Return to Transcripts main page
Connect the World
Wildfires Burn Across Europe; Wildfires Rage in Greek Islands of Rhodes, Corfu, Evia; Israel's Supreme Court will not Issue Injunction against "Reasonableness" Law for now, will Debate in September; UN: Oil Spill could Cause Environmental Disaster; Oil Being Removed from Tanker Near Yemen in Red Sea. Aired 11a-12p ET
Aired July 26, 2023 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ELENI GIOKOS, CNN HOST, CONNECT THE WORLD: And we start this hour with breaking news in London a jury finding Oscar winning actor Kevin Spacey not
guilty in his criminal sexual assault trial. Four men had accused him of sexual assault in and around London between 2004 and 2013.
Now in a very short statement after the verdict, Spacey thanked the jury for the decision. Let's get to CNN's Salma Abdelaziz who is outside the
courthouse and witness to firsthand the commotion the speech very short and he said it's a lot for me to process right now, Salma.
SALMA ABDELAZIZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. And he did appear relieved, of course wanting to address the press. Many of those here have been following
of course, this trial this very riveting case that has lasted nearly four weeks now with very serious accusations against actor Kevin Spacey. He had
since the outset, said that he welcomed his day in court; he has always denied all the charges against him.
He maintained his innocence and said that he had looked forward to the opportunity to stand in a courtroom and prove just that. But he still was
very emotional in that courthouse today coming to tears, as he was found not guilty of all nine charges, all nine sexual offences against him as he
stepped out and spoke to the press, again, that emotion carry through Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KEVIN SPACEY, ACTOR: I, for having taken the time to examine all of the evidence and all of the facts carefully before they reach the decision. I
would like to say that I'm enormously grateful to the jury for having taken the time to examine all of the evidence and all of the facts carefully
before they reach the decision. And I am humbled by the outcome today.
I also want to thank the staff inside this courthouse, the security and all those who took care of us every single day. My legal team, Evan Lowenstein
and Lucy for being here every day and that's all I have to say for the moment. Thank you very much.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ABDELAZIZ: After that very brief statement, Eleni he rushed off, of course cameraman following him trailing him again, I just want to remind you of
just how serious these charges were. I mean, they included seven counts of sexual assault. One offense, the most serious charge of them was causing a
person to engage in penetrative sexual activity without consent.
This could have potentially held decade's long prison sentence. Of course, he has now been found not guilty. But by no means was this an easy trial,
the jury deliberated for days a total of nearly 12 and a half hours. Ultimately the judge in not finding consensus with the jury ruled that they
could come to a majority decision at least 10 out of the 12.
Once that decision was made by the judge in under an hour the jury came out with their final decision again, not guilty on all charges. These are
accusations that date back again a long time nearly 20 years, so there was competing narratives in court with Kevin Spacey again describing many of
these instances as romantic as flirtatious and of course, as consensual.
These are accusations that surfaced in the wake of the Me Too movement, so potentially a blow for that movement. But for Kevin Spacey for him, this is
a day that he has been able, he says to prove his innocence and he hopes to win his career back.
GIOKOS: Salma Abdelaziz, great to see you, thank you so much. Now we move to a continent on fire in Europe. Firefighters are facing walls of fire and
smothering blankets of smoke as they battle relentless and deadly wildfires. In Portugal, firefighters and locals have rushed to a holiday
town of Cascais cash to fight ablaze. And right now Italy is battling 10 fires as officials say that five people are dead because of the fires as
well as extreme weather.
Our Nada Bashir is on the ground in Rome. Nada, we're seeing some of the horrific images and impacts of these wildfires. We know what these extreme
temperatures have been doing to so many cities across southern Europe, take us through the latest.
NADA BASHIR, CNN REPORER: That's right. In Italy, here the Civil Protection Agency says they are still battling 10 fires. The southern regions of the
country have of course seen the worst of these wildfires over the last few days. Just yesterday of course, we saw those dramatic images from Sicily.
And in particular, in Palermo, we saw video from one eyewitness Denise Bishop an American living in Italy, who shared video with CNN, can only be
described as pretty apocalyptic scenes as she attempted to drive to Palermo airport. Of course, we did see those flames edging dangerously close to the
tarmac; bring the airport to a standstill at one point.
And she described to CNN the situation she's described it as absolute chaos describing the delays of these fires, of course, to fight the hours and
hours of queues. Our team were in fact on route to Palermo, but we're unable to travel onwards there because of the fires. So this has been a
significant amount of chaos for the travel industry, here in Italy.
But of course, across the southern parts of the country, many have been impacted. Many were of course forced to temporarily evacuate their homes.
Now we have heard from civil protection authorities in Sicily, they say that around 2000 people were forced to evacuate for their protection.
But have now the vast majority at least been able to return home. There are some 20, who still remain under evacuation measures for their protection.
But we've heard from the Prime Minister Georgia Meloni speaking earlier today, we know that of course a number of regions have requested permission
to declare a state of emergency to request those additional resources to tackle these fires and to provide the support needed.
She did say earlier in a statement posted on Twitter that this has really put Italy to the test and the country and the government are pulling out
all the stops to provide that support. But that request for in a state of emergency in some of these regions is still under consideration, Eleni?
GIOKOS: All right, Nada Bashir, thank you so much, great to see you. Now in Greece tens of thousands of locals and tourists have fled the country's
famed and usually idyllic islands in the past days as far as rage. And researchers say wildfire emissions from the country this month are now the
highest it has seen in 21 years.
In the past hour, I spoke with Greece's Tourism Minister Olga Kefalogianni and started by asking her about the status of evacuations.
OLGA KEFALOGIANNI, GREEK TOURISM MINISTER: The really difficult situation we have faced these days has been on the island of roads. And even there,
the problem was in an area of the island, which was almost 10 to 15 percent of the total area of the island. So in reality, we obliged on Saturday
evening, because of the wildfires, to evacuate 19,000 people, actually people who were here for holidays and we had to evacuate them and redirect
16,000 were transported by land and 3000 were transported by sea, this happened in a matter of a couple of hours. And we managed to have these
people very safely put in safe places. So this is the most important message that despite the disruption, and I understand we've been an
inconvenience for everyone.
Safety is our top priority. And what is very important is that 19,000 people were moved safely into safe places.
GIOKOS: Minister, so minister, I've got this question for you. I mean, you say that it's 10 to 15 percent of roads. But even with that small
percentage, let's be realistic here. This prompted the largest evacuation of this kind that Greece has ever conducted. Certainly a Herculean task,
you were able to do it in just a few hours.
Well, we've seen the reports, we spoken to many tourists, and we've seen what locals are experiencing as well. How were you prepared logistically to
be able to manage this? And if the percentages were larger, would you be able to deal with a bigger number of people?
KEFALOGIANNI: Well, thank you for the question. It's true that this has been the biggest mobilization the Greece's has ever faced. And I think it
was indeed a Herculean task to be able to move all these people in a couple of hours. You understand that the whole the island of roads during this
peak tourist season was not able to accommodate everyone in hotel rooms.
So we needed to open up public spaces, sports facilities, conference centers, schools. So in a matter of just minutes, this was able and we
provided shelter to all these people. They were provided with food, with water, with medical supervision, the locals were mobilized.
And I think this is the most important thing to stress that we had so many volunteers, people bringing sheets and towels from their homes to make sure
that everyone had the necessary equipment. And people, the people from roads, really taking care of all the visitors. And this is something that I
felt. And I was able to discuss with a lot of these peoples who needed to be evacuated. And they were thanking the people of roads.
GIOKOS: For the sake of time, I'm sorry, yes, for the sake of time, and I hear you on just how the locals get mobilized. It's incredible. In fact, I
was in Evia in 2021. And I experienced firsthand these raging wildfires. And I saw just how locals mobilized. It's incredible what they do.
But the issue here remains preparedness. And one of the big issues that I saw on the ground speaking to locals, they said to me, look, we're worried
that we're going to be forgotten that we know this is going to happen again, government knows the wildfires season is going to happen again. And
they're probably not going to do much.
So my question now becomes, how prepared are you for wildfire season? And what interventions have you made specifically, in -- - where there are
fires, again, an island that barely recovered from what we saw in 2021?
KEFALOGIANNI: Well, let me just say that we have a Special Envoy for Climate crisis for climate change, because you understand that these
wildfires are the unfortunate result of the climate crisis. And I think that this is something that all countries especially in the Mediterranean
region, have to be prepared for. So Greece is prepared, we have a very strict vigilance system. So this will we were able to respond in a very,
very quick manner.
GIOKOS: With a climate crisis in full swing, scientists are warning a collapse in a vital system of ocean currents would affect every person on
the planet. A new study published in the journal Nature predicts the collapse could happen around the middle of the century, maybe as early as
Scientists say the currents help regulate global weather patterns and a collapse would mean more severe winters, extreme storms and a rising sea
level in the U.S. as well as Europe. Now the U.S. state of Florida recorded what's believed to be its highest ocean temperature ever on Monday, as
ocean temperatures continue to rise. Cold reefs are taking hits. CNN's Chief Climate Correspondent Bill Weir has more.
BILL WEIR, CNN CHIEF CLIMATE CORRESPONDENT: We're here in Cartagena. Locals and tourists are used to bathtub warm waters in the Caribbean, but nothing
like the number scientists are seeing now. North of us in Florida around Florida Bay, triple digit temperatures Fahrenheit 101 degrees, that's the
sea surface highest ever recorded 38 degrees Celsius.
And as a result of that, some scientists are already seeing complete total coral reef loss. 100 percent bleaching in some areas, there's no telling
how much of Florida's reef system what's left of it will survive because we still have the two hottest months yet to go.
All of this as a result, of course of generations of heat trapping gas in the atmosphere, holding down as much extra heat every second as 10
Hiroshima sized atomic bombs, the depths of the ocean that cold water has masked a lot of that obvious heat. But this year, obviously, you can't
ignore it anymore.
And this is just the beginning of a trend that scientists worry could have half of the planet's surface in a marine heat wave. That puts enormous
stresses on coral systems which are not just pretty for snorkelers and scuba divers, but are the cradles of the sea. The nurseries have so much
And on top of that, if you add acidification from all that carbon going in sea creatures are facing stresses that are just off the charts right now.
There is new science about a big circulation system in the Atlantic known as the AMOC, this is a triangular, sort of shaped conveyor belt that takes
warm water from the Caribbean here and up to Canada and even to the UK and across.
That has been weakening as a result of Greenland shedding so much freshwater if that shuts down. It's sort of an apocalyptic scenario we've
seen in movies like The Day After Tomorrow, there is some debate as to when that tipping point could happen. A new paper has it as early as 2025, but
his latest 2090.
But either way, all the latest science points to warnings that we're heading towards to that key vital tipping point that must be avoided to
preserve life as we know it on the planet. So in the meantime, some scientists even in Miami are desperately trying to save what corals they
can bring them into laboratories, a futile effort given the scope of the problem right now.
But again, we're just heading into the two hottest months of the year. Bill Weir, CNN, Cartagena, Columbia.
GIOKOS: Important warning there. Well, still to come, Israel Supreme Court says it will hear legal challenges to a new law that has polarized Israel
and sparked mass street protests. Plus, the son of a sitting U.S. president walking into a federal courthouse to plead guilty to a crime, it is
unprecedented in American history. We'll have the latest on Hunter Biden's PDO.
GIOKOS: In Israel, the Supreme Court says that we'll hear challenges to a new law curtailing its powers in September, but says it will not issue an
injunction to temporarily block it before then. So the so-called reasonableness law entered into force earlier today and has triggered
It strips the Supreme Court of the ability to block government decisions based on a reasonableness doctrine. CNN's Fred Pleitgen joins us now from
Jerusalem, Fred, great to have you on. Look since the vote we've been asking what the Supreme Court's move will be given it has the fact that
it's received many appeals. Now it says it will not issue an injunction just yet. Explain why.
FRED PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Well, issue an injunction because it is going to hear the case in full in September. It
was an interesting thing, because a law professor that CNN spoke to said, it's not actually that big of a deal that there is not going to be an
There were of course fears among some people that the government could use that interim period until September to make certain moves that some people
had feared could happen. Some of them fearing that they might go after the Attorney General even tried to fire the Attorney General.
Obviously, the Supreme Court then would not be able to do very much about or at least would not be able to use the reasonability a clause to be able
to shoot that down or declare that unreasonable.
One was also reinstating a government minister as well. However, a law professor that CNN spoke to said, look, the court is in recess until
September anyway, so they wouldn't have been able to stop those things until September anyhow. In any case, if there are things that the
government decides that could potentially be in the way of this, then they could file injunctions against that.
So for now, for all intents and purposes, this reasonability act is in force. However, in reality, the court right now is in recess. Most of
politics quite frankly, is in recess as well. So right now, there is very little at least this law professor says that, that could be in jeopardy
because of this.
And of course, at the same time, we are hearing that when the court hears these petitions in September, it will hear all seven petitions. There's one
organization that has come out, one of those that filed the petition said they were very happy about the decision that the Supreme Court made saying
they were getting ready for their day in court. However they also added that they would continue to protest as well.
And of course, that's something that we've been seeing, we've been hearing and seeing this anger being unleashed here on the streets of so many cities
in Israel. And certainly seems as though, at least throughout the summer, that is something that could very well continue Eleni.
GIOKOS: Yes, I mean, this. I mean, these protests have been continuing for six months. And frankly, we've heard the voices of many former government
officials, many important voices throughout Israel, speaking up against these judicial reforms.
But interestingly, here, it's the status of the reservists that many reservists have said they are pushing away, they did not want to step in.
Could you give me a sense of how this complicates the security situation for Israel?
PLEITGEN: Well, the Israelis are saying it complicates everything, because the army, of course, is the backbone in many ways of Israeli society. And
also, of course, for Israeli security, as is so important as well. There was something really interesting that we saw last night is that the
spokesman for the military came out and said, look, there are indeed increased cases of reservists coming out and asking not to be called into
reserve duty says right now, the army is fully capable of Israel's defense.
But he says the longer that reserves stay away from such postings, the more difficult it becomes, as far as the capabilities of the military are
concerned. And that, of course, is a big concern for Israel's security. Here's what we're learning.
PLEITGEN (voice over): As protests continue to grip Israel, among those taking to the streets, many military reservists angry at the Netanyahu
government's moves to weaken the country's Supreme Court, even some who are just getting ready to serve saying they feel alienated.
PLEITGEN (on camera): What do you think this means for the Israeli army because there's so much division right now in society and unity is so
important for the defense of Israel.
ETHAN LAZAL, PROTESTER: We want to serve the values of the country and not some a prime minister, that's what we want. We need to have a democratic
country if you can, if we want to serve in the assembly.
PLEITGEN (voice over): Both men and women performed mandatory military service in Israel. And many later continue as often highly skilled
reservists, crucial for a small country under constant threat. But now around 10,000 reservists have vowed to refuse service saying they believe
that judicial overhaul would undermine democracy and the balance of power.
RON SCHERF, ISRAELI RESERVIST: This is a very sad day for me. I'm volunteering for 23 years already in the reserve army only, all my life
volunteering and fighting for Israel. We feel we're doing the right thing, and that we are fighting for the democracy of Israel.
YIFTACH GOLOV, ISRAELI RESERVIST: To stop the madness to stop the destruction of the army to make sure that Israel will remain a democracy.
PLEITGEN (voice over): The move led to backlash from both the military leadership and the government, the Chief of Staff pleading with the
LT. GEN, HERZI HALEVI, CHIEF OF GENERAL STAFF, ISRAEL DEFENSE FORCES: Even those who have made a decision with a heavy heart not to report, the IDF
PLEITGEN (voice over): Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu critical of the dissenters.
BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: We all know that the Israeli Defense Forces rely on dedicated reservists who love the country. The call
for refusal harms the security of all the citizens of the country.
PLEITGEN (voice over): Concerns about the future of Israel's military are so grave even opposition politicians fighting hard against Netanyahu's
efforts to curtail the Supreme Court's powers are calling on the reservists to reconsider.
BENNY GANTZ, FORMER ISRAELI DEFENSE MINISTER: Even in this very difficult hour, I call upon my brothers who were serving and volunteering, continue
to guard our safety, our security, give us a strong country to be able to amend things.
PLEITGEN (voice over): But many Israelis are clearly not betting on politicians are mending things, instead taking to the streets to voice
PLEITGEN: Eleni, it's really hard to overstate how important an issue this is for Israelis and of course for the security of this country as well. And
I think it's also one of the reasons why you see the military's top brass, and also many politicians no matter which side of the issue, they are on
coming out and asking these reservists to reconsider their decisions, because they understand that the reserves are so important for Israel's
military and to keep the combat readiness of that military upright, Eleni.
GIOKOS: All right, Fred Pleitgen, thank you. And we are still waiting for word in Hunter Biden's plea deal. The U.S. president's son is in a federal
courthouse in Delaware right now, where proceedings are currently in recess. He says he's intending to plead guilty to two tax charges.
Prosecutors say he failed to pay federal income taxes on time in 2017 and 2018. His plea deal would also resolve a felony gun charge and allow him to
avoid jail time. Sara Murray is here with us for an update, take us through the latest.
SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: While a key has signaled that he is going to plead guilty, but he hasn't formally entered that plea. And as
you pointed out they are on a recess right now ironing out some of the wrinkles around this Hunter Biden plea agreement, which again, is supposed
to be him pleading guilty to two misdemeanor tax charges and striking a deal to avoid a felony gun charge.
Right now, it seems like they're still working out some of the elements of that. Prosecutors made clear in court today that Hunter Biden had the
means, he had the income to pay his taxes a couple years back, and he just didn't do so. They pointed out that he was getting large sums of money from
foreign sources, Chinese sources, Ukrainian sources, as part of this, obviously, that has been a big political football on Capitol Hill.
And prosecutors also said that as part of this deal, they are going to recommend probation. Now ultimately, it's going to be up to the judge to
decide what that sentencing is going to look like. We don't expect that to happen today. But we do expect that she would set a date for sentencing.
But things are progressing rather slowly as they iron out some of the wrinkles. And you look; you can bet that even if they work out most of
Hunter Biden's legal problems today, the political problems are definitely not going away.
I mean, on Capitol Hill, House Republicans are chomping at the bit to get more information from David Weiss, the U.S. Attorney who oversaw this
investigation about how he conducted this probe about allegations from IRS whistleblowers who worked on the probe that there was political
Weiss has shot some of those down, but Republicans on the Hill has made clear they want more answers. And we've also seen House Speaker Kevin
McCarthy signal in the most pointed way yet that he believes these concerns about the Biden family finances could rise to the level of an impeachment
inquiry. So that's something that's been a hot topic of discussion on Capitol Hill this week as well, back to you.
GIOKOS: Right, Sara Murray, great to have you with us. Thank you so much. Well, coming up, a UN mission is underway off the coast of Yemen to prevent
an environmental catastrophe. What it's like to be part of that mission, which is to remove oil from a cripple tank and we'll have a guest explain.
GIOKOS: Welcome back to "Connect the World" with me Eleni Giokos, your headlines this hour. Court has found that those convicted of the 2016
terror attacks in Brussels intended to kill as many people as possible.
That's according to Belgian media. The six men were found guilty of terrorist murder Tuesday. The court also ruled that four more people should
be added to the list of those killed bringing the death toll to 36. Now more than 10,000 people have been killed in the capital of Sudan's West
Darfur region over the past two months.
That is according to a tribal leader talking to Sudanese media. Earlier this month, the UN said scores of bodies were discovered in a mass grave in
West Darfur allegedly killed by the paramilitary rapid support forces and the allied militias.
The Dutch coast guard says one person is dead after a fire broke out overnight on a cargo ship off the Dutch coast. All 23 crew members were
able to evacuate by helicopters and rescue boats, but one died and several others were injured. Now we're getting word of an attempted coup in Niger.
A witness tells CNN the presidency has been sealed off. Reports say gods are holding President Mohamed Bazoum inside his palace in the capital of
the Niamey. The Economic Community of West African States and the African Union are condemning the move.
Now the UN says a long awaited operation to remove one million barrels of oil from a decaying super tanker near Yemen's coastline is now underway.
The FSO suffer was abandoned after the outbreak of Yemen civil war in 2015.
Oil is now being siphoned from the ship into another vessel. The super tanker has been at risk of spilling oil into the Red Sea potentially
causing an environmental disaster, here is more.
GIOKOS (voice over): Attempting to avert an environmental disaster. This United Nations team is offloading one million barrels of oil from a rusting
ANTONIO GUTERRES, U.N. SECRETARY-GENERAL: The ship to ship transfer of oil, which has started today, is the critical next step in avoiding an
environmental and humanitarian catastrophe on a colossal scale.
GIOKOS (voice over): The FSO Safer tanker has been marred off the coast of Yemen for more than 30 years, but has not been maintained since 2015 when
the war broke out. And the UN says that a massive spill from the Safer would destroy pristine reefs, coastal mangroves and other sea life across
the Red Sea, expose millions of people to highly polluted air and cut off food, fuel and other lifesaving supplies to Yemen with 17 million people
already need food aid.
The UN chief warning that cleanup could cost $20 billion. Complicating matters is the ongoing conflict in Yemen, now under a ceasefire since
April. The UN says getting permission from the warring parties to empty the tank has taken two years of difficult negotiation.
Iran backed Houthi rebels have been battling a Saudi Arabia led military coalition supporting the internationally recognized government. The UN
salvage effort, which could take 19 days, has started positively.
ACHIM STEINER, ADMINISTRATOR, U.N. DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM: As of this morning, we are very pleased to report that the pumps are on, the pipes have been
laid between the FSO Safer and the Yemen the replacement tanker, and the first gallons of oil have in fact been pumped off the Safer onto the Yemen.
GIOKOS (voice over): What's still not clear is who will get to sell the oil once it's safely off the ship. It's mostly owned by SEPOC, a Yemeni state
firm. The UN says it is discussing with both warring sides on how to proceed. But for now, it wants the priority is to avert a calamity on an
GIOKOS: Well the process of removing more than one million barrels of oil is only one part of the operation. UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator
for Yemen, David Gressly said, the transfer of the oil to Yemen will prevent the worst case scenario of a catastrophic spill in the Red Sea, but
it is not the end of the operation.
We've got David Gressly joining us now. So thank you so much. I can see that you're on location; I want you to give me a sense of what you're
experiencing right now. I mean, there's so many questions, but I want to start off by saying, you've specifically said that removing the oil is only
one part of the operation. How much do you need to do? Could you take us through it?
DAVID GRESSLY, U.N. RESIDENT/HUMANITARIAN COORDINATOR IN YEMEN: Well, once we get the oil off well over a million barrels and are off to a good start.
We have over 120,000 barrels already transferred. But over the next two weeks, we hope to complete that. Then the next set of critical steps will
Number one, of course is to clean the old vessel to make sure there's no residue left over from the tanks that have been emptied. Secondly, we need
to attach it to a buoy, a giant buoy in fact, so that it's very secure until decisions are made on what to do with the oil.
But it will also be available to store oil in the future if it's needed.
GRESSLY: Then we need to look at how to deal with the, the FOC Safer itself. It will eventually need to be disconnected from the pipeline and
eventually scrapped, cleaned and scrapped. So those are all critical steps as we go forward.
GIOKOS: So David --
GRESSLY: Yes, please.
GIOKOS: Yes. So David, I'm curious how the transfer is actually happening. You know, can you take us through that? And is the operation that complex,
that there could be potential spills? How are you ensuring that you mitigate any kind of spillage while you're, you know, getting the oil from
the tanker into another vessel?
GRESSLY: Well, a lot of work was done upfront for the last several weeks. The vessel I'm on now is the Salvage Vessel, it's called the Endeavour.
It's a crew of personnel from the company, Smith, they are an excellent company. They're the same company that worked on the ever given the vessel
that was stuck in the Suez Canal, so they know what they're doing.
So they spent a period from the end of May, up until a few days ago, securing the vessel behind me, which is the FSO Safer itself. There were a
number of things that had to be done to secure the oil from exploding. And that's done by pumping in our gases into each of the 13 compartments that
are holding the oil. There was a need to rebuild a number of systems for pumping, but also lighting, there's no engine that that's functional on
this, this vessel.
There are booms that have gone around the outside to capture any accidental spill. And of course, is installing the pumps that are now working as we
speak. So the hard part, in many ways, technically is over in getting the vessel stabilized. And that's what allowed us to start the pumping
And it's gone very well so far. We're pumping between four and 5000 barrels of oil every hour right now. So this is a testament to the good preparation
work that has been done. We believe there won't be a major -- I don't think there will be a major problem that we -- please go ahead.
GIOKOS: OK, that's good that there isn't going to be a problem. I think everyone is just wondering what kind of impact this is going to have. Look
for your mentees, who rely on fishing on the coast for their livelihoods, what are they saying? I mean, I'm sure this must have been a symbol of
something that could have gone wrong for a very long time.
From what we understand, 30 years that it's been sort of stationed there since 2015 not maintained. So many questions are -- . Wow.
GRESSLY: Yes, I'm back. This has been an issue for many people for in Yemen for many years since the war started, they very much worry about the impact
of the potential spill. And so, what we're hearing in social media is very positive. But finally someone has done doing something to solve this
problem, a threat that's been over their heads for so many years now.
So there's a lot of very positive feelings across the country right now. So we're very happy to make that kind of a contribution to a country that's
been devastated by war for the last eight years.
GIOKOS: OK, so once you have the oil on the endeavor, what are you going to do to it? What are you going to do with that? Who gets claim over this oil?
Have those discussions happened?
GRESSLY: Well, the discussions have happened to try to determine ownership. And it's some of that's unclear. And there are legal issues with that,
which will probably take a considerable amount of time to resolve. That's why the first thing we wanted to do was to get the oil off the old vessel.
So we're no longer worried about the spill happening.
Getting it onto a new vessel gives us the time for all of the political and legal discussions that need to take place before the oil can be sold. So
that's a step for the future. We're focusing now on getting the oil off. And then after that, the parties can talk about what happens to the oil.
GIOKOS: Yes, very quickly, David, how much is this costing this operation, the salvage operation costing and who's paying for it?
GRESSLY: We are estimating about $141 million for the total cost of this operation. It's coming from 23 different member states of the United
Nations. But also private sector has contributed; I think about $16 million so far.
We've also done crowd funding in order to raise awareness as well as funding, which is rather unique for the United Nations. It took us about a
year to raise this amount of money in order to start this operation. So it was a considerable effort.
And I want to thank particularly the governments of the United Kingdom and the Netherlands, for leading on this, the United States also came in very
strong resource formalization. Thank you.
GIOKOS: Thank you, David. We appreciate the work that you're doing. We appreciate you joining us. Thank you, David Gressly there for us. Well, up
next, we'll show you why this man, the founder of the Wagner Mercenary Group is causing problems for the British government. We'll take you live
to London, stay with CNN.
(CNN US SIMULCAST)