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At Least 116 People, Almost All Women, Killed In Crush At Religious Event In India; Jamaica Bracing For Hurricane Beryl; Biden To Meet Wednesday With Democratic Governors Amid Campaign Crisis; Trump Sentencing In Hush Money Case Is Postponed Until September. Aired 1-2a ET

Aired July 03, 2024 - 01:00   ET




LYNDA KINKADE, CNN ANCHOR: Hello and welcome. I'm Lynda Kinkade. Ahead on CNN Newsroom Tracking Hurricane Beryl. The Category 5 storm is heading toward Jamaica where the prime minister is wanting residents to take it as a serious threat.

India is vowing to punish the organizers of a religious gathering that left more than 100 women and children dead in a crowd crush. We're live in Delhi with the latest.

And climate change is claiming yet another victim. Coffee will show you how farmers in Vietnam are trying to find ways to protect their industry.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Live from Atlanta. This is CNN Newsroom with Lynda Kinkade.

KINKADE: Deadly hurricane barrel is expected to pound Jamaica with life threatening wind and a storm surge in the hours ahead as the death toll from the storm rises to at least seven. Beryl is moving rapidly across the Caribbean and is now a Category 4 storm packing 240 kilometer per hour winds.

This week, Beryl became the earliest ever Cat 5 hurricane in the Atlantic basin, fueled by record high ocean temperatures. Forecasters say the center of the storm will make landfall in southern Jamaica Wednesday and will then head to the Cayman Islands.

Jamaica's government is telling people to take the threat seriously, to find shelter and to stock up on essentials like food, water and batteries. Jamaicans say they're bracing for impact.


CLIVE DAVIS, JAMAICAN FISHERMAN: Yeah. And it developed so quick from a tropical depression so fast. It's true what they say. It's history. And firs time to develop in June, July.


KINKADE: Well, CNN meteorologist Chad Myers shows us some of the damage Barrow left in the Wynwood Islands and tells us what to expect next.


CHAD MYERS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yes, the damage pictures finally coming out of the area here, really devastating here. St. Vincent, (INAUDIBLE) hit just as hard, if not harder, with winds of about 140 miles per hour, somewhere around 240 kilometers hour as it did make landfall on these islands.

Where does it go from here? Well, the first stop in the morning hours and into the afternoon, this afternoon is Jamaica and then into the Grand Cayman islands and then into the Yucatan, and it may even head up toward the southwestern coast of Texas.

What we know right now, though, let's just focus on the next 24 hours. We know that there's going to be significant wave wind and also surge action in Jamaica. There will be surges that are greater than 9 meters, I believe. And then you see some rainfall there of 250 mm or more.

So, yes, this was a big storm, it rapidly intensified. In just 24 hours, it went from 120 miles per hour to 165 miles per hour. That is considered rapid intensification. In fact, you only need 35 in 24, and we got 45 in 24. The water is still very warm.

I think this is going to change a little bit when we get our next little picture here, because Beryl is using up a lot of this very warm water. We're going to get a little cold pool in behind it and an awful lot of wind. I think the wind chances in Jamaica are 100 percent with this.

Does it steer to the north? Does it steer to the left? We'll have to see high pressure to the north of the system. It's going to try to keep it down to the south, but we'll have to see where this goes from here.

This is still a very big storm. The last storm that was this large or even close to it was Gilbert in 1988, moved right over Jamaica. So what is that now? More than 30, 35 years? They're really in for something today. We're going to have to keep watching this.


KINKADE: Joining me now is Senator Matthew Samuda and meteorologist Evan Thompson, both with Jamaica's Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation. Thanks so much for joining us.


EVAN THOMPSON, JAMAICAN MINISTRY OF ECONOMIC GROWTH AND JOB CREATION: Thank you. KINKADE: Senator Samuda, I'll start with you because you've been leading the hurricane preparation. What are people and businesses in your country doing to prepare for this monster hurricane?

SAMUDA: Well, you know, there's a great deal of anxiety as we see the impact of this storm in Barbados, in St. Vincent, and, of course, in Grenada. So citizens, businesses alike, have been putting in place all of their hurricane proprietary steps. So there's a great deal of activity at the supermarkets, great develop, great deal of activity at our hardware stores.


And people are putting in place the protection mechanisms that we know work. At the government level, we've been focused on clearing major drains right throughout our townships. We've been ensuring that all of our government buildings are indeed protected by way of being boarded up, ensuring that roofs are secure. We're doing what we can.

But ultimately, we've also been focused on ensuring that citizens have the information. So those who are in low lying areas, those who are in flood prone areas, go to any of our 780 plus shelters, because ultimately, saving lives is our first priority. Property is second.

But it's not our first hurricane. It's not our first tropical storm of sorts. But we are very worried about this one because it is a category.

KINKADE: Yes, exactly. And Mr. Thompson, you serve as the hurricane expert. Describe the current conditions for us, the impact we've already seen in neighboring islands and the expectations for impact in Jamaica.

THOMPSON: Yes. You know, this is something that has come upon us at a time that we really didn't expect this kind of activity so early in the hurricane season, just before we ended the first month of the season, we already saw a system developing that was entering the Caribbean and picking up the speed in terms of movement, but also the speed in terms of intensity of the system moving into the eastern Caribbean.

So it has been quite something to watch and to be a part of understanding what is really happening here with the changes that are taking place in the climate, whether it's -- with the variability or the change of the climate. And then, of course, what we're seeing happening in the eastern Caribbean has really caused us to think about what these systems can really produce.

The kinds of storm surge that we experienced, we heard and we saw by video taking place in places like Barbados and Grenada and St. Vincent. We saw the storm surge, we saw the devastation that these countries have been encountering. And it makes us have to stop to consider how will we prepare ourselves to face something like that.

KINKADE: Yes. And Senator Samuda, you've also -- you oversee environment and climate change, as we've been discussing. This is the first Category 5 hurricane on record to make landfall in the Atlantic this early in the season. It's now a Category 4. Talk to us about Jamaica climate history. You surprised to see a storm of this strength in July?

SAMUDA: We were all pretty surprised. I mean, we're usually in preparation for end of August, certainly September, and sometimes early to mid-October. So this is unprecedented for us, especially a storm of this strength.

Now, the climate scientists will have to do the climate attribution to say how much of it was related to climate change as opposed to a one in a century storm. But we certainly believe that climate change has obviously had a devastating impact on us and certainly on our neighbors in the Caribbean.

Ultimately, as many strides as we have made in managing our macroeconomic situation, this underlines the fragility for factors that are outside of our control. Ultimately, climate change is the risk to us. It's restored stability, lives, and livelihoods. This is an unprecedented storm, as we can see in July and certainly late June.

It's really something that we just didn't expect. We're doing our best to prepare, but we have to see what happens.

KINKADE: Yes. And Mr. Thompson, just looking at historic hurricanes, Gilbert hit Jamaica in 1988 as a Category 5 storm.

THOMPSON: That's right.

KINKADE: Ivan hit in 2004 as a Category 5 storm. How did they compare to Beryl, and how did the island recover back then?

THOMPSON: Wow. I was really just starting my meteorological career when Gilbert moved across the island. I was right on the bench there forecasting during the passage of that system. So I wasn't able to see what was happening on the ground until I left my location at the end of all of it and saw the kind of devastation and seeing the total destruction of property, so many houses without roofs. It was really something to behold.

And then, of course, moving to 2004 with Hurricane Ivan, we saw a similar picture. Maybe not as much of the island was impacted then because it was mostly focused on the southern parishes, the southern side of the island, where Gilbert actually affected the entire country.

But this one that we're watching, it seems to be following a kind of path that's in between both where it is at the category, the strength of a Gilbert. But it seems as though it is going to take a path that is more along the southern side of the island, as was Hurricane Ivan.

So, we're kind of watching it with some kind of trepidation. Yes. And trying to see how much we can learn from it. But at the same time, preparing our residents to recognize the various hazards that they are likely to face with the storm surge, with the heavy rainfall, with the very strong winds, and, of course, the kind of landslides that likely will occur afterwards. You know, we really have to prepare ourselves for all these hazards.


KINKADE: Well, we do hope everyone in Jamaica heeds your warnings and listens to authorities. Senator Matthew Samuda, meteorologist Evan Thompson, appreciate your time today. All the very best, as this hurricane makes landfall in Jamaica.

SAMUDA: Thank you for having us.

THOMPSON: Thank you.

KINKADE: Now to India, where officials say more than 100 people have been killed and nearly two dozen injured in a crowd crush. Tens of thousands of people have gathered for a religious event in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh. Officials say most of the victims were women and children.

For more, let's go over to CNN's Ivan Watson, who joins us live from Hong Kong. Ivan, this was a prayer meeting. How did it turn deadly?

IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Just the sheer numbers of people gathered, it appears, contributed to what has turned into a terrible tragedy, Lynda. It was about Tuesday afternoon. The gathering was in the Hatra District of Uttar Pradesh. It's about 3 hours drive southeast of New Delhi. And that's where people had gathered to attend this religious gathering led by a preacher who goes by the name Bhole Baba.

And the authorities say that something then happened as he was leaving and that many of his fervent supporters, that they show their respect, they want touch his feet or gather soil that he has traveled on. And that's when tragedy really struck. Take a listen to what some of the survivors had to say.


SURESH, SURVIVOR (through translator): I came to attend the event with eight other people, but no one survived. I don't know. There was a sudden commotion. I didn't even realize what happened.

SHAKUNTALA, WITNESS (through translator): A gathering had taken place, and after it ended, everyone began to leave. People fell into a drain beside the road. They started falling on top of each other and were crushed to death. Some were pulled out.


WATSON: Now, as of now, at least 121 people have died as a result of this disaster. The vast majority of those victims, women and some children as well. We have reports that some people may have been stranded, been crushed into an open sewer. And the authorities say now one of the biggest jobs they have is trying to identify these victims and to respectfully return them to their loved ones.

So just a terrible, terrible disaster. And it fits in with a pattern of previous deadly crushes, one as recent as new years of this year where a number of people were killed, also at a shrine. This is in Jammu. Lynda.

KINKADE: Ivan, sadly, as you say, these are not uncommon events. What do you know about the investigation that's underway into this one?

WATSON: Right. Well, the authorities say they have launched an investigation and this is important here, because the police are saying that the organizers had requested permission for this event, that they had some estimates that some 80,000 people would attend. And then the police are saying closer to 250,000 showed up.

And there's one senior police officer who told journalists that there were adequate security precautions, that some 40 police had been deployed to oversee a gathering of some now 250,000 people. That's clearly not adequate and could have contributed to this terrible disaster.

The police say that in their initial report, and we've seen this, their information report, that they are accusing organizers of culpable homicide in this. They're also accusing somebody there of hiding some of the evidence, and they're vowing to bring whoever is responsible to justice.

But there's some big questions here on the part of the organizers and apparently also on the part of law enforcement who dropped the ball here with such catastrophic results.

KINKADE: Yes, horrific. Ivan Watson, we appreciate you covering the story. Thanks so much for joining us from Hong Kong. And we are going to stay on this story.

Joining me now is Karishma Mehrotra. She is a South Asia correspondent with the Washington Post. Thanks for being with us. There certainly seems to be some conflicting information about the numbers. A police permit had reportedly allowed for 5,000 people, although organizers say they planned for 80,000 people.

And so many more turned up, as we just heard from our correspondent, potentially 250,000 people. What are you hearing about the numbers of people and how that played into this tragedy?

KARISHMA MEHROTRA, SOUTH ASIA CORRESPONDENT, WASHINGTON POST: Yes, I'm hearing the same numbers. 80,000 was what the permit had given. Roughly 250,000 is what showed up.


I will say that's not an uncommon phenomenon in the world's most populous country. The other thing to add as a potential factor in this event was the sweltering heat and the fact that rains had happened. So you had massive sludge and mud that some of the folks were trapped into.

So one of the police officers had told television reporters that they were trying to exit the venue, and they were either A, trying to get a better view of the preacher, or B, trying to get water to escape from the heat.

So the temperature in that area on that day had hit 90 degrees Fahrenheit, but the humidity had reached 77 percent, pushing the heat index past 110. So I think this is also a heat and humidity story as much as it is the normal story of what we see with crowds in India, unfortunately.

KINKADE: Yes. I mean, as you say, the overcrowding nature, lack of police, the heat, but these deadly events are not common. Right. Just tell us about how frequently these sort of crowd crushing events occur.

MEHROTRA: Yes. So one of the largest similar events happened in 2013 with another event at a temple India, killing 110 people. But I will say fatal crushes in general India do occur often in religious events, but also political rallies. So it's not just religious events here.

So we do see that crowds often happen. I have myself been in crowds where you can tell there is not any official streamlining of the people there and no official monitoring to ensure that stampedes like this don't happen. And this event in particular, people on the ground said, was predicted to be very large because of the local advertising.

So we spoke to a son whose mother had passed away, and he had said he knew the event would be this large. He'd seen the local advertising, and he tried to convince his mother not to go. So there was some amount of fervor for this event on the ground.

KINKADE: And so what are you hearing from those survivors about how this crowd crush unfolded and how quickly it happened?

MEHROTRA: Yes. So we managed to speak to the family members of those who unfortunately passed away in this event. And what they said about the aftermath event was quite scary. We spoke to one man who said that he was completely unable to find the body of one of his aunts. The other aunt he had managed to find. And the number -- the bodies were just lined up, numbered. There was no one answering what exactly had happened. No one had spoken to him about what the steps to take forward were.

We spoke to another -- the son that I had mentioned earlier. He did manage to find his mother after waiting through a huge traffic jam to get into the area. And he is the one who had said, I knew that the event would be this way. And basically, what can the government do now. Because the government cannot make up for the loss of his mother.

So the chaos, especially after the event, I think, is important to note because it didn't manage. The officials did not manage to calm the scene down. I know that we from Delhi were trying to call as many officials as we could, and it was very difficult within the chaos of the situation.

KINKADE: And Karishma, when we look at the numbers of people that have been killed, most of them were women and several children. Were women and men separated? How did that happen? MEHROTRA: Yes, I cannot confirm for sure that women and men were

separated, but I would not be surprised. That is how most of these gatherings happen. So the only two options for why so many women and children were the ones who were killed is either this event had mostly women, or this event, like you said, had separated women and men entirely.

The videos that we've seen of the event do show mostly women. They show women holding their hands up, swaying with the preacher. But we've seen other videos of this preacher that show that men also do attend the event as well.

So I think, like you said, it's very likely that men and women were separated. And it's very likely that, unfortunately, all of these incidents, 99 percent of these incidents, seem to be concentrated in either the women's section or, like I said, an event where mostly women attended.

KINKADE: We did hear from a member of India's parliament who spoke about the fact that these incidents so common and said that we learn nothing from them. And I just want to read a quote. He said, as a nation, we are good at drawing crowds, but not good at managing them. What needs to happen? Because there is an investigation underway. What needs to change?

MEHROTRA: You know, I also think perhaps there's some part to be discussed about the preacher himself.


If you look at the videos of the preacher and the things that he -- the miraculous powers he proposes to have. So the police are chasing after the preacher as well at the moment. And it is worth keeping in mind that they have a lot of impact. If they say to a crowd to calm down, if they say to a crowd to follow the lines safely.

I think, in fact, that would have far more impact in a place like India, unfortunately, than the policemen sort of crawling around the sides of an event like this. Having been to many events like this is when one line comes from the man on the stage or the woman on the stage saying, you know, everyone can calm down, please follow an orderly path. That can also do a lot.

So, I think we do see a mix of the heat. We've seen a lot of heat related deaths this summer. This adds to what I consider to be heat related deaths. And we see the religious fervor of this crowd. And of course, yes, the police -- the police can do more in situations like this.

KINAKDE: Karishma Mehrotra from the Washington Post, we appreciate your time today. Thanks so much for joining us.

MEHROTRA: Thank you so much for having.

KINKADE: Well, extreme weather is impacting India's Assam state. Authorities say at least 40 people have been killed due to flash floods and landslides. Northeast India has been inundated by heavy rains in recent weeks as the monsoon season gets underway.

The region's vast network of rivers make it especially vulnerable to flooding. Forest officials are moving animals to higher ground at a national park famous for its great Indian one horned rhinoceros. More than 600,000 people have been affected by flooding in the state.

For nearly a week after a poor debate performance, U.S. President Joe Biden is still facing the fallout, including questions from within the Democratic Party. What one top Democrat is saying.

Plus, Donald Trump's sentencing date in the criminal hush money case has been pushed. The reason behind this sudden move just ahead.


KINKADE: Welcome back. There are growing concerns over U.S. President Joe Biden's reelection bid following his poor debate performance, including from some within his own party. The president is expected to speak with democratic governors and congressional leaders Wednesday.

He's now back in Washington after a fundraiser in Virginia, where he blamed his debate performance on a tough travel schedule, saying he almost fell asleep on stage. Reporters who were in the room believe the line was intended to be a joke, but so far there's been little to quiet concerns.

The new CNN poll shows three quarters of U.S. voters feel the party would have a better shot at keeping the White House with someone other than Mr. Biden. And already, one democratic congressman is publicly asking him to drop out of the race. CNN's MJ Lee reports from Washington.


MJ LEE, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER (voice-over): The democratic firewall around President Joe Biden is beginning to fracture. Texas Congressman Lloyd Doggett becoming the first democratic lawmaker to publicly call on Biden to withdraw from the 2024 election following last week's poor debate performance.

The congressman saying in a statement, President Biden's first commitment has always been to our country, not himself. I'm hopeful that he will make the painful and difficult decision to withdraw.

The White House facing a barrage of questions about the president's debate performance.

KARINE JEAN-PIERRE, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: It was a bad night. He was not taking any cold medication. That is what I can speak to. I've asked his doctor and that's what he stated to us.

LEE (voice-over): And urged to release more medical records.

JEAN-PIERRE: We have released thorough reports from his medical team every year since he's been in office.

LEE (voice-over): The White House press secretary digging in and saying Biden's accomplishments speak volumes.

JEAN-PIERRE: With age comes wisdom and experience.

LEE (voice-over): Other Democrats beginning to publicly express concern that the president could hurt candidates in down ballot races.

MIKE QUIGLEY, U.S. HOUSE DEMOCRAT: It's his decision. I just want him to appreciate at this time just how much it impacts not just his race, but all the other races coming in November.

LEE (voice-over): As Republicans are ready to pounce on Biden's debate showing to attack their democratic opponents.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have a lot of confidence in his leadership.

LEE (voice-over): Even the president's most staunch defenders giving credence to the flurry of questions about his health.

NANCY PELOSI, FORMER U.S. HOUSE SPEAKER: He has a vision, he has knowledge, he has judgment, he has a strategic thinking. And the rest, he has a bad night. Now, again, I think it's a legitimate question to say, is this an episode or is this a condition?

LEE (voice-over): New CNN polling showing no immediate damage from Biden's halting debate performance. The president trailing Donald Trump by six points, 43 percent to 49 percent. Same numbers as April. The Biden's approval ratings declining to a new low with just 36 percent of Americans approving of his job performance. And in a hypothetical matchup, Vice President Kamala Harris is pulling better against the former president. She is within striking distance, 45 percent to 47 percent.

JIM CLYBURN, U.S. HOUSE DEMOCRAT: I will support her if he were to step aside.

LEE (voice-over): Some prominent Biden supporters also expressing support for Harris, but insisting for now that the president remain at the top of the ticket.

CLYBURN: I want this ticket to continue to be Biden-Harris. And then we'll see what happens after the next election.

LEE: And President Biden on Tuesday night, offering a new explanation for his poor debate performance when he spoke at a fundraiser in Virginia. He apologized for the poor performance last Thursday night and said, this is not an excuse but an explanation and blamed the extent extensive foreign travel that he did in the lead up to that CNN debate.

He said that it wasn't a smart idea, that he didn't listen to his staff and that he almost fell asleep on stage. That, of course, is an explanation that is not likely to reassure a lot of Democrats that are very concerned right now. MJ Lee, CNN at the White House.

(END VIDEOTAPE) KINAKDE: The New York judge has postponed Donald Trump's sentencing in the criminal hush money case following the Supreme Court's decision on presidential immunity. The judge's announcement Tuesday underscores the far reaching implications of the high court's ruling that could also impact other Trump indictments. CNN's Kara Scannell has more from New York.


KARA SCANNELL, CNN CORRESPONENT: The New York judge overseeing Donald Trump's criminal hush money case has agreed to delay his sentencing, which had been scheduled for next week until mid-September. This is to give the judge time to hear Trump's legal arguments that his conviction should be thrown out in light of the Supreme Court's decision earlier this week on presidential immunity.

Trump's lawyers arguing that some testimony should never have come before the jury. That includes the testimony of Hope Hicks, Trump's communications adviser in the White House, as well as tweets that he made the first year that he was in office and records that indicate that he had phone conversations while he worked in the White House.

Now, the DA's office has not opposed delaying the sentencing, but they did say they believe that Trump's arguments are without merit.

Now, the judge indicated that after he reads all the legal arguments, he will issue his decision on the presidential immunity issue on September 6. Now, if he rules against Trump and keeps his conviction in place, the judge has said he will sentence Donald Trump on September 18. That is less than two months before Election Day. Kara Scannell, CNN, New York.



KINKADE: Well, British voters are getting ready to head to the polls and the ruling conservative party appears to be in serious trouble. We'll have the details next.


KINKADE: Welcome back. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Lynda Kinkade.

Kenyan protesters have set their sights on President William Ruto after forcing him to throw out a finance bill that sparked deadly protests weeks ago. Crowds gathered across the country Tuesday demanding that he step down.

In Nairobi, protesters brought out empty coffins symbolizing public outrage and those recently killed by police.

It wasn't long until some peaceful demonstrations there turned violent. Protesters in Mombasa lit cars on fire, while elsewhere crowds clashed with police. They say President Ruto isn't listening to their demands.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) has to be brought by our president. We need our president to meet (ph) us --


KINKADE: Police used tear gas, flash bangs, and alleged live rounds to control the crowds.

And it violates the high court order banning temporarily those tactics. CNN has reached out to security services for comment.

Voters in the U.K. head to the polls Thursday day for a momentous general election that will likely see the end of the conservative party's 14-year rule.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is almost universally expected to lose. He took a major gamble by calling for early elections and has struggled to turn around dire polling.

A conservative defeat would likely usher in a center-left Labour government headed by Keir Starmer.

CNN's Salma Abdelaziz reports from London.


SALMA ABDELAZIZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Two lackluster candidates in a race with a result that is all but certain. It may sound boring but this is a momentous election that could decimate the U.K.'s most powerful political party.


ABDELAZIZ: In what is widely seen as a referendum on their 14 years of leadership the conservatives are bracing for a very damaging defeat.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak called for the snap election that almost everyone believes he will lose.

RISHI SUNAK, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: over the next few weeks. I will fight for every vote. I will earn your trust.

ABDELAZIZ: But that trust is battered and bruised from Boris Johnson's party-gate scandal to leadership failings that saw three prime ministers in 2022 alone to a very messy Brexit. Many are fed up with the Tories.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I mean, I think people are ticked off.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's a sense of just wanting any kind of change.

[01:34:48] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Their decimation, I think can only be expected.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This will be the first election that I don't like things (ph) so I won't be voting conservative.

ABDELAZIZ: Current polls indicate the opposition Labour Party could win by a landslide, ushering in a center-left government led by Keir Starmer.

KEIR STARMER, LABOUR PARTY LEADER: If you want change, you have to vote for it.

ABDELAZIZ: The makeup of British politics is sure to undergo a seismic shift.

But because of Britain's first-past-the-post system, Labour could win but fail to gain a clear mandate.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thanks for coming everybody.

ABDELAZIZ: If smaller parties for the far right gain an outsized voice.

Amid the political uncertainty, the new prime minister will inherit a mess: A cost-of-living crisis fueled in part by a stagnant economy; the country's beloved national health service is understaffed and overstretched; and immigration remains an unresolved hot-button issue.

Change is coming, but can Starmer, should he win, tackle the challenges and deliver on promises.

Salma Abdelaziz, CNN -- London.


KINKADE: For thousands across the U.K. this will be their first time voting in a general election.

CNN's Isa Soares sat down with four first-time voters all under the age of 22. In the very final stages of the race, they were all mostly undecided as to who they would vote for. She asked them which issues matter most.


ANGEL IKOGWE, FIRST TIME U.K. VOTER: For me, well, growing up struggling it's all about equality to me like how (INAUDIBLE) said with minorities, more support with minorities is what I strongly believe in that as well.

So when I see minorities struggle, it just -- it gives me, I want a party to support these people. You understand what I mean?


IKOGWE: I don't really see, you know, conservatives reform supporting those people.

SOARES: What are the biggest issues, I mean, you're going coming out of university, going into university, I'm guessing cost-of-living is one of those. What else matters to you? You can just chime in terms of topics, any topics.

CHARLIE GELL, FIRST TIME U.K. VOTER: Biggest one for our generation is free education. Yes, I think something I often think about is how high tuition fees are coming, how much of a burden it is for students if one needs to succeed.

DYLAN BROWN, FIRST TIME U.K. VOTER: I add onto that and talk about regional inequality. I think that's maybe not here in London and we all live in London. But generally across the country, there's huge regional inequality especially in the north and Wales and Scotland.

And I think that's a huge issue for a lot of young people.

SOARES: What about you? What kind of -- what are the issues that matter most to you?

EVIE CRAGGS, FIRST TIME U.K. VOTER: During this election, I think, like in the build-up toward this election, I've really felt strongly about how immigration has been spoken about and dealt with during the lead up to this election. I think it's quite easy to almost box young people in when it comes to like issues that we care about.

You know, just because I'm not personally affected by immigration or it's not an issue that is particularly present in my everyday life, doesn't mean that, you know, my empathy is not so short that I don't care about that issue greatly.

Because I think frankly that immigration is being used really cynically and really horribly in the leadup to this election to kind of win votes.

And for Nigel Farage in particular, but he's certainly not the only one to kind of attract attention to himself and gain, you know, social credit and political power by discrediting some of the most vulnerable and oppressed people in the U.K. at the moment.

And seeing that kind of unfold in this election process, I think it makes me genuinely, really sad.

SOARES: Last few questions. Just we focus so much on domestic policy. Foreign policy -- is there any -- I mean, we've obviously got wars in Ukraine. We know Farage has been very outspoken or made some slip-ups when it comes to his support for Putin. Also war, Israel-Hamas, right.

Do any of those foreign policy concerns -- do they weigh on your judgment, your opinion of which way you're going to go?

CRAGGS: Frankly, like for both Conservatives and Labour and Reform, in particular, the fact that they haven't really spoken out about the atrocities happening in Gaza I think is pretty disgusting.

And I would particularly expect better of Labour. It took so long for Keir Starmer to even say about -- talk about the idea of a ceasefire.

GELL: More so I think we're in a situation now which really feels -- obviously none of us were there, but it really feels like a 1930s situation. Feels like a world war is looming.

And I think the U.K. government is being quite strong on their foreign policy, especially in the last four years. I think Boris Johnson done an excellent job with Ukraine.

I mean --

SOARES: Backing, supporting Ukraine.

GELL: Supporting Ukraine, absolutely. I think we were the leaders, especially in Europe for a long time.



KINKADE: Well, hundreds of candidates in France's run-off election have bowed out in an effort to block the far-right party from gaining power. For the 200 candidates and President Emmanuel Macron's centrist camp and the left-wing alliance has stepped down in a bid to avoid splitting the vote. Last Sunday, the anti-immigration National Rally and its allies won the most seats so far in a hastily-called national elections.

If the National Rally gets an absolute majority in parliament, it will become the first far-right party to lead the French government since World War II.

U.S. President Joe Biden is expected to meet with Israels Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Washington later this month.

Mr. Netanyahu is set to address Congress on July 24th despite opposition from some U.S. lawmakers. The Israeli Prime Minister has rejected a proposal to start a ceasefire in Gaza, while Hamas remains in power.


BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER (through translator): Unnamed officials are briefing "The New York Times" today. They say Israel will be willing to end the war before achieving all of its goals. I don't know who those unnamed officials are.

But I am here to convey unequivocally that this is not going to happen. We will end the war only after we achieved all of its goals including the elimination of Hamas and a release of all our hostages.

The political echelon defined these goals to the IDF. And the IDF has all the means to achieve them. We do not give in to the whims of defeat (ph), not in "The New York Times" and not anywhere else.

We are imbued with the spirit of victory. (END VIDEO CLIP)

KINKADE: He was responding to a report from "The New York Times" which cited six current and former security officials who said a ceasefire would give Israeli troops time to prepare for a potential land war with Hezbollah.

The situation in northern Israel and southern Lebanon remains extremely tense with the Israeli military and Iran-backed Hezbollah militants exchanging cross-border attacks.

A group of U.S. government employees who publicly resigned in protest of the Biden administration's Gaza policies has released a joint statement explaining their decision.

It says, quote, "Both our individual and common experiences demonstrated an administration that has prioritized politics over just and fair policy making, profit over national security, falsehoods over facts, directives over debate, ideology over experience, and special interests over the equal enforcement of the law.

The impact of these injustices has resulted in tens of thousands of innocent Palestinian lives taken reflecting a clear picture to the world of whose lives matter."

They added that "We encourage you to keep pushing. There is strength in numbers and we urge you not to become complicit."

Well, still to come the president of China and Russia will meet other regional leaders in Kazakhstan for its summit.

Details on what the group hopes to accomplish when we return.



KINKADE: Welcome back.

The U.S. is set to give Ukraine more than $2 billion in additional military aid, according to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin. He said the official announcement will come soon as he welcomed Ukraine's defense minister for talks on Tuesday.

Austin said it will include new air defense interceptors, anti-tank weapons and other items.

The U.S. and Ukrainian president signed a long-term security deal on the sidelines of the G7 summit last month in Italy.

Ukraine's president has rejected a ceasefire proposal from Hungary's prime minister, who's a close ally of Vladimir Putin.

Here's what Viktor Orban suggested.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) VIKTOR ORBAN, HUNGARIAN PRIME MINISTER: I asked the president to think about whether we could reverse (ph) the order and speed up peace talks with making a ceasefire first. A ceasefire connected to a deadline would give a chance to speed up peace talks.


KINKADE: President Zelenskyy's office says Ukraine's number one tool to end the war is through a second peace summit, which Kyiv is already preparing for.

Mr. Orban was making his first visit to the nation since Russia's full-scale war in Ukraine began in 2022.

As Hungary's authoritarian leader, he has repeatedly criticized and tried to block European support for Ukraine.

Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin are in Kazakhstan this hour for meetings with other regional leaders.

They're part of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the security bloc that experts say is slowly transforming into a counterweight to the West and the U.S.

CNN's Marc Stewart is following the developments from Beijing.

Good to see you, Marc.

So Russia's president in Kazakhstan to attend the summit. Xi is also arriving in friendly territory.

What's on the agenda?

MARC STEWART, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Nice to see you Lynda. First and foremost, let me show you the reception that Xi Jinping is getting in Kazakhstan. This is the front page of "China Daily".

It's what many people in Beijing woke up to today. Chinese state media, you can see this picture of Xi Jinping getting off that Air China jet prominently displayed on the front page, a picture-perfect image.

And it is a reflection of the good relationship that China has with Kazakhstan. In fact, the Chinese ministry of foreign affairs is talking about this idea of a new chapter in this relationship between these two nations. Kazakhstan and China have a very strong economic relationship, particularly when it comes to trade.

So when Xi Jinping arrived, it was to much celebration and fanfare. When he arrived at the airport, we saw children, we saw music playing a very warm welcome.

And all of this is happening with this broader backdrop of a meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. This is an organization, a club if you will, comprised of Eurasia nations, such Kazakhstan and some of the nations surrounding it. Originally billed as a security alliance to deal with a border

security and terrorism threats. But as you alluded to, it's been increasingly taking on more of a geopolitical role especially as China and Russia really do try to assert themselves as this alternative to the West. Another way of thinking than just the American perspective.

And one way that is perhaps being reflected is the likely admission of Belarus. That's something we are expecting to see in the hours ahead. And of course, Belarus helping to launch -- helping Russia launched its invasion into Ukraine back in 2022.

We should point out that according to our reporting, it would be the latest authoritarian state to join the SCO. Of course, Iran became a full member last year.

How this has been received by the broader organization. There may be some -- some disagreement of sorts. Indian President Narendra Modi, of course, the head of the world's largest democracy is not attending. Some suggest perhaps it does show some ruptures in this philosophy.

And Lynda, it was back in May that we saw Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin meet here in Beijing and a big point of focus of that visit was to really strengthen their view and promote this bigger worldview of an alternative to the west.

And what we are seeing in Kazakhstan likely is going to be evidence of that.

KINKADE: All right. We will be watching that meeting somewhat closely. Marc Stewart for us. Good to have you in Beijing. Thanks so much.

Well, Vietnam is the world's second largest coffee producer, but extreme heat and drought have dried out many farms. Still ahead we'll show you how farmers are responding.

Also, the quarterfinal draw is set in the Euro 2024 championships. The details next.



KINKADE: Well, we're getting a shocking new video in that Air Europa flight that made an emergency landing in Brazil after severe turbulence. It shows people helping a man down from an overhead luggage bin. 30 passengers were injured on Monday on that flight from Spain to Uruguay.

Passengers said they feared for their lives during the incident. The airline has said six people were still in hospital as of Tuesday.

Well, climate change is claiming yet another victim -- coffee. The production of coffee beans in Vietnam has been hampered by a heat wave and drought earlier this year. But now coffee farmers are finding new ways to protect their industry.


KINKADE: In the fields of a mountainous province in Central Vietnam where coffee plants usually thrive, trouble is brewing.

DOAN VAN THANG, COFFEE FARMER (through translator): The drought dried up this whole area and the surrounding areas. And the water shortage is so severe that compared to last year, the harvest of coffee cherries is very low. We've lost a lot of the output.

KINKADE: Vietnam is the world's second biggest coffee producer, exporting more than 1.5 million metric tons of coffee a year. But the worst drought in nearly a decade, fueled by extreme heat, is expected to have a severe impact on next season's harvest.

In April, a heat wave in the country drove temperatures up to 40 degrees Celsius, or 104 degrees Fahrenheit, drying up farms and rivers. That same month, wholesale prices of Robusta beans hit a 45- year high, according to the International Coffee Organization.

Vietnam is the largest producer of Robusta coffee beans used in instant coffee and espresso.

THANG: We farmers should be happy when the price increases. But due to the drought, we are not very happy because the price increases, but the output decreases.

So, in general, we're happy and we're sad at the same time because the climate changes erratically, and we can't grasp those changes.

KINKADE: To fight the effects of drought conditions induced by climate change, coffee farmers are forming cooperatives to find new ways to protect their crops in drier conditions, such as digging reserves to catch rainwater, covering topsoil with vegetation to reduce evaporation and letting trees grow for longer periods of time to produce deeper roots.

By one estimate, some 97 percent of coffee is produced in countries that are vulnerable to climate change. So, these lessons could have widespread impact and also help keep down the cost of beans that make your morning cup of coffee.


Well Novak Djokovic is back at Wimbledon, despite undergoing surgery for torn cartilage on his knee less than a month ago. The tennis star decimated his opponent in the first round of straight sets.

Djokovic is seeking his 25th Grand Slam singles title, the most across men's or women's tennis. Following Wimbledon, Djokovic will chase one of the only accolades to elude him, an Olympic gold medal representing Serbia at the upcoming Paris Games.

The quarterfinal draw is set in the Euro 2024 championships with Turkey set to play the Netherlands in Berlin on Saturday after defeating Austria. The Netherlands beat Romania 3 - nil on Tuesday.

CNN's Don Riddell reports.



DON RIDDELL, CNN WORLD SPORT ANCHOR: We are all set now for the quarterfinals of UEFA's European football championship in Germany. Just eight teams are left standing after two more were sent home on Tuesday night.

We are going to start our round up in Leipzig. An incredible game between Turkey, Austria that had everybody on the edge of their seats for the full 90 minutes.

And it was entertaining right from the off. Just 57 seconds on the clock when Turkey Merih Demiral smashed the ball into the roof of the net. That is the second fastest goal ever scored at the Euros.

And Turkey doubled their advantage just before the hour mark and it was Demiral again. Again from a corner, this time he scored with a header.

By the way, he's never scored more than two goals in a season for any of his clubs teams. He got two in one night on one of the biggest stages in the world game.

But Austria never looked out of this match and they pulled a goal back seven minutes later, another set piece, Michael Gregoritsch flying in at the far post and they never gave up looking for an equalizer.

They actually thought they had it in stoppage time, a header from Christoph Baumgartner, but that was a brilliantly denied by goalie Mert Gunok.

The game of the tournament was effectively decided by this save of the tournament. Turkey holding on for a 2 - 1 win.

They are going to play the Netherlands next. They thrashed Romania 3 - nil in Munich meaning they definitely belong in the last date. Remember, they squeaked out of the group stage as the third best team. The Dutch dominated every aspect of this match, taking the lead through Cody Gakpo, then this happened seven minutes from time, Gakpo involved again, setting up Donyell Marlin. He couldn't miss that. He had to work a bit harder for his second goal to make it 3 - nil, running half the length of the field.

The Dutch through to the quarterfinals where they will play Turkey next.

We're all going to take a breather for a couple of days. But the action will resume on Friday with an absolute blockbuster of a double- header.

We've got Spain against Germany. And also Portugal against France, which by the way, is Cristiano Ronaldo against Kylian Mbappe. Can't wait for that.

Back to you.


KINKADE: Our thanks to Don Riddell there.

And thanks so much for you for joining us for this edition of CNN NEWSROOM.

I'm Lynda Kinkade.

The news continues with the lovely Rosemary Church. Stay with us.