Return to Transcripts main page
Isa Soares Tonight
Eleven Dead In Russian Strike On Kramatorsk Ukraine; Settlers Arrested Over Anti-Palestinian Attacks; OceanGate Titan Sub Wreckage Recovered; Trump On Tape: "I Did Nothing Wrong"; Pieces Of Titan Sub Retrieved; Millions Of Americans Under Air Quality Alerts; Kevin Spacey On Trial. Aired 2-3p ET
Aired June 28, 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, the death toll rises in Kramatorsk, and
includes children who were killed while eating in a pizza parlor. We are live in eastern Ukraine. Then, as the government arrests four Israeli
settlers for violence in the West Bank, we will tell you what message the U.S. Security of State has for Israel.
And then later, the submersible wreckage surfaces. What these pieces can tell investigators trying, of course, to learn lessons from the deadly
implosion. But we begin with new information on the deadliest attack against civilians in Ukraine in months. Officials now say, at least 11
people were killed, including several children, when a Russian missile slammed into a restaurant in the heart of Kramatorsk.
Dozens of other people were wounded. Some are still feared buried underneath the rubble. Ukraine says, it has detained a man who scouted the
restaurant before the attack, and sent a video of it to Russia's military. Russia says, the site hit was actually a temporary command post of the
Ukrainian army. Well, our Ben Wedeman visits the site of the attack, he joins us now from eastern Ukraine.
And Ben, you were on the scene late last night. You painted a picture of a very busy residential area and this popular restaurant. Was there military
value in hitting the target?
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: We were at the restaurant a day before yesterday, Isa, and all we saw was people eating
lunch. Not just -- there were soldiers, but there were also plenty of civilians as well. That area I know quite well, having spent a lot of time
in Kramatorsk. It's a civilian area, there is no question about it.
There is no military base or any military facility in there. What we saw today was that the search and rescue crews have been working overnight,
trying to remove rubble and see if anybody is left alive inside. We were there when they came out with a stretcher on top of which was a black body
bag. And as they were taking it out to put it in the van, relatives, loved ones, friends who were there, sobbing as they watched that happen.
And there are more waiting on the scene to find out about the fate of their relatives, who were either eating in the restaurant or working in the
restaurant. We understand from people who work there that, there are still several people who are unaccounted for. Now, what exactly hit that
restaurant is now becoming clear.
Last night, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in his nightly address said it was an S-300, that's an anti-surface-to-air missile. But today, they've
come out to say it's an Iskander missile, which is a hypersonic ballistic missile. It travels at speeds that make it very difficult to be detected by
radar or downed by air defenses.
It is a very precise missile with a very large payload. Which would explain why there was such massive destruction in that entire area. Now, the
question is, were the Russians targeting the restaurant? We don't know. Certainly, in turn, if they are trying to damage the morale of the soldiers
and the civilians here, that is probably the effect that it has had.
But it certainly -- it just underscores just how dangerous this city, which is really just a half hour drive from the frontlines, can be. Isa?
SOARES: Yes, 30 minutes from the frontline. I mean, how have the events then been in Moscow in the last few days affected the Russian defense? Has
Ukraine been able to make any gains on those frontlines?
WEDEMAN: Well, the Ukrainians going back more than two weeks have been making incremental gains in various places in the Bakhmut area, and also in
the Zaporizhzhia Oblast.
But by and large, it has been slow-going and, in fact, we were up at the front, talking to soldiers. They said that as far as they are concerned,
regardless of the chaos in Russia, they saw no difference.
WEDEMAN (voice-over): In the woods outside the Russian-occupied town of Bakhmut, a Ukrainian crew having a Soviet aero-self propelled gun prepares
to open fire. Cleaning the barrel, getting the grounds ready, and then the order to fire comes over the radio.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (SPEAKING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (SPEAKING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
WEDEMAN (on camera): This counteroffensive is just over --
Old, so far, the Ukrainians are only inching forward, taking a small village here and a slice of territory there.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (SPEAKING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
WEDEMAN (voice-over): Here, it's still a grinding war of attrition for the troops of the 57th motorist infantry brigade. Small advances, followed by
Russian counterattacks. But most of the time, they hunkered down undercover and wait.
"When we have targets, we fire fast and precise", says the gun commander, whose call sign is "Diesel". "We hit infantry tanks, vehicles, but most of
all, infantry." They're targeting is helped by the brigade's drone operators. This drone video shows a successful strike on Russian troops on
the edge of Bakhmut. But these eyes in the sky can fall victim to friendly fire.
That gunfire from nervous troops trying to shoot down their own drone. Here, they heard about the brief mutiny led by Wagner boss, Yevgeny
Prigozhin and shrugged it off.
"I said from the start, it's a lie", says drone operator, Zaporijets(ph), "it was the theater". Their more immediate concern, getting enough
ammunition. Crates of freshly-manufactured 152 millimeter rounds from Pakistan are strewn about near the gun. Battery commander, call sign,
Shakanos(ph) Seton(ph) says, he will believe there is a counteroffensive when he sees it.
"Until we take a major town or get a tactical advantage", he tells me, "there is no counteroffensive. Here, believing is seeing. The only
certainty, the war goes on."
WEDEMAN: And what we've seen in that area around Bakhmut and other frontline areas is that, certainly, it would appear, Isa, that the
Ukrainian army is preparing for a major push. The question is, when? And the question is, where? Isa.
SOARES: Terrific reporting there from Ben Wedeman. Thanks very much, Ben. Now, a report in the "New York Times" says a senior Russian general may
have been aware of Yevgeny Prigozhin's plans for rebellion. The paper says, U.S. Intelligence is trying to determine whether General Sergey
Surovikin helped the Wagner Group leader with his plans.
He was the top Russian commander in Ukraine before getting replaced in January. And the Kremlin has denied the report. CNN meanwhile, is reporting
what the Russian establishment may have known about the mutiny before it played out on Saturday, that is according to European intelligence. Let's
take a closer look.
Our Nick Paton Walsh is working the source, as he joins me now from Kyiv. So, Nick, what are you hearing then from European Intelligence officials?
How much do they know and when did they know it, critically?
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL SECURITY EDITOR: Clear from speaking to one European Intelligence official that there's still -- well, there are in
fact, a lot of fog around what occurred, and so they're waiting with all that to settle and consider lots of what we've been hearing today to be
speculation at this point.
But they do believe there have been hints that might suggest part of the Russians security or military establishment had prior knowledge of this
armed rebellion before it happened. Perhaps, some let it roll out to see if it would succeed, and certainly, they add that Putin's prestige has taken a
significant dent because of that, and that may be what certain factions around Moscow would want to see.
But the "New York Times" was more specific in suggesting they believe the man who originally -- well, a couple of months ago led the war in Ukraine,
General Sergey Surovikin was somehow in on the plan beforehand. He's not -- I don't think, been seen in public since a deal was made between Prigozhin
But he was seen on Friday, quite publicly, telling everyone to go back to barracks, to calm down, in support of Putin, and does indeed command the
Air Force, which was significantly used to hold the Wagner columns back on the highway to Moscow.
So, lots of questions still about quite how feasible the "New York Times" story is, but early days, "Wall Street Journal" separately, has been
reporting as we have, that Russia's security services had prior knowledge of this. So, that is somewhat backed up by suggestions from the head of the
National Guard, Viktor Zolotov, that leaks came out of the Prigozhin Camp ahead of the rebellion, and that's just something what happened between the
22nd and the 25th.
The "Wall Street Journal" goes on a little bit further to suggest that actually, one of the goals of the rebellion was to capture Sergei Shoigu,
the Defense Minister and Gerasimov; the Russian Chief of Staff. They were in Rostov at the time in which Prigozhin marched towards it and Prigozhin
claimed that Shoigu fled on Friday night, calling him a coward.
So, some feasibility to that. Remember too, Prigozhin essentially launched himself towards the Moscow establishment, so capturing cabinet members
along the way isn't necessarily something to be too unexpected, or that significant. But we're going to see, Isa, a lot of this emerging --
SOARES: Yes --
WALSH: In the days ahead. Western Intelligence trying to work out what's happened, but also possibly having a field day, leaking things that will
cause greater anxiety and mistrust amongst the already-raffled Russian top brass, Isa.
SOARES: I'm keen to get your analysis on this, Nick. I mean, how much then do these reports that we've been getting and this -- the context that
you've reached out to, in terms of European Intelligence. How much of these reports undermine, you think, Putin's inner circle's authority? We have
seen him today in the Dagestan region. Do we expect -- do you expect him to start cleaning his ranks here?
WALSH: Yes, I mean, the suggestion from the official I spoke to was that, not necessarily getting signs of a purge yet, but definitely expecting
further turmoil. Look, I mean, after something like this, you are going to have recriminations, there may be based on genuine suspicions of people's
loyalty, recriminations that are based on score-settling from grudges that have been held for years, and then, of course, people desperately trying, I
think, to correct the course of a war perhaps or put it better in their favor.
Remember, at times, Russia is just a kleptocracy, and so, there will be people too trying to use the situation to get more money out of the state
coffers. All of this, essentially, will likely undermine Putin's position. He's been shown to be exceptionally weak by the betrayal of a confidant
like Prigozhin, possibly expected at some point, as that may have been after Prigozhin's months of open criticism.
But it's an exceptionally fragile time for the Kremlin, and it might feed a little bit too into Ukraine's strategy. Maybe you let this play out, you
let the recriminations, the scrutiny, their sort of unexplained absences of key military figures for a number of days. You let all that play out,
because you know, fundamentally, that will trickle down to a worse and weakened war strategy for Russia. We're still assessing all of this, I
think, globally. But it is --
SOARES: Yes --
WALSH: Absolutely clear that Putin has never faced a time like this before in his 23 years in power, Isa.
SOARES: Indeed, our Nick Paton Walsh for us this evening in Kyiv, Ukraine, good to see you, Nick. Thanks very much. Well, Paris and its surrounding
suburbs are bracing for what could be a second night of protests. Angry riots erupted after a video emerged of a traffic stop Tuesday morning,
where a 17-year-old boy was shot dead by police. Melissa Bell has our report, and we must warn you, though, it begins with that part of the video
showing that violent confrontation.
MELISSA BELL, CNN PARIS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Police weapons drawn and aimed at the driver of this yellow car. I'll put a bullet in your head,
someone shouts. A gunshot, as an officer opens fire, and the vehicle drives off crashing nearby at this intersection in the town of Nanterre near
Paris. A 17-year-old boy shot and killed named Nael M. by family lawyers, lay him at the wreckage.
Another passenger, a teen was taken into custody, police say, the third remains missing. Overnight, protests erupted and cars burned with around
350 police officers mobilized to quell the unrest. Wednesday morning brought heartache, appeals for calm, and investigations for what a family
lawyer called, "a cold-blooded shooting".
French football star, Kylian Mbappe tweeted that his heart was aching for France, and called the incident an unacceptable situation. The French
president saying Wednesday that nothing justifies the death of a young man.
EMMANUEL MACRON, PRESIDENT, FRANCE (through translator): We need calm for justice to carry out its work, and we need calm everywhere, because the
situation, we can't allow the situation to worsen.
BELL: Meanwhile, one police officer was taken into custody for culpable homicide.
LAURENT NUNEZ, POLICE CHIEF, PARIS (through translator): At that time, the driver, who had first turned off the engine, restarted the vehicle, then
left. It was in this context that the policeman used his firearm.
BELL: The search for answers now underway.
(on camera): On Tuesday night in Nanterre was some 350 police officers that were brought in to try and restore order to the streets of that
northwestern suburb of Paris. This Wednesday night, it is some 2,000 police men and women who will be deployed in case the anger has grown all the
louder over the course of the day.
The mother of young Nael is now calling for a march on Thursday in the name of justice for her son. Melissa Bell, CNN, Paris.
SOARES: And still to come right here tonight, Sweden approves the Quran- burning protest outside a Mosque in Stockholm. Why that decision may jeopardize its bid to join NATO. We have that next. And the U.S. Secretary
of State is warning Israel over a surge in violence against Palestinians in the West Bank. We are live at the State Department just ahead.
SOARES: Now, governments around the world have called for accountability after hundreds of Israeli settlers attacked Palestinian towns in the West
Bank last week. Many of those attacks occurred in broad daylight. Well, today, we learned that four settlers have been arrested and placed in
administrative detention. A senior Israeli defense official tells CNN, they damaged Palestinian property, and endangered innocent lives.
The official says some of the suspects have also been involved in past violence against Israeli security forces. Meantime, U.S. Secretary of
State, Antony Blinken is warning Israel that it could be damaging its own interests if the surge of violence in the West Bank continues. Our Kylie
Atwood is live at the State Department with more.
So, Kylie, just bring us up-to-date. What does Secretary Blinken had to say about the settler attacks and the increased tensions that we have seen.
KYLIE ATWOOD, CNN U.S. SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Yes, well, these were his clearest remarks today on what has been, you know, this incredible violence
that we have seen recently. And what was interesting was that he obviously, you know, spoke to how horrific the violence has been, but then he also was
very clear in saying that this violence could have implications, in terms of one of Israel's major desires here, which is normalization with Saudi
We know that U.S. officials have been working behind the scenes on that potential normalization effort, and listen just how the secretary said this
violence right now could impact -- could have implications for that down the road.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANTONY BLINKEN, SECRETARY OF STATE, UNITED STATES: We've told -- we've told our friends and allies in Israel that if there's a fire burning in their
backyard, it's going to be a lot tougher, if not impossible, to actually both deepen the existing agreements, as well as to expand them, to include
potentially Saudi Arabia.
And then, of course, there is the question of the future for the -- for the Palestinian people. Something that we care deeply about, and we continue to
believe strongly that two states is the way forward. As distant as that seems, it's usually important to at least keep a horizon of hope.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ATWOOD: Now, the secretary, of course, had said that normalization agreement, potentially between Israel and Saudi Arabia would be good for
the entire region. But what he's clear in saying here is that their actions that Israel is undertaking now, that could actually jeopardize that. And
it's not just, you know, the other side, but it's what they're doing at home not just in these negotiations that could have an effect.
And I think it's notable that he said that the United States is very clearly articulated that, and that concern to the Israelis.
SOARES: And Kylie, for those viewers who were watching our program this time yesterday, they would have seen that I spoke to a U.S.-Palestinian
lawmaker who was visiting his family in the West Bank, when he came face- to-face with this horrific violence by Israeli settlers. He told me on this program yesterday that he feared for his life, and he feared for his
family's life. Well, have a listen to what he had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ABDELNASSER RASHID, ILLINOIS STATE REPRESENTATIVE: It's really heart- wrenching. I mean, my seven-year-old daughter clamped on to me and said, dad, what do we do if we get shot? And I had to have the conversation with
my kids that every Palestinian parent has to explain to them that the Israeli government does not believe that we deserve equal rights, that the
Israeli government thinks that we can be hurt or even killed without accountability or consequences, and so, we have to be especially careful.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES: And Kylie, you also told me that U.S. diplomacy had failed here. So, critically, what can the U.S. do, to lower temperatures and the
tensions on the ground?
ATWOOD: Well listen, I think that his perspective is completely justified here, because --
SOARES: Yes --
ATWOOD: You've seen U.S. officials saying that they're working with both sides, you know, as we have seen over the course of the last year, the
violence in this area really take a turn for the worse. But there really haven't been actual results of that. What we have been told is behind the
scenes diplomacy, in fact, you know, in recent days, recent weeks, it's gotten worse.
So, I think that those frustrations on behalf of the Palestinians are quite legitimate. It's noteworthy that the Secretary of State, you know,
essentially laid out that there would be implications for Israel beyond just this confrontation between the Palestinians and Israel. But you know,
regionally, if they don't do things to tamp down the violence here.
So, he's saying that they're going to, you know -- they're going to be things that they have to face if they don't actually get this under
control. And so, that is new. It's saying that there could be a cost that they have to pay, that's significant. But today, we really haven't seen
that U.S. diplomacy, you know, between these two sides really pose any -- drive any effective decrease in this violence.
And we continue to ask, you know, what more the United States can do to actually, you know, increase the leverage here.
SOARES: Yes, and I know it's a story that we'll stay on top of. I know that you'll stay on top of that and see where of course, with a diplomatic push,
where that takes us. Kylie Atwood, appreciate it, thanks very much. Well, in Sudan, the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces accused of violating their
own one-day ceasefire. An activist group says the RSF terrorized some local businesses on Tuesday.
Another rights group reported renewed fighting in south Darfur, the RSF and the head of Sudan's army now announcing a new ceasefire on Wednesday. And
that's for Eid. Many people had to leave their homes since the violence began. In fact, nearly 2.8 million people, according to the U.N., says the
majority of them are still in Sudan, but almost 650,000 people have now crossed the border.
The U.S., U.K. and Norway, the three members of the Troika are condemning the violence in Sudan. CNN's spoke with Norway's ambassador to Sudan
earlier about the situation, specifically in Darfur. Have a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ENDRE STIANSEN, NORWEGIAN AMBASSADOR TO SUDAN & ERITREA: It is not that coordinated, even though there are links between the different groups. So,
you have, you know, a situation that is approaching anarchy, but it's maybe -- the word "chaos" is better. But you have groups that go after each other
and using what these groups do when they're fighting a war, and that is everything at their disposal, including sexual violence.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES: Now, Swedish officials authorized a Quran-burning protest outside a Mosque in Stockholm. The decision may jeopardize Sweden's bid to join NATO,
with member state Turkey; a majority Muslim country proving the greatest obstacle.
Joining me now is CNN's Jomana Karadsheh. And Jomana, before we start talking about Sweden's accession, and how this may hamper it, just explain
why Swedish authorities authorized this in the first place.
JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, look, this is the second Quran-burning that has taken place in Sweden. This year, you had one
in January, and that was a far-right Danish politician who was allowed to do this outside the Turkish embassy. Right now, you've got this man, Iraqi
refugee, who's now a Swedish citizen.
I spoke to him earlier, and he decided that he wanted to express his anti- Islam views, as he said, by burning the Quran outside the Mosque. He says it was a legal battle, a few months back and forth in courts and police
involved, and finally he got the permission to do this. The Swedish officials have been saying, look, we don't agree with this, we don't agree
with burning the Quran.
They don't find this appropriate, but they say, this is freedom of expression, this is what Sweden is about, this is -- freedom of expression
is a central part of the country's democracy, and is protected by the constitution. And police also saying that this specific incident today did
not pose any sort of a risk to -- any security risk.
But they did acknowledge that this could have repercussions when it comes to foreign policy and potentially, an increased risk of terrorist attacks.
SOARES: And as we've been talking about here, you know, we've got a NATO Summit coming up. That's very clear. What are you hearing from officials?
How much could this hamper those very fragile accession talks?
KARADSHEH: I mean, this couldn't have happened at a worse time for Sweden. That's why so many people are asking the question of why happen -- why
would they allow this to happen now? Not just because of, obviously, the NATO accession talks, but also, of course, happening on Eid al-Adha --
Which has really angered so many --
SOARES: Yes --
KARADSHEH: Muslims, and we've heard that from Turkish officials today. You had the Foreign Minister, Hakan Fidan, coming out with -- as you would
expect, a very strong statement, calling this a "disgraceful act against our holy book and unacceptable that Sweden would allow these anti-Islamic
actions under the pretext of freedom of expression, and to turn a blind eye to such heinous acts is to be complicit in them."
And we also heard from another senior Turkish official, Fahrettin Altun, also calling this a provocative terrorist act, targeting our religion. And
he mentions the NATO talks, saying that those who seek to become our allies in NATO cannot tolerate or enable destructive behavior of islamophobic and
So, very clear, Turkey is unhappy with this. Whether this is going to have any sort of an impact, we don't know. The last time this happened in
January, they canceled a visit by the Swedish Minister of Defense. Things were looking good. The talks were progressing --
SOARES: Yes --
KARADSHEH: And Sweden had agreed --
There were some concessions. So, we'll have to wait and see, but this definitely complicates an already very complicated situation, Isa.
SOARES: Jomana, thank you very much. And still to come, it was bravado. That's how Donald Trump is explaining what appears to be a damaging
audiotape involving his handling of classified documents. The latest on his legal troubles, that is just ahead. You are watching CNN.
SOARES: Welcome back, everyone.
He was one of the most recognizable faces promoting Donald Trump's false claims that the 2020 U.S. presidential election was stolen. Now CNN has
exclusively learned that Rudy Giuliani has spoken to federal investigators.
Sources tell us Trump's former attorney was questioned as part of a special counsel's investigation into efforts to overturn the election results.
Giuliani's advisor says his appearance was totally voluntary.
Well, Trump himself is speaking out about a separate case that led to his indictment on 37 charges, including conspiracy to hide classified documents
from the U.S. government.
The day after CNN obtained an audio recording of him discussing confidential documents in 2021, the former U.S. president told FOX News the
vigil that he has done, quote, "nothing wrong," saying it is a "whole hoax."
He also told "Semafor" that he was showing off classified documents in a 2021 meeting, saying they were just papers. And it was simply, quote,
And on yet another legal note, as we've seen, we have seen that Trump himself is speaking out against an indictment in what relates suing E. Jean
Carroll for defamation after a New York jury found he sexually abused the former magazine columnist and defamed her.
So lots of legal challenges from on Donald Trump on that we have been following. We will keep on top of that.
Now get ready to hear a new phrase in U.S. politics, Bidenomics. U.S. President Joe Biden has been delivering a major address on the economy in
Chicago. This is what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: First, making smart investments in America; second, educating and empowering American workers
to grow the middle class; and third, promoting competition to lower costs, to help small businesses.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES: The three-part Bidenomics plan is the president's plan to attempt to boost the middle class. He also said it rejects the notion of trickle-
down economics. That's a system where businesses and the rich grow and their wealth and growth spreads or trickles down to others.
Now the company in charge of the recovery of debris from the Titan submersible says, it successfully completed its part of the offshore work.
Pelagic Research said its team had been working nonstop for 10 days to finish the mission.
Earlier Wednesday, they were able to get photos of the debris recovered from the ocean floor. The Titan submersible had five people on board. Try
and look at wreckage from the Titanic. All on board were killed when the Titan imploded underwater.
Joining us now with the very latest is our correspondent, Paula Newton.
And Paula, so, this part of the recovery has been successfully completed.
What more are you learning?
PAULA NEWTON, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT: Yes, when we say successfully completed, I think definitely the large pieces of debris that we are seeing
in those photos, the fact that they were able to recover those from so far down and the fact that the U.S. Coast Guard had described the implosion and
said that the environment was unforgiving.
Given all of that, Isa, just take a look at these large pieces that they have now salvaged, in terms of the recovery work from the deep sea.
And you can juxtapose it against the Titan, right?
The submersible itself. You can clearly see the dome, the view port. What we don't know is whether or not they were able to get large pieces of the
actual submersible that carried the five passengers, meaning there was the tail and the dome and the view port.
But what of the actual cabin that carried the passengers?
And I just want to pause, obviously, and add that when you're looking at these photos and at this video, huge disquiet obviously for fans and
family; that is a resting place for their loved ones.
NEWTON: And so, they will be looking at this, obviously, which would be a bit upsetting when they do see it.
Having said that, given the fact that these pieces are so large, you would have to think that this does boost the chances that they will have a
conclusive investigation. I want to remind everyone there are several going on concurrently.
Some in Canada, some in the United States and at issue now is what the Transportation Safety Board here in Canada will do next. In a phone call to
them, they refused to say what would happen to these pieces of debris.
Would they be sent immediately to a lab?
Would that be in the United States?
Would that be in Canada?
They are unwilling to say at this point. Isa, I also want to add that the RCMP here, the national police force, has started a preliminary examination
about whether or not a full-blown criminal investigation needs to start.
And again, it's inconclusive as to whether or not they would be able to look at any of that debris or get a hold of any of the interviews the
Transportation Safety Board has already done, given the fact that they would be investigating things like criminal negligence.
Again, we are not there yet and we are still waiting for word from the national police force on what they decide.
SOARES: Like you said, there are several investigations taking place at the same time.
What are you hearing on the investigation front?
What pace are they going here?
NEWTON: Very slowly. They want to be absolutely sure that they have as much debris as they can recover. I mean, we heard from Pelagic but that is only
one company. Perhaps they would go out with other companies, perhaps they want to see more on the seabed.
Then what happens to these large pieces of debris?
Who gets them first?
Who gets to analyze them?
Can that information be shared?
All of this still in the offing and it's not unheard of, Isa, that we are not talking about months that, we are actually talking about years. I just
described to you the criminal investigation that may begin as well.
Again, they may have to start from scratch for that because even though interviews, even parts of the evidence would all have to be, in some way,
shape or form, subpoenaed in a criminal investigation, all of that takes time, has to work its way through the courts.
A lot to go through here and all of it will be of cold comfort to the families and friends, who want to know what happened to their loved ones
and, most of all, want to know what last few moments were like.
Again, for the community at large, the deep diving community, they will want to know if this kind of submersible was actually safe. A reminder: it
is no bigger than a family van, right, Isa?
And it was about 21, 22 feet long and weighed over 20,000 pounds.
SOARES: Paula Newton for us in Ottawa, Canada, thanks very much.
I want to bring you a little more on a story that we told you about in the last few moments, that one of Trump's, of course, many ongoing legal
The latest headline, as we told you, is that Trump is countersuing E. Jean Carroll for defamation after a New York jury, if you remember, found he
sexually abused the former magazine columnist and defamed her.
We can bring in now CNN's Kara Scannell to help us unpack all the details.
So Kara, on what grounds, then, is the former president countersuing E. Jean Carroll here?
KARA SCANNELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Right, so as you just said, I mean, E. Jean Carroll initially had sued former president Trump for defamation. And
the jury awarded her $5 million, finding that he sexually abused her and defamed her when he denied her claim that he had raped her in a department
store in New York in the mid-1990s.
Well, Trump is now countersuing E. Jean Carroll for comments that she made on CNN the morning after that jury verdict. She was asked by Poppy Harlow
about the jury finding that he had sexually abused her and not raped her.
And Carroll said that, in response to that, oh, yes, he did. So Trump is now saying that that statement that she made was defamatory. And she made
it maliciously and intending to hurt him because he is saying the jury did not exactly find rape; they found sexual abuse. Isa.
SOARES: And so, what are Carroll's lawyers saying about this and the timing of this?
SCANNELL: Yes, so this case is still ongoing, right?
There was that jury verdict for one of her lawsuits. She also has another lawsuit that dates back to 2019 and that is still ongoing. But what
Carroll's attorney said in response to Trump's latest claim is that Donald Trump again argues contrary to both logic and fact, that he was exonerated
by a jury that found he sexually abused E. Jean Carroll.
Now it's also important to remember that after the jury had awarded Carroll the $5 million, Trump spoke at a CNN town hall and was asked about the
jury's verdict. In that, he doubled down on his denials of rape, saying that he did not know who E. Jean Carroll was.
Well, Carroll got a judge to allow her to amend that initial lawsuit. So she's asking the potential jury in the future to consider those statements
that Trump had made at the town hall after the verdict. And she's trying to get $10 million in punitive damages. Now the judge has set a trial date for
that case for January.
SOARES: Kara Scannell, appreciate it, thank you so much.
Still to come tonight, Chicago, Illinois, had the worst air quality in the world on Tuesday, all from wildfires burning out of control in Canada.
SOARES: We will have more from Chicago just ahead.
SOARES: Travel misery is mounting in the United States days ahead of the 4th of July weekend. Thousands of flights are being delayed, as you can see
there, and canceled as severe storms batter the country. The United Airlines CEO blamed the Federal Aviation Administration for these
unprecedented delays, saying it, quote, frankly "failed us."
Over 150,000 customers have been impacted on United alone. On Tuesday night, the FAA ordered temporary ground stops for planes headed to the
three major airports in the New York City area.
Well, more than 80 million people from the U.S., Midwest to the East Coast, are under air quality alerts as smoke from Canadian wildfires sweeps right
across the border. Chicago, in fact, had the worst air quality in the world on Tuesday, according to IQAir. Officials in the U.S. are warning people to
Canadian authorities say, more than 200 wildfires are burning out of control. CNN's Adrienne Broaddus joins us now from Chicago with more.
And I can see, Adrienne, behind you, it's quite hazy just on the bridge behind you.
What is air quality like now in Chicago?
ADRIENNE BROADDUS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It is still unhealthy and you probably see behind me, not many people are walking along that bridge. We
are, it is summertime here in Chicago. And normally on a Wednesday afternoon, this street behind me is packed.
We are in the heart of downtown Chicago. As you mentioned, Chicago and Detroit have ranked as the worst air quality locations in the world. At
last check, the ranking kind of moved. Dubai is now at number one.
However, Chicago and the Great Lakes region is still not out of the woods because of this. Here in Chicago, some events have been canceled. And we
spoke with people about the smoke and the haze and what they've experienced. Here is what one person told us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TONY PAPRECK, CHICAGO RESIDENT: It's shocking but it's caused by nature right now. So it's not a long-term impact. And I was out here yesterday; it
wasn't nearly the same. So I'm imagining that this is a short-term impact.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROADDUS: So that gives them a little bit of comfort knowing this is only temporary. Meanwhile, the warning expires at midnight tonight here in
Chicago and across the Great Lakes. Isa.
SOARES: Adrienne, thank you very much, indeed.
SOARES: We will keep an eye on this.
Now 21 people have died during an ongoing heat wave in northern Mexico. The extreme weather conditions have also hospitalized dozens. Authorities say
the high temperatures will continue and they are urging people to avoid the sun. Our Rafael Romo has this report for you.
RAFAEL ROMO, CNN SR. LATIN AFFAIRS EDITOR (voice-over): Boats that used to be on water are now lying on grass. Residents can now walk where they used
to be able to swim. This is Alajuela Lake, which serves as a reservoir for the Panama Canal.
"There used to be boats right here where we are," this nearby resident says. "Water came this far."
A severe drought has forced authorities in Panama not only to implement water saving measures but also to impose restrictions on cargo ships
crossing the key global trade route.
ROMO: Panama is the latest example of countries in Latin America having to deal with severe drought conditions. A report published by the European
Commission states that precipitation deficits, above average temperatures and recurring heat waves are causing one of the worst droughts in decades
in the region.
ROMO (voice-over): In the fall of 2021 and the spring of the following year, low water levels at the Parana River, which flows for nearly 4,900
kilometers -- 3,000 miles -- through Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina, caused cargo ships to stop delivering goods.
CHASE HARRISON, EDITORIAL MANAGER, AMERICAS SOCIETY: The situation in Argentina is unprecedentedly bad. They're having the worst drought
conditions in 75 years and we are seeing those conditions exist in neighboring countries as well.
Chile having the worst drought conditions in 50 years and Uruguay having the worst drought conditions in 80 years.
ROMO (voice-over): Mexico is now recovering from a late spring heat wave. And last summer, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador declared an
emergency in the northern state of Nuevo Leon (ph) due to lack of water, a situation that experts believe aggravated conditions that have pushed many
Mexicans to leave their country.
HARRISON: So if we have large-scale movements of people from one place to another, it's going to put a strain on the social services of those
countries. It's also just going to create economic dead areas in some of these countries, where there cannot be business (ph).
ROMO (voice-over): An analysis by Gro Intelligence published in 2021 concluded that Mexico's corn crop is threatened by the country's most
widespread and intense droughts in nearly a decade. And target corn markets are likely to transmit the shockwaves worldwide.
Back in Panama, the government agency that manages the canal imposed draft restrictions, meaning cargo ships with a very low hull can't transit, which
may slow the delivery of goods worldwide -- Rafael Romo, CNN, Atlanta.
SOARES: The knock-on effect right there of climate change.
Still to come tonight, millions of South Koreans are now one or even two years younger but it has nothing to do with Korean beauty products. We will
SOARES: Welcome back, everyone.
The trial against actor Kevin Spacey for alleged sex offenses has adjourned for the day in London. Spacey was on hand for Wednesday's proceedings,
which dealt with jury selection. The judge says familiarity with Spacey's work is not a reason for disqualification.
The Oscar winner is facing 12 charges, including sexual assault. Spacey denies all charges. Our Salma Abdelaziz has the very latest.
SALMA ABDELAZIZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Kevin Spacey appeared nearly two hours early to his hearing at Southwark Crown Court on Wednesday. Today is the
first hearing in what potentially could take up to four weeks.
This trial could take up to four weeks. Today was mostly procedural; the court was only in session for about two hours. During that time, the 12
jurors were sworn in and the charges were read against Kevin Spacey.
These are extremely serious charges: 12 charges of sexual assault. They include indecent assault and causing a person to engage in sexual activity
without consent. There are four individuals that have brought these allegations forward, four men.
The incidences allegedly take place between 2001 to 2013. Throughout, Kevin Spacey had maintained his innocence. He says he looks forward, he is keen,
as you saw by him arriving early in court, he is keen to prove his innocence, vindicate himself, get his day in court.
He believes he could not only win back his reputation but actually win back his career as he recently told a German publication. For now, this could
take many weeks. All eyes on this multi award winning famous actor as he tries to defend himself from these allegations.
Remember, this all taking place, most of it, around the time that he was the artistic director of the Old Vic Theater here in London. Kevin Spacey
getting his opportunity to defend himself and the crown prosecution here in London, explaining why those charges have been filed against him. Isa.
SOARES: Thank you very much.
As crazy as it sounds, millions of South Koreans woke up a year or even two younger on Wednesday. It's because the country put an end to the
traditional Korean age. It's now adopting the international age system. Our Paula Hancocks explains.
PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Asking someone in South Korea how old they are is a far more complicated question than you might think. You may
well get three different answers.
First of all, there is Korean age, where you are considered a year old on the day you're born. And you become a year older every January 1st.
Second, the calendar age: you take the current year, 2023, minus your birth year and that is your age.
Third, international age: this is the most countries use around the world, where you start at zero. And you become a year older on your first
South Korea has been using a mixture of all three systems for decades. That all changes today, making international age the standard. Most people woke
up this morning one or even two years younger.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): I don't feel like my age changed overnight. But talking to my friends, we all felt good about getting
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): On the one hand, I feel good about being younger and on the other hand, I'm wondering if this will make
things more complicated on paper.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HANCOCKS: This change is to avoid the, quote, "unnecessary social and economic costs." The president has been pushing for this change and surveys
show that the majority of Koreans actually agree that there should be a standardization of age counting.
There are some exceptions, though. For example, going into elementary school, military conscription will still keep to the traditional system.
CHO HEE-KYOUNG, PROFESSOR OF LAW, HONGIK UNIVERSITY: So the change is symbolic because the things that matter to people, like when you can vote,
when you buy alcohol, when you can buy cigarettes, when you can watch N-17 movies, et cetera, they actually remain exactly the same.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HANCOCKS: It is a change that has been talked about for years and it is a change that could well confuse for years to come -- Paula Hancocks, CNN,
SOARES: Slightly confusing but I like the Korean system, let's just say that.
SOARES: Now Liz Cheney has offered a blunt assessment of what's wrong with American politics. The former Republican congresswoman lost her primary
last year, to a candidate backed by Donald Trump.
She continues to be a leading critic of the former president. Speaking at an event this week,
Cheney said, "The U.S. is facing a huge challenge. We are electing idiots."
And that is our quote for the day.
Thanks very much for your company, do stay right here. "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" is next.
And we want to leave you with these live pictures from Saudi Arabia this hour. Muslims all over the world are celebrating the start of Eid al-Adha
today. The annual pilgrimage, one of the five pillars of Islam, started in Mecca on Monday.
Nearly 2 million worshippers are expected to attend this year's pilgrimage, the first one without pandemic restrictions. If you are celebrating it,
happy Eid to you all.