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WHO Team Describes Al-Shifa Hospital As "Death Zone"; Father, Son Who Survived Oct. 7 Attacks Tell Their Story; Biden Discusses Middle East, Putin In An Op-Ed; Trump Campaigns In Iowa As Caucuses Draw Closer; Taiwan After APEC Talks Between Xi And Biden; More Signs Volcanic Eruption May Be Imminent; Starship Rocket Fails Minutes After Launch. Aired 5-6a ET
Aired November 19, 2023 - 05:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
KIM BRUNHUBER, CNN HOST: Hello and welcome to all you watching us here in the United States, Canada, and all around the world. I'm Kim Brunhuber. Ahead on CNN Newsroom. A team from the World Health Organization goes inside the Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza and describes the scene as a death zone. What they saw, just ahead.
Plus, the most powerful rocket ever built explodes just after liftoff while some are still calling the launch a big success. And later, Max Verstappen rolls the dice and wins big on the Vegas Strip while break down the F1 Grand Prix that ended just a few hours ago.
ANNOUNCER: Live from CNN Center, this is CNN Newsroom with Kim Brunhuber.
BRUNHUBER: It's 5 a.m. here in Atlanta, noon in Gaza where a large explosion ripped through a U.N.-run school being used as a shelter when U.N. official called the carnage horrifying. I have to warn you, the video is graphic.
Now, the source of the blast hasn't been determined and no confirmed casualty figures are available yet. The Israeli military says it is aware of the explosion but hasn't commented further. We'll have more on this in just a moment. But as civilians, health workers and patients try to evacuate from embattled areas, many are showing up at the Indonesian hospital which was already overwhelmed. Wounded children can be seen lying on cardboard on the floors. There's very little anyone can do.
On Saturday, the Prime Minister again defended the military operations in Gaza as justified and lawful. Here he is.
BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER (through translator): Israel abides by the laws of war. That's how our army works, the most moral army in the world. Humanitarian aid is also vital to maintain international support. Without humanitarian aid, even our best friends will find it difficult to support us over time.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BRUNHUBER: Despite heavy fighting, all around Gaza's largest hospital, a team from the World Health Organization was able to get inside for a first-hand look. They describe what they found at Al-Shifa as a death zone, including a mass grave at the hospital entrance.
A short time ago, the Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza said the WHO was coordinating a plan with the Red Crescent to evacuate 32 babies that are in extremely critical condition. Paula Hancocks was CNN's Jerusalem Correspondent for many years, and joins us now from Seoul.
So Paula, the WHO, reporting horrific conditions at Al-Shifa. What more can you tell us?
PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kim, they managed to spend just an hour inside the hospital and they said that there was heavy fighting in the near proximity while they were there and as you say they described it as a death zone which really sums up the dire situation inside that hospital.
They said that many of the staff and the patients that they spoke to spoke and said that they were, quote, "terrified for their safety and health and they were pleading for evacuation." Now, we've heard from the Hamas-run ministry of health in Gaza, they say that there are plans this Sunday to try and evacuate more than 30 neonatal babies from Al-Shifa. They say at this point they will be taken by ambulances of the Palestinian Red Crescent and they are at this time waiting for Israeli bulldozers to open the way.
Now, just in the last hour, we spoke to the regional director of WHO, who was unable to give us details about the transportation of these babies that did say that he hoped to have encouraging news later in the day.
Now, we did hear from the WHO as well that they said within the next 24 to 72 hours they were hoping to have further missions to try and take and evacuate some of those affected in Al-Shifa and take them to two hospitals in southern Gaza but they really did paint a very devastating image of the situation within Al-Shifa hospital. Kim.
BRUNHUBER: Yeah, and then Paula, I spoke earlier about the U.N. reporting, the school being hit, what can you tell us about that?
HANCOCKS: Yeah, so this is a U.N.-run school in northern Gaza in Jabalia and it's -- we really had some horrifying images and footage of an aftermath of that school being hit.
Now, according to UNRWA, which is the U.N. body that looks after Palestinian refugees, an UNRWA spokesperson said that they don't know at this point who is responsible for the hits and they also say they don't know what exactly caused the incident.
But from the footage that is available, much of which we cannot show, it really does show the devastation. It shows on two floors in a number of different rooms, bodies lying on the ground, many of them covered in dust. One of the images showing a hole in the wall.
Now we have spoken to the Israeli military and asked about this. They say they are aware of the incident and they are reviewing that. They said that on Saturday. We haven't had an update from the IDF at this point. But this is an area where thousands of internally displaced families were sheltering. They felt that a U.N.-run school would be a safer area to hide in rather than in their own homes, which they had been told by Israeli military to evacuate. Kim.
BRUNHUBER: All right, I appreciate the updates. Paula Hancocks in Seoul, thanks so much.
Now, last hour, I spoke with Dr. Richard Brennan, the World Health Organization's Emergency Director for the Eastern Mediterranean. He said sending a team to Al-Shifa Hospital for the first time confirmed their worst fears and he described the difficulties of just making the trip.
Here he is.
RICHARD BRENNAN, W.H.O. EMERGENCY DIRECTOR, EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN REGION: These missions are a high risk to very high risk in an active combat zone. They have to be planned in advance and throughout with the military forces. And of course, we need those security guarantees and the safe passage to the hospital.
Yesterday, our team was on the ground for many hours because, you know, normally driving from Rafah to Al-Shifa would take 45 minutes. It took several hours yesterday because of the security concerns. In fact, the team only had an hour on the ground before they had to leave again.
So detailed planning, detailed discussions with the military forces to do what we call deconfliction and ensure that safe passage. We expect to have a series of convoys over the coming days to bring patients down to two main hospitals in the south, the European hospital and NASA hospital.
The big concern there is, of course, those hospitals are already overwhelmed. And now they're going to have, again, this very heavy patient burden because the remaining 291 patients, they have very complicated conditions.
The 32 babies that were mentioned earlier, who are critically ill, well over 200 severely injured patients, including 29 patients with spinal injuries and burns and so on.
BRUNHUBER: As far as the Israeli families are still struggling to recover from the horrifying terror attacks by Hamas last month. CNN's Nic Robertson talks to two survivors about their experience and how they're doing now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR (voice-over): Yuri and his father, Yonathan, are survivors of Hamas' brutal October 7 attacks. They've taken refuge in Israel's seaside resort, Eilat. Yuri is 12 years old. He wanted to tell his story. He is the first child we have spoken with since Hamas' horrific, brutal attacks.
ROBERTSON: How many people close to you are missing still?
YONATHAN: Yuri says around 20. Kibbutz Nir Oz suffered a really hard blow. A quarter of the kibbutz is either killed or missing. '
ROBERTSON (voice-over): Their home was here in Nir Oz. Pre-October 7th population, close to 400 people.
YONATHAN: We heard like a war outside our window, a war. They were shooting at houses, RPG on houses, grenades on civilians, it was nothing, we didn't say anything. We kept quiet.
ROBERTSON: They were incredibly lucky to survive Hamas' brutal attack. The family was saved by this lock on their bomb shelter door. But one of Yuri's brothers, Yoav, was at a sleepover in another house on the Kibbutz.
(On camera): Were you worried for your brother?
(Voice-over): Yuri nods.
YONATHAN: Very much. He was crying in the safe room because of that.
ROBERTSON: Hours later, it would be Yuri watching his father cry.
YONATHAN: It was around, I guess, five at the afternoon. That was the first time we saw Yoav again. And I broke down.
ROBERTSON (voice-over): They'd all been rescued by soldiers brought to the big Kibbutz safe room. Reunited after seemingly endless hours of grueling separation.
YONATHAN: I collapsed. I broke down that moment. Yuri said it was the first time he saw me cry that time.
ROBERTSON: It's a big thing to see your father cry.
(SPEAKING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
ROBERTSON: How's your father doing now?
YURI: (Speaking in foreign language).
YONATHAN: He said he thinks I'm OK. He doesn't see any worries on me. It's a good disguise, I guess.
ROBERTSON (voice-over): When Palestinian Islamic Jihad released a hostage video of one of Yuri's friends, they didn't show it to Yuri to spare him the pain.
YONATHAN: We don't want him to see also. It's more propaganda than anything else.
ROBERTSON (voice-over): But they can't insulate him completely. Yuri's best friend, Etan, is one of several close friends held hostage.
YURI: He's a very good friend. And we're playing soccer in the kibbutz.
ROBERTSON: What will you do when you see him again?
YURI (through translation): I'll hug him.
YONATHAN: He'll run to hug him. And he hopes that he'll come back soon.
ROBERTSON (voice-over): Hamas' damaging impact far from over. Nic Robertson, CNN, Eilat, Israel.
BRUNHUBER: President Biden is once again rejecting calls for a ceasefire in Gaza. He says that would give Hamas an opportunity to regroup and rebuild their stockpile of weapons. He also floated his vision for Gaza and the West Bank once the war is over. CNN's Priscilla Alvarez has the details.
PRISCILLA ALVAREZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: President Biden on Saturday released an op-ed in which he rejected calls for a ceasefire in the Israel Hamas conflict and notably warned that the U.S. is taking steps to issue visa bans against extremists who are attacking civilians in the West Bank, a key area of concern for the administration.
Now, as far as the ceasefire, which the President has faced mounting criticism domestically and abroad, he wrote the following, as long as Hamas clings to its ideology of destruction, a ceasefire is not peace.
The President and administration officials have instead pushed for humanitarian pauses for the release of hostages held by Hamas, but also to get aid into Gaza. Now, the President went on to say that Israel should respect humanitarian law and protect innocent civilians.
The President also stressed that a two-state solution is the way forward in the Israel-Hamas conflict, reiterating a message from earlier in the week when he said that that was the solution. And he also went on to note the ongoing efforts to get hostages out of Gaza who are held by Hamas.
But above all, the President taking the moment to remind Americans that conflicts unfolding both in Israel and in Ukraine affect U.S. national security. That has been a message that he sent repeatedly, including last month in a primetime address when the White House was also asking for billions in funding to support both Israel and Ukraine.
Now, that funding has not been met yet, and the President taking the moment on Saturday to remind Americans why these conflicts abroad are important for the United States in a key moment. Priscilla Alvarez, CNN, traveling with the President.
BRUNHUBER: Hundreds in Palestinians are fleeing northern Gaza as the fighting continues. Evacuees include everyone from women to children and the elderly and wounded. We spoke to some of them and one man has a message for world leaders, including President Biden. Here he is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are carrying the full responsibility of killing people for Biden and the Congress of America. They are supporting with unlimited, are you hearing the shooting? They are supporting Israel without limitation by bombing people, by killing people. We are civilian people. We are not militants people. While the international society is watching, condemning and worry sometimes. There is no services. There is severe shortage of food, severe shortage of water. The environment situation is miserable.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BRUNHUBER: Here in the U.S. lawmakers are still divided about military aid to Israel. Independent Senator Bernie Sanders and Democratic Senator from New Jersey Josh Gottheimer disagree about whether to impose conditions on the aid. Senator says, quote, "While Israel has the right to go after Hamas, Netanyahu's right-wing extremist government doesn't have the right to wage almost total warfare against the Palestinian people. Gottheimer says Hamas wants a second Holocaust conditioning aid to Israel sets a terrible precedent and will empower America's enemies, including Iran, Russia and China."
All right, still ahead, Donald Trump has been campaigning in Iowa this weekend and hitting out at President Biden.
Volcanic activity shuts down Iceland's famed Blue Lagoon Resort for the rest of November. We'll go live to Reykjavik for the latest on the tremors.
Plus, host nation India and Australia clash in the Cricket World Cup final being played right now. We'll bring you updates next. Stay with us.
BRUNHUBER: Donald Trump is back in the all-important State of Iowa, and he's going back on the attack with just eight weeks left until the state's first in the nation contest for Republicans. The former president is mounting an aggressive campaign as he attempts to stop his GOP rivals from catching up to him, including former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, U.S. REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTITAL CANDIDATE: Nikki birdbrain. Sir, I will never ever vote against you. You're the greatest president in my lifetime. It's not that long, you know, she's not that old, actually. I would have preferred if she said in generations. But I know her well. She's not up to the job.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BRUNHUBER: CNN's Alayna Treene is with the Trump campaign in Fort Dodge.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALAYNA TREENE, CNN POLITICAL REPORTER: Well, Donald Trump is back in Iowa this weekend with just eight weeks to go until the Republican caucuses on January 15th. And even though he's polling ahead of his Republican contenders in the state, he warned voters not to get complacent and to ensure that they come out for him in a big way when the Iowa caucuses roll around. He also used some of the most explicit language yet that we've heard when talking about his need to win this state in order to knock his primary contenders out of the race.
Now, Donald Trump also spent much of the speech on Saturday attacking Joe Biden and specifically his record on foreign policy, as well as his approach to China and potentially undermining U.S. agriculture is something that is very important to Iowa voters. He also, at one point, Donald Trump attacked Joe Biden's mental fitness and called him a quote, "stupid person and suggested he may be on medication." Let's take a listen.
TRUMP: Our leader is a stupid person. Our leader --
(CHEERING & APPLAUSE)
TRUMP: Our leader can't get off this stage. You see this stage? When he's finished with the speech, by the time whatever it is, he's taken wears off, and he's -- he's looking --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Inaudible).
TRUMP: OK, thank you, Chuck (ph). Thank you.
TREENE: Now, those remarks are in line with Donald Trump's increasingly vitriolic rhetoric that we've heard from him on the campaign trail of late. Remember last week in New Hampshire, Donald Trump received a wave of backlash for calling the political left being like vermin and saying he wanted to root them out.
Now, one more just really interesting thing I want to put your attention to is what Donald Trump did after his remarks. He got off the stage and went into the crowd. He signed hats and shook their hands and that is very rare for the former president.
He typically will immediately exit the stage and start getting into his motorcade after he wraps up these speeches. And so a big moment for those in the room and I think it really underscores the aggressive attitude that Donald Trump and his campaign are taking to Iowa in this final stretch. Alayna Treene, CNN, Fort Dodge, Iowa.
BRUNHUBER: Now, of course, there's no evidence that President Biden has been on medication that would affect his cognition, but CNN is reaching out to the White House for comment. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is once again saying that he would consider pardoning those imprisoned for the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol if he's elected president.
Now, his comments came during a campaign stop Saturday in Iowa. DeSantis said under his administration, January 6 convicts would have the opportunity to apply for pardons and clemency along with anyone mistreated, but what he called weaponized justice department. He also attacked former President Donald Trump's candidacy as high risk. Here he is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RON DESANTIS, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I view his candidacy as high risk with low reward because I think as a lame duck with poor personnel and the distractions. It's going to be hard for him to get this done. My candidacy is lower risk because we'll run Biden, rag it around this country, but high reward because you get a two-term conservative president who's going to stand for your values and deliver for you for eight full years.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BRUNHUBER: President Biden and China's President Xi Jinping had a substantial discussion about Taiwan during their meeting at the APEC summit last week. Xi made it clear that concerns about the
island were the biggest and most dangerous issue in the U.S./China relations. So where does Taiwan stand after APEC? CNN's Will Ripley gauges the mood in Taipei.
WILL RIPLEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Taiwan will never forget those four tense days when former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit triggered unprecedented Chinese military drills, widely seen as a dress rehearsal for war. More than a year later, on the streets of Taipei, for some, the prospect of war feels closer than ever.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): Of course we are concerned that what happened to Ukraine could happen to Taiwan. I'm a mother and I have kids.
RIPLEY: President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping's marathon meeting in San Francisco aimed at dialing down the temperature on a host of hot-button issues, especially Taiwan. The most important and sensitive issue in U.S.-China relations. Xi was quoted in Chinese State Media, "Washington has no plans to stop selling billions of dollars in weapons to Taipei."
Military cooperation, including U.S. training of Taiwanese troops at the highest level in decades. The U.S. formally switched diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing in 1979.
JOE BIDEN, (D) U.S. PRESIDENT: We maintain the agreement that there is one China policy and that I'm not going to change that.
RIPLEY: As for the future of this self-governing democracy, Xi says China will realize reunification. This is unstoppable.
SU TZU-YUN, DIRECTOR, INSTITUTE FOR NATIONAL DEFENSE AND SECURITY RESEARCH, TAIWAN: Beijing's activity becomes something like Nazi Germany did during World War Two.
RIPLEY: Su Tzu-Yun is Director of Taiwan's Institute for National Defense and Security Research. He warns China's military buildup, the biggest in a century, may be just beginning. He says it can only be deterred by massive military power.
(On camera): Does that deterrent force need to include the help of larger militaries like the U.S., like Japan?
TZU-YUN: Sure. Taiwan enjoys a very important location. If Beijing can occupy Taiwan, it becomes a so-called "Chinese Hawaii." They can send their submarine from east Taiwan. And such a submarine can reach the West Coast of the United States to strike the United States.
RIPLEY (voice-over): Last year, Beijing fired ballistic missiles over Taiwan.
(On camera): And here in Taiwan, people have lived their entire lives with the reality that China has an arsenal of missiles pointed at this island that could be raining down in a matter of minutes. That's why here in Taipei alone, there's an estimated 90,000 air defense shelters ready for whatever comes.
(Voice-over): When the People's Liberation Army surrounded the self- governing democracy, Chinese State Media said they were simulating a blockade, practicing a possible precursor for a full-scale invasion, jolting Taiwan into a new, risk-filled reality, putting high-stakes diplomacy to the test.
(On camera): We're also watching very closely some major developments here in Taipei. On Saturday, two opposition parties announced their joint presidential ticket. They're going to be posing an unexpected and very credible challenge to the ruling DPP.
The current vice president is the presidential candidate. He was considered a shoe-in by many analysts until this surprise union between these two opposition parties, which notably tend to have a more pro-Beijing or at least pro-cooperation with Beijing's stance, whereas the DPP has long said that you have to stand up to China with strength. If you give an inch, they say they'll take a mile. But either way, the result of next year's Taiwanese presidential elections will have huge implications for Taiwan and also the U.S.-China relationship. Will Ripley, CNN, Taipei.
BRUNHUBER: Between more than a month and hundreds of Israeli hostages were taken by Hamas, as protesters call for their release, the Israeli Prime Minister is set to meet with the families of hostages soon. That's just ahead. Stay with us.
BRUNHUBER: Welcome back to all of you watching us here in the United States, Canada and around the world, I'm Kim Brunhuber. This is CNN Newsroom.
The Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza announced a short time ago that the World Health Organization was trying to get 32 infants evacuated today from Gaza's Al-Shifa Hospital.
Now, those babies are said to be in extremely critical condition. The WHO tells CNN it can't confirm that an evacuation will take place. With some of the fiercest fighting said to be in and around the hospital complex, many civilians have little choice but to evacuate south, even though there isn't a safe place to go.
Doctors at Al-Shifa say they were ordered to leave the hospital by the Israeli military. Israel denies issuing such an order.
Massive crowds protested in Tel Aviv on Saturday calling for the release of hostages being held by Hamas. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is getting ready to meet with families of hostages on Monday. CNN's Jeremy Diamond reports from Tel Aviv.
JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, 42 days after hundreds of Israelis were taken hostage and kept inside the Gaza Strip, the families of those hostages and thousands of their loved ones and friends and supporters gathering here in Tel Aviv to demand the release of those hostages. They are also putting pressure on the Israeli government to reach a deal in order to release those hostages.
We know now that for weeks there have been discussions between the Israeli government and Hamas being negotiated by the Qatari government that could see the release of dozens of those hostages in exchange for a multi-day pause in the fighting and thousands gathering not only here in Tel Aviv but also in Jerusalem to urge the Israeli government to reach such a deal. We heard chance of now, now, now demanding that a deal be reached now.
We spoke with the family of one of those hostages, Yarden, and this is her cousin talking about what her message is to the Israeli government.
MIA ROMAN, COUSIN OF HOSTAGE YARDEN ROMAN: I mean, our message to them, which we have also, you know, communicated to them directly, is we think there should be a deal now. And we understand there are -- you know, there are things we don't know, there are considerations we can't be told about. We believe in you. Yarden's daughter, Geffen, believes in us. She always tells us that she knows we're working together, mom back. She sees us all working there all the time. And she knows we're all doing it together back. So, kind of in the same way, I have to believe that they're doing everything together back.
And our faith, you know, I hope that you can prove our faith was not wrongly given and that you can prove us right and make sure that they start coming back home because the families needed, the families needed desperately.
DIAMOND: Now we don't know whether these marches have brought the pressure on the Israeli government for them to reach a deal for these hostages. But it is at least yielding something. The Israeli Prime Minister is confirming that he will meet with the families of these hostages on Monday, just two days after these rallies took place in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.
So at least these families will be able to deliver their message directly to the Israeli Prime Minister, who of course will decide whether or not to reach that kind of a deal with Hamas. Jeremy Diamond, CNN, Tel Aviv.
BRUNHUBER: In a half an hour, voters in Argentina will start heading to the polls to choose their next president. The tight runoff is between Sergio Massa, the country's finance minister and a political veteran, and Javier Milei, an economist and former television pundit.
Argentina's next leader will have a lot to deal with. The country is immersed in debt. Inflation is skyrocketed to more than 140%, and poverty is spreading. Today's vote could change the direction in which Argentina is heading.
Dueling protests in Spain Saturday over a controversial new amnesty law, which helped Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez secure a second term in office. At least 170,000 people gathered in Madrid to vent their anger over the new law, which would give amnesty to Catalan separatists who tried unsuccessfully to secede from Spain six years ago.
And in the northern Basque city of Bilbao, thousands of pro- independence protesters marched in support of the deal. Sanchez won a majority in parliament with the support of pro-Catalan parties in exchange for agreeing to the law. Sanchez says it will help diffuse tensions in the Spanish region of Catalonia.
All right, still much more to come here on CNN, scientists say new cracks in the ground or signs of volcanic eruption is indeed imminent in southwest Iceland. We're live from Reykjavik next. Stay with us.
BRUNHUBER: There are more signs of volcanic eruption, remains imminent in southwest Iceland. Aerial views of the town of Grindavik and surrounding areas on Friday showed large cracks and fissures in the ground.
Many of the main roads in the area are damaged and impossible. At least 4,000 residents have already left their homes as seismic activity and magma flowing underground picked up over the past few weeks. CNN's Frederik Pleitgen is with us now from near Grindavik, Iceland.
So, just looking at all the emergency crews behind you there, Fred, give us a sense of what is happening right now and whether they're telling you how imminent an eruption might be?
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, that's exactly what they're saying. They still believe that it's highly likely that a large eruption is going to happen here in the not-too distant future. Again, they're using that word imminent and that's certainly something where that hasn't changed over the past couple of days and certainly hasn't changed right now.
In fact, one of the things that was interesting that a couple of folks here are telling us, they say that they're seeing a sort of pattern that they saw before a major eruption in 2021 as well now in this case also.
They say that the earthquakes have become a little bit less than they happened in the last couple of days, and that's exactly what they saw in 2021 just before the magma then burst through the Earth's surface.
Of course, that's something that could happen in the area that you see right behind me. And you're absolutely right, Kim. We are at that final checkpoint before the town of Grindavik, which of course is the one that was evacuated where we saw those cracks that we've been seeing on our screen happening in a lot of the streets there, with some of that steam coming up as well.
That, of course, is the main area where that magma wants to burst through and get to the Earth's surface. And that's why that town has been evacuated and certainly is in big jeopardy of being destroyed. There are some people who can still go back and pick up some belongings, but it is really very few, as you can see behind me.
Now, one of the top geologists here of this country also said that an eruption does appear to be imminent. I want to listen into what he had to say. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ARI TRAUSTI GUDMUNDSSON, GEOPHYSICIST: People now wait in anxiety, what is going to happen to the town. If the eruption really occurs, it could spare the town to a large extent. It could also, the lava flow, simply bury the town. The geothermal power plant and the Blue Lagoon would be in harm's way. So what is being done now is to build some, not barriers, to prevent the lava, but barriers to redirect the lava because you really cannot stop a lava flow.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PLEITGEN: You really can't stop the lava flow. I actually want to show you that real quick, Kim. If we look over there, way in the distance, you can see some steam that is coming up next to that mountain there. I actually hope that you can see it, but it is a pretty clear day. That is that very geothermal power plant that that gentleman was just talking about there. And he was saying that they are trying to not build a barrier, but something to try and redirect that lava flow.
And I don't know if you were able to see just before he was speaking here on our live shot, there was a truck that went through there. That's because those crews are working 24-7. We were here until very late at night, last night, also reporting from this area.
And I can tell you that throughout the night, there have been trucks going in and out as they are trying to build a trench or some sort of other way to redirect the lava, if in fact it flows towards that geothermal power plant.
Again, very dicey situation on the ground here. The authorities have it under control, but they do say that it is an extremely dangerous situation just down the road, Kim.
BRUNHUBER: Yeah, in my reporting, I've never been near an active volcano like you are there, so it must be an extremely eerie sensation there. We appreciate your reporting on the scene, Fred Pleitgen, thank you so much.
On SpaceX's massive Starship rocket headed for the skies on Saturday, and second-ever test flight making it farther than its initial flight back in April, before exploding minutes after liftoff. CNN's Kristin Fisher has more from the launch site in Texas.
KRISTIN FISHER, CNN SPACE AND DEFENSE CORRESPONDENT: Engineers at SpaceX will spend the next several days and weeks pouring over all of this data, trying to figure out what exactly went wrong. But this is what SpaceX likes to do. They like to push their rockets and their spacecrafts all the way to the point of failure, because that's how they learn. They've done that with all of their older, successful rockets and spacecrafts, and now they're trying to do it with Starship, the biggest, most powerful rocket to ever fly. And someday, the ultimate goal is for this rocket to allow and carry up to 100 humans to the surface of Mars and ultimately colonize Mars and make humanity multi-planetary. That's the goal. But first, SpaceX has to get this thing up into orbit. And the test
flight on Saturday was a success in that 33 engines did fire, all of them. The launch pad survived. There was successful stage separation between the booster and the spacecraft on top. And it did make it up far past where it flew on its first failed flight test back in April. It made it all the way up to the edge of space. But then something happened, and that's why this test flight was also a failure. There were two explosions. Both the booster and the spacecraft exploded after separating, and the spacecraft, if all had gone according to plan, was supposed to make almost a complete lap of planet Earth and then splash down in the Pacific Ocean. That is what's characterized as a mishap by the FAA. They are now investigating a mishap with SpaceX. It's an investigation that SpaceX will lead, but it's now unclear exactly how long that will take before SpaceX is given the green light to fly again.
But NASA Administrator Bill Nelson, who needs the Starship spacecraft in order to land NASA astronauts on the surface of the moon as part of its Artemis program, congratulated SpaceX yesterday and said that Saturday's test flight was a sign of real progress. On South Padre Island, I'm Kristin Fisher, CNN.
BRUNHUBER: Taylor Swift's t-shirt in the video for her song You Belong With Me inspired this homage by fans in Brazil. You can see the iconic Christ the Redeemer statue lit up and projecting a welcome message for Swift as she kicked off the latest leg of her worldwide eras to her Friday night in Rio de Janeiro.
But Swift's Saturday night concert in Rio was postponed due to extreme heat. Temperatures in the city hit a record 139 degrees Fahrenheit on Friday. On Instagram, Swift said the safety and well-being of her fans, fellow performers and crew comes first.
A fan died inside the concert venue on Friday. Now the cause of death isn't yet known. But many fans did complain about the lack of water inside the stadium. Presenting officials have ordered that water be provided and easily accessible at any future shows. Swift will be in Sao Paulo for three more performances next week.
All right, still to come. Red Bulls Max for stopping winds big in Vegas, while all the highlights from the city's inaugural Grand Prix, next. Stay with us.
BRUNHUBER: The 2023 Cricket World Cup is underway. Host nation India is currently going head-to-head with Australia. You can see thousands of fans pouring into Narendra Modi stadium in Ahmedabad, which seats 132,000 people. Let's go now to CNN's Vedika Sud in New Delhi for the latest. So,
Vedika Sud, cricket may not be the biggest deal here in North America, but where you are, I mean, nothing could be further from the truth. Tell us about the excitement there?
We can't seem to hear Vedika right now. Maybe we might try and get her back later if we have time.
I want to turn now to Formula One, a sport well-versed in glitz and glamour, and now add in one of the most iconic boulevards in the world, the Las Vegas Strip. The stage is set for the crowning moment of what is already the most dominant F1 season ever. CNN World Sports, Coy Wire joins me now. And Coy the inaugural Vegas Grand Prix, did it live up to the hype?
COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS: You know it Kim. If there's one thing we do know, it's that Las Vegas knows how to put on a show. Celebrities turning out in full force from MasterChef Gordon Ramsay to Big Diesel, Shaquille O'Neal, Zlatan Ibrahimovic with Steve Aoki, Aoki there, and the OG Bad Girl Riri, Rihanna was in the house, but no one has been battered as in better in F1 history than Max Verstappen this season, a mind-boggling 17 wins and 20 races for the soon to be three-time defending champ.
And mad Max, the flying Dutchman, adds another jewel to his crown, overcoming a penalty on the very first turn of the race holding court for most of the night before taking the checkered flag by a comfortable margin and getting his 18th champagne shower of the campaign.
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MAX VERSTAPPEN, LAS VEGAS GRAND PRIX WINNER: I tried to go for it at the start, but yeah, I think we both braked quite late and I just ran out of grip, so we ended up a bit wide. So the stewards gave me a penalty for that. At that point there was a lot going on in the race, and then, yeah, once we had the matches to the end, you know, we can go flat out. I had to pass a few cars to get into the battle with them. I think created quite a lot of good racing here today. So it was definitely a lot of fun. A great crowd. I mean, I hope everyone enjoyed it a bit. We definitely did. So, yeah, already excited to come back here next year and hopefully we'll try to do something similar.
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WIRE: Elsewhere, an incredibly emotional night in England, the Nottingham Panthers, returning to the ice for the first time since their teammate Adam Johnson died during a game last month after being cut by a skate.
Players for both teams gathering at center ice to commemorate Johnson's life. The team then announcing his number 47 jersey would be retired. The game stopped in the 47th minute, yet again to honor Johnson.
On Wednesday, investigators announced a man had been arrested, then released on bail in connection to Johnson's death. That man's name has not been made public at this time.
Finally, Kim, Tiger Woods is returning to competitive golf in two weeks' time. One month drive is 48th birthday. Tiger will be teeing it up at the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas. His last competitive event was the Masters back in April where he withdrew, then had ankle surgery. Tiger has played in just five PGA Tour tournaments since his car accident in 2021, but he says his ankle fusion, Kim, where that ankle was fused together. It does not hurt there anymore, so look out, Tiger making a comeback in a couple weeks.
BRUNHUBER: I'll believe it when I see it. All right, Coy Wire, thanks so much. Appreciate it. All right, I want to go back now to CNN's Vedika Sud in New Delhi for the latest on the Cricket World Cup. So let's see. Do we have Vedika there?
All right, there we go. Hopefully we can hear you now, Vedika. You are going to tell me about all of the excitement that's happening as India is hosting this Cricket World Cup.
VEDIKA SUD, CNN REPORTER: You know, in the last three championships, the country that has hosted the World Cup has won the World Cup. So fingers crossed here in India, in Ahmedabad, you have 130,000 seats and you have the spectators there watching every ball being bowled and out here in a pub in Delhi it's packed right here.
People are watching the match and hoping that India bags this championship. I have two fans right here with me who really have their fingers crossed at this point that this will go India's way. Right now India's four wickets down and the fielding by the Australians has been terrific. Let me just speak to Aditya and Ravi. Aditya, what do you think, you could win this?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I am pretty hopeful that we can, we still have some batsmen with us. So keeping my fingers cross.
SUD: (Inaudible) Ravi?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The hope is still alive until the last part of the game, as Indian and as cricket, as Indian team and we have --
SUD: Absolutely. So to the last ball, that's what cricket is all about. It is so unpredictable that last ball is bold. But for now, the stats read like this. India has won two World Cup championships in 1983 and then again in 2011.
As for the Australians, they won it five times. So obviously right now, the favorites, well, in India, a billion people hoping and rooting that it's going to be India winning that cup. But the Australians down under hoping it comes their way. Back to you.
BRUNHUBER: Yeah, I can just imagine how crazy it'll be if India can pull off that upset. Vedika Sud in New Delhi, thank you so much. Appreciate it. And finally, a chapeau fit for an emperor will soon be up for auction
in France. The signature wide black hat worn by Napoleon is expected to fetch more than $800,000 later today. It's made of black beaver felt and Napoleon is said to have more than 120 of them, but the auction house believes there are only about 16 left. Many of them are housed in museums because of their historical significance.
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JEAN PIERRE OSENAT, AUCTIONEER (through translator): And so people recognize this hat everywhere. When they see it in the battlefields, they knew Napoleon was there. And when he's in private, he always had it on his head or he had it in his hand, and sometimes he threw it on the ground. That was the image, the symbol of the emperor.
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BRUNHUBER: Now other items owned by the famous general are also up for auction, including his night shirt and a copy of his will. All right, that wraps this hour of CNN Newsroom. I'm Kim Brunhuber. For viewers in North America, CNN This Morning is next, for the rest of the world, it's Food for Thought.