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Biden Announces New Air Defenses for Ukraine; U.N.: Russian Direct Hit Damaged Kyiv Children's Hospital; U.S. Air Force's Gunship Takes Part in South Korea Drills; Cleaning Mount Everest. Aired 4:30- 5a ET

Aired July 10, 2024 - 04:30   ET



MAX FOSTER, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back to CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Max Foster. Here are some of today's top stories.

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi is now in Austria after spending two days in Moscow where he held official and informal meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Modi is meeting with Austria's Chancellor during his visit.

A Moscow court has ordered the arrest of Yulia Navalnaya, the widow of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny. The arrest was ordered in absentia because she lives outside Russia. A spokesperson says Navalnaya is being accused of participating in an extremist community.

Opening statements will begin today in the involuntary manslaughter trial of Alec Baldwin. The actor is accused of fatally shooting cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of the movie Rust in 2021. The jury was seated on Tuesday. Baldwin has pleaded not guilty saying he didn't pull the trigger and didn't know the gun contained live ammo.

U.S. President Joe Biden welcoming NATO leaders to Washington with a strong message about the importance of the alliance and its defense of Ukraine. He said NATO is stronger than ever. And while he didn't address Donald Trump directly, Mr. Biden warned against those who might walk away from the alliance, something his Republican opponent has clearly suggested in the past.


The U.S. President also announced plans to supply Kyiv with new air defenses.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: All told, Ukraine will receive hundreds of additional interceptors over the next year, helping protect Ukrainian cities against Russian missiles, Ukrainian troops facing air attacks on their front lines. Make no mistake, Russia is failing in this war.

(END VIDEO CLIP) FOSTER: We're talking about air defenses here. There was an announcement there. Is that new?

NADA BASHIR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That is new. Ukraine has been pushing for some time now for stronger support from its NATO allies, particularly from the United States. We heard yesterday from President Joe Biden, as you saw there speaking, announcing that there would be further air defense support coming not only from the U.S., but from Germany and Romania, all each providing a Patriot battery to support the air defense systems of Ukraine. Italy has also pledged support, as well as other countries which have pledged short and medium range systems as well to support Ukraine.

So there has been that continued push from the NATO alliance to continue to support Ukraine. Of course, this comes just days after we saw Russia launch a barrage of missile attacks on Ukraine, including in the capital, Kyiv, where at least 33 people were killed on Monday in Kyiv alone.

And of course, we saw that devastating strike on the children's hospital in the capital. Of course, Russia has so far denied responsibility for that strike.

FOSTER: They said it was Ukraine.

BASHIR: They have accused Ukraine. They say they believe it was actually an anti-aircraft missile which caused this particular strike. Ukraine has, of course, denied this.

And in fact, CNN has spoken to weapons experts who have taken a look at the footage of the scene and say that they believe that this is consistent with a missile strike, not an anti-aircraft missile.

And of course, we've also heard from U.N. human rights experts who have echoed this. They believe Russia was responsible for this strike.

So of course, there is that mounting pressure for more to be done to support Ukraine. That's certainly been coming from the Ukrainian authorities for some time now. And of course, when it comes to the NATO alliance overall, there have been those concerns, those tensions, as you mentioned, around the possible pulling out from the NATO alliance of the United States if indeed we do see another Trump presidency.

So that was certainly a key focus as well, particularly for Ukraine, which is so dependent on NATO support. And we heard from the Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg, speaking yesterday as well. He urged all members of the alliance to continue their support for Ukraine.

FOSTER: In terms of what's happening on the front lines, it does seem as though Ukraine is very much holding them at the moment. There's not much progress from Russia.

BASHIR: Absolutely. And in fact, what we've seen is Ukraine continue to hold its positions. But there are fears that they are running out, perhaps, of the capacity to do this. And so we're seeing that continued push for more international support.

That's certainly the message that we've been hearing from Stoltenberg, from other world leaders, that the world cannot forget Ukraine at this stage, that there cannot be any sort of relaxation on that position, that there needs to be that continued military support. Particularly, of course, for Ukraine on the front lines, but particularly when it comes to its air defense systems, because what we are seeing is Russia now targeting further inland, particularly in Kyiv, of course, with missiles and drone attacks.

FOSTER: Attacking from behind, effectively. Thank you so much, Nada.

North Korea sent a delegation of elite military training officials to Russia this week. The group was led by the president of the Kim Il Sung Military University. That word from North Korean state media, which gave no other details about the visit, either its purpose or where the delegation is going. But the trip comes just weeks after Russia's president visited Pyongyang and signed a defense pact with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

And it's clear that there is a signal there that the two countries continue to grow closer. And that closeness has both the U.S. and South Korea worried.

The two countries wrapped up their latest round of joint military drills earlier this month. This time, they were joined by a new American gunship known as the Ghost Rider, carrying one of the biggest guns in the sky. CNA's Mike Valerio got an up-close look.


MIKE VALERIO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's one of the latest unmistakable displays of U.S. firepower high above the Korean Peninsula. America's biggest gun in the sky found on board a U.S. Air Force AC-130J, the Ghost Rider.

It's a 105mm howitzer cannon loaded in a matter of seconds with brass 43-pound shells, powerhouse percussion, part of a strategic symphony between the U.S. and South Korean militaries.

U.S. Air Force Special Operations Command granted CNN unprecedented access inside the Ghost Rider. And what we witnessed? Americans in the air talking to Korean service members on the ground. Some of them working together for the first time, spotting practice targets below and opening fire.


VALERIO: We are a few minutes into flight, can you talk to us about what is going to happen and what we're looking at here?

JOE GIPSON, U.S. AIR FORCE AC-130 LEAD AERIAL GUNNER: Absolutely. So back here, what we have is our one of a two 105 millimeter Howitzer. So we're rolling into our live fire range over South Korea right now.

VALERIO (voice-over): Today is a training mission. So there are smaller low yield explosions, but the sound heard thousands of feet away is echoing thunder.

VALERIO: Why is it important to have an AC-130?

VALERIO (voice-over): On the ground, we spoke with Major Josh Burris, once an accountant, now mission commander.

VALERIO: And why is it key to have an aircraft like the AC-130 able to deploy here to Korea as quickly as possible?

MAJOR JOSH BURRIS, U.S. AIR FORCE AC-130J MISSION COMMANDER: The unique thing about the AC-130 is the amount of fires that we bring, the amount of munitions the diverse amount of them.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's in the box.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right next setting, zero, subzero got two.

VALERIO (voice-over): The Air Force says its continued message here is deterrence. And with this aircraft, power.

VALERIO: So when the cannon starts to open fire, the tail where I'm standing recoils a full six feet this way. You know your heart really skips a beat, when this all starts to happen. And the entire plane feels it.

VALERIO (voice-over): The Ghost Rider, just one piece of the U.S.- Korean strategic symphony, as the tempo of these exercises continues and North Korea watches across the horizon.

Mike Valerio, CNN, Osan Air Base, South Korea.


FOSTER: Every year, hundreds of climbers attempt to summit Mount Everest, and every year, tons of trash is left behind. How Nepal's army is dealing with that problem just ahead.

And later, the first team to secure a spot in the final match of the Copa America is revealed. But is it really a surprise? We've given it away.



FOSTER: Clearing waste from the world's tallest mountain has been a focus for Nepal's army in recent years. This year, a team of soldiers and sherpas not only removed tons of trash from Mount Everest, but also the bodies of climbers in recent years. This year, a team of soldiers and sherpas not only removed tons of trash from Mount Everest, but also the bodies of climbers who died.

CNN's Michael Holmes reports.


MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR/CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Thousands of people have tried to climb Mount Everest, some successful. Others have lost everything trying.

But it's not the glory of summiting the tallest peak in the world that's motivating these climbers. It's about cleaning up the mountain that's a beacon to hundreds of adventurers a year.

Once again, a cleanup team of soldiers, sherpas and porters braved some of Everest's most inhospitable conditions to remove hazards that have collected along the route. One of the team leaders says it is dangerous, but increasingly urgent work.

MAJOR ADITYA KARKI, LEAD, MOUNTAIN CLEAN-UP CAMPAIGN 2024 (through translator): Because of the effects of global warming. The bodies and trash are becoming more visible as the snow cover thins.

HOLMES (voice-over): The team recently battled Everest's frigid temperatures, whipping winds and altitudes with low oxygen levels to remove 11 tons of garbage from the mountain, and at times uncovering much more difficult things.

Viewers might find the next image disturbing. It took painstaking work, hours, if not days, to dig out some of the bodies of dead climbers entombed in the ice.

KARKI (through translator): We have to bring them back as much as possible. And if we keep leaving them behind, our mountains will turn into a graveyard in the future. We have to bring them back.

HOLMES (voice-over): The bodies were flown to Kathmandu for identification, the trash sent to sorting facilities to try to recycle what's salvageable.

New rules now require climbers to haul their own garbage off the mountain. But there's still a backlog of unwanted materials on Everest, some from decades ago.

SHILSHILA ACHARYA, DIRECTOR, AVNI VENTURES (through translator): The garbage collected is what climbers leave behind on the mountains. Mostly, there are packaging of food, like can and tin and plastic. Apart from that, there are shoes, clothes, and tents. There's also a lot of broken glass and some ropes.

HOLMES (voice-over): The lead sherpa of the recovery team estimates there could be 40 to 50 tons of garbage near the summit of the mountain, layers deep and frozen solid, an almost insurmountable task to remove. But just like climbing the mountain itself, if there's a will, it can be done.

Michael Holmes, CNN.


FOSTER: Demonstrators in Barcelona showed up to offer a chilly welcome to tourists.

CROWD: Tourists go home. Tourists go home

FOSTER: Tourists go home. Those are the chants.

Thousands of people took to the streets to protest this weekend in a popular tourist area. Some were squirting water guns at people. Other popular places in Spain, such as Mallorca and the Canary Islands, have recently seen similar demonstrations against mass tourism as locals complain of the impact on living costs and their quality of life.

Official figures show that in Barcelona, that area alone, almost 26 million visitors made an overnight stay last year.

But in Pamplona, thousands of thrill-seekers from around the world are taking part in one of the country's most exhilarating traditions, which is the running of the bulls. Six bulls being set loose each morning this week to charge through the narrow streets towards the bullring.

The runners risk injury, of course, racing those bulls, whilst also trying to stay near them. More than a million people turn out to watch every year.

Visitors to Buckingham Palace can now visit the famous balcony, but you won't be able to stand on it. Just look through the window. Details just ahead.



FOSTER: It was an amazing game. Spain moving on to the finals of the Euro 2024 finals after beating France 2-1. France scored early in the match. Giving them a 1-0 lead. But that didn't last long. Because Spain's young 16-year-old football star, Lamine Yamal, scored a long- distance goal. Which everyone's talking about. Making him the youngest player to ever score in a men's European championship.

Four minutes later, Spain scored a second goal. France tried to recover but it wasn't successful. Spain will play either England or the Netherlands. We're playing tonight. In that final on Sunday.

Argentina have earned a spot in the Copa America finals. After a high- stakes match against Canada on Tuesday. It ends a fairytale season for Canada who performed better than expected in that tournament. But the FIFA number one ranked team 2022 World Cup winners and holder of 15 Copa titles wouldn't back down. Argentina will face off against either Uruguay or Colombia on Sunday. With that decision being made in the last semi-final game which is on Wednesday today.

And the stories in the spotlight this hour.

Some visitors to Buckingham Palace in London this summer will get to visit the room behind the famous balcony the British royal family often poses on. For the first time, the palace is opening the east wing which includes the room where the iconic balcony is located. Visitors won't be able to stand on the balcony but they can look through the curtain down the Mall. Access to this section has been made possible after five years of renovations as part of the ongoing Buckingham Palace resurfacing program.


NICOLA TURNER INMAN, CURATOR OF DECORATIVE ARTS, ROYAL COLLECTION TRUST: We are here in the center room which is where the famous balcony is. Where the royal family go out onto the balcony for occasions such as the Trooping of the Colour or the Platinum Jubilee. This room was part of the addition of the east wing, made by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. And it was Prince Albert who actually suggested the balcony.


FOSTER: All tickets will cost 75 pounds or almost $100. And have already sold out for this year. So there's no point giving you that information. But I can tell you I've looked through that window and it is quite a moment because it reminds you of lots of British moments like these. But actually you can't see down the Mall. Because there's the monument in front of you. So they don't actually get a full sense ever of how big the crowds really are.


Flowers are in full bloom in one of the driest places on earth. They're blanketing the sand dunes of Chile's Atacama Desert. It's a rare sight this early in the Southern Hemisphere winter. But heavy rains due to the El Nino have caused the white and purple flowers to spring up prematurely. As you can see. The so-called flowering desert hasn't seen an early blooming like this since 2015.

San Diego's Wildlife Alliance says the zoo's new giant pandas are adjusting well to their stateside home. The zoo shared first look pictures of the pair in their enclosure. They're the first giant pandas to enter the U.S. in 21 years. And were sent from China as a sign of friendship between the two countries. Panda loans to the U.S. go back to 1972. Though the number of loans have decreased in recent years as U.S.-China relations have, let's say, turned frosty.

And finally. It truly is a dog-eat-dog world. That's what major league baseball fans are saying after the video of a puppy munching a hot dog at the New York Mets game on Tuesday went viral. The dog was wearing sunglasses, of course, a gold chain and a Mets hat whilst chomping on the hot dog. In case you weren't clear on exactly what was going on there.

Needless to say, fans were suddenly more focused on the pooch than the game.

Thanks for joining me here on CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Max Foster in London. CNN "THIS MORNING" is up next.