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Joe Biden Said Only God Could Get Him to Drop Out; Jeffries Plans To Meet Virtually With Top House Democrats On Biden's Path Ahead; Iran Elects Reformist Masoud Pezeshkian In Presidential Runoff Vote; Keir Starmer Becomes U.K. Prime Minister In Historic Victory; Airlines Face High Costs Amid Estimated Record Travel Week. Aired 2-3a ET

Aired July 06, 2024 - 02:00   ET




KIM BRUNHUBER, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome to all of you watching us here in the United States, Canada, and all around the world. I'm Kim Brunhuber. This is CNN Newsroom.

Regroup, rally and refuse to quit the race. Joe Biden holds on to his candidacy, calling his debate performance a bad night. But some Democrats say the president is in denial.

Plus, a record heat wave is spanning the U.S., west and south. Now power crews are racing to get electricity to America's poorest communities, and it's a busy weekend for air travel, some may say the best time for airlines to profit. Experts will disagree.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Live from Atlanta. This is CNN Newsroom with Kim Brunhuber.

BRUNHUBER: U.S. President Joe Biden says he'll drop out of the 2024 race or rethink his candidacy only, quote, if the Lord almighty comes down and tells him to. Calling his debate performance a bad night, he says it's not a reason for him to step aside.

Biden sat for an exclusive interview with ABC News anchor George Stephanopoulos, and he said his performance was no one's fault but his. He also pointed a finger at former President Donald Trump areas.


JOE BIDEN, U.S. PRESIDENT: I was having a bad night when I realized that. Even when I was answering a question, even when they turned his mic off, he was still shouting. And I let it distract me. I'm not blaming it on that, but I realized that I just wasn't in control.


BRUNHUBER: Biden says no one said he needed to have a cognitive test. He also said the job of president puts him through a full neurological test every day.


GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, ABC NEWS ANCHOR: None of the American people have been watching, yet their concerns about your age and your health are growing. So that's why I'm asking to reassure them. Would you be willing to have the independent medical evaluation?

BIDEN: Watch me between there's a lot of time left in this campaign. It's over 125 days.

STEPHANOPOULOS: The right answer right now is no, you don't want to do that right now.

BIDEN: No, I've already done it.


BRUNHUBER: Many polls, including CNN's latest poll, show Trump leading in the race. And a new Reuters Ipsos poll shows Biden's approval rating at just 37 percent, which could be a bad sign, obviously, for his reelection hopes.


STEPHANOPOULOS: Mister President, I've never seen a president 36 percent approval get reelected.

BIDEN: I don't believe that's my approval rating. That's not what our polls show.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And if you stay in and Trump is elected and everything you're warning about comes to pass, how will you feel in January?

BIDEN: I feel as long as I gave it my all and I did the goodest job as I know I can do. That's what this is about.


BRUNHUBER: Biden addressed supporters in the battleground state of Wisconsin on Friday. He told them he's staying in the race and compared his debate performance to Donald Trump's gaffe series.


BIDEN: By the way, if you wonder whether Trump has it altogether, did you ever hear how he explained the 4th of July when he was president? No, I'm serious. This is true. His explanation how America won the Revolutionary War. I'm not making this up. He said in his 4th of July speech five years ago. He said, George Washington's army won the revolution by taking control of the airports from the British. But talk about me misspeaking airports on the British in 1776. It's true. He is a stable genius.

(END VIDEO CLIP) BRUNHUBER: While some democratic allies remain unconvinced by Biden's arguments, the first democratic congressman to call on the president to withdraw from the race says heard nothing in Biden's interview to make him reconsider his position. Texas representative Lloyd Doggett now says the time is of the essence. Here he is.


LLOYD DOGGETT, U.S. HOUSE DEMOCRAT: We may not be the Lord Almighty calling from on high, but from Maine to Washington tonight from Chicago, from Arizona. For people all over the country saying, Mr. President, the risk of a Trump presidency, to destroy our democracy, to give us -- to take over the government and never give it back again, is so great that we have to have our strongest candidate.


Now, I know -- I hear from some of the Biden supporters, they're like a constituent who sent me a one line message that I loved and treasured for a decade. He said, you're my horse and I'm with you if you never win another race.

And Biden has some supporters like that. But we can't afford to lose this race. And that's why we have to pick the strongest candidate possible. And every day he delays in making that decision makes it more difficult.


BRUNHUBER: U.S. Senator Mark Warner is said to be leading an effort to get democratic senators on board with replacing Joe Biden. Sources tell CNN that Warner is planning to meet with other senators on Monday.

Meanwhile, a House lawmaker tells CNN that Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries has scheduled a meeting with party leaders there for Sunday. Our Sunlen Serfaty has more.


SUNLEN SERFATY, CNN WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: The concern among Democrats on Capitol Hill is only intensifying. A handful of House Democrats now saying they believe it is time for President Joe Biden to step aside. Here's Illinois Congressman Mike Quigley.

MIKE QUIGLEY, U.S. HOUSE DEMOCRAT: What we need right now, and I think what takes us fine, is to step aside and recognize the president of the United States doesn't have the vigor necessary to overcome the deficit here, and it's going to affect us all.

SERFATY: And privately, many additional members are expressing their concern about President Biden's viability behind closed doors. On Sunday, House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, he's called a virtual meeting for democratic committee ranking members. That will be a key meeting for leadership to get a sense of how their members are feeling. The House and Senate will be back in Washington on Monday and Tuesday.

And sources telling CNN that will be something of an inflection point of sorts. Members have been home. They've been hearing from their constituents, and they will bring those concerns back with them here to Washington.

Certainly a consequential moment for Democrats here in Washington, House Democrats attempting to retake control of the House and certainly even as he digs in and recommits to the race, a consequential moment for President Biden. Sunlen Serfaty, CNN, Washington.


BRUNHUBER: But there are still plenty of Democrats who still support the president, and they're saying the focus should be on Biden's challenger instead.


JOHN FETTERMAN, U.S. SENATE DEMOCRAT: I don't know why we're not talking more about Donald Trump. And I think it's easier to count how many true things he actually said than counting the lies during a debate or in an interview.

What else does he need to do? I don't understand it. So, and again, I disagree with the president on issues, whether it's Israel or maybe even in the border. But, you know, I wouldn't be here right now if I didn't absolutely believe that he is the right man and he has deserved to have our kinds of support and all that. And this thermonuclear meltdown and just a couple days after that for Democrats, for God's sake, you know, get a spine.

JOHN GARAMENDI, U.S. HOUSE DEMOCRAT: You show me a candidate across this country, myself included, that is going to say the polls are actually right and I'm losing this. No, you don't. You have confidence. You speak with confidence. The polls are a moment in time and they are a moment in time. And the moment over the last week has not been good for the president. That's true.

But also he's in the process, as he showed today at the rally and in this interview, that he is in the process of rebuilding his position. No candidate would ever say, of course the polls are going and I'm finished. You don't do that and don't expect the president to do that.

However, you do expect to do the president to do what he did, and that is to run the risk of this interview to get out there on the stump, as he did today and before and along the way continue to maintain a very busy schedule as president.

As I've already said, talking to international leaders today, that's his daily schedule. He's doing it and he will continue to do it. Will he win this race? He will, because Trump is the opponent. The unfortunate thing about all of this is the feeding frenzy has taken Trump off the television sets.


BRUNHUBER: So, President Biden will have a couple of chances next week to show that he can handle another four years in the White House. Our Jeff Zeleny explains.


JEFF ZELENY, CNN CHIEF U.S. NATIONAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Next week is a very big week for his day job for the presidency. The NATO leaders, the NATO summit is here. And that is going to, once upon a time, that was one of his biggest strengths for a variety of reasons. Now, just where this campaign is, foreign affairs are nothing at the forefront of this election.

But for him, they could be, it could be a moment for him to show that he is in command and in control. He has said that he will have a press conference next week. So that offers another opportunity Thursday, or it could be a moment to show the opposite.


There have been concerns. We've all talked with officials who have said privately in meetings he's not as sharp as he was. So next week will be an example and a way to see that. And it's pretty -- there are going to be a lot of opinions next week in Washington, from Capitol Hill to NATO leaders. So it will be a good chance to sort of size things up.


BRUNHUBER: Natasha Lindstaedt is a professor of government at the University of Essex, and she joined us now from Winchester, England. Good to see you again.

So, it seemed as though the media had set a really high bar for this ABC interview, as if, you know, one interview could magically wipe away the fears. How do you think President Biden did?

NATASHA LINDSTAEDT, PROFESSOR OF GOVERNMENT, UNIVERSITY OF ESSEX: He did ok. I don't think it's going to be enough to undo the damage that was done on Thursday night. And now we're over a week from that debate. And that's all we've been talking about is that debate and how he did. And there's been growing concern from democratic donors and more rumors of people saying that they want to pressure Biden to step out. Of course, he was very resolute and defiant in the interview, but I don't know if he did enough to allay concerns about his age.

And since that debate, we've had some polls that have come out that haven't been particularly good for Biden. A New York Times poll and a Wall Street Journal poll. And they both had Trump ahead of Biden by six points. And among registered voters in the New York Times poll, Trump was ahead by eight points.

But another startling statistic was in that Wall Street Journal poll, 80 percent of those surveyed felt that Biden was too old.


LINDSTAEDT: So Biden has just a huge mountain to overcome here.

BRUNHUBER: Well, exactly. On that 80 percent poll, you know, aside from what we saw in the debate with our own eyes, I mean, there have been more leaks about his decline in cognitive performance.

In that interview, Biden basically said he wouldn't take a cognitive test and release it. I mean, do you think he should? Would that perhaps allay some of those concerns that he might be too old for the next four years?

LINDSTAEDT: I think that would be helpful. I can see why he doesn't want to subject himself to these types of things, but he's really fighting to prove that he's mentally and physically fit. And there are only so many more opportunities that he can do that. He has that opportunity. He's obviously going to be on the campaign trail and there'll be another debate in September.

But the whole situation has gotten very dire and very urgent, meaning whatever the Democrats are going to do, they got to figure this out in the next two weeks, not months.


LINDSTAEDT: And there just isn't unity. They are completely fragmented. Meanwhile, the other side, Trump, has complete support, and the support has remained around 46 percent. It hasn't wavered, no matter if he is a convicted felon, no matter what he does. And he's been legitimized recently by the Supreme Court rule.

BRUNHUBER: On the support for Biden, I mean, we are seeing that fracture every day. We're seeing, you know, past the torch signs now. So there's more pressure from the outside than from within the party. We're learning of more efforts to gather support behind an effort to ask Biden to leave the race. I mean, do you get the sense that the mutiny is growing?

LINDSTAEDT: It definitely is growing. You're hearing, as you already mentioned, that donors might withhold money, millions of dollars of money, and they wouldn't give it to Biden if he stayed in the race and instead would give it to other democratic candidates, that there is going to be just amount of pressure on him to step down and to try to do so with dignity.

But I also think that the Democrats have to find another candidate before they tell him that he's got to go. Because actually, when you look at the polling, when you look at other candidates going head to head against Trump, and I should mention that we don't have great polling here, but what we find is that Biden actually does better than some of the other candidates versus Trump, with the exception of Kamala Harris.

But all of them would lose to Trump in a head to head battle. So, I mean, the Democrats have so much work to do here, not just trying to nudge him to step down, if that's what they want to do, but also to find a suitable alternative in the meantime.

BRUNHUBER: I mean, it's all a dream scenario for Donald Trump, and he continues to basically stay off the front pages. I mean, that seems to be the right strategy here. Just watch the Democrats implode.

LINDSTAEDT: Right. And that's perfect for him because then he doesn't have the attention on him and all of his liabilities. Of course, you know, he, you saw him golfing and he was kind of enjoying himself. And his team doesn't even want to release who his vice president is going to because they know that's going to take the story off of Biden.

All the headlines have been about Biden, and that typically hasn't been the way the campaign cycle has been.


It's been mostly on Trump and his criminal trials and various legal issues, but this is a perfect situation for Trump. He can just go on the campaign trial. He can continue to repeat some of the gaps of Biden. And all the attention is on Biden's age. And that's exactly what the Democrats don't want.

BRUNHUBER: yes, we'll have to leave it there. But I always appreciate your analysis. Natasha Lindstaedt, thank you so much for joining us.

LINDSTAEDT: Thanks for having me.

BRUNHUBER: All right. And later in the hour, as calls for Biden to step away grow, we take a closer look at the state of his health from CNN's chief medical correspondent and resident brain surgeon.

And the UK has a new prime minister after Labour's landslide election victory. We'll look at the final numbers and the challenges Keir Starmer faces as he takes the reins of power. Stay with us.


BRUNHUBER: A reformer who said religion can't be imposed on people by force, will become the next president of Iran, election officials say. Masoud Pezeshkian has won the presidential runoff, beating his ultra- conservative opponent, Saeed Jalili.


In his first remarks since the election, Pezeshkian vowed to extend the hand of friendship to everyone. The moderate lawmaker won by almost 3 million votes. Analysts say he is unlikely to bring major changes because most key decisions are made by Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

A busy day for the UK's new prime minister after the Labour party's landslide victory in British elections, Keir Starmer fielded congratulations from world leaders, including U.S. President Joe Biden. Starmer also named his cabinet, among them UK's first female finance secretary. CNN international diplomatic editor Nic Robertson has more from London. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DEPLOMATIC EDITOR (voice-over): Britain's new prime minister Keir Starmer and his wife Victoria, taking their long awaited steps to number 10 Downing Street, 14 years since his Labour party was last in power.

KEIR STARMER, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: Whether you voted Labour or not, in fact, especially if you did not, I say to you directly, my government will serve you. Politics can be a force for good. We will show that.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): His party securing a massive landslide majority in parliament. They needed 326, got 412.

STARMER: With respect and humility, I invite you all to join this government of service in the mission of national renewal.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): A hard reality, though, only around 35 percent of voters supported Labour and turnout was low, less than 60 percent. Many in the U.K. losing faith in their politicians.

Outgoing PM Rishi Sunak stepping down as PM and conservative leader.

RISHI SUNAK, FORMER BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: I have heard your anger, your disappointment, and I take responsibility for this loss.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): Sunak's Conservatives handed a long anticipated humiliating blow. 365 seats won at the last election, shredded to less than half that this time.

Significantly, Liz Truss, who served a disastrous 49 days as prime minister in 2022, became the first former British leader in nearly 100 years to lose their seat.

This election not so much an endorsement of the left as a rejection of incumbents.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I am very sorry.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): The pro independent Scottish National Party cut from 48 seats to nine.

Nigel Farage, a major Brexit advocate and friend of Donald Trump, winning a seat for the first time, along with a record four additional seats for his anti-immigration party and the centrist Liberal Democrats, 71 seats, 63 seats up on the last elections.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is a Labour landslide.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): But nowhere were the celebrations bigger than among Labour supporters. Keir Starmer, known by some as no drama Starmer, a lawyer and former director of public prosecutions, came late to politics.

Now the hard work of governing begins. Ministers arriving to be handed their new portfolios. Rachel Reeves, the UK's first female finance minister or Chancellor of the Exchequer, David Lammy, once very critical of Trump, the new foreign secretary.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): Yet despite all the change and what it may mean inside the UK. U.K. foreign policy is unlikely to change significantly. Lammy has reversed his comments about Trump, the party promising to work with whomever is in the White House on NATO, Ukraine and Israel. Nic Robinson, CNN, London.


BRUNHUBER: Safety concerns are mounting ahead of France's high stakes parliamentary elections on Sunday. French authorities say they've recorded more than 50 physical assaults against candidates and campaigners, adding that some were hospitalized for their injuries. Politicians have been repeatedly warning that a far-right victory could provoke huge protests.

The far-right party led the first round of elections last Sunday, taking it closer to the gates of power. Officials said earlier this week an additional 30,000 police would be deployed for election day.

The top E.U. diplomat says Hungary's prime minister did not speak for the union when held talks at the Kremlin on Friday.


Viktor Orban met Russian President Vladimir Putin, saying they discussed ways to end the war in Ukraine. Orban is Putin's closest ally in the EU. He made the trip just days after his country assumed the rotating presidency of the E.U. council. The U.S., Ukraine and other European leaders also slammed the visit.

The wife of a jailed Russian opposition figure claims her husband was transferred to a prison hospital. Vladimir Kara-Murza was sentenced to 25 years in prison after publicly condemning Russia's war in Ukraine.

In a series of social media posts on Friday, Kara-Murza's wife says her husband was moved from a maximum security penal colony to a prison hospital in a different district. She says his lawyers haven't been allowed to see him, adding that her husband suffers from a disease caused by two severe poisonings.

Italy's Mount Stromboli volcano has become dangerously active, spewing a large ash cloud into the sky. Eruption has raised concerns. Local civil protection has hiked warnings from orange to the highest level red. Ash from Stromboli, as well as Mount Etna, which is also erupting, forced Sicily to close the Catania airport on Friday as authorities warn the situation could deteriorate.

A tornado has ripped through a town in China's eastern Shandong province. It left a trail of destruction, killing one person and injuring at least 79 people. Dramatic video on social media there shows how the twister tore roofs off houses and uprooted trees as debris was thrown in the air. Authorities immediately started an emergency response and are currently conducting a cleanup operation. All right. The news continues for our viewers here in the U.S. and

Canada. For our international audience, African voices Changemakers is next.



BRUNHUBER: Joe Biden is vowing to stay in the presidential race as he dismisses concerns from some members of his own party. In his first televised interview since his jarring debate performance, the U.S. president tells ABC News that he is the most qualified person to defeat Donald Trump. He says he will drop out of the race only if, quote, the Lord Almighty tells him to. Listen to this.


STEPHANOPOULOS: I agree that the Lord Almighty is not going to come down. But if you are told reliably from your allies, from your friends and supporters in the Democratic Party, in the House and the Senate, that they're concerned you're going to lose the House and the Senate if you stay in, what will you do?

BIDEN: I'm not going to answer that question. It's not going to happen.


BRUNHUBER: Biden addressed supporters in the battleground state of Wisconsin on Friday. CNN White House correspondent Arlette Saenz was there.


ARLETTE SAENZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: President Biden's aide expressed confidence after the interview and his day of campaigning in Madison, Wisconsin. Aides really viewed the interview as the first step in a long process to reassure voters and top Democratic Party officials that the president is up for a second term in office.

But even as campaign aides are expressing optimism, the calls for Biden to step aside from within his own party grew on Friday. CNN has learned that Senator Mark Warner, a Democrat of Virginia, is leading an effort to assemble a group of Democrats to try to get on the same page about the future of Biden's reelection. Sources tell us that Mark Warner himself is starting to get to a place where he believes the president needs to step aside in this race.

It all illustrates the heightened tension within this party as at the moment as the president and those top party officials are trying to chart the path forward where they want to try to beat Trump in November.

But so many questions still swirling for President Biden about the future of his candidacy. He will be at his home in Wilmington, Delaware on Saturday before campaigning in two stops in Pennsylvania on Sunday. Arlette Saenz, CNN, Madison, Wisconsin.


BRUNHUBER: CNN's chief medical correspondent doctor Sanjay Gupta is a brain specialist and he's reached a conclusion after watching Biden's debate performance. He says it's time for President Biden to undergo detailed cognitive and neurological testing and share his results.


DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, obviously, it's certainly up to the president and frankly, any patient, whether or not they want to have this sort of testing. But I should point out that the testing shouldn't be thought of as something that would embarrass or malign, but rather maybe provide some answers to what is driving some of the signs and symptoms we've seen with President Biden and maybe even provide an opportunity for some early treatment.

It could provide a baseline something that could be tracked and followed over time so that you could find early signs of any kind of deficit, maybe even before the person themselves recognized it. Or sometimes this testing just provides peace of mind that there is nothing to worry about.

I should also point out that in the United States, there is a cognitive exam that is usually recommended for anyone over the age of 65 as part of their annual wellness checkup. Anyone over the age of 65 going through about an hour's worth of cognitive testing, physical exam, patient history to try and figure out, are there cognitive deficits that can be addressed early.

What I think has been driving some of the concerns since the debate among many of my colleagues in medicine was some of the things they saw for a sustained and sort of protracted time during the debate, the differences in speech, the halting of speech, the confused, rambling sometimes that occurred, but also what they saw when President Biden seemed to not have any facial expression.

I think it's why so many people have said cognitive testing as well as movement disorder testing could be potentially beneficial. As you've certainly heard by now, the White House said, look, it was a bad night. That's basically what it was. It was a bad night. He was jet lagged to some extent. He had not been getting enough sleep, and he had a cold. And those things certainly can cause episodes like we saw. But again, the question is this episodic or is this reflective of something that is more significant?


We do know, finally, that he did have a fairly complete exam back in February, but a cognitive test was not part of that exam. They ruled out things like stroke, like multiple sclerosis, and they made note that he did not have Parkinson's disease. But there are other things that can cause Parkinsonism besides Parkinson's disease, and they didn't really mention that. So I think there are still a lot of unanswered questions. But again,

it is up to the president and any patient whether or not they want to have this sort of testing. But there are many reasons it could beneficial.


BRUNHUBER: Donald Trump is now distancing himself from a plan to radically reshape the federal government should he be reelected. The Heritage Foundation's Project 2025, as it's called, lays out plans to fill the executive branch with thousands of Trump loyalists and reform agencies around conservative ideals. It would reverse approval of abortion drugs and eliminate the education department, among other things.

But the former president claims in a Truth Social post, that he knows nothing about the project or who's behind it. Project 2025 is run by several former Trump administration officials.

Well, imagine having to endure triple digit temperatures with no electricity. It's a reality for many in one part of the US. We'll bring you that after the break. Please stay with us.


BRUNHUBER: Hurricane and storm surge watches have now been extended eastward along the Texas coast as tropical storm Beryl heads over the southern Gulf of Mexico. It's expected to strengthen back into a hurricane on Sunday, with landfall expected sometime late Sunday or Monday, probably along the south Texas coast.

The governor of Texas has issued a severe weather disaster declaration for 40 counties ahead of the storm's arrival. The U.S. National Weather Service warns an imminent heat wave could reach potentially historic proportions.


Parts of the U.S. have already been baking under this dangerous heat, with a number of all-time record high temperatures being broken or tied in recent days. But for one of the poorest communities in one of the world's wealthiest countries, sweltering heat and no air conditioning has been a stark reality for generations. CNN's Ed Lavandera reports.


ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Allen Bryant (ph) watches a powerline crew with curiosity and wonderland. For 70 years, he's lived on this patch of the Navajo Nation in New Mexico without electricity.

LAVANDERA: Seems like a life changing moment for you.

ALLEN BRYANT, NAVAJO NATION RESIDENT: Yes, it is. It is. It's going to be real good. LAVANDERA (voice-over): His family's home will soon be connected to

the power grid. That means air conditioning, and a refrigerator, and it comes as the summer heat intensifies.

BRYANT: Yes. Yes. It's getting hot and hot. Drier and drier. Right.

LAVANDERA: That's dangerous.

BRYANT: Yes. When the sun comes down. Right fast.

LAVANDERA (voice-over): This summer, power line crews have planted 55 poles stretching along 4 miles through this rugged landscape. The work is part of a nonprofit partnership known as Light Up Navajo. The goal is to bring power to 13,000 families who live without electricity in one of the poorest places in the country. The crews come from 46 different power utility companies in 16 states.

This group of linemen signed up for this assignment, and as the planet gets warmer, they sense the urgency of their mission.

JOE TSETHLIKAI, JOURNEYMAN LINEMAN, TRICO ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE: To me, it's just unthinkable that here we're the greatest country in the world, and we have Americans that are living without power, water, all that.

BRYAN ENGLISH, CREW FOREMAN, TRICO ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE: It's crazy that still happens in America in 2024.

LAVANDERA: So, will, you're less than 24 hours away from getting electricity at your house.


LAVANDERA (voice-over): This is William Toms last night living without power. Tomorrow, crews will come connect his home to the newly installed power lines reaching his house. He's lived here 15 years and often slept outside because it's cooler.

LAVANDERA: Did you ever get frustrated? Did you ever think, man, yes, this is a hard way to live?

TOMS: Yes, of course. You know, there's just frustration.

LAVANDERA (voice-over): This summer, though, will feel different with a flip of a switch going on.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Turn on the breakers.

LAVANDERA: All right. Yes, we get ready.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ready? Here we go. Here we go. All right. Yes, that's pretty good.

The light bulbs working?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, light bulbs working. LAVANDERA: Now you can go buy an air conditioning unit.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, I need to. Yes, I do.

LAVANDERA (voice-over): The light up Navajo project started in 2019. Almost 850 homes have been connected to the power grid. Navajo Nation is roughly the size of West Virginia, with homes spread out across rugged and isolated terrain.

It will likely take decades to finish the project. While one family celebrates, it's a reminder that thousands of others remain disconnected, left struggling through the painful summers.

Arlene Henry's house has a small solar panel that provides a few hours of electricity, but her son needs around the clock oxygen. They use their car as a power source.

LAVANDERA: And you'll come here just to cool off.

ARLENE HENRY, NAVAJO NATION RESIDENT: Yes, cool off in here, too with our AC.

LAVANDERA (voice-over): She's lived like this for 56 years.

HENRY: It wears us out. Yes. It's too hot. It's scary right now. It's too hot in there.

LAVANDERA: Yes. Because it's almost 100 degrees today.

HENRY: Yes. I get scared. So I -- I'm scared for my son. It's too hot. I wish we had electricity.

LAVANDERA (voice-over): It's not clear when the light up Navajo initiative will reach Arlene's home. Until then, her family will find refuge from the heat by chasing the shade cast by their home as the sun passes over. Ed Lavendera, CNN, the Navajo Nation in New Mexico.


BRUNHUBER: A record number of passengers are expected to pass through U.S. airports this holiday week. But despite the high demand, experts say airlines are struggling. Industry analysts expect a 33 percent drop in profits, some $2 billion, when airlines report financial results for the April to June period this year.

Now this, after losing nearly $800 million across the industry in the first quarter, airlines face numerous problems, labor costs and jet fuel prices, which are the two largest costs, are both sharply higher this year. This is partly due to better wages making up for years of stagnation.

Pilot unions landed double digit pay hikes earlier this year, and flight attendant unions now want comparable raises.

[02:45:00] All right. I want to bring in Simon Calder, travel correspondent for The Independent, and he joins us now live from Greece. Thanks so much for being here with us.

So, I mean, it seems incredible to me that despite the fact that more people are traveling and prices don't seem to have come down that much, that airlines are losing money. So first, before we get to the why, just typically, how much do airlines make sort of per traveler perennial flights?

SIMON CALDER, TRAVEL CORRESPONDENT, THE INDEPENDENT: It ranges for anything from about minus five or $10 to hundreds of dollars. But on average, of course, you are looking at probably wanting to make a profit of maybe on a domestic U.S. flight you'd be looking at 10 or $20 that you would like to make for the average passenger.

As you say, first three months of 2024, there was actually a very considerable loss and profits are down. All sorts of things going on here. Partly, of course, it is that we have had since the pandemic, a really, really unstoppable growth in demand will be hitting, I imagine, in the next few days, quite possibly 3 million passengers a day going through TSA security checkpoints.

But that demand is beginning to slow. And at the same time, the airlines having expanded their capacity in order to try to make more money, well, they are finding that actually capacity is slightly exceeding the growth in demand, as a result of which, in May, U.S. flights were actually slightly emptier than they were a year earlier, which is pointing in the wrong direction from the airline's point of view.

BRUNHUBER: Yes, that's incredible. So still huge demand, but the increased capacity, that means they're just offering, what, more flights, more routes, that type of thing?

CALDER: Yes, basically just building back up to where were in 2019, which I think from many points of view, certainly the travelers will be seen as the golden year of aviation. Not sure that we're going to get to the same fare levels.

Passengers have as they've come back to flying, got accustomed to paying typically 25, maybe 50 percent more than they did before. COVID and in particular, if you look at the North Atlantic routes, so from the U.S. and indeed Canada coming across to Europe, where actually a lot of U.S. travelers are going to get a real bargain this summer because the dollar is strong.

Yes, those fares are high. You're looking at a kind of entry level of well over $1,000 for a round trip. But this demand from Europe is weakening because perceptions that, particularly the U.S. is very expensive for European travelers at the moment.

And, yes, as you were mentioning, pilots are looking for more cash, big industrial dispute at a Lingus, the Irish airline at the moment, fuel costs going up. From all points of view, it's once again not a great time to be an airline. BRUNHUBER: So how do all the safety problems with, like, Boeing and

Airbus airplanes factor into all of this?

CALDER: Really good point. So let's start with Boeing. And of course, we have seen since the start of the year and that very scary Alaska Airlines door plug incident at Portland, Oregon. We've seen lots of investigations, the NTSB, the FAA, looking very closely into what Boeing is doing, slowing the production rate to make sure that all those aircraft are coming off the production line safe.

That is impacting the supply of aircraft. Certainly Ryanair, which is the biggest budget airline in Europe, has said that they're about 20 aircraft short of where they should be. Having said that hasn't yet fed into the higher fares they were predicting within Europe. It may simply be passengers have had enough yet. We're traveled out now. We've made up for lost adventures, lost sunshine and so on, and we're not prepared to pay these high fares.


CALDER: Coupled to which Airbus has a large number of aircraft fitted with particular Pratt and Whitney engines, which have a potential problem with powdered metal contamination, which is keeping them on the ground, the estimate is a good at least 20 at any one time are going to be on the ground. So less supply, but that does not translate into higher fares and higher profits.

BRUNHUBER: All right, so last question. I want to look towards the future here. Obviously, companies don't like losing money. So what does that mean for us going forward? I mean, it, does it mean fewer routes, higher prices? And given all that, what advice do you have for travelers?

CALDER: Oh, look, absolutely. And the very good online CNN report will go into this in great detail. But, yes, fewer routes is entirely possible.


We've seen Southwest Airlines, one of the great success stories of the past half century, now cutting back at a number of airports. On top of that, yes, we will quite possibly see the airlines pulling back that capacity, that will see fares generally increase.

But actually, looking globally, I think that things are going to get back into some sort of balance quite quickly. It's just a question of how come -- how fast those new aircraft, long haul and short haul, can come off the production lines, improve the efficiency of aviation and hopefully cut costs.

BRUNHUBER: All right, fascinating discussion. Simon Calder, thank you so much for joining us.

CALDER: Thank you.

BRUNHUBER: Really appreciate it. And we'll be right back. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BRUNHUBER: Two Euro 2024 semifinalists were decided in dramatic fashion in Germany on Friday. Patrick Snell has all the details.


PATRICK SNELL, CNN WORLD SPORT: So much drama on Friday in Germany with a host nation now out of the tournament following a nervy, close fought battle with Spain after a goalless first half. The game coming to life when the sub Dani Olmo plays his club footy in Germany with RB Leipzig breaking the deadlock early in the second half, finishing very nicely indeed after being set up by the brilliant teen Lamine Yamal. It was


It was 1 nil, Spain until a minute from time. And that's when another talented youngster and another sub, Florian Wirtz, leveling with a really well hit, struck there into the ground off the woodwork. And in a fine moment for the 21-year-old Leverkusen Mann. This one going to extra time.

And on 119 minutes, it's the Spanish who win it. Mikel Merino heading home for two one spade. It's a brilliant header. Scenes of absolute delirium for the Spanish there through to the last four. Meantime, devastation for Germany and in particular Tony Kroos, a player widely regarded as one of the best midfielders of all time. The 34-year-old having said this tournament is his last as he now retires from football.

To Hamburg, now where Kylian Mbappe in France were up against Cristiano Ronaldo and Portugal. After a goalless match, they would come down to penalties and spare a thought for Joao Felix, missing for Portugal after he hits the woodwork there. Really feel for him. But it all set up nicely for Theo Hernandez to step up and hit the winning penalty for France.

Les Bleus are into the last four, but France now scoreless from open play in all five matches at Euro 2024. That's 480 minutes of play. They probably don't care. They're through to the semis. They will next face Spain for a place in the final two more last date encounters on Saturday. We got Switzerland, England, that's first up. Then we have Holland and Turkey going head to head.

For now, though, it's right back to you.


BRUNHUBER: And that wraps this hour of CNN Newsroom. I'm Kim Brunhuber. We'll be back in a moment with more news. Please do stay with us.