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Labour Party's Keir Starmer Assumes Prime Ministerial Post After Winning the U.K. General Elections and Gaining Majority over Conservatives; Mexico Braces for Beryl. Outgoing British P.M. Rishi Sunak Hands Over to Incoming P.M. Keir Starmer After a Landslide Election Result. Japanese Fans Troop to Los Angeles to Watch L.A. Dodgers' Shohei Otani in Person. Aired 3-4a ET

Aired July 05, 2024 - 03:00   ET




KIM BRUNHUBER, CNN ANCHOR: Hello and welcome to all of you watching us around the world. I'm Kim Brunhuber, in Atlanta.

MAX FOSTER, CNN LONDON CORRESPONDENT: I'm Max Foster live outside the Houses of Parliament in London where the United Kingdom is waking up to new center-left leadership more than a decade in the making. The Labour Party leader Keir Starmer will soon be the country's new Prime Minister.


KEIR STARMER, BRITISH LABOUR PARTY LEADER: We did it! You campaigned for it, you fought for it, you voted for it and now it has arrived. Change begins now.


FOSTER: The results aren't all in but Labour is on track for a landslide victory in these parliamentary elections taking control from the Conservatives for the first time in 14 years. Starmer celebrated the victory with a crowd of supporters at London's Tate Modern Gallery. He's promising to put country before party.

Starmer takes over for Tory leader Rishi Sunak who served as Prime Minister since October 2022. During his concession speech he took responsibility for his party's loss and promised a smooth transition of power.

CNN's international diplomatic editor Nic Robertson is live outside 10 Downing Street in London so a slight shift then, Nic, to the left.

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: A slight shift to the left, a shift that the new Prime Minister, incoming Prime Minister says will allow him to improve the economy, improve the standard of health care people can expect in the National Health Service, to improve on crime and justice, to bring about green energy jobs. He's got the majority now to do the things he says he wants to do to put in place all that change.

Of course, questions about how he's going to pay for it in these very tough economic times but a very clear message from the get-go this morning by Sir Keir Starmer saying that it will be from now on, and this is really to clean up the image of all politicians I think, country first, party second.


STARMER: Together the values of this changed Labour Party are the grinding principle for a new government. Country first, party second. We have the chance to make work pay because we changed the party. We have the chance to deliver for working people, young people, vulnerable people, the poorest in our society because we changed the party. Today we start the next chapter, begin the work of change, the mission of national renewal and start to rebuild our country.


ROBERTSON: And one of the ways he says to do it, promising that if you work hard, play by the rules, then you can do well and you will get respect.

A message I think, a cross-community message in the U.K. but again underlining the fact that so many people and perhaps who have seen this in the relatively low turnout, the lowest I think in over a century in a general election, a turnout that perhaps reflects that some people are becoming apathetic in elections partly because they've lost faith in the political system itself and he certainly wants to energize and change that around as well. Max?

FOSTER: Yeah, a low turnout but not for the hard-right which seemed to really mobilize and you saw that obviously in the most apparent way with Nigel Farage's appointment but it's pretty clear that there was a lot of votes for that side of conservatism, if I can call it that, and so we shouldn't read this as a completely different picture from what we're seeing in the rest of Europe.

ROBERTSON: Indeed, a dissatisfaction with the economic situation overall and what politicians have been able to do. Perhaps for Starmer a reminder that on the left as well, I mean he reminded his party to stay united but on the left of his party the former leader Jeremy Corbyn won his seat as an independent, a reminder that left-wing voices wanting change as well remain strong in society here, perhaps not as strong as some other parts of Europe. You're absolutely correct there, Max.


On the right side of politics, on the right side of the Conservatives, the Reform Party that has been big on immigration, the party that pushed Brexit, the party of Nigel Farage, they have done perhaps better than expected and have really eaten into some of the Conservative vote.

We've seen former Conservative ministers fall by the wayside here, the Defense Secretary, the former Defense Secretary Penny Mordaunt who was a moderate in the Conservative ranks, survivors in the more right-wing ranks of the Conservatives as well, Soheila Braverman, former Home Secretary.

So the real tussle begins within the Conservative party and with reform for the future of conservatism and conservative politics, if you will, within the U.K., Max.

FOSTER: Okay, Nic in Downing Street back with you as we get the speeches from the outgoing and incoming Prime Ministers.

Just as I mentioned with Nic, the election was a political bloodbath really for some prominent Conservatives who lost their parliamentary seats. After this vote, the Tories won't have the single seat in Wales, for example. One of the biggest hits was taken by Penny Mordaunt, the Tory leader in the House of Commons who lost her constituency. She was seen as a possible replacement for Rishi Sunak at one point and the Prime Minister. Britain's Defense and Justice and Education Secretary suffered the same fate.

However, outgoing Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Finance Minister, Jeremy Hunt, will stay in Parliament.

It was his eighth attempt and now right-wing populist Nigel Farage is a Member of Parliament for the first time, as we were saying. He was a divisive Brexit leader who won his seat in the heavily pro-Brexit town of Clacton with more than 46 percent of the vote. Farage's Reform U.K. party won over a considerable number of Tory voters. They hammered Conservative leaders over their failure to reduce legal and illegal migration.

Farage will likely be a prominent voice as the Conservatives decide what to do next.


NIGEL FARAGE, REFORM U.K. PARTY: What is interesting is there's no enthusiasm for Labour, there's no enthusiasm for Starmer whatsoever. In fact, about half of the vote is simply an anti-Conservative vote. This Labour government will be in trouble very, very quickly.


FOSTER: Joining me now, Georgia Banjo, she's the Britain Correspondent for "The Economist." I mean, what is the big theme for you? Because it doesn't feel like a massive triumph for Labour.

GEORGIA BANJO, BRITAIN CORRESPONDENT, "THE ECONOMIST": Well, I think that's it, isn't it? So on the one hand, we have this incredible result for Labour, which we shouldn't underplay. A huge reversal on 2019. But at the same time, it now looks likely that Labour will win fewer votes than they did in 2019, but have a huge majority.

FOSTER: Is that because of the way the voting system works? Or just this terrible voter turnout? BANJO: I think it's a mix, isn't it? So it's first-past-the-post,

where you can, if you have votes across the country, you're not rewarded, as we've seen. But it's also, I think, this really terrible turnout.

FOSTER: When you talk about, you know, we're not going to get the actual voting numbers as, you know, the proper breakdown for a while, are we? But we're probably going to see Reform getting a lot of votes also on the left, because we saw the Green Party doing very well in places like Bristol. It does feel as if it's become a bit more polarized, despite the fact we've got this centrist leader.

BANJO: Completely. So in a way, you know, as you were saying, slight outlier to the rest of Europe in that we've got a centrist government coming in, big majority, big mandate. But at the same time, on the edges, what we've all been picking up over the course of this evening and into today, is this polarization on the left, on the right, Labour's been losing votes, Reform doing better in some ways than we all thought, but in other ways, underperforming on the exit poll, which had them on 13 seats. But it's a completely, it feels like a completely new political landscape, doesn't it?

FOSTER: How do we read the, you know, the hard-right and its role in the U.K.? Because, you know, I was in France last weekend, and we're talking about the rise of the right there in countries like Germany and Austria. We're not exempt from it, though, here, are we? Just explain how it's articulated itself. And also within mainstream policies. I mean, stop the boats is a hard right policy, isn't it? And Keir Starmer has signed up to it.

BANJO: Completely. So I think what's happened here in the U.K. is that people like Nigel Farage have been very, very successful at setting the terms of the debate. So we had that with Brexit. We've had that with immigration. We've had this much tougher line now, to the point where we have an incoming Labour government that in many ways is not so discernible from the Conservatives.

And so I think politics has shifted on some of these issues. It has been a success in many ways for Nigel Farage and the Reform Party at resetting those terms. What we haven't had is a movement like we're seeing in France at the moment, a kind of cohesive party that's got a long term agenda, that's been able to build up over time. We don't have that in the U.K. yet, but this election could be a turning point.


FOSTER: And Nic suggested it there, didn't he, that Nigel Farage, he's now a member of Parliament. He will be part of the discussion about what the Conservative Party becomes in future.

BANJO: Exactly. And so right now, none of us quite know who the next leader of the Conservatives will be. We might have our ideas. But that is going to be a battle now.

And I think what happens in the coming weeks and months will be very, very important for the Conservative Party, but also for the U.K. And also similarly, what Keir Starmer now does as Prime Minister, so Keir Starmer, will be vital because he's inheriting a very, very difficult situation, as you said, a very polarized electorate, a low turnout. That's going to be very difficult. And he's going to have to come up with a lot of very exciting, interesting, engaging stuff to keep the electorate on side and to not splinter any further.

FOSTER: Who do you think could be the next leader of the Conservatives? Penny Mordaunt's out and she was the frontrunner, wasn't she? There's not many heavyweights left.

BANJO: Exactly. So it looked like for much of the evening, it was going that the kind of center-left were kind of the ones losing their seats, people like Alex Chalk, Penny Mordaunt. And then obviously, at the end of the evening, we had Liz Truss losing her seat, which is quite astonishing.

But it's really open. It could be Kemi Badenoch, but it might be that she's having some troubles there with her postal votes. I mean, who knows?

FOSTER: So Kemi Badenoch, obviously part of the Conservative Party, also very close to Nigel Farage, so hasn't left the Conservative Party fold, but is very connected to that side of the party. So she emerges as a really strong figure tonight.

BANJO: I would think so. I would think so.

FOSTER: And when we now look at the rest of the day, we've got the speeches, haven't we, in Downing Street? We've got the King appointing and receiving a resignation. Expect any more surprises?

BANJO: Who knows at this point, Max? I mean, it's already been fascinating, and not just because we cover politics. I think it's been a really unpredictable night in many ways, but then also very predictable. We all saw this coming.

I think now what Starmer and the Labour Party will be trying to do is this is back to normality. We're going to bring back stability. So they'll want as few dramas as possible over the course of this day and into the first weeks. But who knows at this point?

FOSTER: We had an interesting point. We had some students in CNN, and they went out to interview some people in the public about the election, and someone mispronounced Keir Starmer's name as Steer Karma. I thought it would have worked pretty well for their election campaign.

BANJO: I think that could have been good.

FOSTER: OK, thank you so much, Georgia Banjo, for joining us with your analysis. I'm Max Foster, in London. We will be back, Kim, because we're getting some action here in London. The Prime Minister's back in the capital. He's ready to resign. And Keir Starmer, of course, was already here because his seat is in London.

BRUNHUBER: Steer Karma. I like that. Thanks so much, Max. Conditions are expected to deteriorate across the Yucatan Peninsula in

the coming hours. When we come back, the latest forecast is a major hurricane Beryl approaches Mexico's coast.

Plus signs of progress in Gaza ceasefire talks. Israel indicates it's ready for more detailed discussions around bringing the hostages home. We'll have the latest developments in the region next. Stay with us.




BRUNHUBER: Mexico is bracing for major hurricane Beryl. It weakened temporarily but has regained strength and is now a category three storm. Once again, the president urged residents of Tulum to seek shelter in higher ground. The outer bands of Beryl are now starting to hit Mexico's Yucatan, where it will make landfall in the hours ahead.

Our meteorologist Chad Myers brings us the latest forecast.


CHAD MYERS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Clearly, this is going to make a big impact here for the Yucatan Peninsula, without a doubt, along the beaches. We will get storm surge. There's an awful lot of water under this storm still. And we do know that it's going to get into the Bay of Campeche and eventually possibly even into the Gulf of Mexico.

Whether it gets far to the north or not, there will be significant waves with this. And so for all of this holiday weekend, there will be significant rip current risk all the way from Florida all the way down to Mexico.

There will be quite a bit of rain as it comes on shore in Mexico or either south Texas. That heavy rainfall will be right on top of where we've already seen heavy rainfall from the tropical storm a couple of weeks ago. Here's a European ensemble forecast, the computer model. And then they change a few things, make it farther north, make it a little bit weaker, a little bit stronger on 50 different successive runs of this model.

And you want to look for where this whole thing is kind of congealed, where you have all of the lines close together. You look at the ones to the right because it's a possibility.

You look at the ones to the left because obviously that is too. But you want to see where most of what we call these members of the European ensemble are going.

And the big question is how much of this high pressure is left to the north of it to push it to the west.

The big story here is that Beryl was a major hurricane, category three or higher, for four days and six hours. The average date of the first major hurricane per year is September

1st. Let that sink in a little bit because that's how warm the water was there in the Caribbean.


BRUNHUBER: In California, the Thompson fire continues to burn near the town of Oroville. More than 12,000 residents were under evacuation orders. Some have now been allowed to return home. Cal Fire says the blaze is 29 percent contained. 11 firefighters have been injured. In Fresno County, the Basin fire is 46 percent contained. The 4th of July was expected to be the hottest on record across many areas of the state, and the heat is expected to continue into the weekend. California's extreme heat is combining with dry conditions and strong winds, allowing the fires to spread quickly.

At least 89 migrants died after their boat capsized off the coast of Mauritania. State news reported Thursday that at least 170 migrants were aboard the boat when it overturned about four kilometers or two and a half miles from the coast. Nine people were rescued, including a five-year-old girl. Survivors say the boat left the Gambia-Senegal border six days before bound for Europe.

A new round of Gaza ceasefire negotiations is expected to begin in Doha, possibly in the coming hours. Israeli officials are set to meet with Qatari mediators to discuss the specific details of a new framework agreement. CNN's Jeremy Diamond has the latest from Jerusalem.


JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN CORRESPONDENT: For months, Israel and Hamas have been engaged in start and stop negotiations to try and reach a ceasefire and hostage release deal, and now there appears to be major progress in those negotiations. And that's because those negotiations for months now have focused on trying to reach a framework agreement, the broad strokes of how this deal would work. But they have been leaving the details, the implementation, the identity of Palestinian prisoners who would be released, for example, leaving all of that to the side while they try and reach a framework.

But on Thursday, the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, agreeing to enter that more detailed stage of negotiations, sending his Mossad director David Barnea to Doha, Qatar, to begin that next phase of negotiations. And that indicates, for all intents and purposes, including according to a senior administration official, that Israel and Hamas effectively have an agreement on a framework for this deal.

Now, what remains ahead is still a lot of difficult and complex work. About two to three weeks, according to one source I spoke to, of detailed negotiations over the implementation of this agreement.


And at the end of those two to three weeks, there's still no guarantee that these two sides will actually be able to broker a ceasefire deal. But nonetheless, this appears to be the furthest that Israel and Hamas have gotten in these negotiations since the last truce between these two sides fell apart after just a week at the very beginning of December. And so there's certainly a lot of cautious optimism in the air from folks that I have been speaking with.

And President Biden, speaking with the Israeli prime minister on Thursday, emphasizing that this is an opportunity for the Israeli prime minister to, quote-unquote, "close out the deal." And so that is effectively the stage that we're at, which not only has enormous implications for the families of those hostages, for the hostages themselves, for the people of Gaza who have endured nine months of suffering, but also for the region at-large, particularly at a time when tensions between Israel and Hezbollah have really been rising in recent weeks.

Particularly, over the last 48 hours, we saw Israel taking out a senior Hezbollah commander in a drone strike in southern Lebanon, Hezbollah retaliating with more than 200 rockets and missiles fired towards the Golan Heights, and Israel striking in southern Lebanon with a series of airstrikes. Certainly, a ceasefire in Gaza could provide an opening, that diplomatic opening that diplomats have been waiting for, looking for between Israel and Hezbollah to resolve those tensions as well.

Jeremy Diamond, CNN, Jerusalem.


BRUNHUBER: Israel's government has approved one of the largest land seizures in the occupied West Bank in decades. The area covers more than 1,200 hectares, or more than 3,000 acres, of the Jordan Valley in the eastern West Bank near Jericho. The government issued the declaration last month, but it wasn't posted publicly until Wednesday. The Israeli rights group Peace Now says it's the biggest land seizure since the 1993 Oslo Accords. The group monitors illegal settlement expansions and said the seizing of land makes it even more difficult to establish a Palestinian state alongside Israel.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is spelling out his terms for a ceasefire in Ukraine. He spoke at an international conference in Kazakhstan on Thursday. Here he is.


VLADIMIR PUTIN, RUSSIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): We need to ensure that Ukraine agrees to take steps that are irreversible and acceptable to the Russian Federation. Therefore, a cease-fire isn't possible without achieving this kind of agreement. We cannot declare a ceasefire now and simply hope that the other side will take some positive steps.


BRUNHUBER: Putin also said he would take any peace proposals by former U.S. President Donald Trump very seriously, but the Russian leader says he hasn't seen any specific ideas on the table yet. Trump, who is running, of course, for reelection, claimed without evidence that he will end the war in 24 hours if he wins.

Ukraine has conceded some ground in a key hilltop town on its eastern front. Officials say Ukrainian troops have pulled out of one of the eastern sections of Chasiv Yar after Russian forces destroyed their defensive. Chasiv Yar is largely a ghost town after months of relentless fighting, but it sits on high ground, so its capture could open the door for further Russian advances. The Ukrainian monitoring group says Russians are also moving towards a strategic road south of there. Ukraine says the pullout was only a tactical decision, and it's still firmly in control of the western part of the town.

Well, Britain will have a new prime minister within the next few hours. We'll meet the man who led the Labour Party to a landslide victory in the country's general election just ahead.

Plus, the Biden campaign is pushing more casual, unscripted events for the president as he fights for his political life. We'll have more on that next. Stay with us.





STARMER: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you so much for that reception. People will be waking up to the news. Relieved that a weight has been lifted. A burden finally removed from the shoulders of this great nation. And now, we can look forward again. Walk into the morning. The sunlight of hope. Pale at first, but getting stronger through the day. Shining once again on a country with the opportunity, after 14 years, to get its future back.


FOSTER: Keir Starmer celebrating a landslide victory for his Labour Party as he's set to become the next British prime minister. The win ends 14 years of conservative rule. The last Labour prime minister was Gordon Brown back in 2010.

Little consolation for Rishi Sunak. He won re-election to parliament, but will no longer be prime minister, and he's not going to be leader either, although we'll get that announcement, I'm sure, later on. The dejected Tory leader conceded defeat even before the official results were announced and took responsibility for the loss.


RISHI SUNAK, OUTGOING BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: The Labour Party has won this general election, and I've called for Keir Starmer to congratulate him on his victory. Today, power will change hands in a peaceful and orderly manner, with goodwill on all sides. That is something that should give us all confidence in our country's stability and future.


FOSTER: We are already seeing the headlines, of course, in the morning papers. "The Mirror" says, "Keir we go"; "The Sun" says "Britain sees red."

Joining me here in London, Matthew Holehouse, he's the British political correspondent for "The Economist," and Hanna Ziady is, of course, the CNN business journalist. Matthew, what's the story here? A crushing defeat for the Conservatives or resounding victory for Labour?

MATTHEW HOLEHOUSE, BRITISH POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT, "THE ECONOMIST": This is clearly one of those once-in-a-20-year events. You've seen our Labour Party return to power after 14 years in the wilderness, something that people did not think would be possible in five years. There were plenty of people who said to Keir Starmer, this is going to be a 10-year project. You're going to be handing this party on to somebody else to finish the job.

He was clear that he had to do it in five years, (inaudible). And he's done it with a majority of the likes that only Clement Attlee, Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair, the three great transformational prime ministers of the 20th century, were able to do.

FOSTER: So he's got an amazing majority, and he's got a lot of power in Parliament, but he hasn't got the cash, has he, Hannah?

HANNAH ZIADY, CNN BUSINESS JOURNALIST: He doesn't. Matthew leads to transformation. That is really what the British people are wanting to see. That is what Keir Starmer really -- his whole campaign was based on

change, and we're going to be the party of change. We're going to bring change to the economy, which has seen anemic growth the last few years. Living standards squeezed. Public services starved of funds.

But as you rightly point out, government finances are in a mess. Public debt now basically the same size of the economy, which really severely constrains what Keir Starmer, what the Labour government can do to investment, can do to fix public services. He's also tied his hands a bit because he's promised not to increase income tax, corporation tax, most V-A-T.

So he's going to have to rely on business investment, Max, to get his plans through.

FOSTER: I'm struggling to see the difference, really, in the economic policies of either of the two main parties. How much difference are we going to see?

HOLEHOUSE: The thing that is really load-bearing in Labour's agenda is planning reform. They are setting an awful lot of stock by the idea that they are going to be the ones who are going to liberalize planning codes, to take bits of land which are currently effectively out of bounds for house building, the green belt, bring that into use. [03:30:00]

And hopefully that, combined with political stability, because investors will know that this isn't going to be a country that's going to do something unpredictable, like leaving the European Union or having another referendum on Scottish independence. That is what will draw investment in this country.

But really, that investment they want to see and the eventual uptick in productivity they want to hope to result from that is really doing all the heavy lifting on their plans. And we all know that even if they were to succeed in that, which they may do, there's going to be a gap.

There's going to be a gap between the ability to deliver that and the demands of this new coalition of voters and this enormous number of new MPs who are all wanting to see new hospitals and new community centers in their constituencies. How they bridge that gap is the big question, the big political question of this parliament.

MAX FOSTER, CNN LONDON CORRESPONDENT: Another centrist government, but we've also seen a lot of divergence. You've seen extreme groups in terms of U.K. politics, at least, Reform and Green also taking a lot of votes here. And their central argument, it's like when I saw in France last weekend as well, the central argument really is cost of living. So these parties are coming to power promising to improve cost of living. And they're going to, and actually, I mean, you wrote a piece recently where cost of living can only get more expensive, actually, than any of these economies.

HANNA ZIADY, CNN BUSINESS JOURNALIST: Yeah, I mean, we're definitely going to see upward pressure on inflation from some of these big things like aging societies, investment behind green energy, investment, more investment into defense spending than we've seen for many, many decades. So that will put pressure on prices. But back to what I was saying about debt, that is also kind of putting upward pressure on government bond yields. So the returns that investors want to fund governments, and that in turn makes the cost of borrowing for everybody else more expensive because mortgage rates and everything else are priced off of bond yields. And that all comes back to this issue of debt, which exploded through the pandemic, through the energy crisis, governments spending big to cushion their economies from the impact of that, and now having to service that debt to pay down those debt costs, and that really diverting very precious resources away from other areas.

FOSTER: I want to talk about Nigel Farage, because his party would have taken, and we'll wait to see, but we're assuming they took a lot of votes across the country. He got his seat. He's now in Parliament. The Conservatives are in a complete mess. A lot of the leftist Conservatives lost seats, didn't they? So he's going to have a big role to play in reshaping the Conservatives, bizarrely.

HOLEHOUSE: Yes, he is. His ambition was to effectively get a bridgehead in Parliament and then man what he called a reverse takeover of the Conservative Party, effectively saying, if you want my voters, which I am taking from you, you are going to have to become like me. You're going to have to find a role within an organization. Maybe I'll lead it, maybe they'll lead it. The formulation of this was never quite clear, but the trajectory was.

Now, with the Conservatives having done better than some of the most catastrophic polls predicted, and some members of the Cabinet --

FOSTER: Very generous of you.

HOLEHOUSE: Yeah, that is true. If they had been driven down to, you know, 50 or 60 seats and they'd lost most of the Cabinet, that job would be much easier. They've kept a bigger chunk of the Cabinet than some people thought, and they've kept more of their MPs than some people thought. It means they'll be able to resist that push, which many of them do want to resist.

The other problem, of course, is this is now a Labour Party, a Labour government that is facing opponents in multiple directions, which is something that Tony Blair didn't have to contend with. He wants to keep the Scottish National Party shattered by this defeat, but need to keep them at bay. They need to keep the Conservative Party, the main opposition party, at bay.

They need to really contain this reform insurgency, which has come second in scores of seats, done really pretty well in large part, particularly sort of the traditional Labour seats in the north of England. So which way the Labour Party faces and how it can find messages that, you know, meet all those different kinds of voters to secure the second term that Keir Starmer, we know, hankers for, is another great question of this Parliament.

FOSTER: And not a massive difference between Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer in terms of international affairs, we can probably argue, but we are going to see Keir Starmer trying to, you know, he's pro-Europe, so he'll want to improve relations with Europe. If Donald Trump gets into power, he's going to have probably a weaker relationship with the U.S. administration than a Conservative prime minister. What does that mean in terms of economics?

ZIADY: Well, it is a complex picture, as you've just painted. Look, the E.U. is still Britain's single largest trading partner by far, and you're right that Labour has a better relationship with the E.U., but some are critical of its plans to improve that relationship saying they're still too timid. The think tank U.K. in a Changing Europe basically -- saying a couple weeks ago that their plans, which really are around technical agreements, trying to reach an agreement on food trade, cut some of that red tape, will have a minimal impact on the overall cost of Brexit to the economy. And the Office for Budget Responsibility estimates that that cost will be about a 4 percent hit to GDP over the long term.


So I think many people and many businesses would certainly like to see Labour do more to improve that relationship. Of course, it wasn't an issue in this election, Brexit. I think to many voters, it's ancient history, but it's still having a big impact on businesses.

One of the, should we say, wins that I think the U.K. hoped to get out of Brexit was a trade deal with the United States. That is unlikely to happen under Trump or under Biden, because I think the U.S. is just far more inwardly focused now on its own economy. So the U.K. doesn't enter a hugely positive international environment, but hopefully Keir Starmer can draw closer once again to the E.U.

FOSTER: Okay, Hannah and Matthew, thank you both very much indeed.

In a couple of hours, we expect the current Prime Minister to be resigning, and the new one coming in will bring you all the movements here on CNN.



JOE BIDEN, U.S. PRESIDENT: We got to do what our founders did, show the world we're a nation of dignity, honor, and just devotion to one another. This is, no, I really mean it. Folks, it's all about democracy. It's all about freedom. It's all about who we are. We're the United States of America, and nothing like it exists in the world. Happy Fourth of July. Enjoy the fireworks. God love you all.


KIM BRUNHUBER, CNN ANCHOR: That was U.S. President Joe Biden at a Fourth of July event, along with his Vice President, Kamala Harris, on Thursday. So right now, the President's team is looking to shift the narrative away from his poor debate performance by scheduling Biden for more casual unscripted events. Now, it remains to be seen if the strategy will pay off as Biden finds himself under intense scrutiny with heightened attention on his every verbal slip or moment of possible confusion.

Meanwhile, the President is still trying to control the fallout after his disastrous debate against Donald Trump sent panic and concern through the Democratic Party. The Biden campaign does acknowledge the stakes for his one-on-one ABC News interview later today couldn't be higher.

CNN Senior Political Analyst Ron Brownstein joins me now live from Los Angeles. Ron, good to see you again. So, President Biden said yesterday, I'm not going anywhere. So, of course, that's what he has to say. But I want to read you something that David Axelrod, top aide to former President Barack Obama had to say about Biden. He said that if he sees numbers that suggest to him that this isn't a winnable race, my guess is he'll act on them. My question to you is, are we not getting close to those numbers? I mean, no incumbent president has had an approval rating this low at this stage of the election since what George H. W. Bush and now Trump has perhaps his biggest ever lead. So what do you make of the numbers and what they suggest about whether it is a winnable race for Biden?

[03:40:00] RON BROWNSTEIN, CNN SR. POLITICAL ANALYST AND SR. EDITOR, "THE ATLANTIC": Well, yeah, I mean, I mean, that really is the point, right? I mean, Donald Trump is ahead in national polling by as big a margin as he's ever been ahead, really, since he's became a national figure. I mean, there's never been anything like this for Trump against either Hillary Clinton or Joe Biden. And, you know, if you look across the battleground states that you need to get to 270, the two swing states in the southeast, Georgia and North Carolina, looked out of reach for Biden before the debate.

The two swing states in the southwest, Nevada and Arizona, aren't quite as far gone, but they're really not far behind. I mean, Biden is looking at a substantial lead deficit in them even before the debate. Again, the one pathway that was there for Biden going into the debate was to sweep Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, three states that Trump famously dislodged in 2016 from the blue wall.

And if he won those three and one congressional district in Omaha, he got to exactly 270 Biden. But I have seen polling since the debate that has Biden down six or seven points in each of those three states, which he has to sweep. And that's why so many Democratic strategists and I think many, many elected officials in Congress feel there's just is enormous disconnect between the president's language like that I'm not going anywhere and his campaign saying it was a bad night and what they are seeing on the ground that makes them very dubious that he can recover from a performance as poor as that one.

BRUNHUBER: Yeah, to the -- to the how, I mean, according to a "Wall Street Journal" poll, 80 percent say he's too old to run for a second term. And now Biden saying he won't do any events past 8 p.m. I mean, I guess that is sensible, maybe considering what we've seen. But really, it doesn't help that perception that he's too old.

BROWNSTEIN: Right. It's and it's not acceptable to I mean, really to the public. Right. The idea that you're going to have a president who is diminished in that way.

You know, look, we are a deeply dug in and polarized country. There are millions and millions of Americans who don't want Donald Trump to be president again. So the floor is not going to fall out for Joe Biden. But the question going into the debate was, where could he make up the votes to overcome what has become a deficit? Right. I mean, where he was trailing in national polling. And as I said, we're probably behind today in all seven of the swing states and within range only in three of them. He was the one who needed to add to his pile of chips.

And when you have these kinds of doubts, it just makes it very hard to see where you go to get over the top. And it's also reflective of kind of the dynamic here, where once this idea really has been imprinted so strongly on Americans from this debate, sharpening the questions that already existed about whether he was physically and mentally up to doing the job for another four and a half years, pretty much anything that can, you know, the points in that direction is going to resonate more powerfully than it did before the debate. So this kind of comment, I think it's just an early preview of the challenge the White House will face and the Democrats will face if he stays in the race, because there are going to be many things that kind of add to the concern of voters who are already anxious about this.

BRUNHUBER: All right, let's -- let's pivot to Donald Trump. I mean, it was a great week for him, the debate fallout, a game changing Supreme Court decision in his favor. Now, this week, he's kept a relatively low profile, obviously tough for a man who loves being in the spotlight, but no doubt keeping the focus on Biden is his best strategy.

BROWNSTEIN: Absolutely. And look, that was not a great debate for Donald Trump, you know, per se. It was a great debate for Donald Trump because Joe Biden had such a calamitous night. But I think if you talk to pollsters in both parties, there's really no evidence that Trump reached out beyond the voters already with him. And, you know, he -- he took credit for killing his word, the legal right to abortion. I mean, he, you know, he lied again about the 2020 election. He reiterated his promises to pardon January 6th rioters.

And while the Supreme Court decision was, you know, a landmark, epic decision that I think is going to be seen in a very negative light by history, while it eliminated the short term threat to him of a trial before the election, you know, in the hands of a stronger Democrat, it also gave him the argument to prosecute the prosecute the argument that this really would be Trump unbound if he is returned to office. I mean, pretty clearly, the Republican Party is not going to hold him to any constraint.

The Supreme Court has basically given him a green light to proceed along the lines that he's talked about in terms of deploying federal force into blue jurisdictions and setting up internment camps and purging the civil service and ordering the Justice Department to prosecute his enemies or his opponents.


There are a lot of voters who are going to be uneasy about all of that. But all of those kind of questions, I think, you know, are subsumed, obviously, now by this overriding issue of whether voters think Biden is up to the job. And as you point out, the vast majority are saying they are concerned that he is not physically or mentally doesn't have the physical or medical capacity to do this, maybe for another six months, but certainly not for another four years.

BRUNHUBER: Still time for plenty of twists and turns. Ron Brownstein in Los Angeles. Always great to speak with you. Thank you so much.

BROWNSTEIN: Thanks for having me.

BRUNHUBER: Voting is well underway in Iran's presidential runoff. The country's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, cast his ballot right after the polls opened earlier this morning. Iranians face a choice between two polar opposites for their next president, reformist lawmaker Masoud Pezeshkian, who won the most votes in the first round of last week, and hardline former nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili. Dozens of other candidates were banned from even entering the race by Iran's powerful Guardian Council.

The French government says it will deploy an additional 30,000 police and security officers for Sunday's parliamentary election runoff. Now, it comes after a wave of election-linked violence. This government spokesperson and her team were attacked while campaigning on Wednesday. A politician with the National Rally Party was assaulted in a market in southeastern France, and a Republican Party candidate said left-wing campaigners attacked him in Cherbourg. President Emmanuel Macron has even warned of civil war if the extreme right or left wins Sunday's runoff.

Now, the runoff follows the strong showing of the far-right National Rally Party in the recent first round of voting. French President Emmanuel Macron triggered the snap election after right-wing parties dominated in European Parliament elections, hoping centrist groups would rally against them. Well, the tactic backfired as Macron's group ended up in third place. In an exclusive interview, National Rally's Marine Le Pen sat down with CNN's Christiane Amanpour on Thursday. Here's what they had to say.


CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: As we know, a third of French voters voted for you and for your party, and two- thirds did not. And as you know, President Macron is trying to get a coalition to stop you, a firewall, so to speak, to stop you becoming the majority in Parliament. What does it feel like to be considered so dangerous? How does it feel?

MARINE LE PEN, MEMBER, NATIONAL RALLY (through translator): We don't represent any danger apart from making him lose power. In reality, all the energy that he puts into fighting us, it's simply because he knows that we are the alternative movement.

We are the ones who can secure an absolute majority. The far-left does not have that option. So the danger of which he's talking is a threat to his own power.

But what's paradoxical is that he called for a dissolution by saying that the people should have their say again, but by strategizing between the two rounds, by withdrawing his candidates, asking people to vote for the far left, he's actually refusing to let French people express themselves freely. It's rather paradoxical.

AMANPOUR: It's still a third that you got. Do you like, do you admire Kylian Mbappe, the hero of French soccer?

LE PEN (through translator): I'm not much of a football enthusiast, I'll be frank.

AMANPOUR: But as a national hero?

LE PEN (through translator): I believe that Mr. Mbappe is a very good footballer, but this tendency for actors, footballers, and singers to come forward and tell French people how they should vote, and particularly to people who earn 13 or 1,400 euros a month, whilst they are millionaires or even billionaires who live abroad, it's starting to not be well received in our country.

French people are fed up of being lectured and advised on how to vote. This election is an election of emancipation, in which the French people want to take back control of their destiny and vote as they see fit.

AMANPOUR: You jumped in because you knew what I was going to ask you, so I need to explain. What he said was, I don't want to represent a country that doesn't correspond to my values, our values. People say, don't mix football and politics, but this is really important, much more important than football. The situation is dire and we need to act. He didn't tell people how to vote, he just said, you don't represent the kind of country that he would want to play for.


LE PEN (through translator): Yes, we know exactly why he did it and what the purpose of his statement was. But then again, these are people who are lucky enough to be living comfortably, very comfortably, to be protected from insecurity, poverty, unemployment, and everything else that affects and hurts our compatriots. I think that, at a time when the population is preparing to vote, they should show a bit of restraint.

Let me give you an example. A left-wing mayor came to see me and said, I've never voted for the national rally, but I can't stand hearing any more lectures from people who know nothing about how the French are suffering. So, this time, I'm going to vote for you. That's what these kinds of statements lead to.


BRUNHUBER: And you can tune in to "Amanpour" to see the full interview with Marine Le Pen. That's Friday evening at 7:00 in Paris, right here on CNN.

All right, after the break, sharks make their presence known at a 4th of July celebration in Texas. More on the frightening details, ahead. Stay with us.


BRUNHUBER: All right, well, it wasn't a remake of "Jaws," but South Padre Island in Texas did have four shark encounters on the 4th of July. The beaches were crowded with vacationers, many of whom rushed to the scene to help. Two people were bitten. Just listen to the father-in-law of one of the victims here.


RAYNER CARDENAS, FATHER-IN-LAW OF MAN BITTEN BY SHARK: I turned around, he wasn't there anymore. I started swimming towards him, and then he jumped up out of the water saying, shark, shark, shark. And that's when adrenaline kicked in, and I went right after him.

(END VIDEO CLIP) BRUNHUBER: The two victims were transported to a hospital in Brownsville for treatment. Their injuries weren't serious. Two others encountered the shark, but weren't injured. And here you can see the shark swimming in the water. A Texas Department of Public Safety helicopter flew low to deter the shark from further attacks.

And Los Angeles is seeing an influx of Japanese tourists drawn by Dodger star hitter Shohei Otani. L.A. Tourism says the number of visitors from Japan has spiked since 2022, that nearly all Japanese travelers take in at least one Dodgers game during their trip. Natasha Chen went to L.A. and talked to some of these fans.


NATASHA CHEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Baseball is America's pastime. But here in one of the country's oldest baseball stadiums, you'll see a celebration of Japanese heritage.

And hear Japanese language tours four days a week, all because of 6'4" --

UNKNOWN: He's a superhero.

CHEN (voice-over): Star hitter and pitcher.

UNKNOWN: We are proud of him.

CHEN (voice-over): New Dodger Shohei Otani.

UNKNOWN: He's a good baseball player and so cute.

CHEN (voice-over): After a record-breaking contract with the Dodgers, Otani is drawing fans from across the Pacific Ocean in waves.

UNKNOWN: We're expecting a spike, but truly nothing like this.

CHEN (voice-over): The team has a dozen new Japanese sponsors this year, and added six new Japanese-speaking tour guides.


Dodger Stadium food now goes beyond the Dodger dog to the Kurobuta pork sausage dog, sushi, chicken katsu, and takoyaki, which are round fritters filled with octopus. You can get the original or --

CHEN: I just got a kick. Salsa and cheese and guacamole and cheese.

The Los Angeles Tourism and Convention Board says 80 to 90 percent of visitors from Japan come to Dodger Stadium at least once during their trip to L.A. And many of them end up here in L.A.'s Little Tokyo to find the mural they've heard about all the way from Japan.

UNKNOWN: The baby's moving, he said.

ROBERT VARGAS, ARTIST: They scan the Q.R. code at the base of the mural, point your camera phone, and they can see Shohei actually swing and see him pitch, and you hear Ben Scully say.

UNKNOWN: It's time for Dodger baseball.

CHEN (voice-over): Artist Robert Vargas says he painted this mural to bring everyone together in the city's crossroads of Asian and Latin American communities.

VARGAS: This area's been hard hit for during COVID, and I really felt like as a longtime resident of downtown L.A., I wanted to be able to contribute to the API community.

CHEN (voice-over): Little Tokyo businesses say they have double the customers they normally get this time of year. And with the weak Japanese yen, it's a costly trip for travelers from Japan spending U.S. dollars. But they'll find a few local deals.

UNKNOWN: After he hit the home run, next day it'll be 50 percent off.

UNKNOWN: If Shohei hits a home run, we automatically pass out a Shohei shot.

UNKNOWN: You hope this goes on for 10 years, yeah.

CHEN (voice-over): The Miyako Hotel general manager says rooms are fully booked during home games.

Takayo Hizume says her son also played baseball, and she feels as if Otani is Japan's son.

UNKNOWN: And wait till he starts pitching for us, and it's like, my gosh.

CHEN (voice-over): Whether fans are from his home country, second generation Japanese American, or have no connection to Japan at all, it's a unifying moment.

UNKNOWN: It's amazing.

CHEN (voice-over): A moment as American as a hot dog on the 4th of July and a takoyaki covered in guac.

UNKNOWN: This is good for everyone. This is good for all of baseball.

CHEN (voice-over): Natasha Chen, CNN, Los Angeles.


BRUNHUBER: All right, thanks so much for joining me. I'm Kim Brunhuber, in Atlanta. Much more ahead from London on "CNN Newsroom" with Max Foster.