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Isa Soares Tonight
A U.S. Judge Releases Mar-a-Lago Search Affidavit; Zelenskyy Warns Europe Is One Step From A Nuclear Disaster; U.K. Energy Regulator Hikes Energy Price Cap By 80 Percent; Markets Fall As Fed Chief Warns Of Economic Pain; Power Outages Across Cuba Becoming Increasingly Common; Historic Heat Wave Drives Up China's Use Of Coal. Aired 2-3p ET
Aired August 26, 2022 - 14:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CHRISTINA MACFARLANE, HOST, ISA SOARES TONIGHT: A very warm welcome to the show everyone, I'm Christina Macfarlane in for Isa Soares. Tonight, two
major stories this hour. First, the U.S. Department of Justice publishes the redacted affidavit behind the unprecedented search of Donald Trump's
Florida home. Those revelations coming up.
And Ukraine's president says Russia has put Europe just one step away from a radiation disaster. Serious warnings as the fight continues around the
Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, the latest from Lviv and Moscow just ahead. Now, the U.S. Justice Department has now released a version of the
affidavit meant to justify the FBI search of Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago home earlier this month.
And it says there's potentially evidence of obstruction. The 38-page document is heavily redacted, and we're still combing through it. But it
does give us an idea of the scale of this investigation into former President Trump's handling of classified material. Let's get straight out
to Washington D.C., and senior crime and justice reporter Katelyn Polantz joins me now. Katelyn, just walk us through if you will, the key
revelations we've learnt tonight.
KATELYN POLANTZ, CNN SENIOR CRIME & JUSTICE REPORTER: Well, Christina, this is an unprecedented search in a historic criminal investigation, and
this is a moment of transparency that is very unusual. So we're getting this affidavit, the narrative, the backup, that search warrant to allow the
FBI, Justice Department to go to Mar-a-Lago, almost three weeks ago.
And what this affidavit now reveals is maybe half, almost, half, maybe, of what the Justice Department wrote, and they are explaining many things,
including the probable cause to investigate three crimes, that they believe were taking place after the Trump presidency. At Mar-a-Lago, the
mishandling of national defense records, the mishandling of presidential records, and also obstruction of justice.
We can see various bits and pieces of the outline of this belief that the Justice Department has. And it starts with a back story that became very
alarming for the federal government at the beginning of this year. In that back story, the National Archives did receive 15 boxes back from Mar-a-
Lago, from the Trump folks in January.
By February, they realized that there were many classified records in there, 184 unique documents in fact. That's what they say in this document,
then those documents were intermixed with one another. They were improperly identified, and they had such sensitive information that it included
So, the way that the U.S. surveils other countries in secret programs, it had human intelligence. Which is the sort of thing people risked their
lives to provide information, to the U.S. government about. There were also handwritten notes of the former president, as part of that in that
initial set of boxes. And then, the affidavit becomes much more redacted.
We see a lot less about what happened after February, where the Justice Department did become convinced that there was still evidence of these
possible crimes at Mar-a-Lago. And one of the things that is noted here is that Mar-a-Lago was not a secured location to keep classified documents in.
And yet, there was enough evidence that they had gathered so far in this investigation, to be sure that they would find more potentially classified
records at Mar-a-Lago when they did that search three weeks ago. We know they took out 33 items, ultimately.
MACFARLANE: Yes, and Katelyn, key also, there was a section related to probable cause, and why the search was needed. What did we learn from that?
POLANTZ: Right, well, there is a section about probable cause. And I'll read it just the way they phrased it. They said, "there is probable cause
to believe that additional documents that contained classified national defense information, or that are presidential records subject to record
retention requirements currently remain at the premises of Mar-a-Lago.
There is also probable cause to believe that evidence of obstruction will be found at the premises." We can't really see much here as far as we can
tell, about the obstruction part of this. But there does appear to be a belief that when they went into the spaces that Donald Trump would have
been moving in, they had reason to believe that there would be records there that were not secured in the way that they should have been.
MACFARLANE: All right, Katelyn, thank you. I know there's a lot more to get into. But thank you for now. We're going to keep digging here with the
former federal prosecutor, Michael Zeldin, who joins me now. Michael, we expected this to be heavily redacted, but actually, there was also quite a
lot that we have learned from this affidavit.
We heard Katelyn there speaking about probable cause. What, for you, was the most important revelation you've heard?
MICHAEL ZELDIN, PODCAST HOST: Two things. First, was the full revelation of the give and take between the government and the former president, and
how solicitous they were, of the former president, in order to not, I guess, impose on him, but yet, still get their documents back. And so, I
think it was a very overly and organized conversation between the two sides.
However, what we learned is that the government believed that the Trump team was not being forthright with them which necessitated the unusual step
of getting a search warrant, which is very common in ordinary cases when a witness is asked for documents and they don't produce them and they go back
Often times, they'll just go to a search warrant and say, enough is enough, and that's what they did here. The other thing that struck me besides this
timeline and how solicitous they were of the former president, so, I think undermining the notion that this was a break in. That there is probable
cause to believe that multiple subjects are of interest to the Justice Department.
Because the Justice Department indicates in this memorandum that they're concerned with the number of people who may have been involved in the
removal of these documents from the White House in the first instance, and then the concealment of them once they've been removed. So you've got sort
of two parts here. Who removed them? How did they get removed when they were so heavily classified?
And then, who did what to conceal them from the investigators when they went out and asked for them? So, I thought that was important, because this
is not an investigation that's necessarily targeted simply against the former president. But there may be a group of others who were -- well, used
the word, conspirators or cooperators with him in the removal and concealment, and ultimate, potentially, obstruction of the investigation.
MACFARLANE: Yes, important to note that there may have been others, you know, within this ring who were involved in this. I think the revelation as
well, Michael, that there was evidence -- potential evidence of obstruction within these documents was striking. What did that say to you, and do we
know what that may have been in relation to?
ZELDIN: Well, I would think this is obstructing the investigation into the acquisition of these documents. Not that the document itself contained
obstructionist content, but rather that those who were being asked for the documents were obstructing the government's effort to get them back.
They were concealing, and then taking a worst step, if you will, and obstructing. And we saw that potentially in a letter from one of Trump's
attorneys, who represented to the government that, there was no more classified documents, there were no more classified documents at Mar-a-
Lago. And of course, we know after the search, twenty-something boxes were received and those contained classified information, too. So that false
statement or potential false statement could amount to obstruction of justice.
MACFARLANE: So, and these were all early reactions to what we're seeing, to what we're not seeing in this affidavit. But on the evidence of what we
now know, Michael, can we say, you know, what is going to happen? What are the likely next steps for the DOJ here? You know, what is the timeline
going to be now to play out for them, and whether, you know, any charges are brought?
ZELDIN: Right. So, what the FBI is doing, I expect, is going through all of the documents to determine, essentially, a risk assessment. What is it
that these documents contain, and what risks did that present to our national security? Once they know that and they can brief the Intelligence
committees, and take whatever corrective steps are necessary to secure our assets in the field, then, they're going to look to or simultaneously, they
will be looking at who is responsible for this, as I said.
How did these documents get out of there in the first place? Who retained them? Why were they being retained? Was there anything that was being
covered up within them of a criminal nature? Was the United States government security compromised in any way, and if so, by whom? And that,
the answers to those questions, Christina, will lead to a determination of whether or not criminal charges are warranted.
MACFARLANE: Yes, an awful lot more to digest and to get through. But Michael, for now, so soon after this was released, we appreciate you being
here to help us break it down. Thank you.
ZELDIN: My pleasure.
MACFARLANE: OK, Volodymyr Zelenskyy says Russia has put Ukrainians as well as all of Europe just one step away from a radiation disaster.
The Ukrainian president is urging the world to speed efforts to secure the occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, saying Russian shelling
triggered fires Thursday that severed the plant from Ukraine's electricity grid for the first time ever. The plant is now reconnected, but Ukraine's
government says urgent de-occupation and demilitarization of the plant is the only way for Europe to sleep peacefully without fear of nuclear
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, PRESIDENT, UKRAINE (through translator): I want to assure our Ukrainians, we are doing everything to prevent an emergency
scenario. But it depends not only on our state, international pressure is needed that will force the occupiers to immediately withdraw from the
territory, of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant.
The IAEA and other international organizations must act much faster than now. Because every minute of the Russian military staying at the nuclear
plant is a risk of global radiation disaster.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACFARLANE: Let's bring in CNN's David McKenzie for more, he's live in Lviv. And David, we know that the plant is now back online, but it is being
run by backup generators which is you know, hardly, ideal. What efforts are being made to resume operations to the other power lines and you know, that
are connected to these reactors? What is the state of play now?
DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Christina, still a very worrying situation. I do believe that there is, in fact, power
going to, at least, one of those nuclear reactors. So it's not just on backup generators anymore. But that was the scenario yesterday on Thursday
when it did end up being on power generators.
And you don't ever want to be in that scenario when you are running a nuclear power plant, even when it's under enemy occupation. Because that is
the last stage before a possible nuclear meltdown or leak of some kind.
The president of Ukraine, Zelenskyy, hailing the workers there, many have been working under horrific conditions and Russian occupation for many
months now, as heroes, saying their quick-thinking and smart reaction allowed them to stave off a nuclear disaster.
There has been a re-connection to the Ukrainian power grid, which is good news, but the threat still remains. It is sometimes difficult to
disentangle just how grave that threat is at any one moment. But the IAEA, the Atomic Energy Agency, is desperate to get in there to inspect just how
safe or unsafe it is.
Just a short time ago, the Russian foreign ministry saying they wanted to do everything they could to help those inspectors in and get them in
safely. But I have to say, there's been talk like this for sometime from the Russian side, but there are a little concrete signs that they are
making the accommodations to the Ukrainians, to actually get people in to check it.
Because geographically, right now, you'd have to pass through a front line to get to that plant. And there's no sign that the Russians will remove
their military assets. So, words are one thing. Action needs to happen now. And despite the IAE -- IAEA, excuse me, head, saying there could be days
before they get in, not weeks, there isn't really that kind of moment you believe, it's happening now.
So we'll have to wait and carefully watch and hope there isn't another power situation like there was, yesterday. Christina?
MACFARLANE: Yes, it's an insanely tenuous situation to be in, and let's hope the IAEA do get access. So, David, thank you very much. Well, earlier,
my colleague Becky Anderson spoke with Ross Peel; a nuclear security expert at King's College London. He explained how a worst-case scenario could
develop if Zaporizhzhia plant is not secured.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROSS PEEL, NUCLEAR SECURITY EXPERT, KING'S COLLEGE LONDON: The risks at this point are quite concerning. We're looking at a situation where a
disconnection from the energy grid limits the ability of a plant to run in safety and security systems And if we are going to have that happening
again, this place, as the plant at risk of using only one single source of power for those, which is its diesel backup generators.
With only one single source of power for those critical safety systems, we're in a deeply concerning situation.
BECKY ANDERSON, CNN: What if those fail?
PEEL: If those fail, then we are looking at a situation where the nuclear fuel starts to heat up and heat up and heat up within the reactors and
within spent fuel cooling pumps. And the result of this, is that, if that becomes too hot, it can cause the fuel to melt. It can cause fires. It can
cause even explosions, and the potential outcome of this, if safety systems aren't unable to prevent it, it's the release of radioactive material into
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACFARLANE: Your worst case scenario. OK. Still to come tonight, why is Russia reportedly burning millions of dollars worth of gas? We'll go live
to Moscow amid escalating tensions between the Kremlin and the EU. And fears the energy crisis could become a matter of life or death here in the
U.K. We speak to a British lawmaker about how the government is responding.
MACFARLANE: Welcome back. Russia is reportedly burning off $10 million of natural gas every day. That's according to the research company Rystad
Energy. This says Russia has been flaring large amounts of gas since early July. But exactly why is a mystery. It's happening at an LNG plant near
Russia's border with Finland.
Burning off gas is normal, and often happens during the Summer months when facilities run out of storage. But Rystad says this has been going on for
quite some time, and it comes as Russia severely restricts Europe's exports. Well, CNN's Fred Pleitgen joins me now live from Moscow. Fred,
what do we know at this point about why this is happening?
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, it's very difficult to say, Christina, and I was reading through what Rystad had said
that, they said it could be due to inefficiencies in Gazprom's process of moving LNG. That it could also be them testing that facility, because of
course, there's been some maintenance work that's been done on turbines.
There's actually -- had a lot of maintenance work done, they might be planning to start it up again. But they also say there could also be
political reasons. And of course, one of the things that's really interesting about that plant, see on our screens right now, I think that
the video that we're seeing right now was actually taken from Finland.
Because Rystad said that there was actually people in Finland who started seeing that glass flame at that LNG plant, and that's when -- afterwards to
those satellite images were made. But this feeds directly into the Nord Stream 1 pipeline. We have right now is the map there where you can see
that this facility is right on the Baltic sea and right where it meets the Nord Stream 1 pipeline.
And of course, the Germans, that's where the pipeline ends, have been saying that a lot less gas is flowing through that pipeline, and then the
pipeline has capacity for. They say right now, it's about 20 percent of what it could be, before that it was 40 percent. That's because the
Russians have said that a turbine is missing, which is needed to create larger gas flow.
The Germans say that, that is not true. They believe that gas flow could be higher as is, and the Russians haven't taken that turbine back yet. So,
whether or not, it's political reasons is really very much unclear, but certainly, a lot of gas apparently being burnt at that facility, which
obviously, right now, would be in big demand in Europe, especially with international gas prices as high as they are, Christina.
MACFARLANE: Yes, could be political, could be technical. Fred, appreciate you breaking it down for us and what we may know at this point, thank you.
And as you were just hearing from Fred there, how Russia is burning millions of dollars worth of gas is happening all right under Europe's
nose, even as it struggles with a worsening energy crisis.
In the U.K., the energy regulator has announced the price cap on household energy cost will rise by 80 percent, all in time for Winter. Germany and
France are also seeing similar increases. Scott McLean has a closer look.
SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (on camera): Well, the steep rise in energy prices is not by any stretch unique to the U.K. It is a huge problem
across Europe. France and Germany are recording record-high electricity prices, and EU energy ministers are now planning to convene an emergency
meeting to discuss what to do about their new found energy war with Russia.
In the U.K., the country's energy regulator has announced the price gap for household energy prices, electricity and gas will rise by 80 percent. It is
now almost three times what it was a year ago. Now, this price cap is really a cap on profits that companies can take above the wholesale price
of gas and electricity, and there are other expenses.
For the average British family with average energy usage, it means about $350 U.S. is spent per month on gas and electricity, which is more than 10
percent of the median after-tax household income In the U.K.
Now, the energy regulator in the U.K. says that the reason that prices are going up is because post-COVID, the economy bounced back quicker than
expected, creating more demand, and because of cuts in Russian gas exports to Europe, which are down some 77 percent compared to the same time last
year. The head of the British Energy Regulator tried to put all of this in context, like this.
JONATHAN BREARLEY, CEO, OFGEM: And when I look at the prices in Winter, they're already 15 times what they normally are. Now, if that were to
happen in petrol, that would mean it would cost us 400 or 500 pounds just to fill up our car. So, the cost of energy are changing dramatically. Now,
unfortunately, we do need to reflect that cost, and that's why the price cap is changing today.
MCLEAN: Now, this is all likely to put major pressure on not only the caretaker Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who has already announced a series
of measures meant to ease pressure on household budgets, but also on his likely successor who polls indicate will likely be Liz Truss.
But proposals to ease pressure on ordinary households has so far been modest and fairly non-specific. She is pledging to cut taxes and to
increase domestic oil production, something that may help in the long run, but certainly not right away. Scott McLean, CNN, London.
MACFARLANE: Well, as the U.K. waits to see who its new leader will be, it is grappling with soaring household bills. Some are warning the energy
crisis could literally become a matter of life or death. Let's speak to a conservative member of parliament about the government's plan to tackle the
crisis. Sir Kevin Hollinrake joins us now. Mr. Hollinrake, thank you for your time.
KEVIN HOLLINRAKE, MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT, BRITAIN: Pleasure, good evening.
MACFARLANE: These -- good evening. These figures of 80 percent that we are now facing here in the U.K., were being projected months and months ago. So
why has the British government not moved more quickly and decisively to prevent the crisis that we are now in?
HOLLINRAKE: Well, the reality is, it has. But the picture is moving very quickly and it's changing every single day almost. But -- so when Rishi
Sunak, then chancellor announced a package of support back in the Spring, that pretty much covered the extra cost of energy following income
It provided a package of support for everybody, but for low income households, it pretty much covered the extra cost, which was then about
1,200 pounds a year in extra energy costs. What he said he would do on top of that, government policy if he's prime minister, he'll go further, and he
hasn't said exactly what it will be, intimated pretty much for those low- income households. It would increase that support, cover the extra costs too --
MACFARLANE: Yes --
HOLLINRAKE: As well as providing some blanket -- for everybody.
MACFARLANE: The tax you're mentioning on oil and gas companies earlier this year, and we didn't have much in effect, did it? I mean, since then,
profits have only risen among energy companies. Why have we not yet seen a higher windfall tax introduced on energy electricity companies?
Because we know they're posting huge profits -- we're looking at a graphic here on our screen, you know, it's increased some fourfold for certain
energy companies. Why have we not seen greater action, a higher windfall tax?
HOLLINRAKE: Yes, well, I don't disagree with that. I argued for the windfall tax in the first place, and then that raises the current windfall
tax raises about 5 billion pounds over the next 12 months. I think it's fair to say that the energy production companies are going to even make
more money than we first expected.
So, I would expect whoever is in Number 10 Downing Street beyond the 5th of September, to go back to that well and probably increase windfall taxes.
Because whatever money you're going to throw at this, you're going to have to pay for this somehow. So, it's actually -- it's going to be taxpayers of
some form. Now, the consumers or taxpayers, and I don't think it's fair to say we run for taxpayers to pick up the tap without some of the energy
companies also paying for this.
But there's quite a big difference between the two different camps who are bidding for prime minister, Liz Truss who has so far not announced a
package of support, only quite modest tax cuts that would affect low-income households, I'd say quite modestly. Rishi Sunak has announced direct
support that really does --
MACFARLANE: Yes --
HOLLINRAKE: Just prioritize low income households.
MACFARLANE: But it -- I mean, neither candidate, to be blunt, has really fully laid out their position on this. And I think part of the problem
here, the reason people are angry in the U.K., is that the government have resisted introducing policies to handle the energy crisis, due to this
conservative leadership race of a current prime minister, some call missing in action. And you know, this -- the race is not due to conclude until the
5th of September. Can people really wait that long in the U.K.?
HOLLINRAKE: Well, the energy cap -- I mean, I do share the worries that households have, there's no question about it, I worry for lots of my
constituents. What I would say to them is that package will arrive. Rishi has been pretty clear in terms of what he will do, he said around 500
pounds of extra of those low income households, I think it probably will be more.
So, has been pretty specific, but he couldn't announce the detail plans because we only heard about the energy cap where it would be today. So
needs to know what the numbers are going to be before you could provide the support. The energy cap, doesn't increase energy cap, doesn't come into
play until October.
So there's time between the September the 5th when a new prime minister is announced and energy cap coming into being. That to announce and to deliver
that package of support, which I would say to people at home who are worried this evening, don't worry, the package of support will arrive.
MACFARLANE: Well, the package --
HOLLINRAKE: I trust that -- distant and I tell them why it will give them in their side right now.
MACFARLANE: It will, arrive, as you say, eventually, but not potentially for the most vulnerable in our society, here. I mean, you say you have --
HOLLINRAKE: No --
MACFARLANE: Some advice -- you have some advice for people. And we heard the U.K. chancellor today saying that people need to look at their own
energy consumption in order to address this, which seems a little bit after the horse's bolted, you know. They really can't maintain the cost of this,
right now. So, what is your advice to the average person in the U.K. who is looking at this or even the most vulnerable here, and how they should
approach this, what they can expect from the government?
HOLLINRAKE: Yes. Well, the first thing I'll say, particularly to people who are feeling that their finances are going to run out of control is,
that money will be there before the energy cap increases. So, there will be that support that will be delivered before that time.
I would say to anybody, is use every method possible, means possible to reduce your energy requirements. So that doesn't mean turning your
thermostats down, it does mean putting an extra jumper on, it doesn't mean using washing line rather than some dryer, all those things of course, we
need to do, lots of people are doing those things already of course, all that sensible stuff for people who are on better incomes, of course, they
can make choices in terms of things like solar panels or whatever else it is.
I'm just trying to offset the extra cost of energy, but we're most worried about people who can't afford to do things like that. So that we're talking
about pensioners, we're talking about people on minimum wage, you know, we do need to deliver direct support to those people, that support will
arrive, whoever is on Number 10 Downing Street.
So, I want to reassure people that people are taking this seriously. Work is ongoing now in both camps, and beyond the 5th of September, we would
expect something to be rolled up very quickly for those households.
MACFARLANE: Well, as we Brits, you know, try and do our bit to keep this crisis from unraveling, we hope the government will do theirs. Mr.
Hollinrake, thank you very much for joining us --
HOLLINRAKE: Thank you --
MACFARLANE: And giving us your insight, I appreciate it. Well, we're keeping an eye on global markets which are falling sharply after U.S.
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell's annual policy speech out of Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Here is where they are right now. And as you can
see, investors are deeply worried. Powell hinted that the Fed will continue to hike interest rates for the foreseeable future until inflation in the
U.S. returns to more normal levels.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEROME POWELL, CHAIRMAN, FEDERAL RESERVE, UNITED STATES: Reducing inflation is likely to require a sustained period of below trend growth.
Moreover, there will very likely be some softening of labor market conditions. While higher interest rates and slower growth and softer labor
market conditions will bring down inflation, they will also bring some pain to households and businesses.
These are the unfortunate costs of reducing inflation. But a failure to restore price stability would mean far greater pain.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACFARLANE: Let's go straight to CNN business correspondent Rahel Solomon in New York. Rahel, markets clearly spooked by what they heard today.
RAHEL SOLOMON, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Spooked sharp downturn after some sharp language from the Federal Reserve Chairman being very
clear and direct in his messaging today, essentially saying, hear me now, we must continue to raise inflation or raise interest rates as we fight
inflation and that we're not seeing signs that inflation is easing in a way that would make the Fed confident that its work is done. The chairman
saying we must keep at it until the job is done saying that multiple times. And you can see investors clearly not liking what they heard. Dow off 750
The reason why we're seeing the reaction we're seeing today, Christina, is because the last time we heard from chair Powell, there was some confusion,
or a miss -- a disagreement amongst them about what he actually meant when he said that it appeared that we were approaching neutral territory, and
some understood that to mean, well, maybe we'll be -- maybe they'll take their foot off the brake a bit sooner in terms of interest rates.
Chairman Powell making that very clear today. That's not what they're doing, at least not yet. So we have another four weeks or so until the next
meeting. We do expect perhaps three quarters of a percent rate hike. But every time the Fed raises rates, that increases the likelihood of a
recession that increases the likelihood that consumer spending and consumer demand really comes to a screeching halt.
And so that is part of the impact of this and the pain that Powell was warning about. And perhaps we could see some joblessness, but also just
internationally, Christina, you have to wonder when you hear Chair Powell with language like this, what this might mean for other central banks
around the world. Might we see up more aggressive tightening from some of those central bankers as we collectively deal with historically high
MACFARLANE: Yes. Very much so the United States, the bellwether for whatever comes internationally, of course, as well. Rahel Solomon, thank
you for bringing us that.
All right. Still to come tonight. We head live to Cuba where people are without power in the sweltering summer heat as the consequences of a global
energy crisis hit the island.
MACFARLANE: Now to a truly global crisis right now, the soaring cost of energy and the ramifications for people worldwide. The E.U. says it will
convene an urgent energy meeting as soon as possible over what it calls an energy war with Russia. Meanwhile, across the Atlantic, another startling
illustration of how people's lives are being affected by the energy crisis, rolling blackouts are now reaching Cuba's capital of Havana. Patrick
Oppmann is in the Cuban capital, Havana, for us. Patrick, tell us what you've been seeing.
PATRICK OPPMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, the lights are on right now. But actually, this evening, they may be cut off is what the government has said
today and -- in the part of the city where I am now. And certainly, you know, for everywhere in the world, the energy crisis caused in large part
by the war in Ukraine, the global supply chain crisis lingered since the pandemic, you know, those of hit far richer countries in Cuba very, very
Here, it is a different story. This is a country that was dealing with an energy crisis even before the war in Ukraine. And so now, as we feel the
ripples, the shockwaves from this latest crisis, for many regular Cubans, it's nothing short of catastrophic.
OPPMANN: For many Cubans, this is now their life, waiting in the sweltering heat for the lights to come back on. In this neighborhood, people say the
power is regularly cut by the government amid growing energy shortages for up to 16 hours each day.
"Very difficult. Really uncomfortable. When it's time to go to bed, you can't," he says. The mosquitoes eat you alive. The heat doesn't let you
sleep. Power cuts are nothing new here. But Cubans are now dealing with the worst outages in decades as a perfect storm of economic calamity. A drop in
tourism and skyrocketing inflation batters the island. The Cuban government blames increased U.S. government sanctions for the outages, that lack of
investment in the state-controlled energy sector, and a massive fire that destroyed Cuba's main oil storage facility had brought the crisis to the
As the lights go out more frequently, Cubans fed up with the outages have taken to the streets in rare protests that the government usually does not
allow. Cuba's president says protesters need to be patient. "Some people take advantage of the situation to shout antirevolutionary slogans," he
says. "Others take part in vandalism and throw rocks and break windows. And that doesn't resolve the situation." But government officials admit there
is no quick solution to the outages.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OPPMANN: The power outages have a major impact on people's lives. When the lights go out, food spoils more quickly in the summer heat. People can't go
to work or to school, and they often have to sleep outside on the streets where they're exposed to mosquitoes that carry diseases like dengue. At
this point, there's no indication that the energy crisis is going to get better anytime soon.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
OPPMANN: Wendy is nearly nine months pregnant, and most nights, has to sleep on the ground outside her house. She says out loud what many here are
thinking. "The food spoils and there's no food in the stores. There's nothing," she says. "This is going from bad to worse. I want to leave."
Already a record number of Cubans have left the island in the last year. For those that remain, they know there are more long nights like this one
OPPMANN: And already, more than 1 percent, it's really a striking number, of Cubans have left this country over the last year or so and crossed the
U.S. border from Mexico going to the United States and asking for asylum. Thousands more have left this summer in small boats trying to get to the
U.S., often going far off course to countries like Mexico so it really is a crisis. And the people who cannot afford to leave, cannot get a visa, you
know, they are the ones going out at going out at night and banging on pots and pans when the light goes out because it is really an intolerable
situation to be in this heat, the summer heat of Cuba, which is incredibly fierce and not have any electricity at all.
So, the government is telling them people to be patient, but I can tell you that patience is really wearing thin here and months more of summer of the
heat here to go so it's going to be a long time before things get better is what the government is telling people.
MACFARLANE: Yes. Nine months pregnant in that heat and that dark, it must be unbearable, a stark reality. Patrick, thank you for your reporting.
Thank you for being with us tonight. China's energy crisis coal production ramps up as heat cripples the country's renewable energy sources. And then
Pakistan's deadly floods, more than 900 people killed, as the government pleads for international aid. That's just ahead.
MACFARLANE: From deadly flooding in Pakistan to severe drought across Europe, climate change is wreaking havoc around the world. China is ramping
up coal production just to keep the lights on as extreme heat cripples the country's renewable energy sources. CNN's Kristie Lu Stout has more.
KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The challenge is immense. A record breaking heat wave has been scorching China's since June, drying up
riverbeds, threatening crops and livestock, triggering wildfires and shutting down factories, and it could also jeopardize China's carbon
China is the world's biggest carbon emitter. And earlier this year, Chinese President Xi Jinping pledged to strictly control coal fired power projects
and limit the increase in coal consumption. The goal, to strive to reach peak CO2 emissions by 2030 and carbon neutrality by 2060. But while China
has also been racing ahead in the acquisition of renewable energy sources like solar and hydropower, it is still beefing up its coal power production
to keep up with demand, and the extreme heat has clipped some of the momentum.
Across Sichuan Province, home to 84 million people, drought has cut its hydropower capacity by half. Some 80 percent of the province's electricity
comes from hydropower. To make up the shortfall, Sichuan has been running its largest coal fired plant nonstop and temporarily closing factories to
save power. So will the energy fallout from the heat wave make it harder for China to decarbonize?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARK BEESON, ADJUNCT PROFESSOR, UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY SYDNEY: I think there's good evidence that that's true and members of the Politburo have
actually been advocating this and saying that they have to go back to coal because it's more reliable. So, the chances of them doubling down on the
supply of coal fired power stations is going to be increasingly higher I think in the future.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STOUT: China's top scientists have warned that the country is particularly vulnerable to climate change, with its temperatures rising faster than the
global average. According to Yuan Jia-Shuang, "In the future, the increase in regional average temperatures in China will be significantly higher than
As China's feels the devastating effects of climate change, plans for international cooperation to tackle the threat have been upended. In
response to U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's controversial trip to Taiwan, China cut off climate talks with the U.S.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NICHOLAS BURNS, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO CHINA: China represents 27 percent of all global emissions, the United States 11 percent were the two largest
carbon emitters. It's vital for the rest of the world that the United States and China continue to talk on climate change.
BEESON: In the long term, unless we find ways of cooperating internationally, no country on earth, not even the most powerful and most
populous country on Earth can solve this problem on their own.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STOUT: Kristie Lu stout, CNN, Hong Kong.
MACFARLANE: Well, more than 900 people have been killed by severe rains and flooding in Pakistan. At least 33 million people are affected as officials
launched an international appeal for help. CNN's Sophia Saifi reports from Islamabad.
SOPHIA SAIFI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Their homes swept away, wading through water, carrying what they could salvage from the destruction. Pakistan's
people have been shaken by record-breaking rains.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Look at this house. This family has nine children and they have no breadwinner. It had been raining the whole
night and there was no one to take care of them. For God's sake, at least someone should provide them with a tent or sheet to save the small
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SAIFI: From the north to the south, Pakistan's cities and countryside have been ravaged by the worst floods to hit the country in over a decade. A
summer of extreme heat has led to merciless rainfall. One the country's climate change Minister has linked to the dire effects of climate change.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SHERRY REHMAN, PAKISTANI MINISTER OF CLIMATE CHANGE: Pakistan is living through one of the most serious climate catastrophes of the world. We are,
at this point, ground zero of the frontline extreme weather events, which we have seen from early this year in an unrelenting cascade of heat waves,
forest fires, flash floods, multiple glacial lake outburst flood events, and now the monster monsoon of the decade is wreaking nonstop havoc
throughout the country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SAIFI: At least 30 million Pakistanis affected by the record-breaking rain, Rehman says. Baluchistan in the Southwest has been worst hit. The
impoverished province has received as much as five times more rain than normal. The people here are tired of the deluge.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): We are retrieving our belongings, our bedding, cupboards, and everything else is here. We are helping
ourselves. We did not get anything from the government except the tent. I don't know where to fix it because it is raining continuously. The rain
that started last evening is continuing until now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SAIFI: The government's scrambling to meet the needs of millions has now asked for international aid. In the meantime, the rain has not stopped. As
climate change runs havoc on our world, ordinary people will bear the worst of its effects. Sophie Saifi, CNN, Islamabad.
MACFARLANE: That's extraordinary. Well, parts of the U.S. are also struggling to recover from severe weather this week. A slow moving weather
system drenched the south with record rainfall calling flash floods, washing away roads, and even derailing a train. These elderly residents
forced to evacuate from a Mississippi nursing home in thigh-high waters. As the floodwaters recede, area residents are now assessing the damage and
beginning the cleanup process.
OK. Still to come tonight, NASA's new moon rocket is just days away from liftoff. We'll tell you all about this new chapter in the U.S. Space
MACFARLANE: Welcome back. NASA is gearing up for one of its biggest launches in 50 years. The Artemis I rocket, designed to one day bring
astronauts back to the moon's surface, is set to lift off Monday in Florida if the weather cooperates. The latest forecast is 70 percent favorable. And
while the program's inaugural mission will be unscrewed, NASA plans for future missions to deliver humans, not just to the moon, but also
eventually to Mars.
Our Space and Defense Correspondent Kristin Fisher is in Washington with more on this new chapter in space exploration. And Kristin, I understand
that you went inside Mission Control just recently. What was that like and how ready are they for launch there?
KRISTIN FISHER, CNN SPACE AND DEFENSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, what's so fascinating is Mission Control, for all of the Artemis missions, is going
to be in the very same place, the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, where all of the space shuttle missions were controlled from, all of the
Apollo missions were controlled from. So, there really is just a tremendous amount of history when you're walking around there.
But, you know, a lot of people say, hey, didn't we already do this 50 years ago? Why are we going back to the moon now? And the answer that NASA
leadership likes to give is, yes, we've done this before. But back then, in the 1960s and '70s, U.S. astronauts only stayed there for a few hours or a
few days. This time, we're -- the NASA astronauts are going to stay and eventually build a base on the moon. And this is something that the NASA
administrator, Bill Nelson, really tried to hammer home earlier this morning on CNN.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BILL NELSON, NASA ADMINISTRATOR: Yes, we're going back to the moon in preparation to go to Mars. That's the difference. Fifty years ago, we went
to the moon for a day, a few hours, three days max. Now, we're going back to the moon to stay, to live, to learn, to build.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FISHER: And when he says BUILD, he means to build a base on the Moon, a lunar base. Christina, this is something that that China has said that it
wants to do as well. So, there are some real geopolitical implications behind these Artemis missions as well. And one of the things that you're
going to see, this is not a quick few day trip, this is going to be a 42- day mission around the moon, it is going to orbit the moon for about two and a half weeks before splashing down somewhere in the Pacific Ocean.
So, this is a long mission. It is a test flight. They're going to really push this rocket and capsule all the way to the limit. And if all goes
well, that will pave the way for Artemis II, the crew -- first crewed flight, and then Artemis III, that's really the Apollo 11 of this program.
And that's when the first woman and the first person of color will actually hopefully step foot on the moon.
MACFARLANE: It's just so exciting, isn't it? And, you know, one thing I was reading about this imminent launch, Kristin, is that, you know, this has
been delayed now for some time due to the pandemic. And now, the weather is a crucial factor here because even a drop of rain could scupper this
FISHER: Rain is always an issue. It's more lightning and wind that's a problem because you have to think, if you're getting a few miles per hour
wind on the ground, it is much, much higher as you get closer and closer to bay.
So, wind is really a big issue, clouds, rain. They did have to battle the Coronavirus, too, but, you know, they also just had to deal with a bunch of
engineering and technical challenges. This program, this was supposed to launch about five years ago. It is billions of dollars over budget. If this
whole test flight on Monday is a success, that's really only the beginning of the challenges for the Artemis program because then it has to deal with
all the financial realities. NASA's Inspector General said each one of these missions is going to cost about $4.1 billion, with a "B." So, you
know, does Congress, do the American taxpayers have the stomach to keep paying for these missions? That's really going to become one of the big
questions once we know if this rocket can indeed fly.
MACFARLANE: OK. Well, fingers crossed for Monday. We're essentially talking about humans living on the moon here for a period of time, aren't we?
Kristin, thank you very much for bringing us that. And we will all eyes on the sky on Monday. Thank you.
And thank you all for watching tonight. So stay with CNN as "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" is coming up next.