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Isa Soares Tonight

Russia Says it's Fighting Saboteurs Inside its Territory; High- Stakes Debt Limit Negotiations Between Biden and McCarthy Just Hours Away; Real Madrid's Vinicius Jr. Gets Sent Off for Reacting to Racists; EU Fines Meta $1.3B For Sending Facebook User Data To U.S.; Police Resume Search For British Toddler Madeleine McCann; Accused Killer Of Idaho Students In Court. Aired 2-3p ET

Aired May 22, 2023 - 14:00   ET



ISA SOARES, HOST, ISA SOARES TONIGHT: A very warm welcome to the show everyone, I'm Isa Soares. Tonight, the governor of Russia's Belgorod region

says sabotage groups crossed the border into Russian territory. What we know happened, and who is responsible? Then, we are hours away from the

next high-level negotiation in Washington D.C. as the U.S. debt-ceiling deadline looms.

And then later, an egregious example of racism in European football. Real Madrid's Brazilian Vinicius Jr. says La Liga can't or won't solve the

problem. But first, tonight, officials in the Russian region of Belgorod say they're working to eliminate a Ukrainian sabotage group that crossed

over the border.

But Kyiv says it's not involved. They say it's Russians fighting Russians as anti-Putin guerrillas go to war against their own government. Social

media video show aircrafts, as you can see, they're flying low over the Belgorod region. But what's actually happening? It still remains pretty


We know groups calling themselves the Freedom of Russian Legion and the Russian Volunteer Corps are claiming responsibility for some kind of

operation. They said earlier, they liberated a town and were advancing on another. Meanwhile, smoke was seen rising from near the Russian-Ukrainian

border, and a local Russian governor says a drone was shot down.

We are also seeing videos like this one, unidentified vehicles near the Russian-Ukrainian border, and then images of vehicles at a checkpoint

apparently in Russia. You can see there. CNN's Sam Kiley is live from southeastern Ukraine, he's been keeping an eye on all of this. So Sam, what

more are you learning about this group that entered the Belgorod region?

What are you hearing from the Russians? What are you hearing from the Ukrainians? And who are they?

SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, let's start with who they are. We know who they are because we met them back in December. In

fact, the man whose code sign Cesar(ph), whom we spoke to in December was in the lead, if you like, in terms of a video broadcast over social media

to the Russian population in and around Belgorod, saying don't worry, we're coming, we won't hurt you, we're not like the Russian invaders of Ukraine,

we don't kill civilians, and such like.

He is now reportedly, according to our other sources, in the Russian legion, which is part of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. It is a formed-up unit

of overwhelmingly Russian citizens who volunteer to fight for Ukraine because they want to depose the Putin regime. So, we know them well, they

have set us -- sent us some exclusive video of their attack against the town of Kirov, which is about 8 kilometers, 5 miles inland.

And Isa, it shows the -- what they say is artillery or some kind of heavy weapons striking. And what they say is the FSB, the secret police

headquarters there and even the destruction of a tank. This is their claim, we can't verify it, but we do know who we're talking to. The Ukrainians are

saying these are independent Russian citizens fighting against their own government, which is true, up to a point.

But they are part of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, even if they're not technically acting under Ukrainian orders, at least officially, as far as

the Ukrainian government is concerned. But the Russian local government as you rightly said there, has been in Kirov, saying the town is extremely


And also pointing out, this is very important, that almost all civilians already have been bused out or fled that town. Significant response from

the Russian authorities, I think they've been very clearly rattled by this very sudden and peculiar land incursion by -- let's call it, a Ukrainian-

backed group, that has gone into Russia with a view, they say, of trying to hold on to a slither of territory, just as the Russians have been capturing

large amounts of territory, obviously since their invasion last year.

Now, the -- as of the sort of sunset here, there was reportedly fighting, was continuing. I would not yet be sure whether or not the Ukrainian-backed

forces are going to stay, as they are saying they will, or whether they have been driven out when the Russians managed to muster their response.

But this is the first time that there has been -- albeit with a nudge in a wig.

Ukrainian acknowledgment for a cross-border raid on the ground into Russian territory. Isa?

SOARES: So how big then, Sam, I was just reading your analysis from the -- you know -- from when you spoke to them.


They said -- you're quoting, Caesar(ph) guy in a video, same in quote, "Caesar(ph) said Russia will be free." How big is this group, those trying

to unseat Putin? And what has been the reaction from Peskov, from the Kremlin here?

KILEY: I haven't seen any reaction yet from the Kremlin. There have been some video of their flags flying over Moscow. They have a blue and white

flag, and they put up blue and white balloons over Moscow, almost simultaneously with this movement inside Russia itself. I think within

Russia, it's very unclear indeed whether or not this is a particularly widespread or large group within Russia.

Within Ukraine, and within the Ukrainian Armed Forces, they claim to be several hundred in number. Certainly, we've seen in the region of a 100 of

them here and there. They fought in a significant way, they fought south of Bakhmut, along the frontline there, against Russia in the Ukrainian Armed

Forces, they're very well equipped.

In the past, I've seen them with state-of-the-art small arms, very good sighting systems, very good armored vehicles, somebody spent quite a lot of

money on them. And they are a mixture of people who, like Caesar(ph), have a rather nostalgic view of czarist Russia, right through to -- died in the

world a communist who want to return to the Soviet Union, but detest Putin.

But above all, they say that their mission is in support of Ukraine now and then to go into Russia and try and topple the Putin autocracy as they call


SOARES: Sam Kiley with the latest on that story, thanks very much, Sam, I appreciate it. Well, another crisis may have been averted at Ukraine's

Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant. Ukraine's national energy company says external power has been restored at the Russian-occupied facility. Ukraine

previously said the plant had been cut off from the grid after a Russian- attacked damage a high voltage line.

The head of U.N.'s nuclear watchdog has called safety at the plant extremely vulnerable. Well, U.S. lawmakers are waiting to meet a critical

debt-ceiling deadline. Now just ten days away, U.S. President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has scheduled to me in just a few hours, in

fact, after a weekend of near deadlock between congressional Republicans and Democrats.

The government must raise the federal borrowing limit by June 1st or risk a disastrous government default. CNN politics senior reporter Stephen

Collinson joins me now from Washington with what more on what's at stake here. There's a lot at stake here. But Stephen, let's talk on the -- with

the negotiations, if we could, how close are they? How far are they, in your opinion, to a deal?

STEPHEN COLLINSON, CNN SENIOR POLITICS REPORTER: I think they're a long way away from a deal, philosophically and on the details. What is happening

is that the Republicans are trying to extract massive spending cuts and future spending from President Joe Biden. In return, for agreeing to vote

to raise the government's borrowing authority.

If that doesn't happen, there will be an Armageddon situation in the economy. Millions of people could lose their jobs, the U.S. economy, its

reputation as a safe haven for the world would be at risk, and economic contagion could ripple around the world. So this is a very serious

situation. But it doesn't look, to be honest, like there is much progress.

But this is such a fundamental disagreement between the radical Republican house and the president. If Biden were to agree to what the Republicans are

demanding, he would be effectively gutting much of his presidential legacy on the economy, on climate change, and everything else. So time is running

out, and although the deadline is supposedly June the 1st, we could start to see some real economic and market reaction to this in the days ahead, if

there's not significant progress.

SOARES: Yes, because it takes a while to get everything approved right? It's not like you can just sign off, agree in one day and the next day,

everything is tickety-boo.

COLLINSON: Right, and the big question is, because we have this very radical Republican house full of pro-Trump members, and a very small

Republican majority, McCarthy can only afford to lose four votes to pass a bill. The real question is, even if there is a deal between the president

and the house speaker, can McCarthy then get that through the house? He already passed --

SOARES: Yes --

COLLINSON: One bill raising the debt ceiling, which was a Republican wish- list, which would never get through the Democratic Senate, which Biden would never agree to. That bill only passed by one vote because he's very

prey to right-wing Republicans who are demanding massive concessions, and if he doesn't give them those concessions, he could end up losing his job

as speaker.

So, you know, there's the talks, and then there's what happens after that, and it's a very uncertain situation.

SOARES: And on that, on political strategy here, President Biden was saying, I think there's some MAGA Republicans in the house who know the

damage they will do to the economy.


So hinting it, perhaps, that playing in the long game, not wanting him to be re-elected here. How much do you buy into that from that point?

COLLINSON: I think there are some members of the Republican house who are so extreme that they would buy that.


COLLINSON: Remember, a couple of weeks ago, former President Trump downplayed the consequences, if the U.S. can't pay its debt, if it goes

over the debt cliff. So there are some Republicans who believe that. I don't think most Republicans think that, I think the economic consequences

of this could be absolute disastrous in terms of, you know, the financial security of millions of Americans.

But when you've got such a tiny house majority, all it takes is two or three lawmakers who want to push their extreme ends, and you're in a real

difficult situation. One Democratic senator this weekend described the situation as insane. And if you look at it from the outside, the U.S.,

which is bouncing back from the pandemic, its economy is doing quite well, record low unemployment is at risk of a massive self-inflicted wound, just

because of its dysfunctional political situation.

SOARES: Stephen Collinson, appreciate it, thanks, Stephen.


SOARES: Well, the pool of Republican contenders for next year's U.S. presidential election is now bigger. Senator Tim Scott, the only black

Republican in the Senate officially announced his bid just a short time ago from his home state of South Carolina. Have a listen.


SEN. TIM SCOTT (R-SC): Joe Biden and the radical left are attacking every single wrong of the ladder that helped me climb. And that's why, I'm

announcing today that I am running for president of the United States of America!


SOARES: Well, Scott would have to make it past former President Donald Trump, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and others in the Republican primary,

before taking on President Joe Biden. Obviously, DeSantis hasn't thrown his hat in the ring on that. Well, in Greece, voters went to the polls on

Sunday with the cost of living crisis topping their priorities.

But they failed to give any party really the majority needed to form a government. The ruling conservative party received more than 40 percent of

the vote, while the opposition center-left, Syriza Party scored just over 20 percent. Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis rejected the possibility of

forming a coalition government, which means a new election will likely take place in late June.

Elinda Labropoulou joins us now from Athens. So Linda, conservatives commanding lead, but clearly not enough, but still, they're not looking for

a coalition. I suspect they know they can get it the next time around?

ELINDA LABROPOULOU, JOURNALIST: Well, that's because of the electoral system, that's why they're not looking for a coalition because the first

time around, the electrical system is such that it would have been very difficult for any party to go over the 45 percent threshold that will be

required for them to form a majority government.

However, if there is a second vote, which now we know there will be, they only need 37 percent. So that looks much more achievable, given the numbers

that the prime minister and his party have already achieved. This is why the prime minister has said outright that he will not be looking for a

coalition. Also, he said, you know that this is in many ways a vote of confidence for his party.

He is the prime minister who has taken Greece out of the financial crisis, he's the first person to bring Greece back to growth after a ten-year

financial crisis. And it looks like voters in Greece really did keep that in mind. It was the economy that dominated the elections, not just the

economy in the short term, but really also, micro economic prospects.

Also, you know, this -- the prime minister said that he will be continuing with growth, bringing that to 3 percent. He will be cutting down

unemployment from 11 percent to 8 percent. And he is someone who has also weathered the pandemic. He is somebody who has taken Greece through the

energy crisis so far. So really, his credit record is basically what led to what we've seen in Greece yesterday.

SOARES: Elinda there for us in Athens, thanks very much, Linda, appreciate it. Well, climate activists in Rome have managed to get the world's

attention. That's for sure. On Sunday, they dumped charcoal into the water of the Trevi Fountain in protest against fossil fuels. Italian authorities

say the protesters were arrested and are now facing vandalism charges. Here's Michael Holmes with more.


MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A black cloud spreads through the waters of one of Rome's most iconic landmarks as

climate activists dumped charcoal into the Trevi Fountain.


All seven were arrested and charged with vandalism. City officials referring to the protesters as eco-vandals, calling their acts a protest of

worrying escalation, and Rome's mayor calling it an absurd attack on the city's artistic heritage. The activists condemned the use of fossil fuels,

pointing to the recent situation in northern Italy, where deadly floods have displaced tens of thousands, which researchers say it's a sign of the

accelerating climate crisis.

This latest protest comes after the same activist group dumped charcoal in the fountain of four rivers in Piazza Navona in May, and in the Barcaccia

Fountain near the Spanish steps in April. And while the Trevi Fountain is now being cleaned, the climate crisis and the mounting anger of activists

is far from over. Michael Holmes, CNN.


SOARES: And speaking of northern Italy, cleanup efforts are underway there, deadly floods have devastated the Emilia-Romagna region after six

months worth of rain fell over a two-week period. The areas known for being Italy's food valley. And local organizations say more than 5,000 farms are

still submerged right now.

Experts say even they were taken by surprise by this kind of extreme weather. And still to come tonight, why is Real Madrid's football star

taking a stand, this one there, and calling out the Spanish La Liga? We have that story ahead just for you. Plus, the suspect in the murder of four

Idaho college students appears in court, new details about Bryan Kohberger's arraignment next. You are watching CNN.


SOARES: Welcome back everyone. The crash at a football stadium in El Salvador which actually killed several number of people. At least, a dozen

people, in fact, is being linked to overselling the event and the issuing of fake tickets. That is according to the country's Interior Ministry. El

Salvador's president has ordered a thorough investigation to determine exactly what happened.

The tragedy occurred in the capital when two of the most popular teams faced off against each other. Around 90 people including minors were

treated for injuries. Well, a 22-year-old football star speaking out and demanding action after he was once again subjected to racist abuse in a

Spanish match.


Vinicius Jr.; Real Madrid's Brazilian forward was continually taunted with racist chanting during Sunday's match against Valencia. In a tweet, the

player says "it was not the first, not the first time, not the second, nor the third. Racism is normal in La Liga." And La Liga is the men's top

division in the Spanish Football League. After the incident, officials issued a statement announcing investigation, but many are criticizing the

league for inaction.

I want to bring in senior sports analyst Darren Lewis for more on this. And Darren, good to see you. Just explain to our viewers first of all what

happened during this game and how it was handled here or not handled?

DARREN LEWIS, CNN SENIOR SPORTS ANALYST: Yes, thank you, Isa, I'm glad you mentioned the age of Vinicius Jr. because he is the latest in a long line

of young black men who have been subjected to the racist abuse that he suffered last night in Spanish football and across Europe. Last night in

the game, his team, they have been -- his team, Real Madrid had been playing against Valencia in Valencia stadium.

A section of the fans behind the goal had been racially abusive. He called the referee over to point out the individuals responsible. He was pulled

away by a couple of the opposition players. But he tried to say, look, I don't want to carry on until this is dealt with. In fact, what was -- what

happened was, it wasn't adequately dealt with, and only noted down by one of the officials for later reference.

As far as he was concerned, he was involved in a later, a flashpoint, I would contend, because the situation wasn't adequately dealt with. It saw

him sent off, and it then saw him afterwards criticized by a number of individuals within Spanish football, including journalists, who accused him

of provoking the racism to which he was subjected. It was an awful state of affairs and a real indictment on the state of Spanish football at the


SOARES: And you know, when I saw this story this morning, you know, it reminded me of something that a friend of mine, he played in Valencia,

about 7-8 years ago, and he said he got thrown banana peels at him. And as we know, we mentioned there, you mentioned there from Vincius Jr., I mean,

he's seen a gamut really of racial abuse.

So what are the protocols then, Darren, there in place to prevent this? Report these fans, stop this from -- once and for all? Because we're --

it's just repeating, isn't it? Repeat is something that we just go around in a vicious circle here.

LEWIS: Yes, indeed, I mean, what's often said within football is that it's a societal problem, so you can't --

SOARES: Yes --

LEWIS: Deal with it. And I agree that aggregates responsibility from football. We are -- we both Isa, work at CNN, there are robust protocols to

deal with racist abuse within society, lots of different industries. And I think football doesn't follow that particular duty of care, which is why

the problem is widespread across Europe.

The Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku in Italy was sent off for responding to racists in the stand. English football has for some time had problems. We

spoke last year about the racist abuse England footballers had when they missed penalties during the climax to the European Championship final. So,

we know that it is a problem that exists across Europe.

The UEFA, the FIFA protocol must -- to answer your question, is that, if there is racist abuse, there's an announcement of the (INAUDIBLE) telling

fans to stop. If they don't, then the referee takes players off the pitch, they stay in the dressing room, they come back out when it dies down --

SOARES: Come off the pitch, Darren?

LEWIS: If it continues, by time --

SOARES: If the players are the ones facing abuse, why are they taken off the pitch? Surely, with the cameras, they can find out who is actually

spewing this racist comment, and actually take the fans out of the pitch?

LEWIS: It's a really good question. And I'm -- you know what? Isa, I'm glad you're frustrated at that, I'm glad you're angry at that. So I think a

lot of people watching us will be incredulous that what happens is that supporters get 3 opportunities to be racially abusive towards men turning

up for work. And I'm glad that, you know, you point out the flaw in that.

This list on the screen details 10 occasions across 2 seasons where this young man has been subjected to racist abuse. What that suggests is that

the protocols within world football, domestic football, in European major nations is not fit for purpose.

SOARES: Yes --

LEWIS: And what I think will happen next is that young black men will leave the field of play, because in 2023, we should not be having this


SOARES: And like you said quite rightly, in no other industry will this be acceptable at all. And I think the Barcelona coach, Xavi, he actually, you

know, putting rivalry aside, he said, it's the only sport where insults are accepted.


He said, and I'm quoting him here, "I'm on the bench and they call me a son of a such and such, I don't see any baker liberal(ph) journalist being

insulted, it's time to stop this." So, you know, at the moment, what we're seeing, Darren, messages of support and of solidarity and hashtags. But

what else can be done? Actually, let me just play a little clip from Lula da Silva; President da Silva supporting Vinicius Jr., have a listen to



LUIZ INACIO LULA DA SILVA, PRESIDENT, BRAZIL (through translator): It is not fair that a boy who succeeded in life and it's potentially becoming one

of the best players in the world, certainly the best at Real Madrid is attacked in every stadium he plays in. I think it is important that FIFA,

the Spanish League, and the leagues in other countries take real action because we can't allow fascism and racism to dominate football stadiums.


SOARES: It's quite embarrassing for FIFA and for La Liga. I mean, are there any legal -- any levers here you think, Darren, that can be pulled?

Sponsors, players walking out. What is your sense here of what can be done?

LEWIS: Well, I think what's been interesting today is the caliber and the profile of the players that have come to Vincius Junior's support.

Superstar France striker, Kylian Mbappe, the legendary Brazilian striker, Ronaldo, the AC Milan striker Rafael Leao, there are lots of big players

standing up to be counted on that issue across the number of countries.

And what that says to me is that we are moving inextricably towards a point at which black footballers will recognize their commercial power and put

pressure on the game to deal with this. And as we know Isa, commercial entities will side with the players, because this kind of thing is not part

of their values, and it is only when football is affected by the money, when it starts to address their duty of care and fulfill it.

SOARES: Darren really appreciate you taking the time to speak to us on this. And I know this is a conversation that you have had, many

documentaries have been made -- I remember making with Don Riddell about -- I won't tell you how many years ago, a series on CNN on racism in sports,

and we focused on Spain and one of the countries. But it's shocking that you know, after all these years, here we are, yet again. Darren Lewis,

thank you very much, appreciate it.

LEWIS: Thanks, Isa.

SOARES: Now, Meta, the company that owns Facebook has now been fined $1.3 billion by regulators in the EU. It is a record, and it's for sending

European user data to service in the U.S. Meta, which also owns WhatsApp and Instagram says it will appeal the ruling including --


The fine. CNN's Melissa Bell is standing by in Paris for more. And Melissa, this is a significant fine. I mean, do we know how this then -- who they

sent -- data was sent to? How it's being used?

MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I think that's exactly the problem. For many years now, European regulators have been looking at exactly this

issue. What Meta say is that, look, the problem that they have to make their company function -- and they're not alone, you're talking about any

of these companies that try and function globally, and the need to interact with American legislation and the way it allows for American spy agencies

there -- so for instance, to get access to data that's held on American servers, and the increasingly strict European privacy laws.

Of course, the GDPR is principal amongst them, it will be five years old in just a couple of days. And perhaps, it's no surprise, not a coincidence,

Isa, that this particular fine, as hefty as it is, should have come at precisely this moment. The European regulators have imposed these kinds of

fines before. Amazon, several of Meta's platforms have faced them.

It is $1.3 billion, it's huge. Now, Meta has said, it will appeal, and it had been warning for some months that should a ruling come down not in its

favor, it could be the very future of Facebook and Instagram, within Europe that are threatened.

Now, a couple of things can still happen, of course, they're appealing the decision directly, but also more broadly, the reason they say they have had

to try and get around European legislation is that for the time being, Isa, there is no functioning framework between the United States and the EU to

try and square this particular circle between that American legislation and the requirements of European law.

There had been previous frameworks, but time after time have been struck down by European courts, that happened again in 2020. Ever since,

Washington and Brussels have been trying to hammer out some fresh framework that would allow this to work. It could be that a new deal, a new framework

is found as early as July.

It might take as long as this Autumn. And that, of course, the timing of it will have a significant impact on the implications of this ruling for Meta.

But it is a fascinating story, Isa, because of course it brings to the fore, with this very hefty sum, something that's been bubbling around,

bubbling under the surface for absolutely years, whereby the Europeans are determined that the privacy of their citizens should be respected, that

their data should not be transferred to these servers where the European court keeps finding that they are simply not safe from surveillance on the

part of American agencies.


And that circle simply hasn't been squared for the time-being, for now, it is just Meta that has been expected to pay this fine, Isa.

ISA SOARES, CNN ANCHOR: So appealing the decision, but has Meta been forthcoming, be open about how they are using that data? Besides the fact

they, you know, they're against the E.U. rules here? Just for users' sake here. I'm sure many users are going --

BELL: I think --

SOARES: -- how is my data being used?

BELL: Absolutely. And I think it is the very fact of it's being used that is problematic without the consent of Europeans. That's where the problem

with the European legislation comes in. This all began, of course, Isa, with a European privacy activist, an Austrian who brought a case against

Meta because he worried that his data was finding itself in American service when it wasn't mentioned. Of course, European regulators have now

taken an interest.

But fundamentally, it is more about the fact of European data finding itself on American servers rather than the nature of exactly what has

happened to this or that particular piece of data. What the American -- the big companies say, the big companies like Meta say is that they simply have

no choice but to go through those Americans service in order to do their business.

SOARES: Right.

BELL: And this is a question for the global economy, not just for them, Isa.

SOARES: Very important context. It also shows the E.U. is prepared, of course, to stand up to big tech companies, which is very something that

we've seen in the last few years. Melissa Bell, thanks very much, Melissa. Great to see you.

And still to come tonight.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Three, two, one, engine's full powered. And lift off, Falcon 9. Go, Axiom.


SOARES: Axiom space launch its latest mission to the International Space Station with a history-making crew member. We'll bring you that story next.



SOARES: Welcome back, everyone. For the first time in several years, police in Portugal are set to carry out a search in the case of missing British

toddler Madeleine McCann officers. Officers will search a large reservoir in the Algarve, 30 miles from Praia da Luz, the holiday resort where the 3-

year-old went missing during a family holiday in 2007.

The investigation comes at the request of German police who, last year, identified convicted pedophile, Christian Brueckner, as an official suspect

in the disappearance. Police have begun closing off roads ahead of the search, which is set to begin on Tuesday.

Well, just an hour ago, Bryan Kohberger, the suspect in the murder of four University of Idaho students, appeared in court for the first time. When

asked for his pleas, he remained silent and the judge entered not guilty pleas on his behalf. He was indicted last week on four counts of murder and

one count of burglary. If found guilty, the 28-year-old could face the death penalty.

CNN Correspondent Veronica Miracle joins us now from San Francisco with the latest on the story. Veronica, just walk us through what happened today.

VERONICA MIRACLE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Isa, to start off the hearing, the judge read Bryan Kohberger all of his rights, and then went through all

of the charges that he faces, which is four counts of murder and one count of burglary. Kohberger declared that he understood all of the charges that

he is facing. And as you said, when it came time for him to enter a plea, he remained silent. And then his attorney stood up and said, Your Honor, we

are standing silent. And because of that, the judge had to enter not guilty pleas for him.

This is highly unusual. I just got off the phone with the University of Idaho law professor who tells me that this move could be for several

reasons. The first is that this case is under high scrutiny. A lot of people are watching this. And so entering a plea either way could offer

some kind of characterization. If he entered a guilty plea, obviously, he would be admitting guilt. If he entered a not guilty plea, it's possible

that people could have been outraged that he's not taking responsibility for these alleged actions.

And so by not entering any kind of plea, remaining silent, he didn't make a characterization either way. Another reason that's possible is maybe behind

closed doors, both parties, the prosecution and the defense, are coming up with some kind of deal and this is possible that it could have been

discussed that this would happen. And lastly, it's also possible that he just doesn't want to cooperate, that he is being difficult. So I'm told by

this law professor that whatever the reason is, which obviously we don't know, this is highly unusual.

SOARES: And so what --

MIRACLE: Not guilty pleas have been entered on Kohberger's behalf -- I apologize, Isa.

SOARES: Sorry. No, go ahead. No, no, I apologize for interrupting you. I was going to ask, you're probably going to tell me this, when is the next -

- what's the next stage in the trial then? And when is that expected to start, Veronica?

MIRACLE: Yes, absolutely. Well, now that the judge has entered not guilty pleas on his behalf, the prosecution has 60 days to decide whether they

will pursue the death penalty. And when Kohberger was told that his maximum, what he is facing up to life in prison or the death penalty, he

remained emotionless. Now, his trial has been set for October 2nd. It is expected to last for six weeks, Isa.

SOARES: Veronica Miracle. Thanks very much, Veronica. And apologies for interrupting you there. Appreciate it. Thank you.

Now Imran Khan says there is no rule of law in Pakistan, accusing the country's Army Chief of attempting to dismantle democracy. The former

Pakistani Prime Minister was arrested on corruption charges earlier this month, triggering violent protests nationwide. He was released on bail. But

he tells CNN he believes he will soon be arrested again to keep him from campaigning for political change. Khan accuses Pakistan's Army Chief of

orchestrating the parliamentary no confidence vote that ousted his government last year. Have a listen to this.


IMRAN KHAN, FORMER PAKISTANI PRIME MINISTER: All I know is that the last six months that he just worked to remove my government and he's openly,

afterwards in an interview, claimed that he decided that I was too dangerous for the country and so my government was ousted. Since then, all

I have said is that the solution to Pakistan's problems are in free and fair elections, because that's the only thing that would bring political

stability in this country.


SOARES: Stay across this story for you.

Well, SpaceX has made history yet again. The Ax-2 mission crew successfully docked with International Space Station. Just a little while ago, the

spacecraft lifted off with a former astronaut and three paying customers. Among them is the first Saudi woman to travel this space. She shares this



RAYYANAH BARNAWI, MISSION SPECIALIST: to the people around the world, well, the future is very bright, and I would like you to dream big, believe in

yourselves, and believe in humanity.



SOARES: That's a lovely message. Rayyanah Barnawi is a stem cell researcher. She will spend the next eight days conducting breast cancer

research before returning to Earth with the other crew members. What an experience.

And still to come right here tonight, a message from behind bars in Russia. CNN speaks with an American wrongfully detained for years about what he

calls an extreme worry for him and his family. That story just ahead.


SOARES: "Make my life a priority and get me a home." That is the message to U.S. President Joe Biden from an American detained in Russia for years.

Paul Whelan spoke exclusively to CNN from prison, saying he's confident in efforts to secure his relief. But as -- release padding that as Kylie

Atwood reports, he's also says he still has extreme worry that he may be left behind.


KYLIE ATWOOD, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Paul Whelan, an American who has been wrongfully detained in Russia for more than four years,

speaking to CNN from a Russian prison.


PAUL WHELAN, RUSSIAN DETAINEE: I remain positive and confident on a daily basis that, you know, the wheels are turning. I just wish they would turn a

little bit more quickly.


ATWOOD: The last time he spoke with CNN's Jennifer Hansler by phone was in December, shortly after the release of WNBA star Brittney Griner, the

result of a second prisoner swap between the U.S. and Russia that didn't include Whelan. Today, he fears the possibility of being left behind again,

but his tone is more optimistic.


P. WHELAN: I'm more confident now. You know, I feel that my life shouldn't be considered less valuable or important than others who have been

previously traded. I have been told that although Evan's case is a priority, mine is also a priority.


ATWOOD: Evan Gershkovic is a Wall Street Journal reporter who was detained by Russian authorities almost two months ago. Just like Whelan, he has been

charged with espionage.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITES STATES: Evan wanted to report on Russia, to shed light on the darkness.


ATWOOD: U.S. officials are scouring the globe for options that could draw Russia to the negotiating table and secure the release of both men. Paul's

sister, Elizabeth Whelan, took a bold step when she appeared at the United Nations Security Council meeting attended by Russian Foreign Minister

Lavrov last month, calling on the country to release her brother.


ELIZABETH WHELAN, PAUL WHELAN'S SISTER: Paul was a corporate security director. He had a job he loved, a home, a life of hope and opportunity.


All that has been taken away from him by Russia, a country that revels in its culture of lies, its tradition of hostage diplomacy.


ATWOOD: He watched her remarks from behind bars alongside Russian prisoners who were stunned.


P. WHELAN: It was funny because we stood here in the prison watching the TV, watching my sister speak at the U.N. and everyone was mesmerized that

this sort of thing could happen.


ATWOOD: And his message to President Biden is simple.


P. WHELAN: Freedom is not free, it comes at a price. But the loss of freedom is even more costly, and I pay that cost every day Russia holds me.

Please follow through with your promises and commitments, truly make my life a priority and get me home.


SOARES: And that was Kylie Atwood reporting there.

Well, they are so small, you can hold them in your hand, but they are one of the most devastating weapons in Ukraine's arsenal. Can-sized bombs that

Ukrainian soldiers build by hand under instruction from British explosive experts. And as CNN Nic Robertson shows us, these little bombs are having a

bigger impact against the Russians.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: These batteries, the cold affects them. So, after three or four days in the cold, if you are leaving it outside, if there's no

heating, these will last probably three weeks.


ROBERTSON: Ukrainian troops get a lesson on covert bomb-making.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And that goes through your battery.


ROBERTSON: British explosives and counterinsurgency specialists pass on decades of know-how to soldiers already well-versed in normal frontline



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Killing somebody, blowing up property, we are showing just how it's done.


ROBERTSON: But these are no ordinary bombs. They are secret weapons in Ukraine's clandestine arsenal to kill Russians on Ukrainian land.


SKIF, OFFICER, UKRAINIAN ARMED FORCES (through translator): If we have a high priority target, we of course use this equipment against it.


ROBERTSON: And it's not just individual targets, similar technology already in very experienced Ukrainian hands was used to bring down a building on

dozens of Russian troops recently in Bakhmut.


SKIF (through translator): This equipment is used to destroy the enemy. We use it to produce explosive devices we can use on the ground on the

battlefield or in the air as ammunition for drones.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This switch, this switch can be really very little.


ROBERTSON: But it's not just the subversive skills and techniques that British experts bring that are needed in undercover operations, it's the

bomb components, too. Sophisticated switches, specialized microchips, night vision goggles, covert monitoring devices, even 3D printers. Some

relatively easy to buy outside Ukraine are in high demand, because troops here are in a race against time against the Russians. And getting them

through NATO partners simply takes too long.


SKIF (through translator): It's hard to measure this help with words or numbers, because it's a great moral support for us, straight to our hearts.

And we are very, very grateful for this help.


ROBERTSON: It's a measure even on the eve of an expected big counter offensive of just how much help Ukraine's military still needs. That more

than a year into the war, even the smallest of components, the most modest of hands on help, is so gratefully received. Nic Robertson, CNN, Eastern


SOARES: And still to come tonight, a family feud at 40,000 feet and now the New York Times is involved. Why a spouse asking if it's fair for our

husband to ditch them for the first-class cabin is raising so much controversy. Richard Quest joins me next.



SOARES: Welcome back, everyone.

The New York Times is facing some turbulence after weighing in on a married couple's airline dispute. A spouse wrote to the paper's Ethicist with this

dilemma. They say their husband justifies flying alone in first class because of the cost, as you can see there on your screen, and the fact that

their 12 and 16-year-old children might feel alone if their parents were to travel together in first class and leave them in the rear cabin. They feel

that this is unfair.

Let's get the discussion. Let's get the thoughts here of Richard Quest, frequent flyer and CNN's Business Editor-at-Large. And Richard, in this

letter she says we're happy to travel and love going places together. But it feels -- but it's still very strange. When I read the actual complaint,

the letter, all I kept thinking about ask for a divorce. Is there any reason? How often does this happen?

RICHARD QUEST, CNN BUSINESS EDITOR-AT-LARGE: It doesn't happen very often. It's astonishing. It's dreadful. And I would strongly suggest a divorce

lawyer. Look, I think people -- and look, bearing in mind, I'm no lover, you know, of children in business class.

SOARES: I know. I know.

QUEST: I am the president of Big Bang babies in business. However, most couples are familiar with the solution. For example, if the company is

paying for one person to go business, yet you have to pay economy or split the ticket for the other spouse to travel. There are various ways, people

understand that. But if you're traveling en famille, if you will, then there's absolutely zero, nilt, none reason why you would put yourself in

one class and your spouse in another.

There can be some very unfortunate moments, Isa, where, you know, as a frequent flyer like myself, I might get upgraded before, say, my husband

did, but then you really have to sort of, no, darling, you take the upgrade. I'll just sit in the back.

SOARES: Oh, no, you do it. You do it.


SOARES: I was looking for excuses for this guy. I was thinking does he have to work, Richard? Maybe he's working so he needs time to work. Does he have

health problem that he needs to lie down? Desperately looking for answers here.

QUEST: Nope. I had this only a couple of weeks ago going to Seoul on assignment. And my husband came with, Chris came with, and we was on a

reward ticket and he didn't get the upgrade until the very last second before we boarded the long-haul flight from San Francisco to Incheon. And

I'm sitting there thinking, how am I going to deal with this? How? I mean, what's it -- oh, God. But he's going no, dear, don't worry, dear. You've

got to work. You've got to. I'm thinking he's saying it, he doesn't really mean it. What you --

SOARES: No, exactly. We know they don't -- we know exactly how it feels. But also he could have shared it. He could have said --

QUEST: No, you can't do that.

SOARES: -- I could have done -- you can't do that?

QUEST: No. No. Well, the airline doesn't like it because it sort of creates --

SOARES: But it happens, doesn't it?

QUEST: It does. You can usually swap seats once. If you're a gold or you're, you know, whatever, you can swap it once. What you can't do -- and

you could always send a bit of ice cream back. Hey, dear, would you like a peanut?

SOARES: That's worse, Richard. That's even worse.

QUEST: Well, I think, you know --


The reality is, if you're going on holiday, and you're with your family, you all go in one class, or you all don't go.

SOARES: Agree. Agree. Save the miles, go together in economy.

QUEST: In fact, put the children sort of down the back of the plane as far away as possible, preferably in the overhead compartment.

SOARES: You know what, I wouldn't mind that at all. I'm with you in there. Children off to the back and I do have two kids, so I know what they're

like and how they behave. Richard, thank you very much. It was great to get your thoughts on this. And Richard will be back in about five minutes or


Well, Taylor Swiftie has once again proven she has a truly loyal fan base when one standout Swiftie found an alternative way to watch her concert

after missing out on tickets. Determined to see the singer in action, accountant Davis Perrigo applied for a job as a security guard at Swift's

Nashville shows where several fans posted videos of him unable to resist singing along to hits like Love Story and I Knew You Were Trouble. Of

course, we all know that one.

Now a viral sensation, Perrigo's soaking up the glory of his successful scheme as you can see here. He said, "It really was a blessing that I

didn't get the tickets."

And that does it for us for tonight. Thanks very much for your company. Do stay right here. QUEST MEANS BUSINESS, as I promised, will be back after

this short break about five seconds or so. I shall see you tomorrow. Have a wonderful day. Bye-bye.