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Isa Soares Tonight

Six Dead, Dozens Injured After Illinois Shooting; Ukraine Shifting Defenses After Fall Of Luhansk Region; Ukraine Unveils $750 Billion Recovery Plan As Russia Sets Sights On Donetsk; Moscow Hails Victory In Luhansk Region; Ukraine Withdraws From Key Eastern Of Lysychansk; U.S.: Gunfire From Israeli Position Likely Killed Abu Akleh. Aired 2-3p ET

Aired July 04, 2022 - 14:00   ET



ISA SOARES, CNN HOST: Good evening, everyone. Let me take you to Illinois where press conference is taking place now after a shooting in the last 45

minutes or so. Let's listen in.

And we'll also -- I will be speaking on behalf of the Lake County Major Crime Task Force. My name is Chris Covelli, C-O-V-E-L-L-I.

We'll start with Commander O'Neill.


First and foremost, we're all grieving for the families and friends who lost loved ones today, those injured. and everyone impacted by this

horrific, senseless random act of violence.

I served as the incident commander on scene. I was present at approximately 10:14 when this started. There was an active shooter incident that occurred

in downtown Highland Park during our Fourth of July holiday parade this morning.

This was an active incident and all individuals are urged to shelter in place at this time.

Highland Park police and numerous federal, state and law enforcement agencies are searching for the suspect.

The suspect is currently described as a male, white, approximately 18 to 20 years old, with longer black hair, a small build, and wearing a white or

blue T-shirt.

A firearm has been recovered from the scene.

We have secured the perimeter around downtown Highland Park and are continuing our searches.

At this time, two dozen people have been transported to Highland Park Hospital. Six are confirmed deceased.

Anyone with video, photos or other evidence are urged to contact Highland Park police public safety dispatch at 847-432-7730. We will provide a tip

line. This information will be in short order.

Thank you.

MAYOR NANCY ROTERING (D-IL), HIGHLAND PARK: This morning at 10:14, our community was terrorized by an act of violence that has shaken us to our


Our hearts go out to the families of the victims during this devastating time.

On a day that we came together to celebrate community and freedom, we're instead mourning the loss, the tragic loss of life and struggling with the

terror that was brought upon us.

While we've all felt the burden of this terrible act, I want to pause and thank the first responders who ran towards the danger to render aid during

this active shooter situation.

We saw individuals who responded selflessly and put themselves at risk to save others.

We've had an outpouring of support from federal, state, county and fellow municipalities, of resources and offers of condolences and concern. And we

will avail ourselves of everything that they offer to us immediately.

At this point, we know that six people have lost their lives. And we are grieving for them and their families. Members of our community who came out

to celebrate together and, instead, faced this terror. Another 24 have been transported to the hospital.

Multiple agencies, including the FBI and state police, are working with our local authorities and the governor has offered his full support.

What we know at this time is this is an active situation and we urgent everyone to remain indoors and be on high alert but remain calm.

Please contact your loved ones and ensure that they're safe and let them know that you're safe as well.

This situation, as you know, is evolving rapidly and we will continue to update you as we gain information and stabilize the situation.

Thank you.

CHRIS COVELLI, LAKE COUNTY, ILLINOIS: So from a team management perspective, at this point, it is still a very active scene. Highland Park

Police Department is leading this investigation, as well as the apprehension efforts into the offender involved here.

As the mayor said, as the commander said, we're asking everyone to stay indoors and stay vigilant.

This person is not identified. By all means, at this point, this appears to be completely random.

So with that, there have been questions that have been coming in, are events safe tonight. That's up to each individual community to assess on

their own, make that determination.

But, no, this person is not yet in custody. We have hundreds of police officers out here. As the mayor said, from the FBI, the state police, other

federal agencies. We have SWAT teams that are going door to door as well.

Anybody with any video surveillance is strongly encouraged to contact the Highland Park Police Department so we can take a look at that and it can be

useful in our investigation.

The FBI is working hand in hand with the Lake County Major Crime Task Force right now processing the scene. It will be a very methodical processing of

the scene. And an investigation has commenced and is under way.

We're going to do our very best to provide updates every 30 minutes to an hour, if we can. We will keep the community informed.


COVELLI: Information and again, very sad day here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What type of weapon is being recovered?

COVELLI: It was a rifle.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you have any information on where this supposed weapon could be right now? Could be at all barricaded?

COVELLI: There's no indication he's barricaded anywhere or has any hostages that has been kind of circling around. There's no indication of that.

Investigators are very quickly working to try to identify who this person is and try to figure out where he is at.


So, it does appear he was shooting from a roof -- the roof that he was shooting from, I don't have that information right now. So, right now,

there's multiple agencies, Highland Park Police is leading the initial incident response. The Lake County Major Crime Taskforce is working

directly with the FBI on forwarding the investigation.

Of course, working with Highland Park Police detectives. They're very involved and they will be point throughout all of this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: High-capacity magazine along the --

COVELLI: That information I can't release just yet.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you have any evidence he had more than one popping on him?

COVELLI: That information I can't release just yet.


But we would still -- we would still consider him to be armed and dangerous.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you confident it's only one shooter?

COVELLI: At this time, that's the information we have that it was one shooter.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Any idea how many shots were fired?

COVELLI: We're still working on that. We'll take two more questions. Yes sir.


COVELLI: We're not going to go into the specifics of where the gun was recovered, but a firearm, a rifle was recovered.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you know the ages --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What's the ages?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The ages of those who passed away?

COVELLI: We will have more information on that. We're working with the Lake County Coroner's office, they too are very involved in this investigation,

and we will be releasing that as soon as we can. Thanks, we'll be back, OK?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: To be clear, only six dead and then 25 --

COVELLI: We have six confirmed deceased, and we have approximately two dozen that are seriously injured. OK, thank you.

SOARES: You have been listening there to the commander Chris O'Neill, as well as the mayor of Illinois with that breaking news to bring you in the

last 45 minutes or so. Six people have been killed, two dozen or so as you just heard there, have been transported to hospitals with injuries. We know

that the person, the shooter is still on the run. The suspect is still on the loose.

As you heard, they said that he is armed and that he is dangerous. Calling on people, of course, to remain indoors, to call their loved ones, but of

course, this is clearly an active situation. They also give the details that he's a white male, between 18 to 20 years of age, black hair, but

wearing a blue T-shirt. They have recovered a rifle, but this is clearly an ongoing situation, but a traumatic and horrific day today in Illinois.

Six people killed in Highland Park and two dozen or so people have been injured. We'll stay of course, on top of this breaking news as soon as

there's more developments. We'll of course, bring it to you. I want to focus your attention now and turn to Ukraine, because as we've heard in the

last 24 hours or so, Ukraine says it may have lost the battle, but it can still win the war.

It is shifting defenses today after the last city still under its control in the Luhansk region fell to Russian forces. The regional governor says

its decision to withdraw from Lysychansk was quote, "very painful". But he says it was the right move considering the cost of continuing to face

vastly superior Russian firepower. Russia now effectively controls all of Luhansk, and it's focused on pushing ahead in neighboring Donetsk region.

In an effort, as you can see in your map there, the seize the entire Donbas which was its goal all along. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy vows

his troops will regain lost territory with the help of western weapons. Let's get more now from CNN's Scott McLean who is live for us in Kyiv. A

very good evening to you, Scott. So, Ukraine and President Zelenskyy very much still define Scott, but this is a significant military victory for

Russia. What does this mean for the battle in the Donbas?

SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Isa, look, the Ukrainians say that they are going to fight another day, but that day is not today. The

situation in the Donbas for the Ukrainians is not looking good. Of course, they've had success elsewhere, they've managed to take back Bilhorod(ph)

and Kharkiv in the north, Mykolaiv in the south, they just retook Snake Island a few days ago in the Black Sea.

But this particular part of the Donbas, in the Luhansk region, the Ukrainians say that they were facing some of the toughest fighters along

the entire front line. These are the same troops that have been fighting for Luhansk for the last eight years on and off. They also know the area

quite well. And so, some of the tactics that the Ukrainians have been able to use elsewhere, like taking down all the street signs to try to disorient

their enemy, didn't work so well in this case.

But you mentioned it, the main problem for the Ukrainians, they say is the Russian superior fire powder. They say that they simply did not have the



Case in point, my colleague Phil Black was at the frontlines a couple of days ago, and he met with some Ukrainian soldiers who told him that, look,

for every one heavy shot we're firing, they're firing 10 or 20. It is simply not sustainable. And that is why we saw the very slow, but sure

progress of the Russians, being able to move westward. Isa?

SOARES: Yes, and that's been the problem all along. They've been outmanned and outgunned for sometime as you and I have seen. But that's the

battlefield, Scott. You know, there's another fight that Ukraine has on its hands and it's over stolen grain that's reportedly in Turkey. What more can

you tell us this hour, Scott?

MCLEAN: Yes, so, this is something that the Ukrainians have been accusing the Russians of for a while now -- stealing grain. Of course, grain is one

of Ukraine's biggest exports, it leaves global food security hanging in the balance if that grain can't get to market. And it all seems to have reached

ahead in this one particular case of a ship that is now just off the coast of Turkey.

It left Ukraine, Berdiansk, along the Black Sea coast, in the occupied part of Ukraine in late June. It has now just on Friday arrived off Turkey, but

the Turkish authorities are not allowing it to dock at port, nor are they allowing it to go back to where it came from. They are holding it there

until they can get more clarity from political leaders and law enforcement in Turkey, as to what exactly they should do with it.

The Ukrainians, they can't prove that this grain was stolen. But they would like the Turkish customs authority to go on board, to investigate and try

to figure out where exactly this grain came from, before allowing that grain to come into port and then get distributed to who knows where. So,

we're in a bit --

SOARES: Yes --

MCLEAN: Of a holding pattern right now, the Russians have denied any accusations of stealing any kind of grain. And I should point out that in

this case as well, Isa, the company that owns the Russian-flagged ship, they're also denying any wrongdoing. They say that they have the paperwork

to show that all of this is legal and above board.

SOARES: Scott McLean for us there in Kyiv, thanks very much, Scott, good to see you. Well, even as the war rages, an international conference is

underway in Switzerland to help create a roadmap of sort for Ukraine's reconstruction. President Zelenskyy says it's the common responsibility of

quote, "the entire democratic world".

He virtually addressed the conference in Lugano, as you can see there, today, while his prime minister attended in person, saying Ukraine's

recovery could cost $750 billion. Just before the show, I spoke with Danish Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod, I began by asking what the roadmap for

Ukraine, well, what it might look like.


JEPPE KOFOD, MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS, DENMARK: First of all, you see destruction of civilian buildings, hospitals, schools, infrastructure, all

of what makes a country work for the people. And therefore, in order to get people back to more normalcy despite the wars going on, is to help them

rebuilding their -- for example, their water systems, their energy systems, the infrastructure, because that's also a way to show, well, it might be

that Russia, with its illegal war, destroying Ukraine, destroying cities like Mariupol or Mykolaiv, other places.

But we will as soon as possible, we will start rebuilding. So, kind of the sign of destruction is removed as soon as possible. That gives also morally

support to the Ukrainian people in the long war that they are in unfortunately. A war that is devastating to them.

SOARES: I know, as you clearly lined out, outlined there for us, Mister, the plan is to rebuild infrastructure, but also I suspect to foster some

sort of stability in their long-term prosperity. But how can --

KOFOD: Yes --

SOARES: Ukraine and its allies achieve this without Russian cooperation or at least Russian non-interference here?

KOFOD: Well, I mean, we follow all the tracks to help Ukraine. We also help Ukraine with weapons also from the Danish side, also offensive than heavy

weapons. We also sanction Russia, so it will be costly for them to continue the war. We have accountability and justice track where we will try Russia

for the war atrocities they're doing in Ukraine, and also reconstruction.

And I think it's important to do it also in areas where they might be relatively peaceful now, whereas possible to show that we will not let

Russia -- Putin's Russia terrorize the Ukrainian people and make this war against them, which is also a war of intimidation, of destruction, of

trying to scare the Ukrainian people from doing their normal lives.

So, whatever we can do to help them to get back to normalcy as soon as possible, the better it is.


SOARES: I hear you saying it's costly, but that hasn't deterred President Putin. That hasn't stopped him at all. He clearly is in this for the long

game. So, let me ask you that question again, I mean, is the diplomatic path kind of dead in the water, because not so long ago, we were hearing

from President Macron that Russia has -- shouldn't really be humiliated in Ukraine. So, how can leaders bring this to an end?

KOFOD: Well, I think it's very important to understand that Ukraine has to win, and Russia has to lose, for the sake of Ukraine and its whole future

as a country, as an identity. So Ukraine has to have its freedom back, has to have its territory, integrity and sovereignty back. We cannot rest, the

West and the rest of the world, before we achieve that goal, with the Ukrainians.

So, Putin has to lose. That's very important. It's costly. Yes, it's also costly for us. We see the impact of the war, rising energy prices,

inflation. We see it also -- it's costly to provide weapons and so on. But we have to do it, because if we do not stop Putin now, the cost for the

whole world will be much higher in the future.

SOARES: But if this does drag on, Minister, do you believe, like some has suggest in the West, that perhaps, Ukraine has to reach a compromise. What

are your thoughts on that?

KOFOD: Well, nothing about Ukraine without Ukraine deciding themselves. They have to decide what to do. And so far, they are fighting fiercely for

their freedom, to counter the illegal war of conquest that Russia is doing right now on Ukrainian soil. And we have to help them with every available

meals that -- means that we have.

To provide them weapons, to provide them also training, to ensure that they can defend themselves against this. That is really what we have to focus

on. At the same time, rebuilding from foreign aid, and also accountability and justice. So, all of these facts are combined the way we can counter

this Russian war.

You're right, it might take months, years, who knows? But we have to continue until Putin is defeated. This has to be the biggest mistake he

ever did in his life, Putin, we have to show it, and we have to show it by the unity that we have had also so far.


SOARES: Danish Foreign Minister, and we'll of course, return to Ukraine in about 20 minutes or so. Now, the suspect in Sunday's mall shooting in

Denmark is now being held in a psychiatric facility. His case was heard in court just a few hours ago, he's accused of opening fire at a shopping mall

in Copenhagen and killing three people. The city's police chief inspector says the crime doesn't appear to be an act of terror. Have a listen.


SOREN THOMASSEN, CHIEF OF POLICE INSPECTOR, COPENHAGEN: There is nothing in our investigation or the documents that we have been looking at, or the

items we found, or the witness statements we have, that could indicate that it was an act of terror. Our assessment is that the victims are random

victims, that it is not motivated by gender or anything else.


SOARES: Police had said earlier that the 22-year-old suspect was known to psychiatric professionals when the Danish Foreign Minister also spoke to me

about the shooting.


KOFOD: It was a tragic event, we were celebrating Denmark, Summer time, schools -- Summer recess of schools and celebrations in the city and normal

people going to malls, to concerts, and suddenly, a gunman is killing innocent -- arbitrary killings in a center in Copenhagen, this is really

terrible, and all my thoughts goes to the victims, their family, their friends. So, we will come out of this, but what we know is that this guy

did it himself.

He has a mental disorder, apparently. And there is no -- there's no terror -- it's not an act of terrorism, it's not linked to terrorism, such is of

course, good, but it's really a tragedy for the people, and for all of us. We have not experienced that in Denmark in a long time, so this is really

bad for us. But we will overcome it, I'm sure.


SOARES: And still to come tonight --


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I am heartbroken for the women of America. It's a backward step. And my heart goes out to them.


SOARES: An Irish woman who lost two children to prenatal development problems speaks out on the necessity of legal abortion that have fears now

for women in America. I'll have her story after this short break.



SOARES: Welcome back everyone. We're returning now to our breaking news story this hour. Police in the U.S. state of Illinois say six people have

been killed in a mass shooting in a 4th of July parade. More than 30 people were sent to hospital with injuries. It happened in Highland Park, a suburb

just north of Chicago. Brynn Gingras is following this from New York for us.

And Brynn, we just had in the last 20 minutes or so, a press conference from officials who talked about this being horrific obviously, a senseless

act of violence, but also this is very much still an active situation.

BRYNN GINGRAS, CNN U.S. NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It is an active situation, Isa. They say that they have a firearm, a rifle recovered, but yet, they

don't have the person who is responsible. They are still looking for the shooter, they believe it's actually one person at the moment. But of

course, this is so early in the investigation. They've given a description, of course, it can change, but they say they believe it's a white male, 18

to 20 years old with a small built and was last seen wearing a blue shirt.

So, they have a description, they have the firearm. They are now going from -- with SWAT, door-to-door, trying to locate this individual. We know that

this law enforcement response is huge. It's on the local level with the police there at Highland Park, Illinois, which is a suburb of Chicago. We

know Chicago police are helping out, we know the FBI is helping out, we know state police there in Illinois are also helping out.

So just a huge response. But just terrified parade goers. We've talked to many witnesses of this who described how they could hear the rapid fire of

what sounded to them like an automatic weapon, coming from a building up above. That's something that law enforcement is looking into. Was this

person shooting off of a roof down toward the parade?

The shooting took place only a few minutes after this parade started. But a lot of injuries. You mentioned more than 30. We've learned 31 people in the

hospital right now. And we're told by a spokesperson at the hospital that treats these trauma-level injuries that a vast majority of them are gunshot

wound victims. We're still trying to figure out the ages because you can imagine, 4th of July celebration here in --

SOARES: Yes --

GINGRAS: America, young people, families, all sitting around. You can see the scene, people just in chaos, leaving that area, leaving behind blankets

and strollers and shoes, just trying to get away from the sound of that gunfire. But that -- it's just devastating. Six people confirmed dead at

the moment by authorities. Isa?

SOARES: Absolutely terrifying, as you paint of course the holiday in the United States, 4th of July. A time of course when so many families, Brynn,

would be outside -- would have been outside with their loved ones celebrating this holiday. What did you hear from officials in terms of

their next move?


Because obviously, we do now hear the suspect is on the run. So, what's the next step here from officials?

GINGRAS: Yes, right now, it's just mobilizing. They have a commander there on the scene that they have connecting with the FBI, and like I said, all

those different agencies.

SOARES: Yes --

GINGRAS: And they're just going door-to-door looking, possibly, for this suspect. And you know, they even said -- he said that they're getting

multiple calls from different towns in that area and other states, saying should we continue on with our celebrations? And their -- you know, advice

was, use your best judgment.

We know the NYPD here in New York City is basically going to now be putting more patrols, even more so than they do for the biggest celebrations of

July 4th for tonight's celebrations. So, that could go on. But there are many towns in that area that are canceling all their events because of

this, understandably so, since this suspect is still on the loose. So, right now --

SOARES: Yes --

GINGRAS: That's priority number one, of course, he says, to find this person.

SOARES: Yes, on the loose and on the loose and armed and dangerous, as officials did say. Brynn Gingras, keep us updated on all the developments.

Thanks very much --

GINGRAS: Right, thanks --

SOARES: Now, America's grand experiment in democracy is marking its 246th birthday tonight. It was on July the 4th 1776, that 13 American colonies

declared independence from Great Britain. But it is a gloomy birthday besieged by mass shootings, stunned by the Supreme Court overturning

abortion rights, pressed by soaring inflation and divided over former President Donald Trump.

A new poll indicates 85 percent of Americans say their country is heading in the wrong direction. CNN's Stephen Collinson is in Washington, tracking

the nation's mood on this 4th of July. And Stephen, you know, of course, we've watched another mass shooting in the United States. But I messaged a

friend earlier today and I wished her happy 4th of July. And the answer back was, well, there's not much to celebrate. Talk to us about the mood

this year.

STEPHEN COLLINSON, CNN POLITICS SENIOR REPORTER: Yes, Isa, I think there's quite a widespread feeling, and this latest incident in Chicago is an

indication of just how these mass shootings, for example, have begun to sort of penetrate even more every aspect of American life, from churches,

to schools, to graduation parties. Now, you know, tragically, even a July 4th Independence Day parade.

That is one of the factors that I think are playing into this rather grim national mood. You mentioned the deep polarization in politics. We've got

high inflation, record gasoline prices. It seems at the moment, that the United States domestically, at least, is barreling from crisis to crisis,

coming out of a once-in-a-century pandemic that exacerbated all sorts of problems and political divides.

And the question is, is there anybody politically, who is able to leave the country out of this? Of course, President Joe Biden vowed to fix America's

problems when he came to office. But there does seem to be more of a tearing apart of America, politically, right now, because of all these

factors, rather than coming together and the unity that you might expect on July 4th.

SOARES: Yes, how much -- I mean, you hinted at this here, but I do wonder how much, Stephen, these tensions are being exacerbated, do you think by

economic pressures? I mean, you mentioned inflation, but also gas prices, worries of recession here.

COLLINSON: Certainly, that is playing into this because, you know, rising prices at the supermarket, if every time you drive past a garage, you know,

gas is at another record level, although, it's a lot less than people in Europe are used to paying. But --

SOARES: Yes --

COLLINSON: Even so, that is something that's visceral, right? That's something that everybody feels every day across each strata of society, in

all their budgets. And so, now, I think intensifies the sense of unease. At the same time, we've got a very divided political country as you mentioned.

This was something that Donald Trump exploited during his presidency and his campaign.

And by all accounts, he's preparing to launch a 2024 campaign as soon as he can. You have two strata of society. You have a rural, conservative,

religious section of the United States, and that's clashing really with more moderate, suburban, more liberal Americans. Two sides of the country

who see each of the other one as an existential threat to what they believe their country stands for.

SOARES: Stephen Collinson, always great to get your insight, I appreciate it, Stephen.


SOARES: Well, perhaps no issue has exposed the political divide in America recently, more than the Supreme Court depriving women of their

constitutional right to abortion. Millions of American women see it not just as a healthcare issue, but as an assault on their freedom to control

their own lives. It's a ruling that's echoing all the way to Ireland, which recently legalized abortion, but with considerable restrictions.

I traveled to Dublin to speak with one Irish woman about the anguish as well as the trauma she experienced when her pregnancy took devastating

turns, experiences that may become a reality now for so many women across America.



SOARES (voice-over): Alison is still grieving her boys. Their tiny heartbeat recorded and stored inside a teddy.

ALISON LYNCH, IRISH MOTHER WHO FACED TRAUMATIC LOSS OF HER BABY: I can listen to his little heartbeat anytime.

SOARES: A painful reminder of the lives lost and the pain endured.

LYNCH: Little hand is there that they've taken, so I got that.

SOARES: Over the past three years, Alison has conceived twice through IVF with donor sperm. Her first pregnancy was going smoothly until 25 weeks in,

when she says abnormalities were detected.

LYNCH: That was the moment that, yes, the bottom fell out of my world.

SOARES: Under Irish law, abortion can only be carried out until 12 weeks of pregnancy. After that, it's only legal if the mother's health is in serious

danger or if two doctors determine the fetus is likely to die before or within 28 days of birth.

LYNCH: They were fairly sure he was going to die, but they didn't know when?

SOARES: With no clear diagnosis, Alison couldn't get an abortion in Ireland. And now, had a decision to make.

LYNCH: If he did survive, because of all of the brain issues he would have, multiple daily seizures, epileptics seizures, he would have no mode of

function, he'd never be able to sit up or support himself.

SOARES: So, at 30 weeks pregnant, she decided to travel to England to terminate her pregnancy.

LYNCH: You are essentially deciding how you would like your child to die. Would you like them to die slowly or would you like them to die quickly?

That's what it boils down to, horrific as it sounds.

SOARES: Two years later, still grieving her first born, Alison conceives again, but this time, she lets the pregnancy run its course. The baby only

lives for an hour.

(on camera): It has taken more than 35 years to change Ireland's constitution to legalize abortion. But, as you just heard from Alison's

ordeal there, that victory has been far from perfect. Even women who desperately want children are facing the most agonizing decisions as to

whether to continue on with their pregnancy.

According to the U.K. government, more than 200 women from the Republic of Ireland have traveled to England over the past year for abortions. More

than half of those because of fetal abnormalities, which sometimes can only be detected past that 12-week legal mark. A cautionary tale, perhaps, of

the trauma American women may face as they fight on.

(voice-over): No one knows the fight ahead better than abortion rights campaigner, Ailbhe Smyth who helped turn the tide for women's rights with a

historic victory in a 2018 referendum. A fight she tells me is not over yet.

AILBHE SMYTH, IRISH ABORTION RIGHTS ACTIVIST: We have to keep expanding that law and liberalizing it, hopefully, to the point where someday

abortion will no longer be part of legislation, but will be integrated into healthcare.

SOARES: But while she says Ireland is finally on the right path, the United States, she tells me, has taken a wrong turn.

SMYTH: We did think, genuinely, of the U.S. as the land of the free. But that's not the case anymore. To see that being overturned by frankly, a

bunch of bigoted men, it's absolutely disgraceful.

SOARES: I asked Alison for her thoughts on the U.S. Supreme Court's decision.

LYNCH: I am heartbroken for the women of America. It's a backwards step. And my heart goes out to them.

SOARES: A feeling that perhaps only those who have walked this journey and carried the weight of loss can truly understand.


SOARES: And my thanks to Lynch there to speak to us tonight. Thanks very much Alison. And still to come tonight, more on the war in Ukraine. Russia

says it will push forward in the east of the country, after claiming victory over a critically important region. Plus, the U.S. has examined the

bullet that killed Palestinian-American journalist Shereen Abu Aqleh, we'll tell you what they are saying. Those two stories after a very short break.



SOARES: Welcome back to the show everyone. Now Russia's military has its sights set on more territory in Ukraine after claiming victory over the

Luhansk region marked on the top right of the map on your screen. If Russia can take the adjacent Donetsk region, it will be able to control the entire

Donbas area. Vladimir Putin congratulated his troops for driving Ukrainian forces out of the strategic city of Lysychansk. He said this to his

military chief earlier. Have a listen.


VLADIMIR PUTIN, RUSSIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): All the troops involved in active fighting who have achieved the success, victory in the

Luhansk region, should rest and increase their combat capabilities.


SOARES: Let's get more on all this. Nada Bashir is on the story for us. And really what I heard from that little clip, Nada, is basically him saying,

well, we're in it for the long haul.

NADA BASHIR, CNN REPORTER: Yes, absolutely. This has really played into one of Russia's primary goals, which is, of course, as you mentioned, to gain

control over the entire Donbas region to establish that all-important land corridor between Russian territory and Crimea. Now, of course, we do know

that Ukrainian forces have been forced to withdraw from that critical city of Lysychansk essentially placing the entire Luhansk region in Russia's

hands. And that, of course, is one of Russia's primary goals.

President Putin there, directly addressing the troops fighting in the region, congratulating them for hitting, in his words, achieving victory in

the Luhansk region. But you also heard that somewhat warning tone of, you know, to conserve your military capability for what is to come next. And

that is, of course, what President Zelenskyy will be focusing on, too.

SOARES: And if we look at that, if I can just MapReduce it, Ana, to bring that map up again, because I think it's really important to our viewers,

where this might be going because we -- obviously Lysychansk is one, but if you look at the Donbas, that was the aim from day one. Does Russia mean --

Putin sounds very competent. Does Ukraine have the means to keep this fight on given that it's outmanned, really, so far?

BASHIR: Absolutely. Outmanned and outgunned. We've heard from Ukrainian military officials, from President Zelenskyy himself, stressing that

Ukraine simply needs more modern weaponry from its Western allies in need to -- in order to hold these lines and in order to counter Russia's

offensive. And, of course, we do know that Russia is looking now to focus its attention on the neighboring Donetsk region to establish that total

control over the Donbas.

We heard from the British Ministry of Defense today issuing its latest intelligence report, a warning that Russia will almost certainly switch its

focus there. The question now is, how long can Ukraine hold these lines without a boost in that military support from its Western allies that

Ukraine has repeatedly called from, President Zelenskyy appealed for last night in his nightly address?

SOARES: Well, let me try and get an answer to that question (INAUDIBLE) Nada. Thank you very much.

Well, Ukraine says the decision to withdraw from Lysychansk was a difficult one, but the right one. The question is where does this leave the operation

the east of the country right now?


Is it something that Nada obviously was hinting at? Let's bring in someone on the front line of the stories. Yuriy Sak is an adviser to Ukraine's

Defense Minister and joins us now from western part of the country. So let me start right there. Where does this leave the east of the country, the

battle? Because obviously, you've lost Lysychansk, that was fearsome, protracted battle. Give us a sense of why Ukrainian forces decided to

withdraw there.

YURIY SAK, AN ADVISER TO UKRAINE'S DEFENSE MINISTER: Good evening. The battle for Lysychansk followed the battle for Severodonetsk, which is

literally, if you look at the map, you will see that it is almost like two districts of one city. And, you know, the Russian aggressor wanted to

conquer the whole of Ukraine in three days. But they were fighting and having trouble and struggling to actually take over Severodonetsk and

Lysychansk for over seven weeks.

The Ukrainian armed forces have completed their military objective in terms of exhausting the enemy in terms of incurring losses on the enemy, in terms

of allowing the Ukrainian Armed Forces, other groupings of the Ukrainian army, to relocate to other defensive lines, pre-prepared defensive lines.

And, of course, we understand that the next target very likely will be the part of Donetsk region, in particular the city of Slavyansk and Kramatorsk.

But we have a very capable and very highly motivated and determined army in that part of Donbas. And, of course, we are counting on our international

partners, and we are hoping to receive more heavy weaponry soon.

SOARES: So Yuriy, let me just break that down. I mean, what is -- what we've heard from regional forces was that this was a strategic withdrawal.

But this is not a loss by any stretch of the imagination is what you're selling me?

SAK: For us, for Ukrainians, of course, the loss or the temporary retreat or withdrawal of our army, from any city, no matter how small, the loss of

every meter of our land is very important and significant. But at the same time, we, and you as well, you can see that Russian aggressor, these war

criminals who are leading a genocidal war against Ukraine, they are using the scorched earth tactics, which means they are using heavy artillery, you

know, tens of thousands of artillery rounds a day.

And they are -- before entering the cities, they're raising them to the ground. So if you look at any city, which was recently invaded by Russia,

and I will repeat, these are temporarily ruined and occupied cities, because we will de-occupy them and we will rebuild them, but every city

they've invaded is reduced to rubble. So, of course, in these circumstances, the Ukrainian army, you know, made a tactical maneuver to

withdraw from Lysychansk with the view to regrouping and then holding counterattacks. Counterattacks, which we are already successfully carrying

out in the south of Ukraine around Kharkiv and in Zaporizhzhia Oblast. Yes.

SOARES: So a tactical maneuver, Yuriy. Where are Ukrainian troops moving to now? I mean, is the next target here Donetsk? And if so, how are you

preparing for the battle ahead?

SAK: Well, of course, the tactics and the strategy for our Armed Forces is the exclusive competence of the General Staff of the Ukrainian army. So --

and, of course, nobody discloses them ahead of the battles. But I assure you that we have a very capable command, we have very capable military and

political leadership. And I will repeat that we need to receive the heavy weaponry faster, because this will be a, you know, something -- a factor

that will determine how soon we will be able to de-occupy the territories occupied by the aggressor. And, of course, this will determine how

efficiently we will be able to resist

SOARES: But Yuriy, for so long, you know, I was in Ukraine several months ago, for so long, we have been hearing for calls from Ukrainian officials

that they need more weapons. We've been hearing from NATO. We've been hearing from the G7 talking about unity, saying they are delivering more,

are they not arriving, Yuriy?

SAK: They are arriving and I would like to use this opportunity to thank all of our international partners and in particular the United States of

America for their leadership. We are receiving heavy weaponry, you know, look, we have received by now even the HIMARS systems, which was

unthinkable just a couple of weeks ago. We already have received over 200, 155 howitzers and cannons from other -- from the U.S., from other

international partners. But what we are saying is that we are thankful for what we are receiving, but the situation on the battle line on the front is

such that we require to receive more and faster.

SOARES: So more and faster. But are you confident --


Very quickly, are you confident that Ukrainian forces can hold on to the Donetsk region?

SAK: We have proven time and again that our Ukrainian army is heroically capable of throwing the enemy out. We have done this in Kiev, we have done

this in Chernihiv, we have done this around Kharkiv, and I assure you, we will do it everywhere else. Just recently, we have liberated the Snake

Island in the Black Sea, which was also a very important strategic point. So -- and today, a Ukrainian flag was delivered to the Snake Island. So

this is what will happen to all of the temporarily occupied territories, and Ukraine will be victorious and the war criminals will be held to

justice and tried for their war crimes.

SOARES: Yuriy Sak, we really appreciate you taking the time to speak to us, sir. Thank you very much.

SAK: Thank you so much. Thank you.

SOARES: And still to come tonight, Shireen Abu Akleh's family say they are incredulous after the U.S. investigation to her death. We'll tell you why

after this short break.


SOARES: The U.S. has examined the bullet that killed Palestinian American journalists Shireen Abu Akleh. The State Department says the bullet was so

badly damaged that they "could not reach a definitive conclusion" about its origins. But the U.S. does say it's likely that Shireen Abu Akleh was

killed by Israeli military gunfire.

The finding, or lack of one, has prompted sharp criticism from Abu Akleh's family, her Al Jazeera colleagues, as well as Palestinian officials. Hadas

Gold joins me from Jerusalem with more. And Hadas, so what is Israel saying about this conclusion from the United States?

HADAS GOLD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Isa, first of all, I think it's pretty notable because this is the first time we're hearing from the Americans

sort of any sort of position as to what they think happened in May when Shireen Abu Akleh was killed while covering that Israeli military operation

in the West Bank. And they didn't know that while it was inconclusive to be able to match the bullet to the weapon, they did find -- this is important,

that it was likely that it was Israeli gunfire that killed her.

However, they added, they don't believe it was intentional, but they said rather the result of tragic circumstances. Now, the Israelis, in a very

lengthy statement from the Israeli Defense Forces, talked about how the examination was taken place. They said it would -- took place at an Israeli

lab, it was overseen by an American General. They said that they will continue to investigate and then any possible criminal investigation will

potentially come later.

The Prime Minister, Yair Lapid, said that the IDF if -- that while the IDF has not been able to conclude where the shot came from.


That no IDF soldier would intentionally harm a journalist, but Defense Minister Benny Gantz, in his own statements, still seem to be pointing some

blames towards Palestinian militants. Take a listen.


BENNY GANTZ, ISRAELI DEFENSE MINISTER: Unfortunately, it is not possible to determine the source of the shooting. And as such, the investigation will

continue. It is important to emphasize that during this operation event, like in many others, hundreds of bullets were fired at IDF troops, which

responded with firepower of their own only in the direction of the sources of the shooting. The first to bear responsibility in such events are the

terrorists who operate from within population centers.


GOLD: Now, Isa, the Palestinian Authority Attorney General says that they disagree with the assertion that the bullet was too badly damaged to be

able to make a match. And Hussein al-Sheikh, who's the Secretary General of the Executive Committee of the PLO, said that the occupation government

bears responsibility and that they will continue their procedures at the international courts. They will not allow attempts to conceal the truth or

to have shy references in pointing the finger of accusation to Israel. Isa.

SOARES: Hadas Gold there for us. Thanks very, Hadas, appreciate it.

Now eastern Australia is in the grip of a life-threatening emergency. Torrential rains are battering Sydney, killing at least one person. Tens of

thousands are being urged to leave as their homes are engulfed in floods, and a cargo ship is stranded off the East Coast with authorities planning a

helicopter rescue. The 21-person crew lost power amid the extreme weather. All of this serves as a harsh reminder of the climate crisis, as well as

its impact. Our Michael Holmes has a story for you.


MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: "A life-threatening emergency," that's how one official in New South Wales describes the rising floodwaters in

parts of Australia's biggest city.


STEPH COOKE, NEW SOUTH WALES EMERGENCY SERVICES MINISTER: We are now facing dangers on multiple fronts, flash flooding, river rain flooding, and

coastal erosion.


HOLMES: Thousands of residents were ordered to evacuate parts of Sydney where heavy rain is already hitting with more expected to come in the next

few days. Authorities say the situation is rapidly evolving and urged people to stay off the roads. The State Emergency Service says it has

responded to more than 3,000 emergency requests already. And dozens of rescue squads have been dispatched. .


CARLENE YORK, NEW SOUTH WALES EMERGENCY SERVICE COMMISSIONER: The level of the dams, there's no room for the water to remain in the dams. They are

starting to spill. The rivers are flowing very fast and very dangerous.


HOLMES: New South Wales gearing up for the deteriorating conditions, the state asking the federal government to send helicopters and troops to help

with rescue efforts and sandbagging. Weather experts warn landslides could happen, the landscape already vulnerable because of previous floods in the

region. In some areas, emergency crews are even fairing livestock to dry grounds, the bigger animals like these ponies, an additional challenge for

rescue workers.


CHRIS NELSON, DEPUTY UNIT COMMANDER, CANTERBURY SEES: Feels really good to be able to achieve a rescue and bring everyone back to land safely.


HOLMES: With some parts of Sydney experiencing downpours of more than 200 millimeters, with some places up to 350 millimeters, missions like this for

animals and humans alike could become more critical in the hours ahead. Michael Holmes, CNN.


SOARES: And still to come tonight, travel chaos in the United States. 4th of July celebrations are dampened by thousands of cancelled flights. We'll

bring you that story just ahead.



SOARES: And if you're just joining us, let me bring you up-to-date with our breaking news this hour. Police say they're searching for the shooter after

six people were killed and more the 30 injured at a holiday parade. In Park -- Highland Park, Illinois, 26 of those 31 are considered to be seriously

injured. Authorities say the suspect, a white man, between the ages of 18 and 20, does not appear to be barricaded anywhere or have any hostages, but

they do consider him to be armed as well as dangerous.

Authorities say a ruffle -- a rifle was found at the scene and the shooter appear to fire from a roof. Of course we'll stay on top of this breaking

news and as soon as there's more developments, we will of course bring them to you.

In the U.K., growing anger of a flight disruption has forced the boss of easyJet to quit and a motorway has been shut down by protesters fed up with

the rising price of fuel. As you can see here, they blocked three lanes by driving in the slow convoy. More than a dozen people have been arrested.

And in the United States, thousands of people's 4th of July planning put in jeopardy with more than 1,600 flights canceled since Friday. Airlines are

blaming bad weather and staffing shortages. CNN Aviation Correspondent Pete Muntean joins me now live from Washington DC's Reagan National Airport. And

Pete, give me a sense of what you are seeing, how many flights have been canceled where you are.

PETE MUNTEAN, CNN AVIATION CORRESPONDENT: Well, Isa, you know, it was a mess this weekend. Although not as bad as it really could have been. Look

at the latest numbers from FlightAware. 2,200 flight cancellations here in the U.S. since Thursday. Cancellations really peaked on Saturday. 657.

We've seen about 200 today so far. Remember, airlines got a lot smaller over the pandemic. When bad weather comes into the mix, that is when the

deck of cards really comes tumbling down and these cancellations begin piling up.

You know, these numbers are only about half as bad as what we saw last week and the weekend before was even worse. It's really good news for passengers

considering the fact that about 9.2 million people had been screened at airport security checkpoints here in the U.S. since Thursday. On Friday, we

saw the highest number we have seen since before the pandemic, 2.49 million people screened at airports across the country. According to the TSA, we

haven't seen that number since February 11th, 2020.

This is also really good news for airlines, considering the fact that they are under this mandate from Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, he

said they must have their acts together for this big holiday weekend. And it's good news for workers. Remember, these worker shortages are really

impacting everybody. It's taking a while for airlines to really staff up again. I want you to listen now to Sara Nelson of the Association of Flight

Attendants. She says, often workers are caught in the middle, too.


SARA NELSON, ASSOCIATION OF FLIGHT ATTENDANTS: Oftentimes, crews are waiting for one, two, three, four hours to get in touch with the crew

scheduler. That means if we're not getting our next assignment, we're timing out and so we're very frustrated with the airlines on the back end

on operational support during this time, too.


MUNTEAN: You know, Isa, one more thing to note here. This has not been completely smooth. American Airlines had a glitch in its scheduling system

for its pilots that allowed them to essentially drop trips when they were not supposed to. We have heard from American and American says this is not

impacting operations this weekend. And that it's not really causing problems for passengers yet, Isa.

SOARES: OK. Let me ask you this then, Pete. How much of this is weather? Because, you know, bad weather has only been in the last couple of weeks or



And how much is down to the airlines like we've seen in this part of the world, this side of the Atlantic simply not being prepared post-COVID?

MUNTEAN: Well, remember airlines received $50 billion in aid from the federal government here in the U.S. to make sure they had workers on the

books when the recovery happened. We have seen the recovery happen in a really, really big way from the pandemic, from the airlines. You know,

there are layers to this. It's not just airline staffing. There's also the issue of weather, of course, you know, that, when it really sort of comes

into the mix here, there's just no elasticity in the system. Airlines just don't have enough people on the rolls. And so that is what causes things to

get really bad.

Of course, there are air traffic control delays and issues there as well. But the big issue is that the airlines, according to Transportation

Secretary Pete Buttigieg, and when weather other issues come into the mix, that's what causes the problems, Isa.

SOARES: Pete Muntean, appreciate it. Thanks very much, Pete.

Now to mark Independence Day, President Joe Biden and the First Lady are hosting a barbecue at the White House in a few hours but let's be honest,

we really want to see just the fireworks. Luckily, some cities started their 4th of July celebrations early. Milwaukee's lakefront fireworks made

a comeback on Sunday. The show had been canceled the last two years because of COVID-19 like in a lot of other areas right across the country.

And if you're celebrating, Happy 4th of July to you. That does it for me tonight. Thanks very much for watching. Do stay right here. "QUEST MEANS

BUSINESS" is up next. I shall see you tomorrow. Have a wonderful day. Bye- bye.