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Isa Soares Tonight
Russia Escalates Ukraine Attacks, Keeps Europe On Edge; Gas Flow Resumes From Nord Stream 1; U.S. President Joe Biden Tests Positive For COVID; U.S. President Joe Biden Taking Paxlovid, Isolating After COVID-19 Diagnosis; Italian President Dissolves Parliament, Triggers Snap Election; Going Green: Canada First Nations; Cubans Wait In Line For Days To Buy Diesel. Aired 2:10-3p ET
Aired July 21, 2022 - 14:10 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, I'm Paula Newton, I want to welcome everyone as we break away from our colleagues in the United States
to bring you some of the other headlines around the world. Russia is escalating attacks on Ukraine even as it keeps all of Europe on edge over
threats that the European Union calls economic blackmail.
And we will get to the crisis over natural gas supplies in just a moment. But first, we want to update you on the situation on the ground in Ukraine.
Now, officials say Russia is bombarding parts of Donetsk around the clock trying to break through Ukrainian lines near Bakhmut. They say more than a
dozen nearby towns are under fire as well.
Now, Russia is also keeping up attacks on the major city of Kharkiv after vowing to expand its military objectives. Now, regional official says new
shelling there killed three civilians. Reporting casualties, and I know unfortunately, we have to do it every day, it can sound cold and detached,
as if it's just numbers. They're not just numbers.
Behind every number, and you know this, there is a grieving family. And we had such a grave reminder of this. We saw a heartbreaking picture today, we
want to warn you, the pictures are disturbing. This father lost his son in a Russian shelling attack in Kharkiv. You see him there. The boy was 13
years old. You can see the father kneeling on the street beside him, holding his lifeless hand.
He stayed there two hours praying over his child. He likely would have stayed there much longer if he could. He obviously wanted to find a way to
just will him to life again. And no one really knows the measure of the agony these people are in at this moment. Now, Germany's vice chancellor
and economy minister has announced another package of measures to ensure his country's energy security.
He says Germany, quote, "cannot rely on commitments from Gazprom", and it comes as Russian President Vladimir Putin's weaponization of natural gas
continues to put Europe on edge. With the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline flowing once again by that, well below its full capacity. We want to bring
in our Frederik Pleitgen who's been following all of this from Berlin.
And yes, you and I can assume that this was the plan all along. You spent so much time in Russia, you are in Germany. That must be feeling like
they're in advice right now when it comes to energy. Is there anything the government can do that would radically transform Germany's dependency on
natural gas in the short term, because we know what they're working towards for the years to come.
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I think the German government really is extremely concerned about the situation.
And I think you're absolutely right to point out that obviously there's gas flowing through the pipeline once again, but it certainly isn't enough to
make the Germans feel safe, especially going towards the next couple of months and possibly the Winter as well.
The Germans are saying that right now, the pipeline is operating at about 40 percent capacity. That's 40 percent of the gas that could be flowing
through that pipeline, Paula. And the Germans say it's going to be really difficult for them to fill up their storage facilities in order to make it
through the Winter.
Now, as far as these short-term things are concerned, there really isn't any silver bullet that the Germans have right now in their case. But they
do say that they have that flurry of measures that they're trying to work through to try and make sure that they can ensure energy security, of
course, not just for the general population here, but also for the massive industrial machine that keeps Germany being an economic powerhouse.
Now, they're reactivating some of their coal reserves to get some of those coal fired power plants back online. But they're also telling people to
conserve as much energy as possible. The German economics minister, who indeed did today say that the Germans are way too dependent on Russia, that
they have been way too dependent on Russia for an extremely long time, and they don't trust Russia anymore as far as energy security is concerned.
He also says that they want to fill their storages up to 95 percent by November 1st to be able to safely go into the Winter. That's for gas. And
so that means that they basically can't use any of the gas that they're getting right now through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline in order to make
electricity in this country.
So, they're trying to find other ways, but they really are, Paula, telling businesses and people to conserve as much energy as possible to make sure
that they don't have to use the gas to turn that into electricity. I can really tell you that right now, this is a massive topic here in Germany.
There's a great deal of concern among politicians, and certainly among the population as well that the Winter could be extremely tough, Paula.
NEWTON: Yes, absolutely, and I'm glad that you gave us that perspective of what, you know, people are talking about as all this is going on. We have
also heard that while the EU has called for collective rationing, right? That around Europe, that there are some different opinions about who should
actually be doing this. And I'm wondering, not just the opinion in Germany, but throughout --
PLEITGEN: Yes --
NEWTON: The rest of Europe about having to do this.
PLEITGEN: Yes, well, you're absolutely right. The European Commission came out, this was Ursula von der Leyen who announced this and said that the
European Union has an action plan in order, and is calling on member states to cut the use of natural gas by about 15 percent. Every single member
state. And it was really interesting, because the German economics minister said this was part of European solidarity.
And he believed that this is something that other European countries have to do as well. But of course, there are some European countries who are
saying absolutely not, they don't believe that they want to have these goals to be essentially dictated to them. And the Spaniards, first and
foremost, are saying this is not something that they want to sign up to. They say they've made themselves less dependent on gas especially from
They say they're in good shape as far as their energy is concerned. And they say that if there are people who are going to conserve gas, they
believe that it's something that everybody will want to do voluntarily anyway. So there certainly are European countries who are saying they don't
believe that this is the way forward.
They don't believe that this is something that will help the European economy. And a lot of countries, like for instance, France, they're in much
less of a bind than Germany is, because they have a lot more nuclear plants. Of course, the Germans are saying they definitely don't want to go
in that direction.
In fact, there's a debate here in Germany right now, where the German government is saying that every single kilowatt hour that they can get
counts towards the Winter, but they, for instance, don't want to let their nuclear power plant, one longer than planned, they have three more that are
still running in Germany, of course, made a decision to exit nuclear energy a while ago.
And those three power plants are set to shut off at the end of the year. There's a big debate here in this country right now about whether or not
they can run a little bit longer. But the current German government says absolutely not, despite the fact that they are in this energy bind. So it
really is a very difficult situation here on the European continent.
Well, not all countries see eye-to-eye on this issue. But certainly, the Germans are calling on other European countries to also conserve energy,
but that's going to be very difficult across the whole of Europe and across the whole of the European Union, Paula.
NEWTON: Yes, and obviously, their own individual politics in each nation plays so much into this, as we've seen time and time again. Fred Pleitgen -
PLEITGEN: Yes --
NEWTON: Thank you so much, appreciate it. Now, hundreds of thousands of men and women and children in Ukraine have been forcibly deported to Russia
after being held in so-called filtration centers.
Russia portrays them as humanitarian evacuees, humanitarian, and gave CNN's Matthew Chance exclusive access to meet some of them. But since many don't
feel safe to speak freely in Russia, he also visited a shelter for Ukrainians in Estonia. We want to warn you, he has a powerful report with
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): He was maimed as Russian forces entered his Ukrainian home. His foot shot to pieces and his wife
killed he says before his eyes. But now across the border in Russia, Alexei(ph) insists Ukraine, not Moscow, is to blame for his suffering.
(on camera): Is it the Russian army that did this? Now, you're angry.
(voice-over): "The Russians were just entering the city, it was the Ukrainian troops who shot at us as we collected drinking water", he says.
No criticism of Russia's military here, not from Alexei(ph) nor from the other Ukrainian refugees we were given exclusive access to on Russian soil.
(on camera): (SPEAKING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE) there's a lot of people here from Mariupol, and that's not surprising because we're just across the
border from that city here on Russian territory. We've been brought here to this big old gymnasium, it is basketball court which is filled with as you
can see a couple of hundred beds to cater for the hundreds of refugees that are still, months after this conflict began, pouring across the border into
They're given food, they're given medical attention, and despite the fact that it is very hot outside, you know, because it's the middle of the
Summer, they're getting some rest from the ordeal that they've gone through. It's also the first opportunity that we have to speak to these
people about the sometimes horrific experiences that they've had back across the border in the war zone.
(voice-over): But don't expect them to describe that ordeal. Human rights groups say Ukrainians in Russian-occupied areas were rounded up and
filtered before being bused to camps like these. All those suspected of posing a threat, don't even make it through.
Saying the right thing here is a matter of survival, especially for those who have already lost loved ones. Like this refugee who asked not to be
(on camera): You're not angry with the Russians for that? "These are provocative questions", he answers, "but now I'm here, so please don't
I didn't see who killed my relatives", he says. "As far as I'm concerned, they're just another casualty of this conflict", he says.
(voice-over): But in Russia, the freedom to speak out is a casualty too. Why we traveled away from Taganrog outside of the country to neighboring
Estonia, from the Baltic port of Tallinn. Boarding this giant passenger ferry-turned temporary shelter for refugees from Ukraine.
(on camera): Well, it's in these cramped cabins below decks in these corridors, in the bowels of the ship that now house more than 1,700
Ukrainian refugees, many of whom have escaped directly from Russia and its filtration camps. And at least, people can speak freely and without fear
about their experiences.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (SPEAKING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
CHANCE: Yes, better than Mariupol, exactly. Daniil(ph) told me how he bluffed his way through Russia's filtration system by pretending he wanted
to make Russia his permanent home. They asked for instance, if I knew Vladimir Putin's birthday, because they said, he is your president now.
I told them, I didn't. But I promised to learn it, and they let me through", he says.
(voice-over): Others like Stanislaus(ph) and Vitalina(ph) had a much tougher time. Transported from their homes like cattle, they say, in
freezing trucks to filtration centers. Vitalinia(ph) says she had to leave her elderly father behind after he was shot and injured by a Russian
It filled her with hatred, she tells me, which she had to hide to pass through Russia. Now, she's left with a desperate sadness. "We really want
to go home", she sobs, "I can't tell you how much". Even though through the tears, she admits that home may already be lost.
NEWTON: And our thanks to Matthew Chance there for his reporting. Now, meanwhile, Italy is just one of the many countries that's issued its
highest heat wave alert as the unprecedented temperatures continue to move eastward.
Now, much of Europe is still battling wildfires. That's right, from Portugal to France to Greece. Outside Athens, firefighters have been
working to extinguish flames been fanned by gale force winds. Elinda Labropoulou has the very latest.
ELINDA LABROPOULOU, JOURNALIST (voice-over): Desperation on the outskirts of Athens. Police run house to house, admonishing residents to leave. That
fire is now under control, say Greek authorities, it took an enormous effort. More than 500 firefighters, 120 fire engines and 15 planes were
needed to tame the blaze which was fueled by gale force winds.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Huge swaths of land were burning, and the flames were igniting like crazy within seconds. One tree after the
other was burned. Flames that reached huge heights.
LABROPOULOU: A heat wave across the European continent continues to fuel drought conditions, and with it, the risk of fire. In northern Portugal,
authorities are concerned that high winds and temperatures, which are once again on the rise, will make it hard to battle this blaze near Murca.
Manual Lopez(ph) says the drought has been extreme and climate change is to blame.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Our grandchildren, my grandchildren, and other people, the youth will suffer a lot if this doesn't stop.
LABROPOULOU: Dry conditions mean many Portuguese reservoirs are running low. That makes fighting the fires even more difficult. Lack of rainfall is
also causing problems in Germany, where the River Rhine is running dangerously low, threatening an important shipping route for grain,
minerals and other industrial products.
Tuscany's iconic rolling hills, too, are now threatened by fire. The government has put residents and 14 of the country's cities, including
Rome, Milan and Florence, on the highest heat-wave alert. In France, the smoking heat has been so intense that Pearl Jam had to cancel a concert
after Eddie Vedder's throat was damaged while performing in Paris.
President Emmanuel Macron visited one of the worst-affected regions in the southwest. Firefighters here have been battling a blaze for more than a
EMMANUEL MACRON, PRESIDENT, FRANCE (through translator): Several European countries, and countries that were not experiencing great fires, are living
through an acceleration of the direct consequences of climate change. And so all of this will require us to make structural decisions in the coming
months or the coming years.
LABROPOULOU: Temperatures have mercifully subsided, the fight are on board though continues to rage, with the heat of August still ominous in the
future. Elinda Labropoulou, CNN, Pyrgos, Greece.
NEWTON: Now, as we just showed you, Europe is still roasting through some of the extreme temperatures -- we do believe now that we do have that
briefing from the White House, will continue to tell us about the condition of the president. Let's listen in.
KARINE JEAN-PIERRE, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I have the letter here, and I just want to read it through so we can get started before we get
started. This morning, as part of our routine screening program for the president, the SARS, COVID 2 virus was detected by antigen testing. This
result was subsequently confirmed by a PCR test.
On questioning, President Biden is currently experiencing mild symptoms, mostly a runny nose and fatigue, with an occasional dry cough which started
yesterday evening. Given that he meets USA Food and Drug Administration, FDA, emergency use authority, criteria for paxlovid. I have recommended
initiating such treatment.
The president is fully-vaccinated and twice boosted, so I anticipate that he will respond favorably, as most -- as most maximally-protected patients
do. Early use of paxlovid in this case provides additional protection against severe disease. He will isolate in accordance with CDC
recommendations. I will keep your office updated with any changes in his condition or treatment plan.
I also wanted to provide you with a brief readout of the president's activities today. The president has been working from the residence like so
many of us have during this pandemic, doing calls with senior staff, including the chief of staff, myself, and Dr. Jha, who is here with us.
As we read out, the president also called Senator Casey, Representative Cartwright, mayors of Scranton, mayor of Wilkesboro, and Representative
Clyburn. The president also called a few of his cousins from Scranton who were set to attend today's events in Pennsylvania. And he spoke with
Ambassador Gitenstein and Cornin(ph), you all have seen the photo he posted on -- and the video that was just released to all of you out of
transparency moments ago.
The president will continue to work from the residence. Today, as you all know, as I just mentioned, and as we sent out earlier, Dr. Ashish Jha, our
COVID-19 response coordinator is joining us today in the briefing room. And as I tweeted out earlier, Dr. Jha and I spoke to the president this
morning, and he said he is feeling fine. He has a little dry cough, as I just mentioned, from the doctor's letter, a little runny nose. He is
feeling tired, but he is working very hard on behalf of the American people. And with that, Dr. Jha.
ASHISH JHA, PHYSICIAN & WHITE HOUSE CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE COORDINATOR: Great, I'm sorry. Good afternoon, everybody. I'm pleased to be with you. So
as Karine mentioned, I spoke to the president earlier, I also spoke at length with Dr. O'Connor; who is the president's personal physician. And
I'm happy to share the readout of this conversations with you and then I'm happy to take questions. In terms my conversation with the president, he
I asked him, you know, Mr. President, how are you feeling? He said I'm feeling fine. He said he was feeling fine, he had been working all morning,
he hadn't even been able to finish his breakfast because he had just been busy. I encouraged him to finish his breakfast. In terms of my conversation
with Dr. O'Connor, we talked at length about what happened this morning. As Karine mentioned, the president got his regular testing that he does on his
After he tested positive, he reported the symptoms that have been described. Dr. O'Connor examined him thoroughly. He found his exam to be
normal, to be at his baseline. And then, obviously, he recommended that the president take paxlovid. The president accepted that recommendation and
then started paxlovid, has taken his first course already.
I want to also just take a minute to sort of mark this moment. You know, because the president is fully vaccinated, double boosted, his risk of
serious illness is dramatically lower. He's also getting treated with a very powerful antiviral, and that further reduces his risk of serious
And it's a reminder of the reason that we all work so hard to make sure that every American has the same level of protection that the president
That every American has the same level of immunity, and why we have worked so hard to make sure that people have access to life saving treatments like
Paxlovid. These are incredibly important things for the President to have, they're incredibly important things for every American. And we have worked
very hard over the last 18 months to make sure we have plenty of vaccines, that we have plenty of therapies, that people can get tested on a regular
basis as the President does, because testing allows you to identify an infection early, and get started with treatment early. And we all know from
medicine, that early treatment is always better.
Let me also take a moment to talk about BA.5. If you've listened to me at all in the last couple of weeks, you heard me talk a lot about this some
variant of Omicron, that is now 70%, 80% of all infections in United States. It's a reminder to everyone, if you are over 50, the way I am, way
many of you might be, if you are over the age of 50 and if you've not gotten a vaccine shot in the year 2022, you need to go get one. You need to
go get one now. Because it will dramatically improve your level of protection, reduce your risk of having serious illness. It's the best thing
that people can be doing.
Let me just finish by saying, obviously, we work hard to protect the President, make sure he's been vaccinated and (inaudible) has access to
treatments, we also have been working very, very hard to make sure every American has access to the same things. Because every American deserves
access to the best vaccines, the best treatments, and they are widely available. And I want to use this moment to remind everybody of that, and
to remind everybody to avail themselves of that.
Get vaccinated. If you have a breakthrough infection, get treated. It's the best thing you can do to protect yourself.
Let me stop and take questions. And I know you will as well.
KARINE JEAN-PIERRE, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: We'll take questions. Go ahead.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you so much. Dr. Jha. Has -- the President been tested to determine which variant he has. Is it BA.5? And if so, what does
that say about his prognosis?
JHA: It's a great question. The virus has been sent off for sequencing. It takes usually about a week for that sequencing to come back, that's under
normal circumstances. He's the President, the sequencing will get prioritized. So we should have answered sooner than that, but you can't
just tell from a regular test what kind of variant. So the sequencing results will be back. At some point, less than a week from now.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And has the President had to hold any of his regular medications now that he's taking Paxlovid? And what are you doing to
mitigate the risk from halting those medications?
JHA: Yes. So this is a -- I had a conversation about this with Dr. O'Connor. They're two medicines. He's on Eliquis and Crestor, a cholesterol
lowering medicine, and a blood thinner for his atrial fibrillation, both of which need to be stopped when you take Paxlovid. It's a very standard
common thing that we do when we give people Paxlovid. And you don't need to do anything in those circumstances. They both get stopped for the five days
that he's on Paxlovid, and then they get restarted. And it's totally fine and pretty normal practice.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK. Where exactly was he infected?
JHA: Where was he infected? I don't think we know. I certainly don't know. If you have any thoughts on it.
JEAN-PIERRE: Look, I don't think that matters, right? I think what matters is we prepared for this moment. I think what matters is what Dr. Jha just
laid out. If we look at where we were a year-and-a-half ago, this is a president, when he walked in one of his first priorities was to make sure
we had a comprehensive plan to get people vaccinated. And so now today, we look to today, more and more people are getting closer to having a more
normal life. Vaccines are available.
And as Dr. Jha said, if you have not gotten vaccinated, please do. If you have not gotten boosted, please do. These are treatments that are going to
keep you safe. And I think that's what matters here is making sure that we continue to do the work, and the good thing is that the President, again,
has been vaccinated and double boosted.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We know that rebound COVID cases have been a concern in some individuals who take Paxlovid. Are there any precautions you can
take to try and prevent that? And how concerned are you that could potentially hinder his return to the office?
JHA: It's a great question. So, let me tell you what we know about rebound. So, we've looked at the clinical data on this because, if you look at
Twitter, it feels like everybody has rebound. But it turns out there's actually clinical data if you look at major health systems that have given
up Paxlovid to tens of thousands of people. Rebound rates are around 5%. Some studies says maybe 7%, 8%, some studies say it's 2%, but it's in the
single digits. So it happens, it's not that frequent.
But here's the key point about rebound, which is when people have rebound, they don't end up in the hospital. They don't end up particularly sick. And
the goal of Paxlovid is to keep people from getting seriously ill.
And so, it continues to work. You know, his physician is in charge of taking care of them. Obviously the President will continue to be monitored
as he is. But the Paxlovid is working really well at preventing serious illness, rebound no rebound. And that's why he was offered it, and that's
why the President took it.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You mentioned that the symptoms that the President has had so far, runny nose, fatigue, dry cough. What are other symptoms are you
looking out for at this point? Obviously, this is the beginning of this. And what would warrant hospitalization?
JHA: So right now, he feels really well. Our expectation is that he's going to continue to have mild illness. And he's going to be monitored for
symptoms. I mean, we asked him, you know, kind of everyday I asked him, like how was he feeling, is he having any other symptoms. He's not. But I
think we're going to continue monitoring that, and I don't -- like I think that that is the plan right now, is that he's going to get care. The way he
would -- I'd say the way -- I wouldn't say any other person, he's the president. So obviously, he gets extra attention. But I don't think we have
any expectations of any other symptoms at this point.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm going to go to the back. Go ahead. Go ahead, April.
APRIL, REPORTER: I want to follow up on a couple of questions. So if the President's oxygen level went down, would he be a candidate to go to the
JHA: I don't -- So at this point, we don't generally want to avoid hypotheticals. He is breathing well, his oxygen level is normal, and he's,
you know, I was going to say resting comfortably. He's actually not wrestling company. He's working comfortably in his residence.
APRIL: (Inaudible) hypothetical in COVID, sir. And the next question, in this moment we understand that the incubation of COVID is two to 14 days.
Has the White House reached out to those the President has been in contact with, personal -- in-person contact with in that period of time?
JHA: So, CDC has very clear protocols on this in terms of when people are contagious pre-symptoms. The White House medical unit is conducting right
now a contact tracing, and they are contacting every single person who meets the CDC definition of a potentially close contact.
APRIL: Speaking of the CDC, this is the last question. The CDC says, if you are in a high risk area, and a large swath of the nation is in high risk
area, they recommend wearing masks indoors. In this White House, we're still seeing people back and forth, DC is a high -- is in the high
category. Is there now a push to tell people to start wearing the masks indoors, especially as the President now we see has COVID?
JHA: Actually off the top my head, I can't remember where DC is on the orange, yellow, green map, so I'm not going to kind of do this off. But the
bottom line is we follow CDC guidelines, and the policy of the White House is to follow CDC guidelines in terms of mask wearing based on CDC COVID
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Will the President resume public events in five days if he tests negative or will the White House be more cautious and have them
isolate for 10 days?
JHA: So the plan right now is to follow -- it's actually we do --
(END LIVE COVERAGE)
PAULA NEWTON, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT: And you have been watching a briefing at the White House. That is Dr. Ashish Jha. You will recognize him
from our air the last couple years. He is now the COVID adviser to the White House and the president.
It's a great line from Dr. Jha, was, the president's is resting comfortably. He's working comfortably, meaning he is well enough to work.
He's in good spirits. He has started to take that powerful antiviral called Paxlovid. He will take that for five days. They will continue to monitor
his condition. They do not expected it to worsen.
They say he does have a dry cough, no fever, a little fatigue. The president himself took to Twitter and had a video from his balcony, saying
he is feeling good and he appreciated everyone's well wishes.
The president is 79 years old and experiencing a lot of what people around the world have been experiencing and that is a brush with COVID. Some worry
about whether or not the symptoms will continue to be mild. They are right now.
The White House says that the issue is transparency here. They say they will continue to give us updates daily.
In the meantime, we want to turn to the political turmoil in Italy. The president dissolves parliament, triggering a snap election in September.
This after prime minister Mario Draghi resigned.
He has been in office for less than 18 months. Draghi was left with little choice after his coalition collapsed Wednesday. It is a significant blow to
European unity, at a time when the bloc is under immense political and economic pressure amid the war in Ukraine.
Italy's stock market had a hard day. It was already, down following Draghi's announcement. Draghi has enjoyed global popularity.
NEWTON: So how did Italy get here?
Joining us to discuss is the "Financial Times'" Milan correspondent, Silvia Borrelli.
Thank you so much for joining. Us Silvia, Italians know how we got here. Most of them cannot name the more than 5 dozen or so prime ministers that
they've had in the postwar period. The stakes are so much higher, though. Walk us through how we got here and let's go through the politics first.
SILVIA BORRELLI, "FINANCIAL TIMES": Hi, Paula. Thanks for having me.
It is complicated. It is normally complicated with Italian politics. This time around, because this was a national unity government, backed by both
center left and center right parties, citizens and European institutions really had the confidence it would be different this time.
Also because, the end of the parliamentary term was scheduled for spring, 2023, so not that long away.
But essentially one of the major parties in the coalition, the populist Five Star Movement, started saying a couple of weeks ago that Draghi wasn't
backing their policies, that he wasn't doing enough to support Italian families that are facing rising inflation, rising food and gas prices.
And so they boycotted a crucial vote. That's when Draghi resigned the first time. But president Mattarella had him return to parliament, address
lawmakers to try and fix their differences. That happened yesterday.
He gave a very impassioned and angry speech to lawmakers, saying that they could either stand behind him and the reform agenda or the national unity
government had no future.
At the end of the day, what happened was that, in fact, not only the Five Star Movement but also two center right parties decided to boycott the
vote. At that point Draghi decided to resign irrevocably and parliament has now been dissolved.
NEWTON: Parliament has been dissolved. Italians must be again dismayed especially because economic stakes are so high right now. We just had the
ECB raise interest rates today. Everyone knows there's an energy crisis.
How are Italians taking all of this in, considering this will impact their livelihoods?
BORRELLI: You're right. Italians are dismayed. About 30 percent of voters are actually happy we are headed to snap elections. The rest of the
population are extremely concerned because of inflation and because of everything that is happening on the geopolitical level.
Clearly with the ECB rising rates, it's going to impact highly indebted countries like Italy more than others so there is a lot of concern. There
is a crucial budget launch to be passed in October.
So Italians are concerned. Even if Draghi was popular with some people, not so much with others, he was widely seen as a figure that could bring
stability to this country at such difficult times. So obviously there is a lot of dismay.
Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni in Brussels called this the perfect storm. And it is indeed a perfect storm.
NEWTON: For those looking for economic stability in Italy, they did not get what they wanted today. Thank you for joining us and taking us through
all of that.
We will be right back with more news right after this short break.
NEWTON: We continue with our "Going Green" series, featuring Gen Z environmentalists, with a young Canadian fighting to protect our most
precious resource, water. Larry Madowo has more.
AUTUMN PELTIER, INDIGENOUS RIGHTS AND WATER ACTIVIST (voice-over): I believe no matter what our race or color is, how rich or poor we, are
everybody deserves clean drinking water. Water is the lifeblood of Mother Earth. It's the lifeblood of everything.
LARRY MADOWO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Autumn's journey to becoming a water protector began when she was 8, sparked by an visit to an
Indigenous community in Canada a few hours from her home.
PELTIER (voice-over): I had to use the washroom. When I went to go wash my hands, I realized that on the -- directly on the mirror, it said, "Do not
drink the water. Not for consumption. And boil water advisory."
I asked my mom, what does this mean?
She told me they can't drink the water.
I said why?
She said, because their water is polluted. So later that night, I go home and I research what a boil water advisory was. I was only 8. But for me, at
the time, I thought about the fact that there were kids my age and younger who had no idea what it's like to just go to your tap and drink water.
That impacted me in a way, for me to feel I need to use my voice to speak. Up
MADOWO (voice-over): Her roots to the water here run deep with ties to the Kwakwaka'wakw First Nation in Canada.
PELTIER (voice-over): When I first started doing my work, I was 10 years old. At the time there was very, very little, almost no media coverage
about any Indigenous issues, especially the water crisis in First Nations communities.
MADOWO (voice-over): She spent the past eight years speaking out about importers of clean water to international organization, like the U.N. and
the World Economic Forum. In 2021, she received the Planetary Health Award from Prince Albert II's foundation.
PELTIER (voice-over): Being awarded by people like the prince of Monaco knows that my voice is not only being heard within Canada, it's being heard
I'd like to thank everyone who is still continuing to follow my journey.
MADOWO (voice-over): For Autumn, fighting for clean water is literally in the hands of Gen Z.
PELTIER (voice-over): It's different with this generation because of social media. From my personal opinion, we are always on our, phones we are
always on social, media different apps. We're able to see different, posts things about climate change and just the world in general.
When I speak, my goal really is like the younger generation, young, people you wouldn't generally think, like a kid or a young person would speak up
about world issues or political issues, that we shouldn't have to be speaking about in the first place.
So that's why it's so much more powerful because that's how you know something is wrong. That's how you know something has to be done.
NEWTON: A lot of inspiration there. For this and more stories about the next generation of climate environmentalists, you can visit
Still to come for us tonight, imagine having to wait in line for days to fill up your car. Well, that's the reality for thousands in Cuba at this
hour. We have that story after the break.
NEWTON: The energy crunch is impacting people right around the globe. I'm sure you feel. It but in Cuba, it is in the middle of an economic crisis.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NEWTON (voice-over): Look at the lineup of those vehicles, huge queues. They are all amassing at the gas pump, with people waiting in line for
days, yes, days, not hours.
A big reason for this is because most Cubans drive older cars that run only on diesel. CNN's Patrick Oppmann has that story.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PATRICK OPPMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The line for diesel in Havana seems to go on forever and barely moves. It takes days now for these
drivers to fill up their tanks. Yes, you heard that right. People wait here for days to get fuel. don't even think about leaving the line not even for
We can't go he says if you leave someone else takes your spot. And you have to go back to the beginning and start all over again. So drivers catch some
in their cars. Brush their teeth by the side of the road, kill the hours playing dominoes. Hoping the next increasingly scarce shipping fuel comes
OPPMANN: But people were at the front of this very long line say they've been waiting for eight days to fill up their trucks and their cars with
diesel. They'll sleep in their trucks have their family bring them food.
What they didn't want to do is talk to us on camera they say that they complain to publicly they might lose their place in line. Battered by the
pandemic, U.S. sanctions and a global supply chain disrupted by the war in Ukraine, Cuba is confronting a worsening energy crisis.
OPPMANN (voice-over): Large parts of the communist run Island are being hit by longer and longer power outages. Keeping the lights on requires more
fuel than the Cuban government has on hand.
The power plants have consumed more of the small amount of fuel that we have, he says fundamentally diesel, which costs us a lot of work to get. It
means that our generation of energy is affected as our important economic activities. Analysts say the whole grid is in danger of collapsing.
JORGE PINON, LATIN AMERICA AND CARIBBEAN ENERGY PROGRAM: You have a number of cumulative effects that are taking place that cannot be solved with
Band-aids. We're talking about major structural investments in the billions of dollars. That's going to take a number of years to solve this problem.
OPPMANN (voice-over): Blackouts in July 2021 sparked the largest anti- government protests in decades. Already this summer outages have caused
people to take to the streets, banging pots and pans to demand the power be restored.
But with the government warning that the Blackouts and fuel shortages will continue. Cubans can expect a long, hot, intense summer ahead of them.
NEWTON: Patrick Oppmann joins me now from Havana.
The cost of living is affecting others in the region as well. If we think about Panama, that's supposed to be one of the most stable and bankable
economies in Central America. It, too, is being shaken by a similar crisis.
OPPMANN: Yes. Panama has been absolutely paralyzed by protests that show no signs of ending anytime soon. People there are saying it is the worst
crisis the country has faced since the dictatorship of Manuel Noriega and the U.S. invasion of that country.
OPPMANN: Protesters from different groups are a perfect storm of grievances, are taking to the streets, walking off roads and highways, even
the American highway that runs the entire length of Panama.
People are not allowed to leave their towns or neighborhoods, to get goods to market. People just say they're furious at the spike in prices of gas
and food, furious at their government for official corruption.
We're talking about labor groups and indigenous groups. For many Panamanians, including a farmer I interviewed this week, they say they are
caught between two groups that simply do not want to budge.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ERICK FIDEL SANTAMARIA CABALLERO, PANAMANIAN FARMER (through translator): Milk producers cannot deliver their milk. They have to throw it away.
Farmers are losing their harvests.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
OPPMANN: And so, ironically, Paula, these protests have a lot to do with the price of food and will probably cause production to plummet. You are
hearing about farmers and other people who are not able to get their products into the people who need them. There's no solution anytime soon,
NEWTON: Absolutely. That's the issue. There does not seem to be a solution on the horizon in the coming weeks or months. Patrick Oppmann, live from
Havana, we really appreciate it.
I want to thank all of you for watching tonight. Stay with CNN. I'll be right back after a quick break with "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS."