Return to Transcripts main page

Isa Soares Tonight

NATO Chief Jens Stoltenberg Visits Ukraine; Hundreds Dead in Sudan with No End to Violence in Sight; SpaceX's Biggest Rocket Ever Built Explodes After Takeoff; Riots in Brasilia; Stoltenberg: "Ukraine's Future Is in NATO"; Man Shoots 6-Year Old Whose Basketball Rolled into His Yard. Aired 2-3p ET

Aired April 20, 2023 - 14:00   ET



ISA SOARES, HOST, ISA SOARES TONIGHT: A very warm welcome to the show everyone, I'm Isa Soares. Tonight, NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg visits

Ukraine, saying the war-torn country belongs in the alliance. Then hundreds of people are dead and thousands injured in six days of fighting in Sudan,

a CNN exclusive report about where some of the weaponry is coming from.

And the most powerful rocket ever built exploded shortly after launch. What that means for America's long-term mission to Mars. But we'll begin this

hour in Ukraine because for the first time since Russia invaded Ukraine, NATO's Secretary-General is visiting Kyiv. Ukrainian President Volodymyr

Zelenskyy says he considered a sign that the military alliance is ready to begin a new chapter.

Mr. Zelenskyy is pushing to join NATO sooner rather than later, saying there is no objective barrier to Ukraine's membership. Ukraine needs a

deeper, strong relationship with NATO, Mr. Zelenskyy argues, and that North Atlantic security is impossible without it. While Stoltenberg is quick to

reassure it is coming eventually. Have a listen.


JENS STOLTENBERG, SECRETARY-GENERAL, NATO: I also recognize that President Zelenskyy will raise the issue of membership of security guarantees, and

this will be high on the agenda of the meeting, and also in the lead up on the preparations for the Vilnius Summit. Ukraine's future is in the Euro

Atlantic family. Ukraine's future is in NATO. All allies agree or not.


SOARES: Let's get more on all of this, Ben Wedeman joins me now from eastern Ukraine. Ben, great to see you. Let's start off then with that

meeting, it was quite startling and I think seeing again Stoltenberg, the NATO chief standing in many ways, shoulder-to-shoulder with President

Zelenskyy because, of course, what Putin wanted was less NATO here. So, what was the standout message in your view?

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Really, it was his mere presence here in Kyiv, and in fact, I mean, Kyiv no longer in eastern

Ukraine. But the fact that he's here really underscores what a huge miscalculation this war was for Vladimir Putin. In fact, one of the main

goals of his invasion, full-scale invasion, which began on the 24th of February last year, was to prevent Ukraine from joining NATO.

Now it's closer than ever before, as Stoltenberg said. It's going to be high on the agenda when NATO has its summit in Lithuania in July. NATO has

until now given Ukraine $160 billion in military assistance, and let's keep in mind, also remember that NATO as a result of this invasion is much

bigger. Finland is now a full member of NATO, Sweden's membership is in the works.

So really, just for the Russians, this couldn't be a more blunt message that their invasion has misfired, and that NATO is more united than ever

before and bigger as well. Isa.

SOARES: Yes, and of course, this visit by the NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg, Ben, comes, of course, as weapons are now pouring in to Ukraine. You were

talking -- you and I were talking about this yesterday. This is all leading up to this counteroffensive. What are the expectations? I don't know if

Jens Stoltenberg touched on this.

What are the expectations in terms of what they can achieve, what the Ukrainian troops can achieve here?

WEDEMAN: Well, they have a very large gold. They've -- the Ukrainians have made clear that the goal of this offensive is to eject all Russian troops

from territories occupied by the Russians. Now, that includes Crimea, which of course, is as far as the Russians are concerned, is officially part of

Russia. So their goals are big. Now, how this offensive is going to actually play out, we just don't know, but what we've seen is more and more

weaponry is coming.

And in fact, today, Denmark and the Netherlands announced that they would be providing 14 refurbished Leopard 2 tanks.


The Spanish yesterday loaded Leopard tanks onto a ship bound for the area, obviously, not for Ukraine itself. So the weapons are coming in, the

preparations are on the way. Now, when the Ukrainians have made it clear, they're not going to announce the timetable of the offensive, but I think

it's perhaps just a few weeks away. I -- hesitant to make such a prediction, but it's definitely coming.

SOARES: Yes, you are --


SOARES: Starting to see definitely more movement, more ground movement, at least. Ben Wedeman for us there in Kyiv. Of course, I should have

recognized that behind -- just behind you. Thank you very much, Ben, appreciate it. Well, in Sudan, a humanitarian disaster is unfolding right

now, thousands of people are now leaving their homes behind after the latest ceasefire between the Sudanese army and the RSF broke down.

The U.N. says people are escaping from the region of Darfur and crossing into Chad, while others are leaving the capital, Khartoum. The fighting, if

you remember, started on Saturday, more than 330 people have been killed in this conflict so far, and that is according to the W.H.O., and we have

reported, of course, and heard from guests that food supplies are also running short.

Washington now says it's taking steps to secure the U.S. Embassy in Sudan if the situation calls for an evacuation. Our Larry Madowo has been

covering the story from day one, and he joins us now. And Larry, it doesn't seem like the fighting is going to stop any time soon. Where are we on

mediation, on diplomatic efforts to end this, because I know there's a crucial meeting on today.

LARRY MADOWO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Isa. The African Union held a virtual meeting that combined the U.N. Secretary-General, the Arab League

and several other countries, including the U.S. and the U.K., and at the end of that, the Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said there was a

consensus that there is a need for immediate cessation of hostilities and a return to dialogue.

There's been at least, three different attempted ceasefires here in Sudan, humanitarian ceasefire, so people can go out and get food and water and

medicines and reunited families. That people have been stuck in certain places since Saturday when this -- when this war broke out. It's a power

struggle between the two most powerful generals in Sudan, the leader of the military, General Burhan, and his deputy, the leader of the paramilitary

group that's really powerful, the Rapid Support Forces, General Hemetti.

And today, they've given both interviews to "Al Jazeera", where they say they're open to dialogue, but not under the current circumstances. Hemetti

called Burhan a criminal, and Burhan said he would not dialogue with Hemetti, unless Rapid Support Forces are not in the civilian areas. So

obviously, humanitarian ceasefire has not worked.

The Sudanese political analyst, Kholood Khair thinks there might be a different way to do this. Listen.


ANTONIO GUTERRES, SECRETARY-GENERAL, UNITED NATIONS: As an immediate priority, I appeal for a ceasefire to take place for at least three days,

marking the Eid al-Fitr celebrations, to allow civilians trapped in conflict zones to escape and to seek medical treatment, food and other

essential supplies. These must be the first step in providing respite from the fighting and paving the way for a permanent ceasefire.


MADOWO: It's important because tomorrow's Eid is the most important day at the end of the 30 months -- the 30 days of Ramadan. So it's an opportunity

for people to reunite and to also celebrate this important religious occasion. And that's what this political analyst thinks. If humanitarian

grants didn't work, maybe religious grants could work because both of these generals are also practicing Muslims. Isa.

SOARES: Yes, and what we have seen is that life has just become as you've painted that picture of pretty unbearable for so many. We were hearing

Larry in the last hour or so, that the U.S. is deploying additional capabilities near Sudan. What more are you learning about this?

MADOWO: That is correct. The U.S. initially said, according to the U.S. Assistant Secretary for African Affairs, that the situation was too

volatile to evacuate embassy staff. But this has now since been updated. CNN is reporting that the Department of Defense through the Africa command

is making arrangements to have people on standby, Marines based in Camp Lemonnier in Djibouti, which neighbors Sudan.

So that if it were necessary, they would come in to Sudan to secure the embassy and to arrange an evacuation if it were necessary, because that's

becoming increasingly useful -- the only country that's been so far able to evacuate its soldiers out of Sudan was Egypt, and that was because they

arranged some kind of a ceasefire between the RSF and the SAF long enough to do this.

I want to read a statement for you from the spokesperson of the Department of Defense that talks about this possibility of a ceasefire, of rather

having these troops moving to secure the U.S. Embassy in Khartoum. He says, "the Department of Defense is monitoring the situation.


And as part of this, we are deploying additional capabilities nearby in the region for contingency purposes related to securing and potentially

facilitating the departure of U.S. Embassy personnel from Sudan if circumstances require it." So far, they're saying they're not speculating

about future movements. But today, the U.S. renewed its guidance for citizens in Sudan to shelter in place.

So, now that's one way out here, literally fly in Marines with every bit of equipment and personnel necessary to secure them, and even intelligent --

aviation Intelligence personnel to make sure that they can safely fly the people out of Sudan.

SOARES: Larry Madowo for us there, thanks very much, Larry, I know you'll stay on top of this story. Thank you. Well, CNN has uncovered evidence that

Russia's Wagner Group has been working to tip the balance in Sudan. It suggests that Russian mercenaries are air-dropping supplies to the Rapid

Support Forces in their battle against Sudan's military. Our chief international investigative correspondent, Nima Elbagir has this exclusive

report for you.


NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN INTERNATIONAL INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The Sudanese and the Libyan army celebrated a successful joint operation,

Wednesday, April 19th, near the remote desert border between Libya and Sudan. Having captured the Chevrolet Garrison belonging to the rival

Sudanese paramilitary Rapid Support Forces, the RSF.

But why is this Garrison important, given how far it is from the existential fight in Sudan's capital, Khartoum? Because CNN can reveal that

the fight in Khartoum is being influenced by what was happening at that Garrison, a Russian resupply campaign backed by a key regional player aimed

at turning the tide in Sudan's war in favor of the RSF, who have been a key recipient of Russian training and military aid.

In collaboration with all eyes on Wagner, a research group focusing on Russian proxy Wagner, CNN investigated the group's current presence in

Libya. You can see here on April 16th, one day after the fighting began in Khartoum, a Russian Illyushin-76 transport plane at the Al Jufra Base in

Libya, previously identified by American Intelligence as a Wagner base.

Three days later, this same plane is spotted by flight tracker aviation expert Gourgeon(ph), coming back from the Russian Airbase in Latakia,

Syria, before returning to the Libyan Airbase in Khadim. Images of that same plane began circulating online April 17th, heading in the direction of

Sudan. Sudanese and regional sources tell CNN that weaponry was air-dropped to the RSF within that time frame, April 15th to April 18th, to the

Chevrolet Garrison during a period of fierce fighting, boosting the RSF.

(on camera): The Al Khadim and Al Jufra bases where the Wagner planes departed from in Libya under the control of Field Marshall Khalifa Haftar,

who commands territory in the east of Libya, Haftar and the commander of the Rapid Support Forces Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, aka, Hemetti, having common

strategic alliances, one with Wagner, who Haftar is hosting in his territory in Libya, and whom, a previous CNN investigation exposed as

working with Hemetti to extract Sudanese gold.

A second with the United Arab Emirates, who tapped Hemetti to send forces to the conflict in Yemen, and backed Haftar in the fighting in Libya.

(voice-over): What does it all mean for the ongoing misery and conflict in Sudan? It means that both a regional Libyan General Haftar and a global

player, Russia, are putting their thumbs on the scale, which raises the stakes for the region, for the global balance of power and for the people

of Sudan caught in the crossfire.


SOARES: And that was Nima Elbagir reporting there. And the Rapid Support Forces denied to CNN receiving support from Libya or Russia. I want to take

you to Yemen now, where a charity event for the desperately poor went horribly wrong, and I want to warn you, the video about to show you is

indeed graphic, and what you're going to look at -- what you're looking at in fact, right now is a crowd surge at a school in Sanaa.

Hundreds of people had lined up there hoping to receive food and money, handouts from local merchants during the holy month of Ramadan. At least,

78 people were killed and dozens injured as the crowd rushed to get -- just get this, $9 worth of money. Evidence, obviously, of deep desperation in a

country described by the U.N. as the world's worst humanitarian crisis.

Our Jomana Karadsheh has been following the story for us, and she joins me now with more. And Jomana, those images we looked at just so distressing.

Of course, it paints a picture of the desperate need, but let's talk about what happened there. Do we know what led to the surge? Who was in charge of


JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, what we understand from the Houthi authorities, of course, this happening in Sanaa,

the capital --

SOARES: Yes --

KARADSHEH: That's under the control of the Houthis, and they're saying that this was and it was an event that was not organized by them, that they

were not notified of this.


They're calling it a random event by these two merchants or businessmen, who essentially announced that they're going to be handing out cash

donations to people ahead of the Eid al-Fitr holiday --

SOARES: Yes --

KARADSHEH: That's coming up. Now, they say that the Houthis are saying they've launched an investigation, they've arrested these two men right

now, and they are offering financial compensation to the families of the victims. I mean, the timing of it, Isa --

SOARES: Yes --

KARADSHEH: We're talking about the Eid holiday. People are preparing now to celebrate Eid --

SOARES: Yes --

KARADSHEH: It's a joyous occasion. Now, you've got dozens of families burying their dead. And also, the timing of this. It's coming at a time

where it looked like there was a bit of hope in Yemen --

SOARES: Of course --

KARADSHEH: Right now --

SOARES: With their rapprochement here you were talking about --

KARADSHEH: Exactly --

SOARES: Saudi and Iran. They looked like a glimmer of hope.

KARADSHEH: Exactly, and you had a major prisoner swap that took --

SOARES: Yes --

KARADSHEH: Place a few days ago, and then you have this. I mean, in the words of one Yemeni journalist today, saying that people are no longer

being killed by airstrikes and shelling by the warring factions, instead they are dying as they're rushing to get food.

SOARES: And it does speak to the desperation, $7, and we saw that crowd search. And it's a country that's been so highly dependent on donations.

KARADSHEH: The majority of the population there --

SOARES: Yes --

KARADSHEH: Is dependent on aid, and I mean, it really says everything when you've got hundreds of people -- and what we understand --

SOARES: Yes --

KARADSHEH: Happily says, you had people queuing in their hundreds outside this school in Sanaa for hours on Wednesday evening for the equivalent of

about $9.

SOARES: Jomana Karadsheh, thanks very much, Jomana. And still to come tonight, the most powerful rocket ever built never made it to space. We are

live for you in Texas after this starship rocket explodes in mid-air. Plus, serious ethical questions rise after a German magazine published -- this is

an A.I.-generated interview with Michael Schumacher, that story next.


SOARES: Well, the most powerful rocket ever built has lift off for only for just a few minutes. SpaceX starship exploded in mid-air shortly after

this historic launch in Texas. Have a look.





SOARES: I wish I had been there. Moments later, the unscrewed rocket then experienced what officials called a quote, "rapid unplanned disassembly" or

rather, you know, a boom. The explosion that you can see here happening when the spacecraft was meant to separate from the rocket booster. CNN's Ed

Lavandera has been following all of this from south Texas, where the rocket launched. He joins me now live.

Ed, great to see you. You're a lucky guy, you got the front row seat to this. Do we have any more details, Ed, to what exactly happened this


ED LAVANDERA, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We don't beyond, you know, that rather funny terminology about the way SpaceX essentially

describes what is -- what is what we all know to be an explosion, which is what happened several minutes into the flight. So the question really

becomes, was it some sort of technical issue, or you know, SpaceX control room has the ability to essentially detonate the rocket itself.

And that's in case it is headed for a populated area or something like that. They have that ability, but we're -- so we're not exactly clear as to

what happened. But if you look at the video moments before the rocket-ship was spiraling and clearly not being controlled, there were a number of

several of the 33 engines that were not working properly. So you know, you can -- you can tell that it must have been at some point become very

difficult to control.

But Elon Musk tweeted to say right after the launch, that they had learned a lot, that they will work now to launch another fully-integrated test

flight in the coming months. So it's a rather quick turnaround on this timetable. The director of the U.S. space program NASA, says that they're

encouraged by this, that this was a good first start to trying to perfect this starship rocket system.

And Isa, you know, this is very important because it is the rocket that is eventually going to lead astronauts back to the moon regularly as well as

on to Mars. And for the thousands of people who turned out here on the ground, it was a spectacular day like this gentleman who drove from Georgia

to be here this week.


JIM TAYLOR, SPACE ENTHUSIAST: It was still exciting. I mean, for crying out loud -- I got one word, holy smokes.


It was crazy. It was beautiful, and I know everybody was excited. I know you were, and everybody around was just tickled pink.


LAVANDERA: And I said, really was amazing to see that the turnout here today, we met a couple of gentlemen who had ridden on motorcycles from

Canada to be here, from Minnesota, from all over the country here in the United States to be able to witness this. We were about 7 kilometers or so

from the launch pad, and about 5 kilometers to the west of us.

There were people who were reporting that it was raining sand about five minutes after the rocket took off. So from that beach area where the rocket

launched this morning, it blew sand, and the wind carried it a good 7 kilometers in-land, raining down on people over there. So, it's a

spectacular moment here as SpaceX tries to figure out where to go to where -- how to move on from this, because you know, it's a mixed bag.

They cleared -- they cleared the launch pad, which is one of the things that they wanted to accomplish, but clearly, they did not fulfill this

mission. The original plan was for this rocket to have traversed almost the entire globe, and it was supposed to crash down in the Pacific Ocean around

the state of Hawaii. That didn't happen. So they will have to continue to work at it.

SOARES: Love the enthusiasm that we heard there from that little clip. Holy smokes indeed. Fantastic. Ed Lavandera, good to see you, my friend.

Thank you very much. Now, the family of Formula One Champion Michael Schumacher is planning legal action after a German magazine published a

fake artificial intelligence interview. The weekly magazine "Die Aktuelle" published this front cover, the headline, "Michael Schumacher the

first interview", as you can see them, big, bold letters.

Schumacher has not been seen in public since he suffered a brain injury in skiing accident 10 years ago. It's only towards the end of the article that

it becomes apparent the interview was produced by artificial intelligence. It raises some serious questions, obviously, and Anna Stewart is here to

discuss. And Anna, nowhere -- and this is important to note, nowhere in that front cover does it talk about A.I.

ANNA STEWART, CNN REPORTER: So, it has the headline, "Michael Schumacher the first interview". There is a subheading on that front page that says,

it sounded deceptively real. It's pretty cryptic. I don't think anyone would take from that, that this was not a real interview. And actually, if

you go on later, you go to page 18, and you read this interview, you get another headline saying, "my life has changed completely", a quote.


And there are many other quotes.

SOARES: How many pages is --

STEWART: Comparatively from Michael Schumacher through this, talking about his life, his medical condition, his family life, and it really is until

the very end of the interview where you start to find out a line, saying, this was generated using character --

SOARES: Very small --


SOARES: This is very small, fine print at the bottom.

STEWART: And who heeds a magazine article through to the end? I will put my hand up. I am a skimmer.

SOARES: I am too.

STEWART: And lots of people will not --

SOARES: And not --

STEWART: Have read that far.

SOARES: So this is incredibly cruel --


SOARES: This, sorry to say is not journalism, I'm just going to put it out there, and the family must be fuming.

STEWART: They are fuming, and we are told they are going to take legal action. They're looking at that right now, and probably not for the first

time considering that many articles, I think in the past about Michael Schumacher. Now, this one is particularly cruel, and that's because Michael

Schumacher hasn't been seen in public since December, 2013, his family had spoken, particularly his wife and said that they want to keep his life


SOARES: Yes --

STEWART: Made very clear in a Netflix documentary a couple of years ago. So in that sense, this is cruel, and it's getting a lot of reaction on

social media, people saying this is unfair, and of course, it is selling magazines. People will see that front page and they will buy it, and

unfortunately, of course, also kicking up a media storm. So we are all talking about this German magazine now.

SOARES: What is the magazine saying? What does it have to say for itself?

STEWART: No comment at all. Also actually reached out to the A.I. platform, which --

SOARES: Yes --

STEWART: They use, which is a great website, where it's very clear that you can speak to characters, fake characters using artificial intelligence.

You can talk to Elon Musk if you'd like. But it's very clear on the website, what this technology is being used for, and that it's fake

character. That technology being used by a magazine to sell copy --

SOARES: Yes --

STEWART: For this purpose, I imagine it's something they might want to comment on.

SOARES: We have spoken a great deal in the last couple of weeks here on CNN, and even within my editorial team about A.I., because we have seen

several incidents of A.I. being used. I mean, this is probably the cruelest one, I have to say. I read an article where one lady challenged a parking

fine, and she wrote, you know, using A.I., and she actually got that canceled. It was all written by A.I. There is a positive side to A.I. here,

and the technology that's being used. Talk about that.

STEWART: It's an incredible tool. I use ChatGPT as one example in my personal life all the time. You want to write a thank you letter to your

mother, take it away. You can even say make it a little more colloquial --

SOARES: Yes --

STEWART: Add a funny joke about that Christmas lunch we had. It's fantastic. It's a great platform. It can also be used just to spark ideas.

I don't have to bore my producer for ideas. Sometimes I can just ask ChatGPT, it's a great tool, but it's raising huge legal questions. And

artificial intelligence across the board. And so --

SOARES: Yes --

STEWART: Whether it's using musical artists as inspiration in creating a whole new song, who heard -- and I think we have a little clip, who heard

this in recent days?




STEWART: I mean, this is a song called "Heart on My Sleeve" --

SOARES: I've never heard of it.

STEWART: Well, it's --

SOARES: But it's got viral --

STEWART: Possibly by Drake in the weekend, but it's not.

SOARES: How did it do?

STEWART: It did incredibly well. It was viewed on YouTube and TikTok millions of times. It was on streaming platforms. It has been pulled off, a

user went out and said, actually, they had created by -- with A.I., but it's actually unclear, it's very hard to prove whether someone has. It has

to feel --

SOARES: It's the legality of this. That's the other -- there's a challenge --

STEWART: Copyright law --

SOARES: Yes, the copyright -- I mean, what would Drake say? Would Drake allow --

STEWART: I'll pose this one to you. And I spoke to a South Korean company that has Freddie Mercury singing new songs. It's great fun. I enjoyed it.

He can sing in South Korean. However, is that right? The music rights company that has the rights to Freddie Mercury songs agreed that they could

use his voice. But Freddie Mercury didn't. Who owns the voice? And should you be able to create something entirely new without their permission?

SOARES: So it leads to regulation. Is there a conversation that is being had about regulating A.I.?

STEWART: There is --


SOARES: Because anyone wants to have this conversation with big companies --

STEWART: Like DeepMind, for example --

SOARES: Yes --

STEWART: There's a coalition. They want to create a regulatory body. They want to create shared rules. But through every jurisdiction and every

company, that will be hugely challenging. Look where we lag when it comes to social media --

SOARES: Yes --

STEWART: Regulation. The problem with A.I., it is bursting onto the scene, and it is transforming all sorts of sectors and regulation definitely isn't

keeping up with it --

SOARES: And no big company will want to be behind this, and will want that regulation for that very reason, right? Staying ahead of the competition.

Anna Stewart, appreciate it, thank you, Anna. Fascinating discussion Anna, and I'll probably be talking about this much later. Still to come tonight,

critics in Brazil say police could have done much more to stop the January 8th attack on democracy.

Now, newly surfaced video could back up their claims. I'll have that report for you. Plus, a historic meeting in the Oval Office as U.S. President Joe

Biden sits down with Colombian President Gustavo Petro. We'll have more on that next.




ISA SOARES, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT: Welcome back to the show, everyone.

The Brazilian government now says it will support a congressional inquiry into the January 8 attacks on the seat of power in Brasilia. The reversal

comes just a day after a top national security official resigned amid a scandal over newly surfaced video from the riots that stunned the world.


SOARES (voice-over): It was the darkest of days in Brazilian democratic history. Supporters of former president Jair Bolsonaro taking the capital,

Brasilia, by storm, breaking into the presidential palace and other government buildings.

Now new CCTV footage exclusively obtained by CNN affiliate CNN Brasil of what transpired inside the presidential palace appears to bolster the

claims of people, who have accused the police of failing to act.

Chief among them, current president Lula da Silva.


LULA DA SILVA, BRAZILIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): There were a lot of people colluding, it's important to say. There were a lot of conniving

people from the military police. And there are a lot of conniving people from the armed forces.


SOARES (voice-over): The hours of CCTV footage showed police forces seemingly retreating as protesters marched on the palace and leaving their

posts, as rioters entered the building.

Once inside, the ransacking begins. Priceless antiquities, tables, phones, almost nothing is left untouched. At the time, a former policeman told me

some of the criticism wasn't warranted.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Some policemen ended up not acting because they didn't think there was a risk of invasion. I don't think it

was incompetence.

SOARES (voice-over): The institutional security office or GSI, which handles security for the presidential palaces, has also defended its



SOARES: Saying they evacuated some areas, concentrated demonstrators on the second floor and waited for reinforcements to arrest them. Despite

those assertions, the bureau acknowledging its officers are being investigated and those proven to have collaborated with rioters will be

held responsible.

But heads have started rolling. General Gonsalves Diaz (ph), Lula's government minister in charge of security, has resigned. CCTV footage shows

him walking with some of the rioters just feet away from the presidential office. He says he was trying to lead them away so they could be arrested.

But critics say his demeanor was complacent and complicit. Back in Brazil, after three months in self imposed exile in the United States, Jair

Bolsonaro is enjoying some respite, the video leak seen as a momentary win as he continues to dodge blame for the January riots.

Yet doubt remains. The new footage raising more questions than the answers it provides.


SOARES: We'll stay on top of this story, of course, for you.

For the first time since taking office, U.S. President Biden is hosting a meeting with Colombian president Gustavo Petro. This hour the two are going

to sit down to discuss a wider range -- a wide range of topics like the migrant crisis and peace efforts with Colombia's rebel groups.

There will also talk about U.S. sanctions on Venezuela. Journalist Stefano Pozzebon is in Bogota and joins us now.

So, Stefano, what do you expect them to be talking about here?

Because, of course, we heard Petro. He has been quite clear where he stands on Venezuela. He wants easing of sanctions on Venezuela, of course, have

been, what, 1.6 million Venezuelans being hosted in Colombia.

How likely do you think is Biden to budge on that?

STEFANO POZZEBON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, 2 million Venezuelans actually living here in Colombia. It's -- I think it's a very fascinating moment for

Latin American diplomacy this week because, just as the Colombian president is in Washington, the Russian foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, is touring

the region.

He was in Brazil on Monday, Venezuela on Tuesday. He was in Nicaragua yesterday and today he's in Cuba.

And that trip makes this visit and this bilateral between Petro and Biden even more crucial, because the Biden administration has been pleading with

the Latin American nations to take a position on Ukraine, to condemn the Russian invasion of Ukraine and to join the ranks of Western nations that

have cut ties with Moscow as a result of that invasion.

Now Petro comes to Washington as a staunch critic of U.S. foreign policy in the region and with his own sets of requests to the Americans.

He wants the U.S. support, just as you said, to finance the climate change transition, the transition to clean energy here in Colombia; support in the

way -- in the way that his government is trying to change the war on drugs in the country; support in the peace process.

And yes, one of his requests is that Washington start to discuss some sanctions relief in to Caracas. So it will be interesting to see how the

two leaders will going to come to terms because both issue one of them wants something from the other.

And whether Biden will budge on Venezuela in order to have Petro onboard in Ukraine, I think that is the real question. And what is really fascinating

to watch in the next couple of hours as the two are meeting.

Just a few minutes ago, John Kirby, the spokesperson from national security at the White House, said that the White House is ready to discuss sanctions

relief if Maduro, the embattled president of Venezuela, if Maduro makes some progress toward democracy in that country.

But that they're not afraid to impose even more sanctions if that fail to happen. And so far just to be clear. Maduro has made no effort to increase

democracy and to return to a democracy in Venezuela.

Just as you said, a very, very mixed agenda, a very busy schedule between the two leaders. We will see in the next couple of hours how the two of

them agreed on some of these fascinating topics.

SOARES: An important visit, like you said, and you put it perfectly into context, given that what the visits we've seen from Russia and the

financial influence we have seen from China. Thank you very much, Stefano, appreciate it. Thank you, Stefano.

Well, let's get back to our top story this hour. NATO secretary general Stoltenberg made a surprise visit to Ukraine's capital. He promised that

Ukraine's future is in NATO. Yet it likely won't happen as soon as president Volodymyr Zelenskyy would like.

The trip comes ahead of a meeting with NATO defense ministers. On Friday, the U.S. will host the 11th Ukraine defense contact group in Ramstein in



SOARES: Canadian defense minister Anita Anand will be there and she joins me now from Wiesbaden (ph) in Germany.

Minister, thank you very much for coming back on the show. It's great to have you here. Let's start with that meeting, if you don't mind, with

president -- between President Zelenskyy and Jens Stoltenberg, clear show of support for Ukraine.

But perhaps, Minister, also a message to President Putin, of course, who wanted less NATO.

What does this visit symbolize your view?

ANITA ANAND, CANADIAN MINISTER OF NATIONAL DEFENSE: Well, I certainly welcome Secretary General Stoltenberg's visit to Kyiv. Extremely important

to continue to show support and collaboration with President Zelenskyy.

And of course, Ukraine, very important to continue to reiterate NATO's open door policy and will continue to provide Ukraine with the aid that it needs

to fight and win this war.

Of course, we're coming up to another meeting with the group of countries, 50 plus countries meeting in Ramstein here tomorrow. And we will continue

to put the necessary equipment and aid on the table.

Canada, for its part, has already committed more than $1 billion of military aid and more than $8 billion of financial aid overall.

SOARES: And Mr. Zelenskyy very grateful and -- for the support from the alliance. But he also said this, Minister, have a listen.


VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): We value support from NATO allies and support with weapons. But we want to know when

Ukraine will be in NATO and when there will be security guarantees on this path. I want to stress this.


SOARES: So when will that happen?

Any sense of the timeline?

What needs to happen in order to get there?

ANAND: Well, right now, our priority is to ensure that Ukraine receives the military equipment and materiel that it needs to fight and win this

war. That's why Canada committed 8 billion Leopard 2-A4 battle tanks, which were promised and delivered, along with spare parts and trainers, as well

as a recovery vehicle.

This is the type of aid that Canada and all allies are continuing to put on the table for Ukraine in its time of need in order to uphold not only its

sovereignty but the principle of territorial integrity, which is at stake after this illegal Russian further invasion.

SOARES: But is it going to happen this year?

Do you foresee it happening this year?

Minister, or we're looking at two years, three years down the line?

ANAND: As I said, Ukrainian victory is our priority. It must be our priority. And that is why continuing to put a aid on the table, aid of all

sorts, whether we're talking about --


ANAND: -- or air defense systems, that's what our priority must be.

SOARES: The timing, though, of this visit by Jens Stoltenberg, the first time, of course, we're seeing the NATO chief in Kyiv since of course, the

invasion, is quite important, because what we have been seeing from our correspondents on the ground here, Minister, is the Russians increasing

their use of airpower in particular in the east in Bakhmut.

We are also starting to see Western weapons starting to pour into Ukraine. But there are a lot of expectations in terms of what can -- what it can

achieve on the ground with this new offensive.

So what is the aim here?

Do you think Ukrainian troops can cut off Crimea?

ANAND: Ukrainian troops have what it takes to fight and win this war. We have seen their victories in the north and in the east and in the south.

And in fact Secretary General's visit to Kyiv today indicates that this solidarity will not wane, that the allies as well as (INAUDIBLE) continue

to be with Ukraine in the short and the long term as it fights for its own sovereignty and as it fights to uphold the principle of territorial

integrity and the rules based international order that have kept us all safe since the end of the Second World War.

SOARES: I'm glad I've got you here, Minister, because I want to get your thoughts really on the massive leak of U.S. national security documents

that were posted online. You (INAUDIBLE) the story what last week?

I've lost track of time, I think it was last week, by the 21 year old National Guardsman, Jack Teixeira, who said that according to "The

Washington Post," this is "The Washington Post" has these documents, has seen these documents, said that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told NATO

officials privately that Canada will never meet the military alliance's defense spending target.

So let me ask you this.

Will Canada meet its 2 percent target here, Minister?


SOARES: I don't think we've got the Canadian minister. We will try to reconnect. We'll try to reconnect with her. It is something, of course,

"The Washington Post" has been reporting on. Would love to get the thoughts from the defense minister on this and whether it will meet its 2 percent


We will try to reconnect and we'll see if we can speak to her again after this break.

Minister, do you have?

Can you hear me?

ANAND: Yes, I can.

SOARES: Oh, wonderful. I'm not sure how much of my question you heard but I was asking you about this new "Washington Post" reporting that basically

says that prime minister Justin Trudeau told NATO officials that Canada will not be able to meet its 2 percent target in terms of defense spending

target here.

ANAND: Well, I'm not going to going to comment on alleged leaks. But I will tell you that Canada continues to make foundational investments in its

military capabilities, including an over $38 billion commitment for continental defense and the modernization of NORAD, including investments

in our security by way of 70 percent from a nine year period beginning in 2017.

And in addition to that an $8 billion investment in budget 2022.


Because we want to continue to invest in our Canadian armed forces as well as to fulfill our multilateral commitments. The previous government allowed

defense spending to dip below 1 percent. That is not our approach.

We are on an upward trajectory and we will continue to make these types of foundational investments in order to ensure that we are well capitalized

and we are fulfilling our multilateral commitments.

SOARES: Canadian defense minister, Anita Anand, appreciate it. Thanks very much, minister. Thank you very much for your time.

And we'll be back after this short break.




SOARES: Police in North Carolina searching for a gunman in what appears to be yet another senseless shooting in the United States.

Neighbors say children were playing basketball when the ball rolled into the suspect's yard. A short time later, they say, he went to get a gun and

opened fire, wounding a six year old girl and her father. It is just the latest shooting where victim appears to be at the wrong place at the wrong


Want to get an update now from CNN's Dianne Gallagher, who is in Charlotte, North Carolina.

And so just bring us up to date on this manhunt.

This is absolutely terrifying for this little girl.

DIANNE GALLAGHER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, a man still on the run right now. Here in Gaston County, North Carolina. It's near Charlotte, North



GALLAGHER: They were using U.S. Marshals as well as other officials from neighboring counties to try and track this 24 year old man, Robert

Singletary, down. Police say that he opened fire here in the neighborhood.

He shot a six year old girl, her father, her mother and shot at another man. According to neighbors this all stemmed from a dispute that had been

ongoing for the past couple of weeks ever since the man came to see stay in the home here in this neighborhood with kids playing in the yard.

They said that, on Tuesday evening, some of the children playing had a basketball go into the yard and, at that point, the man started yelling at

those children. The father of one of those kids came, told the guy, hey, look, stop yelling at my kid. I think that we can handle this as adults. If

you have a problem, just come to me.

And that's when they say he went inside, got a gun, started shooting at that man. When he missed, he turned the gun on the crowd of children. I'm

told more than a dozen may have been out here. And the parents, they say he began running after them.

The mother tells me that he looked at her husband and said, I'm going to kill you.

SOARES: Oh, my goodness. I just have no words. I can't believe just this poor girl having to listen and to see this. Thank you very much. Do keep us

posted on the updates. It's shocking, given everything that we've been reporting in the last week or so. It's just yet another more tragic news.

Thank you very much and appreciate it.

I want to take you to Missouri now, where the grandson of the white homeowner accused of shooting a Black teenager is speaking out. Yesterday,

84 year old Andrew Lester pleaded not guilty to two felonies. He told police he was scared to death of 16 year olds Ralph Yarl.

But Yarl's lawyer revealed the case is now being investigated as a hate crime, something supported by Lester's grandson when he spoke to CNN

earlier today.


KLINT LUDWIG, ANDREW LESTER'S GRANDSON: I believe he helds -- holds racist tendencies and beliefs. I feel like a lot of people of that generation are

caught up in this 24 hour news cycle of fear and paranoia perpetuated by some other news stations.

And he was fully into that, sit and watch FOX News all day every day, blaring in his living room. And I think that stuff really kind of

reinforces this negative view of minority groups and leads people to be a little (INAUDIBLE), lead people to be racist.

But it reinforces and galvanizes racist people and their beliefs.


SOARES: I'll leave you wit that thought. We are back after this short break.





SOARES: Welcome back, everyone.

One town in Australia found its population seven times bigger, when stargazers from around the world flocked to watch a once in a decade



This was the view as you can see right here of a rare hybrid solar eclipse from Exmouth, a remote Australian town, deemed the best vantage point on

Earth. And tourists and scientists were plunged into darkness for 60 seconds. The sun, the Earth and the moon, as you can see, they're perfectly

aligned, explaining, of course, the awe-inspiring experience.

One eclipse chaser said it stirs something in the human psyche. And people want to be part of it.

I wouldn't mind to be a chase eclipse chaser, what a cool job that is.

That does it for us for tonight. Thank you very much for your company. Do stay right here. "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" with Richard Quest is up next I

shall see you tomorrow. Have a wonderful day. Bye-bye.