Return to Transcripts main page
Isa Soares Tonight
Record Heat Torments Much Of Western Europe; Ukraine's Parliament Oust Country's Security Chief And Prosecutor General; Leaders Of Russia, Turkey, Iran Meet In Tehran Tuesday; Global Heat Wave; Trafficking In Persons Report; Going Green. Aired 2-3p ET
Aired July 19, 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: Hello, and a warm welcome to all, I am Paula Newton in for Isa Soares. Tonight, a very extreme danger of
fire. That's the new warning for parts of Europe as wildfires ravaged large areas of land and also threaten communities. France, Spain, Italy and the
U.K. are some of the worst hit countries so far, with high temperatures also expected to reach Germany.
And now, more than a 1,000 people have died as a result of this extreme heat, and the countries are scrambling to protect their vulnerable
populations. Now, in France, 37,000 have already been evacuated to escape blazes in the southwest. And earlier, the U.K. hit its hottest-ever
temperature exceeding 40 degrees Celsius in some parts of that country.
And of course, the vital infrastructure is under strain. With emergency services struggling to cope with the increased call-outs. CNN's Nina dos
Santos has our update.
NINA DOS SANTOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): They made it through the U.K.'s hottest-ever night, bracing for the nation's hottest-ever day. For
the first time, the country's weather service recorded a temperature above 40 degrees Celsius or 104 Fahrenheit. This is the only time the Met office
has ever issued a red warning for extreme heat.
PENNY ENDERSBY, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, MET OFFICE, UNITED KINGDOM: Here in the U.K., we're used to treating a hot spell a chance to go and play in
the sun. This is not that sort of weather.
DOS SANTOS: The government is telling its citizens to be aware of heat- related death with the elderly and young most at risk. Police say at least 3 teenagers have died after getting into rivers and ponds amid the record
heat. Airport runways are melting, reservoirs are running dry and wheat is being harvested early with the fields vulnerable to fire.
The sun is even buckling train tracks leading to mass cancellations and warnings for commuters to stay at home. For a country more used to
complaining about rainy Summers, this may be the new normal.
GRANT SHAPPS, SECRETARY OF TRANSPORTATION, UNITED KINGDOM: Infrastructure, much of which was built from the Victorian times just wasn't built to
withstand this type of temperature, and it will be many years before we can replace infrastructure with the kind of infrastructure that could because
of the temperatures are just so extreme.
Nine out of ten of the hottest British days have been recorded since 1990. The government estimates these extreme temperatures have been made ten
times more likely by human impact. Opposition leaders have criticized the Prime Minister Boris Johnson for skipping national security meetings on the
heat wave. He told cabinet on Tuesday that the heat wave vindicated his net zero pledge, but on the anniversary of the reopening of the country from
COVID lockdowns, he still played down the risks.
BORIS JOHNON, PRIME MINISTER, UNITED KINGDOM: On another scorching, sweltering day, I think it's very important that we think back to that
moment when we opened up and try and balance risks with the need to keep our country, our society and our economy moving.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The government is doing nothing, and in fact, the word is doing nothing. I mean, the world is burning and we are doing nothing
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We've never had this kind of heat, so why would we be prepared?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think we just have to adapt, and we are -- our homes have to change, our way of life has to change.
DOS SANTOS: That change may be necessary even in countries more accustomed to extreme Summers. The heat wave is rolling across the whole of the
European continent. Wildfires are raging from Spain to France and Portugal. People are suffering and they're growing desperate, leading to dramatic
scenes like this one, in Spain's northwest Seymour region.
A man drives an excavator across burning fields in a desperate attempt to dig a trench and safeguard his town. Within seconds, the flames engulfed
the machine. He dives for safety, running with the clothes cinched off his back. Tens of thousands of people have been forced to evacuate their homes
in southern Europe, unclear if they'll ever return.
"Impotence", this man says. "I feel so impotent, there's no solution." Record-temperatures were set across western France this week, Ireland was
the hottest in a century, and now Germany is next. A south to north, Europe sizzles.
NEWTON: CNN's Nina dos Santos now joins me live from King's Cross Station in London. And you know, Nina, you said something in your package about
people, you know, not knowing if they can ever return. And maybe if they'll return to their homes, if they can return to the kind life they once had.
This is extreme, obviously. Give us a sense of the kind of day it's been in Britain with all those stretched resources from firefighters even to
DOS SANTOS: Well, as you know, the U.K. is normally a rather mild place. So this has really shocked people, and obviously, we know that even when
briefly, we have milder heat waves, the infrastructure has had time coping. This time, it has really faced the full brunt of what scientists put down
essentially to climate change and say something that the U.K. and other countries here in northern Europe are just going to have to get used to
more extreme changes and swings in the thermometer.
The real thing that shocks people isn't the fact that stations like King's Cross behind me is shutting early because trains haven't been able to go
back and forth all day because people are so concerned about the lines sparkling under their weight and the heat. It's the wildfires that we've
seen pictures of raging across parts of southern Europe, well, we've seen a few of them taking place here in London.
There's supposed that one of them in the east may have been caused not necessarily by family barbecue, but by perhaps even something as simple as
a compost heat that overheated and prompted a wildfire. The major incident that has been declared -- incident that's been declared by the London Fire
Brigade here earlier today reflects that.
We don't usually have wildfires on the outskirts of the British capital, but now they're becoming a reality. I should point out though, that the
highest recorded temperature now as of 4:00 p.m. this afternoon local time in the U.K. isn't actually in the capital. It is in Lincolnshire, up in the
center of the country.
So, this gives you an idea of how this isn't something that's just affecting commuters who are told to stay at home here in London, it is
something that the government and governments around the world will have to plan for in the future. It's affecting all parts of the U.K. which isn't
known to normally be such a hot place. Paula?
NEWTON: Yes, I mean, I can't tell you how alarming the pictures have been, and we continue to witness some with you by the hour. You point to
authorities being ready. What is the situation throughout the rest of Europe? And I know that, you know, in France, President Macron has been
criticized saying that, you know, his government was not ready for the wildfires as they were presented there.
DOS SANTOS: Well, this is the difference. But the U.K. is not a country that is -- has many wildfires as parts of France, particularly, the
southeast of France, now obviously, the big fires are taking place in the southwest of France as well. And France does often have these types of
issues to contend with. It's for that reason that it has large amounts of firefighters. But they have been working in their thousands for weeks now
to try and put out these fires.
This is the second wave of fires they've had to deal with in the last couple of weeks. And it's not just France, it's other parts of Europe as
well. As you saw those pictures there of parts of Spain, people taking matters into their own hands in such a dangerous fashion. So desperate they
are to try and protect their livelihoods and their properties.
We've also seen deaths as a result of some of these wildfires overcoming people, trying to flee them in places like Portugal. So, all of these
countries have had a lot of firefighters on high alert. They've been working right the way through the Summer. But the real consensus from north
to south of Europe needs to be that more dramatic action needs to be taken.
This is what you're hearing from the outgoing Prime Minister of the U.K., Boris Johnson, who held a big climate change summit in -- last year here in
the United Kingdom. The idea that there needs to be more strategic planning because reports only just a few weeks ago predicted that countries like the
U.K. could see the mercury top 40 degrees Celsius. Those of course were brushed aside, perhaps as a bit too alarmist back then, but now, it is a
reality wherever you are in Europe, Paula?
NEWTON: Yes, right in front of our very eyes with just the video that we're seeing from today. Nina, I will note that things are supposed to get
a bit better throughout Britain, that's not true for the rest of Europe, but at least in Britain, we will wait to see what tomorrow brings. Nina dos
Santos for us live in London, appreciate it.
Now, while Europe deals with unprecedented temperatures, we're also seeing dangerous heat here in the United States. More than a 100 million people
are now facing excessive heat warnings or heat advisories that's one-third of the population. More than two dozen record-highs are expected right
across the country between Tuesday and Wednesday, and that's of course, especially acute in the southern United States.
China meantime, also going through a heat wave. At least, four cities right across the country are expecting to see temperatures about 40 degrees
Celsius. The state weather forecaster says the heat wave is expected to last through late August, 6 weeks and seasonal rain will bring some relief.
The World Meteorological Organization says it's likely the heat wave affecting Europe may not end until the middle of next week. We want to turn
now to Petteri Taalas; he is the Secretary General of the WMO. Very interesting to talk to you, today. And you and the scientists who work in
your organization have been blunt, you've been categorical, you say these kind of heat waves are, you know, are collective reality, and that more
extremes are coming.
Given that, though, you also warn that these aren't just data points, right? That we can expect more people in fragile health to die from these
PETTERI TAALAS, SECRETARY-GENERAL, WORLD METEOROLOGICAL ORGANIZATION: Yes, that's right. So, we have started observing more often this kind of heat
waves in many parts of the world, and we are -- we are breaking records in Greece(ph) and also in single countries. And you have been facing them also
in western part of the United States and Canada during recent years. And these are linked to climate things.
And of course, over these negative trend in climate, it will continue for the coming decades, and that means that this kind of events will become
more frequent in the future.
NEWTON: Yes, the new normal as the cliche goes. But you know, it's been pointed out that half of all emissions ever produced on the surface were
produced likely in the last three decades. At this hour, because of the war in Ukraine, what do the models tell you about what's happening in the
And I point out the conflict because right now, we have leaders right around the world trying to drum up more fossil fuels. Not necessarily
getting to that conversion to green energy as quickly as we thought would be possible.
TAALAS: So here in Europe for example, it's likely we will see some (INAUDIBLE) during the coming couple of years because of the war in
Ukraine. And that may mean that we will use more coal to comfort that needing country like Germany. But in the longer run, 5 to 10 years from
now, is quite clear we will -- this war will speed up, climate mitigate, and of course and interest to be more dependent on climate finally and
solutions, solar, wind and nuclear energy.
That's what I foresee for the coming 5 to 10 years, but in a short run, we may see higher emissions because of the situation.
NEWTON: Yes, and that is at least a glimmer of hope as we work our way to 2030 or 2035. But I want to ask you, is it too late to change things in the
next few years? I mean, how do we try and deal with what we call climate resilience in the next few years, given the models that you're looking at
right now. I know that for instance, in the U.K., it was just three years ago that they broke the last historic record.
TAALAS: So, we are likely to break this record for the coming decades anyhow, because we have already emitted so much carbon dioxide and also
methane into the atmosphere. We can cease this negative trend, we can cease these if we're successful with climate mitigation. But until then, we will
see this kind of -- you know, events becoming more frequent. If also if it changes into global prohibition patterns.
And the game that we have already lost is the melting of glaziers and sea- level rise. That is supposed to continue for the coming hundreds of years or even thousands of years because of already high concentration of carbon
dioxide. But it's trending little patterns, that's something that we could cease in around 2060 if we are successful with climate mitigation.
NEWTON: And so, you are saying, the effects of that right now are already irreversible.
TAALAS: These melting of glaziers and sea-level rise, that's something that we have lost already, but this weather patterns, heat waves and
drought, flooding events, tropical storms, that kind of trend, we could still cease if we are ambitious enough in our mitigation efforts,
especially if we reduce the consumption of fossil fuels, coal, oil and natural gas.
NEWTON: When you say ambitious enough, what would it take? Because I know that during the pandemic, there were many, you know, predictions that
perhaps that would help heal the earth. Did it and if not, how quickly do we have to act now?
TAALAS: So, we were dropping them since globally by 5.6 percent in 2020 because of the lockdowns. But this kind of one year anomaly even sends a
So, we have to reduce the consumption of coal, oil and natural gas, and also stop deforestation especially in Tropical rain forest, to be
successful in climate mitigation. We have started moving in the right direction, the worst scenarios, previous worst scenarios are normal valid,
but there's need to raise the ambition level to limit the warming to safer numbers.
NEWTON: Indeed, there are certainly urgency here, and if we didn't know it before, we certainly do when we see the climate effects right around the
globe. I want to thank you for your insights, appreciate it.
TAALAS: You're welcome.
NEWTON: Still to come tonight, all eyes on Iran as Russian President Vladimir Putin makes a rare foreign trip, he's also meeting the Turkish
leader in Tehran. A live report with some analysis just ahead for us. But first, a big shake-up in the upper echelons of Ukraine's war-time
government. Why parliament just ousted the country's security chief and top prosecutor?
NEWTON: And welcome back. Now, in the middle of a raging war for Ukraine's very survival, lawmakers in Kyiv just hours ago, dismissed two top
government officials accused of failing to crack down on traitors. Now Ukraine's parliament voted overwhelmingly to endorse President Volodymyr
Zelenskyy's move to oust the country's security chief and prosecutor general.
Mr. Zelenskyy says they failed to root out dozens of officials and staffers in their agencies suspected of collaborating with the Russians. Now,
shortly after the votes, CNN's Nic Robertson interviewed the ousted prosecutor general, and he joins me now from Kyiv. Nic, extraordinary moves
here, and it has been very difficult to make sense of the headlines and crucially what impact they may have on how Ukraine continues to manage what
obviously has been a punishing Russian campaign here. I'm interested to hear what did the top prosecutor tell you or former, I should say.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Yes, it's interesting -- yes, from -- now, former, absolutely. You know, on this central charge
that there are traitors working in her office which of course the security chief have been charged with as well, and when I say charged, you know, not
a crime, but this was what the president have said was the reason he was firing them.
The -- it sort of came as no surprise to people that the security chief might be stood down, because he didn't have experience, was a political
ally of the president, had been a personal friend of him when they were small. So it wasn't a surprise that he would be pushed aside, and he
accepted that he'd made some mistakes. And I think there were genuine feelings.
But in the south of the country, at least some people in his department and perhaps had gone over to the Russian side. But you know, when I raised this
issue with the prosecutor -- former prosecutor general, really she felt that, that charge wasn't an accurate one. Here's the whole conversation.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERTSON: Why were you fired?
IRYNA VENEDIKTOVA, FORMER UKRAINIAN PROSECUTOR GENERAL: My personal opinion, because it is now time for prosecutor general, maybe it was as
ROBERTSON: Reports the time ticked to remove you when you're being successful?
VENEDIKTOVA: Now, situation in Ukraine, we in war, and who will listen to me even better than my husband. Maybe it will be our enemies. Russian
ROBERTSON: So, you're saying you don't want to criticize the president for his choices?
VENEDIKTOVA: I could not criticize president, I was part of his team.
ROBERTSON: So, let me ask you about what the president had said, he said that there were people who were treasoners and collaborators within your
VENEDIKTOVA: Actually, his focus(ph) that he saw these people in the system, collaborators, it's all the people who worked in occupied
ROBERTSON: It sounds like what you're saying, collaboration and treason problem is tiny and minuscule, and you have been very effective against it,
if you were doing so well in there, then what is the real justification?
VENEDIKTOVA: You know, that my chair is a political chair. It is a real politic in Ukraine, and this is my answer.
ROBERTSON: Real politic?
VENEDIKTOVA: Real politic, yes. This --
ROBERTSON: So what are the challenges now for the prosecutor coming in, particularly with the war crimes?
VENEDIKTOVA: Oh, we have more than 23,000 cases in there about war crimes and crimes to -- which are connected with the Russians. It means is that
our prosecutors, they should do exactly what they have done before. I appreciate very much for prosecutors and investigators in this team.
Experts from international society who have done their job on the ground.
ROBERTSON: Should they now look at working with the prosecutor general's office in Ukraine in a different light, knowing that this is a political
VENEDIKTOVA: I asked their sorting, their offices, please send us your professionals more and more because it's very important for us. I hope that
International Criminal Court will be successful. And I hope that President Zelenskyy will do everything to build these strong institutions.
ROBERTSON: And will your replacement as prosecutor general be strong enough to help him do that properly?
VENEDIKTOVA: We'll see.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERTSON: She really doesn't want to criticize President Zelenskyy for that pure and simple reason. As she said, because the country is in war,
Russia will take any political division, even a tiny one, and try to manufacture it into something bigger. This is what the country here fears.
This is what she fears, and use that to weaken Ukraine on the battlefield.
And right now, she says let's be behind the president, we can have any -- other conversations after the war, focus on winning the war and not letting
Russia divide the country.
NEWTON: OK, we will leave it there for now. Nic Robertson, thank you very much, live for us from Kyiv. Now, it's a high-stakes visit and the Russian
leader's first trip outside old Soviet borders since Moscow's invasion of Ukraine. Vladimir Putin is in Tehran this hour, where he's holding a
trilateral meeting with his Iranian and Turkish counterparts, Syria of course on their agenda as well as the war in Ukraine and a plan to resume
Ukrainian grain export.
Both Russia and Iran face western sanctions. Mr. Putin's visit comes just days after U.S. President Joe Biden's trip to the Middle East. CNN's Jomana
Karadsheh is following all these developments for us, and she joins us now live from Istanbul. Obviously, quite a few issues we were expecting news on
from Syria to whether there would be that lifting of the Black Sea blockade on grain exports. What more are you learning this hour.
JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Paula, a short time ago, we were listening in to the speeches of the three presidents.
They are speaking at the end of that trilateral summit that they held of course. This is focus on Syria when it comes to these three countries and
their work there.
Again, repeating the same kind of statements that we've heard in the past about their working together, although, you know, they've got different
interests in that country, they are back opposing sides in that conflict, but again, renewing their pledge to work together to try and find a
What we haven't heard yet is what Turkey really wants, and it is that green light to launch a military offensive into northern Syria to deal with what
Turkey says is a national security threat, the Syrian-Kurdish forces on its border. And this is something it won't be able to do unless it gets that
green light from Russia and Iran. So, we'll have to wait and see.
I can tell you, a lot of people in this region especially in Syria are sitting, really and watching this very closely, very concerned about what
this will mean for them. Something we'll have to see what the outcome of those closed door meetings was. But we also saw, Paula, significant leader,
bilateral meeting between President Putin and Erdogan.
This is their first face-to-face meeting since Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Of course, they have remained in contact throughout this war. But
you know, looking at those images, a very warm greeting by President Erdogan. all smiles, both leaders -- I mean, this is the kind of photo op
that President Putin is going to want, standing there with a leader of a key NATO country, and receiving that kind of warm welcome there.
But again, those two leaders have had this really good working relationship, and that is something that has enabled Turkey as well to try
and become a mediator in this conflict. Something it has been working on for months. And now, we're seeing their efforts when it comes to creating
that grain corridor, to try and create that corridor through the Black Sea to resume the export of Ukrainian grain.
And that is really what has enabled Turkey to do that. We've heard from both Presidents, Putin and Erdogan saying that there are moves in the right
direction, that they're moving forward when it comes to the grain corridor. President Putin really saying also that, you know, there's still some work
that remains, some issues that need to be addressed. But what they have so far is good.
And we already kind of knew that when we heard from the United Nations Secretary General last week, and from Turkey following the meetings that
took place here in Istanbul. That first round of talks between the Ukrainians, the Russians hosted by Turkey and the United Nations. Well, we
know they reached an initial agreement, and we expect a second round of talks to take place in Istanbul this week, and perhaps, the signing of a
final agreement that would see the creation of that grain corridor through the Black Sea. Paula.
NEWTON: Yes, and for so many, it just cannot come soon enough. I appreciate you keeping track of that, and also for noting. It was a warm
reception between the two presidents, and Vladimir Putin looking relaxed and fit and in good spirit. Jomana Karadsheh for us live in Istanbul.
Appreciate it. Still to come for us tonight, the drought wreaking havoc on Italy's prized agricultural lands. CNN's Ben Wedeman speaks to farmers
about what's at stake.
Plus, the U.S. has released its yearly report about the state of modern day slavery right around the world. What they found, that's next.
NEWTON: Extreme heat is pummeling large parts of Europe and scientists are sounding an alarm about another potential disaster, drought.
According to the European Union, almost half of the continent is at risk. Ben Wedeman shows us from the agricultural fields of Italy, that is
terrible news for farmers but also consumers. He joins us now live from Barcelona.
Good to see you there on the ground. You've been following this. I am only one generation removed from Italian farmers and it must be so alarming just
having a look at the drought.
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SR. INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: People are very alarmed. They are seeing their livelihoods, their way of life really threatened
because the sort of type crops they have been growing in this area, the Po River delta, may not be able to be grown here anymore because of the
It is important to stress in Italy we're not going through a heat wave. It is just normal hot temperatures. The problem here is that, basically since
the beginning of winter, there have been very little rains.
WEDEMAN (voice-over): Land once lush and productive is drying up. In the delta of Italy's once mighty river, Po, drought has struck.
"Seventy percent of the crop is gone," Federica Vitali tells me. "If it doesn't rain, you can see the plants are burning up."
But this year, the rains didn't come. It's Italy's worst drought in 70 years. Her soya crop is all but gone. The drought has impacted a third of
It didn't rain much during the winter or the spring. Plus, Italy is going through an unprecedented heat wave, Those combine to create the perfect
storm for Italian agriculture. Five major food-producing Italian regions have declared a drought emergency.
Three generations of Antonio Bezzi's family have cultivated rice.
"We've never seen a drought like this," he says.
Climate change here isn't a myth. It's reality. In the last ten years, Antonio says, the area planted with rice has gone down almost 50 percent as
a result of drought.
Close to the sea, there is water everywhere but not a drop to drink.
In normal times, this is where the salt water reached in this river, about three miles from the Adriatic. But now, because of the drought, because of
the low level of fresh water in the River Po, the salt water reaches about 18 miles inland and that is having a disastrous effect on crops.
Rodolfo Laurenti works for the local water authority, which closely monitors the flow and salinity of water in the Po delta.
At the moment of real climate crisis, he says, is 2022.
To ensure adequate drinking water, one local authority has resorted to renting expensive mobile desalinization plants.
Climate change means we have to be ready for emergencies like this, says director Monica Manto.
WEDEMAN (voice-over): Elsewhere, the little fresh river water still available is used to save at least a portion of the rice crop.
The climate scientist, Romana Magno, warns, it's too little and:
ROMANA MAGNO, CLIMATE SCIENTIST, CNR DROUGHT OBSERVATORY: It's too late. What we can do now is try to reduce losses.
WEDEMAN: And as this drought goes on, the losses will only mount.
WEDEMAN: And the forecast here is not good. Basically it's continued high temperatures and no rain on the horizon.
NEWTON: We know how worrying that will be for so many right across the continent at this hour. As you and I were talking, Scotland now has --
another record has fallen. It has recorded the highest temperature ever, 34.8 degrees C. I will note that broke the record by nearly 2 degrees.
So this continues to happen by the hour. I have to point out that when we talk about fires raging through the U.K. as well, in this scenario usually
you would see European countries help each other out, take resources from Germany and they may go into Italy. Whatever works.
What is going on throughout Europe in trying to get a handle on some of these fires?
WEDEMAN: A few weeks ago, Italy came out and announced that it was going to help France fight its forest fires. But now it appears that the problem
has spread to a degree that we have not seen in years.
For instance, in Spain, I think 172,000 acres of forest have been destroyed by fires. That is since the beginning of the year. That is twice the
national average, the annual average over the last 10 years.
In France you have almost 40,000 people who have been -- had to leave their homes because of the fires there. So it appears that even though Italy so
far has been spared the kind of fires we've seen in Portugal, Spain, France, and Greece.
But at the moment, basically hands are on deck in these countries to try to stop these fires. In France, we have seen that some analysts are saying it
is a problem of bad management of the forests over the years.
But at the moment that perhaps is backseat driving. The real effort is just to try to get these fires under control.
NEWTON: Really brings it home. Some of the video we were showing from some areas throughout Europe, a man literally running from rural fields with the
shirt off his back singed. Ben, really appreciate having you there on the ground as Europe continues to cope with extreme weather, appreciate it.
NEWTON: The U.S. has just released its 2022 Trafficking in Persons report and it is in fact a comprehensive overview of modern-day slavery, examining
how countries and territories right around the world are trying to prevent trafficking, prosecuting offenders and hopefully protecting victims.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken says this year we're seeing a, quote, "mixed picture of progress." The report places countries in the two tiers
now; 21 countries upgraded to higher tiers, meeting they are doing significant work to reduce trafficking, and 18 unfortunately were
Kylie Atwood join us from the State Department.
You have been following this.
What sticks out to you, especially as the secretary of state presented this report?
KYLIE ATWOOD, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: As you said, there were more countries that were upgraded and that means that they have been doing
things to go after human trafficking in their country than were downgraded, with 21 countries being upgraded and 18 being downgraded.
Those downgraded essentially meant that they have backslid in terms of their efforts in their countries to go after human trafficking. The State
Department does this report in four different tiers, with tier 3 being the worst, countries that do not have any policies in place to eliminate human
trafficking and no efforts underway to actually put those policies into place.
I do think it is worth considering the fact that the Ukraine war is expected to have an impact on human trafficking. And Secretary of State did
bring up that ongoing crisis during his remarks today at the State Department.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TONY BLINKEN, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: At the start of Russia's aggression against Ukraine, millions of Ukrainians had to flee their homes, some
internally within Ukraine, some leaving the country altogether.
Many, most with just what they were able to carry. And that makes them highly vulnerable to exploitation.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ATWOOD: The secretary of state also wrote in some remarks that opened this report and that the State Department, the Biden administration is very
concerned about those who have fled the Ukraine war, ending up in human trafficking, noting that about 90 percent of those are women and children,
which is highly concerning.
I have asked the State Department what they are doing with this knowledge that this war could exacerbate the human trafficking. And they talked about
efforts underway that they are embarking on with countries in the region, particularly in Europe, to try and provide support to those who are
displaced because of this war and to try and of course prevent that human trafficking from going up.
NEWTON: Good to note that, especially in this report, as we continue to see the conflict in Ukraine take its toll. Kylie Atwood with the State
Department, appreciate it.
Terry Fitzpatrick is the director of the Alliance to End Slavery and Trafficking. He joins me now from Washington.
And I will ask you as this is an annual report, what stands out for you in this one from 2022?
TERRY FITZPATRICK, DIRECTOR, ALLIANCE TO END SLAVERY AND TRAFFICKING: Well, it is not just the number of countries going up and the number of
countries going down. It is the number also of countries that meet the minimum standards necessary to prevent, prosecute and protect survivors.
And only 30 of the 180+ countries that they have analyzed this year meet that standard. More than 150 countries do not. And so some of the countries
you might think are the United States, Canada, the U.K., also Namibia, the Philippines meet those minimum standards.
But there is -- most of the world does not meet the minimum standards necessary to actually effectively confront trafficking. And this would
include places like Vietnam, Russia, Malaysia and China.
And so I think that that those two words from the secretary of state -- and I give him credit for using those two words -- "mixed picture" of
progress is a really important thing to take stock of.
It underscores that there is really a resurgence, a redoubling of will that is needed and spending on other trafficking programs around the world to
actually get the job done.
NEWTON: And I note that even countries that you mentioned, United States or Canada, cover these stories in these countries. Even when there are the
resources, it is an incredibly difficult problem to get at.
I want to ask you about what we see just all around the world know. Kylie was just talking about obviously the vulnerable people crossing borders as
a result of the war in Ukraine.
But even places like South America, we have issues with climate refugees there. And a lot of the people in those countries are vulnerable. They are
children. They are unaccompanied minors.
I mean, do you see a coordinated program taking place?
Because as we have more displaced persons, this is bound to continue to be an issue.
FITZPATRICK: It is a bit of a patchwork around the world because some countries are doing better than others and some regional associations and
organizations of countries do better than others.
I think what is important is to think about trafficking not just as a crime but as a fundamental violation of human rights. And when you look at it
through that lens, thinking about the discrimination by race, by age, by gender, by religion that causes some people to be vulnerable, that helps
you figure out what kind of programming you need to do to address those root causes, to help people not be so vulnerable and not fall into the
hands of traffickers.
So what we need to do is have stronger social safety nets around the world. And we need to have safer migration systems around the world. Those kinds
of big-picture, systemic changes will give us sustainable, global sweeping change.
NEWTON: And where we have an of this crisis of migrants, whether it is in South America or whether it is in Europe, not a good system or framework to
make sure that vulnerable people are protected. I appreciate you weighing in here. Thanks so much.
Now you can check out more of our stories on human trafficking and modern slavery at our Freedom Project website at cnn.com/freedom. And we will be
NEWTON: As we continue our "Going Green" series, featuring young environmentalists endeavoring to protect our world, we meet a teenage
footballer using his passion for the sport to reinforce his home country of Kenya. Larry Madowo has our report.
LESEIN MUTUNKEI, TREES 4 GOALS: Football is a universal game and the crowds in russell (ph) problems. Sports, football in specific, are the
power to inspire to change, to connect the young people to (INAUDIBLE) environment.
LARRY MADOWO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): All this Kenyan football players, his fight against climate change started with a simple idea. He'd
mark every goal he scored back to planting a tree.
MUTUNKEI (voice-over): It motivates me to work harder, to score the goal. It makes me a better football player but also better the environment. So
it's a win-win situation.
MADOWO (voice-over): What began as a solo endeavor has kicked off across Kenya.
MUTUNKEI (voice-over): I think that's good enough.
MADOWO (voice-over): Bringing a culture of conservation to a wider team of players.
MUTUNKEI (voice-over): Other teams for booth (ph) being able to plant up to 4,500 trees. And this is in the forests. This is in the schools. But if
you develop the football clubs.
MADOWO (voice-over): While he has inspired a new generation to take up the charge to fight climate change on Kenya's football pitches, Lesein knows a
big problem requires an even bigger solution.
MUTUNKEI (voice-over): I aim to not only do it within schools or within these football clubs locally, definitely make it -- want to make it a
global movement in big football leagues like Premier League, La Liga with the football clubs obviously and also even started to work up, (INAUDIBLE)
out of FIFA and telling them that, hey, this is a project that I think would be great for, you know, the sports world.
I can see that this is (INAUDIBLE) forest or this is Real Madrid's forest that because be sure that this is the number of goals we've scored. This is
number of tournaments we won and this is how big our forest is.
And also it would walk with a bit more bribes (ph). Like you, we did that.
MADOWO (voice-over): Whether it's on or off the pitch, Lesein hopes his story inspires everyone to get involved.
MUTUNKEI (voice-over): My message to people all over the world is that we are going to be the change. (INAUDIBLE) more of an impact, it makes a
difference. What I have got in that tree, reducing the use of plastic or just (INAUDIBLE) about the issue. The time to take action is now.
NEWTON: So for this and more stories about the next generations of climate environmentalists, you can visit CNN.com/goinggreen.
Sweltering heat, record temperatures, dozens of devastating fires. We look at how this brutal heat wave is impacting London.
NEWTON: And welcome back. As we continue to monitor multiple fires broken out right across London, as the U.K. still gripped by this brutal heat
wave. And this is including this fire engulfing homes in an East London suburb. Officials have declared a major incident as hundreds of
firefighters try to contain the blazes under this extreme weather.
And it comes as the country reports its hottest day ever in recorded history. Joining us now is Susan Ospreay. She is a counselor for one of
those London boroughs tackling those fires.
And if you can just let us know what you have heard from your community and what they're coping with.
SUSAN OSPREAY, BOROUGH COUNSELOR: Hello there. It's absolutely devastating. I am the counselor for Wennington and Rainham along with my
colleagues, Jackie (ph) and Sarah (ph). Jackie (ph) and Sarah (ph) are currently without phone, which is the other (INAUDIBLE).
And I'm at the bottom in Wennington Road. Between us we've been helping our local neighbors, family and friends who are fleeing. Some of them have had
their house just razed to the ground where the fire is simply out of control. And it is eating houses like a big flamed monster.
NEWTON: Give us a sense of how quickly this happened. We're looking at the pictures now. It is alarming.
Did anyone have any notice and do you have an understanding of how many people now had to flee?
OSPREAY: I would be purely guessing but on the Wennington Green alone, I would say there is probably approximately 20 houses and then there would be
houses along Wennington Road itself.
So I do not think it would be an exaggeration to say maybe 50 to 60 houses have been affected. And each house would obviously make some houses that
have only got two occupants, others could possibly have family of five.
I've got a lady with me at the moment. Her and her husband, three children and a dog. We've got a gentleman and his wife whose house is definitely 100
percent gone. His house was the first to be engulfed by flames.
NEWTON: You're obviously talking about at least hundreds of people affected.
Do you have a sense if they are getting control of the fire right now there in your community?
OSPREAY: They that the fire was spreading and that they were hoping it would be contained by a brook (ph) and that would form a natural barrier
(ph). So that is what we are praying will contain the fire.
Otherwise, it will come right the way down Wennington Road.
NEWTON: So I hear you and that you now are at the mercy of a natural barrier. In terms of what we're watching, when you say Wennington Green,
can you explain to people, this is the heart of the community. This would be the park where people would go to in the middle of the day to actually
try and get some relief from the hot weather, trying to find some shade.
NEWTON: Did anyone have any --
OSPREAY: I think it went up so quickly. I spoke to the gentleman who lost his house and he said that it is almost something that backed onto him,
caught fire and apparently this has happened before.
He got his house (INAUDIBLE) out and started to douse the flames himself but was very quickly overcome. Then they called the fire brigades. I must
say, the winter fire brigade, those firefighters have been under so much pressure because we have had fires on a daily basis from a place, Launders
(ph) Lane (INAUDIBLE), where we basically have had to stockpile rubbish that is being burdened for 12 years.
And with this intense heat, they have been out on a daily basis, morning, noon and night fight that. And now they've got this on top of that. They
are absolutely fantastic.
NEWTON: And I -- and I hear you and they have quite an evening ahead of them there. We are looking at pictures of the community of Wennington, so
many homes now on fire. We wish you all the best as you continue to go through what is a very tense evening there.
And that does it for us out tonight. Stay with CNN. We will continue to have more coverage on this extreme weather.