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Isa Soares Tonight
A Spokesperson For Prince Harry And Meghan Describes A Dramatic Scene Of A Car Chase Involving The Royals And Paparazzi In New York; Multiple Russian Strikes Test Ukraine's Air Defense System; New Dire Climate Warning As Evidence Mounts Of Impact; Emilia Romagna F1 Grand Prix Canceled; World To Breach 1.5 Degree C Warming Mark Soon; Ecuadoran National Assembly Dissolved, President Calls For Snap Elections; Judge Blocks NYC From Sending Migrants To Other Counties; China Fines Comedian For Army-Themed Quip. Aired 2-3p ET
Aired May 17, 2023 - 14:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ISA SOARES, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: A very warm welcome to the show, everyone, I'm Isa Soares. Tonight, a spokesperson for Prince Harry and
Meghan describes a dramatic scene in New York. What we know about what they are calling a near catastrophic car chase. Then Ukraine's air defense is in
action. How they're successfully defending against Russia's stepped-up bombardment.
And then later, scientists are sounding a new climate warming, saying we will likely see global temperatures top at least, briefly the 1.5 degree
threshold in the next five years, but all is not lost, yet. Well, we begin this hour with what's being called a near-catastrophic car chase involving
the duke and the duchess of Sussex.
Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan, say they were hounded by a ring of highly aggressive paparazzi for more than two hours in New York City on
Tuesday. And it happened after an award show. This was a couple -- as you can see there, leaving that event. They were traveling with Meghan's mother
Doria Ragland. New York's mayor says the incident brings back memories of the horrendous death of Harry's mother, Diana. Have a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAYOR ERIC ADAMS, NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK STATE: The briefing I received, you know, two of our officers could have been injured. New York City is
different from a small town somewhere. You shouldn't be speeding anywhere. But this is a densely-populated city. And I think all of us -- I don't
think there's many of us who don't recall how his mom died.
And it would be horrific to lose innocent bystander during a chase like this and something to have happened to them as well. So, I think we have to
be extremely responsible. I thought that was a bit reckless and irresponsible.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES: Reckless and irresponsible. Bianca Nobilo is following the reaction to this from Windsor. And B, just talk us through what happened. What you
are hearing from the duke and duchess of Sussex.
BIANCA NOBILO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A spokesperson for the couple said that there was a relentless pursuit which went on for almost two hours
throughout New York City. They said that it was because of a ring of highly aggressive paparazzi that the couple were forced to go on these detours, in
what is described as a very dangerous journey.
We're informed that the traffic violations that these paparazzi were accused of include driving on the sidewalk, running red lights, using
phones and cameras when they're also driving, and illegally blocking moving vehicles, going the wrong way down a street. They felt that not only were
the couple at risk, but also pedestrians, and there were many accounts of near close collisions as well, Isa.
So, naturally, you know, In this country, as well as internationally, that memory of what happened to Princess Diana and her fatal car crash is
indelibly imprinted on the national consciousness. And naturally, this incident could potentially have strong echoes about it if the couple didn't
indeed feel that it was a near catastrophic event, Isa.
Plus, they have been at pains to try and address media intrusion and illegal press practices with Prince Harry just the other day in fact,
launching another attack on the British home office and trying to secure security for himself and his family in this country. This has been a
recurring theme for the couple. And this for them will just be further proof for the fact that they do require security, and they are in a very
Even though, we understand that the couple fully appreciate that because of the public interest in them, they would accept a certain amount of press
interest. But they don't believe anyone's safety should ever be violated because of that.
SOARES: Yes, and what does the NYPD say here?
NOBILO: Well, Isa, reports in British media are citing NYPD officials who have a different characterization and conclusion about the events of last
night that followed this, not aware the duchess of Sussex was presented with an award. They say that they didn't see it to be a near-catastrophic
chase or event.
But in fact, it was just chaotic. And we've also heard from a taxi driver who was involved in part of this journey of the couple when they were
trying to dodge the paparazzi. And that taxi driver has been reported in the "Washington Post" and other outlets as saying that he wouldn't have
characterized it as a chase, at no point did he feel unsafe. He said that the couple themselves seemed quiet and scared.
But that it's New York and that they had no reason to be afraid. So we are beginning to understand the timeline of events, indubitably, there was this
very long journey where the couple tried to avoid the paparazzi. According to an exclusive interview with our Max Foster conducted with one of the
couple's security detail, he said he'd never seen anything like it before.
And there were about a dozen vehicles including motorcycles as well tailing the couple. But from what we're hearing from officials within the NYPD, in
British media and the other taxi driver, there are different accounts of events and a less alarmist interpretation of what happened.
SOARES: An very briefly, Bianca, any reaction from Buckingham Palace, from any other royals? Do we know whether they've been in touch with the
NOBILO: So far, as we understand it, absolutely nothing. We heard from the duke and duchess' spokesperson that the royal family hadn't reached out,
and Buckingham Palace said that they had no comment thus far, Isa.
SOARES: Bianca Nobilo, thanks very much, B. Well, I want to discuss this in the context of the royal family and the pressure, of course, that Prince
Harry has lived under since his mother's death. CNN's royal commentator, a well-known face here on the show, Kate Williams joins me now. And Kate, I
mean, it's --Bianca alluded to this, we also heard Eric Adams as well, New York mayor alluding to this.
It's just the echoes of course, of what Princess Diana, his mother, had to -- went through that relentless chase. How do you think he must have felt
at that moment?
KATE WILLIAMS, CNN ROYAL COMMENTATOR: The relentless chase that Diana had, it was throughout her life as princess, but particularly, after the divorce
when she was on her own. I mean, they -- as Harry said in his book, he wrote about it --
SOARES: Yes --
WILLIAMS: That the last thing she saw was the flash-bulbs popping. And also Harry himself, he actually said to Opera, that his earliest memories of his
mother was of her driving the car, him and William in the backseat, strapping his children and she was crying because she was surrounded by
paparazzi and felt she couldn't go forward. So, he too is been chased. And it's very -- it's his memory of horror, and it takes us all back --
SOARES: Yes, absolutely --
WILLIAMS: To August 1997, when Diana died in the tunnel, and how Harry must feel is really terrifying, particularly, as he said, the reason why he had
to leave the royal family was because he was afraid that history would repeat itself, and we know what history he meant. He meant his mother's
death. He felt he couldn't protect his wife, he couldn't protect his children.
And here, Harry and Meghan are, their first appearance after the coronation, and they are chased for two hours through the streets of New
York, absolutely terrifying.
SOARES: And of course, like you said we haven't seen. We saw Harry at the coronation of his father. We haven't seen Meghan, she didn't, so I'm
getting there was this huge appetite still for this couple here and around the world.
WILLIAMS: There is this appetite. And I think we can certainly say that pictures of Harry and Meghan will go for some of the highest prices across
the world. They -- I think if you have a celebrity graph of who a paparazzi can get the most money for, a picture of Harry and Meghan is really up
there. And this is why. You know, they were being chased, so the minute they come to an awards ceremony, they simply cannot escape.
And certainly, I think that this is going to be a watershed moment for Harry. He is suing -- we were just talking about it --
SOARES: Yes --
WILLIAMS: He's suing papers and about -- and he's also suing about the security. I think he will try and use every way he can to come down about
SOARES: And he's got two legal cases that he is pursuing --
WILLIAMS: Yes --
SOARES: One is security, one is more directed at this, at the press --
WILLIAMS: At the press --
SOARES: At the paparazzi.
WILLIAMS: At the paparazzi, and I think that we saw the New York mayor saying he was going to look into it --
SOARES: Yes --
WILLIAMS: And I think certainly, Harry is going to use every legal recourse, because I think this confirms all of his fears. And this
confirms, I think another fear is that, now that his father is king, people want pictures of him and Meghan even more. And it sounds like a terrifying
situation, Mrs. Ragland, Meghan's mother --
SOARES: Yes --
WILLIAMS: Was in the car. But the children were not. And Archie --
SOARES: Yes --
WILLIAMS: Is old enough to remember this, I think he was --
SOARES: Yes --
WILLIAMS: In the car, so that is something. And you know, ordinary people were trying to just walk home from the theater or walk home from work. They
were being -- they were threatened --
And ordinary drivers --
SOARES: Exactly --
WILLIAMS: You know, I really -- I think this is a big watershed moment for Harry, and I think he'll be doing -- we will see legal action if he can,
SOARES: Absolutely terrifying. Thanks very much, Kate --
WILLIAMS: Thank you --
SOARES: I appreciate it. Well, CNN's chief law enforcement analyst John Miller spoke a short time ago about the level of security Harry and Meghan
receive as celebrities as opposed to when they were working royals. Have a listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN MILLER, CNN CHIEF LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: There's a way to do this.
SARA SIDNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Right --
MILLER: You've got the president of the United States here, we freeze the route. We have outriders and blocker cars. Right now, these two royals are
famous and subject to threat and in need of protection, but they're not heads of state or members of, you know, their country's representatives. So
this package was just a cautionary package.
SIDNER: Right --
MILLER: And then the threat shifted to the people around them, as opposed to what you would consider the normal threat.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES: Let's get more details then about the New York Police Department Security. We're joined by retired NYPD detective, Michael Alcazar who
previously worked on their dignitary protection detail. Michael, thank you very much for taking the time to speak to us today. We've heard from the
duke and the duchess and NYPD. What questions do you have, Michael, as to what unfolded and how it was handled here?
MICHAEL ALCAZAR, RETIRED NYPD DETECTIVE: Well, when they do the investigation, my question would be, was it actually a two-hour pursuit?
Because you know ,if you live in New York City, you know that's a long time. And it's highly unlikely that it was a high-speed vehicle chase as
reported because it's Manhattan. It's very dense.
So my question is, who were the pursuers? Who were the vehicles? The plates -- we're going to have to recover the plates from the mopeds, the cars, and
how long did they actually take and what was the route that this pursuit took place in?
SOARES: Yes, and of course, they are not. The duke and the duchess are not working royals. I would suspect, Michael, the roads wouldn't have been
closed off for them as there may be for presidents and so forth. So how does that -- how does that then change the way the access the paparazzi
ALCAZAR: Well, I'm assuming that they assigned at least, two dignitary protection teams, vehicles, to Harry and Meghan. And then, I think the
paparazzi just got aggressive as they are in New York City. They just break the laws, the vehicle laws and they drive on the sidewalk, putting
pedestrians in danger and other vehicles in danger. So I think what they did was they re-evaluated their approach -- the dignitary team, and they
went to a local, a close local precinct to reassess how they would approach this departure of the couple.
SOARES: Well, we -- CNN, our royal correspondent Max Foster has spoken exclusively to Prince Harry and Meghan's security detail. And he said that
the car chase could have been fatal -- and I'm quoting him here. "I have never seen, experienced anything like this. What we were dealing with was
very chaotic. There were about a dozen vehicles, cars, scooters and bicycles."
You also made the point the public were also in jeopardy. So, are we looking at a long investigation here, Michael? What's your sense?
ALCAZAR: No, I don't think it's going to be a long investigation at all. We're going to review video surveillance from, you know, street cameras or
potential witness video. So we'll determine quickly what happened. I'm sure by the end of the day. They probably have that information now, and we're
going to find out what vehicles were revolved, what route they took, what speed they were taking.
You know, were people in danger? I'm sure that people were in danger. Because, you know, the mopeds, the cars at taking red lights, going on the
sidewalk, and like the former commissioner said, it probably endangered more of the civilians than Harry and Meghan in the vehicle.
SOARES: And Michael, very -- one quick question that I was speaking to my team about, you know, this happened yesterday. Does this surprise you
there's no footage on social media? I mean, New Yorkers are very active on social media, on Twitter, but none of these photos came out, that we
learned about this almost, you know, 17 hours later or so.
ALCAZAR: Yes, that is unusual. I'm not saying the NYPD has the video surveillance. But it is unusual that social media hasn't posted any, which
probably goes to say that, you know, people weren't that interested. They're not interested other than the paparazzi to film this couple.
SOARES: Yes, Michael, really appreciate you taking the time to speak to us. Thanks very much.
ALCAZAR: Very welcome --
SOARES: I want to go now to Richard Quest who is New York. And Richard, great to have you with us. I mean, you live in New York, you cover the
royals, I want just to play out if I can, I think we've got it. A little clip from Eric Adams, the mayor. This is what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ADAMS: I will find it hard to believe that there was a two-hour high speed chase. That would be -- I'll find it hard to believe. But we will find out
the exact duration of it. But if it's 10 minutes -- a 10-minute chase is extremely dangerous in New York City. We have a lot of traffic, a lot of
movement, a lot of people are using our streets, any type of high-speed chase that involves something of that nature is inappropriate.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES: And we heard there from Mike Alcazar; the NYPD, he also raising eyebrows over this two hours. What questions do you still have, Richard,
when you listen to this?
RICHARD QUEST, CNN BUSINESS EDITOR-AT-LARGE: Yes, let's not hang ourselves --
Excuse me, let's not hang ourselves on the two hours. It's not -- as the mayor says, it really doesn't matter whether it's two hours or 20 minutes,
the fact is that somebody could have been killed. And that throws it firmly back to the NYPD. This is not one of those situations where they didn't
The NYPD were there. And so you've got to ask yourself, there's going to be a balance now -- I know you'll find that hard -- won't find it hard to
believe where clearly, there's such egregious acts. But those photographers, paparazzi are exercising their First Amendment rights. So
how do you balance the First Amendment right to report versus the security and protection of the general public?
And you do it through prosecuting those who break the law. One other point. Harry is going to make this, I told you so. Harry and Meghan are going to
say, as they have --
SOARES: Yes --
QUEST: We warned you this is what's going to happen.
SOARES: And then he's got two legal cases going on here, one of them, of course, on these points, calling for extra security. But look, our viewers
will know this, they supposedly left the U.K. to get away from this. But then, you would then have the Netflix series, the book, and that has only
meant they've been courting more attention. Has that opened a Pandora's box, Richard?
QUEST: Oh, yes, I mean, they weren't very difficult -- look at here, to use a cricketing analogy. And because at the end of the day, they wanted to
leave, but as Harry said, they were born into this. I can't leave. It's Hotel California, literally. Even if I say, I don't want this, I'm going to
get it. So, what do they do? They went and stoked the flames. They poked the bear.
They did it with an Oprah Winfrey interview, a Netflix series, a book, a blog, and so on and so forth. And the genesis of all of them is the same.
How badly we've been treated. And so they have put themselves in this difficult position. But other side of the coin? It is up to the security
authorities to protect them.
SOARES: Yes --
QUEST: And they are going to have to look and see, and that may also ask them not to do certain public appearances. Don't forget that, Isa. The
security forces can often say, we can't protect you at that event. We don't think you should go.
SOARES: And just before you go, Richard, we -- you know, I was speaking to my -- to Max Foster, and he was saying, I asked him whether they had heard
the Sussexes, had heard anything from any of the royals, and he said they hadn't. Does that surprise you? There's no communication --
QUEST: No --
SOARES: Between them, not checking up or how you're doing, are you OK? This was -- this was quite a close call. Are you rattled?
QUEST: No, not at all --
SOARES: No --
QUEST: They're too busy working out the ramifications and implications. If they say we're concerned, what does that mean? If they say we don't, what
does it mean? Well, you're going to see. Unless there's an act of bravery by the king or the Prince of Wales to express a deep personal emotion on
Harry's treatment. What you're going to see is what Harry has said, Isa.
Harry has said they do it through leaking. They do it through unnamed sources --
SOARES: Yes --
QUEST: They do it through -- they do it through sources close to the prince. And that's what they'll do. You'll start to see that in about 3 to
SOARES: Richard Quest will be back at the top of the hour in about 40 minutes or so. Thanks very much, Richard.
QUEST: Thank you.
SOARES: And still to come tonight, Ukraine's air defense systems are proving their worth against Russian missiles. And Kyiv's western allies are
showing optimism. We'll bring you the latest on the war just ahead.
SOARES: Welcome back, everyone. Russia's most recent efforts to destroy Ukraine's air defenses show how well those defenses are in fact, working.
The Russian missile attack on the capital Kyiv on Tuesday failed to destroy a U.S.-made Patriot air defense system. U.S. officials say the damage to
the system was, quote, "minimal", and that it can be repaired on site.
Well, as Russia launches more intense assaults on Kyiv, Ukrainian targets, firing hypersonic and cruise missiles from multiple directions. U.S. also
say it may actually work in Ukraine's favor because it is depleting Moscow's, of course, limited ammunitions. But let's focus now on the
frontline. Our Nic Robertson joins me now from eastern Ukraine.
So Nic, we are continuing to see now heavy fighting in Bakhmut. How close are Ukrainian forces from claiming -- reclaiming it here?
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: I don't think they're close at all. But the -- what's been suggested about Russia depleting
itself of longer-range missiles may also be part of the tactic that the Ukrainians are applying in Bakhmut. Although, the Russians in the center of
the town continue to sort of incrementally take miniscule steps forward.
Ukraine is taking bigger steps in the areas around Bakhmut. It's not quite clear what sort of happened there over the past 24-48 hours since
government officials said they took 20 square kilometers around the city. But the idea that a battlefront is testing and using up Russian resources
is potentially part of the broader analysis Ukrainian officials make of where they can find weaknesses in the Russian defenses.
Because if they apply a lot of pressure, as they are around Bakhmut, does that draw Russians away from other parts of the frontlines? And there's
evidence to support that. But at the moment, Bakhmut itself, it really is a tale of two fights.
ROBERTSON (voice-over): On Bakhmut's destroyed streets, two Ukrainian soldiers bolster flagging spirits with dark humor.
"Oh, that boom, is that on us?" One says, "oh, no", the other jokes. "We're enchanted. They're not for us." Russia's push for the remaining Ukrainian-
controlled high-rises around them has not relented despite recent successes taking ground north and south of the meat-grinder town. In a field hospital
nearby, troops concuss by heavy Russian shelling inside Bakhmut.
(on camera): How was the fight in Bakhmut compare to Kherson and other places?
(voice-over): Khorzine Wayt(ph), a 47-year-old former warehouse manager tells us Bakhmut is his hardest battle yet. It's hell, he says.
(on camera): And how is the morale at the frontlines?
(voice-over): He pauses, sighs, and whispers --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (SPEAKING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
ROBERTSON: "It's hard". Tanks too are getting chewed up in the Bakhmut meat-grinder. This Soviet-era T-72 blasted by shelling there. Repairs made
in hedgerows because workshops are getting targeted.
"The shrapnel holes don't matter", this tank commander tells us. "What's important is the engine and the reactive armor."
(on camera): Locations of repair hideaways like this one are a closely- guarded secret. Once the counteroffensive begins, they will be even more vital to keep the military and it's machines moving.
(voice-over): In a combat bunker buried outside Bakhmut, troops have no idea when or where the big offensive will come.
(on camera): They're monitoring the battlefield from here, we can't show you the screens that they're looking down from drones. As soon as a Russian
soldier puts his head up and moves, you see it.
(voice-over): Morale here high. Because they recently made gains across fields surrounding the town. Early success in the coming counteroffensive
will be critical. The lessons of Bakhmut, momentum and motivation is all.
ROBERTSON: And I think that notion that Bakhmut and fighting through a town is so consumptive of men, material, really perhaps gives us a clue --
Ukrainian officials aren't saying this. And certainly, it's not briefings the government is giving, but the sort of military analysis would be. If
Bakhmut is the lesson of how not to get bogged down and lose so much in a fight, in an urban environment, it makes sense that Ukraine's
counteroffensive would potentially be a cross-country side.
And that does seem to be an element of what's happening at the moment around Bakhmut. They're trying to go around it, then take the middle of it.
But which way this is going to swing at this moment, it's a long way from being decided.
SOARES: Nic Robertson there for us in eastern Ukraine, thanks very much, Nic. Well, U.S. President Joe Biden is heading to Japan for the G7 Summit.
The political impasse back home is forcing him to cut his trip short. Mr. Biden will now return to Washington on Sunday, scrapping plans, stops in
Papua New Guinea and Australia to deal with a debt-ceiling standoff.
The U.S. could default on its debt within weeks if the White House and congressional leaders can't reach a deal to raise the borrowing limit. Mr.
Biden says he is confident that an economic catastrophe will be averted.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: America is not a dead-beat nation. We pay our bills. The nation has never defaulted on its debt and it
never will. And we're going to continue these discussion with the congressional leaders in the coming days. Until we reach an agreement --
and I have more to say about that on Sunday. We're going to have a press conference on this issue.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES: We'll stay of course, across the story for you. And still to come right here on CNN, scientists say extreme weather events like droughts and
other phenomenon are becoming more and more common. Why the climate crisis shows no sign of slowing down.
SOARES: Welcome back, everyone.
Scientists say our next story will engulf every country and threaten all of us. That is the climate crisis. A new report says the global temperature
will likely cross the 1.5-degree warming mark sometime in the next five years.
It doesn't necessarily mean there is no coming back from that precipice. We will get to that in just a moment. First, we want to dive into some of the
news impact fueled by climate change.
In northern Italy, flooding and mudslides have claimed at least eight lives and forced 13,000 people to evacuate. That is according to Italian
authorities. Rivers have burst their banks amid torrential rainfall. And More rain is in the forecast.
We have also learned Formula 1 has been forced to cancel this weekend's Emilia Romagna Grand Prix due to the flooding. Our contributor, Barbie
Nadeau, reports on the deluge wreaking havoc across the region.
BARBIE NADEAU, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Roads turned to rivers as rain many hoped would alleviate drought conditions, now a serious threat in
the central Italian region of Emilia Romagna. There are already victims and rescuers are searching for the missing.
Hundreds of people were rescued from flooded homes, many brought to safety in rubber dinghies on flooded streets. More than 5,000 people are under
evacuation, according to the civil protection; among them a four-month-old baby and an elderly handicapped man.
The region had been undergoing severe drought. In 2022, low rainfall and extreme heat depleted the river Po, a crucial waterway for transport and
irrigation. A winter with very little snow did little to help.
And as bad as these floods are, they are only a drop in the bucket for what is needed to reverse the drought. Earlier this month a downpour swelled the
Po by five feet. This deluge of water will raise it even more. But it is still well below average.
Extreme weather events are threatening other Italian regions, from Venice, where the MOSE floodgates have been raised to protect the city from high
water, to Sicily, where heavy storms downed trees and flooded homes -- Barbie Latza Nadeau, CNN, Rome.
SOARES: On the other side of the world, hundreds of people are feared dead after a powerful storm hit one of Asia's least developed nations. Cyclone
Mocha unleashed widespread destruction in Myanmar on Sunday, hitting the conflict scarred Rakhine state especially hard.
It's home to hundreds of thousands of displaced people. Myanmar's shadow government says at least 400 people have been killed. It is urgently asking
for help, saying around 1 million people need emergency food as well as drinking water.
These extreme weather events are becoming more common. Scientists say this will be the new normal as temperatures continue to rise. The trends show no
sign of slowing down.
On the contrary, the World Meteorological Organization now says fossil fuel pollution and a potential El Nino are likely to push global temperatures
past the warming threshold, set out, if you remember, by the Paris agreement. That limit was 1.5 degrees Celsius. And the WMO says it could
happen within the next five years.
I want to bring in Professor Petteri Taalas, the head of the World Meteorological Organization, and our chief climate correspondent, Bill
Professor, thank you for taking the time to speak with us. The chances of this happening are 66 percent. This is a pretty bleak assessment, almost a
certainty we are going to exceed it.
Your thoughts here?
PETTERI TAALAS, SECRETARY-GENERAL, WORLD METEOROLOGICAL ORGANIZATION: So we estimate it will happen in the coming five years since this so-called
(INAUDIBLE) phase, which is calling the Pacific temperatures over and beyond the what's El Nino phase of (INAUDIBLE) temperatures higher.
It is very likely that in the coming five years we are going to be very close (INAUDIBLE) Paris agreement, 1.5 degrees, at least on a temporary
basis. There is 66 percent (ph) of (INAUDIBLE) before that. And it's virtually certain that we will break all (INAUDIBLE) to record (ph) in the
coming five years.
SOARES: The El Nino effect is part of this calculation, is that right, Professor?
TAALAS: That is right. We have the natural ability of the Pacific temperature, which is this La Nina phase, which we have for the past three
years, is a cold phase. And now we are having to the much warmer phase. And of course this overall warming caused by consumption of fossil fuels has
been boosting the situation.
SOARES: And Bill, every time we get one of these reports, you and I have spoken at great lengths about this, they seem to get more and more grim.
SOARES: You have been seeing the consequences of our warming planet for us here on CNN. Just talk to us about what the professor has laid out, how
that has been reflected in the world and what you have seen in your reporting.
BILL WEIR, CNN CHIEF CLIMATE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Isa, if you remember, a couple of summers ago, there was a little town in British Columbia, Western
Canada, that was hotter than the hottest temperature ever recorded in Las Vegas, 121 degrees, nearly 50 degrees Celsius there.
Two years later now, so much of Alberta is on fire as a result of that heat and drying out. Four times as much acreage has been burned there so far
this early summer than all of last year in California.
So there is a myriad of effects from this, every degree of warming that goes up. And I find sort of most chilling, no pun intended, from the
professor's words there, is that we've -- if the -- if the last seven years have been the warmest ever and the next five will be the yet warmest ever,
we've seen the coolest years of the rest of our lives.
But what's interesting is they are also saying it is not too late to turn down the global thermostat. When you consider that methane, which is a
natural gas, is at 80 times more powerful than carbon dioxide at trapping heat and is much easier to turn off at the source, that could be the most
There are tangible solutions. Technology exists to stop this rapid temperature rise that is surprising even scientists, who have been making
these predictions for a long time.
SOARES: We can talk about what can be done in terms of from a governmental level, from business level.
But Professor, simply the implications, the consequences of this one degree for our viewers around the world, I saw in the report that the Arctic will
be greatly impacted, as will be the Amazon, the lack of rainwater. Talk to us about the examples that you have outlined in this report.
TAALAS: Yes, we are demonstrating that, so far, our (INAUDIBLE) warming is about double the global average that are in the coming years. We expect it
to happen three times the global average.
And some parts of the world, we will suffer from lack of rainfall. And one of those areas is going to be the Amazonia basin. It's a big source of
carbon they have stored up (ph) carbon in the rainforest. And Australia is getting drier. There is a risk that there will be more and more release of
carbon dioxide through the atmosphere.
SOARES: Bill, to your point you are making, this just goes to show that we need to go much, much further. In fact, we are not doing enough when it
comes to cutting gas emissions.
Will this make business leaders and governments sit up?
We keep hearing the time to act is now.
WEIR: Yes, unfortunately, the social license is still there. Well, depending on your point of view, it is fortunate or unfortunate. But if you
are a shareholder in Saudi Aramco or Exxon, it is fortunate because those are the most profitable companies in the world history in recent years,
thanks in part to the war in Ukraine.
But yes, there is a lot of movement in renewables and electrification and all that. But not nearly at the speed of the rising temperatures which we
are seeing. Again, these smashing events during a La Nina year, when it was supposed to be cooler, now we are heading into an El Nino year. We will see
if the events are enough to rattle folks.
But I don't think anyone agrees that it is happening fast enough.
SOARES: Clearly. And the numbers show that it is not happening fast enough.
The question to you then, Professor, what can be done?
This is reversible.
What can be done?
Governments will meet in November for the U.N. climate summit.
What is your message to business leaders and world leaders?
TAALAS: It is time to speed up our (INAUDIBLE) and we are dealing (ph) more renewable energy we have, whether (INAUDIBLE) and we know also around the
world (ph) (INAUDIBLE) our everyday diet. (ph) And (INAUDIBLE) moving the right direction. But we have to speed up our excellent (ph). And there's a
need to reestablish a level globally.
And we also expect that, for example, the East Asian countries would speed up their action (ph). And this transition is also going to be a great
business for opportunity and (INAUDIBLE) benefit from this change that is supposed to happen.
And we still have means to be successful in reaching the Paris 1.5 to 2 degrees target. At the moment, we are heading toward 2.5 to 3 degrees
warming. (INAUDIBLE) will have a much more negative impacts on human well- being and on global economy and also the biosphere (ph).
SOARES: Professor, thank you very much for taking the time to speak to us.
SOARES: Bill Weir.
Thank you both.
And still to come tonight, political tensions multiply in Ecuador after the president dissolves the legislature to fend off impeachment. We will look
at where things go from here. Stefano Pozzebon is next.
SOARES: Well, we are monitoring a tense situation in Ecuador, where embattled president Guillermo Lasso, has taken drastic measures to avoid
impeachment. He dissolved the national assembly and called for new elections by invoking a constitutional mechanism known as mutual death. Our
journalist Stefano Pozzebon joins me with more.
Stefano, I saw a video earlier of security forces pretty much standing guard outside the national assembly.
What are we expecting, what is the mood there right now from what you're hearing?
STEFANO POZZEBON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, the mood is full of expectations, a very moving and fluid situation since Guillermo Lasso announced his
decision to suspend the session in congress early this morning. It was 7 am this morning that he made his decision.
And it's a provision that the constitution of Ecuador gives him. And we are waiting to see what the next few hours is, it's still very early hours in
Ecuador. And the next few day comes and we hear that the electoral council is -- will speak to the nation, will deliver a statement to the nation,
hoping that they will set a new date for this snap election that has been called as a consequence of Lasso's order.
But this brings an end to a tumultuous couple of days in Ecuador, with the president facing a looming impeachment trial over embezzlement charges that
he denied. We tried to put together in a piece for you.
POZZEBON (voice-over): In the end, the president decided time was up.
GUILLERMO LASSO, ECUADORAN PRESIDENT (through translator): I decided to invoke Article 1.48 of the constitution, which gives me the power to
dissolve the national assembly due to the serious political crisis in order that the electoral council to immediately convene a snap election for both
the legislature and the presidency.
POZZEBON (voice-over): The first president to face an impeachment trial in Ecuador's recent history, on Wednesday, Guillermo Lasso decided he would
rather dissolve the congress and call for a new election, than face the opposition lawmakers.
POZZEBON (voice-over): A provision in the Constitution, called muerta cruzada, the mutual death.
LASSO (through translator): I salute those who have posed (ph) with such great (ph) this baseless proceeding.
POZZEBON (voice-over): The operation accused Lasso of embezzlement, linked to the negotiations of shipping contracts for the export of crude oil
products. He denies the charges and says that they are politically motivated.
LASSO (through translator): My fellow citizens, it's not possible to solve Ecuador's problems and address the serious challenges of crimes and
terrorism we face with a legislature who has the political gall destabilizing the government.
POZZEBON (voice-over): Lasso's move brings an end to a tumultuous two years in power. He took office in May 2021, when Ecuador was still struggling
with the COVID-19 pandemic.
And his presidency had also to deal with a bloody series of massacres inside the penitentiary system that dented his popularity.
In Napoli March (ph), more than 60 percent of Ecuadorians said it was time for him to go. But on the streets of Quito, few are confident of what the
future will bring with or without Lasso.
(INAUDIBLE) in (INAUDIBLE) Sonora to fruit sellers in a street market in the south of the city, say they've known each other for 40 years. But this
week, they stand on two opposite sides.
(INAUDIBLE) thinks Lasso should still complete his mandate; (INAUDIBLE) believes the country's situation requires a new leader. They both agree,
however, that crime and not politics is what keeps them up at night.
"I have to close down at 5 or 6 pm because, if you leave later, you get robbed," complains (INAUDIBLE), who says, only a few years ago, he could
keep his shop open until nighttime.
The recent spike in criminal activity was all too evident over the weekend, when a failed assassination attempt against the local mayor killed one and
injured five. With the dismissal of congress, Lasso's government will remain in place and rule by decree until a new election date is set.
SOARES: And Stefano, we're waiting, of course, to find out when these snap elections will take place.
Does Lasso believe he can win this?
Against this backdrop here?
POZZEBON: Yes, it's unlikely, by the look of, it because we've seen that, in recent polls, he was trailing at less than 22 percent of support. But at
the same time, this last-minute gamble that Lasso played this morning, in the early hours, gave him, essentially, a buffer zone of a few months to
rule by decree, rule without the check of the national assembly and try to exert his power ahead of the new election.
And it's a time of instability not just in Ecuador, all across Latin America, we've seen surprising results at the polls. It's definitely
(INAUDIBLE) to see what could happen in Ecuador. The waiting to hear when the date of the new election will be.
SOARES: Yes, and he can rule by decree for as long as up to six months, like you said, maybe playing the long game here, Stefano Pozzebon, great to
see you, thank you very much.
And we'll be back after this short break.
SOARES: Well, a judge is blocking New York City from sending any more migrants to nearby counties. Orange County says New York City's mayor has
been trying to set up homeless shelters at hotels in the county.
They will go back and forth, underscores the problem New York City is having dealing with an influx of migrants. Our Polo Sandoval has the story.
POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Outrage, anger and frustration. Parents protesting outside a Brooklyn school in response to
the city's plan to continue housing migrants inside current and former school gymnasiums.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're not going to do this to us. You picked the wrong neighborhood and the wrong school.
SANDOVAL (voice-over): Some upset parents and grandparents refused to drop off their kids at school after learning of the situation.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm taking them home.
Why should they be in here with those adults?
Those are men and women. We don't know where these people come from.
SANDOVAL (voice-over): Mayor Eric Adams, who says New York City is in the middle of a humanitarian crisis, says the city is considering using 20
school gyms for migrants as New York City sees an increase in asylum seeker arrivals.
MAYOR ERIC ADAMS (D-NY), NEW YORK CITY: None of us are comfortable with having to take these drastic steps.
SANDOVAL (voice-over): Adams says all these gyms are separate buildings and the migrants would not interact with school children.
ADAMS: We have the order -- almost an order of where we have to go as the crisis continues of -- this is one of the last places we want to look at.
SANDOVAL: Parents argue school gyms are not meant for housing.
SAMANTHA CLARK, PARENT AND PTA CO-PRESIDENT, PS 172: I would like other places to be considered. Places that have adult full- size showers, large
spaces. Our school is tiny. We can barely fit in it as it is.
SANDOVAL: A source familiar with the planning process telling CNN that so far about 300 migrants have been placed in gyms throughout the city.
RAY DENARO, COMMUNITY ACTIVIST: We have a crisis that's been brought to our country, our state, our city and now it's in our schools and how soon until
it's in our homes?
These children deserve better.
SANDOVAL: Some parents feel that schools should be off-limits, while others just fear for the safety of their kids.
ROBIN WILLIAMS, PARENT: We not knowing nothing about these people and where they came from, we want to protect us.
My message for the man, the governor, you all should be ashamed of y'all self.
SANDOVAL: Brooklyn borough president Antonio Reynoso says parents are basing most of their opinions on far and says that the migrants are not
increasing crime in New York City.
ANTONIO REYNOSO, PRESIDENT, BROOKLYN BOROUGH: These folks have not caused, in any way, shape or form, an influx or an increase in crime. So this
narrative about safety is just one that is being made up right now. These parents, again, I think are misinformed.
SOARES: That was Polo Sandoval, reporting there.
A Chinese comedian's joke has just cost his fan $2 million. Li Haoshi, who goes by the stage name, House, caught the attention of authorities after he
loosely referenced a slogan used to describe China's military. CNN's Steven Jiang explains from Beijing.
STEVEN JIANG, CNN BEIJING BUREAU CHIEF: To China's cultural czars, the offending joke amounts as a serious insult to the Chinese military and
causing bad social consequences.
But to most people outside of China, the costly punchline sounds innocuous. That's when comedian Li Haoshi, known by his stage name House, described
his thought when seeing two stray dogs he had just adopted chasing a squirrel.
The phrases he used, "fine style of work, capable of winning battles. The problem is, this is a well-known slogan to describe the Chinese military,
first uttered in 2013 by China's supreme, leader Xi Jinping, who also heads the military.
And in 2021, the country enacted a law banning any insult and slander against military personnel. The comedian and his company have since
apologized several times, promising to deeply reflect on their mistakes and reeducate themselves.
And on Wednesday, the company announced it has fired Li and promised to further strengthen content review, even installing outside monitors in
performance venues. But it may not get any chance to do, because the Beijing cultural authorities have also banned the company from staging any
more shows in the capital and even pledging to conduct further investigation into this incident.
So for many of this art form's mostly young fans, this episode could indeed deal a fatal blow to a very young industry --
JIANG: -- which had just gone from underground to mainstream. And to many other people, this is a rather tragic reminder of this extremely delicate
line that comedians and other artists and public figures have to strike in this highly censored environment, where politics is never a laughing
All of this, according to analysts, is a reflection of the governing philosophy of president Xi, who wants to reassert the Communist Party's
dominance, including ideological control, in every aspect of Chinese society. Steven Jiang, CNN, Beijing.
SOARES: He fought for Native Americans to be protected under the law. Now, more than a century later, indigenous rights pioneer chief Standing Bear is
being honored, as you can see here, as a national hero.
The U.S. Postal Service has unveiled a new stamp honoring the leader, whose 1879 lawsuit granted Native Americans the same legal protections as other
Americans. The chairwoman of the Ponca tribe of Nebraska celebrate this stamp as a symbol of the pride and perseverance for all of our members,
past, present and future.
Leave you that for our quote of the day.
Thank you very much for your company tonight. Do stay right here. QUEST MEANS BUSINESS up next with Richard Quest, have a wonderful day. Bye-bye.