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Isa Soares Tonight

Ukrainian Forces Make Rapid Advances In South And East Ukraine; North Korea Surprises Japan With New Missile Launch; Country Music Legend Loretta Lynn Dies At Age 90; Loretta Lynn Dead At 90; Florida Death Toll Tops 100; Report Finds Systemic Abuse, Misconduct In U.S. Women's Pro Soccer. Aired 2-3p ET

Aired October 04, 2022 - 14:00   ET



ISA SOARES, HOST, ISA SOARES TONIGHT: A very warm welcome to the show everyone, I'm Isa Soares. Tonight, the Russian Defense Ministry confirms

significant losses in Ukraine's Kherson region even as Russian politicians seek to make attempted annexations official. Then North Korea takes Japan

and the world by surprise. Details of the country's latest escalation.

And then later, remembering a country music legend. Loretta Lynn has passed away at 90. But first, we begin in Ukraine, where Russia is now admitting

to major losses in southern Ukraine. Ukrainian forces are making rapid advances in the east in Luhansk, in the south en route to the Black Sea.

They've just liberated two towns as they move towards Kherson. Our Nick Paton Walsh is in Kryvyi Rih. And Nick, let's start, really, leave politics

aside and start on the frontlines and the battlefront. Yesterday, you were showing us the gains made Lyman. Gains are increasing rapidly as we stated.

Talk to us about these gains in the south and the admission by the Russians they are losing in this area.

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL SECURITY EDITOR: I have to say after months of stalemate, it is quite hard to believe this is indeed happening,

particularly when you see the maps published by the Russian Ministry of Defense that showed the difference between yesterday and today.

The amount of territory that they control in this vital area on the west side of the Dnipro River. Now, that runs down into the Black Sea, pass

the Kherson city which is the only provincial capital that they hold in their occupied areas. It's startling because often admissions by the

Russians are said on a slight time-lag to exactly where Ukrainian forces have got.

So, we can look at what they actually admitted to which looks to be about a quarter or a third of the territory that they hold on that side of the

river is possibly an underestimate. But it's stark, they're admitting that all the same, just literally 48 hours after they had to admit that they

pulled out of Lyman, which Lyman being such an utterly vital, strategic hub for them for their hold of Donetsk and Luhansk.

Well, that had knock-on effects all the way it seems towards their positions nearing the Russian border. So, exceptionally bad news over the

weekend, simply capitalized on by it seems a decision by Ukraine to launch yet another offensive after they've seen success in Lyman. I think this is

the problem Russia really have.

As there seems to be a belief that at some point Ukrainian forces would run out of steam, and that may still indeed happen. But there aren't -- it

seems over the last month able to push into Kharkiv, the second biggest city, kick Russia out of that, the regions around Kharkiv, then continue to

move south, inflict significant strategic damage on Russia's positions there.

And then at the same time, push into the south too. It's hard to keep track of how fast the southern positions are changing and Ukraine is quite tight-

lipped about where it is. But we are seeing phenomenal changes on the ground. Isa.

SOARES: But just the admission here, Nick, does that surprise you? Because for some time of course, having covered this war, you know, we often see

those losses ourselves. You have been there many -- multiple times, but never hearing it from the Russians directly. What does that suggest to you,


WALSH: I think it speaks to the possibility of a disconnect between what the political leadership of Russia wants to be happening, want to present

as happening, and what the military commanders know is what they're having to deal with on a daily basis. It cannot have been the case that Russia's

military commanders thought that their position on the west bank of the Dnipro River near Mykolaiv, near Kherson, and cut off from the rest of

their forces in occupied Ukraine by that Dnipro River.

But that position was particularly a good idea. They got potentially tens of thousands of troops there, reinforcement sent when initially, Ukraine

convinced them falsely that the south was their focus, and the bridges between that area and the rest of Russia's occupying forces appear to have

been damaged on a regular basis.

So, they must have known that this was a strong threat to their presence. They may have prepared for it, this withdrawal may have been something that

they knew they had to do, so it may be happening at pace because they're ready for it. But it may also be caught off guard, again, as well. So, this

I think speaks to the flaw, frankly, we've heard from U.S. officials describing in the Russian system of truth to power.


This is probably something people have been aware of been bad news for quite some time. Has it been communicated to a high-enough level to change

policy, to change presence on the ground? Probably not. Are we seeing the outcome of that now?

Absolutely. And I think the issue for Ukrainian forces now is going to be a case of how fast they go and whether they end up over-stretching themselves

and leave themselves vulnerable. But we have that, basically, that threat made before and it hasn't actually come to reality, Isa.

SOARES: Yes, so really, as you've been stating here for the past few weeks on the show, Putin is cornered in many ways, Nick. And meanwhile, we have

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy pretty much drawing kind of a thick red line, Nick, by decreeing that Ukraine will not hold any negotiations

with Putin. Where does this leave then, Nick, any potential ceasefire or peace talks or is that question entirely out given Russia's actions and

indeed, rhetoric?

WALSH: Well, what's interesting is that the Ukrainian position is they won't talk to Putin. I mean, obviously, by extension, that's the entire

Russian state over which he still dominates. But it does essentially say to any Russians in the background Putin is the problem. And that's being said

more bluntly by Zelenskyy verbally outside of the decree he put forward today.

Russia's response has been very similar, that they won't talk to any Ukrainian government that has Zelenskyy at the head of it. So, yes, they

are, frankly, absolute inability to consider negotiations at this point. But from the start, Ukraine and many U.S. officials too have been wary of

Russia on negotiating table, because often it's not genuine in its discussion.

It's seeking to buy time or continue its military pursuit of its goals. And so, this hasn't changed I think, things enormously. What we are seeing

though is Ukraine winning. And that essentially just say it puts Putin in a corner, it leaves him with a very binary choice or Russia with a very

binary choice.

Putin doesn't really, I think, see much of a future outside of him continuing to win. A loss would be a strategic defeat for his premiership,

his rule over Russia. And so, there needs to either be some significant Russian climb down. Some significant Russian escalation, terrifying as to

think about or some negotiation. The last of which simply doesn't seem to be on the table right now. Isa.

SOARES: Yes, there's also the other element that you and I have discussed, is what we heard from Bill Burns; the CIA director that basically saying

that Putin can be dangerous and can be reckless when he is cornered. Nic Robertson -- Nick Paton Walsh, pardon me for that. Nick Paton Walsh, thank

you very much, appreciate it, Nick.

And Japan taken by surprise as North Korea fired a ballistic missile over the country for the past -- first time in 5 years.




SOARES: Sirens rang out and people were urged to take shelter. Japanese authorities say they didn't try to destroy the missile because it didn't

believe it would cause damage. Washington says it's watching this latest provocation from Pyongyang, quote, "very closely". CNN's Will Ripley is

following the story for us.


WILL RIPLEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (on camera): This is not the first time that North Korea has launched a missile over Japan. And

it is not the first time they've tested what analysts believe this particular missile is, the Hwasong-12. But it is the first time that they

have demonstrated just how far it can go, 2,800 miles, more than that actually, 600 miles up, so well into space and traveling a distance that

puts within striking range the crucial U.S. territory of Guam.

The weapon traveling 17 times the speed of sound, that was in the air for 20 minutes, passed over Japan in about a minute. That's how quickly it was

moving. And what this indicates, analysts tell me, is that Kim Jong-un at this stage has abandoned diplomacy with the United States, and that's no

surprise because really, ever since talks with the former U.S. President Donald Trump fell apart, North Korea has been at first silently growing

their arsenal, building these weapons, assembling them, developing new weapons.

But now that the pandemic has passed, and the eyes of the world continue to be focused on what's happening in Ukraine, Kim Jong-un likely has a list. A

list of things that he wants to get done to bolster his arsenal, to grow his nuclear and ballistic missile capability. And this highly provocative

test was on that list.

And the question now, what else is on the list. There has been activity observed by satellites for months at the Punggye-ri nuclear test site that

North Korea claimed was irreparably destroyed when I was at the site, watching them blow up the entrances to these nuclear test tunnels, you

know, right before the diplomatic detente began in 2018.

But then everybody that looked at that footage knew that you could easily regain new tunnels. And that's what exactly is believed to have been



And really, the United States and Japan and South Korea have felt for a long time now, that at any moment Kim Jong-un could conduct another

nuclear test, the first in 5 years. There's also the possibility of even more provocative launches, maybe over Japan, maybe in other in directions,

and then submarine-launched ballistic missiles.

That's why you've seen this coordinated military response, the first trilateral anti-submarine exercises last week in 5 years between the U.S.,

South Korea and Japan. And just on Tuesday, in response to this latest North Korean test, precision bombing exercises conducted by the U.S. and

South Korea.

Fears are that this crisis could escalate and there could be a miscalculation that could really sent things spiraling out of control in a

region that is getting more tense, at a time that the world needs anything, but yet another hotspot. Another flash point. Will Ripley, CNN, Taipei.


SOARES: Well, U.S. President Joe Biden has now spoken with Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida. CNN White House reporter Kevin Liptak joins me

live. Kevin, good to see you. So, what do we know was said in this phone call between President Biden and Prime Minister Kishida here?

KEVIN LIPTAK, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Yes, well, they did speak this morning Washington time in the White House, says that they jointly

condemned in the strongest terms this missile test, and that they agree to coordinate their immediate and longer term response bilaterally,

trilaterally with South Korea and with the international community.

But at this point, it really isn't clear what could necessarily deter North Korea from continuing these provocative tests, even of a potential nuclear

test. Of course, the last two administrations heaped sanctions on North Korea. That has been continued by the President Biden's administration as

well, but that hasn't necessarily convinced Kim Jong-un to abandon his nuclear program, abandon his missile-testing program.

So, the question really now is how to move forward, and the president clearly wants to show his allies in the region, Japan and South Korea that

the United States stands with them in this, to coordinate with them in all of this. When the president was in Asia in the Spring, that was sort of the

principal message that he brought with him to Tokyo and to Seoul.

And he agreed to talk about expanding some of these military drills off of South Korea. And so the president really sort of working through how he can

deter Kim Jong-un as he moves forward with these provocative tests. How he does that isn't necessarily clear. This would certainly be a problem that

the president and his top officials will be paying very close attention to in the next several months. Isa?

SOARES: Indeed, Kevin Liptak there for us, thanks very much, Kevin, appreciate it. Well, despite an increasingly violent crackdown, threats of

foreign sanctions against the government, and widespread internet outages. The nationwide protests against Iran's Islamic regime are growing.




SOARES: High school students in Kurdistan chant woman, life, freedom in reference to the death and custody of a 22-year-old Kurdish woman. While in

Tehran, video obtained by the pro-reform activist outfit IranWire shows middle school students, you're seeing, marching in the streets, chanting

death to the dictator.

Well, the world is responding, EU leaders met Tuesday in Strasbourg to discuss the protests with France urging new measures against the Iranian

officials. And U.S. President Joe Biden says the U.S. is preparing new sanctions. While the protests are not letting up, despite Iran's attempt to

cut off the intermet(ph) -- internet, I should say, across much of the country, but as CNN's Katie Polglase shows us, it isn't just the government

making it difficult to communicate online.


KATIE POLGLASE, CNN INVESTIGATIVE PRODUCER (voice-over): As protesters took to the streets of Iran following the death of Mahsa Amini, video clips

of this uprising began to flood the internet, making sure the world saw and heard the desire for change. But then, it went dark. .

ALP TOKER, DIRECTOR, NETBLOCKS: Starting with Instagram, then WhatsApp, then LinkedIn.

POLGLASE: NetBlocks is one of the global leaders on internet monitoring. They quickly observed alarming activity in Iran.

TOKER: What's been astounding is the variety of internet restrictions and disruptions that have been put in place.

POLGLASE: Users inside Iran confirmed the shutdown, sending CNN screenshots of the sites they couldn't access. The Iranian government has a

long history of restricting the internet. Protests in 2019 prompted the most severe shutdown to date, an attempt to hide from the world of violent

crackdown on dissent.

But the Iranian people have become experts at finding workarounds. A young, tech-savvy population, vast numbers of them use VPNs, virtual private

networks. Now, even this may be difficult. This teenager told us via text from inside Iran, that the government is disabling VPNs one by one.


However the obstacles Iranians face, have come not just from their own government, but also from the international community. For the last decade,

U.S. sanctions led many major tech companies to withdraw from Iran completely. Mahsa Alimardani is an internet researcher focusing on freedom

of expression online in Iran.

MAHSA ALIMARDANI, SENIOR INTERNET RESEARCHER, ARTICLE 19: There is a massive, you know, population of Iranian technologists, Iranian developers

who rely on certain services like Google cloud platform or Google app engine. And so this has been, basically blocked from the U.S. side because

of sanctions. And this has had a detriment or impact.

POLGLASE: Activists say that removing alternatives for Iranian users has actually bolstered the Iranian government's efforts to set up a national


ALIMARDANI: Infrastructure stays local, the data stays local, the ability for the authorities to censor and control what's going on in the internet

remains centralized into their hands.

POLGLASE: Following the latest protests, the U.S. Treasury finally announced updates to their sanctions in order to encourage tech companies

to operate in Iran

ALIMARDANI: It's been almost 10 years that Iranians have had to wait for this update and the license. While better late than never, it has been a

belated action by the U.S. government, and so, there has been a lot of harm done in the interim.

POLGLASE: The onus is now on tech companies to act. Many large tech firms including Google and Meta have said they plan to open up new services to

Iran after the U.S. announcement. But activists say they're doing a fraction of what's possible.

AMIR RASHIDI, DIRECTOR, DIGITAL RIGHTS & SECURITY, MIAAN GROUP: Iran is hang-up isolate. So we need to break that isolation. So, we need to see

more help coming from other big tech companies like Google.

ALIMARDANI: The crucial services really have not been worked on yet, so there is a lot to be desired.

POLGLASE: Google told CNN, "ongoing legal or technical barriers may block the provision of certain services, but we are exploring whether additional

products might be made available." Meanwhile, those inside Iran remain frustrated at the inaction. This young Iranian told CNN, tech companies

were restricting them and not the government. Katie Polglase, CNN, London.


SOARES: While CNN has contacted the U.S. as well as Iranian governments for comment, but is yet to receive a response. And still to come tonight,

will Twitter soon have a new owner? We'll look at the report swirling that Tesla's CEO Elon Musk is reviving his deal to buy the social media company.

We'll have much more on that story after this short break. You are watching CNN.



SOARES: Now, in the U.K., the Conservative Party's annual conference is in full swing, but it's been plagued by political as well as economic turmoil

surrounding the government's mini budget. Prime Minister Liz Truss' government is promising a revised financial plan earlier than expected.

Caving to mounting pressure, Finance Minister Kwasi Kwarteng revealed they'll be bringing the date forward after previously saying it wouldn't be

revealed until November 23rd, if you remember.

Well, it comes after a major policy U-turn on Monday which saw Kwarteng really abandon controversial tax cuts for the highest earners. All eyes now

on Truss, who is due to address the conference tomorrow. And keeping an eye on all that, our Bianca Nobilo who joins now from the conference in


Bianca, we of course seeing the second U-turn, I think it's fair to say in two days. How damaging is this reversal in policy be for a government that

clearly is fighting, as you and I were talking about for credibility here.

BIANCA NOBILO, CNN ANCHOR & CORRESPONDENT: It's the worst of both worlds, isn't it, Isa? Because the government have U-turned, and that's a sign of

weakness as far as many are concerned, and makes MPs smell blood, and they think that they might be able to extract more concessions out of Truss and

change her policy in ways that they want to see which puts more pressure on her.

However, she's still damaged by the fact that the U-turns have come so late in most people's view, because this is now 10, 11 days after the initial

policy announcement. So, she's not really gaining much, but time, and that's what I've mainly been hearing from Tory lawmakers, that she would

have been in dire political straits had she not made these U-turn's along with the chancellor.

And they may well have been a huge swell of plotting against her, machinations about how they might be able to get themselves out of this

situation. By U-turning, she's definitely got a little bit more time, but certainly no restoration of confidence of faith in her leadership, Isa.

SOARES: And we are expected to hear from Liz Truss tomorrow. Do we know what she might say or let's say, what she should really be saying. Because

you were telling me yesterday, just how fractious the mood is right now.

NOBILO: It will need to be, if she has, you know, sufficient political and emotional intelligence, a unifying speech, because the chancellor's speech

yesterday was not that. In fact, it doubled down on their economic principles which are this key dividing line at the moment in the party and

ostracized a lot of the conservative members who have been involved in the Johnson government as well.

So we're going to expect broad brush strokes in this speech. To some extent, platitudes that everyone can get on board with. You know, wanting

to turbo-charge Britain's economy, wanting to optimize the talent that Britain has, to face up to the challenges that the country has had to

endure, whether it's COVID or Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

The challenge, is, Isa, not just the fact that always conference speeches are quite platitudinous, and not usually huge movers of the political

barometer. But the fact that Truss is not known as a strong communicator. So, most of the time, if there's a successful conference speech, is because

the leader in question displays rhetorical or oratorical ability, and that instills confidence, it gets the party excited.

It creates that sort of intangible buzz in the room, and it allows people to coalesce around the leader. That is highly unlikely. So I think that

however well the speech goes for Truss, it's not going to go far to offset the damage that's been done here at conference this week.

SOARES: Yes, and what you really painted is not a room in a conference full of buzz at the moment playing to her favor. Thanks very much, Bianca.

Bianca Nobilo there in Birmingham. Well, in a serious case of deja vu, Tesla CEO Elon Musk may be making a move to buy Twitter, that's right,

again. That is according to "Bloomberg" which is reporting that he has agreed to buy the social media company at the original agreed price.

It comes after Musk walked away from the deal months ago, if you remember. Well, today's news, calls for him to stop, surged around 13 percent before

shares were halted. CNN's Matt Egan joins me now live to discuss the details. Matt, first, talk to us really about the stock surging and what

this means. So they halted trading, right?

MATT EGAN, CNN REPORTER: That's right, Isa. We saw shares move up about 13 percent, and then they halted trading pending news, that's what exchanges

do when they're trying to give companies and investors time to make announcements and for shareholders to sort of digest all of this.

Now, we don't know for sure what has changed from Elon Musk's perspective, but don't forget that this battle was going to trial in Delaware in two

weeks, and Elon Musk was viewed as the clear underdog.


Remember he had a signed contract to buy Twitter, he ostensibly backed out because of concerns about bots, but you know, you can't just rip up a

contract like this. So maybe Elon Musk decided that he just wanted to end this on his own terms and say, you know what? Let's go ahead and we'll do

the deal at the 54.20 that I originally proposed six months ago -- this was like three months ago.

But I do think it's puzzling, Isa, that Musk hasn't tried to renegotiate. Why not try to get a lower price? I mean, 54.20 was viewed by many analysts

at the time as a rich evaluation for a struggling company, and given the massive losses we've seen in the stock market, you know, it only looks

richer now.

This battle really is one for the history books. I mean, we've seen a lot of different battles between investors and companies over mergers, but I

don't think we've ever seen anything quite like this.

SOARES: It's puzzling, like you said, it is also massive come down I think after the picture you've painted. What are you hearing then from investors?

How are they reading this potential moves by him?

EGAN: Well, I think that everyone has kind of learned their lesson. We shouldn't assume anything at this point. I mean, it's amazing what has

transpired here. I mean, the fact that, you know, Elon Musk, six months ago, he disclosed this massive stake in Twitter. He said he was going to

join the board, then he backed out.

He offered to buy Twitter, and Twitter sort of reluctantly agreed, and then he unraveled that deal only to come back to it. We don't really know what's

going to happen here, but listen, if I were Twitter, I would try to take this deal and run, right? I mean, you want to try to get this deal closed

as soon as possible. I mean, regulators have already signed off, shareholders have signed off.

This was the last obstacle, albeit a big one. So, if Twitter takes this offer at face value, and if Musk is serious, the judge allows Twitter to

drop the lawsuit, then you know, we could actually see this deal closed within days. Which would mean that we've got a situation where the world's

richest person is going to be owning one of the most powerful social media platforms in the world.

And that raises a whole host of questions about freedom of speech and misinformation and whether or not former President Trump will be allowed

back onto Twitter.

SOARES: Doesn't it just. Matt Egan, I know you'll stay on top of that story for us. Appreciate it. Speaking of which, the billionaire businessman

is embroiled in a spat on the social media platform after sharing his unsolicited, so-called peace plan for Ukraine amid Russia's ongoing


In a Twitter poll, Musk as you can see there put forward a number of controversial suggestions including re-doing elections in Ukrainian

territories annexed by Russia and formally making Crimea a part of Russia. Well, it sparked fierce backlash online, with the majority of respondents

voting no to Musk's idea.

And Ukrainian officials are really happy either with Ukrainian President Zelenskyy making a Twitter poll of his own, asking his followers which Elon

Musk do you like more? One who supports Ukraine or one who supports Russia? The former has garnered nearly 80 percent of the vote so far, as the poll

grows and draws to a close.

And still to come tonight, a country music legend passes. But her tunes and her lyrics echo through the many lives. We'll look at the extraordinary

life and music of Loretta Lynn. That is next.




SOARES: Welcome back, everyone.

She sang from the heart and with a country twang that really resonated with women in the working class and, eventually, everyone else.



SOARES (voice-over): Loretta Lynn, the coal miner's daughter, has died at age 90. Lynn towered over American country music for decades, singing about

her hard upbringing in Kentucky's small country, about men, good and bad, and all of the struggles of life.

On her 50th album, which she published at age 89, she sang, "Ain't much I ain't seen and tried, I've been knocked down but never out of the fight. I

am strong but I am tender. I am wise but I am tough. Let me tell you, when it comes to love, I am still woman enough."

CNN's Stephanie Elam has more.



STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Loretta Lynn's rags to riches story is well-known. A coal miner's daughter who became the queen of

country music. She was the second of Clara and Melvin Webb's eight children.

Born in Butcher Hollow, part of the Appalachia Hill Country in Kentucky, her life during the Great Depression didn't offer many advantages. She grew

up without electricity, indoor plumbing and only completed the eighth grade.

As a young teen, she married Oliver "Doolittle" Lynn, whom she called by the nickname Doo or Doolittle. He was 21. A decade later, she was a mother

of four, playing guitar and writing songs at home.

With her husband's encouragement, she entered a talent competition and was spotted by a record producer.

Her first song, "Honky Tonk Girl," was a minor hit and the Lynn family moved to Nashville. Her marriage had its share of troubles, many of which

spilled over into her songs.

Lynn said her husband had problems with alcohol and her long absences on the road. They went on to have a total of six kids. But family life was not

always harmonious. Touring took a toll on her health. She battled chronic illnesses and exhaustion. Her bestselling autobiography chronicled her

hardships, heartaches and rise to stardom.


ELAM (voice-over): Sissy Spacek won an Oscar playing her on the screen.

In 2004, Lynn would make a huge comeback, recording the highly acclaimed album, "Van Lear Rose," produced by Jack White. She would be nominated for

five Grammys for the album, winning two, including Best Country Album.

Lynn brought a strong female point of view to country music and was seen as a homespun advocate for ordinary women. Her career spanned half a century,

generating dozens of number one songs.

From humble beginnings to country music royalty, Lynn never dreamed of being such a success.

LORETTA LYNN, COUNTRY MUSIC SUPERSTAR: I don't think that you could dream for success because I think it is more or less you have to work for it.

ELAM (voice-over): Her hard work paid off with a lifetime of awards, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2013. And as for inspiring

future performers she said they needed to be one of three things.


LYNN: Great, different and first and I just happened to be different because I started writing my own songs and didn't really realize that the

things that I was writing about, nobody wanted to talk about them. They were just doing them, you know.


SOARES: With just about every country award music has to offer, she was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1998.

I'm joined now by Michael Gray, executive senior director of the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Great to have you on the show. As you are seeing there, what an incredible life. Just explain to our viewers around the world what made her loved, so

loved, by so many.

MICHAEL GRAY, COUNTRY MUSIC HALL OF FAME: Oh, yes, you are absolutely right. She was a country music hero. She was loved by so many people.

Unlike anyone before her, the Reddit generated lyrics that reflected the challenges, concerns and joys of proud working class people, women in

particular, she just had an influence on so many country singers, including today's stars.

When you think of country music stars like Miranda Lambert, Kacey Musgraves and even rockets stars like Jack White of the White Stripes who produced an

album on her. Just, she really transcended beyond the country music genre and was just loved by so many people.

SOARES: And Michael, you know we have touched on that in that report but many of her lyrics really focus on women's issues, whether it be adultery,

divorce, birth control or basically the overall double standards for men and women.

Was it unusual at the time when she started singing to hear a female point of view in country music?

GRAY: Absolutely. She was one of the first. She was very outspoken. She didn't shy away from loudly representing real things that she and others

were dealing with daily. No matter the repercussions, her song, "The Pill," which frankly dealt with birth control, came out in the mid '70s and it was

banned by some country music radio stations.

It ended up still reaching the top five on the charts. But it was very controversial at the time. But she definitely broke ground for other

singers in that regard.

SOARES: It seems, from what you're saying, from what that report laid out there that really her songs and lyrics were rooted in real life experiences

or really her own life experience here.

GRAY: That's right. I mean, if you read her autobiography, "Coal Miner's Daughter," or even watch the film, it really is based on her life. But all

you have to do is listen to her songs, you know?

She was so gifted at creating these concise, catchy anthems in a colorful language all of her own. She could just capture, you know, her songs were

so honest.

That was one of the secrets of her success was the honesty in her songs. If you listen to songs like "Coal Miner's Daughter" and "You're Looking at

Country," she really stuck out her chin to defend poor folks' culture. You know?

She was just about the best at that.

SOARES: Michael Gray, really appreciate you taking the time to speak to us. What an incredible life. Really, pretty much of real trailblazer for

women. We appreciate it, thanks, Michael.

GRAY: You're welcome, thank you.

SOARES: Still to come tonight, an investigation finds widespread abuse in U.S. women's soccer. We will hear from some of the players who claimed to

have experienced that very abuse. That is next.





SOARES: Welcome back.

Officials in Florida say they don't know just how many people are missing after hurricane Ian. The death toll from last week's major storm now stands

at 106 in Florida and North Carolina combined. CNN's Leyla Santiago gives us an inside look at the search for survivors.


LEYLA SANTIAGO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The rescue and recovery operation after Hurricane Ian continuing on the small white sand island of

Fort Myers Beach located in Lee County, an island that is now a pile of rubble with more than 100 deaths so far, 54 are reported in this county


BRIAN SULLIVAN, FEMA URBAN SEARCH AND RESCUE, VIRGINIA BEACH: We're looking for anybody that may have been left behind. The devastation is hard

to put into words.

SANTIAGO (voice-over): We joined a FEMA rescue operation that includes search and rescue dogs. Not a single door being overlooked.

SULLIVAN: We send the dog in, the dog will sniff around. And if we don't readily see him, if we can't make contact, you know, we'll walk up and

start hollering and see if we get a response from anybody. If we don't hear anything, we bring a second dog up.

SANTIAGO: As we walked around on Fort Myers Beach, there is just destruction everywhere. The water that came in here just decimated this

area and a lot of people are asking us when will power come back?

How long will it take to recover?

And it will be different for some folks. Where I am standing right now, this used to be a home. Now stairs that lead to nowhere.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The Army is saying they're going to take us over the bridge.

SANTIAGO (voice-over): These two women who rode out the storm here grateful for being transported off the island today.

CARMINE MARCENO, SHERIFF, LEE COUNTY, FLORIDA: Our EOC has made a decision with Fort Myers Beach to close the beach to residents.

SANTIAGO (voice-over): Officials today deciding to close the island to search and rescue teams only so their operation can continue safely. Lee

County officials have been criticized for issuing the first mandatory evacuation orders only a day before Ian's landfall despite emergency plans

that called for it sooner.

MAYOR KEVIN ANDERSON, FORT MYERS, FLORIDA: I don't think it would have made a difference because we start pushing hurricane awareness in June

until people learn to follow the advisory, to plan, not wait until it's too late, that's what will save lives.

SANTIAGO (voice-over): For Fort Myers resident Connie Miller, she said she realized she needed to get out when it was too late. Hotels were already

booked and she feared getting stuck on the roads driving off the island.

CONNIE MILLER, FORT MYERS RESIDENT: God kept us together and gave us safety.

SANTIAGO (voice-over): And officials are standing by their decision.

MARCENO: I am confident in our county manager, our leaders, our governor, all of us in law enforcement that we got that message out at the right


SANTIAGO (voice-over): For many, coming back to a life here still very uncertain.

MILLER: I'm getting tired. So it's time to go. Obviously, things weren't going to get better. Not for a long time.

SANTIAGO: And an update on Connie who you just heard from, she has now left Fort Myers Beach, now heading to Pennsylvania so she was able to get


But you know, she echoed the same sentiment that we heard from others saying that there just didn't feel like enough time to get out when

hurricane Ian actually was close and making landfall, something that we heard over and over in this area today -- Leyla Santiago, CNN, Fort Myers




SOARES: We'll have much more news after the short break.




SOARES: An independent investigation has found systemic abuse and misconduct in U.S. women's professional soccer. The report reveals that the

National Women's Soccer League under the U.S. Federation failed to protect players from widespread abuse.

CNN's Lucy Kafanov has the details for you.


LUCY KAFANOV, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A shocking new report alleges systemic abuse within the U.S. Women's Professional Soccer

League. It found that sexual misconduct, emotional abuse, verbal abuse are widespread throughout the sport, with verbal abuse and blurred boundaries

seen even in youth soccer.


which is why we thought that it was important to lay it all out in terms of -- based on the evidence that we were able to find, who knew what when and

what they did about it and what they didn't do about it.

KAFANOV: Former acting attorney general Sally Yates led the independent investigation, which interviewed more than 200 people and found the

National Women's Soccer League under the U.S. Soccer Federation failed to provide a safe environment for players.

The report stating abusive coaches moved from team to team and those in a position to correct the record stayed silent. The report focused on three

now former head coaches but it acknowledged numerous other problems across the league.

And this isn't the first time one of them, Paul Riley, has faced allegations. Last year, he was fired from the North Carolina Courage after

a report by "The Athletic" detailed allegations of sexual coercion and misconduct against him.

SINEAD FARRELLY, FORMER PROFESSIONAL SOCCER PLAYER: Soccer for me was my safe space and my world and something that I had such an innocent pure love

for since I was a little girl and that was taken from me.

KAFANOV: Those allegations of abuse echoed by former Portland Thorn midfielder Mana Shim. She spoke to ESPN's "E:60" in a clip broadcast on ABC



KAFANOV (voice-over): Alleging, as she did in the report, that Riley, her former coach, invited her to his hotel room.

MANA SHIM, FORMER PROFESSIONAL SOCCER PLAYER: I was terrified and I knew, I knew at that point that I had to find a way out and I was not willing to

compromise myself for my career or for this person.

KAFANOV: Alex Morgan, one of Team USA's stars, whose allegations were detailed in the report, also opened up to ESPN's "E:60."

ALEX MORGAN, PROFESSIONAL SOCCER PLAYER: I just knew that he needed to be held accountable one day and that it would happen one day but it took years

for that to happen.

CINDY PARLOW CONE, U.S. SOCCER PRESIDENT: This is very emotional for me and honestly I'm having trouble absorbing everything in the report.

KAFANOV: On Monday, U.S. Soccer president Cindy Parlow Cone reacted to the report, saying the problem is bigger than one person, one organization and

that it is systemic.

CONE: I think it will take some time to really read through it and think about the actions and inactions of certain people. And then it will take us

some time to really think about what needs to be done in terms of discipline.


SOARES: Lucy Kafanov joining me now to discuss this further.

Lucy, these findings are very gruesome.

What does the U.S. Soccer league have to say following the investigation?

KAFANOV: Alarming and gruesome, indeed. The National Women's Soccer League said they would investigate the outcome of this report, they would review

the findings.

They also said in a statement released after the report came out, "We know we must learn from and take responsibility for the painful lessons of the

past in order to move the league into a better future."

But again, with such systematic problems across women's sport and soccer, it remains to be seen what that future might actually be.

SOARES: Indeed, and what actions can be taken of course?

Have you had any discussion with those in the league in terms of what actions can be taken by the league to make sure that this doesn't happen

again, given what you just outlined and how systemic this possibly is?

KAFANOV: Well, some of the report's recommendations are being considered by U.S. Soccer. And that includes, for example, publicly naming or a

releasing a database of individuals employed in the sport who had been barred or fired from the sport.

That would prevent some of these troublesome coaches from going from team to team when they've been fired for misconduct. Another recommendation

that, supposedly, U.S. Soccer is going to implement is more thorough vetting of coaches and an active investigation into background checks.

Whether those will be implemented, there is talk of putting those into place.

SOARES: I know you'll stay on top of this, Lucy Kafanov, thank you.

Something different to end the hour. All this week, "The Journey Matters" is taking you to the Maldives, a country reliant on tourism. Christina

Macfarlane has more.



CHRISTINA MACFARLANE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Just a 20-minute boat ride from Maldives International Airport in the capital, our team

meets the chief engineer of a 45-villa resort surrendered by pretty much everything you come to the Maldives for.

Beyond the postcard perfect scenery, a glimpse into the country's changing landscape. From rising sea levels to eroding beaches, these are some of the

effects of climate change he has had to address in his job. For example, not long ago, he and his team raised this deck so it would say above

elevated waters at high tide.

AHMED MAJID, CHIEF ENGINEER, GILI LANKANFUSHI: This is the previous mission that we have undertaken and we lift it up 40 cm.

MACFARLANE (voice-over): On the other side of the island, we meet Jocelyn Panjikaran.

JOCELYN PANJIKARAN, SUSTAINABILITY MANAGER, GILI LANKANFUSHI: These islands are very special. The beautiful beaches, the coral reefs, the vast


MACFARLANE (voice-over): The Indian born marine biologist is the resort's sustainability manager, looking after the day-to-day operations of its

green initiatives across the property.

While she only started this year, the role of the sustainability manager is now common to resort life in Maldives. All part of a push by some operators

to stay on top of ecofriendly practices.

PANJIKARAN: It has become competitive for anyone who operates in the Maldives to be aware of the impact you have on these islands. You need to

be able to manage with proper planning.

MACFARLANE (voice-over): This is among a handful of hotels taking steps toward sustainability.


MACFARLANE (voice-over): From recycling, easing out the use of single-use plastics, to bottling its own water.

Renewable energy initiatives, planting organic gardens, sourcing more sustainable building material to finding ways to reduce food waste, the

need for more sustainability initiatives also comes from the guests, as their mentalities are also evolving.

NICOLAS KHAIRALLAH, GENERAL MANAGER, GILI LANKANFUSHI: So when they come to the Maldives they want to try something different. They want to make a

positive impact. For the definition of luxury is different.

MACFARLANE (voice-over): On this day, Majid's team is lifting another deck. For the Maldivan engineer, he foresees that this type of work will continue

into the future. But for him, the evolving sustainability standards are encouraging and sustaining the livelihoods of many in his home country.


SOARES: Beautiful stuff.

Never forget, you can catch up with interviews as well as our analysis from the show online. You can go to my Instagram at Isa Soares CNN and my

Twitter feed, too. Thank you for your company. "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" is up next. I will see you tomorrow, goodbye.