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Biden Says He Is "Firmly Committed" To Staying in the Race; NATO Leaders Meeting For Alliance's 75th Anniversary; Russia Strikes Children's Hospital In Kyiv, Other Sites Across; Hung Parliament In France After Left-Wing Alliance Win; Biden: "Firmly Committed" to Staying in the Race; RNC Panel Approves New Trump-Backed Platform; Aerospace Giant Agrees to Guilty Plea in Criminal Fraud Case; Beryl Now a Tropical Depression But Still Threatens U.S.; Sicily Suffering Water Shortage from Extreme Drought; Ukrainian Tennis Star Wears Black Ribbon in Wimbledon Win; Researchers Test Robot Guide Dogs for Visually-Impaired. Aired 1-2a ET

Aired July 09, 2024 - 01:00   ET




LYNDA KINKADE, CNN ANCHOR: Hello and welcome. I'm Lynda Kinkade ahead here on CNN Newsroom. The entire Democratic caucus is set to meet for the first time since the presidential debate, with division in the party both endorsements and also calls for President Biden to exit the race.

The NATO Summit kicks off in Washington today with support for Ukraine and its path to membership, top of the agenda.

And in France, negotiations underway to determine how parliament will run after none of the three major parties won an outright majority in Sunday's election.

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

KINKADE: We begin with two more important endorsements for U.S. President Joe Biden. While some Democrats are calling for him to exit the race for the White House, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus says quote, we stand with President Biden. The Congressional Black Caucus agrees half the meeting virtually with Mr. Biden late Monday. Here's what the group's chairman told CNN.


STEVEN HORSFORD, U.S. HOUSE DEMOCRAT: I've been a frontline member for the last three cycles. I know how tough it is to run and win in difficult races. But that is why I've talked to the President directly about the need to focus on economic progress on the issues that actually will help drive economic participation, fully economic participation, to help close the racial wealth gap in this country through ownership and housing and entrepreneurship, helping our young people have the skills to compete in the 21st century economy, particularly with AI and all of the new automation that's happening in our economy.

These are the issues that matter and this President is fit and prepared to continue to serve. He's civil and he's experienced that the opposite side offers us nothing but chaos and extremism.


KINKADE: The entire Democratic caucus will meet in the day ahead for the first time since Mr. Biden's debate with Donald Trump. A growing number of Democrats are calling on the President to quit the presidential race. One member telling CNN Tuesday could be the day the dam breaks.

Well, Mr. Biden was not on the campaign trail Monday. But first lady Joe Biden attended a rally in Tampa, Florida, where she told supporters the President had made it clear. He's all in more now from CNN senior White House correspondent MJ Lee.


MJ LEE, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A defiant President Biden going on offense.

JOE BIDEN, U.S. PRESIDENT: We're not going anywhere. I am not going anywhere.

LEE (voice-over): The President increasingly under siege after his disastrous debate performance last month, calling in live to MSNBC amid the furious speculation and criticism about his age and fitness for office.

BIDEN: I wouldn't be running if I didn't absolutely believe that I'm the best candidate to beat Donald Trump in 2024. We had a democratic nominating process for the voters spoke clearly.

LEE (voice-over): Biden asked about one particular statement he made last week that alarmed and angered many Democrats.

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, ABC NEWS ANCHOR: 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 good jobs I know I can do. That's what this is about.

LEE (voice-over): The President playing clean up making clear losing is not an option.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What would you say to those who are concerned by that answer?

BIDEN: It's not an option. I've not lost. I haven't lost. I've been Alaska. I've been on this site. LEE (voice-over): But new questions about the President's health

dogging the White House, after the New York Times reported that an expert on Parkinson's disease from Walter Reed had visited the White House eight times in eight months. CNN confirming that the neurologist met earlier this year at the White House with the President's physician, the White House refusing to say if that specialist was consulting about the president.

UNDIENTIFIED MALE: Very basic direct question.

KARINE JEAN-PIERRE, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait a second.

UNDIENTIFIED MALE: Times or at least once? In regards --

JEAN-PIERRE: I just I said wait. Hold on a second.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You should be able to answer by this point.

JEAN-PIERRE: Wait, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, wait a minute. Ed, please. A little respect here, please. So every year around the President's physical examination, he sees a neurologist that's three times. Right?

LEE (voice-over): This as the Biden campaign and its top surrogates are trying to calm the nerves of voters lawmakers cores and donors.


JILL BIDEN, U.S. FIRST LADY: For all the talk out there about this race, Joe has made it clear that he is all in.

LEE (voice-over): The President calling into a meeting of donors on Monday pledging to attack Trump much more aggressively in their next debate and did a new letter to Democratic lawmakers Biden refusing to back down, writing that he is firmly committed to staying in this race to running this race to the end and to beating Donald Trump.


KINKADE: Will aid Monday Mr. Biden's physician released a letter saying the President has not seen a neurologist outside of his annual physical to Kevin O'Connor says many military personnel who serve at the White House experienced neurological issues and a neurologist visits regularly. CNN's medical analyst Dr. Jonathan Reiner weighed in on the latest developments.


DR. JONATHAN REINER, CNN MEDICAL ANALYST: The note today from Dr. Connor basically just states that the President is only seen as an expert on movement disorders once this year, it doesn't really do anything to add any kind of clarity to the question of whether or not -- whether or not the President has had any kind of progressive cognitive decline over the last several months. So, you know, the Parkinson's and the cognitive decline. You know,

they can be interrelated, but they don't have to be. And so in other words, a patient can have Parkinson's disease, and also have some cognitive decline as a result of that process. But cognitive decline. entities like Alzheimer's, dementia can occur certainly without Parkinson's, so I think the Parkinson's is just a distraction.


KINKADE: Well, Congressman Adam Smith from Washington State as the latest Democrat publicly urging President Biden to step aside, others on Capitol Hill are voicing their support for the commander in chief. CNN's chief congressional correspondent Manu Raju reports.


MANU RAJU, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Critical meeting set for Tuesday morning House Democrats will discuss Joe Biden's future and whether they support him staying at the top of the ticket. There are signs that there are some key Democrats falling in line behind Joe Biden, one of them, Hakeem Jeffries, the Democratic leader who told me on Monday evening that he still supports Joe Biden, even in his position has not changed, he said.

He also told me he is not concerned about Biden potentially costing his party the chance of taking back the House representatives are just concerned from a number of Democrats, that Biden could be a drag at the top of the ticket.

The Democrats that I spoke to are expressing some concern and the concern about the divisions within the ranks and about whether Joe Biden could actually beat Donald Trump come November.

PRAMILA JAYAPAL, U.S. HOUSE DEMOCRAT: Clearly, you know, I think people need to our members really need to continue to just see how this week plays out as and see the president in unscripted situations.

But I think we owe him the respect of not jumping too quickly. And also the respect for our democracy of just recognizing what a big moment this is, and what a big change anything other than the President was nominee would be.

RAJU: Do you have confidence in him? Do you have confidence in him that --

JAYAPAL: He's our nominee. And, you know, I've worked closely with him. And I think I said everything else in this statement.

JIMMY GOMEZ, U.S. HOUSE DEMOCRAT: As long as people calm down and don't freak out, which I think people are freaking out. He should do fine. But the minute we become the, I'd say, chaos within the caucus kind of spreads, then that's when he's in trouble. He has to keep that up. If he -- if there's another misstep, I think that he might have some bigger problems.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We'll have a good robust discussion tomorrow. RAJU: In that last comment came from the number three Democrat Pete Aguilar, who would not say if he supports Joe Biden right now. So they're going to have a robust discussion. We do expect them to hear from hear from the Democratic leaders and then press conference on Tuesday afternoon, that'll be an also key moment about the messaging about Joe Biden.

We do know that from the Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, he has not said a whole lot about Biden. He would only say I'm for Joe Biden. He would not go further than that. He will not express any concerns about the prospects of Biden could drag down Senate Democrats and their ability to hang on to control in the Senate.

But a key moment for the President as he called in to a meeting of the Congressional Black Caucus, one of the most the biggest caucus within the larger House Democratic Caucus on Monday night. He plans to meet with progressives later in the week as well as he tries to shore up support within the ranks. Manu Raju, CNN, Capitol Hill.


KINKADE: Well, the political uncertainty in Washington will be looming over this week's NATO Summit, which kicks off Tuesday evening in the U.S. Capitol. The leaders of NATO as 32-member countries, along with other E.U. heads of state and NATO as partner countries will be marking the 75th anniversary of the world's largest security alliances.


But any celebration will be clouded not just by the question surrounding the future of the U.S. presidency, but also the resurgence of far right populist governments in parts of Europe. And of course, Russia is ongoing war in Ukraine, which is raging right on NATO's doorstep.

The White House, though, is eager to shut down any suggestion that President Biden will have to reassure NATO allies over his fitness to lead.


JOHN KIRBY, U.S. NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL SPOKESPERSON: I think your question presupposes the notion that they need to be reassured of American leadership and President Biden's commitment. And I don't believe that's the case.

We're not picking up any signs of that from our allies at all, quite contrary, the conversations that we're having with them in advance is they're excited about this summit. They're excited about the possibilities and the things that we're going to be doing together specifically to help Ukraine.


KINKADE: Indeed, helping Ukraine as high on NATO's agenda this week, and the Alliance believes Ukraine's party membership is irreversible. That word is in a draft text of NATO's joint communique, which is according to three sources familiar with the document.

One of them is U.S. official who says the White House approves the language as long as the document demands that Ukraine continue its work on democratic reforms. This could signal and enter the long running debate about Ukraine's future membership, and send a strong message to both Kyiv and Moscow.

Earlier, I spoke with Kurt Volker, a former U.S. ambassador to NATO, as well as a former U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine negotiations. I asked him about NATO's 75th anniversary, and when it might allow Ukraine to join the Alliance.


KURT VOLKER, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO NATO: It has brought a lot of countries in and it's actually made all of the NATO countries safer, rather than taking on more risks. And I think bringing Ukraine in will ultimately make Europe safer as well.

Putin is not going to attack a member of NATO. But what we have to do is help Ukraine win the war first, and then bring them in as quickly as possible and start that process now. That's how we reestablish peace in Europe. If we don't do that, I'm very concerned that Putin will pivot from attacking and Ukraine to then challenging the security of other NATO allies.

KINKADE: And that sort of Russia's war in Ukraine has been dragging on for almost two and a half years. If NATO is such a strong alliance. Why hasn't it done more to end this war?

VOLKER: Because we haven't wanted to. Every step of the way, NATO leaders, particularly the United States and Germany, have set limits on what we would do to support Ukraine. We have been more focused on our fears focused on avoiding escalation, avoiding provoking Putin avoiding any use of nuclear weapons. We've done that instead of focusing on how do we bring about Ukrainian victory.


KINKADE: Our thanks to Kurt Volker there. Well, the U.N. Security Council will hold a special meeting Tuesday to discuss Russia's deadly attack on a children's hospital in Kyiv. These are some live pictures coming into his right now where search and rescue teams continue to look for survivals amid the debris.

Well, this was part of a brutal daytime air assault on targets right across Ukraine during morning rush hour. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says dozens of men women and children were killed, 170 others injured. Among the victims with two adults killed at this hospital. At least 16 children wounded. Our Frederik Pleitgen has more on the strikes and how some of Russia's alliances are shifting.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice- over): A massive attack in broad daylight. This social media video purporting to show the moment a Russian missile hit Kyiv's main Children's Hospital, the building flat. Desperate first responders but also hospital staff trying to find survivors under the debris.

There are people under the rubble, Kyiv's mayor says, there may be children among them. This woman in tears we came here five minutes before it all happened, she says. We managed to get to the pediatric ward, it's a nightmare.

Just days before Vladimir Putin's military bombed Ukraine civilian infrastructure. Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban, currently holding the European Union presidency was in Moscow, a trip that other E.U. leaders have rejected and criticized Putin using the platform to attack the U.S. and its allies.

The sponsors of Ukraine continue to try to use this country and its people as a battering ram, Putin said, a victim in the confrontation with Russia. Orban is not only arguably Vladimir Putin staunchest ally in Europe. He's also a major supporter of former President Donald Trump, celebrating a march visit to Mar-a-Lago on his Instagram page, and telling German outlet Bild he supports Trump's presidential bid in an exclusive interview.


VIKTOR ORBAN, HUNGARIAN PRESIDENT: So he is a -- he's from businessman. He's a self-made man. He has a different approach to everything. And I -- and I believe that that will be good for the world politics. Don't forget that he is the man of the peace.

PLIETGEN (voice-over): Orbban cozying up to other U.S. adversaries as well. Currently on a visit to China meeting President Xi Jinping. Beijing saying they're pleased with Orban's efforts to end the war in Ukraine.

This as China has just sent troops to neighboring Belarus close to NATO's eastern flank for military exercises. The Ukrainian say rather than proposals for their de facto surrender, they need more air defense systems to help prevent strikes like the one that destroyed the Children's Hospital. Fred Pleitgen, CNN, Berlin.


KINKADE: Ukraine Ukrainian president Zelenskyy is calling the Indian Prime Minister's trip to Moscow quote a huge disappointment and a devastating blow to peace efforts. Narendra Modi is on the final day of his visit to Russia. The first time he's been in the country since President Vladimir Putin is full scale invasion of Ukraine.

Video of the two leaders show them holding informal discussions outside Putin's residence. Modi is set to attend official talks at the Kremlin later, talks his office says will further cement the two nation's strategic partnership. A political deadlock in France often no party wins a majority in the

parliamentary elections. What's next for the deeply divided country? That's ahead.


KINKADE: Well, France has been plunged into political uncertainty after no party won an outright majority in the snap parliamentary elections. A source tells CNN that negotiations are underway to form a new government. But it's not clear if there'll be a new prime minister by the time the Paris Olympics starts in three weeks.

The stunning election result puts the left-wing coalition the new Popular Front on top with 182 seats. President Emmanuel Macron centrist Alliance was second with 163 seats, and the far-right National Rally and its allies won 143 seats.

President Macron did not accept Prime Minister Gabriel Attal's resignation Monday and asked him to stay on for now for quote the stability of the country. Although there were celebrations among leftists after their win without an absolute majority efforts to form a new government may be complicated. CNN's Melissa Bell reports.


MELISSA BELL, CNN PARIS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Disbelief and joy on the streets of Paris as news of the far-right's defeat was announced.

JEAN-LUC MELENCHON, FRANCE UNBOWED LEADER (voice-over): The United Left has shown that it has risen to this historical occasion.


BELL (voice-over): Even that unified left seemed astonished by its own success. An improbable coalition of ecologists, socialists and communists that was only created a month ago.

FRANCIOS HOLLANDE, FORMER FRENCH PRESIDENT AND SOCIALIST (through translator): I am indeed a leftist. And I probably wouldn't have won if the left hadn't come together. And I'm well aware of that.

BELL (voice-over): As Paris celebrated the coalition's victory, there were already questions though about how such a varied group of parties will actually govern.

CAMILLE, FRENCH VOTER: We're quite happy because the left is getting a majority to the parliament. But we're a bit scared as well, because the union is not really solid. So maybe there will be betrayal. But tonight, we're celebrating.

BELL: The biggest disappointment of all, of course, from Marine Le Pen. She had hope that her National Rally Party would finally be able to govern. In fact, it came in third, but still recorded the party's best ever electoral success. BELL (voice-over): Doubling the number of its parliamentary seats, with the far left doing well to the radical party's gains largely made at the expense of President Marcos centrists, a reflection of growing anger, much of it outside of Paris, like here in Normandy, where the National Rally won outright in the first round.

JEAN-PAUL RIBIERE, TALMONTIERS, FRANCE DEPUTY MAYOR (through translator): The vote here is more of a disapproval of what's happening in Paris compared to what's happening in the rural world, which is that no one listens to us, no one hears us.

BELL (voice-over): Yet the images of the far-right celebrating their first round success appear to focus the minds and the votes of those who wanted more than anything else to keep them away from power for now. Melissa Bell, CNN, Paris.


KINKADE: Well, joining me now from France is Susi Dennison, Senior Director with the European Council on Foreign Relations. Good to have you with us.


BELL: So the election is over. Now, the morning after headache lingers with no correlation capturing a majority in parliament. Are we going to see political gridlock ahead? And if so how long would it last?

DENNISON: Well, I think in terms of the formation of a government, we would expect that by the meeting the Legislative Assembly on the 18th of July, when a speaker of that assembly needs to be appointed to ensure that it functions that we will see what formation the government is going to have.

The fact that the Olympic Games are coming to Paris, at the end of July is weighing quite heavily on lines here, in terms of the need to have a stable government in place for that point. But I don't think that the appointment of the government is going to be the end of the political challenges.

And I expect that whatever government emerges, will be put to the test time and time again, either for delivery within an agreement on projects within the Alliance if that is a government led just by the leftist union, or between the alliances if they decide that they will work on a project by project basis with us.

KINKADE: The far-right party, the National Rally was the top performer in the first round of voting. Why didn't they succeed in the second round?

DENNISON: So effectively, what we saw in terms of the difference between the first round results and the second round results. And indeed, the difference between the polls right up to the day of voting last Sunday on July the seventh. And what we got in terms of results on Sunday night was just huge and fairly unprecedented. But ultimately what it comes down to was tactical voting, that French

people sent a very clear message that they were voting against the Rassemblement National having control of the government appointing their own ministers and so on.

And effectively, you had a lot of French people who were not naturally left leaning voting left to block them out. And a lot of those who were not naturally right leaning voting right to block them out where that was more appropriate.

So it was very much what is called here the backlash (ph) against the Rassemblement National, which changed the picture.

KINKADE: And of course, the leader of that party of the far-right national rally Marine Le Pen. She spoke to my colleague, Christiane Amanpour. Here's a part of what she had to say about her party.


MARINE LE PEN, NATIONAL RALLY PARTY (through translator): First of all, I strongly dispute the term far-right, which in your country refers to small groups that are extremely radical and violent. If you like the equivalent --

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN ANCHOR: You don't think == you don't think you're far right.?

LE PEN (through translator): The equivalent of what we are in the United States is between the center right and the center left with regards to ideas.


So I think this --

AMANPOUR: You're kidding me, right?

LE PEN (through translator): Yes. Yes. I'm telling you very honestly, I think this use of the term far-right carries a stigma. And it's very pejorative. It does not correspond to what we are, and not at all to what the far-right is in the United States.


KINKADE: Susi, what do you make of that statement? How would you categorize her party?

DENNISON: Well, I would disagree with her. I think that Rassemblement National is very clearly a far-right party. If you look at their policies, on immigration, if you look at their policies with regards to the strength that they want to see in place of government forces of law and order, and so on, I think they have all of the classic elements of the far-right party, and certainly their agenda, which is very nationalist, sovereigntist, anti-internationalist, anti any imposition of international standards. They're seen as something that France should be deciding for himself -- for itself is very worrying. I think the one grain of truth in what she said, in terms of her characterization of the party is the way that the Rassemblement National has broadened its base in over the last decade or so is by adding a socio economic element to its agenda.

So it allows itself to speak very much for the people. Because it's -- it does not any longer just have a sort of values morality based agenda, but also has a message about tapping the cost of living, which is one of the major concerns of the French public.

KINKADE: And, of course, the French President Macron has three more years in office. Why did he take the risk and coil the elections? He's in obviously a much weaker position now, right.

DENNISON: Indeed, this is the million dollar question. I think that the results on July the seventh have not vindicated Macron's decision to call these elections in many eyes. I think most politicians feel that that it was too risky a gamble to take in terms of putting the voters to the test.

And indeed, even his own Prime Minister on Sunday evening said that these elections were not of his choosing but it was his civic responsibility to campaign hard once they had been called.

I think that what he was trying to achieve was effectively to push the French people to say that the image that the European Parliament elections in France last June, gave (INAUDIBLE) the far-right coming in first did not reflect their genuine views. And he was pushing the French people to vote against the far-right.

But that was the big gamble. And we didn't know right up until Sunday, whether people would go through with that once again, because that has been his electoral strategy for the last seven years to say effectively, it's me or chaos.

Again, it did pay off this time. The French people did vote very, very strongly in the tactical way that I described. But it was certainly not guaranteed given his level of popularity and the extent of frustration and anger among the French people of this this brinkmanship approach that he consistently uses in France.

KINKADE: All right. Susi Dennison, we'll leave it there for now. But good to have you on the program. Thanks for your time.

DENNISON: Thank you for having me.

KINKADE: Israel is conducting new strikes in parts of Gaza City after ordering civilians to evacuate. The Israeli military says the new operation is targeting what it says is terrorist infrastructure in the city.

On Sunday, the IDF order the civilians to leave. The Gaza Civil Defense spokesman says people are still fleeing and they're now wounded or dead in the streets and medical crews are having a hard time getting to them. Meanwhile the United Nations says the number of displaced Palestinians

in Gaza is now 1.9 million. That's about 90 percent of the people who live there.

U.S. President Joe Biden's physician tries to set the record straight about why a neurologist specializing in Parkinson's disease has been visiting the White House regularly.

Plus, the Republican National Committee reveals the new platform ahead of its upcoming convention. The details and how it embraces Donald Trump's views, next.



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

The Biden administration is offering an explanation for why a neurologist who specializes in Parkinson's disease has been to the White House at least eight times over the past year.

President Biden's physician says many military personnel who serve at the White House experienced neurological issues and neurologists visit regularly. Dr. Kevin O'Connor says Mr. Biden himself has not seen a neurologist outside of his annual physical.

My next guest has worked with Mr. Biden in the past. Meghan Hays was on his communications team when he was vice president and served as a deputy communications director in his 2020 presidential campaign. And she's currently a consultant to the Democratic Party Convention.

Good to have you with us. Thanks for your time.


KINKADE: So Meghan, I'm really keen to hear your perspective on Joe Biden and concerns for his health. When you listened to the CNN debate between Biden and Trump, what was your initial reaction?

HAYS: I was a little bit surprised. It's unlike the president to show up on big moments like that. I was a little bit surprised. Nut you know, seeing him before and after, it appears that it was just a bad -- a bad night for him and a bad performance.

But I mean, I was a little bit -- it was a little bit surprising to see him that night.

KINKADE: We heard him on a call to MSNBC saying that he was frustrated by those in the party speaking out against him saying that any of these guys who don't think that he should run, run against me. Go ahead, challenge me at the convention. Is that even feasible?

HAYS: You know, I don't actually think that it is feasible. I mean, it is feasible, but I don't think it's realistic in the way he's -- and he's doing that, but it's just like the president to speak like that.

He very much feels that he -- that he will beat Donald Trump in November and he feels that he's you know -- vote -- people voted for him and he has the right to be the Democratic nominee. And so he, you know, he had a bad night and he's out there proving to voters that that was a bad night and that's not who he is.

Overall and look at his performance and look at his job that he's done as the president, and then look at its plans for the next four years. So you know where I do think that people, you know, it's feasible. I just don't think it's a realistic plan for Democrats at this point.

KINKADE: We have been hearing reports that a Parkinson's specialist visited the White House eight times in eight months?

How unusual is that? Because we heard from the White House press secretary, who wouldn't say if that specialist had seen the president but did say that the president was not being treated for Parkinson's.


HAYS: So definitely not unusual. The White House has the medical unit that staff and other members of the military that go to work there every day, go in and sees. If you have a cold or you have a headache or you're not feeling well, you can go see them. You can go in to see the doctors in the med unit. They frequently have specialists who were there on rotation. They come once a month.

Like myself, I've been treated there for different things when I worked there. The two different times that I worked at the White House, on the White House grounds.

So it's not unusual for a doctor to come once a month that it's a specialist from Walter Reed. The med unit is operated by the military, so it's 100 percent normal -- normal operating procedure.

I would venture to guess there was also a dermatologist. There is also maybe a physical therapist or other doctors that have specialty that also come to the med unit.

KINKADE: Senator Bernie Sanders spoke to my colleague Kaitlan Collins earlier. He said that President Biden is the best president for working class Americans that ever was.

Let's just take a listen to what he had to say


SENATOR BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT): President Biden has stood up for the working class of this country probably more strongly than any president in modern history.

I think he had a terrible debate, nobody disagrees with that. I think he has been doing better since that debate.

I think he's got to get out there. He's got to talk to people. He has a press conference on Thursday. People will see how he does.

In my opinion, I think that he has the ability to be an excellent president. But what we need right now in that campaign is an agenda that speaks to the next four years.


KINKADE: Meghan, is that your advice? Is that all it's going to take to tell the president to get out there and speak to the people.

HAYS: Yes, I mean that that's how elections are won, right? It's talking to voters. So he needs to go convince voters that him and Vice President Harris are the best people to do the job for the next four years.

And I do agree with Senator Sanders that he is, you know, the best president in modern history that's been fighting for the working class, for the middle-class because that's been the president's stand since he was in the Senate and it's what he ran his campaign on in '20, what he ran the White House on and you know, was fortunate enough to have a bunch of legislation that benefits American people.

And he, you know, he just, he believes strongly in unions, he believes strongly in the working class. So you know, getting out there and getting his message out and talking to people about what he's doing for them, I think is super important right now.

KINKADE: And given Meghan that you worked with him on the 2020 presidential campaign and before that when he was vice president, how has he changed in your mind?

Is he up to task at his age to be the president of the United States for another four years?

HAYS: Yes. I also worked with him in the White House when he was the president and I traveled all over the world with him both as the vice president and the president.

He's an incredible leader. He has a tremendous amount of respect from other world leaders. He also is extremely talented being out on the trail and talking to voters and connecting with voters. He leads with empathy and compassion and he does have what it takes to be the president for another four years.

I think now he's a little bit at a deficit from the debate, but I think if he gets out there and he does what he does best and connecting with voters and sympathizing with their problems and understanding their problems and understanding and being able to provide them with a way that he's trying to help them. I think that he will win in November.

KINKADE: Meghan Hays appreciate your time. Thanks so much for joining us.

HAYS: Thank you for having me. KINKADE: Well, Republicans are getting ready to head to Milwaukee, Wisconsin next week where they'll formally nominate Donald Trump as their presidential candidate. The Party on Monday approved a new platform with language that's more Donald Trump and less far-right conservative.

CNN's Kristen Holmes has the details.


KRISTEN HOLMES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Former President Donald Trump's cementing his grip over the Republican Party on Monday after his platform was approved and this is not just the platform of Donald Trump.

He actually wrote parts of it. He also edited other parts, spent a lot of time in it. Really mimics who the former president is. It looks almost nothing like the past platforms we've seen in 2020, 2016 when he was still the candidate. But instead it looks like the candidate himself.

That means they've softened language on abortion. That is something that Donald Trump does not believe is a political winner. There is no mention in this new platform of a national abortion ban, something Donald Trump has said he would not put into effect if he were to be re-elected to a second term.

The other part of this is this idea of quote, unquote traditional marriage, something that Donald Trump has not campaigned on at all. And this platform reflects that. No longer is there any words about a traditional marriage being between a man and a woman.

And perhaps the most surprising of all of this is this idea around the national debt. One of the long-term policies and things the Republican Party has been focused on is this idea of reducing the national debt.

There is no emphasis on that in this new platform. Instead, it is all about getting rid of inflation.

The rest of the platform obviously still focuses on things Donald Trump cares about particularly immigration, talking about mass deportations, ending the weaponization of the government. Something we hear from Donald Trump often in these rallies.

But what this really does is it shows you the power that Donald Trump has over the Republican Party as we head into next week's convention.

Kristen Holmes, CNN -- Miami, Florida.



KINKADE: And still to come, Hurricane Beryl batters Texas. The hurricane now a tropical depression, but it's still doing a lot of damage in parts of the United States. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KINKADE: Well, Boeing has agreed to plead guilty to conspiracy to defraud the U.S. government for its role in two fatal plane crashes. The company had previously admitted responsibilities for those tragedies and in 2021 agreed to a three-year probationary period to improve its quality issues. In May, the federal government charged the plane maker for violating that agreement.

CNN's Pete Muntean has more.


PETE MUNTEAN, CNN AVIATION CORRESPONDENT: This is another huge blow to Boeing's once sterling reputation. This company is not saying all that much, only that it has reached an agreement in principle with the Department of Justice.

Here are the terms of that deal according to the federal government. Boeing is being fined $487 million. The Department of Justice says that is the maximum fine allowed by law. The government will also be appointing an independent compliance monitor to oversee Boeing for the next three years. And that monitor will give reports to the court each year.

The biggest part of this is Boeing agreeing to plead guilty to criminal charges. Remember, this is for the 737 Max 8 crashes, the Lion Air crash in 2018, the Ethiopian Air crash in '19 -- 346 people killed in those two crashes abroad.

Boeing agreeing to plead guilty to defrauding the Federal Aviation Administration about the Max 8, that Boeing hid major design changes that led to those two crashes.

Originally, Boeing was able to reach a settlement with the government to avoid criminal charges for those crashes but that deal also came with three years of probation and the January 5th door plug blowout on the Alaska Airlines 737 MAX 9 happened just days before that deal was set to expire.

So that made the Department of Justice look at that original deal again and ultimately triggered this new deal.

Victims' families are calling it a sweetheart deal. They wanted Boeing to face a nearly $25 billion fine. Paul Cassell is the attorney leading the civil case, and in a statement he says, "This sweetheart deal fails to recognize that because of Boeing's conspiracy, 346 people died. This deceptive and generous deal is clearly not in the public interest."

Of note here is that Boeing executives avoided criminal charges themselves. The Department of Justice says this deal gives them no immunity. That applies to the Max 8 crashes as well as the door plug incident of earlier this year.

Back to you. (END VIDEOTAPE)

KINKADE: Our thanks to Pete there. Well, earlier CNN spoke to Zipporah Kuria who lost her father in the 2019 crash of Ethiopian Airlines flight 302. She says the plea deal lets Boeing escape accountability.



ZIPPORAH KURIA, FATHER DIED IN ETHIOPIAN AIRLINES 302 CRASH: And escaping accountability seems to be what Boeing specializes in instead of safety. And I think this deal definitely enables them to do that yet again.

You know, you talk about the fine that they have to pay half of that was already paid in the DPA Deferred Prosecution Agreement that they had in 2021.

And this sweetheart deal is just kind of a re-up on that. So yes, they're definitely yet again, evading justice for us and also accountability for them.


KINKADE: Well, what was Hurricane Beryl has now weakened to a tropical depression as it moves through the United States. But conditions are still dangerous, tornadoes, heavy rain and flash flooding are expected as the system heads north this week.

At least five storm-related deaths have been reported from Beryl in the U.S. so far.

CNN meteorologist Derek Van Dam is in Texas where the storm made landfall early Monday which more on the damage it caused.


DEREK VAN DAM, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Deadly Hurricane Beryl making landfall along the Gulf Coast battering Texas with hurricane force winds whipping up to 94 miles per hour. Rising waters leading to dramatic rescues in Houston.

Surging wind and rainfall, flooding roadways, blowing down trees, and slamming residents along its path including this woman in Jamaica Beach, Texas.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I looked up and my roof was gone. Stuff start flying up the wall, zinging around the house.

VAN DAM: In Houston shortly after landfall, hurricane force wind gusts up to 84 miles per hour causing roofs to collapse, and heavy rain more than a month's worth in one day.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All that rain came down (INAUDIBLE) boom it fell right on my neck. VAN DAM: The rain and storm surge leading to dangerous roads.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's important for everyone to remember the primary drainage mechanism throughout the city is our streets. For better or worse --

VAN DAM: [overtalking]warning people to stay off of high-rise balconies and away from windows as the eye of the storm passes through.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We've had hours and hours and hours of extremely high winds, high water, and cut (ph) tree limbs, tremendous amount of debris that's on the road. Water's covering the roadways.

VAN DAM: The high winds canceling flights across Texas. At one point, knocking out power for almost 3 million people throughout the state, straining an already stretched power grid overwhelmed by extreme weather.

Here in Houston, the floodwaters have receded. But going forward, the millions of people without power are going to struggle in the building heat in the coming days.

CNN meteorologist, Derek Van Dam -- Houston, Texas.


KINKADE: Sicily is running out of water. The region has been under a state of emergency since February thanks to an extreme drought and its booming tourism sector, one of Sicily's biggest sources of income is suffering.

CNN's Barbie Latza Nadeau explains.


BARBIE LATZA NADEAU, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: June marked the 12th straight month, the global temperatures exceeded the average warming of 1.5 degrees Celsius and nowhere is that more obvious than the Italian island of Sicily which is undergoing a drought and serious water shortage.

A state of emergency has been in place since February, which includes water restrictions and measures to conserve what little water there is.

Hotter than average summers, followed by drier than normal winters have depleted the island's water supplies, making it difficult for residents and tourists alike to have adequate water for drinking, showering, and even flushing toilets.

Infrastructure challenges, including enacting (ph) desalination centers and leaky pipes have added to the problem. Water restrictions in place affect nearly 1 million people near Agrigento, a popular tourist area.

But it's not just tourists who are affected by the staggering drought.

Farmers have had to make the difficult decision whether to call their herds or watch them die of starvation or thirst. And the forecast isn't offering any relief anytime soon.

Barbie Latza Nadeau, CNN -- Rome.


KINKADE: Well, the effects of a devastating day in Ukraine carried over onto the court at Wimbledon as Ukrainian athlete honors her home country and those who lost their lives to Russian airstrikes.

That story next



KINKADE: Well, in a big win for the defense, a judge has ruled that Alec Baldwin's role as the co-producer on the film "Rust" will not be allowed as evidence at his involuntary manslaughter trial. The jury will only consider him as an actor who was holding the prop gun that fired a live round on the movie set in 2021, killing cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.

Baldwin has pleaded not guilty, saying he didn't pull the trigger and didn't know the gun contained live rounds. Jury selection begins Tuesday and the trial is expected to last about two weeks.

A Ukrainian tennis star wore a black ribbon during a very difficult day on the court at Wimbledon Monday after Russian missile strikes hit targets in cities across Ukraine.

CNN's World Sport anchor Don Riddell has her story.


DON RIDDELL, CNN WORLD SPORT ANCHOR: You know, it's hard enough being a top athlete trying to focus on being your very best in competition. But it's much, much harder when you also have the weight of the world on your shoulders.

At Wimbledon on Monday the Ukrainian tennis star Elina Svitolina was in fourth-round action playing just hours after the Russian army had targeted numerous cities across her home country, including a devastating missile strike on a children's hospital, killing more than 30 people.

Svitolina played with a black ribbon and she was just ruthless throughout the match, dispatching her opponent, Wang Xinyu in straight sets: 6-2, 6-1.

Svitolina has previously used her platform to raise awareness of the plight of her compatriots at war. But in the interview on the court afterwards, it became clear just how much this particular attack had impacted her.

ELINA SVITOLINA, UKRAINIAN TENNIS PLAYER: You know, it's a very difficult day today for us, Ukrainian people.

Today it was not easy to focus today on the match. Since the morning it's very difficult to read the news and just to go on the court is (INAUDIBLE). So I'm happy that I could play today and get a win.

RIDDELL: Well said and well played Elina Svitolina. She added that the victory was quote, "a small light that brought a happy moment for Ukrainian people".

She'll play the 2022 Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina next on Wednesday for a place in the semifinals. Back to you.


KINKADE: Our thanks to Don Riddell there.

Well, in less than 24 hours we'll know one of the teams that will be in the Euro 2024 final. Spain met France in the semifinals Tuesday in Munich. Spain the only team to win all five of their games, their tied for the most goals scored in the tournament.

But France have kept four clean sheets so far. With star forward Kylian Mbappe, France are hoping for a fourth major tournament final in the past eight years.

The winner of this match will face either England or the Netherlands in the final.

Well, it's less furry than a traditional companion, but it can navigate via cameras and has A.I.-enabled voice recognition capabilities.

Researchers in China hope a robot guide dog can one day help visually- impaired people live with more independence.

CNN's Marc Stewart reports.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Good boy. Forward.

MARC STEWART, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Guide dogs are known for their alert eyes and lifesaving potential. But now they may be getting a new image.

A Chinese research team is testing a six-legged robot dog on the streets in Shanghai to help visually-impaired people.

Li Fei and her husband, are visually-impaired and working with the Jiao Tong University research team to test these robots. LI FEI, TESTING ROBOT GUIDE DOG: For now, I can tell it where I'm going via voice conversation. I can control the speed with this blind cane I have.

STEWART: The robot dog navigates by using cameras and sensors and recognizes traffic signals which guide dogs can't do.

It can communicate with visually-impaired people through A.I. technology in voice recognition and route planning, using listening and speaking capabilities.

China has around 17 million visually-impaired people according to the China Association of the Blind. 8 million are completely blind, says the World Health Organization. But there are only 400 or so guide dogs in the country, says the head of the research team.

GAO FENG, PROFESSOR, JIAO TONG UNIVERSITY, SHANGHAI: It is impossible to solve this problem with guide dogs. Robots are a lot like cars and I can mass produce them in the same way as cars. It will become more affordable.

STEWART: Affordability is a major issue for both dogs and robots. The vast majority of visually-impaired people navigate the world without access to highly-trained guide dogs, according to Guiding Eyes, a non- profit providing dogs to people with vision loss.

Researchers say if these robots are successful and affordable, they could bring a new level of accessibility to visually-impaired people.

Critics say robots can't adjust to terrain and dangerous situations as easily as dogs can. But despite the pros and cons, researchers believe there is a future for both to exist in harmony.

Marc Stewart, CNN -- Beijing.


KINKADE: Well, that does it for this edition of CNN NEWSROOM.

I'm Lynda Kinkade. Thanks for your company.

Stick around, the news continues with my colleague and fellow Australian Rosemary Church, after a very short break.