I guess one of the interesting questions here and is significant that as your correspondent said China is keeping pretty quiet at the moment. I think China is increasingly conflicted in this whole Russian war. On the other hand, China says and I think genuinely that wants the water end sooner rather than later because it fears the escalating and destabilizing consequences of it.

On the other hand, I think, increasing we've seen signs that China wants to ensure that Russia does not moves and we saw Xi Jinping's own visit to Moscow, not the Far East in March of this year in a warming of relations there.

So, while they may not be happy that North Korea has taken this step in visiting Russia rather than China and Kim Jong-un's first post- COVID visit, it's just possible that quietly they may not be unhappy that North Korea is providing it with support. We just don't know that. That is purely speculation.

BRUNHUBER: We only have about 30 seconds left but I want to ask you this. If there is some sort of covert weapons deal, I mean those two countries are already among the most to most-sanctioned countries around, how will the rest react, do you think?

GOULD-DAVIES: Yes, well Washington of course, is always already warned Pyongyang of further consequences and so we could expect heightened efforts to up to isolate North Korea.


As you say, the two countries North Korea and Russia are both already heavily-sanctioned, but recall sanctions are a long game. They're not a light switch there a dimmer switch, and we're seeing that erosive consequences steadily in community over time in the case of Russia.

BRUNHUBER: All right, we'll have to leave it there but appreciate your analysis Nigel Gould-Davies, thank you so much for being with us.

U.S. President Joe Biden and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy are expected to meet next week around the U.N. General Assembly in New York. Now sources tell CNN the two leaders will hold one-on-one talks at that time, though it's not clear if that meeting will take place in New York or Washington.

In the Crimean port of Sevastopol, home of Russia's Black Sea Fleet, new video purports to show a damaged Russian warship hit early Wednesday by a Ukrainian strike. Ukrainian officials said the ship was destroyed along with a Russian sub. Now CNN can't independently verify that claim.

And in one of its boldest attacks yet on the peninsula, Ukraine said it took out a Russian air defense system in Western Crimea early Thursday.

CNN's Katie Polglase is tracking developments and joins us live this hour from London. So Katie, what is the latest on all those attacks?

KATIE POLGLASE, CNN INVESTIGATIVE PRODUCER: Well Kim, clearly this is something that has been happening all week and with increasing regularity in Crimea in particular. This has been the focus of part of Ukraine's counter-offensive. You mentioned the air defense system shot down overnight yesterday. Russia reported that there were 11 Ukrainian drones that they intercepted. The day before that was of course the attack on Sevastopol, that port, that Russian port by the Ukrainians, a major attack really resulted in 24 people injured and the videos we geolocated show considerable damage to that ship repair facility.

Now, the Ukrainians are saying that as a result of this, they have wiped out Russia's ability to produce ships for this conflict. Now, of course, that isn't something we can independently confirm, but that is the level of ambition here that Ukraine are declaring that this is where they are taking the conflict. This is where the counteroffensive is going next.

And it's worth putting this in the context of what we've been seeing in terms of diplomacy, not only with Russia and North Korea meeting, but also with the U.S. relationship with Ukraine. Of course, Secretary of State Blinken was in town in Ukraine last week, and now we're hearing reports that President Joe Biden and President Zelenskyy are going to be meeting next week in New York. This is significant for Zelenskyy. He rarely leaves Ukraine during this war, and this is part of shoring up Western support to show that the counteroffensive is worth investing in, is worth supporting.

And these kinds of big moments, such as the attack on Sevastopol, such as the capture of that village of Robotyne just a few weeks ago near the southern front line, all of these show that Ukraine is making progress in a counteroffensive that really has had some marginal gains at points. All of this is showing that as we move into the winter months, when the fighting will get considerably more difficult, there may be a lot more challenges ahead.

Clearly they want to show to their Western allies that there is still progress to be made and the Crimean attacks that you mention are clearly a very clear sign of that, that they are making this progress and they are making some quite considerable gains in this area.

BRUNHUBER: Alright, in the meantime, so we're learning more about the meeting between President Zelenskyy and President Biden. What more can you tell us?

POLGLASE: Well Kim, clearly this is something Zelenskyy wants to show that the U.S. is having a clear ally here that they are supporting them. This $1 Billion assistance package recently from the United States, again a significant moment for Ukraine in this counteroffensive showing that there is progress. Meeting face to face is another example of that, that these two leaders are very much in alliance as to where this counteroffensive is going next.

And again, this is coming just as we're seeing all of this imagery of Russia, President Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un meeting. This is showing that they are allies for Ukraine, that the U.S. is very much still behind Zelenskyy and very much still behind the Ukraine war. And this is where Ukraine and where the U.S. are taking their partnership next.

BRUNHUBER: Okay, but we still don't know where exactly they'll be meeting, whether it's in New York or Washington. I guess we'll get more details on that later as they come out. Katie Polglase in London, thank you so much.

Now, in Cuba, conflicting messages from the country's leaders and its ambassador to Moscow about whether Cubans should join Russia in its fight against Ukraine. The Cuban foreign minister says his government opposes it, but Havana's envoy to Moscow says Cuba's government is okay with legal participation in the conflict.

Though CNN's Patrick Oppmann reports, families whose loved ones are fighting with Russia are confused and caught in the middle.


PATRICK OPPMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): As Putin's invasion of Ukraine grinds on, the Russian war machine desperately needs to replace soldiers lost on the battlefield and is increasingly casting a wider net.


To places like Santa Clara, Cuba, where the stagnating economy drives young Cubans to enlist.

This woman says her teenage son left in July to help Russia rebuild infrastructure damaged by the war, but was instead sent to fight. She fears reprisals from Russia for speaking to the media and asked us not to show her face and to use a pseudonym.

He has seen what you see in a war, she says. He said he has seen the wounded, that at the hospital people arrived missing arms and legs. He isn't used to seeing that.

But Cubans traveling to Russia are running a risk back home. Cuban prosecutors said in September that police had arrested 17 people for alleged human trafficking and planning to fight as mercenaries for Russia.

In Santa Clara, this Cuban father tells me he hasn't heard from one of his sons since he left for Russia over a month ago. Another son, contacted by shadowy online recruiters, was arrested by Cuban police in September on suspicions he was also about to fly to Russia.

He was deceived, he says. I hope they take that into account. And evaluate that because like him, there are many more.

Cuba has not accused its ally Russia of being directly involved, and it's not clear who these recruiters work for. Russia's Ministry of Defense did not respond to CNN's requests for comment on allegations that Russia is using Cuban mercenaries to fight in Ukraine. But families of Cuban recruits tell CNN hundreds more were enticed by promises of high payouts and fast-tracked Russian citizenship into taking up arms in a war on the other side of the world.

(on-camera): Small cities and towns in Cuba's economically hard-hit provinces have proven to be fertile recruiting grounds for Russia 's war in Ukraine. A Cuban soldier fighting there can earn more in a month than a doctor makes here in an entire year. But the families of those Cuban soldiers tell us they're not only worried about their relatives getting out of the war alive, but what charges they could face if they return home.

(voice-over): A week after news of the arrest, an apparent reversal, perhaps indicative of the enormous influence Russia still wields in Cuba.

Havana's ambassador to Russia now saying that Cubans have to first sign a contract to, quote, "legally take part in this operation with the Russian army." It's unclear where that leaves Cubans already on the battlefield or those who want to return home.

This mother says her son's fate may already be sealed. He said, mama, I am on the front line in Ukraine. He's there where it's dangerous, she says. They are there to shield the Russian troops. They are cannon fodder.

Instead of improving their lives, the fate of the Cuban recruits now appears to be tied to the ever more bloody struggle for Ukraine.

Patrick Oppmann, CNN, Santa Clara, Cuba.


BRUNHUBER: All right, still ahead, heartbreaking scenes of destruction from Libya. While the U.N. says thousands of deaths from the flooding could have been avoided.

And rescue teams searching the rubble of Morocco's devastating earthquakes say things aren't looking good, but they aren't giving up hope. We'll have details just ahead. Please stay with us.




BRUNHUBER: Libyan authorities are demanding an investigation into this week's catastrophic flooding, which killed more than 5,000 people. The U.N. says most of the deaths could have been avoided with proper warnings and evacuations.

The mayor of the hardest hit city of Derna says the death toll could eventually reach 20,000. A group say a seven-meter wave swept through the city when two dams collapsed, washing every way, everything away in its path. Aid is pouring into the country, but authorities say they need volunteers to collect and bury the dead.

CNN's Jomana Karadsheh arrived in Derna, Libya early today and filed this report.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It took us more than seven hours to get from Benghazi to the city of Derna. And that is a drive that typically takes about three hours. And that is because so many roads, so many bridges around Derna have been destroyed. And you can imagine what that means for the aid, for the relief, for the support that would be coming into the city and how difficult it is at this time.

And driving in at night, this felt like a ghost town. It is eerily quiet. And everywhere you look, you see damage and destruction. It's dark, it's nighttime, but we can still see so much destruction around here. It is just -- it feels like a war zone. It feels like a bomb had gone off here, a big bomb had gone off here.

And it's very hard to stand here and not imagine what people in this city went through. Thousands of people lost their lives. More than 10,000 right now unaccounted for and everyone you speak to here fear that dust hole is only going to rise in the coming days and all this destruction, the loss of life.

Officials are telling us this all happened in less than two hours, perhaps an hour and a half, they believe, after those dams burst and the water came sweeping through the city, wiping out entire neighborhoods, they say, sweeping buildings, infrastructure, cities, homes, families into the sea.

It is just unimaginable what has taken place in the city. And it is left so many people here in shock. Libyans tell us they're used to war, they're used to death, they're used to loss, but nothing could have prepared them for this.

On our drive into Derna, we saw so many cars coming in from different parts of the country, from the far west, from the south. Libyans coming together, coming here to deliver aid, to volunteer, to support the people in this part of the country and the people of Derna. And it seems that this divided country has come together, that this tragedy, this loss has brought them together, at least for now.

Jomana Karadsheh, CNN, Derna, Libya.


BRUNHUBER: All right, CNN's Stephanie Busari is following developments live this hour from Lagos, Nigeria. So Stephanie, what is the latest here?

STEPHANIE BUSARI, CNN SR. EDITOR, AFRICA: Well, Kim, the people of Libya find themselves caught up in yet another heart-wrenching tragedy, a continuation of over a decade of relentless conflict as they grapple with the aftermath of Storm Daniel.

And the International Committee of the Red Cross has described this as violent and brutal. The death toll currently stands at about 5,000, according to the Doctors Without Borders, who revised an earlier estimate of 8,000. But the Libyan ambassador to U.N., Taher Al-Sunni, says that an area that took a direct hit and has around 30,000 residents is still unaccounted for. So, that number of death toll is almost certain to rise. Now survivors

have been sharing harrowing tales of loss. Entire buildings have been washed into the sea. They're missing family members. And we spoke to one woman who described the pain and nightmare of living in the aftermath of the flooding. Take a listen to what she had to say.


UNKNOWN (through translator): Then the rain became calmer. Then at 2:45 a.m. exactly. What can I tell you? The major flood came. It was like an imaginary scene. It was like a nightmare. I don't know how to describe it. The water went up to the second floor, then to the third floor. I went up to the roof. My neighbors screaming and asking for help. I went down to help them and I saw one of my neighbors dead and being taken by the flood. I took the kids up and went back up again. The building, the building fence was destroyed. We belong to God and to him we return.



BUSARI: Yes. Kim, relief workers are also struggling to deliver crucial aid and humanitarian efforts. It's been stifled by political divisions caused by over a decade of war in Libya and also debris from the disaster, as you heard in Jomana's report.

And of course, the U.N. says most of these deaths could have been avoided. And it's just a very grim situation that is unfolding but what is clear is that the suffering for the people of Libya continues, Kim.

BRUNHUBER: Yeah, absolutely. Alright, Stephanie Busari in Lagos, Nigeria. Thanks so much.

And one week after a devastating earthquake ravaged parts of Morocco, international search and rescue teams are staying hopeful as they search for survivors in the rubble. Now they admit things aren't looking good but they say they're not ready to give up. Listen to this. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JIM CHASTON, OPERATION COMMANDER: We haven't had the success of actually rescuing any people. We have done some first aid and some medical evacuations from some of the other villages, so that's really played our part. Moving forward, we're going to continue as long as the Moroccan people want us here.


BRUNHUBER: Roads in many villages and the high atlas mountains remain blocked by landslides following the 6.8 quake that killed nearly 3,000 people. The government says it's doing everything it can to help quake victims, but some people are taking steps to get what they need on their own.


MOUHAMED ZIDAN, AWFOUR VILLAGE RESIDENT (through translator): We use donkeys to transport aid and goods because the roads do not exist and we live in the mountains. People were greatly affected by this earthquake and they had nothing. We live in the open and we have nothing.


BRUNHUBER: The September 8th earthquake was the deadliest to strike Morocco since 1960 and the most powerful in more than a century.

The mayor of Lampedusa says the migrant crisis has reached a point of no return. Tensions flared on the tiny Italian island as it struggles to cope with a surge of arrivals in the past two days. There are unconfirmed reports of 7,000 people landing on its shores. Lampedusa's population is about 6,000. The island in the Mediterranean has long been a hot spot for migrants crossing from North Africa into Europe.

All right, you're watching CNN NEWSROOM. Just ahead. Auto workers in the U.S. go on strike in a move that could devastate the American economy. We'll hear from the UAW president next.

And new research suggests human actions are pushing the planet into the danger zone. We asked one of the studies' authors just how bad things could get. That's next. Stay with us.




KIM BRUNHUBER, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back to all of you watching us here around the world. I'm Kim Brunhuber and this is CNN NEWSROOM.

Members of the United Auto Workers have launched targeted strikes at three U.S. plants after their contracts ran out late Thursday night. Although not a full-blown walkout of all 145,000 union members, it's the first ever simultaneous strike against the big three U.S. automakers, Ford, General Motors and Stellantis.

Union members are demanding an immediate 20 percent pay raise plus another 5 percent annually for the next four years.


SHAWN FAIN, UAW PRESIDENT: These companies got to come to the pump for their workers. They want to call them family when it's easy, but you know what? The proof's in the pudding. And you know what? They haven't been there. They haven't taken care of their workers. We went backwards in the last 16 years, backwards, while the CEOs gave themselves 40 percent pay increases in the last four years alone. Profits have been through the roof. $250 billion in profit in the last decade.


BRUNHUBER: Now the strike could have a devastating impact on the U. S. Economy. Ford CEO Jim Farley says giving workers a 40 percent raise would bankrupt his company.

We have more now from CNN's Gabe Cohen.


GABE COHEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well the head of the auto workers union, Shawn Fain, confirmed to me that there will be no bargaining he says between the union and the three big automakers on Friday. The focus instead will be on scenes like the one behind me, the 13,000 auto workers now striking here in Michigan. Missouri and Ohio. The tactical strikes that we have been talking about for days are now underway.

We're not likely to see any progress until at least Saturday, according to Fane, although he said the only chance of coming back to the table on Friday is if one of those automakers, Ford, Stellantis or General Motors brings a new offer to the table. He and many of the strikers that we've met tonight said that they are ready. for the long haul here.

Gabe Cohen, CNN, Wayne, Michigan.


BRUNHUBER: The European Central Bank has raised interest rates to the highest level since the launch of the euro currency over 20 years ago. It increased its benchmark rate by a quarter percentage point to 4 percent. ECB President Christine Lagarde signaled the central bank was likely done with its protracted campaign of rate hikes to tame stubborn inflation. Here she is.


CHRISTINE LAGARDE, EUROPEAN CENTRAL BANK PRESIDENT: Based on our current assessment, we consider that the key ECB interest rates have reached levels that, maintained for a sufficiently long duration, will make a substantial contribution to the timely return of inflation to our target. Our future decisions will ensure that the key ECB interest rates will be set at sufficiently restrictive levels for as long as necessary.


BRUNHUBER: Earlier this week, the European Commission downgraded its economic forecasts for this year and next. It now expects the EU economy to grow by 0.8 percent in 2023.

Microsoft says Iranian state-backed hackers are targeting specific industries in the United States and around the world. It says hackers are hitting satellite, defense, and pharmaceutical firms. The goal? Likely to help build up Iran's domestic production in those industries. Microsoft's Director of Intelligence Strategy tell CNN, while it's

difficult to know exactly why Iran may be targeting these sectors, he suspects Iran may have difficulty generating things in-house from these industries with these sanctions in place. According to an analyst, the hackers have broken into a few dozen of the thousands of organizations they've targeted since February.

A new analysis from dozens of scientists finds that conditions on Earth may be moving outside the safe operating space for humanity. A report in the journal "Science Advances," says human activities have pushed the world into the danger zone for majority of key indicators of planetary health, and that could trigger dramatic changes in conditions on Earth.

And scientists analyzed nine planetary boundaries defined as thresholds the world needs to stay within to ensure a stable, livable planet, like climate, biodiversity, and water. Researchers say safe levels have been breached for six of those boundaries.

Johan Rockstrom is director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and a co-author of the report and joins me from Stockholm, Sweden. Thank you so much for being here with us. So you know, scientists have been sounding the alarm about this for a while. The previous report, I think 2015, found that the planet passed four boundaries. Now we're up to six. Obviously we're going in the wrong direction here. First explain what passing these boundaries actually means. Is it like passing a tipping point?


JOHAN ROCKSTROM, DIRECTOR, POTSDAM INSTITUTE FOR CLIMATE IMPACT RESEARCH: Yeah, great, great to be with you. So this is the first time actually we have reached so far in science that we can do a full health check for the entire planet, quantifying all the nine systems that scientifically are proven to regulate the stability, the health and the ability of the planet to support humanity.

So the six of the nine are outside of their safe space is really a danger zone. It means that we're approaching tipping points. Science does not suggest that we've crossed a planetary tipping point. But we're coming close. It is what you could call a code red. And the key is, as your introduction showed, is not only climate, it's also the living biosphere, biodiversity, fresh water, overloading of nitrogen and phosphorus, air pollutants, which is undermining what we call the resilience, the strength of the planet, and its ability to deal with shocks and stresses.

So we have a climate crisis and a weak planet, and that's not a very good place to be in. So we need really, really rapid action.

BRUNHUBER: Yeah, obviously that is key. A lot of these things are intertwined, so it may be hard to tease out, you know, one versus the other, but what are the consequences potentially of breaching any of those boundaries then?

ROCKSTROM: Well, there are two direct impacts if you think of our long-term future as humanity on Earth. Number one is that we've understood we're in a climate crisis, but what this study shows is that even if we would phase out coal, oil and gas and become more or less fossil fuel free, we would still have problems with climate because we've breached the boundaries on land and biodiversity and water and nitrogen and phosphorus because they will hit us back.

50 percent of the greenhouse gas emissions emitted from fossil fuel burning are in the living biosphere. So we need a strong planet to deal with the climate crisis. That's one insight.

The second one is that breaching these boundaries threatens food security, threatens water security, threatens social stability. These are security matters that fundamentally determine the stability of societies and therefore issues of conflict, migration, displacement. So if you want to have a prosperous future, you better come back in to these sustainable, quantified planetary boundaries.

BRUNHUBER: When it comes to, you know, public perception, there can be a sense of fatalism, especially when you talk about, you know, climate change, these big intractable problems that the planet is facing. Do you worry that people might think, well, you know, the boundaries, we've sort of passed the safe operating space too late now, we passed a point of no return, so why bother?

ROCKSTROM: Of course you cannot exclude that risk but I would argue very differently to say isn't it fantastic that science has now come so far that we can measure the entire planet, we can quantify the safe fence for human development and we also have so much evidence that we can transform ourselves back within this bull's eye of a safe landing on planet earth if we are successful with the food system transition towards more healthy sustainable food that does not destroy natural ecosystems, it would take us back very rapidly and it would decarbonize the world economy.

We basically have ourselves on a positive pathway. So, you know, you don't want to drive in the dark without the lights on and we're putting the lights on the car and it gives us some guardrails on that very mountainous, dangerous road.

BRUNHUBER: You've outlined some very ambitious goals there in terms of trying to keep us within that bull's eye. You know, we're talking about the planet. International cooperation obviously is key here. Action on the ozone layer has actually worked. We pulled ourselves back from one planetary boundary there. But on other issues, progress on these big international forums has been, you know, underwhelming. In just over two months, we'll see the next climate change conference. So do you have any faith that we can do enough there to, sort of, pull back and reverse some of the damage here?

ROCKSTROM: To be honest, this is what worries me most. It's not the scientific diagnostic. It's not as if we don't have the solutions because we do, but it's really that we have a level of, you know, the highest degree of distrust in the world since the Second World War, when we need collaboration more than ever.

It's quite fantastic that policy in the world, listen to science in the 1980s, when we were breaching the boundary on depleting the protective stratospheric ozone layer, a life-threatening protective shield against dangerous U.V. radiation. Policy political leaders listen to science, industry innovated, and we veered back into the safe space. We can manage the planet.

We actually have so much evidence that this can be solved, but today we don't see any signs of moving in the right direction, particularly on climate.


But another success story is the boundary on aerosol loading. Aerosol loading is really air pollutants causing all the smog in the cities, which we now show scientifically. impact for example the large monsoon systems in the world. But we're getting there to really clean up the cities in the world and get better impacts, benefits for health, but also benefits for planet.

So it's not as if we just cannot do this, we just have to recognize that now we are so intertwined that we need to collectively govern the planet together. It's a huge challenge, but it simply must be addressed.

BRUNHUBER: Yeah, absolutely. Listen, you paint a very sobering picture, but also make a great argument for action here. Johan Rockstrom, thank you so much for speaking with us. I Appreciate it.


BRUNHUBER: For the first time in U.S. history, the Justice Department has indicted the son of a sitting president. Now, Hunter Biden's attorney is vowing to fight the new felony gun charges. He's blasting the indictment as politically motivated. CNN's Kara Scannell has more on the story.


KARA SCANNELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hunter Biden indicted on three felony gun charges related to his 2018 purchase of a firearm. The president's son is facing one count of lying on an ATF form when he said he wasn't using or addicted to illegal drugs.

Another count of lying to the gun dealer who received the form and one count of possession of a firearm while using or being addicted to a controlled substance. The charges come after Hunter Biden's deal to avoid prosecution on the gun charge evaporated this summer. The Republicans criticized the deal and a plea deal involving late payments on taxes, calling them a sweetheart deal.

Both then fell apart under a federal judge's scrutiny. And after failing to work out a new arrangement, U.S. Attorney David Weiss, a Trump appointee, asked to be elevated to special counsel status, resulting in the charges announced Thursday. Hunter Biden's attorney, Abbe Lowell, slammed the indictment, saying, the evidence in this matter has not change, but the law has and so has MAGA Republicans' improper and partisan interference in this process. Hunter Biden possessing an unloaded gun for 11 days was not a threat

to public safety, but a prosecutor with all the power imaginable bending to political pressure presents a grave threat to our system of justice.

Lowell vowed to fight the case, saying he believes the initial gun deal is still valid, and he questioned whether the gun statute was constitutional. Also still looming, the possibility of felony tax charges. A date has not yet been set for Hunter Biden to be arraigned on the gun charges, but Biden could be on trial next year as his father is in the middle of a presidential campaign.

Kara Scannell, CNN, New York.


BRUNHUBER: All right, still to come, Spain's former football chief Luis Rubiales is due in court in the coming hours over that unwanted kiss of the Women's World Cup final. Live in Madrid with the latest.

Plus Hollywood star Taika Waititi's new rugby documentary and what team New Zealand thinks will win the World Cups and maybe no surprises there, we'll have that interview. Coming up next, stay with us.




BRUNHUBER: Spain's former football chief Luis Rubiales is due to appear in a Madrid courtroom in the coming hours. That's after prosecutors submitted a complaint against him for sexual assault and coercion over his unwanted kiss on the lips of player Jennifer Hermoso at the Women's World Cup final last month.

Joining me now is journalist Al Goodman who is in Madrid. Al, the story continues to reverberate both in the courtroom and on the pitch. What's the latest?

AL GOODMAN, JOURNALIST: Hi Kim, well, Rubiales is due in this national court building behind me at noon local time for this hearing. It will be a closed-door hearing, no press. That's the press behind me. No press allowed inside, no other observers, just the judge, Rubiales, his defense lawyer, the prosecutor and possibly the lawyer for the star player, Jennifer Hermoso, who the kiss was planted on. She is the lawyer for that player may be in there. We're not expecting the player would be in there.

These two charges that the prosecution has given over to the national court, one for sexual assault. Prosecution Service tells CNN that the language of the sexual assault charge, Kim, in the Spanish penal code has been there only since last year in this current format, and that's because of a new law that was passed last year by the leftist government to clamp down on sexual assault and sexual abuse, a sign of the changing times in Spain between the old traditional institutional sexism or macho culture and this new, current in Spain. That's been a big part of this story.

So that's one of the charges. It carries a maximum prison sentence of up to four years. There is no trial, yet there is no sentence, of course. But that's just the maximum charge. The other is for coercion. And prosecutors say that Jennifer Hermoso, when she submitted her complaint, alleged that Rubiales' team pressured her after that kiss almost four weeks ago, right after the World Cup victory for the Spanish women's team in the stadium in front of a huge crowd televised globally.

She says she was pressured by Rubiales' team to go off with his story, which he says it was a consensual kiss. She says it was not. So that's another charge that they will be dealing with.

The interest here, there is media from, of course, from Spain, from around the world, and it's really been larger than just a sports story, as you mentioned, because of the ramifications of all this. Rubiales finally resigned under pressure last Sunday, days after the prosecution sent this case over to the national court. Now, it's here at this national court because it involves an alleged crime, the kiss, by a Spanish national, Rubiales, done outside of Spain. The final was played in Sydney, Australia. So this is the court that deals with those kinds of big issues, also money-laundering, a lot of serious cases coming through this court. And the alleged victim, the prosecution says, is also a Spanish national.

So that's why it is at this court. It's not the only thing that's happening in this whole story today. Later this afternoon, the new coach of the women's team, the women's team that just won less than a month ago the World Cup and the coach, the male coach was fired as part of this whole shakeup. Now his, one of his chief assistants, a woman, Montse Tomei, is due to announce the new team for the next match next week against Sweden. Kim?

BRUNHUBER: Interesting. All right, we'll keep following that case. Al Goodman in Madrid, thanks so much.

To American football now, where Aaron Rodgers says surgery on his torn Achilles tendon went great and his medical team assures him he's on the road to recovery. Now the New York Jets quarterback thanked everyone for their love, prayers and support. Rodgers injured his left foot on Monday on the fourth play of the Jets game against the Buffalo Bills. The four-time MVP says he's heartbroken by the season-ending injury but says he'll quote "rise yet again." A team official expects him to be back next year.

Hollywood star Taika Waititi is apparently more comfortable holding an Academy Award than the Rugby World Cup. The New Zealand actor, writer and director won an Oscar for best adapted screenplay for "Jojo Rabbit" in 2020. We got the chance to lift the famed William Webb Ellis Trophy as part of his new documentary series "Tour de Rugby."

Here's his conversation with CNN's Amanda Davis.


AMANDA DAVIES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: What are your favorite World Cup memories? Have you been to other World Cups?

TAIKA WAITITI, FILMMAKER AND ACTOR: The only World Cup I've been to is the very first one in 1987 with my father and it was a very special moment and also managed to see John Kirwan, the great John Kirwan run the entire length of the field against Italy to score a try.


DAVIES: And you have as part of your series been able to get your hands, I know, on the William Webb Ellis trophy. What were you picturing in that moment?

WAITITI: I was picturing dropping it because I'm notoriously clumsy and I break everything. So yeah, I was very nervous about holding that thing. I think I held it for about seven seconds and gave it back.

DAVIES: Who's your money on for actually lifting that trophy at the end of October?

WAITITI: I have to say New Zealand because I'm sure there's all these New Zealanders around me watching me. So yeah, I think we have to win. We're going to win.

DAVIES: How much of the has the women's -- I love it it's a bomb. I'm not sure are you going to --

WAITITI: That's a very complement didn't it?

DAVIES: I was going to say

WAITITI: I don't care who wins.

DAVIES: Are you entirely convinced by what you just said doesn't seem like it.

WAITITI: Listen I'm just trying to give people this false sense of security. I think we might win.

DAVIES: But the women did win last year how much is their success cranked up the pressure on this all black side, do you think?

WAITITI: I think that the women winning the Women's World Cup last year is just great for New Zealand and great for Women's Rugby. And I, for one, as the father of two daughters, am really stoked and really just happy that we actually had a really successful World Cup with a great turnout. A lot of crowds coming to see it. And yeah, that was beautiful. And I think it helps the game, no matter what your gender.

DAVIES: We've just seen the football women's World Cup though take place as well. I mean, what chance do you think your girls might now be swayed in the football direction rather than rugby?

WAITITI: Yeah, if I could get them off the couch, I wouldn't mind what sport they played.

DAVIES: And I know you have been involved in All or Nothing. You've also released a football movie. What are your thoughts on directing a rugby movie?

WAITITI: I think it's quite a difficult sport. I think most sports are quite difficult to capture and in a really like exciting way in film. I think the last rugby movie would have been what? "Invictus" maybe?

And I think if you, yeah, you have to have played rugby to really understand how to capture it and then how to like to film it. So I don't know. I never really played soccer, football, a lot about this film, "Next Skull Winds," which is coming out in a couple of months, which is about, you know, one of the biggest losing football teams in the world. True story of American Samoa and how they rose to success. That was my first foray into shooting that game. And I was really nervous about it because I'd seen a few football films in the past and it's just a hard game to really make look exciting on film, but I think we did a good job.


BRUNHUBER: A major day for British-based chip designer Arm. We'll take a look at its stunning Wall Street debut straight ahead, stay with us.



BRUNHUBER: Wall Street climbed Thursday as investors cheered the market debut of British chip designer Arm. It was the biggest IPO in nearly two years and could pave the way for more to come, CNN's Anna Stewart reports.


ANNA STEWART, CNN REPORTER: It was priced at $51 a share, but on its first trading day, this stock popped more than 20 percent, closing the session at nearly $64 a share, which values Arm holdings at more than $65 billion.

RENE HAAS, CEO, ARM HOLDINGS: It's a great day for the company, it's a great day for our employees, it's a great day for anyone who has worked for Arm in our 33 year history. It's my first time through an IPO process. Our bankers say if you can price at the high-end of the range and go out of that number, it's a good thing and that's where we ended up so couldn't be more pleased.

STEWART: It's also good news for Japanese investment firm SoftBank which still owns 90 percent of the company. It bought the chip designer for just $32 billion back in 2016. doubling its return in seven years.

The investor appetite came despite concerns over Arm's exposure to China, which accounts for around a quarter of its sales via a company called Arm China. Now that is a separate entity which Arm does not control, and according to the IPO prospectus, it has a history of late payments, which could, quote, "have a material adverse effect on the business." There's also the political risk. Tensions between Washington and

Beijing over chip technology remain high. This was the biggest U.S. listing in nearly two years. Fears over a recession and higher interest rates have suppressed valuations and IPO appetite. But, Arm's debut could pave the way to a new wave of IPOs.

Anna Stewart, CNN, London.


BRUNHUBER: Well, you could call it a lunar blast from the past. According to a new study, the lunar lander from the Apollo 17 moon mission is apparently causing small quakes on the lunar surface. Now, they're known as moonquakes. The moon has massive temperature swings throughout the day, and these temperature swings make the lunar lander expand and contract, causing small moonquakes. Researchers have known about this phenomenon for a while, but didn't know why it was happening. So how did they figure it out? Well, they analyzed Apollo- era data using modern algorithms.

That wraps this hour of CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Kim Brunhuber. CNN NEWSROOM with Max Foster is next.