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Nearly 100 Killed As Rival Generals Battle For Control; Sudanese Doctors Union: At Least 97 Civilians Killed; Prominent Kremlin Critic Sentenced. Aired 10-11a ET

Aired April 17, 2023 - 10:00:00   ET




ELENI GIOKOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Eleni Giokos live from Abu Dhabi. This is CONNECT THE WORLD.

Coming up this hour. An unprecedented battle for control on the streets of Sudan. Russia sentences the critic of the Kremlin to 25 years in prison.

And a sudden delay in the high-profile Fox News trial.

Nearly 100 civilians killed, hundreds more injured and the leaders of Sudan's army and paramilitary force each claiming gains over the other.

Forces loyal to both generals are fighting for key areas of Sudan. The capital Khartoum has been enduring airstrikes, explosions and bouts of

heavy gunfire.

Well, the fighting stems from the bitter dispute between the two generals over the terms of an agreement to return the country to civilian rule. That

emerged after 2021 coup. Sudan's military claims the paramilitary forces are putting civilians at risk. The paramilitary leader disputes that. Now

here's a few key dates along the way to the current fighting. The rapid security forces paramilitary group evolved in 2013 from the Janjaweed

militia that had earlier fought against the rebellion in the Darfur region.

In 2017, Sudan passed a law legitimizing the RSF as an independent security force. In late 2018, protests started in the northern city over the price

of bread and those protests spread to Khartoum. After months of protests in April 2019, the Army ousted President Bashir. A few months later, the main

opposition coalition and the ruling military council signed a power sharing deal that paved the way for transitional government and eventually


But two years later, security forces detained Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok. And the military dissolved the civilian government the next day,

protesters took to the streets to denounce the military coup. And those protests have continued.

Now, in December of last year, civilian and military leaders signed an initial deal to start a new two-year political transition. But that deal

has yet to be finalized.

We've got Larry Madowo who's watching developments for us from Nairobi. Larry, great to have you with us. Look, there's so much behind this power

struggle that's playing out right now. And it's being felt on the streets. We are hearing very worrying events the way the people are now hunkering

down in their homes, lack of water, lack of electricity or while this is playing out on the political spectrum.

LARRY MADOWO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Eleni. I've been speaking to people in Sudan since Saturday when these clashes broke out, and they tell

me they're terrified. And now it's getting worse because some people have run out of power and water because of sudden station shortages. Some people

who are for instance, asthmatic or who need regular medicines, worry they could soon run out.

And they just can't, you know, get out and get it because the streets are not safe. People are hunkering down. People who are basements are in there.

People who don't have staying away from windows because in certain cases, CNN has seen video and pictures of bullets and stray projectiles coming

right into people's homes and breaking their items, some televisions, some glass, some car windows. It's a really harrowing situation.

And they don't know how long this is going to end. A lot of people just say we want this nightmare to end and they have no indication as to how quickly

this can come to a close. I spoke to one half of this conflict. That is General Mohamed Hamdan. He is a leader of the paramilitary group, the rapid

support forces. A really powerful paramilitary group. And he is not on camera in this interview because he did not want to show any clues that

might reveal where he is.


MADOWO (voice over): Two generals at war. Since Saturday, the forces of General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo known as a rapid support forces paramilitary

group or RSF have been locked in battle with the Sudanese army led by General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan.


The fighting comes as Sudan tries to finalize a deal to return to civilian rule after two military coups in recent years with temporarily united the

army and the RSF. In a phone interview, the Dagalo, who is better known as Hemedti told me rolling Sudan isn't his end game.

MADOWO (on camera): What do you personally want from the situation, General Hamdan? Do you want to leave the army? Do you want to be the chief?

GENERAL MOHAMED HAMDAN DAGALO, LEADER OF PARAMILITARY RAPID SUPPORT FORCES (through translator): I don't want to be the leader of the army. There's a

framework agreement between all the Sudanese stakeholders, that should be adhered to. I don't want to lead anything. These are all propaganda they

are making.


MADOWO (voice over): As part of the agreement, the RSF, some 100,000 strong would merge with the army. But differences over how long that would take

and who would end up with more power aggravated tensions between the two factions which have since erupted into open warfare.

Residential areas across Sudan have become battlefields, with anti-aircraft weapons in the streets. And warplanes hovering overhead. Scores of

civilians have been killed. The army blames the RSF for the violence with Hemedti pointed the finger back at al-Burhan.

MADOWO (on camera): What is your message to the many people of Sudan who was scared about this fresh round of violence?

DAGALO (through translator): We offer a serious apology to them, because what we can say is al-Burhan is the one that forced us to do this. It was

not us who did this. We were defending ourselves.

MADOWO (voice over): Doctors union say it's been difficult for medics to move about amid reports of many people being trapped near fighting

hotspots. Despite a U.N.-brokered temporary truce, there were reports of gunfire in Khartoum which Hemedti again blamed on the army.

DAGALO (through translator): We're under attack from all directions. They are attacking us with marked and unmarked vehicles. Unfortunately, they're

not stopping.

MADOWO (voice over): It's unclear what side was firing during the ceasefire, but the army says it retains the right to respond if any

violations occurred.

Sudan's neighbors are looking for ways to deescalate the violence. Egypt and South Sudan have offered to mediate talks between the two sides. The

African Union and the Arab League both held emergency sessions with more calls for an immediate end to the hostilities. The army has said there will

be no dialogue until the RSF is dissolved.

Hemedti says the stakes are so high in Sudan that any possible negotiations would have to be serious.

DAGALO (through translator): We are not refusing to go to the negotiating table, as long as the negotiation is true and truthful, honest, not playing



MADOWO: So, what are the chances of those negotiations that General Hemedti says in principle, he still agrees to? This is the state of play right now.

African leaders like to talk about African solutions for African problems. In fact, the African Union, while condemning the violence said that there

should be no external interference. The chair of the African Union Commission Moussa Faki Mahamat has said he will be heading to Sudan as soon

as possible to try and talk to these two men.

The Intergovernmental Authority on Development, that is a regional body that includes Sudan has sent three presidents to try and again, get them on

the same table. The president of Kenya, the president of South Sudan and the president of Djibouti. But these men are using fighting words. They're

calling each other criminals and dogs and liars. So -- and they're still claiming to both have territory, Eleni.

So, the chances of them actually being able to see eye to eye and agree to a ceasefire and return to the civilian led transition is really, really

going to be difficult.

GIOKOS: And really interesting to hear from the general from the RSF saying, you know, he's pointing fingers saying that they were forced to

respond. As you say, the African Union has come out and said that there shouldn't be any external interference without really elaborating on what

that is and what influence that is having on the ground. Is there -- I mean, the people we've spoken to, Larry and people on the ground are really

worried about this time around.

This feels different to what we've seen since the military coup.

MADOWO: That's right. This breakdown in the relations between the Sudanese army, and the rapid support forces is always expected. These tensions have

been building for months, and especially over the past week. But this level of violence is unprecedented. The scale of it across the country is also

unprecedented, even for Sudanese people we used -- who lived through a lot of turmoil and violence.

The external interference that the African Union is kind of hinting at here is because there are four key players in the diplomatic kind of arena and

in Sudan. There is the U.S., the U.K., Saudi Arabia and the UAE. And those, obviously, are all foreigners in this. But they're also strong, they call

the Quartet. And we saw for instance, today a joint statement from the U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and James Cleverly, the U.K. Home

Secretary together again, calling for a cessation of hostilities.

And the UAE and Saudi Arabia have all made statements. The African Union hopes that it can do this on its own terms. We have to be honest here,

Eleni. The African Union has not been very effective in these sorts of coups around the continent. There are still places where military is in

charge in -- on the continent.


GIOKOS: And you make such an important point when it comes to the African Union, and of course, getting involved in conflicts like this. But Sudan is

important regionally, stability is important in Sudan and it's been fragile to say the least. There have been many emergency meetings that are being

held and many African leaders that want to go and assist with some kind of peace talks of peace deal.

But at the core of this, this is a fight for control for power. And that's what it comes down to despite the fact that at the center of this, there is

a need from people on the ground for a return to civilian rule.

MADOWO: First, the language. CNN is not describing this as an attempted coup for good reason. This is a power struggle between the two most

powerful generals in Sedan over who becomes the big boss. There's -- they've already agreed in principle, as you mentioned at the top, to a

framework to return to civilian rule. They committed to this from the beginning. However, one key sticking point here is over who between the two

of them will lead a combined military.

The rapid support forces has -- have to -- has to merge with the official Sudanese army, and they just cannot agree on who that will be. That is why

we see these people in the streets. That's why almost 100 people have died. 1100 people are wounded. And Sudan is important because it's the third

largest nation in Africa. And Sudan also has had the highest number of either attempted or successful coups. Stability in Sudan is important for

stability in the region, Eleni.

GIOKOS: Larry Madowo, thank you so much for that insight and context. Great to have you on the show.

Well, my next guest is the Executive Secretary of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development which held an emergency summit over the weekend to

address the violence in Sudan. He's also a former foreign minister of Ethiopia. Dr. Workneh Gebeyehu joins me now from Addis Ababa. So, really

great to have you on. Thank you so much. You held an emergency virtual meeting on Sunday. What was the outcome of that meeting?

What is the sense in terms of trying to get the two generals to come to the negotiating table and find a way forward from here?


day for people of Sudan that the eruption of the clash between the two parties. After that development, immediately, the leader -- the leaders of

the region, most of them are neighboring countries had conducted an emergency meeting, how to really help the people of Sudan.

And it was a very clear demonstration of solidarity with the people of Sudan. That meeting has concluded that. Number one, cessation of hostility,

ceasefire, without any condition from both parties, as well as the (INAUDIBLE) the count -- the assembly has decided to send three of our

heads of states. The senior heads of states to travel to Khartoum and to discuss with all the parties about the situation.

And IGAD is the roadmap, a way forward to really mediate the situation. But the most important thing now is, you know, the ceasefire. These things are

weighing in the town, in the cities. That is harming a lot of civilians, a lot of distractions. That is really, really disturbing.

GIOKOS: Let's talk about securing a ceasefire. And from what I understand South Sudan President will be going Kenya's president as well, as well as

president of Djibouti. Are you going to try and secure a ceasefire before heads of state get into Sudan? What is the sense right now been able to

achieve that?

GEBEYEHU: Yes. The leaders headed by -- the team is headed by His Excellency, President Salva Kiir of South Sudan, including President Ruto

and President Ismail Omar Guelleh of Djibouti. That -- the main and most important mission of this high delegation is number one, to ceasefire and

to stop the conflict. The other -- and the critical point is how to bring them back to the table. The table of negotiation.

IGAD, African Union and the United Nations. These three-partied mechanism, we were mediating all the parties.


And one of the elements that have not resolved until now is the issue of bringing together, joining the rapid support force to the -- to the

national army. So, that is also the problem of the timing that they have a difference. So, this difference can be resolved.

GIOKOS: Right.


GIOKOS: I have to ask you this.

GEBEYEHU: One of the most important thing is bring them to --


GIOKOS: I mean, are you worried -- how important is it for these heads of state --


GIOKOS: How important is it for these heads of states to be successful in order to ensure that this doesn't escalate further? Are you concerned? Are

you worried that this could escalate further?

GEBEYEHU: Sorry. I'm not hearing you.

GIOKOS: Are you worried, sir, that this could escalate further? Do you believe that the heads of state heading to Sudan will be able to achieve

what you've just laid out?

GEBEYEHU: Yes. Given the situation that now we are seeing, things are not in right direction. And unless and otherwise, we stopped this thing, this

can -- this thing can escalate to other regional areas. And the damage is going to be a very big. Definitely, we have to make something to stop the

gun. I listen to the words. Really, I also fear that this kind of escalate, of course.

GIOKOS: Sir, thank you for your time. I'm sure we'll be speaking in the next few days again. That was Workneh Gebeyehu joining us from Addis Ababa.

All right. And you can follow the story online in our Meanwhile in the Middle East newsletter. It drops three times a week with a story out later

today about the accusations flying back and forth between the rival military leaders in Sudan. You can access the newsletter on your computer,

or you can use the Q.R. code you can see on the bottom of your screen right now.

Next. Standing by his conviction even as he's convicted. The prominent Kremlin critic who says he's proud for speaking out despite being sentenced

to 25 years in jail.

And a much-anticipated defamation trial between Dominion and Fox News has been suddenly delayed. What it means and could a possible settlement be in

the works? That's all coming up. Stay with CNN.


GIOKOS: Reminiscent of Stalin era repression. The words of Amnesty International who are condemning the sentencing of a Kremlin critic and

human rights activists Vladimir Kara-Murza was given 25 years in prison after publicly criticizing Moscow's war on Ukraine. The E.U. is calling the

verdict outrageously harsh.


All this as the fighting in Ukraine itself rages on. Ben Wedeman is in eastern Ukraine with more on the battle for the city of Bakhmut. Ben, great

to have you with us. The city of Bakhmut still, I guess, hangs in the balance and fighting is intensifying. Could you tell us what the latest

lines are?

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTENATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Eleni, the Bakhmut is just barely hanging in the balance at this point. But first, let me

explain to you where I am. We're in Slovyansk in eastern Ukraine not far from Bakhmut. In front of that building that last Friday was hit by an S-

300 Russian surface-to-air missile. The workers are still clearing away the rubble. This was the worst single strike on Slovyansk since the beginning

of the full-scale Russian invasion more than a month ago.

Fifteen people were killed in that strike. As far as Bakhmut goes, the Fighting has intensified. The Russian Ministry of Defense has put out a

statement claiming that two new districts have been taken in Bakhmut. And really, the fighting there is the most intense in the entire front. And

what we saw the other day is that the authorities, the police are trying desperately to convince people who are living in those areas to move away

from the fighting as quickly as possible.


WEDEMAN (voice over): Another family is moving out. Leaving the frontline town of Krasnohorivka with the help of the police.

Perhaps to lessen the blow to his children, Yevgeni Kwips (ph) will be back. It's just a vacation.

Eighty-four-year-old Raya (ph) doesn't sugarcoat it.

It's like torture, she says. But don't worry. We'll survive. Raya has lived in Krasnohorivka all her life.

Rustam (ph) and his colleagues venture out to these frontline villages several times a week trying to convince people to move to safer ground.

It's dangerous work but for Rustam, it's worth the risk to get these children out of harm's way.

Looking into those eyes, he asks, what else can you do? If friendly persuasion doesn't work, there are other means. There's an order from local

government requiring the children be evacuated from areas close to the fighting.

This is how Vasilii (ph) goes about the job of friendly persuasion. Sitting, talking, trying to convince those who remain if their lives are in

peril. The people in this basement turned bomb shelter have been down here for more than a year. And clearly, that has taken a toll.

Their homes are here. Everything they know is here. They refuse to leave. The eastern end of Krasnohorivka is the hardest hit. Yet even here, there's

a stubborn holdout.

WEDEMAN (on camera): They've come to this building to try to convince an old man to leave. They've already evacuated his wife. As you can see, this

area has been seriously smashed by incoming rounds. The Russians are just five kilometers, around three miles from here.

WEDEMAN (voice over): He didn't want his face to appear on camera.

I'm not going anywhere, he says. I was born here and I'm going to die here. The chances of that happening here are perilously high.


WEDEMAN: And what makes it even more perilous is the fact that the Russians are now using guided aerial bombs which can be launched 50 kilometers from

the front line. And the Russians apparently have no shortage of those bombs. Eleni?

GIOKOS: All right. Ben Wedeman, thank you very much for that update.

Well, a sudden delay in a high-profile trial. The judge in the Dominion voting systems defamation case against Fox News has formally pushed back

opening statements to Tuesday. It was supposed to begin right about now. Judge Eric Davis says the delay "is not unusual." The change comes as the

Wall Street Journal owned by Fox Chairman Rupert Murdoch reports an out-of- court settlement could be in the works.

Dominion says it was defamed when Fox hosts claimed illegally rigged the 2020 election against Donald Trump.

CNN's Senior Media Reporter Oliver Darcy joins us now live from Wilmington, Delaware, where the case is set to be tried. Thanks for joining us. What

can we read into this delay? What could possibly be happening behind the scenes here?


OLIVER DARCY, CNN SENIOR MEDIA REPORTER: Well, it's really unclear why the judge delayed this trial. He didn't give an explanation. He just said it's

not unusual for a six-week trial to face a one-day delay on the eve of the trial. So, no explanation given from the judge. That said, as you

mentioned, Rupert Murdoch's Wall Street Journal reported last night that Fox was making a last-minute push to settle this case out of court.

And that would make some sense for Fox News because this is set to be an excruciating six weeks where they're going to have people like Murdoch and

also some of Fox News's biggest star, Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson, Bret Baier and other anchors have to come before the court and testify about why

they put election lies on the air when they knew those were not true. And so, if the case is settled out of court, that would obviously avert a very

agonizing experience for Fox.

That said, the judge said in court today that he expects court to resume tomorrow. That trial will resume or will go -- get underway tomorrow

afternoon. And Fox and Dominion are basically -- it seems preparing for that. A Dominion in the hearing that occurred just this morning walked in

with some 40 boxes of evidence, really indicating that they are ready to get this -- get the show started.

And so, you know, a lot remains up in the air in the hours leading up to a potential trial. We don't know much. We're obviously waiting to hear more,

but right now it looks like a trial will get underway barring some sort of last-minute settlement.

GIOKOS: All right. Oliver Darcy, thank you so much.

Well, a quick programming note for you now. Coming up later today. Christian Amanpour sits down with Ireland's former Premier Bertie Ahern,

former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and former U.S. President Bill Clinton for an exclusive reunion interview in Belfast 25 years after

brokering the Good Friday Agreement and bringing peace to Northern Ireland. You don't want to miss that.

Well, a frightening moment for the Japanese Prime Minister. Dramatic video showing his security team sprang into action to protect him from the

possible pipe bomb.

Plus, outrage after a U.S. team was shocked when he showed up at the wrong house to pick up his siblings. What investigators are saying happened,

that's next.


GIOKOS: Welcome back. I'm Eleni Giokos. I'm in for Becky Anderson. And you're watching CONNECT THE WORLD. Here are your headlines this hour.

Nearly 100 Civilians are reported killed and hundreds of people are injured as fighters from Sudan's military and the rapid support forces battle for

control of the country.


The paramilitary leader and army chief are disputing the terms of a 2021 power sharing agreement to return the country to civilian rule.

Humanitarian officials are warning of a major health care crisis.

Now the E.U. is among those condemning the sentencing of a Kremlin critic as unjustly harsh. Vladimir Kara-Murza was given 25 years in prison after

publicly criticizing Moscow's war in Ukraine. He was on trial for criminal offenses that include treason, as well as spreading fake news about the

Russian army.

A historic trial and the defamation suit brought against Fox News by Dominion Voting Systems has been pushed back until Tuesday. The judge in

the case says the one-day delay is not unusual. The change comes as the Wall Street Journal is reporting Fox has made a late push to settle the

disputes out of court.

While Japan's Prime Minister is promising next month's G7 summit will be secure. That's often alarming incidents at a campaign speech.

CNN's Marc Stewart has video from that dramatic moment and he reports for us from Tokyo.

MARC STEWART, CNN CORRESPONDENT: As soon as the risk of danger became apparent during the campaign stop, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida's

security team immediately sprang into action. It's a moment that was caught on camera and posted on social media.

The video shows a member of the security detail kicking away a pipe bomb. It appears to have been thrown in the Prime Minister's direction. That

officer then uses a protective board to shield casita as he's rushed away from the scene. And then moments later, the sound of an explosion. Over the

weekend police raided the home of the 24-year-old suspect. They removed several items including a computer, a mobile phone, tools and what appears

to be gunpowder.

Japanese public broadcaster NHK said. This scare occurred as international leaders converge on Japan this week ahead of the G7 conference next month

in Hiroshima. And less than a year after the assassination of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. The Prime Minister addressed questions about safety.

FUMIO KISHIDA, PRIME MINISTER OF JAPAN (through translator): For event schedules like the G7 summit where dignitaries from around the world

gather, I believe Japan nationwide will have to work together to make the utmost effort to provide security and safety.

STEWART: In Japan, local campaign events like the one attended by the Prime Minister are very common and often without extensive security restrictions.

Marc Stewart, CNN, Tokyo.

GIOKOS: Well, in Missouri, protesters took to the streets Sunday in response to a teenager shot in the head after he accidentally went to the

wrong home. Police say a homeowner shot and wounded Ralph Yarl. The teen was picking up his siblings but went to the wrong address. Yarl is set to

be in stable condition in the hospital and protesters are calling for justice. I want to bring in Camila Bernal with more details on the story.

I think importantly, what is the condition of Ralph Yarl at the stage?

CAMILA BERNAL, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, thankfully, he's in stable condition. The family says that he is doing well physically, but that he

has a long road ahead mentally and emotionally. So, this is going to be very difficult. They are describing him as friendly and well-mannered. He

loves music and they say he plays a number of instruments. Always has one in hand. And he just dreamed about graduating.

He wanted to go to West Africa. And so, the family says that all of this is going to be a lot harder just because he went to the wrong address. He went

to 115th Street and he was supposed to go to 115th Terrace. He was just blocks away from where he was supposed to pick up his brothers. And

instead, he knocks on the door and he is shot. It was a neighbor who called police at the time. And the homeowner was arrested.

He was held for 24 hours because state law in Missouri says that you can hold someone for 24 hours as you investigate. But after those 24 hours, you

either have to press charges or you have to release the person. So, authorities here are saying that they need more time in the investigation.

They want to talk to Yarl and so they need more evidence before they decide what they're going to do moving forward.

That's where a lot of this frustration comes from. The chief of police in Kansas City says she understands that anger and that frustration. Here's

what she said.


STACEY GRAVES, KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI POLICE CHIEF: I want everyone to know that I'm listening and I understand the concern that we are receiving from

the community.

The information that we have now, it does not say that is racially motivated. That's still an active investigation.


But as a chief of police, I do recognize the racial components of this case. I do recognize and understand the community's concern.


BERNAL: Now the family is now being represented by civil rights attorneys Lee Merritt and Benjamin Crump, who are very famous here in the U.S. and

who represent many of the civil rights cases in the U.S. They say that this was horrific. They say this was unjustifiable, and they're asking for swift

action. And we have reached out to the Kansas City Police Department. They say this is an ongoing investigation.

So, we're still waiting to see what happens here in terms of the legal process and really just the authorities and their investigation. In the

meantime, though, the family says this is extremely difficult and they're just thankful that he is alive but still have a lot of questions. Back to


GIOKOS: So many questions. I think -- I think people watching this have a lot of questions here that the shooter was held for 24 hours. Investigation

is still ongoing. And so many questions around this, you know, what still needs to happen, I guess, going forward. So, charges need to be put in

place. Do we know anything about what the -- what the family would be charging the shooter essentially? Could you give me a sense of where to

from here?

BERNAL: You know, that's the hard part here that prosecutors at the moment say they don't have enough. They want to continue the investigation. And

they say that they want to interview Ralph Yarl to get essentially his side of the story, to hear exactly what happened and all of this. They're

investigating as a mistaken identity. That's what police officers have said so far. But the family is wanting a lot more than that.

Because what they're saying is, look, a teenager that rings your doorbell should not be shot in the head. And that's exactly what happened here. And

so, they want some sort of accountability. When it comes to this homeowner, they want him to be held responsible. And the problem here is that

authorities are saying, well, we don't have enough just yet. And so, we'll have to wait to see if eventually prosecutors say they have enough to

charge him with any crime right now, we do not know.

And there's a lot of rumors out there of self-defense of what could happen here. Whether or not this was racially motivated. None of that has been

approved by police yet. So, we'll have to wait for this investigation to see what prosecutors decide to do in this case.

GIOKOS: As you say, more questions now and answers. Camila Bernal now joining us. Thank you so much.

BERNAL: Thank you.

GIOKOS: All right. Moving on now. And still ahead. Daddy Cool. Cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar scores a family first in the Indian Premier League.

We explain later this hour. You want to stay tuned for that.



GIOKOS: All right. Let's get you up to speed on some other stories that are on our radar right now. A U.S. helicopter raid in northeast Syria has

targeted a senior ISIS leader. That's according to a U.S. military spokesperson. The U.S. believes that ISIS leader was killed earlier, along

with an operational planner responsible for terror attacks in the Middle East and Europe. No word on their identities yet.

Wildfires now raging along the border between France and Spain. And it's not even summer yet. Authorities say hundreds of hectares have been

destroyed. Parts of Europe are already facing record breaking drought. Raising fears of a repeat of last year's devastating fires.

Almost two tons of cocaine were found floating at sea off Eastern Sicily. Italian police say the drugs worth around $440 million. A record were

wrapped in waterproof packages and attached to a light signaling device. They say the hole was probably left there by a cargo ship, so drug runners

could pick it up later.

The U.S. Ambassador to Moscow has visited the American journalists to being detained in Russia. In a tweet, Lynne Tracy said Evan Gershkovich is in

good health and remains strong. We reiterate our call for his immediate release. Pardon me. The U.S. has designated the Wall Street Journal

reporter as being wrongfully detained. Russia has accused him of espionage.

What's 100 centuries between family head? Well, the son of cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar has just made his debut in the Indian Premier League. And

while 23-year-old Arjun Tendulkar may have big shoes to fill. He and his dad have already set a record. Becoming the first father and son duo to

play in the league.

Amanda Davies joins me now. Amanda, I have to say, when I saw Sachin Tendulkar's name in my script, it reminded me of the early 2000s. Those

amazing games. Those cricket games between India and South Africa. Blast from the past and now we get a little bit more of him in a different way.

AMANDA DAVIES, CNN SPORTS ANCHOR: Yes. 10 years since Sachin decided to call it a day in terms of playing. He is a team mentor for the Mumbai

Indians. The side who we played for in the IPL for six years. And now his son Arjun, age 23, as you mentioned has made his debut. You talk about the

big shoes to fill. Perhaps sensibly, if Sachin was best known as one of the greatest batsmen of all time. For Arjun, is his skills with the ball that

are making the headlines.

He's more of a bowler but put in a very impressive opening performance with his dad watching on. And we've got more on that coming up in World Sport


GIOKOS: Fantastic. Amanda Davies will be joining us right after the break. We'll see you then.