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Isa Soares Tonight
Russia-Ukraine Black Sea Grain Deal Terminated; Huge Wildfires Raging In Canada Affecting Air Quality Across The Continent; A Potential Breakthrough In Treating Alzheimer's As New Data Gives Insight Into Where The Disease Is More Prevalent; Forty-One Killed By Flooding & Landslides In South Korea; "Morality Police" Resume Headscarf Patrols In Iran; Flood Of Evidence Pouring In Since Heuermann's Arrest. Aired 2-3p ET
Aired July 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, this could be the last grain ship to get
out of Ukraine now. But Russia has ended a crucial deal. I'll ask Ukraine's Grain Association president how the world will feel the impact. Then --
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PAULA NEWTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This fire is just far too large to extinguish. In fact, the area already burned is larger than most countries
on the planet.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES: Huge wildfires raging in Canada affecting air quality across the continent. And then later, a potential breakthrough in treating Alzheimer's
as new data gives insight into where the disease is more prevalent.
But first, tonight, a major symbol of Russia's grip on Crimea has been attacked again, and this time, Ukraine isn't waiting to say they did it.
Video shows damage to the Kerch Bridge linking Crimea to the Russian mainland. Russia says civilians were killed in what they believe was a
seaborne drone strike.
And Ukraine's Digital Transportation Minister has just come out confirming the bridge was blown up with naval drones. The strike could hurt Russia's
ability to move troops as well as supplies, of course, into Crimea. And it comes as a deal letting grain shipments pass through the Black Sea expires
at the end of the day.
Russia says the pact is already terminated, and the move to cancel isn't related to the strike on the bridge. This video, shot off Turkey,
reportedly shows the last grain ship to leave Ukraine before the deal collapsed. Of course, Ukraine grain is vital for many in Africa as well as
the Middle East. And the Kremlin is again accused of weaponizing food. Here was the head of the U.N. explaining what was at stake.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANTONIO GUTERRES, SECRETARY-GENERAL, UNITED NATIONS: Ultimately, participation in these agreements is a choice. But struggling people
everywhere, and developing countries don't have a choice. Hundreds of millions of people face hunger and consumers are confronting a global cost
of living crisis, and they will pay the price.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES: Antonio Guterres speaking earlier. Well, for more, I'm joined from Kyiv by Nikolay Gorbachov; he's the president of the Ukrainian Grain
Association. Nikolay, great to have you on the show. Just explain to our viewers right around the world what the collapse of this deal means really
in the short term.
NIKOLAY GORBACHOV, PRESIDENT, UKRAINIAN GRAIN ASSOCIATION: Yes, hello, everybody. Thank you for this opportunity. Yes, it will be a collapse
because Ukraine exported on the past season 58 million tons of grain and oil seeds in just for one season. And I can tell, to use it, it's more than
12 percent from the total global trade.
And if Ukraine will not explore this grain, in this case, all of us in developed countries and in developing countries, in poor countries, all of
us will face the food inflation. And in my opinion, the international community, developed country have to find the leverage, how to move grain
from Ukraine to the world market.
SOARES: And Nikolay, I'm not sure whether you heard in the last few days, but Russia and President Putin has repeatedly complained that the grain has
not -- that's not been supplied to poorer countries, which was a condition of the agreement. Is there any truth in that?
GORBACHOV: It's absolutely manipulation, because world market is working on their roles. For example, when Ukraine exported the grain, only 40 percent
of this export moved to the grain corridor, but 60 percent moved through the European ports. It doesn't mean that Europe absorbed this grain as the
Europe just handles its grain, and we export this cargo through the European port. And in this case, i can tell to you each of the world, from
Russia, its manipulation.
SOARES: Well, I'm glad you clarified that for us, I think that's really important. But Nikolay, I'm sure you heard what President Zelenskyy said
today. He suggested that Ukraine could continue the grain exports without Russian support. Are you exploring right now alternative ways, ways of
exporting again. What are your options at this moment?
GORBACHOV: Well, for the moment, we can continue to explore it by railway, by trucks, and of course, we can use the Dnipro River. And as they said,
it's about 60 percent from our exports on the previous campaign. But what I would like to underline, that if we will not find the cheapest way of
export, Ukraine can just reduce the production of grain.
Because our domestic consumption, in four times lower than our production. And in this case, all world will find, will try to find the substitution
for Ukrainian grain, and of course, for the logistics will be -- logistic price will be much higher. And what we would -- of course, I am sure that
Ukraine can export grain without Russia. I absolutely agree with the President, Zelenskyy.
But for this, we need international support, and on this support can be like a Turkish fleet or international insurance, for example, from laws(ph)
or guarantee from Ukrainian army.
SOARES: Right, so you need some sort of guarantees either from the Turkish side or from other international players that would help -- that would aid
in actually delivering this good. I mean, how would you do it in terms of using ports? That will be more expensive. Don't you support -- how,
logistically, how difficult will that be?
GORBACHOV: Well, we can use the ports even with expensive insurance, for example. Because on that grain deal, which just closed today, we paid more
than $1 billion for 12 months. And we exported through that grain corridor, a little bit more than 32 million ton grain oil seeds and oil. If we will
just divide 1 billion for 32 million ton, you will see that about $30 per ton we paid additionally.
It means that we can spend this amount of money just to improve the logistic way or we can spend this money for the international support or
SOARES: OK, now, and Nikolay, then final -- my final question really, what kind of window are we looking at then, to get that support? Whether from
Turkey or from other players, from the international community. What window were you looking at before we start feeling the impact, those countries, as
developing countries start feeling the impact of this grain being halted?
GORBACHOV: Well, I am sure that if Turkey will give their own guarantee, and will guarantee that this fleet will not attack, we will continue to
export and business is very pragmatic and will continue to work. We need on politician level, we need support of the world security. Because Ukraine is
the one of the biggest producers and exporter of grain.
And we are feeding about 200 million people outside of our country. And if we will not export this grain, I am sure that the developed countries will
pay this food security, but poorest countries will be hungry. That's why I do believe that international community will find the leverage.
SOARES: Find the leverage, but what's the window that we need to find the leverage by? Are we talking a week, are we talking two weeks? Give us a
sense of timing here.
GORBACHOV: Well, it would be good if we will find the window in two-three weeks, I think everything will be OK. Because for the moment, we continue
to export through the Dnipro River, through the --
SOARES: Yes --
GORBACHOV: Alternative ways, as trucks and train, we'll wait and the -- in my opinion, on the next two-three weeks, nothing will happen. That's why we
SOARES: Nikolay Gorbachov, really appreciate you taking the time to speak to us tonight, thank you very much, Nikolay. Let's get more now on that
bridge, of course, linking Crimea to Russia that we brought you at the top of the show. Monday's attack is the second one, if you remember, to take
Last October, a fuel tanker exploded, destroying a large section of the bridge. Our Scott McLean explains why the bridge is so important to Russia.
SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (on camera): Well, the Kremlin is calling it a terrorist act that killed two adults and injured a child. Russian
investigators, they are already on site here collecting evidence.
Now, Ukraine has not officially claimed responsibility, and it's not clear how it's done. But a source inside the Ukrainian security service has told
CNN that the attack on the Kerch Bridge was a joint operation between it and its Naval forces. So, the bridge itself is right here. It is the only
direct link between Russia itself and occupied Crimea.
And if you can't use the bridge, it means you have to go all the way around back through other parts of occupied Ukraine in order to actually reach
Crimea. The bridge is 12 miles long, and that makes it the longest in Europe, and it cost $3.7 billion to actually build it. And it's divided
into two parts. One, for rail traffic, the other for cars. And the Russians say that the rail part of the bridge remains intact.
And based on this video, that seems to be the case, that looks -- this looks like it was taken from a passing train on the rail section. And you
can see this span of the bridge seems to be partially dislodged from its pillars there. What you do not see in this video or in any others that we
have, is the evidence of any kind of impact created on the surface of the bridge.
So, any impact that there was, very likely came from either the side or from underneath of the bridge. Russia says that the explosions were carried
out by two Ukrainian seaborne drones. In other words, we're talking about an unmanned boat, maybe even a jet ski loaded up with explosives. Though,
the Russians haven't presented any evidence to actually support this claim.
It is pretty difficult to overstate not only the strategic value of this bridge, but also the symbolic value as well, following Russia's illegal
annexation of Crimea back in 2014. The bridge was opened by Vladimir Putin himself who led a convoy across the bridge. Clearly, meaning to solidify
the bond between Russia and Crimea, which until at that point, was cut off from Russia itself.
It has been targeted before, it's just one example, this one was earlier this month when the Russians said that they shot down a Ukrainian cruise
missile that had been headed for the bridge. And Ukraine only recently acknowledged that it was responsible for this blast in October of last year
when a semi-truck packed with explosives detonated, causing substantial damage to both the road and the rail's section.
It wasn't actually until February of this year that all the vehicle lanes reopened and repairs to the rail site, they took even longer. Now,
following that blast, Russia responded with missile strikes aimed at energy infrastructure and civilian areas. They were on Kyiv, on Dnipro, on
Zaporizhzhia, and all of these other regions. And a Russian official in Crimea has already suggested that this latest attack will also not go
unanswered. Scott McLean, CNN, London.
SOARES: Well, if our worst fears and the most horrifying predictions about the planet came true, what would that look like? Would it look like this?
Have a look at this. People evacuating their animals as one of the -- Greece's multiple raging wildfires closes in or even this, entire roads
underwater after deadly floods in South Korea, or consider this, record- breaking heat.
And wildfires burning simultaneously, not only in multiple countries across the world, but in multiple continents. Well, the images you can see on your
screen right now are wildfires burning in Canada. They've already blazed through an area larger than most countries on the planet. And CNN's Paula
Newton now explains the fallout can stretch across borders.
NEWTON (voice-over): They've come all the way from America's southwest.
ZAC KROHN, U.S. FOREST SERVICE FIRE MANAGEMENT OFFICER SUPPORTING CANADIANS: Well, welcome to Quebec.
NEWTON: Now, here in northern Quebec's scorched lands, joining hundreds of other American and international firefighters, doing what they can to slow
wildfires that just won't quit.
KROHN: At this point we're just trying to secure the edge, and make sure that the communities are safe.
NEWTON: The Silver State hot-shot crew is looking for hot spots. They are firefighting crews specially trained and skilled, now taking on Canada's
(on camera): I know you from Montana, big sky country. But this was a big fire.
KROHN: Yes --
NEWTON: This is a big territory.
KROHN: And the scope for us, in the state, this would be one of the largest fires ever to occur in the United States, so, yes, it's a giga fire.
NEWTON (voice-over): The total area burned in Canada already has shattered records. Now, 10 million hectares, that's almost 25 million acres, an area
nearly as large as the state of Ohio and still burning.
MATT RAU, INCIDENT COMMANDER, SOUTHWEST AREA INCIDENT MANAGEMENT TEAM: And when they burn like this, there's no way to even put people in front of it
to even stop the fire. There's no amount of resources on the ground or from the sky that's going to be able to stop one of these fires when they --
when they get the momentum.
NEWTON (on camera): As shocking, and frankly, unsettling as it is, this fire is just far too large to extinguish.
In fact, the area already burned is larger than most countries on the planet. It means that not only does the fire burn, but there's going to be
a lot of smoke.
(voice-over): And that means many American cities could be shrouded in smoke on any given day for weeks or months to come.
RAU: Don't be surprised if it continues. And secondly, this is -- this is a problem that is going to go on into the future when it's the year to burn
and the conditions are right, it's just going to continue to burn.
NEWTON: Here in Quebec, many were evacuated within minutes as the flames threatened towns and fires burned with raging speed.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I really can't.
NEWTON: Jimmy Seaburn(ph) is grateful to see American help. He says he had minutes to leave in June and was upset to leave behind the family pets.
They were fine when he returned six days later, but he fears his home will be threatened again. (SPEAKING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
(on camera): It's incredible, but it's not normal.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (SPEAKING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
NEWTON (voice-over): He says it's not normal, but cautions we should all learn to expect the worst from the weather now. The rain helps. It has
finally arrived in some places, but in the words of one Canadian official, it's like a drop in an otherwise empty bucket.
The mayor of this town, Chibougamau says the rain is an answered prayer, she may not have to evacuate her town again. "But they have to adapt", she
says. "No one imagined so much would burn so quickly."
(on camera): Were you scared?
MAYOR MANON CYR, CHIBOUGAMAU, QUEBEC: Strangely, I wasn't scared, I was mad. And then I have to come down and say, Manon, you have a job to do, and
that's why, you know, I said stay calm, and I said to my people, let's be patient, let's do it, keep it zen.
NEWTON (voice-over): It may be difficult to stay calm as mother nature rages. The cliche applies here in every way possible. Canada is burning,
and it's not out of the woods yet. Paula Newton, CNN, in northern Quebec.
SOARES: Very worrying indeed. Well, that Canadian wildfire smoke has 17 million Americans under air quality alerts right now. But separately, more
than 80 million people across the U.S. are under heat alerts. CNN's Rafael Romo joins me from Las Vegas, Nevada, where an excessive heat warning is in
effect. And Rafael, it's normally pretty hot this time of the year, how did these temperatures compare? How hot really is it right now?
RAFAEL ROMO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Isa, hi, it's not only the fact that temperatures are very high, it's also the fact that this heat wave has been
very long. And officially, the temperature here in Las Vegas right now is 108 degrees. But that temperature is taken at weather station, at the
airport in the shade and a few feet off the ground.
Take a look at our thermometer. It is 108 as well, but we were making some readings before, and it went way past 120 when we were in the sun. And this
is not necessarily the most accurate thermometer in the world, but it gives you a good idea of what happens when you leave anything in the sun in this
part of the country.
It went past like I said, it passed the highest mark of 120 degrees a while ago. The local office of the National Weather Service took some surface
readings yesterday, and found out that concrete in the sun can get as hot as almost 144 degrees while asphalt was even worse, the reading was 157.9
for our viewers across the world, that's about 70 degrees Celsius.
So surfaces can be very dangerous for everybody, especially children and pets. We also spent some time in the Hoover Dam area where we spoke with a
couple of tourists about how this heat feels like. Let's take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It feels like you're actually on fire after you're out here for a while. And we've just been -- I just slammed about two bottles
of water at lunch. This is definitely like touching surfaces.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm not used to burning myself on concrete.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's just harder to breathe without the moisture in the air. It's just kind of hard to breathe, you know? So, it makes things a
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROMO: And these at the local office of the National Weather Service here in Las Vegas is reminding people that heat is the number one-related killer.
The southern Nevada health district reported 152 heat-related deaths last year between April and October. Seven people have died of heat-related
causes so far since April. So, this is very serious, Isa, back to you.
SOARES: Very serious indeed. Thanks very much, Rafael Romo there for us in Las Vegas. Now, the Middle East is also getting hit with some intense heat.
For the first time, the sheer(ph), the United Arab Emirates reached temperatures above 50 degrees Celsius. The National Center of Meteorology
says the region of Abu Dhabi state at 50.1, get that, 50.1 degrees for two straight days this weekend.
Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who is just out from the hospital where he was treated for dehydration, is urging people to
drink more water. Well, two separate wildfires now raging near Athens in Greece. Authorities say strong wings -- winds, I should say are fanning the
flames. The country's meteorological service has warned of a high risk of fires.
Greece recovers, of course, from a heat wave, a second one is forecast to hit the Mediterranean this week. Europe could soon record its hottest
temperatures especially in Italy's Sicily and Sardinia. Our Barbie Nadeau has the story for you.
BARBIE NADEAU, CNN CONTRIBUTOR (voice-over): Summer is here, but across Europe, people are battling the extreme heat just to keep cool. Spain,
Italy and Greece are just some of the countries that have been battling the blistering sun for days already. In Italy, authorities issued extreme
health warnings for 16 cities, saying that even hotter temperatures are yet to come, and even for locals, it's sweltering.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): This is not normal. I don't remember such intense heat, especially at this time of year.
NADEAU: But that didn't stop people from trying to catch a glimpse of the pope. As priests, nuns, locals and tourists filled out St. Peters Square,
dancing around in the heat. One priest from the Democratic Republic of Congo compared Italy's sun to been hotter than Africa.
FRANCOIS MBEMBA, PRIEST (through translator): The heat goes on well into the night and sometimes we even find it hard to sleep.
NADEAU: In Rome's zoo, it's feeding time. And workers are giving animals frozen fruits as treat to help keep them cool. A welcome break during the
heat wave. Over in Spain, it was a long night for firefighters battling a wildfire in the Canary Islands, raging in a dry-wooded area. Emergency
workers are however not losing hope.
JOSE FERNANDEZ, LA PALMA FIREFIGHTER: It was a bit difficult because of the shifting wind and the heat of the last days. But we're holding on.
NADEAU: Last week, tourists who braved Athens heat did so while stopping by the fountain in St. Caganer Square to cool down. As temperatures rose above
40 degrees Celsius or 104 degrees Fahrenheit in some areas. These horses also felt the heat after being evacuated from their staples because of
wildfires ripping through their home.
After extreme heat caused nearly 62,000 deaths in Europe last year, meteorologists are warning that over the next few days, things could get
worse in parts of Europe. And this intense and prolonged period of extreme heat could be the new normal. Barbie Latza Nadeau, CNN, Rome.
SOARES: Well, with extreme weather events such as this becoming more common, U.S. climate envoy, John Kerry is in China for climate talks. What
he's trying to achieve, that story, still to come. Plus, the groundbreaking Alzheimer's study in the U.S. that can pinpoint where the disease is most
prevalent. We'll tell you where, next. Both those stories after this very short break. You are watching CNN.
SOARES: Well, seniors living in the east and southeast regions of the U.S. are most likely to have Alzheimer's disease, that is according to new data
out today. It is the first time we've had estimates of the prevalence of the disease at a county level in the United States. This new insight comes
at the same time we're getting new hope.
A second drug could be approved in the United States to treat this disease soon. Joining me now, CNN's medical correspondent, Meg Tirrell. And Meg,
let's start with the new drug if we could first. I mean, what do we know, how significant is this?
MEG TIRRELL, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, experts who follow the disease say this is a really pivotal moment because we have the first
drug that was approved July 6th, with full FDA approval that actually slowed down the progress of Alzheimer's disease. So slowing the loss in
memory, and the ability to perform daily tasks.
That comes with Alzheimer's. Now this drug, which is called Donanemab has shown in clinical trial results presented today in Amsterdam at the
American, the Alzheimer's Association International Conference to also slow down the progression of the disease. It does not stop it, it does not
So, these aren't cures, but they're at least showing some progress. It slowed it down by 35 percent in the course of this 18-month trial. And that
translated to basically 4 to 7 months of slowing versus placebo over that year-and-a-half long study.
But there are risks that come with these medicines, and this one called Donanemab have been particular, had risks of brain swelling and brain
bleeding that we see with this class of drugs, 24 percent for swelling, 20 percent for bleeding and three patients died from the side effect in the
trial. So these are things that people will have to weigh when they think about taking these.
SOARES: On this drug though, do we know exactly how it would work? What exactly it achieves?
TIRRELL: Yes, these drugs work by clearing the amyloid plaque build-ups in the brain that are associated with Alzheimer's disease, and they do that
incredibly well. So they get the plaques out, and that does translate into this modest but clinically meaningful effect in terms of actually affecting
memory and thinking clearly.
SOARES: And what more do we know about the Alzheimer's disease and where it's more prevalent, this other part of the study, I find that's really
interesting and why it's prevalent in certain areas rather than in others?
TIRRELL: Yes, this is the first time, as you said, we've got this county level look. And this is really important for being able to plan, also, in
terms of budgeting for counties. What they have found is that counties in the east and southeast regions of the United States have the highest
estimated prevalence of Alzheimer's, specifically Miami Dade County in Florida, Baltimore, in Maryland and Bronx County in New York, all about 16
percent to 17 percent.
And the reason for that is the higher prevalence of older people, and also people who are black and Hispanic in those areas, because we do see higher
prevalence in those groups of Alzheimer's disease.
SOARES: Fantastic. Thank you very much for breaking it all down for us, Meg, appreciate it --
TIRRELL: Thank you.
SOARES: And still to come tonight, Asia has seen record heat and severe flooding as the leaders of the world's two biggest polluters meet for
climate talks in China. And then outrage over African migrants abandoned in appalling conditions in the scorching heat at the Saharan Desert.
SOARES: Welcome back, everyone. The climate crisis is taking a toll on South Korea, that country's president seeing firsthand the effects of
deadly flooding. Authorities say more than 40 people have now died from flashfloods as well as landslides in the past few days.
High temperatures in China, meanwhile, are threatening power grids as well as crops. Many are concerned this could lead to repeat of last year's
drought, the worst in six decades.
Well, China and the U.S. are the world's two biggest polluters and they're now addressing the climate emergency together. U.S. envoy John Kerry is in
China to meet with his counterpart there as the two countries resume climate talks.
CNN's Anna Coren reports now from Hong Kong.
ANNA COREN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): After the planet recorded its hottest week in history, and extreme weather continues to cause death and
destruction globally, the world's two biggest polluters will hold climate talks in Beijing during a heat wave in the capital. U.S. Climate Envoy John
Kerry arrived for a four-day trip to China on Sunday.
JOHN KERRY, U.S. CLIMATE ENVOY: As the two leading emitters in the world, China, and as the two largest economies of the world, China and the United
States really need to cooperate on this.
COREN (voice-over): Both sides are feeling the pain on their home soil this summer with U.S. states facing intense heat and flooding, and record
temperatures across China where even the pandas are struggling to keep cool.
LAURI MYLLYVIRTA, CENTRE FOR RESEARCH ON ENERGY AND CLEAN AIR: Temperature increases are a frightening reminder of what we're headed for, and the most
frightening part is that global temperatures will keep increasing until global emissions reach zero.
COREN (voice-over): In Beijing, John Kerry will meet his Chinese counterpart, Xie Zhenhua. The pair have worked together on the climate
issue for years, and made a key bilateral deal in 2021.
THOM WOODROOFE, SENIOR FELLOW, ASIA SOCIETY: The Holy Grail of this visit from the U.S. perspective would be walking away with an agreement by the
Chinese to protect and isolate climate from the rest of their relationship so that it is not susceptible to a geopolitical flare up as we saw with
Nancy Pelosi's visit to Taiwan last year.
COREN (voice-over): Since Pelosi's controversial trip and the shooting down of a Chinese surveillance balloon in February, the two sides are now trying
to get back on track.
Kerry is the third senior Biden official to visit China in the past month. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with Xi Jinping last month. And
U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen visited last week.
Where she called on China to give more cash to help developing countries cut emissions.
Experts hope Kerry's visit will lay the groundwork for COP 28.
LI SHUO, SENIOR POLICY ADVISER, GREENPEACE EAST ASIA: They each carry a lot of sway. If they can find a way to agree with each other on certain issues,
then it is much easier for the rest of the world to get onboard.
COREN (voice-over): But with both countries still heavily reliant on fossil fuels and facing economic pressure at home, any progress is likely to be an
Anna Coren, CNN, Hong Kong.
SOARES: Well, by car and on foot, police in Iran are once again cracking down on people they consider a threat, a menace to society, women who
expose their hair. The so-called morality police resumed headscarf patrols over the weekend to force women to comply with strict Islamic dress codes.
Offenders will first get a warning, then they could face legal action if they refuse to cover up.
These patrols had virtually disappeared since nationwide protests erupted last September over the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in police custody.
She was arrested for wearing her hijabi incorrectly. One university student shared she believes the headscarf patrols will fail.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): Do you think the morality police can prevent women from not wearing a hijab? They cannot impose it like
before. The number of people who do not obey is too high now. They cannot handle all of us. The last thing they can do is use violence and force
against us. They cannot do it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES: Of course, we'll stay on top of that story for you.
It is an unconscionable scenario. Men, women and children, some badly beaten, driven to a dangerous no-man's land in the desert's searing heat,
left to fend for themselves with no food, water or shelter. Human Rights Watch is documenting what it calls the collective expulsion of African
migrants by authorities in Tunisia.
Our Nada Bashir has their story.
NADA BASHIR, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Beaten, injured and abandoned, these are just some of what Human Rights Watch estimates to be hundreds of
refugees and migrants recently expelled from Tunisia. They say they've been stranded for weeks in no-man's land here at the country's eastern border
with Libya, closely watched by armed border guards. Many are wounded, they say at the hands of the Tunisian National Guard.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): They beat all the women, even the children. I've got children myself. They wanted to hit my little boy, but I
protected him. I took all the blows. Some of the women and boys have broken skulls. They beat everyone.
BASHIR (voice-over): In videos, Human Rights Watch shared with CNN, migrants describe the horrors they have faced. There is no shelter from the
sweltering desert sun and no food. Some have even resorted to drinking seawater to survive.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): We need your help. Please. We need your help. You have to come and help us. There are babies. We have no
food. We need your help.
BASHIR (voice-over): The vast majority, according to Human Rights Watch, are believed to be from West Africa. They say they were arrested in mass
raids near the port city of Sfax, then bussed more than 300 kilometers to the east, unaware of where they were being taken. Now, many of them are
still trapped in the militarized buffer zone that separates Tunisia and Libya.
LAUREN SEIBERT, HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH: I don't know what the government expects could possibly happen other than what is happening, which is people
walking for days in the desert, being pushed back and forth by both sides with nowhere to go, and then some individuals reportedly dying.
BASHIR (voice-over): The crisis comes as tensions grow between Tunisian citizens and migrants. With the country's president, Kais Saied, fanning
racism and xenophobia against black Africans. In February, Saied made claims that migrants from Sub-Saharan Africa would threaten to change the
demographic makeup of Tunisia and bring violence and crime to the country, words which field anti-immigrant sentiments across the country, but also
sparked backlash. Now, the president is insisting that all migrants are treated well in
KAIS SAIED, TUNISIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): The Tunisian people have provided these migrants with everything possible with unlimited
BASHIR (voice-over): Comments made as Tunisia and the European Union finalized a deal worth more than a billion U.S. dollars, aimed at boosting
trade relations and crucially curbing irregular migration across the Mediterranean.
URSULA VON DER LEYEN, PRESIDENT OF THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION: And we agreed that we will cooperate on border management.
BASHIR (voice-over): The deal is said to commit more than a hundred million dollars towards securing Tunisia's borders, supporting search and rescue
And bolstering the country's anti-smuggling measures. But critics accuse the E.U. of legitimizing Tunisia's hardline tactics in an effort to make it
more difficult for people to reach Europe's shores from Africa.
AHLAM CHEMLALI, VISITING SCHOLAR, YALE UNIVERSITY: They have ignored the fact that Tunisia doesn't have any infrastructure in place or resources or
even political will to govern migrants and asylum-seekers on their territory.
BASHIR (voice-over): According to Human Rights Watch, some migrants abandoned at Tunisia's eastern border have now been relocated to in-country
facilities. Meanwhile, authorities in neighboring Libya say they have rescued dozens of migrants from the border and are providing them with
But there remains concern that further expulsions could still be ongoing, with many still believed to be stranded at the border. And as the bodies of
refugees and migrants attempting to cross the Mediterranean continue to wash up on Tunisia's shores, there are also fears that others could be left
to die in the desert.
Nada Bashir, CNN, London.
SOARES: Well, the United States is adopting what it calls the boldest innovation in refugee resettlement in decades. It's now allowing average
citizens to privately sponsor refugees from around the world. This is how the new Welcome Corps program kicked off, a group from rural Minnesota
greeting Congolese refugees as you can see there at the airport. The family spent decades in a Tanzanian refugee camp and the sponsors committed to
supporting them for at least three months while they adjust to their new life, helping to pay and plan for groceries, housing and other necessities.
Have a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHUCK MAGYAR, REFUGEE SPONSOR: I'm 84. I never anticipated something like this. There's a satisfaction. I don't know what it is. I -- maybe I'm just
a do-gooder. Okay. It's probably harder than I expected, especially the issues with language.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES: Well, the refugees themselves also say the adjustment is hard in this community and felt culture shock on arrival.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MWAJUMA FEZA, CONGOLESE REFUGEE (through translator : The children enjoy life here, but they tell me the difference is that they don't see a lot of
people of color who look like them and they're surrounded by foreigners. It would be good to know the process for people to come here. We want others
to come. That way, there would be more people of the same color and who speak the same language and I wouldn't be thinking about leaving.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES: Well, the good news is things appear to be getting easier as the family settles in. The sponsors reached out to a local family that came to
the U.S. from Tanzania and got everyone together for a July 4th celebration. The new refugees say they've been received very well and life
is much better in their adopted homeland than the camp where they lived for so long. They now tell their sponsors they have decided to stay.
And still to come tonight, in the U.S., police are gathering new details and evidence in the Gilgo Beach murder case. We'll have more from New York
when investigators are searching for clues.
SOARES: Welcome back, everyone. In New York, investigators say a flood of new evidence and information has been pouring in since a suspect in the
Gilgo Beach killings was charged on Thursday. 59-year-old architect Rex Heuermann was arrested for the murders of three women. Their remains are
among 11 bodies found across Long Island, South Shore more than a decade ago. Heuermann have pleaded not guilty.
CNN's Brynn Gingras is following this high profile case.
BRYNN GINGRAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): More than a decade after serial killings cast fear over Gilgo Beach Long Island, police now say they
have their suspect.
RODNEY HARRISON, SUFFOLK COUNTRY POLICE COMMISSIONER: Rex Heuermann is a demon that walks among us, a predator that ruined families.
GINGRAS (voice-over): Prosecutors charging 59-year-old Rex Heuermann in connection to the case known as the Gilgo Four. Prosecutors say Heuermann
murdered three of the women and is a prime suspect in the fourth. In December 2010, the bodies of the four young sex workers were found tied up,
wrapped in camouflaged burlap and discovered within days of each other.
ANTHONY CARTER, SUFFOLK COUNTY DEPUTY POLICE COMMISSIONER: He intended to commit these crimes.
GINGRAS (voice-over): For years, prosecutors say Heuermann was leading a double life.
REX HEUERMANN, GILGO FOUR SUSPECT: Rex Heuermann, an architect, I'm an architectural consultant, I'm a troubleshooter, born and raised on Long
GINGRAS (voice-over): At his Massapequa Park home, just about 15 miles from the scene of the crimes, life appeared normal for the husband and father of
two. But just last year, a taskforce formed to investigate the department's long dormant cases and they began to zero in on Heuermann.
CARTER: There was a very delicate balance between the needs for public safety and making the arrest. And that challenge obviously came to a, you
know, to a climax on in -- Thursday afternoon.
GINGRAS (voice-over): Investigators say a crucial break came in January when they were surveilling him at his Manhattan office. They say he was
eating a pizza and discarded it in a public trashcan. DNA evidence from the pizza crust matched hairs from a burlap sack one of the bodies were wrapped
in. Authorities say they had been trying to match his DNA to other sources without success.
ROBERT TIERNEY, SUFFOLK COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY: We had gotten one abandonment sample previously, but the DNA profile was partial.
GINGRAS (voice-over): Investigators say Heuermann bought burner phones and used fake email accounts to scour the internet for details about the
investigation to search for sex workers and pornography and even to make taunting calls to the families of victims.
CARTER: I can't begin to imagine the pain that these families have had to endure over the last decade.
GINGRAS (voice-over): Heuermann's attorney says his client pleaded not guilty to the charges.
MICHAEL BROWN, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: The only thing I can tell you that he did say as he was in tears was I didn't do this.
SOARES: CNN's Brynn Gingras joins us now from the suspect's home in New York. And Brynn, the search of the suspect's home is still ongoing. I can
see that behind you. What are you hearing from officials what they have uncovered -- about what they've uncovered so far?
GINGRAS (on camera): Yes, Isa. I mean, it's been happening ever since last week. We've seen investigators in those full Tyvek suits going in and out
of the home. Meanwhile, keep in mind, his wife and daughter, who he lived in with that home, can't be there while this investigation continues.
What we've learned is actually in the basement of that home there behind me, investigators found a room with a locked door and behind that locked
door, they found what they call a cache of weapons, between 200 and 300 different weapons.
Now authorities, prior to that, finding had told us they believed he only had permits for about 92 guns. None of the victims in this case were
gunshot wound victims, but, of course, to have that many guns is something that authorities have questions about. Why did he have such an arsenal of
What we're also learning is that investigators are not only searching at this home behind me, Isa.
But also a storage facility not far from where we're located. And they're looking to see possibly, did Heuermann have any souvenirs, trophies, so to
speak, about his victims? Is there anything that was personal that he kept to himself? And authorities tell us that basically they'll have to take
whatever they find and compare that with his family members, compare that to the victims' family members, as well as just forensics to see what they
uncover. So this is going to be a long process here in this neighborhood, which is typically a very quiet neighborhood on Long Island in New York.
SOARES: Brynn Gingras, really appreciate it. Thanks very much, Brynn.
And still to come tonight, Wimbledon champion Carlos Alcaraz tells CNN what it meant to defeat tennis great, Novak Djokovic, that is next.
SOARES: Well, Carlos Alacaraz says his win on Wimbledon is great for the new generation of tennis players. The Spaniard defeated reigning champion
Novak Djokovic in a thrilling five-set match that lasted almost five hours.
Today on CNN, Alcaraz talked about what it meant to be the Serbian after losing to him, of course, at the French Open in June. Have a listen to
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CARLOS ALCARAZ, 2023 WIMBLEDON GENTLEMEN'S SINGLES CHAMPION: Yes, it was totally different. You know, I prepared mentally, totally different before
the match. And, you know, during the match, I deal with the pressure so much better than I did in French Open. It was just about mentally. You
know, I know that physically, I'm really well-prepared, you know, to play this kind of match, this kind of marathon. I'm really, really proud to be
able to play at this level, you know, five hours against a legend and, you know, it's something that, yes, I learned a lot from.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES: Super thrilling to watch him.
Well, not even Florida's weather could rain on Lionel Messi's parade as he was officially welcomed to his new club Inter Miami.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Lionel Andres Messi.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES: Fans, as you can see, they're braving the elements to see the football legend at their home stadium on Sunday. His new club deal is
reported to be worth up to $60 million a year and to witness the Argentine make his U.S. debut, might require a payday as big as his tickets for his
expected first match on Friday, selling for as much as $110,000, that is according to one ticket website.
And finally tonight, it may be a little early in the year, of course, we're talking about Christmas, but fans of the iconic film "Love Actually" are
in, perhaps, for a treat. The director and writer, Richard Curtis, has announced a stage production of "Christmas Actually." He told BBC News the
play will be a variety show with live music and comedy that will serve as a charity fundraiser. He says, "We hope it will be a real chocolate box, or
perhaps advent calendar of delights." No signs yet of who may be involved. We could only hope Bill Nye will be back with some more of this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BILL NYE, TELEVISION PRESENTER: I feel it in my fingers, I feel it in my toes. Christmas is all around me, and so the feeling grows.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES: Classic. And that does it for us for tonight. Thanks very much for watching. Do stay right here. "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" with Richard Curtis is
up next. I shall see you tomorrow. Bye-bye.