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Isa Soares Tonight

Russia Evacuating Civilians in Occupied Ukraine; A Source Says an Insignia Found on the Texas Mall Shooter Stands for Right Wing Death Squad; Arab League Welcomes Back Syria's Leader; Authorities Investigating Gunman's Motives; Allen, Texas Mourning Eight People Killed In Shooting; 50+ Dead, 23,000+ Displaced Amid Ethnic Violence In Manipur. Aired 2-3p ET

Aired May 08, 2023 - 14:00   ET



CHRISTINA MACFARLANE, HOST, ISA SOARES TONIGHT: Hello and welcome to the show, everyone, I'm Christina Macfarlane in for Isa Soares. Tonight, Russia

says it's moving civilians out of the Zaporizhzhia region as Ukraine's frontline heats up. Then authorities are investigating the motive in yet

another mass shooting in the U.S.

A source says an insignia found on the shooter stands for Right Wing Death Squad. And Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is accused of horrific war

crimes against his own people. He's never faced justice, but the Arab League is now welcoming him back into the fold. Russian-backed officials in

Ukraine's Zaporizhzhia region are beginning to move civilians out of frontline towns and deeper into Russian-held territory.

They say they've evacuated more than 1,600 people so far. It comes ahead of Ukraine's expected counteroffensive, which some Russian officials believe

has already begun. Ukraine warns the evacuations are giving cover for Russian troops to run away from combat, and that Russian officials are

forcibly deporting Ukrainian civilians. It's already causing a lot of turmoil.

An exiled Ukrainian mayor says there are fuel shortages, internet outages and problems with bank machines. He says the mood is close to panic. CNN's

Nick Paton Walsh is in Zaporizhzhia for us live tonight. And Nick, 16,000 evacuations is not a small number. Talk to us about the significance of the

areas of which these civilians are being evacuated, and how likely it actually is that this is being used as a cover for Russian soldiers as

Ukraine claims.

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL SECURITY EDITOR: I think the importance here, Christina, is that we are seeing a significant part of

this territory. If you look at the towns that Russia says it's evacuating civilians from, a significant part of that territory is it seems now going

to only have the military in it.

Now, these are frontline towns along an extensive southern front here in the Zaporizhzhia region, in which if you look at satellite images of

Russia's defenses for this long-awaited Ukrainian offensive, a lot of it is placed at the trenches, the concrete structures are all placed to the north

of this particular area.

Now, the 1,600 civilians that we are hearing have already been evacuated are coming from the towns along this frontline area. And according to

Ukrainian officials, well, the civilians are mostly being taken to the coastline city of Berdiansk, another Ukrainian official claiming that in

fact, soldiers who are using this evacuation undercover to move out of the frontline areas are in fact going to the almost destroyed city of Mariupol,

also on the coastline too.

Now, the significance here is that if you leave this northern part of Zaporizhzhia region, predominantly with just the military in it, and you

mentioned there are suggestions that fuel, food, cellphone access, cash from ATMs is becoming hard to come by.

The deterioration of normal life there is something which Russian forces really need not to happen. Because it's been clear from the beginning of

the war, the Russian military is often very symbiotic of the local population. They use cellphones it seems a lot to communicate amongst their

command. And so, the idea that it becomes increasingly hard to get ordinary daily food stuffs, et cetera, in those frontline areas could impact the

Russian military presence.

I say we don't really know exactly how bad it's got yet. But the suggestion at this point from Ukraine and officials is beginning to erode. Once those

frontline towns have less military in them, and indeed if Ukrainian military are able to pierce that extensive frontline series of trenches

that Russia has dug over months, there is not a lot between that and the coastline as far as we can see from satellite imagery.

Russia may have some surprises placed there, we don't know. But the terrain is flat, it's open, pretty much all the way down to the sea. And that's

where the civilians have put themselves. So it opens the possibility from the signals we're seeing that if something changes in that frontline area,

it could have a fast knock-on effect all the way through the Zaporizhzhia region, potentially down to key cities like Mariupol, Melitopol, which very

much Russia needs to hang on to if it wants to keep that vital land corridor between the annexed Peninsula of Crimea and the rest of occupied

Ukraine and the Russian mainland, Christina.

MACFARLANE: And Nick, we have seen overnight another barrage of attacks from Russia, I think from some 35 drones, an effort of course, to wear down

Ukrainian defenses. How apprehensive though are Ukrainians about what could be to come in the next 24 hours, given that Russia will be celebrating

their victory day tomorrow?


WALSH: Yes, I mean, the significance of tomorrow can't be understated or it can't be overstated. This is a vital part of Russia's military calendar.

But they enter into it in a state of disarray to some degree with their mercenary head, Prigozhin making a big public bluff or I don't know,

reversal about demanding more ammunition, more artillery shells for his troops or he'll pull out of the vital eastern city of Bakhmut, and then

yesterday changing his mind.

And that's a pretty bad series of signals to send out. And we've also in the last three or four days have the Kremlin publicly state that they

believe the Kremlin came under attack from drones. So lots of converse signals coming out of Moscow as the integrity, the unity of their military

command ahead of this important Victory Day celebration.

And there are certain fears, I think amongst the Ukrainian population of the significance the calendar plays in Russian thinking. How they would

like possibly -- they wanted to capture Bakhmut for example by tomorrow. They haven't done that. Will they try something else? We've seen continued

waves of drones and missiles. Last night, it was bad, 35 drones at Kyiv, eight missiles sent towards the southern port city of Odessa.

One of which got through and killed a night watchman at a warehouse full of humanitarian aid we're told by Ukrainian officials. But I think the

broader concern is that if we see a significant calendar date like this, Russia may try and up the kind of barrage it seems to be deploying nightly.

One important thing to point out though, these relentless barrages by Russia are much less successful than we've seen in the past because of the

role that Ukraine's air defenses are playing.

Because of the role that NATO's additions to those have been proving to be successful over the past days. In fact, U.S. officials are now saying they

have quite high confidence that Ukraine did indeed down a hypersonic Kinzhal Russian missile over the past few days towards Kyiv. That's a

missile which Russia touted as being undefeatable and appears to be taken out by one of the more bread-and-butter parts of America's known air

defense systems.

So, I mean, extraordinary turnaround for Russia's fortunes on the battlefield. Again, an exposure of the limitations of its better parts of

what it claims to be its arsenal. So, a lot changing certainly in Russia's military mindset here ahead of this important Victory Day parade. And

Ukrainians, it's fair to say, in a town like this -- a city like this, Zaporizhzhia, and millions going to bed not quite knowing how calm the

night will be.

We've been woken by sirens and blasts here in the past, that may continue tonight, but that's the unfortunate calculus Ukrainians go to bed with

every night here. Christina?

MACFARLANE: Nick Paton Walsh, great to have your reporting and your analysis. Thank you. Now, the Arab League is officially welcoming a long-

time international pariah back into the fold. It has readmitted Syria as a full member despite the government's alleged war crimes and an ongoing

civil war. As Nada Bashir reports, President Bashar al-Assad himself could return to the spotlight on the regional stage as early as next week.


NADA BASHIR, CNN REPORTER (voice-over): An unthinkable prospect now a reality. The Arab League has reinstated Syria more than a decade after

Damascus was suspended over President Bashar al-Assad's deadly crackdown on anti-government protests. Now, talk of an Arab-led political process to end

the bloody Syrian civil war that has haunted the region for years.

AYMAN SAFADI, FOREIGN MINISTER, JORDAN: What we're talking now is a political process in which the Arabs will have a leading role in efforts to

try and bring about a solution to the crisis. And in order for us to succeed, we will all need to work together.

BASHIR: Syria says it welcomes the announcement, and that it would participate in strengthening joint Arab action. The decision to welcome

Syria back into the fold hasn't come as a total surprise, following a series of diplomatic victories for Assad. Last week, Iran's President

Ebrahim Raisi met with Assad in Damascus, a first for Iranian head of state in 13 years.

And in April, a similar visit to the Syrian capital by Saudi Arabia's foreign minister. But not all Arab states are supporting Syria's return,

including some that have actively supported Syria's rebel groups. Qatar's Minister of Foreign Affairs Majed bin Mohammed Al-Ansari said his country

continues to stand against the normalization of ties with the Assad regime.

And among those most wary of Syria's ascent, Israel. The idea of suspected of hitting targets inside Syria to prevent Iran from gaining a foothold as

part of their proxy war. And for the millions of Syrian refugees brutalized by Assad's war, it may be hard to accept this decision as anything, but a


RASHAD AL-DEEK, DISPLACED SYRIAN (through translator): This means nothing to us because we are displaced and forced to leave our towns. They are just

like him. This is why they took him back. They are all useless.


ABDUL SALAM YOUSEF, DISPLACED SYRIAN (through translator): Instead of Arab leaders helping us and getting us out of those camps, where we suffer and

live in pain, they whitewashed the criminal and killer's hands from our blood. .

BASHIR: President Assad could now participate in the upcoming Arab League Summit in Saudi Arabia, though the league's secretary-general has been

clear, this does not mean an end to the Syrian crisis.

AHMED ABOUL GHEIT, SECRETARY-GENERAL, ARAB LEAGUE (through translator): The return of Syria is the beginning of a movement, not an end. The

direction of the resolution to this crisis in Syria. We'll take time for procedures to be implemented, and it will be gradual.

BASHIR: Shifting politics, changing the landscape of the Middle East, but caught in the middle, Syrian refugees and citizens still facing an

uncertain future with no clear indication of how or when President Assad will be held to account. Nada Bashir, CNN, London.


MACFARLANE: The U.S. is criticizing the Arab League's decision, but some say the Biden administration deserves criticism itself for not doing enough

to stop the warming of ties with Bashar al-Assad. Our next guest signed an open letter back in March urging stronger U.S. leadership on the Syrian

issue. Ambassador James Jeffrey served as U.S. Special Representative for Syria Engagement from 2018 to 2020. Ambassador, thank you for joining us

this evening.


MACFARLANE: So many will find this an absolute betrayal of the Syrian people. And I know, of course, the half a million or so who died as a

result of this brutal civil war. But as Nada was saying in her report there, it's not exactly coming as a surprise. Can you first explain to us,

ambassador, as to the regional calculus going on here, and why this is happening now.

JEFFREY: First of all, this is both less -- I would emphasize your report about what the Arab League President said, and also the other report, this

is a beginning of a process. It's very slow. So this is both less than what it looks like, but in other sense, it's more. Since the late Obama

administration with John Kerry through the Trump administration, the U.S. conducted negotiations with Russia to achieve exactly what the Arab League

is now trying to do directly with Assad.

That is to resolve all of these problems that were covered so well in your report. The Iranian dangerous presence at Israel is striking. The various

terrorist groups awash in Syria that we have troops there fighting. The problem with refugees, the accountability of the regime, and the half a

million people killed.

These things are not going to be fixed by Assad being in the Arab League. They're not going to lift the U.S. and European sanctions. They're not

going to get Turkish and U.S. troops out of Israeli airplanes out of airspace. That requires Assad to make compromises. We have made that clear.

Tony Blinken, the Secretary of State, called Jordanian Foreign Minister Safadi on Thursday.

Safadi is the leader of this effort, to make it clear, this hell has to be done step-by-step in accordance with the U.N. resolution that covers all of

these problems. So we have to wait and see. This is not a revolutionary change. It does show, however, that the Arab states are impatient with the

U.S. role at present in the region. And that's troubling.

MACFARLANE: Yes, so you are saying that this has been on the table really for some time with U.S. involvement. Why then -- what prompted your letter,

your open letter to Joe Biden in March, effectively saying that words were not enough. What other action were you pushing for there?

JEFFREY: Well, we were all aware of the Arab effort. Actually King Abdullah announced it during -- announced it a year and a half ago, and he

delivered a version of it to President Putin in Moscow. So this has been underway for some time. We are concerned not that the Arabs have the wrong

approach, but the ability to carry it out.

Assad is a past master at deception. He has shown he will not compromise. Our fear is that if a committee of Arab leaders competing amongst

themselves as they typically do on these things, tries to get Assad to comply, it won't work. And what's at stake here is not just the refugees

for which we and others are providing many billions of dollars a year -- or the terrorist groups, and the fighting that's still going on in Syria.

This is a geopolitical issue. It involves a possible big win for Iran and Syria in the region. The Arabs don't want that. They want to get Iran out

and they want to get the region and particularly Syria calm. I'm just not sure the best agent to do that. Our letter was, United States, you play a

bigger role. Instead, we're apparently going to let the Arabs go ahead with this. This may or may not work.

MACFARLANE: So what are the -- I mean, what are the downsides here? What are the pitfalls of this being led now by an Arab coalition, and do the --

United States have any footholds still to enter in at this late stage and influence proceedings?


JEFFREY: Oh, sure, because you see the things Assad wants, the Arab League and the Arab states cannot get it. I would be very surprised if the

Emiratis or the Saudis or others are going to open their checkbooks and try to pay for the $400 billion of destruction mainly rocked by the Russians

and the Iranians on behalf of Assad inside Syria.

There are strong U.S. and European sanctions. As I said, there are Turkish, American and Israeli military forces operating in Syria. There is a third

of the country that's under the control still of one or another form of opposition groups. None of those things can be fixed by the Arab League.

Without these things being fixed -- and above all, without success to the U.N. process 2254 is a resolution Assad isn't going to get very much.

And it's up to him to start helping to fix these things. If he does, then this Arab League initiative might have some progress.

MACFARLANE: And the reality is though, ambassador, this is now something that's in motion. How important is it for those Arab allies to try to exact

a price from Assad in exchange for reintegration here? Do you think that is happening and what should that exchange be?

JEFFREY: You've put your finger on the problem. Any diplomatic -- you don't get any resolution to any international problem without a diplomatic

process. But any diplomatic process tends to take on a life of its own, and the various participants want to save that process. And the process rather

than the results you want to get on the ground become the focus.

That's what I'm afraid of. What we told the Russians and they told the Syrian government, even though they didn't accept it, was look, we want to

do a step-by-step resolution. Essentially, the plan that the Arabs are now putting on the table. But if not, we'll be happy to freeze this conflict

and continue on with our sanctions and continue on with our military presence as we believe the Turks and the Israelis will also do until you

actually comply.

Because we saw this as a geostrategic problem. I'm not sure the Arabs will be that tough. If they yield, if they start taking paper promises and

insignificant concessions on Assad's part as enough, they'll simply put pressure on us, the Europeans, the Turks and the Israelis to start making

our own concessions. That's the risk here.

MACFARLANE: So important ambassador, to hear this context in light of what is emerging here. Thank you so much for coming on and giving us your

insight on this. We appreciate it.

JEFFREY: Thanks for having me.

MACFARLANE: Thank you. Now, we are just learning about an alleged smuggling operation by Iran to get weapons into Syria. This according to an

Israeli defense official and two sources familiar with U.S. Intelligence. They say Iran used humanitarian aid shipments as a cover after a

devastating earthquake in Syria in February.

The sources say Iran hid weapons and military equipment among humanitarian supplies that were transported by convoys through Iraq. All right, still to

come tonight, former President Donald Trump stands accused of rape and defamation. We'll go live to New York as the closing arguments begin in

this high profile civil case.



MACFARLANE: In a New York courtroom, closing arguments are now underway in the civil battery and defamation trial against former U.S. President Donald

Trump. The stakes are high. A former journalist, E. Jean Carroll alleges Trump raped her in the -- 1999 and then defamed her when he denied her

claim. CNN's Kara Scannell is in New York where those closing arguments are being held right now. Kara, what can you tell us about how each side is

laying out its case right now?

KARA SCANNELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Christina, the first 90 minutes of the day were from E. Jean Carroll's attorney who gave her opening

statements. And what she said to the jury that anyone, even the former president of the United States is above the law. So she's telling the jury,

you know, they should consider this case like they would against any other person.

And she said that Donald Trump himself who testified not in this trial but in a videotape deposition is someone that he is actually one of the worst

witnesses against himself. She pointed to the jury to his own deposition testimony where he's shown a photograph of him having met E. Jean Carroll

several years before the alleged rape.

And in his deposition, he mistakes that for his second wife, Marla Maples, saying that's Marla. He was only -- when he was corrected by the attorneys

that he realized it was E. Jean Carroll. They also point to the "Access Hollywood" tape that we've seen, you know, played many times. They played

that again, portions of that for the jury.

And in that tape, Donald Trump, you know, is on a hot mic and he's saying, you know, he just sees a beautiful woman, he kisses them, you know, it's

like a magnet, he just starts kissing them. And they overlap that with E. Jean Carroll's allegations that she was shopping with him at a department

store, he led her into the dress room, he just started kissing her.

And the "Access Hollywood" tape, Trump says he just grabs women, they say that then Trump raped E. Jean Carroll in that department store. And that

Trump says on that tape, the "Access Hollywood" tape that, you know, when you're a star, they let you do it. So Carroll's attorney is really pushing

this point, saying that if the jury wants to believe anything, they should believe Trump in his own words when he thought no one was listening.

They also said that in order to believe that Donald Trump was telling the truth in his deposition when he denied that this whole ever occurred. They

have to believe that everyone else in the case was lying. Now Trump's attorneys then has had their chance, they've been doing cross-examination

for a little more -- I'm sorry, closing arguments for a little more than two hours.

And his attorney is saying that, you know, Carroll's team can't give them a precise date of when this alleged assault occurred, so it prevents the

former president from getting an alibi. He can't check a calendar, he can't check a schedule, he can't present any witnesses to counteract her

allegations. And what he -- he boiled it down to the jury saying, they want you to hate him enough to ignore the facts.

And part of his closing here is to point out some oddities in Carroll's allegations and what she says has occurred. You know, he's questioning, you

know, why her tape -- her tights didn't rip in the dressing room, how she was fighting him off in foreign heels(ph), how she never dropped her purse.

He's also challenging some of her behavior after the alleged assault.

How she was able to watch "The Apprentice", the show that Trump starred in for many years. How she can -- need to shop at Bergdorf Goodman, and he's

attacking some of the expert witnesses that Carroll's team has called. I mean, his bottom line is, he is saying that, you know, Trump is telling the

truth here, Carroll is not, even some of her friends that came forward to back up and corroborate her story, he's trying to poke holes in some of

their statements in their testimony.

In fact, focusing on one in saying that her recounting of the conversation she had with Carroll was identical to what Carroll wrote in her book, and

questioning how could that be possible if this occurred in 26-27 years ago. Now, once he finishes, Carroll's team will have a chance to do a rebuttal,

and then the judge will instruct the jury on the law.

We're ahead of schedule today, so it's possible the jury could get the case today. But the judge in starting out the day said that he thought it would

go to them tomorrow. Christina?

MACFARLANE: OK, well, we will wait to see how the jury deliberates. Our Kara Scannell outside the courtroom there in New York. Thank you very much.

And we're moving to Texas now where we have new information about a devastating car crash that happened over the weekend.


Eight people were killed Sunday when an SUV plowed into a crowd full of people at a bus stop in Brownsville, Texas. The sheriff said the driver was

a local man with an extensive criminal history. He's facing eight counts of manslaughter. The bus stop was close to a shelter that was housing migrants

near the border with Mexico. And there is some suspicion this was an act of malice. But authorities say the driver ran a red light and lost control,

and afterwards he tried to run from the scene.

This exclusively video shows bystanders trying to restrain him. A witness says the man seem to be impaired. Communities along the U.S.-Mexico border

are seeing an increase in migrant arrivals ahead of the lifting of Title 42 on Thursday. That's a U.S. government's rule that allows authorities to

swiftly expel migrants from the border during the pandemic.

U.S. officials claim smugglers are spreading misinformation to lure vulnerable people to the border with a false sense of hope. CNN's Rafael

Romo reports.



RAFAEL ROMO, CNN SENIOR LATIN AMERICAN AFFAIRS EDITOR (voice-over): Joe Fred Perez(ph) says his plan is to press on all the way to the border and

beyond. He wants his own American dream. The Venezuelan migrant has already made it as far as Mexico, and returning home, he says, is not an option.

"We're already here and we can't go back", Perez(ph) says. "We have to press on as far as we can get, as far as they let us get." As many other

migrants waiting in Mexico for an opportunity to cross into the United States legally or illegally, Perez(ph) is driven by hope and determination,

but confused by the rampant misinformation about what's happening at the southern U.S. border.

(on camera): Migrants like Perez(ph) are part of an expected surge prompted by the fact that Title 42; the Trump-era policy that allow border

authorities to quickly turn away certain migrants during the COVID-19 pandemic, is expiring on May 11th.


ROMO (voice-over): Migrants like Linda Sameanta(ph) who comes from Honduras say there are many doubts in the migrant community because she's

heard that the end of Title 42 means that she will be able to enter the country while other people have told her, that it will make it even more

difficult to seek asylum.

U.S. officials, especially Homeland Security Secretary Mayorkas, have been clear about the fact that the border will remain sealed.

ALEJANDRO MAYORKAS, SECRETARY OF HOMELAND SECURITY, UNITED STATES: The border is not open. It has not been opened, and it will not be opened

subsequent to May 11th. And the smugglers who exploit vulnerable migrants are spreading misinformation, they are spreading false information, lies in

a way to lure vulnerable people to the southern border. And those individuals will only be returned.

ROMO: Encounters between U.S. border agents and undocumented immigrants had fallen earlier this year, but have recently increased to the current

level of about 7,000 per day.


ROMO: Migrants, like Elton Rojas(ph) from Venezuela say they don't care if Title 42 comes to an end or not. Rojas(ph) says he's determined not to live

in what he considers a dictatorship, and is willing to take as many risks as necessary for a taste of freedom. Rafael Romo, CNN, Atlanta.


MACFARLANE: All right, still to come tonight, details on the gunman who killed eight people in a Texas shopping mall including his possible

extremist ties. And we hear one witness describe the horrific injuries he saw.



CHRISTINA MACFARLANE, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back. In U.S. state of Texas, authorities are searching for a motive in this weekend's mass shooting that

left eight people dead and seven others wounded at a shopping mall. A law enforcement source says the gunman, 33-year-old Mauricio Garcia, may have

been driven by right-wing extremism. And defense officials say he served for a brief time in the U.S. Army, but was removed due to concerns over his

mental health.

Well, CNN's Josh Campbell is in Allen, Texas, joins us now live. Josh, what more are you -- have you been learning in the last few hours about the

shooter and whether or not the police can determine if this was an act of domestic terrorism?

JOSH CAMPBELL, CNN SECURITY CORRESPONDENT (on camera): Yes. Christina, we are learning new information just in the past few minutes about this

suspect's background. As you mentioned, he previously served in the U.S. military. Our Pentagon colleagues with CNN reporting that he was in the

U.S. Army in 2008, but only for a very brief period of time. He didn't make it through basic training and he never got an assignment. He never received

any awards. He was expelled over potential mental health issues.

The reason why that is so important is because in the United States, there was this ongoing debate about how robust background checks should be before

someone buys a firearm. And should that be a tripwire if the U.S. military says that we don't want this person in our ranks because of potential

mental health issues, is there a question about should this person be able to then go assemble a small arsenal of weapons? Which this person did

according to my reporting.

We know in this attack, he used an AR-15 style, very powerful rifle. He also had several weapons with him, several rounds of ammunition. He was

stopped, and shot, and killed by a police officer, but it is chilling to think about how worse this attack could have been had that officer not been


Now to the motivation, I'm told by a law enforcement source that authorities believe that this could potentially be right-wing extremism for

two reasons. First, after he was shot and killed, authorities examined his body and they found an insignia on his chest reading the letters RWDS,

which law -- authorities believe stands for Right Wing Death Squad. We've seen that same insignia being displayed by various extremists here in the

U.S. over the past few years at rallies, at protests and the like.

I'm also told finally by a law enforcement source that the suspect had a robust online social media history that authorities are poring over at this

hour. They actually found posts by the suspect pertaining to white supremacy, pertaining to neo-Nazi type issues. So again, the source telling

me that they haven't narrowed down one specific motive. But you see where this investigation is headed as they look at the suspect's past

communication, it certainly appears that that coupled with what he was wearing on the day of the shooting, that this could potentially be right-

wing extremism, which would only be just the latest example of right-wing violence here in the United States, Christina.

MACFARLANE: Yes, absolutely. A tragic event. Josh Campbell there live. Thank you.

Well, the father who rushed to the mall to get his son described the horrific scene he saw when he arrived.


STEVEN SPAINHOUER, WITNESS TO SHOOTING AFTERMATH: Sadly, the first individual I went to was -- and I don't want to be too graphic, but she was

not able to be saved. I couldn't save the second guy. The third guy actually expired while I was trying to do chest compressions. The child

came out from under what I believe was the mother, might have been a relative, I don't know how the relation is.


But he started to wander around, asking for help saying mom, mom, mama, mama. So I just scooped the child up and took him about 15 feet away so he

or she couldn't see what was going on.


MACFARLANE: Steven Spainhouer, who you just saw there, is also a former police officer. He spoke to CNN's Poppy Harlow about the need for stricter

gun laws.


POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: I'd like to know from you what you want to be done in your state and on a national level. And I preface this question

just by letting everyone know, you know, you've said you're a big supporter of the Second Amendment. You're a gun owner. But at this point, in your

words, thoughts and prayers have to be followed by action. What specific action?

SPAINHOUER: Absolutely.

HARLOW: What needs to change?

SPAINHOUER: Absolutely. Absolutely. We used to have an assault weapons ban nationally. We can do that at the state level. We can put red flag laws in

place. We can limit high capacity rounds, like I found a live round next to one of the deceased victims, we can stop putting some of these weapons like

M4s and AR-15s in the hands of people who don't need them.

And out here, our governor talking about mental health issues, we're always going to have mental health issues. But if we don't do something about the

guns, the people killing guns, then we're going to continue to have the same thing happen. It could happen to your family. It could happen to

anybody that's watching in any state, in any small town, or big city. And until we take some definite actions, with changing the narrative about it

being just a mental health issue, and start doing something about the guns.

HARLOW: And you don't think for example, an assault weapons ban like we had in this country, by the way up until 2004, you wouldn't see that as a

violation of your Second Amendment right, or universal background checks, or red flag laws. Is that right, sir?

SPAINHOUER: Not in the least bit. I mean, we've put limits on speech that prohibits certain types of speech, we can put limits in place on our Second

Amendment rights just as well. We've got to protect our communities, and make sure that they're safe. And I am a big supporter of making for sure

that we protect our Second Amendment rights. But we can't do so at the jeopardy of our public safety, and our health, and our families.


MACFARLANE: Well, gun violence and immigration are arguably two of America's most divisive issues, both of which are especially acute in


For more, let me bring in John Miller, CNN's Chief Law Enforcement and Intelligence Analyst. John, very interesting there to hear the views of

that father, a gun owner, a Republican, we know this was the 12th mass shooting in Texas this year and the 199th in this year alone. Do you feel

that any of this is beginning to change the political calculus over the issue of gun control? Are we beginning to see a moderation perhaps of

Republican views as a result of this?

JOHN MILLER, CNN CHIEF LAW ENFORCEMENT AND INTELLIGENCE ANALYST: So no, or maybe. If you look at polling among the public, you see somewhere between

60 to 70 percent of America, depending on how the question in the poll is framed, wants some reasonable gun control measures in the United States.

If you look at the major police organizations in America, they want an assault weapons ban reinstated. They want waiting periods for the purchase

of weapons. They're looking for some commonsense solutions that would address this directly. But as far as conversations with Democratic

counterparts and Republican leadership, they have turned off the listening switch when it comes to gun control issues, saying gun control isn't the

issue. It's mental health.

Interestingly, Texas today is moving a piece of legislation forward that's been parked for some time that would limit the ability to buy assault

weapons from 18-year-olds who can buy them in Texas currently to 21 year olds.

MACFARLANE: That's an interesting point, because I was just thinking that whenever these issues arise, as we heard just then, you know, invariably,

there's a kind of push to look for the source of the problem. In this case, mental health, of course, has been cited. In other cases, we've heard of

slow police response to shootings. I mean, while all of that is important, I mean, how much is it obscuring some of the other real problems here,

which is the possibility to tackle issues like the use of assault -- rapid assault rifles, as you were saying?

If that legislation is moving forward, is that something that is not being overlooked?

MILLER: Well, I mean, it's something that maybe today in Texas, because of the Uvalde school parents being in the legislature calling for this and,

you know, a period where you've had a significant massacre in a public place, and then the killing of many family members by a next door neighbor

with an assault weapon, you know, just a few days ago.


It's starting to sink in that this has gone beyond the thing that we were dealing with every month or every week, it's starting to be every day.

MACFARLANE: Just with your expertise in this area, John, I mean, looking at the profile of this shooter, it wasn't immediately apparent before this

attack that this was an individual that could carry something like this out. I mean, he's been described as being a quiet individual, a commission

security officer. I mean, what do law enforcement face when trying to identify where these type of attacks might come from?

MILLER: Well, it's about it's about missing the red flags. I mean, here's someone who had an online profile where he was dealing with neo-Nazis and

white supremacy. But in a country with a first amendment for free expression, if you were legally qualified to buy a gun, that wouldn't be

prohibited. More pointedly, though, it's someone who spent literally 105 days in the U.S. Army before being put out on the judgment that he was not

mentally able to serve in the army, and yet he is -- he's able to buy assault weapons, and pistols, and be licensed to work with them as a guard.

So one of the most complicated things is how do you get that disconnect between the privacy of health records and buying firearms where those

records, you know, may need to surface?

MACFARLANE: Yes, that's a very good point. John, great to have your thoughts on this. Thanks very much.

MILLER: Thanks, Christina.

MACFARLANE: Now Russia's war on Ukraine could lead to changes in a longstanding Ukrainian industry, surrogate parenting. As the war erodes

Ukraine's population, lawmakers are considering banning foreigners from paying Ukrainian women to carry and deliver their babies. But some of those

women tell us it's because of the war that they need to do this. CNN's Nic Robertson explains the controversy.


NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR (voice-over): There's mom, she's doing fine. And there's baby. She's great, too. But all is not

well at this Ukrainian surrogacy clinic. The government might shut it and others like it down.

ROBERTSON: We're going down to the vault where they keep all the embryos they've stored. All the embryos are inside or inside these.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): Albert Tochilovsky lifts the lid.

ROBERTSON: That's cold. So these would have to be destroyed, all of them destroyed.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): Embryos, he says used by clients and infertile Ukrainian women. It could collapse, his multimillion dollar business.

ALBERT TOCHILOVSKY, BIOTEXCOM OWNER (through translator): It will mean death to me. And end the possibility for European families to have babies

here. And the chance for income for Ukrainian women.

ROBERTSON: BioTexCom calm helps childless couples all over the world. Ukraine's surrogacy laws leave birth mothers few legal rights, making women

here like Alessia highly sought after, and relatively well compensated. Typically $20,000.

OLESYA HOLOVATSKYKH, SURROGATE (through translator): The financial situation in our family is bad. We've got big problems. So, I have to help

my husband earning money.

ROBERTSON: The baby's due in two weeks' time, is that going to be difficult for you to let the baby go?

HOLOVATSKYKH (through translator): We've got used to her. We've been playing with her, talking to her, treat her as our own child. So, it's not

like a purse simply to make money. We feel for her as our own.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): Nataliya, a coalminer, is seven months pregnant with her second surrogate, baby has come to Kyiv until the baby's handed

off to its biological parents from Italy.

"For the first surrogacy, for Chinese parents, we bought an apartment," she says. "This time wasn't an easy decision, but we did it to provide a better

life for our own children."

ROBERTSON: Before the war, BioTexCom averaged about 450 successful surrogate births a year. Last year, that jumped to 600. Lawmakers and

President Zelenskyy's party say that the war has so impacted the population here that no children should be allowed to leave the country. They declined

our requests to explain their proposed law in more detail.

Olesya and her husband, Herrick, have two children already. And want the possibility of another surrogate and of helping put love into another

couple's lives.

HOLOVATSKYKH (through translator): That happiness will arrive in another home. Someone else must feel joy, not only ourselves.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): The benefits of this surrogacy for them have already been life-changing, enough money to flee their dangerous frontline



HERRICK HOLOVATSKYKH, HUSBAND OF SURROGATE MOTHER (through translator): This surrogacy saved us, thanks to this we are sitting here in safety.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): Lives, many of them yet to be born, at stake on this pending government decision.

Nic Robertson, CNN, Kyiv, Ukraine.


MACFARLANE: All right. Up next, ethnic clashes in northeastern India have forced thousands of people to flee their homes. What's behind the deadly

violence next.


MACFARLANE: At least 58 people have been killed and hundreds have been hospitalized amid ethnic violence in the Indian state of Manipur.

Authorities say as many as 23,000 people have fled their homes since violence broke out last week. The Indian Army has been deployed to the

region to contain the violence. Here's Vedika Sud with the latest.


VEDIKA SUD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Inferno in the hillsides of northeast India, churches under fire, and angry armed mobs on the streets.

Thousands of residents forced to flee their homes as ethnic violence breaks out in India's Manipur state. Located on the Indian-Myanmar border, it has,

for decades, struggled with insurgencies and violence between Christian and Hindu ethnic groups. Tensions boiled over last week when thousands of

people from the Christian hill tribes protested against the majority Hindu ethnic group potentially gaining official tribes status.

Dozens of people have been killed and several hundred hospitalized. The government has shut down Internet access and security forces have been

deployed to end the violence. But sporadic fighting continues, forcing more than 20,000 people to flee their homes with little more than clothes on

their back and the children in tow.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): The Kuki militants attacked after surrounding our village in Pukhao. They began firing at us with their guns.

We panicked and abandoned all our belongings and fled for our lives.

SUD (voice-over): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the campaign trail this weekend has so far remained silent on the issue. But on Monday, his home

minister, Amit Shah, told local media that the tribe decision will be discussed with all stakeholders. Displaced residents from the hill tribe

said they have no home to return to.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Every one of us here, we're nervous. We're afraid of death.


SUD (voice-over): Many of the displaced villagers belong to the Christian Kuki and Naga people who reside in the hills along the Burmese border.

There is history of conflict between them and the Hindu Meitei who make up more than half of the population and dominate state government. They're

pushed to be recognized as an official tribe to get better access to health care, education and government jobs has caused concern among the Christian

groups who believe they will be at a disadvantage.

While most of the fighting has now subsided, the problems at the core of this conflict remain far from resolved. Vedika Sud, CNN, New Delhi.


MACFARLANE: Now for the first time, the two sides in Sudan's brutal armed conflict have sat down for talks. Representatives from each side met over

the weekend in Saudi Arabia while their troops continue to clash back in Sudan. The talks have been described as pre-negotiation and it is unclear

what progress, if any, has been made thus far.

We'll certainly keep an eye on this story as it develops and we'll be right back after this short break.


MACFARLANE: King Charles says the nation support has been "The greatest possible coronation gift." Palace released his message alongside these

official portraits as coronation celebrations draw to a close here in the U.K. The monarch shared his thanks to all those involved in marking the

historic occasion but let's take a look back at how the last few days of festivities have unfolded.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): Sunday Night Fever descended on Windsor Castle. King Charles III coronation concert was the climax of a nationwide

celebration. Gone was the solemnity of Saturday. Instead, A-list celebrities sang chart-topping hits, not (INAUDIBLE). The majesties in

attendance (INAUDIBLE) robes and crowns dispensed altogether a more relaxed look in the Royal box.

The Prince of Wales cut a relaxed figure on stage, too, joking with the crowd between speaking about his pride and his dear father.

PRINCE WILLIAM, PRINCE OF WALES: I would say a few words about my father. And why I believe this weekend is so important. But don't worry, unlike

Lionel, I won't go on all night long.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): And just for confirmation, the King asked Lionel Richie the same question in a surprise appearance on American Idol.


KING CHARLES III, KING OF THE UNITED KINGDOM: Because I just wanted to check how much -- how long you'll be using this room for.

LIONEL RICHIE, SINGER: We have to give the room up right away.

KING CHARLES III: I'm just intrigued. I just wanted to check. Anyway --

RICHIE: Thank you so much for coming.

KING CHARLES III: No, but thank you so much for your brilliant performance.

MACFARLANE: And come Monday, a Wales's family day out and the first ever royal engagement for Prince Louis. Painting, drilling, shoveling, even a

ride in the digger with dad. There's a first for everything.

As if juxtaposed against the pomp and ceremony of the weekend, a day mucking in marks the end of the beginning of the Carolean era. The message

is back to work for the royal family.


MACFARLANE: Now to a remarkable story of survival, this is the moment police rescued a woman who had been missing for five days in the Australian

bush. She didn't have any water with her. But she did have wine. The 40- year-old, who doesn't actually drink alcohol, told police the only liquid she had was a bottle of wine she had bought as a gift. Luckily, it saw her

through her ordeal, and she was found safe and well. Maybe she'll can reconsider her teetotal stance after this.

Thanks so much for watching tonight. Stay with CNN. "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" is coming up next.