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Isa Soares Tonight

U.K. Finance Minister And Health Secretary Resign From Government; Police Say Highland Park Parade Shooting Suspect Bought Weapons Legally; NATO Begins Integration Process For Finland And Sweden; British Prime Minister's Top Two Allies Resigned. Aired 2-3p ET

Aired July 05, 2022 - 14:00:00   ET



ISA SOARES, CNN HOST: Hello, and welcome to the show everyone, I'm ISA SOARES TONIGHT. We start with breaking news. In the last hour, the U.K.

Prime Minister has suffered not one, but two devastating blows. Two of his closest allies, the chancellor of the Exchequer and the Health Secretary

have both resigned.

It comes just moments after Boris Johnson apologized for appointing a senior conservative lawmaker to his government. Chris Pincher is accused of

groping two men back in 2019. A complaint Johnson was aware of. It's the latest problem to hit a government that has been -- spent really months

embroiled in scandal.

And following that scandal from day one, Bianca Nobilo has been -- joins me now. Bianca, let's -- talk to us first about these two resignations. These

are some of the biggest jobs, government posts in government. What do they say and the reasons for actually quitting today?

BIANCA NOBILO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: They're powerful. So, the chancellor, which is of course, the prime minister's closest ally, have to work in

concert, they live next to each other. This is somebody that you rely on for support, he underscores that the economic suffering that people are

going through, the fact there are such big challenges facing the country, that it would take a huge problem for him to actually resign.

And that this was a decision he did not take lightly. He said that the public rightly expects the government to be conducted properly, competently

and seriously. He says that he's been loyal to Boris Johnson, he backed him --

SOARES: Right --

NOBILO: As party leader, but now, he feels he has to resign. And Sajid Javid, who is another potential leadership contender resigned from being

the Health Secretary, another very important job at this time, again, saying he was reticent to resign because of all the responsibility that he

felt. So, it had to reach such a threshold for him to feel like it was bad enough to do this.

He said that the tone you set as a leader, the values you represent, they reflect on your colleagues, your party and ultimately your country. He says

that he wanted a moment for humility, grip and new direction following the confidence vote that he regrets to say that it is clear this situation will

not change under Boris Johnson's leadership.

Now, the broader significance of having two heavyweight cabinet resignations is given that Boris Johnson has just narrowly survived a

leadership contest, the only mechanisms for him to step down or to precipitate his resignation would be mass cabinet resignations, more

pressure piling on him, and then that's when they say, you know, the men in gray suits, the anonymous figures behind the scenes in Downing Street would

go to the prime minister and say, you really can't continue.

The other pressing issue being, given the lack of loyalty, given the frustration, can he fill these roles with viable candidates?

SOARES: And so, far we have heard from the prime minister, not about these two resignations, but really about all the gyrations we've been following.

What has the prime minister said? Has he apologized for the way in which he's behaved?

NOBILO: He has, and Boris Johnson was originally -- yes, a stranger to an apology, but --

SOARES: Yes --

NOBILO: Not over the last few months. He's been pushed into it. This all goes back to Chris Pincher, who you mentioned. And essentially, the prime

minister denying that he was aware of the pattern of behavior, which then hit the headlines last week when it was announced that he'd groped -- well,

allegedly groped two men at a private member's club. Then, there is a letter from a former top civil servant --

SOARES: Yes --

NOBILO: In the foreign office who essentially dismantled Downing Street's denials and showed that Boris Johnson was aware of a complaint against

Chris Pincher. And that even the modification to the denial was false. So, presented with that letter being made public, presented with his -- the

lies of Downing Street being exposed, the prime minister had this to say.


BORIS JOHNSON, PRIME MINISTER, UNITED KINGDOM: Well, I think it was a mistake, and I apologize for it, I think in a hindsight, it was the wrong

thing to do. I apologize to everybody who's been badly affected by it, and I just want to make absolutely clear that there's no place in this

government for anybody who is predatory or who abuses their position of power.



NOBILO: So we're seeing a repeat of the playbook that we witnessed with party-gate. Essentially, Downing Street, Boris Johnson is presented with an

account of events which they deny. Then they're presented with evidence, which shows that, that account of event was in fact true. They then modify

the denial.

And in Johnson's case, recently, with Chris Pincher, he said that he thought that the matter had been resolved, although no formal complaint was

made. Well, it's been shown by the top civil servant at the foreign office that neither of those things were true. So again, we're in a situation

where Boris Johnson has been -- it's being demonstrated that he told his ministers and Downing Street briefed the press, something which was

patently false and exposed to be by a very credible source who witnessed the events of the time.

SOARES: And Bianca, I mean, you and I have been here talking about this for so many times, you know, whether it's party-gate, whether it's by-

elections, and so many scandals. I mean, is Boris Johnson, at this point, just really running out of road?

NOBILO: He is. He's an exceptional political creature, because there was so much priced in --

SOARES: Yes --

NOBILO: With his election. And not dissimilar way to Trump just in that respect. A certain amount of misbehavior and mischief was always expected

from him, and rule breaking. But this has made his own MPs and obviously cabinet members to snap. It's the last straw. And a lot of that is because,

A, they can't rely on the prime minister to be truthful, and they keep being sent out to defend the prime minister's actions.

And then it's revealed subsequently that what they defended was not true. So, where does that -- where does that leave things? At least, the prime

minister and a very grave political danger this evening.

SOARES: It does. And these are two men, like you said, who have their own leadership ambitions, I think it's important to point out, but we don't

know at this point, whether this was a coordinated resignation by these two men. Bianca, I know you'll stay on top of all the breaking news for us.

Appreciate. Bianca Nobilo there.

Freddy Gray, deputy editor of "The Spectator", well-known face here on the show joins me now. Freddy, what next then for Boris Johnson?

FREDDY GRAY, DEPUTY EDITOR, THE SPECTATOR: Well, I mean, as you suggest, it looks a lot like the end of the road is coming. To mix my metaphor, it

felt like a dam that's ready to burst, and today is the biggest rupture in that dam. To a certain extent, the leadership challenge a few weeks ago was

botched. I think the rebels agreed that they got it wrong, and they actually gave the prime minister more wiggle room than he could have had.

I think there's a little bit too much, possibly, certainty that this is it, among the press, who are almost as exhausted as they -- well, the press are

I'd say slightly less exhausted than the public with this story. But this sort of absolute adamant that this is it is probably a little premature. I

mean, he is this extraordinary survivor. There is no absolute need for him to go. But he seems to be on his own increasingly.

I mean, even it seems, we can't be sure, but it seems that his wife briefed that she was aware and had raised concerns about the allegations against

Pincher in 2019. And if your wife is not with you, then it's hard to see how he survives.

SOARES: And I suspect also, it's this idea -- the fact that he is probably -- like you stated, probably dragging down the party and the conservative

brand. And that is important, clearly, as we just heard from Sajid Javid, as well as Rishi Sunak, both talking about honesty and integrity here.

GRAY: Well, it's -- the party has never particularly liked Boris, it's always worth remembering that. MPs got behind him because he was a winner.

And I mean, Rishi Sunak is different, in that he was very loyal to Boris as he said in his letter. He hasn't necessarily been that loyal in the last

few months. And there have been big differences of opinion between them, and quite a lot of briefing wars between Number 10 and Number 11.

So the difficulty for Boris is that, his loyalists are not rated in political circles and by the public generally. So, how does he fill these

two crucial posts? Or does he decide that his position is untenable? His whole philosophy so far and people who know him say that his whole approach

to this is to say, you just never resign, you should never resign. Will he stick to that? It will be very interesting in the next 24 hours to see.

SOARES: He is like you said, you know, he's in a very perilous position, but we have been here before. Bianca and I were just talking about this.

There have been so many times we've been outside 10 Downing Street, we've seen moments of crisis. It's like a cat with nine lives, really. So, I

mean, we've had two resignations. How many more resignations, Freddy, do we need to see in order to see that support really crumbling around him?


GRAY: Well, I mean, word is that, there is at least one other cabinet member who is mulling their position tonight. I think if you had several

more resignations, it would start to look even more untenable. I don't think we can put a sort of specific number on it. As I say, it's Boris

against the world at the moment. Can -- does he have enough faith in himself, does he have enough willpower to carry on is the question tonight?

SOARES: And Freddy, very briefly, who you're hearing that other person who will resign? Do you know who that is?

GRAY: I do not know who it is, I'm afraid.

SOARES: Freddy Gray, I'm pretty sure we'll touch, we'll speak in the next 24 to 48 hours. This is not the end of it as we all know in British

politics. Freddy Gray there, appreciate it, thanks, Freddy.

GRAY: Great being here --

SOARES: Now. A day after America was supposed to celebrate its birth, a mass shooting has forced the nation to mourn its dead. Six people were

killed on Monday as a gunman attacked an independence day parade in Illinois. Among those killed were Nicholas Toledo; a father of eight, who

is remembered as a creative, adventurous and loving man. He has become one of the last victims -- the latest victims in America's rampant wave of gun


According to a nonprofit group, the country has already suffered more than 300 mass shootings this year, and we are only in July. Authorities believe

the latest attack in Illinois was pre-planned and carried out by a 22-year- old man, who was arrested a few hours after the shooting. They say he initially evaded capture by disguising himself and blending into the

crowded parade. CNN's Adrienne Broaddus has more for you.


ADRIENNE BROADDUS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): As Americans across the country celebrated the 4th of July, shots rang out Monday from a rooftop in

Highland Park, a suburb north of Chicago.

ZOE PAWELCZAK, EYEWITNESS: It was the loudest thing I've heard, that's not like natural. It was a lot of po-po, and it was just endless.

BROADDUS: On the ground, this video shows the chaos as people who attended the parade ran for their lives. At least, six people were killed and more

than two dozen sent to hospitals, some in serious condition. Their ages ranging from 8 to 85 years old.

BRIGHAM TEMPLE, NORTHSHORE UNIVERSITY HEALTH SYSTEM: Of the 25 who came in with gunshot wounds, 19 of those individuals were able to be treated and

actually discharged home after they had had their full medical evaluation and treatment. Several others did arrive in more serious conditions and did

have to be admitted.

BROADDUS: Many witnesses, including a state senator, are describing the scene as frantic.

JULIE MORRISON, ILLINOIS STATE SENATOR: We saw where a couple of women who came running back through the parade, screaming, crying, saying there is a

shooter. And it still just didn't ring true with me. Then there was a wave of people, hundreds of people, moms carrying kids, and dads, and all people

running, weaving between the cars, running back away from the parade, and then we knew it was real.

BROADDUS: Zoe Pawelczak attended the parade with her father, and said she and others initially thought the pops were fireworks. But she sensed

something was wrong.

PAWELCZAK: I just grabbed my dad and we ran, and suddenly, everyone was running behind us. There was a girl just dead, another man was shot in the

ear, blood all over his face. It was just so surreal. It's complete shock.

BROADDUS: Danielle Pettibone said her daughter was at the Highland Park parade with a relative, she described the moment she learned about what


DANIELL PETTIBONE, DAUGHTER WITNESSED HIGHLAND PARK SHOOTING: I woke up to a text, saying that we were just involved in the shooting at the parade in

Highland Park, but we're all OK and Sophie(ph) is OK, and it really scared me. That could have been her, and it really just tears me apart to think

anyone could -- I don't know who lost their lives today.

BROADDUS: A manhunt immediately ensued, and by Monday evening, police took into custody, Robert E. Cremo III. This video capturing the moment the

suspect was taken into custody. Cremo posted several online music videos on major streaming outlets, and a personal website. At least, three of those

music videos featured troubling lyrics and scenes, depicting gun violence.

The videos appeared to have been posted in 2021, just days after signing into law the first major federal gun safety legislation in decades,

President Joe Biden responding to yet another mass shooting.

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And we've got a lot more work to do, we've got to get this under control.


SOARES: And our thanks to Adrienne Broaddus for that report. Well, officials say the suspect legally purchased his weapons including a high-

powered rifle. It comes weeks of course, after the U.S. passed a gun safety bill to try to curb these attacks.


But after the latest shooting, many are really wondering what more can be done? Let's discuss this now with Larry Sabato; a political scientist and

director at the Center for Politics at University of Virginia. Larry, thanks very much for taking the time to speak to us here on the show. I

mean, unfortunately, we're here again, Americans, no doubt, Larry, wrestling with how and why this keeps happening.

So, just explain to our audience right around the world, Larry, why this gun legislation that was signed into law, what? Two weeks or so ago would

not have stopped this attack.


Independence Day was a miracle, and that we've had no gun legislation passed since 1994. And we've already in six months, had 315 mass shootings

in the United States.

The reason that it can't be done or it could be done with great difficulty is that, the Supreme Court, this very conservative Supreme Court, and some

of their predecessors, have interpreted one of the original amendments to the U.S. constitution, 1789, the Second Amendment, as prohibiting much

government regulation of gun ownership and use.

And so, until you have a different interpretation of the Second Amendment or a constitutional amendment, changing the Second Amendment, I don't see

how this changes.

SOARES: So really, you have a political system completely gridlocked. Where do the public stand on this? Is their support for any sort of

changes, amendments here?

SABATO: This is what is so frustrating to the American public. Overwhelmingly, and I do mean overwhelmingly. Often over 80 percent of the

American public supports specific gun reforms, gun control. And yet, for the reasons that I suggested, and some others, it can't pass.

SOARES: But you did -- I think we had -- didn't we have a reinstatement of the nationwide assault weapons ban. I think that expired in 2004. What are

the chances, Larry, of that coming back?

SABATO: Zero. That passed, you're correct, in 1994. The Clinton administration, it was set to expire unless it was renewed in 2004, it

wasn't renewed. And at this point, given the composition of Congress and the fact that positions about the Second Amendment gun ownership and gun

control have hardened considerably since 2004, the chances are zero.

SOARES: And in the meantime, as we just heard President Biden, you know, he's called it an epidemic of gun violence, more has to be done. But it

does seem that it's not going anywhere. I mean, give me a sense of the mood this year in the United States. Is there -- I mean, the shooting at

Highland Park, like you said, I mean, I think it was 308 or so shootings so far this year. Do Americans support these types of guns off the street?

SABATO: They absolutely do not want them on the street. It's a weapon of war. Everyone uses that term. But the AR-15 really is. Look at the damage

it did yesterday or --

SOARES: Yes --

SABATO: Or in Uvalde, Texas or Buffalo, New York, just this year. But --

SOARES: Yes --

SABATO: Banning it is simply not in the realm of possibility, at least it isn't right now. And it's going to take major changes in the composition of

Congress and, dare I say at the Supreme Court before anything really shifts.

SOARES: It feels like we just keep going round in circles. Larry Sabato, always great to get you on the show. Thanks very much, Larry, good to see


SABATO: Thank you.

SOARES: And still to come tonight, Russia is raining shells on eastern Ukraine and the people trapped there are watching their homes become the

front line. We'll bring you the very latest. And from heat waves to floods, we take you around the world, as we look at how different countries are

coping with a spike in extreme weather events.



SOARES: Now NATO members have signed an accession protocols for Finland and Sweden formally beginning the process of bringing the two countries

into the alliance. It will take about a year until the integration is complete. But for now, Finland and Sweden can participate in NATO meetings

and have more access really to NATO intelligence. NATO's leaders says this is a historic moment for European Security. Have a listen.


JENS STOLTENBERG, SECRETARY-GENERAL, NATO: At the summit last week, allied leaders agreed to invite Finland and Sweden to join the alliance. NATO

ambassadors have just signed the accession protocols for Finland and Sweden. This is a historic day for Finland, for Sweden, for NATO, and for

Euro-Atlantic security. We share the same values and we face the same challenges in the Baltic Sea and beyond.

Russia's brutal invasion of Ukraine has shuttered peace in Europe. So, it is important we all stand together at this dangerous moment in our history.


SOARES: Well, in Ukraine, Russia is pummeling the Donbas region with heavy shelling. Ukrainian fighters are still holding on to small pockets of the

Luhansk and staving off Russian attacks the day after Russia's president declared victory in that region. Ukrainian military officials say Russia is

also focusing on neighboring Donetsk, trying to capture cities under Ukrainian control like Sloviansk.

At least, three people have been killed there in the past day. Local officials say Russian forces targeted a central market and several

residential neighborhoods. Our Phil Black joins me now from Dnipro in central Ukraine. And Phil, as Ukrainian troops withdraw from Lysychansk and

with that, from Luhansk, the belief among military analysts is that Donetsk could be next. So, give me a sense of how civilians there are bracing for

Russia's advancing troops?

PHIL BLACK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Isa, many have left, you have to say most have left. But many still remain. An estimated tens of thousands of people

have decided to stay in the region, even as Russia approaches for various reasons. The reasons aren't always strong or good enough really, because

there is no doubt they are in great danger. Ammunitions are falling all across that remaining patch of ground that Ukraine is trying to defend in

the Donbas.

Particularly at the moment in the city of Sloviansk, this is expected to be a city that Russia tries to push for in the near future. But already,

Russian artillery and rockets are falling over there on a daily basis, killing and injuring civilians in residential areas. What makes it so

dangerous for the civilians is the same thing that makes it so difficult for Ukraine soldiers to defend. That is Russia's artillery.

It is being used in such a way that Ukraine is consistently, repeatedly, being pushed back, its defensive lines are being dislodged. It is having to

give ground to the Russians. We get a sense of just what its power means, both for civilians and for Ukraine's defenders. When we recently visited

the small town of Siversk, a town that is now much closer to Russian lines, it is already clearly within range of its big weapons. Take a look.



BLACK (voice-over): There's no easy, safe way to the most eastern frontlines of the Donbas. Russia has kept the highways, so soldiers,

weapons, locals and aid deliveries must all take the back roads. This Red Cross operation is to Siversk; the small town closest to the region's most

intense fighting. The team unloads and very quickly, families arrive to load up.

But noise of war, close and loud. No one reacts. Natalia(ph) is collecting food for her husband and two children. She says they can't leave the town

because they fear losing their house and the vegetable garden they rely on to survive. "Only a fool isn't scared", she says. "But there is no way out.

We cannot leave our place."

Lyubov arrives with her young children. She says they are staying as the Russians approach because she doesn't want to risk being separated from her

eldest daughter who lives in a nearby village. She says, "I called her once, she told me, they're not leaving. Then we lost connection. I don't

even know if she's OK."

Lyubov agrees to show us the home where she hopes they can safely wait out the war. It's a walk to the other side of town. But we soon realize that

won't be possible. Their neighborhood is under fire. Incoming artillery from somewhere close. So close you hear the artillery piece fire and the

projectile's flight before impact. The shells fall within the same tight area again and again.

We saw all of this while only a little further to the east, Russian forces were claiming an important win, taking the city of Lysychansk. Wrong --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where did it go?!

BLACK: Yes, come to us! Good to go?


BLACK (on camera): The battle for Lysychansk is only a relatively short distance from here. This is likely to be the frontline very soon. But

already, Russia's heavy weapons are falling among these people's homes in this town.

(voice-over): It's not safe to stay.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, that was close. Coming on. Come one.

BLACK: But all of these people remain, scared, confused, hoping beyond reason the violence to come will pass them by.


BLACK: Isa, what we saw in Siversk was really only a very small sample of the fire power that Russia has focused on Ukrainian positions. It's

focusing on Ukrainian positions all across the frontlines of the Donbas. But it powerfully shows why this is an uneven fight. Ukraine doesn't have

the weapons that could have the same impact on Russia's forces.

But they hope it's not going to stay that way. Their idea is to simply hold on, slow down Russia's advance as much as it possibly can, while waiting

for more powerful, modern weapons from western allies, to get to the battlefront. And they think that will make a difference. That will allow

them to not just stop Russia's advance, but maybe even take back some of their lost ground as well. Isa.

SOARES: Yes, weapons that we know they've been calling for, for some time. Phil Black for us there in Dnipro, Ukraine, thanks very much, Phil. And

still to come tonight, a city on edge. We'll have a live report from Akron, Ohio, where anger continues to build over last week's fatal police shooting

of Jayland Walker. That's next.



NAYEF AL FAYEZ, MINISTER OF TOURISM AND ANTIQUITIES, JORDAN: My name is Nayef Al Fayez. I am the Minister of Tourism and Antiquities for the

Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.

We felt the impact of COVID, not only on the big corporation. We felt it on smaller SMEs, less fortunate people, and less fortunate industries. After a

very tough two years, I think things are looking very optimistic and looking good. Recovery is starting. If you look at tourism and what it

brings, it brings a lot of hope to the union. It brings a lot of hope for those who have been suffering for the last couple of years. I'm very

optimistic. Excited that recovery is coming back. Hopefully, that with what we're seeing that recovery could be much faster than we have been


ISA SOARES, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT AND ANCHOR: Welcome back, everyone. If you're just joining us, let me bring you up to date with our

breaking news this hour.

A double blow for British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's two top allies resigned suddenly. Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak and Health

Secretary Sajid Javid, posted on Twitter within moments of each other, saying they could no longer work for a government mired in scandal.

(INAUDIBLE) is under fire after Deputy Chief hip Chris Pincher resigned, if you remember last week, over harassment allegations. It's since emerged

that Mr. Johnson was aware of previous complaints about Pincher. This is the latest in a string of scandals to hit Mr. Johnson, who survived a

confidence vote in his leadership last month.

In his resignation letter, Javid said that a vote would have been a moment for humility, grip, and new direction. Instead, he says, "It is clear to me

that this situation will not change under your leadership". Of course, we'll stay on top of this breaking news as soon as we have more

developments. Of course, we shall bring that to you.

Now, the investigation continues into that shooting at a U.S. Independence Day parade in Highland Park, Illinois. The community now changed forever.

Police have this man in custody, 22-year-old Robert 'Bobby' E. Crimo. They believed Crimo fired on the crowd from a rooftop. Six people were killed

and dozens were shot on Monday's attack. Including several children. A local doctor, who treated victims onsite, described the scene as horrific.

Have a listen.


DR. DAVID BAUM, HELPED TREAT SHOOTING VICTIMS: The people who were gone were blown up by that gunfire. Some of the bodies were -- there was an

evisceration injury from the power of this gun and the bullets. There was another person who had an unspeakable head injury. Unspeakable.


SOARES: While another U.S. city, Akron, Ohio also still reeling from a violent shooting. It's been one week since police there fatally shot a

black man, Jayland Walker. And as he fled a traffic stop, hitting him dozens of times. Tensions are high across the city, which has been under

nighttime curfew. About 50 people were arrested for failing to comply on Sunday night.

The mayor is saying protesters caused significant property damage. All this coming just hours after police released bodycam footage showing the final

moments of Walker's life. Polo Sandoval joins me now from Akron.

A community really filled with anger and so many questions still tonight, Polo.

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Isa, it has been a very difficult 48 hours for the people here in Akron, Ohio, especially for the family of 25

Jayland Walker.


He's a 25-year-old black man that just a little over a week ago, was shot and killed by Akron police officers after he refused to stop for

authorities. And then the vehicle pursuit eventually turning into a foot pursuit. And it was just a few meters into that pursuit that a total of

eight police officers fired their service weapons.

I spent this morning at the medical examiner's office and looking over documents that are publicly available. And you're -- when you see that, the

amount of bullet wounds, it is simply too many to count. The local police chief here estimating that it could be at least 60 bullet wounds. So, it's

also very important to point out that the coroner will eventually have to rule -- determine if that's a combination of entrance and exit wounds.

But no matter how you see it, it has been extremely difficult, especially for the Walker family who has, essentially, joined the City of Akron in

their plea for peace and for patience as the investigation was almost immediately handed over to authorities with the State of Ohio. And it is

the attorney general's office that perhaps weeks, or maybe even months from now, that will have to be tasked with determining whether or not the use of

force was justifiable.

And also, the number of times that those officers fired that we're told, could be -- was dozens and dozens of times. Over the weekend, Isa, the

police chief here told me that those officers will have to account for each one of the rounds that left the barrels of their guns. So, you're looking

at a very intense, very long investigation.


SANDOVAL: In the meantime, anger has flared after that video was released. You mentioned a short while ago, about 50 people were arrested Sunday into

Monday. But it looks like a curfew that was implemented last night certainly helped the situation. This morning, there were no obvious signs

of any kind of protest-related violence. With that curfew kicking back in tonight, there's certainly hope here, not just among the police, but even

the Walker family, that that will be the case again tonight. That it will stay peaceful. Isa.

SOARES: Polo Sandoval, thanks very much. I do hope so. Polo Sandoval there for us in Ohio.

Now, Ukraine's president says up to 60 million tons of grain could be stuck inside his country in the coming months if it can't export its production.

Russia is blocking Ukrainian ports along the Black Sea. And grain exporters are struggling, really, to find alternatives with this year's harvest right

around the corner, that's worth remembering.

And since Ukraine is one of the world's leading grain exporters, there's a real risk of a global food crisis here. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has

said his government is working directly with the United Nations to find a solution.

Matthew Hollingworth is the Emergency Coordinator for the United Nations World Food Programme in Ukraine and he joins me now. Matthew, great to have

you on the show. Look, give us the sense, first of all, of what you're seeing on the ground in terms of, really, the desperate need to get this

grain out of Ukraine. What is being done there?


harvest is starting, barley is being harvested now, wheat will soon follow. And there are at least 18 million tons of wheat and other grains stuck

inside those from last year's harvest because they simply can't get out of the country fast enough. It can't be exported.

I mean, this country, you know, 60 million tons is a good average for their production. They used to be able to push six million tons out of the

country, exported every single month prior to this war. But 90 percent of that would have gone out of Black Sea ports. And those Black Sea ports are

now closed.

So, the world is working together in an alliance, the European Union, the United Nations, different member states, the private sector, big companies

to try and find ways of locating and identifying other corridors to push food out of this country.

It's so important because this country used to feed millions and millions of people with the food that it exported every year. And when it can't

export, that is going to have an impact on the cost of food worldwide.

SOARES: And the cost of food worldwide. But, you know, what you're saying is, you know, the logistical challenges are huge, that is clear. And -- but

Europe has been talking about this for several months now. I mean, they were considering first, you know, rail through Romania, Poland. I mean, are

we any closer from those you've been speaking to about the logistical -- sorting this logistical problem here to get the grains out at least?

HOLLINGWORTH: There's no question. a huge amount has been achieved. We've gone from a trickle of food in March to -- between one and a half and two

million tons exported in June. And so, a lot has been done to, you know, cut the red tape, change the regulations, speed up trains moving out of the

country, trucks moving out of the country, over landing to mainland Europe.


But that doesn't change the fact that 90 percent used to go through the ports, and those ports aren't right now available. I mean, the United

Nations is doing everything it can to get a successful dialogue and discussion of deal between the parties of the conflict to open up those

ports. But it's not happened yet. And so, in the meantime, we're also looking at how can we support those other corridors.

SOARES: And in the meantime, Kyiv is accusing Russia of stealing grain from Ukrainian-occupied territory and selling it on the international

markets. This is something, I have investigated and my team and my investigator found one ship in Latakia, in Syria. How troubling is this

when you hear this?

HOLLINGWORTH: I mean, certainly -- I mean, from our side, we can't verify those allegations. But it's clearly, incredibly important that the food

that is produced in this country, wherever is in this country is sold at a decent level that supports farmers to produce, to support the GDP of this

country. This country's GDP is -- has been dropping by 45 percent already. That's decimating the farmers' living. That's decimating livelihoods.

I mean, there's 12 million displaces. And those people rely on farming, food production for their livelihoods. You know, this is having an

immediate impact on their own lives. But it's going to have a longer-term impact on this country's productivity.

Clearly, from our side, we want to ensure that there is no misuse, diversion of use of what is a critical asset for this country. But is also,

in terms of Putin's country produces, a lifeline for vulnerable countries, honorable communities, people all over the world.

SOARES: Very good point. Matthew Hollingworth, always great to have your insight. Thanks very much, Matthew.


SOARES: And still to come tonight, Australians forced to flee amid torrential rain. And Italians face their worst drought in a generation. How

climate change is reshaping our daily lives. That's next.


Now, from blistering temperatures to torrential rains. Extreme weather is hitting countries across the globe and it's hitting them harder than ever

before. For many people, climate change is becoming a climate emergency. Have a look at this.



SOARES (voiceover): A devastating sight in Sydney, as parts northwest of the city are battling their worst floods in decades.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Absolutely devastated. It's really hard. So, we don't know. We're just doing one day at a time getting through it.

SOARES (voiceover): At least one person has died and thousands have been forced to evacuate. In Australia's most popular state of New South Wales,

authorities have declared a natural disaster. Extreme weather events like this are happening across the world. The word record, making headlines


From deforestation in the Amazon to temperatures in Italy. Authorities there have declared a state of emergency in five regions due to widespread

water shortages. High temperatures killing crops, drying rivers, and even avalanches. Seven people died after this glacier collapsed in the Italian

alps. Prime Minister Mario Draghi bringing up climate change.

MARIO DRAGHI, ITALIAN PRIME MINISTER (through translator): This is a drama that is certainly unpredictable. But it definitely depends on the

deterioration of the environment and the climate situation.

SOARES (voiceover): Even the pope urging action. Tweeting, the tragedies we are experiencing are connected to climate change.

In India, millions have been displaced in recent weeks. 150 people have died in floods, as well as mudslides. China recorded the heaviest rainfalls

in 60 years, affecting almost half a million people. And in the U.S., from coast to coast this year, an array of extreme weather events, from historic

flooding to uncontrollable wildfires, and more intense hurricane seasons.

FRIEDERIKE OTTO, CLIMATE SCIENTIST, IMPERIAL COLLEGE LONDON: We just see the frequency of heat waves has gone up so much. So, this is very much. We

don't need to do attribution studies on every single one of them because we know already that climate change is a key driver here.

SOARES (voiceover): Critics say governments are too idle in fighting climate change. Meanwhile, experts estimate 200 million people will need

humanitarian aid due to extreme weather over the coming 30 years.

ANTONIO GUTERRES, U.N. SECRETARY GENERAL: What are -- we are seeing around the world is cause for deep shock and anger. Rampant deforestation and

worsening climate impacts are increasing forest fires and droughts. This is all treacherous and shameful. It is a global suicide in slow motion.

SOARES (voiceover): A slow response the U.N. says the world cannot afford as it faces one of humanity's biggest challenges.


SOARES (on camera): Well, as you just heard, these climate events are hitting more of us and more frequently. The scientists' warnings are still

falling on deaf ears.

And a story that CNN has been following closely, Brazil's Amazon Rainforest has seen record deforestation in the first six months of this year. It's

devastating news for the local ecosystem and for the planet. And it risks further destabilizing the climate. Last year, I saw firsthand just what

this deforestation actually looked like. Have a look.


SOARES (voiceover): CNN flew over some of this year's hardest hit areas to see the devastation for ourselves. From above, our cameras captured the

damage of these increasing fires. The demarcated lines, a sign of human destruction at work as the forest is cleared for agriculture or mining.

There have been nearly 13,000 fires in the same area. Roughly a 50 percent increase from 2020 to 2021. Now, compare these images with these over a

five-year period.


SOARES (on camera): CNN Chief Climate Correspondent Bill Weir has been reporting on the global climate emergency for years. And he joins me now.

Bill, good to see you. Look, it's not that we needed any more warning signs, really, is it? But this is really troubling. We've got floods,

droughts, all rising pretty dramatically. Paint us a picture of how quickly this is becoming really a climate emergency?

BILL WEIR, CNN CHIEF CLIMATE CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think the topline is this is as good as it gets for the rest of our lives, for the foreseeable

future. Even if humanity were to magically decarbonize tomorrow, there's still so much built into the system. That things are going to warm up. And

Greenland is not going to refreeze anytime soon.

And these incredible droughts and deluges. It's either too much water in some place, not enough and others. This is the new planet that we are now

living on. You see, what's happened in Sydney, they got four more inches of rain in four days than London is supposed to get in a year. So, a rich

country, a wealthy country is battered by four flooding events. And now, there are academics at universities in Australia saying they should just

buy out the 8,000 homes that are in that flood zone and let them go because there's no saving them from here on out.


And this is where the conversation is shifting. I think has to shift in the developed world from mitigating the problem. We waited too long to do

anything about that. Now, it's about adaptation and how can we brace --


WEIR: -- for these massive events.

SOARES: And on that point, Bill, I mean, how are countries preparing for climate disaster and recovery? I mean, give me a sense of who's doing it

well and what needs to be done here. Because it's not just infrastructure or flood defenses. We're also seeing good technology and right policies to

keep this all going.

WEIR: Absolutely. And what you see is the countries that are sort of at the leading edge of decarbonizing, those in the Nordic countries, are the

ones that are also best equipped to live with water, to understand how to work with nature, to farm in the most sustainable ways. It's the countries,

sadly, that are mired in the politics of climate denial, Australia, the United States are the leading ones in that pack.

It depends on where you are. You go across the United States, in Charleston, they're building a billion-dollar seawall. You go further down

the coast you have communities that deny this is even manmade climate change. So, it's impossible to get a, really, a national hold of government

approach in the sticky politics of today in the United States as well.

But then, what's happening in India, again, the unfairness of this tragedy, is those who contribute least to the problem, we have the smallest

footprint on the earth are the ones who suffer the most and have the least afford to deal with the wrath.

SOARES: Very true indeed. Bill Weir, always great to have you on the show. Thanks, Bill.

WEIR: Bye.

SOARES: And we'll be back after a very short break. Do stay right here.


Now, cash strapped are facing its worst financial crisis in decades. Sri Lanka says it's struggling to pay for fuel shipments. On Sunday, their

energy minister told reporters the country had less than a days' worth of fuel left. And the prime minister's warning of what he calls a difficult,

as well as bitter journey. CNN's Vedika Sud shows us what's Sri Lankans are facing.

VEDIKA SUD, CNN REPORTER: The island nation of Sri Lanka continues to reel under severe economic crisis. Speaking on the roadmap for recovery, Sri

Lanka's Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe, who addressed parliament Tuesday said that ongoing talks with the International Monetary Fund is a

more difficult and complicated situation.

Previous discussions with the IMF were as a developing country. But now, Sri Lanka is negotiating as a bankrupt country. He said the government will

present a debt restructuring program to the IMF by August to secure a bill- out package.


Foreign exchange reserves to bring food, medicine, petrol, and diesel into the island for its roughly 22 million residents have nearly run out.

According to the prime minister, by the end of this year, inflation will rise to 60 percent.

Facing an unprecedented fuel and food crisis, the country's power and energy minister on Sunday said Sri Lanka had less than a day's worth of

fuel. The minister also said authorities are struggling to pay for future fuel shipments.

Amid the unprecedented fuel shortage, schools have been closed until the 10th of July. Fuel supplies have been limited to essential services. The

South Asian nation needs at least $5 billion to pull itself out of its worst economic crisis since independence. Months of street demonstrations

forced a change in government in May this year. Vedika Sud, CNN, New Delhi.

SOARES: And finally, in London, climate protesters have glued themselves to a 200-year-old masterpiece. Anti-oil activists stuck themselves to the

frame of this painting in the national gallery, John Constable's famous landscape of "The Hay Wain". It is the latest in a string of protests by

British environmentalist groups, Just Stop Oil. The artwork suffered minor damage to the frame.

And that does it for me tonight. Thank you very much for your company. Do stay right here with CNN. "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" is up next. I shall see

you tomorrow. Have a wonderful day. Bye-bye.