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Isa Soares Tonight
Searing Heat Wave Leaves Europe Burning; President Zelenskyy Suspends Two Top Officials, Accuses Them Of Collaborating With Russia; Sri Lanka's Acting President Tells CNN The Previous Government Was "Covering Up Facts About The Country's Economic Disaster"; Wickremesinghe: Previous Government Covered Up Facts; Europe Braces For Gas Crisis As Heat Wave Boosts Demand; Lawmakers Stage Confidence Vote In Government. Aired 2-3p ET
Aired July 18, 2022 - 14:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
PAULA NEWTON, HOST, ISA SOARES TONIGHT: And a very warm welcome to everyone joining us today, I'm Paula Newton in for Isa Soares. Tonight, a
searing heat wave leaves Europe burning. Wildfires rip right across the continent, forcing thousands to flee. Then allegations of treason in Kyiv.
President Zelenskyy suspends two top officials, accusing his staff of collaborating with Russia. I'll speak to one of the president's advisors.
And Sri Lanka's acting president tells CNN the previous government was quote, "covering up facts about the country's economic disaster". And more
on that straight ahead.
Now, blistering temperatures, raging wildfires and patched land. Europe is battling one of its driest Summers on record. And now, a warning from the
European Commission, things are about to get much worse. The bloc says nearly half, imagine that, half of Europe's territory at risk of drought,
and extraordinary measures are needed to salvage damaged crops.
This as wildfires are scorching thousands of hectares of land in France and Spain, 24,000 people have already been evacuated in southwest France to try
and escape those blazes. Now, in the U.K. meantime, temperatures are expected to reach 40 degrees Celsius. In fact, it would be the hottest day
Just two years ago, scientists in the U.K. asked how badly climate change might affect our weather in the next 30 years? Well, today, it seems their
worst prediction for 2050 are a reality. CNN's Barbie Nadeau takes a look at how the extreme weather is already reshaping our day-to-day lives.
BARBIE NADEAU, CNN CONTRIBUTOR (voice-over): It's not just any hot day, London forecasters say Monday may be the hottest day ever in parts of the
U.K., and Tuesday is expected to be even hotter. Londoners are trying to stay cool by splashing in the city's public pools or trying to catch a
breeze in the park.
It may look like fun, but there's a deadly side to the heat. The London Met office issuing its first-ever red heat warning for parts of the country.
That means likely risks to the health and safety of people.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're worried about the train being canceled. Mine train is already canceled, so I've got to try and get on a different one
and hope that it's not blacked out, hopefully air-con.
NADEAU: London wasn't built for such extreme temperatures with the average high temperature for July is about 23 degree Celsius. Less than 5 percent
of homes in the U.K. have air-conditioning, and less than 40 percent of trains on the tube have it either. Rail officials say they're cutting down
on schedules to try not to overheat the tracks, which could buckle in the heat.
KIT MALTHOUSE, CHANCELLOR OF DUCHY OF LANCASTER: We will learn over the next 48 hours about how the rail system copes with this kind of heat, which
wasn't built to cope with. We will learn about how we deal, you know, as a community with heat.
NADEAU: The dangers of the heat are also being felt in southern Europe. Parts of France, Spain, Portugal and Italy are battling to control large
wildfires fueled by the record high temperatures baking the tinder dry country side. On Monday, Spain's Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez visited the
firefighters on the frontlines and says climate change is to blame for the conditions.
He says more than 70,000 hectares have already been destroyed in his country by recent wildfires. And says that's almost double the last
PEDRO SANCHEZ, PRIME MINISTER, SPAIN (through translator): I want to say that evidently, climate change kills. It kills people, kills our ecosystem,
it also destroys the most precious goods of our society which are affected by these wildfires, homes, businesses, livestock.
NADEAU: Residents of Catalonia are rushing to try to save those very things as fires reached the outskirts of their farms. Thousands of others
have already been forced to move to evacuation centers.
ONOFRE MUNOZ, EVACUEE (through translator): We know that our house is completely burned. Our house had quite a few windows, they exploded and a
powerful flame came inside. We got some pictures in which we saw everything that burned.
NEWTON: And CNN's Barbie Nadeau joins me now live from Rome. I mean, it's incredible just what you went through there. This is obviously historic and
it could also be dangerous.
I mean, what strategies have they put in place? Because it's not just about staying cool, it's about staying safe especially for those already in fatal
NADEAU: That's absolutely right. You know, it is so important for these people in fragile health to stay out of the sun to try to stay cool to
limit their movements or drink a lot of fluids, not alcohol, they're saying, certainly. But to drink water and to try to just try not to move in
this moment in time, until this system breaks across Europe.
It's supposed to break by Friday in the U.K., but we're looking at these temperatures across southern Europe and into France, you know, and to --
well into next week, Paula.
NEWTON: Yes, and Barbie, we heard from your report obviously, they were talking about in Spain about how climate kills. When it comes to the
climate emergency, U.N. Secretary-General now speaking at a climate meeting just today, right? In Berlin, called it collective suicide. Let's listen to
more of what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANTONIO GUTERRES, SECRETARY-GENERAL, UNITED NATIONS: Half of humanity is in the danger zone from floods, droughts, extreme stalled -- and wildfires.
No nation is immune. Yet, we continue to feed our fossil fuel addiction.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
NEWTON: So fossil fuel addiction. Now, given the wildfires that you were just cataloguing there raging through Europe, things seem to be a bit out
of control at the moment.
NADEAU: That's absolutely right. It feels very much out of control. You know, this was supposed to be a Summer where everything was going to be
back to normal and everyone was going to enjoy themselves. You know, this dependency on fossil fuels obviously is a big problem. But you know, we're
looking at people certainly across southern Europe, especially, that are concerned about even running their air-conditioners because of these energy
prices that are -- that are continuing to climb.
And that the threat that the energy prices are going to be so high, they wouldn't even be able to pay for this if they survive the Summer, Paula.
NEWTON: Yes, Barbie, it is an incredible choice to have to make. Are used to that -- in Winter sometimes, people will, you know, lower their
thermostats in order to save on heating. And as we were just explaining, it becomes dangerous to try and stay in this heat depending on your health
condition. OK, Barbie, I know you'll stay on top of it, thanks so much, appreciate it.
Now, relentless Russian shelling is pounding multiple towns in the Ukrainian province of Donetsk even as accusations of treason shake Kyiv
now. Officials say at least three missiles hit Toretsk, killing at least five people. In 20 kilometers, north of that, artillery has damaged a
medical college that Ukraine says its forces have stymied Russian advances.
Now, that's for the west, near Zaporizhzhia, farmers are racing to harvest their wheat crop even as Russian forces set fire to their fields. Meantime,
in Kyiv, accusations as we were saying of treason. Ukraine's president has suspended the head of the country's state security and prosecutor's
offices, as investigators look into allegations that more than 60 staff members in occupied areas that is, may have collaborated with Russia.
CNN's Nic Robertson is in Kyiv for us. And Nic, it is good to have you on the ground there. These are serious allegations leveled by the president.
You know, he warns of treason, collaborations with Russia, but what's behind these latest moves?
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Yes, I think it's really kind of interesting when you kind of look at the way this has rolled
out. A very strong accusation by the president and he made an unconstitutional move last night by saying that he was going to suspend the
-- both the prosecutor general and the head of Intelligence -- head of the security services.
And it was then later today that the parliament received -- and the president's office then sent a request to parliament the sort of
constitutional way of doing business to remove the head of security. But you know what's kind of interesting here, so far, parliament hasn't
received a request from the president's office to remove the prosecutor general.
And we've heard from the prosecutor general, saying, look, I'm not going to speak out about this fully, just at the moment, I'll do it when it's the
right moment. But seeming to indicate that if the proper process were followed, that if parliament were to ask her to step down, then she said,
of course, she would do that, she seems to imply.
And what we've heard from parliament is that the president so far has not gone the official constitutional route of asking parliament to remove her.
So I think there are some -- you know, there are some sort of evolution in this process that we heard last night from President Zelenskyy, some
evolution in it today.
But look, the security chief is a former political ally of his, a former friend, somebody with not a lot of security experience, and his background
surprised a lot of people when he was put into that post. Originally, and indeed, in the south of the country, certainly, the Russians came in there
very fast and very quickly.
And there has been this sense that some people working for the security services may have given over too much information or eased the way forward
for the Russians to take the control that they did in the early part of their -- early part of their invasion into the country.
So, this sort of serious question mark over the security chief. But it seems that the question on the prosecutor's suspension from office just is
a little murky and unclear at the moment, Paula.
NEWTON: Yes, and as you said, you know, both positions, really linchpins in terms of what the president is trying to accomplish these days. It has
been a difficult last few weeks to really get an accurate state of play of what's going on. And that's not just on the frontlines, but beyond. Now, we
have had this latest shake-up, but we also continue to hear about that arbitrary shelling of civilians. Do we have any indication of what's next
for President Zelenskyy? His next moves on the battlefield here.
ROBERTSON: Well, I think if you look at it in broad brush in the east of the country -- in the east of the country, you're seeing a situation where
the Ukrainian government is trying to stop the Russian -- is trying to stop the Russian advance. And that clearly is the main focus of President
Zelenskyy in the military. It's to hold back the Russians from advancing in the east of the country.
In the south, it seems the President Zelenskyy and the military are trying to roll back or at least, you know, push back the Russian control and
influence in some parts of the south. Why do we say that? Because we look at what's happening in Kherson that the Russians control, and in that city,
the Ukrainians today say that they've used their weapons systems to be able to target three Russian ammunition storage sites.
And that's a picture we're beginning to see more of in the south. Now, it's not a case that the Ukrainians can roll back the Russians from where
they're at, at the moment. But if you kind of -- want to take it in broad brush strokes, in the east, Donetsk, Luhansk areas, stop the Russians
taking more territory in the south, try to push the Russians back, broad brush strokes, of course.
NEWTON: OK, we will leave it there for now. Nic Robertson for us live from Kyiv, appreciate it. Now, we were just talking about that shake-up to spite
it. Dozens, if not hundreds of suspected collaborators, some of the suspension show the government's strength apparently and unity. We shall
see. We want to discuss that with Tymofiy Mylovanov, he joins us now via Skype from Kyiv.
He is the president of the Ukrainian School of Economics and a presidential adviser. And it's good to have you weigh in here. You say these latest
moves by President Zelenskyy are a sign of strength. Why? Because some would say that it kind of leaves a war cabinet a bit shaken.
TYMOFIY MYLOVANOV, PRESIDENT, KYIV SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS: No, I don't think so. The security services, they provided some kind of leadership gap or
vacuum in the beginning of the war. This is well known here in Ukraine. And you know, it's difficult to change the leadership of these important
agencies when the war is raging on during the battle of Kyiv for example or when the Mariupol situation is being tragically resolved.
But now it shows that there are some bandwidths of the government, of the president to be able to shuffle the leadership in these agencies.
NEWTON: And you say that there's bandwidth to shuffle, but that does actually point to the underlying weaknesses of the Zelenskyy government
before this went on. Obviously, you know, you'll admit the government had its challenges. And there's still a lot to juggle in Ukraine, obviously.
You know, most of the country right now projects unity. But this seems to point to something else. What can you tell us about morale at this point,
both within the government, but also beyond that, right? This is at a pivotal point right now in this war.
MYLOVANOV: That is correct. It might be a pivotal point, especially if the counteroffensive in Kherson, you know, succeeds, then it will be a pivotal
point, there would be a drastic change. The unity is there, you're correct that the government, you know, has not been fully, you know, completely
concentrated on the war, and that's why there are suspensions and dismissals.
But also, you know, there's a difference between what kind of people are needed for the war-time government, and what kind of people are good at the
peace time. And Zelenskyy administration is also known for rotating people quite frequently. So this is nothing new. It's interesting that they
started doing it again, and again, to me, that's a sign of their strength. So, at least, having in our political capacity to do it now.
NEWTON: I'm not sure in what capacity you advised the president or when you last spoke to him. I mean, in terms of what's front and center for him
right now, you mentioned the counteroffensive in Kherson, I know you've asked civilians to move away from that area. I mean, do you have a sense of
what is there? Because it cannot be denied that Russia continues to make incremental gains in the east.
MYLOVANOV: Correct. In these, Russia continues to make the incremental -- achieve the incremental gains. And although, recently in the last couple of
weeks, those -- they have slowed down significantly and in particular because they have their weapons from the West have arrived, including
Russia is now expected to be adjusting its strategy in terms of where it has resupplied the areas and how far from the frontlines it keeps its
ammunition. So, we'll see how it evolves. But you know, if I went to inspect something, the president announced several days ago, that -- after
the fact that there's an offensive going on in Kherson, so far the gains there have been also incremental.
But it's an inherently unstable region, because it's the only part of the west bank of Dnipro River separating the left and right side of Ukraine
where Russian has some control. So, there will be a battle for Kherson early or later. And it's likely that Russia will lose because it only has a
couple of bridges connecting it. But what happens next is unclear.
NEWTON: Yes, definitely to underscore that. And what you just subscribed is really a grinding conflict. But I have to ask you, in terms of President
Zelenskyy, does he have a better picture of the end game here? I mean, no negotiations with Russia that we know of, unless you know differently.
Indiscriminate bombing continues, there's absolute heartbreak in some of those communities that were thought of as being safe. I mean, how are you
advising him right now about that end game?
MYLOVANOV: Well, you know, this is not security's -- or the end game is not particular my portfolio. I was the minister of economy, but also I'm
engaged in some supply chains --
NEWTON: But that is -- that is part of the end game, right? We have --
MYLOVANOV: Yes --
NEWTON: An economic crisis right now, obviously --
MYLOVANOV: That's correct, that's correct --
NEWTON: And a food crisis as well. So --
MYLOVANOV: So --
NEWTON: What are you saying to him?
MYLOVANOV: I think, you know, we see some negotiations on the food security, right, in Turkey. And that means that Russia and Ukraine can
talk. But I think unfortunately for all of us, for the world, things will have to become stable or stabilized on the battle front. So, the future
will be more -- there in the field, not in the -- in the diplomatic and negotiations. That's at least my sense at this moment.
NEWTON: OK, Tymofiy Mylovanov, we'll leave it there and we will hope to speak to you again, thanks so much, appreciate it. Now, still to come for
us tonight, we are getting the first in-depth government report on the police response, the Uvalde Elementary School shooting, and the findings at
the massacre itself, tragic. Plus, Donald Trump's adviser Steve Bannon goes on trial, prosecutors want to punish him for not complying with
congressional subpoenas. We're back in a moment.
NEWTON: And welcome back. Massive systemic failures a quote, "overall lackadaisical approach", confusion and chaos, that's how a new government
report describes the law enforcement response to the elementary school massacre in Uvalde, Texas. Nineteen students and two teachers were killed
May 24th, shot by a gunman who blasted his way through classrooms for more than an hour, while nearly 400 law enforcement officers were on the scene.
CNN has obtained body-camera footage from that day, it gives a closer view of the police response and the frankly, shocking inaction inside that
school. Shimon Prokupecz walks us through, but I want to warn you, his report contains strong language and of course, disturbing video.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, shit, shots fired!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Governor --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get inside!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Didn't hear --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Go!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What do we have?
SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN CRIME & JUSTICE REPORTER (voice-over): New body-cam video released by the Uvalde mayor shows the frantic first moments police
arrived on scene at Robb Elementary. This video taken by Uvalde police Sergeant Daniel Coronato(ph) as he made his way inside the building. But
within moments, more gunshots.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Shots fired inside the building, Uvalde --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Which building?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I can't break, somebody can break?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Careful guys, shots fired.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You heard that, hope you guys heard that? Together --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I can't break in here, can somebody break?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Take cover --
PROKUPECZ: After taking cover outside, Sergeant Coronato(ph) gives his first update on the situation to responding officers.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK, guys, he's on inside this building, we haven't been contained. He's going to be on the building, on the west-side of the
property. Careful with the windows facing east right there.
PROKUPECZ: Minutes later, Coronato(ph) tells dispatch what he believes is happening, that the gunman is in one of the school's offices, not a
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Male subject in the school on the west-side of the building. He's contained, we've got multiple officers inside the building
at this time. We believe he's barricaded in one of the -- in one of the offices. I'm messed up, there's still shooting.
PROKUPECZ: But as the minutes continue to tick by, the urgency first seen by the initial response fades away. Instead, Uvalde police officers are
seen hunkering down, waiting for more backup. Critical moments passed by at a time children were still alive in the classroom. At one point, you can
hear Sergeant Coronato(ph) asking for permission to open a door into the hallway where armed officers are already inside.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Officers inside the building, am I clear to open the door here on the south-side of the building?
PROKUPECZ: It's after this moment that we learned that Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District Police Chief Pete Arredondo is inside the
building, as other officers crowd around looking for guidance. Arredondo has been a central figure in the state's investigation of the shooting. DPS
Director Steve McCraw calling his actions on the day of the massacre, a quote, "abject failure".
As more officers arrive and more inaction, you can hear police begin to seek direction.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What are we doing here?
PROKUPECZ: We also have video from officer Justin Mondozo(ph) who also arrived on the scene at 11:58 local time. Police helped the first students
and teachers from a nearby classroom escape the building. At the same time, Sergeant Coronato(ph) can be seen helping children escape from a window
outside. At this point, it had been nearly 25 minutes since police first entered the building.
More than 12 minutes later, we get our first glimpse of Chief Arredondo in the hallway of Robb Elementary. You can hear him pleading with the gunman
to give up, but seemingly unaware that children may still be inside the classroom.
PETE ARREDONDO, FORMER UVALDE DISTRICT POLICE CHIEF: Let me know if there're any kids in there, Andy(ph)! This could be peaceful! Could you
tell me your name or anything I can know, please?!
PROKUPECZ: Moments later, a critical piece of the puzzle from the camera of officer Mondoza(ph), 9-1-1 dispatch gives a chilling account from a
student still in the classroom.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We do have a child on the line.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, what was that?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's going to be room 12 -- he is in the room full of victims, full of victims at this moment.
PROKUPECZ: And yet, even with that information, 6 minutes go by without any sort of response. Then we see Arredondo with a set of keys, trying and
failing to make entry into a classroom where the gunman is barricaded. Eventually, handing the keys off to another officer who does make entry.
More heavily armored officers arrive, but no one gives the order to go in, then suddenly, a new round of gunfire.
But after those gunshots, Arredondo again tries to talk with the shooter.
ARREDONDO: Can you hear me, sir?
PROKUPECZ: And again, minutes later --
ARREDONDO: Sir, if you can hear me, please put your firearm down, sir. We don't want anybody else hurt.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They got kids in here --
ARREDONDO: I know. I know --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's what we're doing, we're trying to get him out.
PROKUPECZ: After no response, police still stand around without much urgency. Over the course of the nearly 30 minutes, we see more officers
arrive, the video obtained by CNN cuts out moments before police breached the classroom and killed the shooter at 12:51 local time. By then, many
young innocent children and their two teachers were dead. Shimon Prokupecz, CNN, Uvalde, Texas.
NEWTON: Now, Steve Bannon is on trial for two criminal charges for refusing to comply with U.S. congressional subpoenas. Now, jury selection
got underway a short while ago, you see it there, it's part of the investigation into the January 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol. Donald
Trump's former adviser was at the top of the list of potential witnesses. So, this trial will be a major test of what kind of leverage Congress
Now, we go to CNN's Jessica Schneider who has been following the story for us. You know, at this point, Jessica, Bannon is in court because of course,
as we were saying, he refused to cooperate. What I'm interested in knowing though is where do we go from here? Because I thought perhaps, there was
some kind of a deal here for him to cooperate.
JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, that's interesting that you say that. Because you're right, Steve Bannon has in fact changed
his tune when it comes to testifying before the House committee investigating January 6th. It was about a week ago that he submitted a
letter from the former president, saying that Trump was no longer asserting executive privilege, and then Bannon said, OK, committee, I'll testify.
The thing is here, prosecutors say that does nothing to cure his criminal contempt of Congress charge, and that's why he's going to trial right now.
Steve Bannon, he's in court today, lawyers are right now picking a jury, opening statements in this case could begin as soon as tomorrow. Because
prosecutors are hammering in here that the issue isn't whether Bannon will comply now. It's the fact that he didn't comply nearly a year ago when he
was subpoenaed by the committee.
And what happens in this trial, the first of its kind in decades, that could potentially sway how other Trump officials cooperate in this probe.
We've seen other officials subpoenaed. But Steve Bannon, he's very different. He left the White House in 2017, he was not at the White House
on January 6th, so he really has a lot less protection than other White House officials.
That includes others who have been subpoenaed, Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, a top aide Dan Scavino, they both been subpoenaed, they both been referred
for criminal charges, but the Justice Department has not indicted them yet. So, there's really, Paula, a lot going on here. This trial is very notable
because it will see whether Steve Bannon gets convicted or not for defying the committee almost a year ago.
We'll see how that plays out. But it really may not weigh a lot on other officials since Steve Bannon really didn't play a role in the White House
on January 6th, he was very far removed and his claims of executive privilege probably wouldn't stack up anyway. So, this is a notable case,
but somewhat unique, and it might not exactly influence or play a role in how other Trump officials actually cooperate or not with the committee.
But definitely, Steve Bannon has tried to defy this committee, he's now saying, OK, I'll testify, prosecutors are saying here, too little, too
late, and this trial will be happening -- it's happening now as we speak. The jury selection, we expect, it could even conclude by the week's end.
NEWTON: Yes, so interesting that this isn't a point of -- you know, a point of pressure as you say, no. This trial will go forward no matter what
he just said --
SCHNEIDER: Yes --
NEWTON: Jessica, thanks so much for laying it out for us. Appreciate it. Still to come for us tonight, Sri Lanka's acting president spoke to us in
his first international media interview since taking office. What he said about the former administration and his country's devastated economy. And
Britain is one step closer to getting a new prime minister as the Conservative Party holds another key vote. We'll bring you the latest on
that leadership race.
NEWTON: And welcome back. Sri Lanka's acting president tells us the previous government was covering up facts about the country's economic
disaster. Now it's Ranil Wickremesinghe's first international media interview since becoming the acting president. He also says that talks with
the International Monetary Fund are nearing conclusion but didn't give any details. He spoke to CNN's Will Ripley who's in Colombo for us.
WILL RIPLEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: On Wednesday, the parliament here in Colombo will decide who takes over as president for the
remainder of the former president Rajapaksa's term, and the front running candidate is the current acting president and former Prime Minister, Ranil
Wickremesinghe. Now we had a chance to sit down with him. It's his first interview since becoming acting president, his first international
interview anyway, and he sat down and was very candid about the challenges facing Sri Lanka right now, a nation that is in crisis, a nation where
people are waiting days for things like food, and fuel, and medicine, a nation that is so deeply in debt that it cannot pay off the interest on its
But he seemed pretty confident that once stability and calm is restored here, he can turn the economy around. He thinks he's the right person for
the job, despite the fact that protesters have been calling for his resignation, they set his house on fire. And he talked about, you know,
really, candidly, his former boss, the former president, who's now fled in exile most recently to Singapore as far as we know it.
He said, and I think this is really an attempt to try to distance himself, that the former administration was not telling the truth.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RIPLEY: You said earlier, as president, it's important to tell the truth. Do you think that the previous administration was telling the truth to the
people of Sri Lanka?
RIPLEY: They were not?
WICKREMESINGHE: They were not.
RIPLEY: They were lying to the people?
WICKREMESINGHE: They were covering up facts.
RIPLEY: What were they covering up?
WICKREMESINGHE: That we are bankrupt, that we need to go to the IMF. Answer this.
RIPLEY: So what would you like to say to the people now truthfully, as somebody who could very likely be their next president?
WICKREMESINGHE: That the people I know what they are suffering. We have we have gone back. We have to pull ourselves up by the bootstraps, but we can
do it. We don't need five years, ten years. By next year. Let's start stabilizing. And by the end of by -- certainly by 2024, let's have a
functioning economy, which will start growing, export-oriented economy, a dynamic economy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RIPLEY: He said getting Sri Lanka back on track means that they have to restore stability here in Colombo and other areas where there has been a
large amount of civil unrest. I mean, it was just a couple of weeks ago that protesters occupied the presidential palace. They briefly occupied the
prime minister's office. They set the Prime Minister's residence on fire. He says that will not happen on his watch. He has issued a state of
emergency. He has authorized the police and military to take whatever steps are needed to keep protesters -- allow them to peacefully protest but to
keep them from occupying any other government buildings.
And that is something that potentially could lead to clashes here on the streets of Colombo given that there are huge protests scheduled for Tuesday
afternoon local time. Will Ripley CNN, Colombo.
NEWTON: OK. So we just heard about Sri Lanka's economic peril, while the E.U. is dealing with a crisis of its own. The IEA Director has issued a
stark warning over energy supplies. He says Europe needs to act now or to leaders to prepare for winter by cutting gas consumption. Now he highlights
that while progress has been made to reduce reliance on Russian energy, not enough has yet been done. And the heat wave across the continent is, of
course, not helping matters. With more people using air conditioning and cooling units, natural gas prices are surging. CNN's Anna Stewart has more
ANNA STEWART, CNN REPORTER: As thermometers spike in Europe, people are turning to air conditioning units, which means the continent is using more
energy at a time when it needs to be saving it up for the winter. The head of the International Energy Agency warned in a commentary Monday that while
Europe has made progress on reducing its reliance on Russian energy, it hasn't done enough, especially on the demand side, saying Europe needs to
act now and every day counts.
Right now, Europe's gas storage facilities are around two thirds full according to gas infrastructure in Europe. It's more than this time last
year and following the invasion of Ukraine, the E.U. now mandates that member states have these facilities 80 percent full before the winter.
However, the IEA says that even if gas storage facilities were 90 percent full by October, so more than that mandate, the block could still face
supply disruptions in the event of a complete Russian cut off.
Meanwhile, it is a critical week on whether Europe will find itself cut off from Russian gas supplies. Nord Stream 1, a key Russian pipeline to Europe
accounting for some 40 percent of Europe's Russian gas, is currently offline for routine maintenance. It's due to be turned back on Thursday.
However, there are concerns Russia won't. It's already slashed gas supplies by this pipeline by 60 percent in June, a move Russia said related to the
delayed return of a turbine held up due to sanctions.
A spokesperson for Germany's economy and energy ministry has hinted that the turbine's absence might not be the real reason for the cut on supplies,
saying the turbine wasn't even supposed to be used until September. The E.U. has accused Russia of using energy as a weapon. And while the block
remains reliant on Russian energy, it's a weapon that threatens to cause severe economic damage and potential energy rationing come winter. Anna
Stewart, CNN, London.
NEWTON: In the U.K., the race for a new prime minister is getting very interesting. In the next hour, one of these five challengers, you see them
there, will be knocked out of running as conservative lawmakers vote for the final four candidates to take over from Boris Johnson as party leader.
Now former finance minister Rishi Sunak, and Foreign Secretary Liz Truss are two of the favorites to go through to the next round. Our next guest,
conservative lawmaker Alec Shelbrooke is backing Liz Truss. And he joins me now live from London. Thanks for joining us again, as we continue to follow
all of this. This has a Survivor Island feel about it. Why do you think this is the race that Britain needs right now? I mean, the recent debate
with the leaders was very acrimonious.
Will this really help restore what the office of the Prime Minister needs, which is credibility and calm?
ALEC SHELBROOKE, BRITISH CONSERVATIVE MP: Oh, I think it certainly does. I think it's obviously a tough battle, because these are five people vying to
become the Prime Minister. I think that it's helpful actually to win. You have rigorous scrutiny of each other's policies, the party will swing in
behind whoever does win it. And also leaders who win do tend to take on board some of the comments made at the time. It is very, very similar to
the primary system for an American president. And we know how tough the primaries can be for individual candidates along the way.
NEWTON: Now, you've made it very clear that you support Liz Truss. She's the current Foreign Secretary. You have said you admire her international
experience, but the contentious issue going forward in Britain right now is the economy. It's the cost of living. Why back her approach? She says she's
going to be leaning into more spending, tax cuts.
SHELBROOKE: Well, she's certainly talking about tax cuts for the stimulation. The trouble is with the direction we've taken at the moment,
it was an economic policy set in November of last year, long before the war started in Ukraine with Russia's illegal invasion. And, of course, we all
know that the consequences that's had across the world and continues to have, so the tax policies that were brought in in that November,
fundamentally, or tax business, what we're seeing at the moment is businesses struggling with inflation, as is indeed the case across the
And I believe that that needs a full reassessment. Now, Rishi Sunak is saying that he believes you need to continue with the policies he has in
place, whereas Liz Truss, he's saying that things have fundamentally changed. We need to review those taxes that are directly on business in
order to get the economy stimulated.
NEWTON: OK. But you're backing her to be the leader of the U.K. at a very pivotal point here. I mean, I think many people looking at this would say,
what would change and what would stay the same with her, given where Boris Johnson is taking the country?
SHELBROOKE: Well, certainly what will stay the same is the U.K.'s support for Ukraine and Ukrainians to push back against Russia. I'm proud of the
fact that the current prime minister and Liz Truss, the Foreign Secretary, have been at the forefront in leading countries to push back. We're working
very closely with the American administration and, of course, other Europe administrations. But I don't think there's any doubt that people view
American U.K. as being the biggest supporters of the Ukrainians, and that situation certainly won't change.
What will change onto Liz Truss is the economic direction, which will hopefully make sure that businesses are not having to go into recession, by
reducing the taxes on business, and at the same time, the national insurance tax would actually also reduce the tax on people. And if you just
look at the situation that my wife and I face, we're seeing our disposable income reduced significantly, for our mortgage, for our gas prices, not to
mention our diesel and petrol prices, which we're paying roughly about $13 A gallon to put that into perspective in the U.S. And that's money we're
taking out of the economy to pay for the things we already had. So by making sure we put money in people's pockets, we need to get it back into
the retail economy.
NEWTON: I guess the issue is, given all the challenges that Britain faces, can't Britain afford that? I want to put that to one side, though. You are
dealing with what your allies expect of you as well. And while I take your point on Ukraine, we do have the issue of Brexit, we have the issue of
what's going on with the Northern Ireland and the negotiation, given your candidate -- but let's expand that further. Do you think any of these
candidates will make that situation better? Or what are you hoping to get out of that? Because you know, you have heard the frustration from the E.U.
time and time again.
SHELBROOKE: Well, I think we're ready to hit the reset button in terms of relationships where we negotiate. But the Northern Ireland protocol was
signed in good faith on both sides and hasn't worked. And one of the reasons it hasn't worked is because it hasn't been operated in good faith.
And there are areas that, for example, having a green and red channel, so the green channel would be for goods that are only going to be in Northern
Ireland, and the red channel are for goods which are going to pass through Northern Ireland, would hugely reduce the burdens that are on Northern
The reality is, is that the Northern Ireland protocol, which is making its way through the House of Commons, into the House of Lords, and various bits
attached to it, is legal international law because there is a credible threat to a country. Northern Ireland is part of the United Kingdom. It's a
credible threat. So by the E.U. refusing to actually negotiating and so they're changing that it makes it legal internationally to change this
treaty. And I would hope --
NEWTON: Right. But --
SHELBROOKE: -- that actually everybody can calm down and come to a decent position on that.
NEWTON: And I think the E.U. would say the same thing right back to the British negotiating team.
I will leave it there. I do have to call a truce on that. We do thank you for coming in, though, to really enlighten us on what's going on with this
SHELBROOKE: Thank you, Paula.
NEWTON: Appreciate it. And we'll be right back with more news after a break.
NEWTON: So every action has the potential to spark a global transformation. And throughout this week, our Going Green series will feature young
environmentalists, mobilizing to try and protect the planet. Today we meet a chemistry student in the Netherlands working to use magnets to remove
micro plastics from our oceans. Larry Madowo has more.
FIONN FERREIRA, CHEMISTRY STUDENT AND CLIMATE ACTIVIST: Being by the seashore, I saw a lot of plastic pollution. And as a result, I wanted to do
something about it. Every week, we consume over five grams of plastic.
LARRY MADOWO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: As a kid, gathering large plastic waste in his kayak was a no-brainer. Now, this young climate activist is going
deeper to remove the plastic you can see.
FERREIRA: I started by building a device to be able to measure plastics in water. And then from that, I really realized that we're consuming a very
large quantity of plastic.
MADOWO: According to a report published in the Environmental Research Journal, there are approximately between 15 to 51 trillion particles of
micro plastics floating in the ocean today. In 2019, Fionn designed an unconventional way to collect these particles, an idea that won the Google
Science Fair the same year.
FERREIRA: My method is based on a ferromagnetic mixture. This method has magnetic particles added to it so we can pick up the non-polar mixture once
it's absorbed or taken in some of the plastics with magnets. And then by applying a really strong magnetic pulse, we can actually get it to expel
the plastic particles again, ultimately letting this liquid to be regenerated and reused for further cycles. I think that this method can be
scaled such that we could bring this in in drinking water and wastewater treatment plants around the world.
MADOWO: This passion project has now taken him from the inside of a lab to the Arctic Circle.
FERREIRA: Hello, Youthtopians, this is Fionn here from the Arctic on my third day in Longyearbyen.
MADOWO: For Fionn, his work is just one part of a global outcry from young activists pushing to end the proliferation of plastics.
FERREIRA: Now more than ever, young people are in a place of power.
We're seeing places like the World Economic Forum where I contribute, bringing in young change-makers to have their perspectives on the global
agenda. It is my hope that more youth aspire to invent.
NEWTON: OK. For this and more inspiring stories about the next generation of climate environmentalists, please visit cnn.com/goinggreen and we will
be right back in a moment with more news.
NEWTON: Now Ukraine's children, of course, are fighting for the very future of their country and they're using their skills and talents to lift
people's hearts and to show the world what resistance looks like. Now one of those children is the 10-year-old world checkers champion. Alex
Marquardt shows us what her fight involves.
ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: At a small folding table outside of busy Kiev Shopping Center, Valeria Yezhova, just 10 years old, quickly and
methodically dismantles every opponent who sits down at her checkers board. Defeated, they drop money onto the growing pile of bills and her box next
to a sign that reads "We are helping the Ukrainian army." What many who are playing her don't know is that for Valeria, checkers is no simple hobby.
She's the world champion for her age, taking home the trophy last summer.
"I really wanted to help our army and soldiers and I asked my mother what I should do," she said. "My mom asked me what I'm good at. I said playing
checkers." In nine days outside this shopping center, she raised more than $700. She then presented it to the head of a foundation that buys equipment
for the military. Sergei Prytula, a celebrity and activist, whom Valeria calls her hero, he broke down in tears. She says that at first people
hesitated to play her. Then, as they watched her beat everyone, more and more stepped up to try their luck.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARQUARDT: Have you ever lost any of the games while you've been doing this? "I've never lost here," she says. Word quickly spread about the young
champion doing her part for her country. When this man heard from his wife that Valeria was playing nearby, he quickly left work and ran over.
"Valeria is already a legend here," he says. You'd rather lose to her. She's doing a great job helping the Ukrainian army. She's probably touched
the whole of Ukraine.
Other kids from her checkers club have followed Valeria's lead. Ukraine's children feel this war profoundly.
Do you think about the war a lot, or are you just trying to live your normal life? "I would like to live a normal life. But during the war, it's
difficult," she says. "Of course I'm scared. There are a lot of negative feelings."
The defeated asked for photos with the growing star. Valeria is poised, calm, and all too happy to oblige.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARQUARDT: Shall we play a game?
VALERIA YEZHOVA, CHECKERS CHAMPION: Yes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MARQUARDT: She also obliges me.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARQUARDT: White first.
YEZHOVA: White first.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MARQUARDT: With zero hesitation in her moves --
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARQUARDT: I forgot about going backwards.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MARQUARDT: -- as my pieces fly off the board.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARQUARDT: There's nothing I can do.
YEZHOVA: A sense for a play.
MARQUARDT: Thank you for destroying me. Thank you very much for the game.
YEZHOVA: Thank you.
MARQUARDT: It was an honor to play with a champion.
YEZHOVA: Thank you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MARQUARDT: Alex Marquardt, CNN, Kiev.
NEWTON: So Alex knew he never stood a chance against her. And it's so interesting to see how she's really started a movement. So great to see
that piece. I want to thank you for watching us this evening. Stay with CNN though. I will be right back after a short break with "QUEST MEANS