Return to Transcripts main page

Connect the World

Lithuania's Suwalki Corridor, NATO's Weak Point; NATO Names China "Strategic Challenge"; Russia Targets Lysychansk Police Station and Refinery; Israel Faces New Elections; SCOTUS Rules in Immigration Case; Hong Kong Handover Anniversary; Putin on NATO Expansions; Authorities Trying to Identify Deceased Migrants; R. Kelly Sentenced to 30 Years. Aired 10-11a ET

Aired June 30, 2022 - 10:00   ET





JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Before the war started, I told Putin that if he invaded Ukraine. NATO would not only going to get

stronger but would get more united.

BECKY ANDERSON, CNN HOST (voice-over): President Biden wraps up the NATO summit in Madrid, with a message of strength and joint commitment to

Ukraine. And.



NINA DOS SANTOS, CNNMONEY EUROPE EDITOR (voice-over): I am standing on what is currently one of the hottest borders, right inside NATO territory.


DOS SANTOS: It is a tract of land called the Suwalki corridor between Lithuania and Poland.

ANDERSON (voice-over): Russia's Baltic neighbors have plenty of historic reasons to be wary of Moscow's aggression. More on that coming up. Plus.



ANDERSON (voice-over): Hong Kong gets set to mark the 25th handover anniversary from Britain to China.


ANDERSON: It is 6 pm in Abu Dhabi, from our Middle Eastern programming hub here in the UAE. I am Becky Anderson. Welcome to CONNECT THE WORLD.

NATO leaders are wrapping up their most important summit in decades. The high strakes meeting in Madrid has left the alliance bigger, stronger and

more focused in the face of Russia's cruel and grinding war in Ukraine.

A short time ago, NATO's secretary general talked about this consequential achievement the summit, the formal invitation to Sweden and Finland to join

and responding to Vladimir Putin's claim that it will increase tensions.


JENS STOLTENBERG, NATO SECRETARY GENERAL: So President Putin, that should withdraw its forces and end this war immediately and stop being --

attacking a democratic, sovereign nation and causing so much suffering in Ukraine.

When it comes to Finland and Sweden, Finland and Sweden are sovereign nations and they have the right to choose their own path. We welcome them

into our alliance and we are, of course, prepared for any eventuality.


ANDERSON: President Biden proclaimed that NATO is more united than ever and is prepared to meet new threats.


BIDEN: This summit was about strengthening our alliance, meeting the challenges of our world, as it is today and the threats we are going to

face in the future.

The last time NATO drafted a new mission statement was 12 years ago. At that time, it characterized Russia as a partner and it did not even mention

China. The world has changed, changed a great deal since then. And NATO is changing as well.


ANDERSON: Mr. Biden also said that the U.S. will announce another $800 million in military aid for Ukraine. But it remains to be seen if all of

this will translate into battlefield victories for the country.

A short time ago, the mayor of Slovyansk in the East urged residents to flee, as Russian forces closed in.

There is also some good news for Ukraine, military officials claim that their forces have driven Russian troops out of Snake Island in the Black

Sea. We are covering the developments in this region for you, with CNN's Natasha Bertrand on the ground, with our Salma Abdelaziz.

Let's start with you, Natasha, if we can.

What are NATO leaders saying about the achievements this week?

What are the key takeaways at this point?

NATASHA BERTRAND, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, they are feeling very confident. They feel as though they have all come to an agreement

about the need to support Ukraine until the very end.

What the end actually looks like it is very unclear. That is something that President Biden said in his press conference. He does not know where the

end of this war is actually going to look like.

But in discussions, in their meetings, all of the NATO leaders agree that they need to support Ukraine, give them the most possible leverage, in

order to at least have a good hand at the negotiating table if and when this conflict does come to some kind of conclusion.

Now of course, the other major achievement is the ascension of Finland and Sweden into NATO. That is something that many leaders here were very

cautiously optimistic about, before the summit actually kicked off. They were not sure that Turkiye was going to drop its objections in time, for

there to be this grand achievement at the end of the summit.

Now it's happened, there is been nothing but praise in the meeting rooms, we are told. All the leaders are very excited and happy Turkiye finally

agreed and coalesced to this agreement.

Those are the biggest takeaways. But President Biden, you know, he has also been happy that China has come up in the summit as well. That is something

that he has wanted to convey to the rest of the world., which is that the West and NATO and Europe is united against the threats that they say China

poses, now. Especially when it comes to places like Taiwan, which the U.S. is watching very closely, especially in light of Russia's invasion of


Here's what President Biden said were some of the main victories that he saw at the summit.


BIDEN: At this summit, we rallied our alliances to meet both the direct threats that Russia poses to Europe and the systemic challenges that China

poses to a rules based world order. And we have invited two new members to join NATO.



BERTRAND: So President Biden will be going back to the United States with the wind at his back after a pretty successful G7 and NATO summit. But as

you, said Becky, it remains to be seen whether it actually translates into a battlefield successes for Ukraine, because while NATO leaders here are

very optimistic that they can maintain momentum among the leaders who are supporting Ukraine, whether Ukraine can actually repel the Russian forces

who themselves have been getting momentum in the east, that remains to be seen.

ANDERSON: There have been some choice words from the Chinese on the back of their inclusion in the narrative.

Salma, how is this summit, then, being received, if at all in Ukraine?

Are these promises, these commitments, let's call them, enough, at this point?

SALMA ABDELAZIZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I think, Becky, for Ukraine, it has always been a mixed response when it comes to NATO. That is a club they are

obviously not a part of, they don't get the protection and security that comes with it.

There is a feeling among Ukrainians that they are the last defense against Russian aggression, they are the wall holding back President Putin's

appetite for more land. But they are on the front lines, quite literally fighting for the rest of Europe, for the rest of NATO. Yet they are not a

part of this club.

You're going to hear President Zelenskyy, of course, welcoming. He has been welcoming all these new aid packages and military support. But you also

Ukraine saying, hey, they are not coming fast enough.

Because if you look at those front lines, if you are reading that battleground, absolutely Ukraine is on the back foot in recent days. They

made strategic withdrawals in the all-important Donbas region.

Meanwhile, Russia, of course, that superior military might, it is drilling down on Ukrainian defenders, using artillery, using air land and sea

weapons, to really push back Ukrainian positions, to satisfy President Putin's growing appetite for Ukrainian land. Solidifying those gains, all

along the east.

And when you hear NATO leaders say, we are going to support Ukraine for as long as it takes, most assessments will tell, you Becky, that is as long as

it takes to be a very long time, if not years, which we are talking about here because President Putin's army does have the ability to just grind on.

This is a war of attrition, where they do absolutely have the upper hand, in terms of manpower, weaponry, in terms of the appetite, if you will, for


Meanwhile, Ukraine is running out of weapons. It is in a race against time. It is using Soviet era weapons. The ammunitions needed to fill those

Soviet-era weapons, they are running out around the world. It means troops need to be trained on NATO weapons.

All of this really painting a rather grim picture for Ukraine, that is absolutely losing right now in the battlefield -- Becky.

ANDERSON: And Salma, you have to wonder just how long Ukraine can go. On as you say, it could be weeks or months. It could be years.

What are you hearing about Russian troops leaving Snake Island?

We have heard from the military in Ukraine, which says its forces drove them off. Russia, though, says it has left of its own free will.

What is the story there?

ABDELAZIZ: This is a very important moral victory at the time, just as I said, when Ukraine is facing these battlefield losses. It really needs this

moral boost. Just remind everyone why Snake Island matters.

It was one of the opening events, if you will, of this conflict. It went viral when Ukrainian troops that were stationed on that island, this tiny

little piece of rock in the Black Sea, that is strategic.

And this conversation went viral where a Russian warship was telling them to surrender, essentially. And these Ukrainian troops using an expletive

saying to stick it, if you will. So getting back this territory, Russia now saying it is withdrawing, that it has done that as a goodwill gesture.

Ukraine says that it has been fighting for that territory and that it has been successful in gaining it back. It gives that sense of moral boost. It

is a legendary chapter in this conflict and winning this back for Ukraine is really quite symbolic, Becky.

ANDERSON: Salma is on the ground in Ukraine for you. Thank you.

Elsewhere, the situation grows more dire every day. Russian missiles hit this apartment building in the city of Mykolaiv on Wednesday. At least six

people lost their lives there. Ukraine's president says that the bombardment of the city shows that international pressure really should be

ramped up.


VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): I called on NATO countries to speed up the supply of missile defense systems to Ukraine

and significantly increase the pressure on the terrorist state.

The Russian strike alone at the city of Mykolaiv, 10 missiles at once, all aimed at civilian targets, proving to everyone in the world that the

pressure on Russia is not enough.



ANDERSON: It is a similar situation in the city of Lysychansk. Russia continues to bombard that eastern city, a police station and the oil

refinery there have been targeted. An official says citizens dream of at least half an hour of silence.

Human Rights Watch is calling for an investigation into potential war crimes, specifically in the city of Kremenchuk. That is where Russian

missiles destroyed this shopping center, killing 18 people.

Look, you can get a closer look at that devastation the destroyed mall on our website, CNN's Salma Abdelaziz goes to that site, which

Russia denies striking. You will meet the prosecutor making the case against Moscow, proving that Moscow targeted civilians. All that at

or on your CNN app, of course.

Israel is facing its fifth election in under four years after the country's parliament dissolved itself. In the coming hours, foreign minister Yair

Lapid will take over as caretaker PM ending Naftali Bennett's brief run as the country's leader.

The Knesset's move gives former leader Benjamin Netanyahu a potential path to return to power, despite the fact that he is in the middle of an ongoing

corruption trial. Taking you to Jerusalem and to CNN Hadas Gold.

What is happening now?

Will there be a swearing in ceremony, as we see this change in leadership?

HADAS GOLD, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Becky, after days of political chaos and political infighting, dragging out the process, this

slow-motion collapse of this government that we've been witnessing for the past several weeks finally happened this morning.

They finally voted to dissolve themselves. What is going to happen now is at 12:01 tonight, the moment the calendar switches to Friday, foreign

minister Yair Lapid, a journalist and former anchor and someone that many Israelis could have never imagined as prime minister, will now become the

14th prime minister, a caretaker prime minister but still the 14th prime minister of Israel.


GOLD (voice-over): Yair Lapid knows what it is like to be in the spotlight. Born into a prominent Israeli family, he has dabbled in acting

and screenwriting.

Even amateur boxing and music before becoming best known as a journalist and anchor. A regular presence in Israelis' living rooms for nearly 20

years. In 2012, he made the jump to politics, founding a party called Yesh Atid, There is a Future. Staking himself out as the leader of Israel's

secular central Left, promising to lower housing costs and military draft exemptions for the ultra orthodox, a supporter of gay rights.

He also supports an independent Palestinian state but does not go as far as his left-wing colleagues.

YAIR LAPID, ISRAELI FOREIGN MINISTER: The Palestinians will understand that if they want to fulfill their dream of a sovereign state, Jerusalem is

the price they will have to pay.

GOLD (voice-over): In 2013, he shocked the political establishment in his first election on the ballot, picking up 19 seats, second only to then

prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud Party.

ANSHEL PFEFFER, JOURNALIST: Yair Lapid is the quintessential product of Tel Aviv, of Israel's main secular city, its main business and culture

center, the center of nightlife and so on. Yair Lapid was for many years really a pillar of the Israeli media community and entertainment and

television business.

GOLD (voice-over): After a stint as the finance minister, it was Yair Lapid who ultimately cobbled together the coalition that would finally oust

Netanyahu after 12 years in power. But it came at a price.


GOLD (voice-over): Naftali Bennett would serve as prime minister first. And Yair Lapid became foreign minister. In the end the diverse coalition,

made up of right- and left-leaning parties and the first Arab party to sit in the coalition, only managed to last a year.

LAPID (through translator): What we need to do today is go back to the concept of Israeli unity, not to let dark forces tear us apart from within,

to remind ourselves that we love one another, love our country and that only together will we prevail.

GOLD (voice-over): Now appointed caretaker prime minister, Yair Lapid will have four months until Election Day to convince the Israeli public that he

should keep the job.


GOLD: Now Becky, because he's taking over as a caretaker prime minister, there is no formal swearing in ceremony. However, he will get that

opportunity if he and his partner parties will be able to convince the Israeli public on those elections that are set to take place on November

1st, that he should stay in power.

Now there will be one less face on that ballot, though. And that is prime minister in his last few hours, Naftali Bennett.


GOLD: He announced last night that he will not be seeking reelection and will be taking a step back from politics. Becky.

ANDERSON: Fascinating. Recent polling is showing that former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu's party is on track to win the most number of

seats. I know we are some months out.

What could that mean for Mr. Netanyahu?

GOLD: Well, what is really interesting is you are. Right when you look at the polling, his party seems to get around 34 seats. Which is the most of

any other party. The Yair Lapid party is the second largest, they only get around 20.

But then we start doing the math and putting the puzzle together, all the different parties that would potentially sit with Netanyahu. He still does

not necessarily make the 61 seat majority that he needs to be able to form a government and be able to become prime minister.

As you noted, there are a few months left. Things could change. As of right, now the election was set to be held today and the polls are being

correct, then we could potentially be in the same cycle of elections people trying to form governments that Israelis have seen for so many years.

Some people say it is all about Netanyahu. If he would just step aside a lot more players would be willing to all sit together. Then you have a more

stable government -- Becky.

ANDERSON: We will see, thank you.

Ahead on the show, the Chinese president visits Hong Kong. But major news organizations, including CNN, are not allowed to cover official

ceremonies. We will speak with our correspondent, nevertheless, about what that means for the city and the press freedom.




ANDERSON: Just in to CNN, the U.S. Supreme Court has just handed the Biden administration a defeat on climate change. They curbed the ability of the

nation's Environmental Protection Agency, the EPA, to broadly regulate carbon emissions from the existing power plants.

This comes in a moment when scientists are sounding alarms about the accelerating pace of global warming. While the court ruled against the

Biden administration in that case, the administration did win an important immigration case.

The court says the White House can end the controversial Trump era remain- in-Mexico policy. This is a very consequential case for thousands of migrants, who are looking to enter the U.S. every year. Let's get you to

Rafael Romo in Atlanta for more on this.

What is the significance of this decision by the Supreme Court today?

RAFAEL ROMO, CNN SR. LATIN AFFAIRS EDITOR: Hi, Becky. This is very significant because this is a case that many saw as a test for the White

House's ability to set immigration policies.

Can the White House ultimately decide who stays in the United States?

And who has to go?


ROMO: Under the unprecedented program that was launched in 2019, the Department of Homeland Security, sent certain non Mexican citizens, ion the

United States without documentation, back to Mexico. Instead of detaining them or releasing them into U.S. territory while their immigration

proceedings played out.

Back in April, Becky, the last time the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments on the remain-in-Mexico program, conservatives, conservative justices on

the court, they asked tough questions of the administration and suggested sympathy for lowering the opinions that went against President Biden.

So what happened today, just a few moments ago, is a bit of a surprise for some, who felt this conservative court was going to go against the White


And remember, Becky, this is a new era for the Supreme Court, given the three justices named during Donald Trump's presidency, that created a 6-3

majority for the conservatives, breaking a balance that had existed for decades.

As CNN reported, then back in April, just as Samuel Alito at one point implied that the lower courts were correct to hold that the Trump program

could be necessary in order to comply with the immigration law.

And justice Clarence Thomas, another conservative, suggested that the government has limited discretion to parole those who arrive here without

proper documentation and at the same time the courts' three liberals backed the Biden restoration, arguing that requiring the program to remain in

place would have severe diplomatic consequences. Becky, back to you.

ANDERSON: Fascinating. Thank you.

Well, returning to our top story, China is slamming NATO and calling the alliance a Cold War remnant. That is after NATO labeled China as a systemic

challenge in its updated mission statement.

Now Beijing's mission to the E.U. is accusing the alliance of, quote, "provoking confrontation." The chief Jens Stoltenberg has said that while

China is not the alliance's adversary, Beijing is building up its military forces, including nuclear weapons. And bullying its neighbors also

threatening Taiwan.

While the Western alliance is watching as Chinese president Xi Jinping visits Hong Kong. He is there, of course, to mark the city's 25th handover

anniversary, which is on July 1st. He seems to be welcomed by the outgoing chief executive Carrie Lam.

The Chinese media quotes Mr. Xi is praising her for her work, quote, "ending chaos in the city."

He declares that Hong Kong has, quote, "emerged from the ashes." This is his first trip outside of Mainland China since the start of the COVID

pandemic. CNN's Blake Essig joining me live from Hong Kong, with more.

What does this anniversary mean for Hong Kong?

The made to the Chinese, by the Chinese, to the British and to the residents of Hong Kong at handover, of course, have not just not been

fulfilled, they have been really whittled away.

BLAKE ESSIG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know, Becky, tomorrow it will be a day of celebration and mourning here in Hong Kong. As the city marks the 25th

anniversary of the British handover, of China.

Chinese president Xi Jinping has arrived in Hong Kong, his first time back in five years, to inspect the city. Nobody here in Hong Kong was able to

get anywhere near China's leader, kept away by a large police presence and endless water barriers like those white ones right there behind them.

Since his last visit to Hong Kong, it is fair to say that the city has undergone major changes. Almost the entire opposition has been arrested,

including pro democracy activists, journalists and politicians.

Several independent media outlets have been shut down. And there's been a mass exodus of Hong Kong residents. Of course, that is because of the wide

ranging national security law, which makes it easier to punish protesters, to criminalize speech and stifle dissent.

It is understandable the people here are cautious about what they say some Beijing supporters say they are happy to see the elimination of protests

and chaos in the city, in Hong Kong after the government introduced a controversial plan to allow extraditions to Mainland China back in 2019.

But one of Hong Kong's last remaining pro-democracy parties said that they aren't going to be staging protests today or tomorrow, after they were

summoned by national security police.

Many in the pro democracy camp also say that they feel increasingly hopeless as Beijing continues to tighten its grip and crush Hong Kong's

freedoms, freedoms, Becky and autonomy, through the "One Country, Two Systems" policy that Hong Kong residents were supposed to continue to live

under for at least another 25 years.


ANDERSON: Blake Essig, in Hong Kong for you, folks.

Thank you, sir.

Let's get you up to speed on some of the other stories that are on our radar right now.

Ferdinand Marcos Jr. is sworn in as the president of the Philippines earlier on. Marcus, better known as Bonbon, won the landslide election last

month. He takes office 36 years after his father, who was ousted in the popular uprising.

Indirect talks between the U.S. and Iran ended with no progress made, according to a senior Biden administration official. The discussion is

mediated by the E.U. and sought to resolve differences between Iran and the U.S over the 2015 nuclear deal.

And the U.K. parliamentary panel says it is gathering evidence, investigating whether prime minister Boris Johnson misled the House of

Commons in the so-called Partygate scandal. The Committee of Privileges is, quote, "seeking witness information and evidence." And they will do that

until the end of July.

Well, you are watching CONNECT THE WORLD, I'm Becky Anderson. In Abu Dhabi it is 25 past 6. Coming up, front lines for the next war. We're looking at

the NATO country, which is preparing just in case Russia decides to invade.

And after years of accusations, and evading justice, R. Kelly gets sentenced to prison for sexually abusing girls and young woman. More on

that after this.




ANDERSON: Welcome back, I'm Becky Anderson in Abu Dhabi. You are watching CONNECT THE WORLD.

NATO leaders making their way home, they're leaving the alliance bigger and stronger. And they are leaving no ambiguity, declaring Russia their most

direct threat.

NATO invited Finland and Sweden to join and announced it's bolstering forces on its eastern flank. All of this in response to Russia's invasion

of Ukraine. The U.S. is contributing big-time to that beefing up. President Biden says that the alliance stands strong.


BIDEN: We have reaffirmed that our Article 5 commitment is sacred and that an attack on one is an attack on all. We will defend every inch of NATO

territory, every inch of NATO territory.


ANDERSON: Well, NATO leaders do seem pleased with the recent summit but Putin says the expansion of NATO does not bother him at all. The president

admitted that NATO expansion would heighten tensions and said that Russia would respond to any threats.


ANDERSON: But he did not seem overly concerned about Finland and Sweden joining the alliance.

Mr. Putin's seemingly calm reaction to NATO expansion may come as a relief to NATO members, bordering Russia in the Baltics. But they have been on

edge ever since Moscow invaded Ukraine. My colleague CNN's Nina dos Santos joining us from the Lithuanian capital.

What is the atmosphere there?

From those spoken to, how concerned are people in Lithuania, that Russia's invasion of Ukraine could happen to them?

DOS SANTOS: Well, they are very concerned, Becky. Because remember, this is a country that has been part of NATO for coming on to 20 years. But it

is also a country that is relatively young in terms of having to defend itself.

Back in the 1990s, on the fall of the USSR. So when you speak to people here, many of them have deeply personal stories about what has happened to

them during the times when they were occupied by the Soviets and also under essentially Russian rule.

They have no intention of going back. It is for that reason that Lithuania is desperate to try to stop the war in Europe in Ukraine. They are doing

all sorts of things, like crowdfunding drones with the Ukrainian army and Lithuania's military as well is also joining a lot of hardware, there, too.

This is behind the strategic thinking of NATO, bolstering troops in this part of Europe, to make sure the Baltics never get captured. It is a

strategy of defense by deterrence, if you like.

But is going to take a long time for these new troops to get here and build their barracks. In the meantime, they are joining paramilitary



DOS SANTOS (voice-over): Having a neighbor like Russia keeps Vitos Gudinski (ph) up at night, armed with his machine gun and a Maltese

terrier, he's literally the first line of defense if the Kremlin's troops, at the end of his street, take one step onto NATO soil.

DOS SANTOS: That's where Russia starts?

GUDINSKI (PH): Yes, Russians.

DOS SANTOS: At the end of your street?


DOS SANTOS (voice-over): Vetoes says, he can see the soldiers after dark with his night vision goggles. He points to a shooting range over the hill.

You often hear the shots, he says, from there. Soviet occupation is a deeply personal memory in this part of Europe. Vetoes says his own father

was among the quarter of a million Lithuanian's to be sent to gulags, where many perished.

So when Russia annexed Crimea, Vetoes joined Lithuania's historic volunteer militia, the Riflemen Union, ran by a regional commander also desperate to

avoid a return to Russian rule.

EGIDIJUS PAPECKYS, COMMANDER, RIFLEMEN'S 4TH REGIONAL COMMAND: Everybody has the same story. Somebody was shot by a Soviet, for example, by a

soldier of Soviet regime or sent to Siberia. Just because we're Lithuanians.

DOS SANTOS (voice-over): The Riflemen's membership has increased tenfold since the war in Ukraine began. Young adults keen to get trained up.

Every Lithuanian knows that Russia was a threat, says this new recruit in his 30s. And in this part of the Southern Baltics, that threat feels very


DOS SANTOS: I'm standing on what is currently one of the world's hottest borders, right inside NATO territory. Its attractive land called the

Suwalki Corridor between Lithuania and Poland, which also lies to the West here between Kaliningrad, the heavily fortified nuclearized Baltic outpost

of Russia. And over there, the Kremlin's ally, Belarus, about 60 miles in that direction. The fear is that if Ukraine were to fall, Russia's army

could roll right through here.

GABRIELIUS LANDSBERGIS, LITHUANIAN FOREIGN MINISTER: We always said that we need additional allied troops within Lithuanian territory, in case Mr.

Putin or his friends would try something.

DOS SANTOS (voice-over): Lithuania's move to block the transit of some goods to Kaliningrad has raised the stakes just as NATO leaders meet. And

Russia has already retaliated with ongoing cyberattacks.

MARGIRIS ABUKEVICIUS, LITHUANIAN VICE MINISTER OF DEFENCE: We have started witnessing an increase and more intensity in cyber activities against our

state institutions, against some critical operators, especially transport.

DOS SANTOS (voice-over): Realizing it may get just one shot at protecting the Baltics, the alliance will now more than double the 3,000 troops

stationed today. When they arrive, the Rifleman will be ready.

PAPECKYS: We are ready to fight with NATO, together with NATO, shoulder to shoulder.

DOS SANTOS (voice-over): Vetoes and his fellow volunteers have faith in NATO's protection but living so close to Russia, they also have to be ready

for anything.


DOS SANTOS: As you can see there, Becky, they are getting ready for perhaps the unthinkable. Just to be prepared in case it ever happens. That

would be a kinetic threat, if you like, soldiers, boots on the ground and troops.

I should point out they've also been dealing with something more sophisticated and more subtle for sometime here in the Baltics. That is the

threat of a hybrid war. Lithuania still suffering those ongoing cyberattacks -- Becky.


ANDERSON: Absolutely, thank you for that. Nina dos Santos reporting for you.

More details emerging about how police have found deceased migrants in southern Texas. San Antonio's police chief is telling CNN they have

responded to the scene, finding the bodies was beyond tragic.


CHIEF WILLIAM MCMANUS, SAN ANTONIO POLICE DEPARTMENT: The floor of the trailer, it was completely covered in bodies, completely covered in bodies.

There were at least 10 or more bodies outside the trailer because, when we arrived, when EMS arrived, we were trying to find people who were still

alive. So we have to move bodies out of the trailer and onto the ground.


ANDERSON: Meantime, Texas adding more checkpoints to this border, creating strike teams to protect and deal with unlawful border crossings. CNN's Omar

Jimenez has the latest developments in what has been this horrifying case.


OMAR JIMENEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The Justice Department has announced federal charges against four people tied to this incident, among them the

driver who was arrested on criminal charges related to human smuggling resulting in death.

Now federal authorities say they looked at surveillance video of this truck coming through an immigration checkpoint and matched what they saw of the

driver there to the person that they found on scene hiding in the brush after having run when authorities first got to the scene. Again, according

to the Department of Justice.

Another man was charged after having allegedly communicated with the driver regarding this smuggling. And then two other men were charged with illegal

possession of a weapon by someone who is illegally in the United States. They were found after authorities traced the license plate of this truck to

addresses in the nearby Texas area. Of the dozens found dead, the Justice Department says 22 of them were Mexican nationals, seven of them from

Guatemala, two from Honduras and 17 of them they were able to determine were at least non-U.S. citizens as part of what has been a long and at

times a difficult identification process coordinating across multiple countries.

All of it, of course, is part of what the Department of Homeland Security has described as the deadliest human smuggling incident in U.S. history.


ANDERSON: Coming up after the break, R. Kelly gets a lengthy prison sentence after prosecutors say the singer used his fame to lure girls into

his orbit to sexually abuse them.

And it's supposed to be a peaceful sport but golf has suddenly developed an edge. News taking to the green as the LIV tournament starts in the United






ANDERSON: Multi platinum R&B singer R. Kelly has been sentenced to prison for 30 years for sexually abusing underage girls and women. A judge handed

down the sentence on Wednesday after his conviction on last year for racketeering and sex trafficking charges.

His attorney compared it to a life sentence, adding that the 55-year old is devastated and is planning to appeal. CNN correspondent Jean Casarez has

been covering the trial. She joins us from New York.

His defense team have asked for less time.

And is it clear what the judge's reasoning was behind it was a very lengthy sentence?

JEAN CASAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It is interesting. First of, all the sentencing guidelines actually go up to life in prison. So she could have

sentenced him to life in prison, not 30 years. It is conceivably life for a 55-year-old man.

But what she said and just as you said, Becky, it's sexual trafficking, victimization of these young woman. The judge says this actually is not

about sex. You think it's about sex. It is not. It is about violence, cruelty and control.

And she also said that she had taken into consideration some documents that had just been unsealed by the defense, that he was abused, beginning when

he was 6 years old, sexually abused, by family members, by those that were not family members and that one relative even had taken pictures of him,

continually, in certain poses and in acts that he was doing with her at the time, at her direction, according to those documents.

ANDERSON: Thank you.

CASAREZ: You are welcome.