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Projections: Far-Right Party Leads First Round of Voting in France; Caribbean Braces for 'Extremely Dangerous' Hurricane Beryl; Biden's Family Encourages Him to Stay in the Race; Ultra-Orthodox Protestors Clash with Police in Jerusalem; California Bars to Offer Kits to Test for Spiked Drinks. Aired 12-12:45a ET

Aired July 01, 2024 - 00:00   ET


PAULA NEWTON, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Hello, a very warm welcome. I'm Paula Newton.


Ahead right here on CNN NEWSROOM --


GABRIEL ATTAL, FRENCH PRIME MINISTER (through translator): The far right is on the doorstep of power.


NEWTON: A huge blow to President Macron's party as the far-right celebrates the first round of Parliamentary elections in France.

If not Joe Biden, who? The U.S. president's family is urging him to stay in the race, but new polling shows many voters disagree.

And tracking Hurricane Beryl. The Caribbean is preparing for a dangerous Category 4 storm. We are live in Barbados with the latest.

And we do begin this hour in France, where the far right has come out on top in the first round of Parliamentary elections in a blow to President Emmanuel Macron.

That projection prompting thousands to take to the streets of Paris Sunday, voicing their opposition after the strong showing by the National Rally Party.

Now, initial estimates show National Rally leading with 34 percent of the vote, followed by the left-wing New Popular Front coalition, in second with 28 percent.

Now Mr. Macron's centrist alliance is in third, in fact, with about 20 percent.

The French leader, who called the snap elections, says a, quote, "broad, clearly democratic and republican rally is needed in the next round." But the National Rally's Parliamentary leader, Marine Le Pen, says democracy has spoken, adding that the second round, set for next Sunday, will be decisive.

Now, National Rally leader Jordan Bardella says the vote shows the French people want change and urged voters to remain mobilized.


JORDAN BARDELLA, NATIONAL RALLY LEADER (through translator): The vote they will cast next Sunday is one of the most decisive in the history of the Fifth Republic. Clearly in the view of the results, the presidential camp still largely projected (ph) today is no longer in a position to win. And the high score of the far left raises major concerns.


NEWTON: Bardella is hoping the second round of voting will see his party finish with an absolute majority, and he's making clear he's ready to take on the role of prime minister.


BARDELLA (through translator): I intend to be a prime minister of a cohabitation government, respectful of the constitution and the office of president of the republic, but uncompromising about the policies we will implement in the service of France and the French people.


NEWTON: Senior international correspondent Jim Bittermann has more now from Paris.


JIM BITTERMANN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Jubilant cheers fill the headquarters of France's far-right National Rally as projections show the party dominated in the country's first round of Parliamentary elections.

Once seen as a fringe movement, the National Rally could be positioned to assume power and become the first far-right party to enter French government since the Second World War.

The controversial doyenne of the party, Marine Le Pen, asserted that the second round of voting, to be held next week, will secure their position.

MARINE LE PEN, NATIONAL RALLY PARTY PARLIAMENTARY LEADER (through translator): Democracy has spoken, and the French people have placed the National Rally and its allies in first place. Nothing has been won, and the second round will be decisive.

BITTERMANN (voice-over): Complete results of the election are not finalized, and much political maneuvering is expected before the second round of voting is held next week, which could determine whether a seismic shift is underway in French politics.

National Rally's leader, and Le Pen's protege, 28-year-old Jordan Bardella, could be positioned to become France's next prime minister. A child of Italian immigrants, Bardella has maintained the party's nationalist politics and hardline anti-immigration stance.

Across the country and its overseas territories, voters turned out in huge numbers to participate in the high-stakes election.

Uncertainty has loomed ever since President Emmanuel Macron suddenly dissolved Parliament and called for snap elections earlier this month, sending shockwaves across the country.

Now, his gamble appears to have backfired, as his alliance of centrist parties faltered in the vote, finishing a third according to projections. In a statement, the president called for the formation of a broad alliance to block the National Rally from coming to power.


"Faced with the National Rally, the time has come for a broad, clearly democratic and republican rally for the second round."

A coalition of left-wing parties also had a strong showing, coming in a close second, projections show. However, no party achieved an outright majority, possibly leading Parliament into political deadlock.

For now, the preliminary results of the election are being received with intensity, drawing some protesters out to demonstrate in Paris.


BITTERMANN (voice-over): As a country with a painful history with fascism and far-right movements, deals with an uncertain future.

Jim Bittermann, CNN, Paris.


NEWTON: Joining me now via Skype from London is Sebastien Maillard. He is a special adviser for the Centre Dans (ph) Europe at the Jacques Delors Institute and associate fellow with Chatham House, its -- and its European program.

All right. So it would be fair to ask President Macron and his political allies, what now? They will attempt to form a so-called barricade against the far right, but can that work in the second round, given what we just saw?

SEBASTIEN MAILLARD, SPECIAL ADVISOR, JACQUES DELORS INSTITUTE: It is another gamble of the week coming ahead of us. There will be lots of horse-trading, I suppose, in the coming hours, coming days, if not already started.

It is shocking for -- for many French to see that the R.N. has gained so much power and it's so close now to perhaps having an absolute majority.

So I think this fear, this threat that this could really happen can make things a bit -- move compared to what happened previously. Because we have three blocs, and among those blocs, R.N. is ahead, but the two other blocks then have to -- to find some kind of solution to prevent this from happening.

And that's -- I think there'll be lots of pressure, either from Macron candidates or from some of the left-wing candidates, to withdraw in order to block the R.N.

But again, we will know this better by the end of tomorrow, because then those who end up third may withdraw, and we'll have a clearer picture of what lies ahead for the second round.

NEWTON: Yes, again, trying to narrow the field here. They're banking on that. And yet, it was the kind of gamble that Macron made in the first place with this election, saying that, look, when French voters focus their minds, they will, in fact, reject the politics of the far- right. That hasn't happened, not so far.

Can you help us distill the sentiment among those French voters, especially those who would've never before imagined voting for Madame Le Pen's politics and are now embracing it?

MAILLARD: That is a major shift. We saw it not only during the European action, this time in these elections, because there's what is also, I think, quite surprising is the highest turnout. It's one of the greatest we've had since 1997.

And part of Macron's gamble, part of his bet, rather, were that the French who went as really, do you want the R.N.? It was like a referendum on the National Rally. Do you want these people to govern?

And yes, it showed that many of them have have said, yes, even in the most rational way. In the previous European elections, we had just some weeks ago, it was -- the turnout was much lower. It was close to 50 percent.

So I think Macron had thought that, if I ask other non-voters to come out, a sort of silent majority to speak out, this will not happen. It actually does happen.

I think this is part of the feeling of the French that Marine Le Pen has succeeded in centerizing (ph) herself in the way that she had watered down many of the -- of the most controversial aspects of her program, even compared to the far-left, which has on the contrary, been very much very vocal against her.

And I think there's also much hatred against Macron himself, at the person.

And whatever happens after the second round, what is now certain is that the president's power is -- in our regime is clearly diminished. Of course, his leadership is now completely in shambles. NEWTON: Yes, as you say, diminished. And it will be diminished further if the National Rally gets that majority in Parliament and, you know, gets to have the prime minister that it wants there in Mr. Bardella.

If it gets to that point of actually governing, what kind of changes could be in store for French policy, both domestically and internationally?


MAILLARD: Domestically, if there was what we call a cohabitation, so a French head of state, Mr. Macron, who will not step down his -- he's here to stay for the remaining three years of his mandate. And an R.N. government, there will be a major shift, I think, as he has announced in -- in the -- that there will be some some popular -- populist measures on the economy.

But also, the way he does appointments in pointing out to the -- to the immigrants or to people who or bi-nationals, as he pointed out, to try to single out the -- the so-called pure French out of that. So they would -- at the end, I think it would -- will be much violence also in the streets.

Because a lot of the other half of the population would not support the government. So it will be very hard to govern.

But on the international scene, Macron remains the head of the -- of the foreign policy and of the -- of the --defense. But it will be more vocal on that, on that aspect. He will still be attending European summits, going to the European Council.

But he would not have the budgetary means anymore. He would not be able to appoint -- he'd actually has started already appointing many ambassadors and prefects (ph) in order to -- to get the power out of a possible R.N. government.

But of course, his power must be -- will be very, very diminished in such cohabitation.

I think it's difficult to answer your questions precisely on what R.N. domestic agenda would be, because actually, they have been very cautious and very -- very -- not getting very specific on what they want to do, in order to keep their hands free.

Bardella has asked for an audit of the public finances. But he -- I think his first duty will be to reassure markets that he can govern, because you know, he's only 28-years-old.

NEWTON: Right. Absolutely. And that is a clear point that you make, that France's finances are not in the best shape. And certainly, their ambitions may have to be tempered just because of that.

Sebastien Maillard, we watch with interest, along with you. Thanks so much for getting up for us early there in London as we await more reaction to the French election. Appreciate it.

MAILLARD: Thank you.

NEWTON: Now, the Caribbean is bracing for Hurricane Beryl. Tropical storm-force winds are expected to hit islands on the Caribbean's Eastern edge, just in the coming hours.

Beryl is an extremely dangerous Category 4 hurricane, with maximum sustained winds of more more than 200 kilometers per hour. Beryl is now the earliest Category 4 hurricane in the Atlantic Ocean on record. Think about that. And its rapid intensification is, in fact, very unusual for this time of year.

Experts say the hurricane will maintain its momentum as it moves into the central Caribbean later in the week.

Meantime, several countries are under hurricane warnings and watches, and authorities are urging caution.


RALPH GONSALVES, PRIME MINISTER, SAINT VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES: I want everybody in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines to take this matter very seriously. There are some persons who are hoping for the best, and we must all do that. But we all have to prepare for the worst.


NEWTON: Eric Blake is a senior hurricane specialist at the National Hurricane Center, and he joins me now by phone.

Eric, good of you to be with us. Can you bring us right up to date on the path of this storm and the danger it poses, given its strength?

ERIC BLAKE, SENIOR HURRICANE SPECIALIST, NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER (via phone): Sure. So we're expected to move to the Windward Islands later -- later this morning.

Right now, it's a Category 4 hurricane. We expect it to remain a powerful hurricane for several days.

NEWTON: When you say for several days, I mean, this is very early in the season to be seeing a storm like this. We're looking at its path right now.

Do you expect a lot of variation in terms of the path as it's set out right now?

BLAKE (via phone): So we've kind of expect it to move generally Southward of Hispaniola. They still could have some strong winds there. And move in the general direction of -- of Jamaica for midweek and then toward Mexico or Belize late in the week.

We expect it to remain a hurricane the whole time.

NEWTON: Remain a hurricane the whole time. We do see some weakening. Is there a bit of luck here? What would you like to see in terms of getting -- it's already at a Category 4. Is it potentially going to weaken significantly, so that there's less danger to some of these areas?

BLAKE (via phone): Well, we don't think any significant weakening is going to happen before it impacts Windward Islands, you know, later -- later on -- on Monday.

And as we, you know, approach you know, middle of the week, we do expect it to weaken some. There is some vertical wind shear over the central portion of the Caribbean that we think it will weaken -- help weaken the storm.


But we do think it will remain a pretty significant system throughout the week.

NEWTON: And why are we seeing such a significant storm like this, so powerful, so early in the season?

BLAKE (via phone): Well, you know, it's -- there's a a variety of factors at play. Some of it's -- some of it's bad luck. We've had -- we've had -- you know, we've had really strong waves this year. We have record warm Atlantic water temperatures. And we have a forming La Nina event over the Pacific.

All that has kind of combined together and helped kind of create this.

NEWTON: And in terms of what's to come for this season, this is a very early storm, obviously, in terms of the season itself. The prediction is already there that this could be, in fact, a very dangerous season for hurricanes. What more are you guys seeing in the forecast?

BLAKE (via phone): I mean, I think we're already, you know, starting to see that come true, unfortunately. When you get early season, low- latitude hurricanes like this, almost always it's going to be a bad hurricane season.

And combined with, you know, the climate conditions, the record warm Atlantic sea surface temperatures, and the forming La Nina in the Pacific, it's going to be a long season. And people need to be prepared.

NEWTON: Yes, Eric. We'll take that advice to heart. I know in many of these areas, already people are headed to shelters. Those who do not have shelter where they are. And we hope they all heed the advice from authorities.

Eric Blake for us from the National Hurricane Center. Thanks so much.

BLAKE (via phone): Thank you.

NEWTON: Joining us now from St. Thomas in Barbados is journalist Barry Wilkinson. Thanks for joining us.

Has Barbados started to feel the effects of this hurricane already? And can you bring us right up to date on what the conditions are and how people are preparing? BARRY WILKINSON, JOURNALIST: Well, thank you very much. People are

very prepared for this hurricane, as a matter of fact. As I speak to me, it is raining ever so lightly.

But Barbadians are prepared, because as of, perhaps, about 12 hours ago, we were told that this was going to pass very close to Barbados. As it stands, it's still closing in on the Windward Islands in the Southeast part as an extremely dangerous Category 4.

So we haven't really felt the major effects as yet, but it is raining. There has been some pick-up in wind. But Barbadians are, indeed, prepared for this.

Only two days ago, we held the finals of the Cricket World Cup, and there was indeed a danger that, that final might have been under threat. However, the weather was perfect.

And over the last 24 hours, we've seen a worsening of the weather. But so far, it's been good in terms of not having a far-reach -- hurricane reach us as yet.

NEWTON: Now, given the kinds of wind speeds that are expected, what are most people worried about at this hour? And have a lot of them had to move outside of their homes?

WILKINSON: Well, it was already -- I heard you said earlier that it's pretty early for this kind of hurricane, but it was in 2021, that July 2 Hurricane Elsa, she actually picked up and passed Barbados and caused some damage. And that was just -- July 2 is tomorrow. So that was just under three years ago.

I don't think it's too early at all, but Barbadians have generally been very prepared by going to hardware stores, by shacking up, by getting the hurricane centers quite known. We do have quite a bit.

So I think that they've been prepared by gathering food, gathering things that could cause potential damage to the island. And if there's a shutdown of water, shutdown of electricity, I think they're pretty prepared.

The disaster emergency units that are in place in Barbados have all been on high alert. It's a 24-hour system of emergency. And we are being kept abreast as to how fastly [SIC] the storm and the hurricane is developing towards Barbados.

So the weather is not too bad as I speak to you, but I think we're very prepared if it was to come and it was hit in the morning.

NEWTON: Absolutely. Apparently, you will start feeling more effects by daybreak. And we obviously hope for the best there as people in Barbados continue to prepare.

Barry Wilkinson, thanks so much. Really appreciate the update.

Now, some countries in Europe are dealing with dangerous and sometimes deadly flooding because of recent storms. At least four people have died and at least one more is missing in Southern Switzerland in the aftermath of the flooding. That's according to police and state media.

Major damage has been reported, and some residents have evacuated their homes. The Swiss army has been called on to provide support in some areas.

In Northern Italy, meantime, local officials report mudslides have forced hundreds to be evacuated by helicopter. Firefighters have been carrying out rescue operations, including saving a couple and their three-month-old baby caught in quickly rising waters.


Still to come for us, U.S. President Joe Biden spent Sunday with his family amid growing calls to drop out of the race for the White House. What advice they gave him. That's next.



NEWTON: U.S. President Joe Biden's family is encouraging him to stay in the race and keep fighting after a dismal performance during last week's debate.

Now, that's from two of his advisers, who say the family also talked about whether top Biden aides should be fired.

They spent time together on Sunday at Camp David and discussed how they could support the president. Biden's advisers say he's closely watching polling data, which isn't, in fact, looking good for the president.

Now, in a post-debate poll from CBS News and YouGov, 28 percent of voters said Biden should be -- should not be, pardon me. Pardon me. Twenty-eight percent of voters -- let me get this right -- said Biden should be running for president, while 72 percent said he should not. Very stark figures there.

In the same poll, just 27 percent of voters said Biden has the mental and cognitive health to serve as president. That is compared, though, to 50 percent for Donald Trump.

CNN's Priscilla Alvarez has the latest now from Washington.


PRISCILLA ALVAREZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: President Biden and his family huddled at Camp David on Sunday for a previously scheduled photoshoot, but looming over this visit was Thursday night's debate and all of the immediate fallout.

Now, two Biden advisers tells CNN that the president and his family talked about the debate, and the family encouraged the president to stay in the race. These advisers saying that the conversations were focused on how the family can help and not whether the president should reconsider his candidacy. Now the president himself has also been equally collecting data,

anecdotal and through public polling. Of course, all of this, as there has been criticism from all corners of the Democratic Party, going from Democratic lawmakers and Democratic officials, as well as donors, racked by anxiety over Thursday night's debate performance.

Now, the president did have a fundraising blitz over the weekend, where he, too, conceded that the debate on Thursday was not his best, but still maintaining that he would stay in the race and that he would fight hard for voters.

Now, of course, there are still plenty of questions unanswered here. And there is still the immediate fallout that the campaign continues to have to wrestle with, particularly on calls over the course of the weekend, trying to reassure their supporters that, at the end of the day, it is two vastly different records between President Biden and former President Donald Trump. And that is where the focus should stay.

At the very least, on Sunday, the president having those conversations with his family, who are all pivotal to his decision-making. And then offering their support in moving forward.


Priscilla Alvarez, CNN, Washington.


NEWTON: I'm joined now by Caroline Heldman. She's a Democratic strategist and an associate professor of politics at Occidental College.

Good for you to be with us. I mean, look, a tough weekend for President Biden, but a tough week ahead for Democrats, as well. For now, it looks like the president is staying put. What do you make of that decision?

CAROLINE HELDMAN, ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF POLITICS, OCCIDENTAL COLLEGE: I think it's exactly what we expected. It's hard to give up power like this. I didn't anticipate that he would do this, simply step aside, even though, looking at new polling, it's very clear that a majority of Americans and about half the Democratic Party think that he doesn't have the mental acuity to run for the presidency.

Where -- we're in a pickle of a situation where we have two candidates who maybe have fitness issues, right? I mean, we have Donald Trump, who incited a violent insurrection, and now we have Joe Biden, who's running, who is increasingly seen as being in decline.

So the Biden camp is really working the phones this weekend to try to keep them in that position. But honestly, it's exactly what I expected from him.

NEWTON: OK. But if that's going to be the status -- the status quo, I mean, you just pointed to the poll yourself. It's stunning data, right? I just want to bring it up for everybody. The CBS/YouGov poll showed that just 27 percent of voters said Biden has the mental and cognitive health to serve as president.

Now, Donald Trump didn't fare too well in that either. Only 50 percent.

But how is it possible for him to remain in this position? What can Democrats do about it? Because it is up to him if he wants to step aside.

HELDMAN: It really is up to him. The way the rules are set up, if he doesn't step aside, then the party would have to essentially run a -- a coup against him at the convention. It's just not something that happens. So it really is up to Biden.

But the problem is, folks in his inner circle and political leaders have -- we have a collection -- collective action problem, right? We would need a lot of folks to come forward in order for him to step down. But everyone is maybe afraid of saying the emperor doesn't have any clothes or being the first person to say that.

Also, it doesn't benefit them politically. So for example, Gavin Newsom immediately was spinning after the debate, because it doesn't benefit him to go after Biden, whether he ends up being the candidate in 2024 or in 2028.

So the only people on the Democratic side who are actually saying what we all know, which is that Biden has a very slim chance of winning the presidency if he stays in this race at this point, are the -- are the Democratic strategists who are liberal-leaning folks in the media.

NEWTON: But who do you believe, if Biden were willing to step down, who do you believe could take his place and win an election against Donald Trump?

HELDMAN: Yes, great question. Kamala Harris's ratings are low, but she's a possibility. Obviously, Gavin Newsom. We have Josh Shapiro. We have Governor Whitmer, Buttigieg. We have, actually, a deep bench on the Democratic side, just as, you know, Donald Trump has a deep bench as he's picking his vice-presidential candidates. We don't have a lack of good candidates for Joe Biden, should he step aside.

But really, at the end of the day, I don't imagine that he will do that, given how difficult it is for people to just simply give up that sort of power.

Look at Donald Trump. He's back in the race.

NEWTON: And speaking of Donald Trump, I mean, his campaign obviously, taking not just one victory lap, many over the last weekend. But I do want to point out Steve Bannon, who was Trump's longtime adviser, who spoke with ABC News post-debate.

And he portrayed that this face-off that Trump agreed to, in his words, with Biden, was actually a service to the country, because it proved to Americans that Biden is not up to the task. Listen. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STEVE BANNON, FORMER TRUMP ADVISOR: But President Trump, I believe -- my belief, as I said in the show, that he did it for the country to show. Because he took all the CNN rules, on which I thought were crazy. He took the cut mike. He took the no audience.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The rules may have helped him.

BANNON: He took -- he took the two breaks. Let's say this. He performed magnificently.

But that was for the country.


NEWTON: You know, you're left with a situation where we're now having Steve Bannon, a man who will now go to prison this week because he failed to show up to testify in front of Congress -- he's to serve for months -- is the voice of this Trump campaign, saying, I told you so. This is the way Biden is, not just as a candidate, but as president.

HELDMAN: Well, and I mean, Donald Trump is convicted of 34 felony counts and found responsible for sexual assault. I mean, that's -- that's the candidate on the Republican side.

For the last year or so, about 80 percent of Americans have said that they want better candidates. They don't want these two candidates. And yet, the way our primary system is set up, those are our choices.


There has been a great dislike of these candidates, and now Biden has sunk much lower in the polls. I think we'll probably see polls in the coming weeks show that slippage in terms of overall support.

But he was behind heading into this. He was -- you know, Trump was up 6 percent in national polls. Trump was up in five out of six key swing states. Biden already had a hole to dig out of. And actually, he just grabbed the shovel and went deeper.

NEWTON: Yes, it is going to be an interesting week to come, because even if Joe Biden stays in the race, we will continue to try and figure out what he does next, right? Does he -- does he do town halls? What interviews with the media? What does he do just to try and get a firmer footing for this campaign?

Caroline Heldman for us, thanks so much. Appreciate it.

HELDMAN: Thanks, Paula.

NEWTON: Still to come for us, fires, rock throwing, and arrests in Jerusalem as some of the Ultra-Orthodox Jewish community protest against the new military draft rules.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) NEWTON: And welcome back to our viewers all around the world. I'm Paula Newton, and you are watching CNN NEWSROOM.

Want to return now to our top story, a surge of support for the far right in the first round of French Parliamentary elections.

Now, initial projections show the National Rally has come out on top. But the party's Parliament leader, Marine Le Pen, saying democracy has spoken as she hailed the results.

Now the left-wing New Popular Front coalition came in second, while President Emmanuel Macron's centrist alliance is in third.

The French prime minister is urging voters to prevent the far right from winning a majority in Sunday's second round.


ATTAL (through translator): Tonight's lesson is that the far right is on the doorstep of power. Never before in our democracy has the national assembly risked being dominated by the far right, as it was tonight.

And so our objective is clear: to prevent the National Rally from having an absolute majority in the second round; from dominating the national assembly; and therefore, from governing the country with its disastrous project.


NEWTON: Now, after projections from the first round were announced, protesters hit the streets of Paris to voice their opposition to the far-right.

So we're seeing more unrest in Jerusalem nearly a week after Israel's Supreme Court ordered the government to begin drafting Ultra-Orthodox Jewish men into the military.

On Sunday, members of the community clashed with police. That anger could eventually threaten the future of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's coalition government.

CNN's Scott McLean explains.


SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Ultra-Orthodox Jews in Jerusalem were on the street, again, on Sunday night protesting the recent Supreme Court decision that ruled that they are not exempt from military service.


Police say that some protesters threw stones at them. Video also showed that there were some scuffles that broke out, and some fires, as well. Police made several arrests and ultimately used water cannons to try to disperse the crowd.

At one point, protesters actually surrounded the car of a government minister, banging on the windows, throwing things at it. The minister was not hurt, though.

Now, since the founding of Israel, Ultra-Orthodox Jews have been exempt from military service, as long as they were studying in a religious school called the yeshiva.

But more than 25 years ago, a court overturned that, and successive governments have tried, and failed, to find a lasting solution to this issue.

Tuesday's Supreme Court ruling reaffirmed that the law does not allow the Ultra-Orthodox to be exempt from military service and even bars the government from funding yeshivas whose students refused the draft.

Now, there are politicians who say that there is no shortage of troops. But the IDF says that they could use the extra manpower.

This issue has also exacerbated the secular-religious divide in the country.

Now, integrating the Ultra-Orthodox into the military will be slow, since they have to serve in special units. But in the meantime, this ruling could have major political implications.

The prime minister's coalition government is reliant on the support of two Ultra-Orthodox parties; and losing even one of them could cause the government to fall, though so far, neither has indicated that they plan to topple the government.

Scott McLean, CNN, Istanbul.


NEWTON: U.S. officials say several American military bases across Europe are on a heightened state of alert because of concerns of a possible terrorist attack.

They say it includes the U.S. European Command headquarters in Germany.

Now, it's not clear what intelligence triggered the heightened security, but European authorities have warned of a potential terrorist threat on the continent, especially ahead of the Paris Olympics and the ongoing European football championships in Germany.

One official tells CNN they haven't seen this threat level in at least a decade.

Still ahead for us, a new California law could make your next big night out safer. Details on the drink-spiking drug test kits when we come back. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

NEWTON: Starting Monday, hundreds of California bars and nightclubs will be required to add this to their menu: date-rape drug test kits that can test for spiked drinks.

Our Camila Bernal reports now from Los Angeles.


CAMILA BERNAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Imagine this. You're at a bar here in California, and you suspect that someone may have spiked your drink. Well, you don't have to wait to find out.

Now here in California, all you're going to have to do is ask a bartender or someone at the bar for a test kit, and they will be required to give it to you. And so you will be able to test your drink right away.


And you may even have evidence for later, in case you need it.

This new law goes into effect here in California on Monday, July 1. And it will impact about 2,400 bars and nightclubs here in the state.

This applies to bars or establishments that have a Type 48 license. So this means that they're allowed to sell alcohol and not necessarily sell food.

This also means that these bars and nightclubs will be able to either give it to you for free, or they may even charge some money for the test kit.

But the law states that it does have to be at a reasonable price.

Take a listen to some of the reaction here in California.

SARAH MOSELEY, CALIFORNIA RESIDENT: I feel like it is necessary for bars to have it because of those suspicions. And if, hopefully, no one ever does get drugged with drinks. But if they do and they don't know what the feeling is, and they are confused, at least they know they can find out what's going on.

I love that idea, because obviously, there's so many bars. There's so many people coming in and out.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Specifically women going out and having fun. It's a safety measure that, you know, makes people feel safe when going out.

BERNAL: And this new law requires these businesses to have signage to essentially advertise these tests kits at the entrance and exits and in the bathrooms.

And if they do not have these test kits available, well, they can face penalties that would impact their licenses. Now, another thing here that the law states is that the test kits

could include anything from test strips to stickers or straws that would detect drugs in your drinks.

So people here in California reacting positively and saying this is just another safety measure in order to enjoy a night out in California.

Camila Bernal, CNN, Los Angeles.


NEWTON: Mount Fuji is open to climbers for the 2024 season, but with a new requirement. Climbers will, in fact, need a ticket.

Japan's highest peak had such an influx of tourists that authorities decided access needed to be limited to keep both climbers and the local environment safe.

Now there's a gate at the mountain's trailhead. Visitors may only pass if they reserve their place and pay 2,000 yen or about 12.5 U.S. dollars.

Once the 4,000-person cap is reached, the gates will be closed.

I want to thank you for watching. I'm Paula Newton. WORLD SPORT is next. I'll be back, though, with more CNN NEWSROOM in about 15 minutes minutes.