Return to Transcripts main page

Isa Soares Tonight

Ukraine Claims Southern Village In Counteroffensive; Protesters In Peru Voice Their Opposition Against The President As She Gives Her First State Of The Union Address; Trump Hits Campaign Trail Despite New Indictment Case; U.S. & Taliban Officials To Meet In Doha In Coming Days; Greece Lowers Wildfire Alert Level; The 75th Emmy Awards To Be Postponed. Aired 2-3p ET

Aired July 28, 2023 - 14:00   ET



CHRISTINA MACFARLANE, HOST: A very warm welcome to the show everyone, I'm Christina Macfarlane in for Isa Soares. Tonight, Ukraine makes more gains

in the south of the country as their counteroffensive grinds on. We'll look at how significant those are. Then, anger on the streets of Peru,

protesters voice their opposition to the president as she gives her first state of the union address.

Plus, Donald Trump hits the campaign trail later today despite facing more charges for his alleged mishandling of classified documents. More on that

coming up. Well, we begin tonight in Ukraine where the country's counteroffensive is making some key progress. Ukrainian forces are making

gains along the southern front, claiming to catch a key village.

That puts Ukrainian troops right on the cusp of Russia's main defense lines for the first time since the war began. Well, meanwhile, Russian President

Vladimir Putin is hoping to firm up a different sort of line, diplomatic ties with Africa. He's meeting with leaders from across the continent at a

summit in St. Petersburg this week.

Many of whom are pressing him to end the war in Ukraine. Russian officials say they're carefully examining the African peace initiative, raising hopes

of an end to the conflict. Well, that's all happening as Russia claims to have intercepted a Ukrainian missile, targeting residential infrastructure

in the city of Taganrog, vowing a harsh response to what it's explicitly calling a terror attack.

CNN senior national security correspondent Alex Marquardt is following all of this, joins us now live from Kyiv. And Alex, these threats coming, I

believe following a missile attack in the Russian region of Rostov, and an attempt to drone-attack on Moscow overnight. What more are you hearing on


ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Yes, there were two missile attacks fired. Two missiles fired at southern Russia

according to the Russian Ministry of Defense. They were both taken down by air defenses, they say, but the debris fell and did hurt some people. That

debris falling from one of the missiles into that city, Taganrog, which is about 25 miles, 40 kilometers from the Ukrainian border.

The second missile that was shot down, its debris falling in an empty area and not hurting anybody. But Russia is firmly accusing Ukraine of being

behind what they call this terrorist attack. They say that they used two S- 200 missiles, now Christina, those missiles are normally used for air defense, so they would have been used here instead to attack targets on the


We have not heard any kind of claim responsibility from Ukraine. But Russia says they do reserve the right to respond because the people were hurt, and

the areas that were hit certainly had nothing to do with the military. Of course, that is quite rich coming from Russia, considering the amount of

damage that they have done and to the civilian population here in Ukraine throughout the course of the war.

And then there was an earlier attempted drone attack it seemed in the early hours of the day, a drone flying towards Moscow, it too was taken down by

air defenses according to Russian authorities. It comes just days after Ukraine did claim responsibility for sending two drones at Moscow on

Monday. So despite the no claim of responsibility for the missiles or for the drone today, it does highlight the fact that Ukraine does continue to

carry out attacks inside Russia. Christina?

MACFARLANE: Yes, and Alex, turning to the counteroffensive, we know or we're hearing reports of course of gains and key progress. But do we know

how far Ukraine are from penetrating Russia's main defensive lines?

MARQUARDT: Well, they're significant. What we're hearing in terms of the progress is significant, in that they have taken a town called

Staromaiorske that was long fought over, it is being hailed as a victory by Ukrainians, Ukraine's military as well as President Zelenskyy who posted

about it. But at the same time, the progress has been relatively modest.

We don't have specifics on how far in terms of kilometers that they've actually taken over the past few weeks. But they are making progress along

that key southern frontline. Remember, the goal there is for the Ukrainian forces to try to punch through that very well defended Russian line.

They've been prodding all along it for several weeks, trying to find weak points, trying to, you know, trick the Russians into thinking that they are

basically attacking on all different fronts.


But there are several key areas where they do seem to be making progress, driving south and taking that town of Staromaiorske, and then farther to

the west of that, Christina, in Zaporizhzhia Province, they are according to the Russians themselves, the Ukrainian troops have been using armored

vehicles, using infantry, using artillery to push down into those Russian defenses.

How far again, we don't know. We have spoken to Ukrainian soldiers on that frontline who say that the going is very tough, the morale has been high,

but those fields are just covered in mines. and they've been coming under withering artillery fire. So, the goal here as they push forward, and there

is evidence that they are pushing forward, is to get through that line in a way that they can pour troops through, and hopefully, this counteroffensive

can be accelerated. Christina?

MACFARLANE: Alex Marquardt there, appreciate your reporting, Alex, thank you. But let's talk a little bit more about what Alex was discussing there

in detail. And the military state of play here now with retired U.S. Army Colonel Liam Collins. Colonel, thank you for joining us. You would have

heard Alex talking there about how the Ukrainians have been prodding along the frontlines, and specifically, having taken the eastern -- made eastern

gains in the village of Staromaiorske in the Donetsk region.

I just want to show our viewers a couple of maps we have of that region to indicate exactly where it is, how incremental these gains have been. I

don't know if we can get it up, but colonel, just talk to us about the significant and sort of strategic approach here of what is happening. And

that pathway that Alex mentioned, that could open up to more gains in the region. How significant is this?

LIAM COLLINS, RETIRED U.S. ARMY COLONEL: Yes, I mean, you must understand right how hard it is to conduct an offensive like this when the Russians

had months and months to build up, right, miles long obstacles, not only long, but in depth, right? Dragon's teeth, mine fields, hundreds of mines.

And so, they have to go out there and conduct a very complex, combine our maneuver involving artillery, engineers artillery, tanks and infantry to

then breach these mine fields when they're under attack either direct fire or artillery fire from the Russians.

So, it's very difficult to breach those obstacles. So making these gains that they made already, right? Slower than most people expect, but they're

significant nonetheless. I'd like to try to penetrate some of those Russian lines.

MACFARLANE: And there has been discussion that the objective here is to break through to enable passage through to the Azov Sea. What would the

intention be in doing that? What will the objective be, presumably one would assume to cut off Crimea at some stage?

COLLINS: Yes, if they can -- if they're able to do that, right? What they can do is cut the Russians supply line. So, the Russians in the south can

either be supplied by -- through Crimea or through the west. And if they can cut that line, and then their only ability to resupply, move troops

around is coming from Crimea, and that's very vulnerable as we've seen with the attacks on the bridge.

Those kinds of things, so they can really seal off supplies to those Russian troops in the south, and then kind of go at them at that point. So

it is fairly significant if they are able to make it all the way to the sea.

MACFARLANE: Yes, and we know there have been gains made in the south as well, we just want to show our viewers a video we've had, we've seen today

of a vehicle approaching what is known as the Dragon's Teeth in the Zaporizhzhia region. We should say we don't know for sure who is in control

of this vehicle, but colonel, just explain to us as you talk about those defenses, those multi-defenses.

What the Dragon's Teeth actually are, and how significant, if this is a Ukrainian vehicle, it would be that it has come within range here.

COLLINS: Yes, I mean, it's really difficult. You're building dragon's teeth on the frontlines, right? As you see from that video, right? They

have to build those right, concrete pillars in there, whatever they're building them with, they have to physically construct those. And you're not

doing those right on the frontline because then it puts you at risk.

So, that's going to be a little bit deeper for those types of obstacles, where the mine goes, maybe they're laying those at night, right, up, closer

to the frontline. And so, it shows that the Ukrainians had made it to that point, but then once you get to that obstacle right, most vehicles aren't

going to be able to just drive through these.

It slows them down. They're going to need some kind of way to explosively breach them, mechanically do it with bulldozers, some other thing, and then

right when they do that, that's where the Russians are focusing their artillery right at the point of that breach. And that's why it makes it so


And the rule in the military is, you have to have 3 to 1 in terms of combat power so that the attacker needs to have three times the firepower, the

force as a defender because they have to spend so much trying to get through those obstacles.

MACFARLANE: Yes, and as you say, I think breaking down Russia's multi- defense layers' here is going to be what's key for the Ukrainians, it's obviously slow in progress as well. Colonel, we really appreciate your

thoughts on this, thank you for joining us.

COLLINS: Thank you.

MACFARLANE: Now, a new round of protests have broken out in Peru as the country's president gives her first state of the union speech. The speech

was intended to mark Peru's independence day.


The president apologized for police abuse and vow to overcome the poverty facing so many. But protesters faced off against police forces outside of

the government palaces. Well, joining us now is Stefano Pozzebon. Stefano, I believe the state of the union wrapped up just over an hour ago. Talk to

us about what has sparked these protests, what the protesters are demanding exactly?

STEFANO POZZEBON, JOURNALIST: Yes, so, the protests are -- have been ongoing since Dina Boluarte took power last year. She took power, you may

remember, after her predecessor who was a left-wing leader, Pedro Castillo attempted to sell for coup d'etat by dismissing Congress. And the police

and the armed forces did not follow through with the order.

Castillo is now in the hands of Peruvian authorities, and Boluarte, who is a right-wing politician, as the highest member of Congress back then was

sworn in as interim president. And she was meant to bridge the nation to a new round of snap elections, to try and bring a consensus. That didn't

happen. She stayed in power, she started forming a government and a cabinet and implementing right-wing policies.

And that led to widespread protests last year in December and this year in January, and February, around Christmas, and this is why this speech today

is so significant, because it's the first time that we're hearing Boluarte formally apologizing for the victims and the deaths of that cycle of

protests, allegedly, at the hands of the policeman and the security forces. Here is what she said just about an hour ago when she accepted some form of



DINA BOLUARTE, PRESIDENT, PERU (through translator): Once again and very painfully, I recognize that such a death toll is something nobody wanted. I

solemnly apologize on behalf of the state to the relatives of all victims, civilians, policemen and military, and to those who were injured.


POZZEBON: So, if you look at her voice, the body language, you don't really see too much of a heartfelt apology, but at least, it's a formal

apology and an attempt by her to try bring in a national consensus, to try to make amends for what has been a very bumpy first year in power for

Boluarte. In her speech, she claimed to have increased their investments in social spending for the poorest in Peru.

And that she wants to create a climate of national agreement. Of course, Peru is one of the most polarized societies in Latin America right now. We

have seen a plethora of presidents removed from office due to allegations of corruptions, judiciary investigations and Boluarte's government herself

is currently under investigation by the Commission of Inter-American Human Rights.

Which is a multi-lateral body that oversees human rights situations here in Latin America. What happens next, hard to say, Christina. Well, last year

we had 25 victims, where most of them were in the provinces. Well, here today, we're seeing actions in Lima. So, we'll have to see how Boluarte's

government will react to this new fresh round of protests just on independence day, Christina.

MACFARLANE: And certainly, Stefano, we will keep an eye on this to see how it progresses. But as we can see right now --


MACFARLANE: From these live pictures, things seem to have calmed. Let's hope that it continues to be that way. Of course, this -- Peru facing an

economic crisis on top of everything else, and these protests obviously making things a lot worse for the country. Stefano for now, with that

latest, thanks very much.

Our special counsel still hasn't indicted Donald Trump for his efforts to overturn the 2020 election. But former U.S. President now faces four

charges for his alleged mishandling of classified documents after leaving the White House. The superseding indictment from the special counsel add 60

pages to the case, Trump is fighting back as he gears up for a campaign rally in Pennsylvania this weekend.

He's calling it harassment. And it's unclear when the indictment regarding the 2020 election and the attack on the U.S. Capitol might come down. But I

want to bring in the very man to break it down for us, senior legal analyst Elie Honig joining us here. Elie, good to see you. So, just to help us

understand this, Elie, we know that Trump is now facing two new obstruction charges and one willful retention of defense information, that all-

important Iran document.

None of this of course good for Donald Trump. But which of these charges could prove to be the more legally-damaging?

ELIE HONIG, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: So Christina, I think that both really problematic for Donald Trump. So, first of all, this is what we call a

superseding indictment. Meaning it's a second version of an indictment, it replaces the first one. In the first indictment, Donald Trump was charged

with 31 counts of improperly retaining classified information.

Now, there is one more document, and that document is so important because this is the subject of the most important moment in this indictment.


When Donald Trump is done being president, he's at his golf club in New Jersey, and he's sharing the contents of a document with outsiders. There

were some question, Donald Trump said there's not actually a documents there, now we know that there is, that is now the 32nd document. Also,

Christina, Donald Trump is now been charged with two additional counts relating to obstruction of justice or tampering with evidence.

And what this goes to, is this concerted effort by Donald Trump and others to find and delete his own internal surveillance video from Mar-a-Lago. And

the proof that's laid out in the indictment there is quite compelling, and if that can be proved, not only is that a crime, but it shows that he had a

bad state of mind, bad intent. So both of them are a big problem.

MACFARLANE: Yes, and this now brings a count of charging in the classified documents case up to 40 against Donald Trump. And how likely are these --

is it that these allegations are going to cause a delay to this case? I mean, we know it's already been pushed back to May. But would a pushback

trial -- I mean, how much in an election year could that be pushed back past the 24 elections in November next year?

HONIG: Yes, this could end up being a gift to Donald Trump, believe it or not. Because his main strategy here seems to be delay. And ideally for

Donald Trump to past the November 2024 U.S. presidential election. This case was already a separate trial, fairly recently in May of 2024. They

have to do the math on this, because a trial of this nature is going to take 6 to 10 weeks to try, so without two months.

But the thing is, realistically, we are not going to have a trial on the eve of the election. We are not going to have a trial in September or

October of 2024. So if you're already starting in May, and it's going to take two months and you have to push it back, you're really getting into

that red zone, that danger zone where I think the judge is going to have to think seriously about pushing it back, and not just back a little bit, but

back until after the election. That's where Donald Trump is going to try to get out of this new development.

MACFARLANE: And, I mean, this all amounts to the fact that Donald Trump is now facing a logjam of legal cases against him. I think we have a graphic

we can show our viewers, I mean, I think there are six in total, but there are four here that are critical investigations, potential criminal

investigations. And we know, Elie, from what you're saying as well that the two trial dates are now set for 2024.

So, if you could just give us the big picture, and for the benefit of our international viewers, which of those pose the greatest legal jeopardy to

Trump in halting his run for the presidency, or is it all four combined here?

HONIG: Yes, first of all, just for the international viewers if you're wondering if anything like this has ever happened in the United States

history before, the answer is no, and not even close. Here, we have Donald Trump, who is the leading contender for the Republican nomination, could

well be the nominee, he is now facing four potential criminal cases.

Criminal cases, of course, are the most serious and have the gravest consequences. He's been indicted twice already. There is a state-level case

here in Manhattan where he's charged with falsifying business records about hush money payments made to the adult film actress Stormy Daniels before

the 2016 election. That case has been indicted, it's set for trial in March of 2024.

Then, we have the federal indictment that we were just talking about, relating to the classified documents in Mar-a-Lago. That is set for trial

in May though as we just discussed, it'll probably get pushed back. It looks like the next one up will be another federal indictment relating to

January 6th or the preceding effort to steal the election.

And it looks like shortly after that, later this August, a local prosecutor down in Georgia in Fulton County will also in all likelihood indict Donald

Trump for his effort to interfere with the Georgia results in the 2020 election. So, those are the four criminal cases we could indeed have one of

the two major party nominees for president, dealing with four separate criminal indictments during a presidential campaign.

MACFARLANE: It kind of beggars belief, doesn't it? Elie, but it's so good to have you break it all down for us, put it in plain speech, and

obviously, more indictments as you say, we wait to hear on those to come in the weeks ahead. Elie Honig there, thanks very much.

HONIG: Thanks, Christina.

MACFARLANE: Now, if Israel's Supreme Court strikes down his judicial overhaul, will the prime minister abide by it? Benjamin Netanyahu is not

saying yes, but he's not saying no. We're live in Jerusalem coming up.



MACFARLANE: Israel's prime minister is facing fallout for what he said or didn't say. Speaking to CNN's Wolf Blitzer, Benjamin Netanyahu's office has

released a statement saying Israeli governments always respect court decisions. This after the prime minister didn't commit to honoring a

potential court ruling, striking down his judicial reforms.

They say reforms are meant to limit the Supreme Court's powers is part of Mr. Netanyahu's interview from earlier this week.


BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, PRIME MINISTER, ISRAEL: Israel is a democratic country. It has an internal debate, you have an internal debate in the

United States right now about the powers of the Supreme Court, about whether it's abusing its power, whether you should curtail it, I'm not

going to enter into that debate. Does that make the American democracy not a democracy?

Does that make the debate unworthy? Does that make that issue a symbol of the fact that you're moving to some dictatorship? Of course, not.


MACFARLANE: Well, Mr. Netanyahu's comments aren't winning over the opposition. The head of Israel's National Unity Party, Benny Gantz is

slamming him on social media. He says it amounts to a coup by the prime minister if he defies a Supreme Court decision. A lot of the focus on

Israel's judicial overhaul has been the outcry sparked mass protests like the ones you can see here, and there's no sign that they're letting up.

But the bill remains very popular with many conservatives, especially right-wing and religious Jews. For more on that, I want to bring in CNN's

Fred Pleitgen, he's live with us from Jerusalem. And speaking of those protests we're seeing now on our screen, Fred, I know you were in amongst

them earlier this week when the bill was passed, and it's important to note that not all were against the judicial reform. So, what were people saying

to you?

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, you're absolutely right, Christina, not all people, obviously are opposed to these

judicial reforms. But one of the things that we certainly can say is that, that interview that Benjamin Netanyahu gave to Wolf Blitzer last night is

definitely causing a big stir here in Israel.

We've been seeing segments of that on Israeli TV throughout the day. And we just heard Benny Gantz there in a stark, a criticism of some of the things

that Benjamin Netanyahu had to say, some other opposition politicians, the same. And at the same time, you know, we have indeed been talking a lot

about the divisions here in Israeli society.

The protests that we've been seeing, but there are indeed a lot of people here in this country who at least, partially support the overhaul of the

judiciary and even say that it's long overdue. We spoke to some of those people today, and here's what they had to say.


PLEITGEN (voice-over): While thousands of Israelis are taking to the streets protesting the Netanyahu government's judicial overhaul measures

aimed at weakening the country's supreme court, many others especially more conservative Israelis say they support at least some of the measures. We

went to Efrat, a settlement in the West Bank.

RONNI LOTTNER, ELAZAR RESIDENT: I feel that the Israeli democracy has actually been stronger now. Because, at last, the decision is made by the

people and by the people voting in parliament.

PLEITGEN: While the opposition says the Supreme Court is the only check on government power, folks here say they believe the court has too much

influence and some of his decisions are too far reaching.


TOMMY LAMM, EFRAT RESIDENT: When they came out with these decisions, it felt very uncomfortable with them. I said why decision after decision after

decision are they deciding this way?

PLEITGEN: The first judicial overhaul bill passed by the Knesset on Monday stopped the Supreme Court from using the standard of reasonableness to

shoot down government decisions. A think-tank that has long been advocating for a judicial overhaul downplaying its impact.

EUGENE KONTOROVICH, KOHELET POLICY FORUM: The law that was passed makes a tiny little adjustment in that, beginning to slightly balance the scales

while still preserving judicial independence, meaningful judicial review of legislative and executive action.

PLEITGEN: But several groups have filed legal petitions against the Reasonableness Bill with the Supreme Court. In an interview with CNN's Wolf

Blitzer, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would not say if he would abide by the ruling in case the Supreme Court shoots the bill down.

NETANYAHU: First of all, we're all subject to the rule of law. The prime minister is subject to the rule of law. The Knesset, our parliament is

subject to the rule of law, the judges are subject to the law. Everybody is subject to the law.

PLEITGEN: That caused opposition politician Benny Gantz to accuse Netanyahu of a coup d'etat if Netanyahu would refuse to submit to a Supreme

Court ruling. And while many Israelis fear social unrest over the judicial overhaul measures, among some in Efrat, a more relaxed view.

SONYA GREEN, EFRAT RESIDENT: Is that on either side of this, everyone is holding the Israeli flag. What does that say? We love this country on

either side.

PLEITGEN: But many Israelis say they fear the direction their country is going in, and are vowing to continue their protests until the judicial

overhaul is stopped.


PLEITGEN: Of course, Christina, that's reflecting also some of the protests that we have indeed been seeing this week. A lot of the folks that

we spoke to at that protest that we were also at, feeling that the law that was passed this week by the Knesset on Monday is not just a minor thing.

They believe that this could be a first step to undermining democracy here in Israel, as they see it.

The opposition is vowing to continue to go out on the street despite the fact that the Supreme Court has said it will hear this case in September,

the next demonstration is planned for tomorrow night. Christina?

MACFARLANE: All right, and we will look ahead to that, Fred, to see how those protests go. Fred Pleitgen there live for us in Jerusalem. Thank you.

Right, still to come tonight, many Afghans were promised a home in the U.S. as the Taliban took over nearly two decades ago. But some of them are being

sent back to Afghanistan instead.

Plus, it's the hottest month in human history. We'll have more as millions in the U.S. under heat alerts from the southwest to New England.



MACFARLANE: U.S. officials are getting ready to meet with the Taliban in Doha, Qatar, in the next few days. Washington is sending a special

representative for Afghanistan to the meeting, as well as the special envoy for Afghan women, girls and human rights. A spokesman for the Taliban

Foreign Affairs Ministry says their priorities are getting the U.S. to end sanctions and blacklist and unfreeze Afghanistan's bank reserves.

No country has formally recognized the Taliban administration as of now. It returned to power in Afghanistan nearly two years ago when Western troops,

mostly from the U.S., pulled out. Many Afghans have been promised a better life by the U.S., but are still living in limbo. CNN's Nick Paton Walsh has



NICK PATON WALSH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It was the end of America's longest war, the worst of days, as Kabul fell to the Taliban and

its airport became the last chance for salvation. The United States pledged those who helped it would have a new life in America.

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Those who helped us are not going to be left behind.

WALSH (voice-over): But nearly two years later, not only are some Afghans who've been officially told they should get visas to America still waiting

in neighboring Pakistan, some have waited so long. CNN can reveal they've been deported back to Afghanistan. Sent back by Pakistani police to the

Taliban they fled.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They stopped and told us so we give you 24 hours deadline. We should not see you in Pakistan land.

WALSH (voice-over): CNN spoke to two Afghans who now, back in hiding in Kabul, had paperwork confirming they were being processed for U.S.' so-

called Afghan P-2 visas.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is very, very dangerous and it is very tough. You know that how many people have been killed, have been tortured, have been

disappeared. They will punish me, they will put me in jail, maybe they will kill me. I'm sure they will. Still we believe that USA will help us. We

believe. We didn't lose our hope still.

WALSH (voice-over): Another said he hadn't even told close family of his return to Kabul or deportation.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They did not hand us over to the Afghan border forces. They just released us on the border and told us to go back to Afghanistan.

Also, they did not give us any deportation document. It was me, my four kids and my wife who got deported together.

WALSH (voice-over): For some, desperation means it is already too late. This is where one of two Afghan men waiting for U.S. visas took their own

lives in the past two months, throwing himself from the sixth floor here, according to activists. Hundreds of Afghans have been deported from

Pakistan in recent months, say human rights groups. No distinction apparently made for those with a promise of a U.S. visa.

Last week, Afghans in Pakistan waiting for U.S. visas staged a protest. CNN spoke to several who complained of police harassment and feared greatly

deportation to Afghanistan. One described how the Taliban had beaten him senseless in Kabul before he fled, but that he now fears the Pakistani

police's harassment.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They were asking for a visa. There were a lot of policemen. They came into the house without clear information. And they

took me out of home and they were just putting me in the van. My kids, they were very much harassed. They were crying and they were asking for help.

WALSH (voice-over): He described how he once saved his American colleagues during a protest and had letters denoting his service.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Of course I am disappointed because the way that I served the Americans in Afghanistan and, you know, I was expecting them to

welcome me there sooner. It seems like I have no future at all.

WALSH (voice-over): The U.S. State Department told CNN the Biden administration, "Continues to demonstrate its commitment to the brave

Afghans who worked with the U.S.," but added their, "processing capacity in Pakistan remains limited," but they are "actively working to expand it."

And they urged Afghanistan's neighbors to, "Keep their borders open and uphold their obligations when it comes to asylum seekers." Pakistan's

foreign ministry declined to comment.

Another family was also harassed by Pakistani police, the father briefly jailed.

It is a very bad situation for my family, for me and for my family. I think it's a bad dream.

WALSH (voice-over): His wife broke down.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Save us from Pakistan. I can't come back to Afghanistan. Come back to Afghanistan is a big risk. And here, we are dying

every moment and staying in Pakistan is a gradual death.

WALSH (voice-over): Nick Payton Walsh, CNN, London.


MACFARLANE: Now for the first time in more than two weeks, Greece has lowered its alert level for wildfires from extreme to very high. The

country has seen an average of about 60 fires a day in that time. The temperatures have subsided. Officials say Greece remains on high alert for

new blazes.

And in Italy, several wildfires are still burning, but they are all contained. Temperatures there have also stabilized.

And dangerous heat in the U.S. with more than 150 million people under alerts today. It's so hot climate scientists say this month is set to be

the hottest in human history. Temperatures continue to climb dangerously from coast to coast. New York City is seeing some of the hottest

temperatures of the year. The city's heat index is hitting about 40 degrees Celsius. Meanwhile, Boston, Cincinnati, St. Louis and other cities have

also declared heat emergencies.

Well, CNN's Miguel Marquez is live for us in New York with more on this deadly heat. And Miguel, with the combined heat and humidity, New York must

be a very unpleasant place to be right now.

MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, it's both the misery index and the heat index, as they call it, the humidity and the heat. And in some areas

around New York, it could hit as high as 110 degrees. Like New York is used to this stuff for a few days, but it has been a very long and hot July, as

you mentioned. We're in Washington Square Park, where they're about to fire up the fountain here and cool things down. Just want to give you a sense of

what's happening here. Mostly a normal day in New York, but you have to consider that it's been a long and hot July. It was a very cool and rainy

spring, and it was a very warm winter.

Everything combined is concerning for people because it indicates that things are changing on the macro levels, not just a few hot days in New

York. Phoenix, Arizona, for instance, the entire country is boiling right now. Phoenix, Arizona, used to heat, but they've maxed out as well. They've

broken records. They've now over 15 days so far this year, over 115 degrees. That's, what, 46 degrees Celsius. So, just incredibly hot in these

places. The cacti, those famous Saguaro cactuses that you have in Phoenix and around Arizona, they are starting to buckle from the heat. And the city

is adding more refrigerated containers because they fear that there will be more heat-related deaths in Arizona as well.

But the Midwest, the upper Midwest, the East Coast now, heating centers, and then the power, everybody concerned about whether or not there will be

enough power, officials here in New York and across the country has been able to keep that temperature at about 78 degrees. What's that? About 28 or

so Celsius to try to conserve energy for everybody. Back to you.

MACFARLANE: Yes. And given how prolonged this is, you know, we know, Miguel, that the heat-related deaths are a real issue here. We heard the

White House yesterday announce new provisions to protect workers from extreme heat. How necessary are those? Is that viewed as being enough?

MARQUEZ: So workers who work in the heat, whether it's in Indianapolis or Minneapolis or throughout the country, those companies, if they are laying

asphalt, if they're working on construction, they are, in some cases, making them take water breaks, making them stay in the shade, ensuring that

they keep their body temperature down because what will happen is if people go into heat-related shock, it will not stop just one worker, but the

entire day, so they don't want to lose that as well. But everybody really paying attention to how people are handling the heat.


Back to you.

MACFARLANE: Yes. Well, we really hope they spark up that fountain behind you sometime soon, Miguel.

MARQUEZ: Oh, yes.

MACFARLANE: Miguel Marquez there live from New York. Thanks very much.

Now, this just coming into CNN. According to social media posts, a missile has hit a multi-story residential building in the Ukrainian city of Dnipro

and the Ukrainian lawmaker says online that there are emergency services at the scene. He's not aware of any casualties at this time. We're getting

details on this. And we'll bring you more information as soon as we get it.

We're returning now to Niger's ongoing power struggle. General Abdourahamane Tiani claims he's now the new leader of the West African

Nation following Wednesday's coup, according to state televisions. And this group of backers have ordered the suspension of the country's constitution

and disillusion of all its institutions resulting from it. However, a senior official to President Mohamed Bazoum claims there are disagreements

among coup leaders and that Mr. Bazoum has no intention of resigning. It's been days since the president was detained.

CNN's Larry Madowo has more for us.


LARRY MADOWO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Christina, major developments out of Niger Friday. The coup leaders, calling themselves the CNSP, the National Council

for the Preservation of the Homeland, say they have suspended Niger's 13- year-old constitution and any institutions that arose out of it remain suspended. They now run the country. It's a group of 17 men and they're led

by the head of the presidential guard. This man has been head of the presidential guard in Niger since 2011. He was inherited by President

Mohamed Bazoum from the previous leader and a Nigerian private newspaper reported that he was about to fire him to appoint somebody else as part of

changes to the security sector. They are now warning the CNSP that any foreign military intervention should not be even considered. It should be

out of the question.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): Despite the measures taken by the CNSP for rapid return to normalcy, certain former dignitaries hold up in

chancelleries in collaboration with the latter are pursuing a confrontational logic with a view to extract into the posed authorities.

This belligerent, dangerous and puriliest attitude will only result in the massacre of the Niger population and chaos.

MADOWO: We saw people hit the streets of Niger after the military took over to support the military. It's an indictment of France and the influence

that France exerts in the region. A senior source loyal to President Mohamed Bazoum says that this declaration of a new leader of Niger is

pointless. He's still in charge and this source appears to claim that there's some disagreement among these coup leaders over who should be in

charge. And they also fear that the EcoWest, that the economic community of West African states, might issue sanctions against Niger. EcoWest has a

major summit on Niger coming up on Sunday in the Nigerian capital, Abuja. Christina.


MACFARLANE: Oh, thanks to Larry for that. Now, human rights groups in Singapore call the hanging of a woman convicted of drug trafficking a grim

milestone. It's the first time a female prisoner has been executed there in nearly two decades. She was convicted of attempting to traffic an ounce of

heroin and sentenced to the mandatory death penalty. Friday, the 45-year- old, was put to death in Changi prison. Well, Singapore maintain some of the world's harshest drug laws. Anyone caught trafficking certain

quantities of illegal drugs, like heroin, or cannabis, receives the death sentence. Stay with us. We'll be back after this short break.


MACFARLANE: Television and film productions remain shut down in Hollywood, thanks to the actors and writers' strike. And now a major TV event has been

impacted. The 75th Primetime Emmy Awards show will now not happen as schedule for September 18th, and some reports say the show might not happen

until the beginning of next year. Actors went on strike two weeks ago. They joined the writers who went on strike back in May. An issue for both unions

is the future of artificial intelligence in the industry and residual pay.

Well, joining us now is CNN Entertainment Reporter Chloe Melas. Chloe, I think this perhaps wasn't a huge surprise given the strike is still

ongoing. But this is significant because it's the first time I think in over 20 years that the Emmys have been postponed.

CHLOE MELAS, CNN ENTERTAINMENT REPORTER: Yes, so it is the first time in two decades that we have seen the Emmys be postponed. Now the Emmys are not

commenting on the record right now. We've reached out to Fox, which was set to air the Emmys, like you said, on September 18th for comment and they've

declined to speak about this right now, probably because behind the scenes, there is a lot to figure out. The Emmys, being in September, that sounds

far away but they start planning these shows almost as soon as the first show ends. They start planning the next one. And that goes for all award


So, the writers and the SAG, all being on strike, hundreds of thousands of people being affected, obviously, the show cannot go on without Hollywood

being able to be part of it. And the last time that we saw the Emmys be postponed was after September 11th. And so this is incredibly significant

and very unfortunate because the Emmys is something that everybody looks forward to. And even I'm finding, when I'm interviewing celebrities in the

wake of all of this, they can't talk about their projects. That's part of the strike. You cannot talk about your projects. So then obviously how can

they be part of the Emmys? How will there be an Oscars? Hopefully, things will be resolved by then. But it's not looking good.

MACFARLANE: Yes, I'm glad you brought up the Oscars because I was, in the back of my mind, wondering about that, right? Because that's March of next

year. But Chloe, where do we stand then on negotiations? It's been two weeks of strikes now. Do we know what's going on behind the scenes? What

sticking points are still there?

MELAS: So I mean, it's all about residuals, right? And in the age of streaming, obviously so many of the writers and the actors are saying that

they want to be appropriately compensated. How many people are watching streaming? How many people are watching HBO Max, right? Or Max, which is

our parent company. How many people are watching Hulu? How many people are watching Netflix, right? Or Amazon Prime? And these are those questions

that are on everyone's minds and they want to see more money there. They want to see more writers in the writers' rooms. And also AI, artificial

intelligence, is a sticking point.

The governor of California, Governor Gavin Newsom, his team just came out and said his office that he has met with all sides of the strike on all

sides. So, all parties involved from the writers' guild to the actors' guild and to the actual studio heads, and he says they are still very far

apart on this issue. It is not just the people in front of the camera that are affected or the writers, it's catering, it's the makeup department.

It's all the different people, transportation, people that make these shows and movies happen that are obviously not being paid right now. And it's a

very scary thing because people have jobs and they have children and they have lives and they are worried about how they're going to put food on the

table. So, obviously they want to hold out for as long as possible to reach an agreement that is satisfactory to them.

But at the same time though, they have lives to live. So it's a very tough situation and hopefully there will be a resolution soon.


But it's a sad situation all around.

MACFARLANE: It really is, as you say there. I mean these are just sort of basic rights that a lot of these people, these actors, people who work in

the movies are asking for. So we hope, as you say, there will be a resolution. Chloe, thank you so much for joining us breaking that down.

And well, I mean, have you seen Barbie yet? Because it's obviously the movie that's been making major headlines. Full disclosure, I haven't

actually seen it yet, but we know that lots of people collect Barbie dolls, but a woman in Germany has the largest collection in the world. Bettina

Dorfman has a whopping 18,000 Barbies. 62-year-old superfan has held the Guinness World Record for the biggest collection of the doll 2005. Bettina

got her last, or her Barbie, I should say, in 1966, seven years after Mattle launched the doll. And she says she's already ordered several dolls

from the new Barbie film. I wonder how much all of that will amount to. Okay.

Still to come tonight, meet a Danish man who has accomplished what many would consider an impossible feat. He visited more than 400 countries

without using a plane.


MACFARLANE: Hi. Welcome back. A Danish man says he recently finished a 10- year journey visiting more than 200 countries without hopping on an airplane. Quite a feat and likely impossible for most travelers. Here's how

he did it.


MACFARLANE (voice-over): It's home sweet home for the first time in a decade for Danish traveler Torbjorn Pedersen, also known as Thor.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Congratulations.

TORBJORN PEDERSEN, DANISH TRAVELER: Thank you very, very much.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You did it. We did it. We survived.

MACFARLANE (voice-over): Seeing his father for the first time in 10 years, embracing his wife and relatives after completing what he calls a trip

around the world without flying.

PEDERSEN: Mixed emotions, mixed emotions. I'm so happy to be back home in Denmark.

MACFARLANE (voice-over): Inspired by an article his father sent him, he began his world tour on October 10, 2013, journeying over land, over

mountains, and seas on foot, trains, buses, motorcycles, and even camels.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He's very stubborn and when he has a goal, he wants to reach it.

MACFARLANE (voice-over): Even two years of COVID restrictions in Hong Kong could not stop him.

PEDERSEN: I look back at Hong Kong today and I'd have to say that was simultaneously perhaps the best time of my life and the worst time of my


MACFARLANE (voice-over): Thor filmed his trips and uploaded them to his blog and on social media, where he has over 71,000 followers. He also made

a documentary about his decade-long journey to 203 countries and territories, a feat which he says the world may never see again.


MACFARLANE (on camera): And finally, there was an earthquake in Seattle last weekend but it wasn't caused by shifting tectonic plates. It was the

Swifties. It seems Taylor Swift's fans caused seismic activity equivalent to a 2.3 magnitude earthquake. The scientist who reported the activity says

the music, the beat, and the speakers drive energy into the ground which shakes it. Those Swifties can't stop, won't stop moving.

That does it for us tonight. Stay with us. "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" is up next with a special show coming from the Guggenheim in New York.