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Isa Soares Tonight
ECOWAS Calls For A Second Summit On Niger; Ukraine Says It Foiled an Assassination Plot Against Zelenskyy; Fourteen Dead, 40k Evacuated After Heavy Rainfall In China; U.S. Navy Tracks Russian, Chinese Ships Near Alaska; Philippines Protest China's Action Against Ship; Trump Lawyers Face Deadline On Protective Order Request; Report: NYC Turn Soccer Fields Into Migrant Tent City; U.S. Approved First Postpartum Depression Pill; World Scout Jamboree Impacted By Severe Weather; Meta's Twitter Rival, Threads, Struggling To Keep Users Aired 2-3p ET
Aired August 07, 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, Niger's military leaders are still in
power as ECOWAS calls for a second summit to discuss the coup and what happens next. We are learning about an alleged foiled assassination plot on
Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. We have the details for you just ahead.
And former U.S. President Donald Trump is staring down a deadline related to charges he tried to overturn the 2020 election. First, tonight though,
the deadline has come and it has gone. And they defied an ultimatum to really relinquish power. Now, the coup leaders of Niger are bracing for
possible military intervention by a West African regional bloc.
The streets of Niger's capital were quiet this morning as residents stocked up on food and other necessities, fearing a possible attack. The ruling
military Junta has closed the airspace and is bringing reinforcements to Niamey from across the country. It is unclear how ECOWAS will respond to
the rejection of their demands that Niger's democratically-elected president be reinstated by Sunday.
They are meeting again on Thursday for another emergency summit. I want to bring in Larry Madowo, he's following developments for us tonight from
Nairobi, Kenya. So, Larry, the deadline come and gone. What happens next? How is the regional bloc going to respond here?
LARRY MADOWO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: They're clearly considering some grave options, Isa. That is why President Bola Tinubu of Nigeria, who chairs the
ECOWAS heads of state group has called for another emergency summit on Thursday to determine what they're going to do, because they were talking
tough, promising to intervene militarily within one week if President Mohamed Bazoum is not reinstated.
And the military was like, OK, you're going to have to make us because we are not going to do that. And ECOWAS has to prove that they were not just
saber-rattling, that they intend to actually do something. That they have teeth. And that's something that would be unpopular within parts of the
Nigerien population. The military Junta filled a big stadium in the capital, Niamey, to show that they have the public support.
To show ECOWAS that this military intervention is unpopular. I've got to point out though, that any pro democracy voices, anybody who supports
Mohamed Bazoum appears to have disappeared from the public discourse in Niger, partly because with the lack of independent media, the state
television, state outlets control a lot of the narrative.
But the military Junta itself has been talking in apocalyptic terms about an impending attack by this group of West African countries.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AMADOU ABDRAMANE, SPOKESMAN, NIGER MILITARY (through translator): Niger's armed forces and all our defense and security forces backed by the
unfailing support of our people are ready to defend the integrity of our territory and the honor of our homeland. To this end, the National Council
for Safeguarding the Homeland launches a vibrant appeal to the youth, to the worthy daughters and sons of our country, to stand ready to defend
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADOWO: A military source telling CNN that the military and Junta has -- the military Junta in Niger has brought in units from other parts of the
country into the capital, Niamey, in anticipation of this assault that they expect, even though ECOWAS has not officially declared it as such. They are
further isolating themselves by closing the airspace for instance.
They closed this initially after the coup. They reopened it to some neighboring countries, they suddenly closed it again last night leading to
a lot of airlines scrambling to go around and re-route to return to base, because many of them were already airborne, and they had to do this at the
last minute. So, on top of the ECOWAS sanctions that were announced, that no fly zone, the travel ban, the stopping of financial -- sanctions, and
now this, Niger remains completely isolated, except the support they have from Burkina Faso and Mali, the two neighboring countries that are also
ruled by military Juntas.
They've said they're sending a delegation to Niamey to offer their solidarity with this country, with these people and especially with the
military, their claims of taking over the government there. Isa.
SOARES: And meanwhile, what we have seen, and you touched on this, Larry, you know, Niamey, were civilians coming out kind of en masse in favor, at
least it seems for what they've put out there on TV, in favor of the coup leaders. And from what I heard from some of the clips you have been playing
throughout the day here on CNN, there seems to be an anti-French, anti- western sentiments.
Lots of people with Russian flags too, kind of all of this kind of foundation, Larry, for Wagner forces to insert themselves. So where does
Wagner fall into all of this?
MADOWO: So, this does appear to be an anti-French coup, but that was not the foundations for it. This is a domestic dispute that many western
agencies consider. Many western governments say it is the presidential guard and the president in a dispute, and he, the head of the presidential
guard was about to be fired as part of security changes, and he now has declared himself president.
But one of the first stops that the military Junta has made since taking over power has been to Mali, to Bamako, where the Wagner group has already
been active there, helping Malian forces fight the Jihadist insurgency. And the French Foreign Minister confirming that contact has been made between
the Niger Junta and the Wagner group.
It's not clear if there's a contract that's been signed, it's not clear if there are any Wagner troops already in Niger, but it will not be surprising
the French and the Americans say, for the Wagner group to see this as an opportunity to extend their influence, to make some money in Niger as well.
SOARES: Larry Madowo keeping an eye on all the developments, thanks very much, Larry. And we're joined now by a former head of ECOWAS, Ellen Johnson
Sirleaf, she was also Africa's first elected female head of state, serving as president of Liberia. Madam President, thank you very much for taking
the time to speak to us here on the show.
The demand, as you heard are reported there by ECOWAS to reinstate the elected president, President Mohamed Bazoum has been met -- hasn't been
met, and ECOWAS now has boxed itself into a corner with this ultimatum. How should ECOWAS then respond at this -- at this juncture?
ELLEN JOHNSON SIRLEAF, FORMER PRESIDENT OF LIBERIA: Well, let me say first that the ECOWAS authority has a record of being able to respond to issues
in all of the ECOWAS countries, using dialogue, using engagements, finding the means to resolve differences. And I have confidence that despite what
appears to be the difficulties between the decisions made, and the response by the affected countries, I believe that the leaders of the ECOWAS
authorities have the capacity, have the ability, and quite the knowledge about what's going on in the region to find the best approach to resolve
And so, I would not give in to all the hype that we hear from the media. You know, I would just listen to what they say, listen to their measures.
And we've always found a way to resolve it even when there are sharp differences as seemed to exist right now.
SOARES: How then, Madam President, would you go about de-escalating this? Mali and Burkina Faso said they're sending delegations to the capital in
what they say is in solidarity with the people in Niger. Both these countries are both experienced military takeovers in the last few years,
and then members of ECOWAS. Where then does this leave the bloc? How much is the credibility of the bloc at stake here?
SIRLEAF: I think what I expect to happen, and I believe that's already happening as I've been able to see from the media, that a team has already
gone in, that means that the authorities are going to pursue the engagement through dialogue, finding a means to talk to the leaders of all the
countries that, you know, have demonstrated and are -- you know, we all have a concern about what's is retrogression in democracy about all of our
countries that have so long kept up the standards of ECOWAS, kept up the standards of the African Union.
And if there is now a breakaway, I think it's up to the ECOWAS authorities to resolve this. And so, I would tell, I really believe that it may seem
now that we are headed towards a major crisis. We are headed towards major violence, you know, and conflict. I believe that the ECOWAS authorities
will find a way out of that. That the team that they have sent in will continue to engage through dialogue, that the leaders of the countries that
have taken a step different from what we have all stood for will realize that it just doesn't work that way.
That, you know, they have to find a way to talk, they have to find a way to come back to the fold and -- to the different rules and the different
standards that we all have set by all our countries. And those standards have been engaged by our people, and that's what has kept our country peace
and safe in the past --
SOARES: Yes --
SIRLEAF: Few years. And none of us -- see us again go into an area where we see wars and conflicts and death and destruction that has kept our
countries from being able to achieve their economic goals.
SOARES: Well, do you think, Madam President, that ECOWAS made a mistake with this ultimatum? Is this an empty threat if it's not going to pursue
this? I know you're saying that diplomatically, politically, you think there must be a solution. But it was ECOWAS who came with that threat, and
now it's boxed itself into this corner.
SIRLEAF: Well, look, I'm a former president, I don't know the basis upon which that decision was made, and if it's considered a harsh decision. But
I believe that at the end of the day, we are going to see some resolution to this problem. I don't think you believe that the ECOWAS authorities will
take any step that would result in a destruction of countries, or the death of people.
I don't think so. And you know, why a decision was being -- had been taken, the basis of which I don't know. But I see an engagement that is ongoing.
And you know, we always -- we always have on when matters or crisis and when it's facing a hard decision, because something that has gone
definitely wrong, as in this case, when we see and moving some of our countries away from what we stood for.
I think that it's an initial reaction of taking a decision to set it right. But at the end of the day, I think you will see that reason will prevail,
and we'll find a way -- we did it in other cases. We had the same kinds of crisis in other countries. And then the others had took hard lines on how
to resolve it, and at the end of the day, I think, we find a way out.
It is my appeal to our own authorities, to the presidents of ECOWAS and the authorities today, that we find a way to start this engagement, to
accelerate the engagement, to seek the dialogue, to send a few envoys there, to bring reason to those who are acting totally against what is
expected of us in the best interest of their citizens.
I mean, we see, you know, many of the citizens that protest, and their claims, support, but the record of military rule is there for everyone to
see. And this is why we decided to go with the way of democracy, where there will be peace, and there will be security for all. And so, I think
the engagements, even with those who are in the civil society, will be the ones supporting this takeaway that they too can be subject to dialogue
through our envoys.
I know you may think that being politically correct and being diplomatic, and all of that, but I'm just responding on the basis of what I know. On
the basis of the kind of commitments --
SOARES: Yes --
SIRLEAF: That our authorities have trying to settle for peace and security much more than violence and chaos. And I think that even if we sometimes
say things -- I've seen harsh, to take decisions, I think at the end of the day, reason will prevail and you'll see a difference.
SOARES: And I think everyone is hoping, Madam President, that reason will prevail. I don't know if you heard our correspondent, Larry Madowo, we were
talking about the Wagner presence in the Sahel and in Africa. We're hearing from the French Foreign Ministry that Wagner has been in touch with the
coup leaders in Niger. How worried are you about this potential relationship, about Wagner's potential relationship in Niger as we have
seen in other parts of the Sahel?
SIRLEAF: Well, let me say, I'm a former president of Liberia and an African leader in a small, vulnerable country, Liberia. I have to be concerned.
SOARES: Oh, I think we've lost, unfortunately -- unfortunately, we have lost Madam Sirleaf, I don't know if you're still with us.
She was talking, of course, about the impacts of the Wagner forces in the Sahel, in particular, in her country, Liberia. We will try to reconnect, of
course, and see if we could get that important answer from her. It seems that we can't get through to her, well, give us a few minutes, we'll try
and reconnect with her again. In the meantime, let me take you to Ukraine, of course.
Because Ukraine is now saying it has now detained a Russian informant who was part of a plot to assassinate President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. According
to the investigation, the suspect lived in southern Ukraine, but did not make the woman's name public. Our Nick Paton Walsh has the story.
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL SECURITY EDITOR (on camera): Well, it is unclear how advanced this alleged plot indeed was, and Ukrainian
security services quite active in the media over the past week, claiming joint attacks on Russian cargo ships and amphibious assault vessels and
indeed a bridge to Crimea, they are suggesting that they've intercepted a Russian informant, unclear of her nationality, but she worked in Ochakiv in
a military surplus store down towards the Crimean Peninsula on the southern coast.
They suggest that she was trying to convey information to the Russians about a likely visit by Volodymyr Zelenskyy to Mykolaiv in the past. That's
a key port city down on the south. And some of the messages that were exchanged apparently show them suggesting her interlocutors suggesting,
well, can we get a picture of where he might be going, is it a hospital, what time are we talking about? That sort of thing.
And another reminder, I think too of the daily threat against Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, a man who famously at the start refused to
leave Kyiv, saying, I don't need ammo -- I don't need a ride, I need ammo allegedly when asked if he wanted an evacuation. And so, disinformation
coming out, I say as we hear a lot from Ukrainian security services about their activities in the Black Sea.
Another part of really -- actually the war opening here, and a time when nightly we're also seeing an exchange of barrages between the Ukrainians
and the Russians. One killed in Kherson over the past 24 hours. Ukrainians are saying, the Russians are saying, a Ukrainian drone may have gotten near
Kaluga, that's to the south of Moscow.
And so, this tension ratcheting up slowly as the pace, potentially, of Ukraine's counteroffensive in the south may grow in the days ahead. But no
comfort to Ukrainian civilians on the receiving end of these Russian barrages. But an interesting development today with suggestions of a
targeted bid to try and hit the Ukrainian president. Nick Paton Walsh, CNN, southern Ukraine.
SOARES: Still to come tonight, severe flooding in parts of Europe, we'll have a full look at which areas are most severely affected. And could
sports field help solve the migrant crisis in New York? We'll explain a major new plan that's under consideration in the city, that's next.
SOARES: Well, flooding in northeastern China has left at least 14 people dead. The region is also suffering heavy agricultural losses from the
rainforest, a major supplier of food for the rest of China. Forty thousand people have been evacuated from one city, they're part of a massive wave of
people being forced from their homes.
Aid is being trucked in for more than a million people. Well, extreme weather and floods also impacting parts of Europe. In Slovenia, devastating
floods have killed at least six people and caused more than $500 million in property damage. That's after a month's worth of rain falling just one day.
Our Michael Holmes has the very latest for you.
MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Dragged down by floodwaters, this house in Slovenia no match for days of torrential rain.
Residents say they watched and waited as a nearby river swelled in the storms which began last week, but by Saturday, they were forced to evacuate
after the river burst its banks leaving nothing to contain the rushing waters.
This man says that eight people lived there, both young and old. He says it's a huge loss, but he's grateful they got out in time. Slovenia's Prime
Minister says this is the worst natural disaster in the nation's history, affecting two-thirds of the country, with large parts of central and
northern Slovenia deluged with floods.
Emergency workers are making a public plea for rubber boats so that they can reach areas no longer reachable by road. This is what they're up
against, dangerously fast waters, which have stranded people in some areas. Volunteers in this northern town risking their lives to save two tourists
stuck in the rapids. One local mayor says he's just now getting a chance to inspect the damage.
He says much of his town has been inundated since Friday, and what isn't covered in water is caked in mud. He says it's a huge financial loss, and
estimates the damage in his town alone will run into the millions of dollars. The prime minister echoing that concern, saying the price tag to
clean up and rebuild across the country could top half a billion dollars.
But some residents are already starting that process, and local media says around 600 soldiers have been deployed to hard-hit areas to help with the
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (SPEAKING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
HOLMES: This restaurant owner says it will be hard to bounce back from what she calls an apocalypse, but she says at least, this disaster is one that
many people are weathering together. Michael Holmes, CNN.
SOARES: And be sure to tune in tomorrow, tomorrow's show in fact, the prime minister of Slovenia will join us and discuss how the floods are impacting
his country. We'll also talk about of course, the war in Ukraine. There's plenty to talk with the prime minister tomorrow. Let's get more now on the
devastating floods. CNN meteorologist Chad Myers joins me.
And Chad, I mean, it's just been so intense looking at those pictures --
CHAD MYERS, METEOROLOGIST: Well --
SOARES: That, you know, we've just reported on.
MYERS: Yes --
SOARES: Any sign, any relief, Chad, when this rain is going to stop, how long it's going to last for?
MYERS: Well, yes, I mean, the rain has already stopped. It stopped a couple of days ago. But really, the water running off has not stopped. That's the
problem. Think about the topography of this area. And water that fell on top of these hills and these mountains, all has to somehow get back down
into the Mediterranean.
And this is the area that we were seeing so much rainfall all the way through the weekend. One storm after another. We call it training. Think
about getting on a train, and that train gets on a track. Well, the car behind you also goes over the same track. And it's one car after another,
after another, over the same place.
These storms were one storm after another right on top of the old storm. So, for now, all the rain is going to be up towards Oslo, probably a 100
millimeters, and all the areas down here that we're so devastated, that's done. What is done is done. But it's still going to take a long time for
all of those rivers to recede all the way back down to where they should be this time of year.
When you get a month's worth of rain in 48 hours, and in some places 24 hours, you're going to have flooding really no matter where you are in the
world, especially if there are towns and concrete and buildings and cities in the way where much of that water didn't even soak back in. Something
else that's going on here, another heat wave developing for Madrid.
Look at the high for tomorrow and Wednesday, 41 and 43, when your high should only be in the 30s. So, a lot more heat building across parts of the
southwestern part of Europe. Another thing happening today, we'll keep you advised of a significant wind storm. Hurricane, typhoon, cyclone, name it,
just depends on what ocean you're in. That's how big the wind will be in this red zone.
And there are some very big cities here in North America that will have those winds. I suspect by this time tomorrow, we'll be talking about
millions, if not a million people without power for sure. Trees coming down quickly today with those winds over 75 miles per hour, 120kph easy.
SOARES: Stay safe, Chad, I'll see you tomorrow roughly at this time. Thanks very much --
MYERS: OK, you bet --
SOARES: And still to come tonight, a key deadline is hours away for Donald Trump's legal team. How it could impact the former president. And the way
he discusses evidence in the federal election case.
SOARES: Welcome back, everyone. China is downplaying a recent joint Naval patrol with Russia off the coast of Alaska. American defense officials say
the show of force did not pose a threat to the U.S. or Canada. That's after the U.S. military deployed four of its Naval destroyers to monitor 11
Russian and Chinese ships operating in international waters there last week.
Our Natasha Bertrand is following all the developments for us. And Natasha, how is the show of force then by the Russian and the Chinese Naval patrols
being interpreted? What has been the reaction thus far?
NATASHA BERTRAND, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY REPORTER: Well, the U.S. military has essentially sought to downplay this, saying that these ships stayed in
international waters and that they did not pose a threat at any point to the U.S. or Canada. We heard that in a statement from U.S. Northern
However, the military did take steps to deploy assets to monitor the ships and, of course, make sure that they didn't do anything overly provocative.
They deployed four U.S. Navy destroyers as well as a reconnaissance aircraft, just to make sure that they were staying in international waters.
But the U.S. senators from Alaska, Dan Sullivan and Lisa Murkowski, they sounded the alarm on Saturday about this. They said that these ships
numbered roughly 11 -- were 11 Russian and Chinese ships that they were operating off of the Aleutian Islands in the Bering -- in the Bering Sea.
And they said that this marks a new era of authoritarian aggression, according to Dan Sullivan, that is led by the dictators in Beijing and
Moscow. So, clearly very strong words there. And they notably called this an incursion.
Now, this is not the first time that the Russian and Chinese have done this kind of exercise in that area off the coast of Alaska. They did something
very similar last summer and the response by the U.S. was, according to Sullivan, the U.S. senator, very "tepid" because it was a single U.S. Coast
Guard ship that essentially encountered these ships on a routine patrol. But this time around, the U.S. military took steps to make a bigger show of
force on their side as well. And Dan Sullivan, the senator, again, he appreciated that. And he issued a statement saying that he hopes that kind
of robust response will become the norm in the future.
Now, notably the Chinese embassy did say in a statement to CNN that these naval vessels have recently conducted joint maritime patrols in relevant
waters in the Western and Northern Pacific. And they said this action is not targeted at a third party and has nothing to do with the current
international tensions between the U.S., Russia, and China.
But obviously, any kind of presence by the Russian and Chinese in this area of the world, so close to Alaska, is going to raise alarms, especially now
among U.S. officials.
SOARES: Indeed, Natasha Bertrand for us there. Thanks very much, Natasha.
Well, fresh tensions in the South China Sea as well. The Philippine government condemning China for taking what it calls aggressive action
against a Philippine ship on Saturday. Manila has some of the Chinese envoy in protest. Our Marc Stewart has that story for you.
MARC STEWART, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The Philippines is condemning China, accusing it of using a water cannon on one of its vessels
as a "dangerous and illegal practice."
This video is from over the weekend showing a Chinese ship purportedly firing water at the Filipino boat. Smaller in size compared to the Chinese
coast guard ship, the much-smaller Philippine boat was attempting to deliver supplies to a Philippine military installation in the South China
Sea. Some contacts, these waters have been a source of tension between the two nations. Beijing claims it as its own, yet Manila feels it has a right,
A 2016 ruling from the Hague contends that Beijing has no legal basis to claim historic rights to the bulk of the South China Sea. China has ignored
the ruling. The incident has prompted the Philippines Foreign Minister to deliver a complaint letter to the Chinese embassy on Monday.
The United States is showing support to the Philippines reaffirming its mutual defense treaty obligations. Australia, Germany, and Japan have also
weighed in, calling the Chinese actions dangerous and destabilizing. Marc Stewart, CNN, Tokyo.
SOARES: Well, Donald Trump and his lawyers face a key legal deadline today in the 2020 election interference case. A federal judge has ordered them to
respond to Special Counsel Jack Smith's request for a protective order in about two and a half hours. Smith is trying to block Trump from disclosing
evidence and making public comments that would -- that could, I should say, intimidate witnesses.
The current candidate was indicted for the third time, if you remember last week, on charges alleging he was part of a conspiracy to overturn the
election. And the fourth indictment could be coming in Georgia. The street in front of Atlanta's Fulton County courthouse was closed off today as
officials rump up security.
CNN's Katelyn Polantz is live in Washington with the very latest. So, Katelyn, we've had the indictment. So, next I suspect -- I suspect is a
trial. So, what is going on here with the legal back and forth?
KATELYN POLANTZ, CNN SENIOR CRIME AND JUSTICE REPORTER: Right. So, there's a lot going on in all of these cases. But in this new federal criminal case
against Donald Trump in Washington, D.C., related to January 6 and the 2020 election, there's some term setting that has to be done before things get
really moving toward a trial.
So, Donald Trump has entered his not guilty plea. And the next thing that typically happens in a criminal case is the Justice Department prosecutors
turn over evidence to the defense so everybody can get ready for trial. In this situation, the Justice Department is saying that there are sensitive
materials that they want to make sure aren't going to be shared before trial in a way that could compromise the integrity of that trial whenever
it happens. Things like grand jury transcripts and other sensitive materials.
And so, they want to come to an agreement that's totally typical in a case like this with Donald Trump's lawyers about how and when those things can
be shared. They don't want Trump to be able to have paper copies of some of the documents and they don't want some of those things to be shared widely
to the public.
Now, Donald Trump's team is pushing back very forcefully in the public sphere. They're complaining about free speech. They're complaining about
having some sort of limitations on him. This isn't a free speech issue. It is something very typical, something that's even over Donald Trump in his
case in Florida already. But the judge wants to move this along, sensing that there's a dispute here, setting a deadline for today at 5:00 p.m.
saying OK, tell us in court what you believe you want to do here to Donald Trump's defense team.
So, we're waiting to see exactly what they're going to say in court and if it matches up with what's publicly being disputed about what's called a
protective order. That's the thing they're debating here.
SOARES: And meanwhile we've replaced some videos just before we came to you, Katelyn, of police ramping out security around the courthouse in
Atlanta, Georgia. I mean is this a sign that a decision is approaching? How possible is a fourth indictment here?
POLANTZ: It's extremely possible at this point. We know that the special grand jury in Fulton County, Georgia did recommend charges. We don't know
exactly against whom but it seems very plausible that Donald Trump is one of the people that that special grand jury was likely to want to have
charged. The prosecutors would be making the decision.
And we are in a window in time where they have two grand juries at their disposal who could be asked to look at that case, vote on it, approve it,
and get it filed in the court system potentially against Donald Trump and others. And clearly from that video that we have there of the Fulton County
courthouse, that the streets around that courthouse are starting to be closed. That begins today.
And so, in the coming days and weeks we clearly are going to be needing to watch what happens out in that courthouse itself to see if an indictment
would emerge there as well, a set of state charges related to January 6 in the 2020 election, A totally separate case from what was federally charged
against Donald Trump last week.
SOARES: Katelyn Polantz for us there in Washington. Thanks very much, Katelyn.
And from Donald Trump to an issue that helped define his presidency, one that remains a pressing challenge for America today. And I'm talking about
the migrant crisis. Right now, officials in New York are considering turning soccer fields into a tent city for thousands of asylum seekers.
That is according to report by CNN affiliate WCBS.
The mayor says shelters are just maxed out. And these pictures show migrant sleeping in the streets in New York.
This was last week. Polo Sandoval is in New York with more. And so, Polo, give us a sense then of the scale and the challenges here.
POLO SANDOVAL, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Isa, those images that you just shared with our viewers around the world, those are actually taken
outside of the hotel that's just across the street from where we are at this hour. To be fair, New York City officials were able to eventually
accommodate those dozens of asylum seekers that were spending a night on the sidewalk outside of the historic Roosevelt Hotel that serves as the
initial intake center, if you will.
All these newly arrived asylum seekers arriving at a rate of about 2,000 per week, they are -- the first stop is at that facility that you see
behind me. That is where they hope to eventually be placed in the city's shelter system that is buckling under pressure when you hear from New York
City officials. They have been able to establish roughly 200 so far.
And they just announced the last hours show the addition of one more facility north of where we are. That is expected to accommodate at least
2,000 adult men asylum seekers. It is a facility that had been previously - - or location that had been previously opened late last fall, but there was a slow downturn in the numbers, so it wasn't necessary anymore, so they
actually tore it down. Now, here we are months later, and they will now be tapping into funds to once again set up that facility.
But this is what it means long term, Isa. New York City officials have not ruled out the possibility of setting up soft-sided temporary, sort of tent-
like facilities in the iconic Central Park. However, we've not arrived at that moment yet. But it really goes to the conversation that's been going
on for well over a year now as New York City officials plead with not just state officials, but also the White House.
And that, as you can imagine, leads them to pretty political tensions and complications between the Democratic mayor of this city, and of course the
man at the White House, Joe Biden. Isa?
SOARES: Yes, clearly federal and state assistants need in giving you're just outlining. Polo. How does New York has been reacting to this?
SANDOVAL: Mixed reaction. There are certainly concerns about resources that they would like focused elsewhere. Some of them have told me in the past in
the last several months that they would like to see those resources really focused on their neighborhoods, on other issues that they would like
addressed. But widely, of course, there's so many people here that are very much in tune with this being still a city of immigrants.
But when you hear from the city, they say generosity certainly knows no end. However, the resources that the city has certainly does. So, I think
that that is a very harsh reality regardless of where individuals may be in terms of this conversation as we continue to receive at least 500 asylum
seekers a day. And that is the heart of the argument that you're hearing from Mayor Eric Adams is that the system is buckling under pressure. And
unless we get any sort of assistance from the state or from the federal level, then those scenes that you just shared with our viewers from just
last week of asylum seekers forced to sleep on the sidewalk, Eric Adams, the mayor, made very clear that those scenes will repeat themselves.
SOARES: Polo Sandoval for us there in New York. Thanks very much, Polo. I appreciate it.
One of the filmmakers behind what many consider to be the scariest movie of all time, The Exorcist, has died. Tributes have begun pouring in for
Director William Friedkin who's passed away at 87. Friedkin's career spanned decade and included genre of defining hits like The French
Connection, Sorcerer, and To Live And Die In L.A.
His wife, former Paramount CEO, Sherry Lansing, shared news of his death with the Hollywood reporter. His IMDb page says he had at least one more
film in the works.
We'll be back after this short break.
SOARES: Well, the U.S. has approved the first-ever pill to treat severe postpartum depression. Until now, medication was only available as an
intravenous drip. Postpartum depression is a serious mental illness that affects around one in seven new mothers. It is estimated that each year in
the U.S., more than 400,000 babies are born to mothers who develop the condition. And it's most severe. It can lead to suicidal thoughts and
tragically suicide accounts for around 20 percent of all postpartum deaths.
CNN's Health Reporter Jacqueline Howard has been following the story for us and joins me now from Atlanta. Jacqueline, good to see you. Just how soon,
critically, of course our viewers want to know, could this medication be available for those of course who may need it here?
JACQUELINE HOWARD, CNN HEALTH REPORTER: Well, Isa, now that the FDA here in the United States has approved this drug called Zuranolone, and it could be
made available later this year. That's what we're hearing at some point between October and the end of December. And what we do know about
Zuranolone, it's taken as a once-daily pill. You can take at home over the course of 14 days. And side effects include dizziness and drowsiness.
And because of that, when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved this drug, it did say it was going to issue a warning label that anyone
taking the medication should not drive or operate heavy machinery at least 12 hours after taking the drug because of that drowsiness side effect.
But overall, Isa, this is another treatment option for mothers out there with postpartum depression, and it could be made commercially available by
the end of this year.
SOARES: And just to explain, because this is really important, I mean, how is postpartum depression here different from just having the baby blues or
feeling fatigue as a new mother?
HOWARD: Yes, well, postpartum depression is much more intense. It lasts longer. Science and symptoms include having crying spells or feeling anger,
hopeless, overly anxious or downing your ability to care for the baby, feeling withdrawn from others, not connecting with your child, and in
severe cases, having thoughts of self-harm or harming the baby.
But with that being said, while those are signs and symptoms, one important takeaway message -- I spoke with one doctor who said that she tells all of
her patients as new mothers whenever they're feeling overwhelmed, whether they're having depressive symptoms or not, reach out for support, lean on
your loved ones, reach out to your doctor at any point where you might be feeling overwhelmed as a new mom. That's most important, Isa.
SOARES: Very good advice indeed. Jacqueline, I appreciate it. Thank you very much.
And still to come tonight, billion-dollar Barbie. Moviegoers around the world are lining up for the summer's biggest hit as it makes history again.
That story next.
SOARES: Welcome back. Participants attending this year's World Scout Jamboree held in South Korea will be departing the event almost a week
early. This as Typhoon Khanun is expected to hit South Korea on Thursday with more than 100 millimeters of rainfall. The heatwave has also impacted
the event as temperatures have risen to 47 degrees Celsius in parts of the country. Nearly 1300 people visited the Jamboree Hospital on Sunday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MATT HYDE, CEO, U.K. SCOUT: I would just encourage that there is a proper, independent learning review so we all capture lessons, whether that applies
to future jamborees or any other events that anyone frankly is organizing because we cannot be put in this situation again. It's not fair on anyone.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES: Well, just a month after his triumphant launch as one of the biggest growing apps, fastest-growing apps, as you say, of all time,
Threads no longer seems to be the serious competitor to Twitter it was once cracked up to be. Meta's app appears to be struggling to hold on to users
with engagement falling to new lows. That is according to a new report. But Meta's CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, isn't backing down announcing that major
updates are coming soon.
His attempt to dethrone Twitter owner Elon Musk has created rivalry as you know that can see the tech billionaires settling their differences in a
cage fight later this month.
Joining me now to unpack it all is CNN Technology Reporter Brian Fung in Washington, D.C. And Brian, we can talk about the cage fight in just a
moment. Let's talk about Threads though, because I remember when the story broke, so many people, millions of people signed up for it. How successful
has it been? Was it able to retain users? What have you been seeing?
BRIAN FUNG, CNN TECHNOLOGY REPORTER: Well, Isa, it looks like even though Threads was able to get a lot of people signing up really quickly in a very
short amount of time, it's having trouble keeping a hold of those users. And those users just aren't coming back as frequently or spending as much
time there. According to new research from SensorTower, a third-party market research firm, Threads now is down to eight million users. That's an
82 percent drop from what it had at around the time of its launch just a month ago.
That's a really big deal because it highlights, you know, just the amount of work that Threads is going to have to do to really stay relevant in
relation to Twitter, which of course it's taking on as a new text-based microblogging tool. In addition, you know, people just aren't spending as
much time on the app. So, where people were spending 19 minutes on average on the first day of the app's launch, you know, now people are down to
spending less than three minutes a day on average according to Sensor Tower.
So, that gives you just another sense of how Threads is now struggling to retain people as it's trying to compete with Twitter here, Isa.
SOARES: What is -- what is it thus far, Brian, about Threads that hasn't really caught on, that it hasn't worn people's hearts? Because I'm not
going to lie, I haven't been impressed with it.
FUNG: Yes. Well, Isa, it looks like, you know, some of the main features that you see on Twitter are kind of lacking. They're not available on
Threads. So one of the main things that people have been clamoring for is the ability to access Threads from a desktop web browser that's currently
not available on Threads. You can only access the app through the mobile app. And that's something that a lot of people say has inhibited its
ability to grow because you can't access it from everywhere you are, you can only access it through one single channel.
Another thing people have asked for is more comprehensive search features as well as a, you know, reverse chronological content feed. And Threads did
actually, you know, show that it is working on some of these issues. It rolled out chronological feed that only shows people that you follow
through the app. And that was, you know, very welcomed by many of its users, but it still has a lot of work to do to offer some of the same
features that Twitter does, you know, on an everyday basis.
SOARES: And briefly, cage fight, is that going to go ahead? I believe there was a date mentioned somewhere on Twitter, I think it was, or maybe it was
Threads, I don't remember.
FUNG: Yes. So, earlier, Elon Musk over the weekend said that the cage match will be live-streamed on Threads to which, you know, Mark Zuckerberg said,
you know, can't we use a more reliable platform in a jab against Elon Musk? And then, you know, he said, sorry, Musk said -- I'm sorry, Zuckerberg
said, he suggested August 26th, but he hasn't heard back from Musk on, you know, whether or not that date works for him. And you know, even so -- even
on Sunday, Musk was talking about needing potentially a neck or back surgery before the fight can proceed.
So, at this point, Isa, it's anyone's guess as to when or if this fight is going to happen.
SOARES: We're all waiting. That's for sure. Brian Fung, I appreciate it. Thank you very much.
Barbie is seeing life through rose-colored glasses. The movie is piling on some more records hardly three weeks into its run. It's now has brought in
more than a billion dollars at the global box office. And that is according to Warner Brothers, which has the same parent company as CNN. This makes
Greta Gerwig, the first solo female director with a billion-dollar movie.
And to another queen bee, this time Beyonce, who's showed why her beehive stays so loyal. A storm delayed the start of her concert in Maryland on
Sunday. It got so bad that fans were told to shelter from the heavy rain in the concourses in the arena. So, to make sure her fans could still get
home, Beyonce's tour paid $100,000 to keep Washington, D.C. 98 Metro stations open for an extra hour. Who runs the world? Well, we know the
answer to that.
And the women's World Cup is almost three weeks in, and the tournament has spared no nail-biting moments in the knockout round as England went head to
head when Nigeria forced spot in the quarterfinals. I watched it this morning. The Lioness were thrown a curveball when star player Lauren James
was sent off in the 87th minute for stumping on her opponent Michelle Alozie. Tensions were heightened when the goalless match progressed to
penalties. We do not like penalties. But it was heartbreak for Nigeria as England took the win.
And reflecting on the roller coaster of the game, the Lioness' manager had this to say. This is what she said. I don't know what my heart rate is. I
just know I'm 10 years old. Congratulations to both teams. Congratulations, of course, to Nigeria who played a superb game.
That does it for us. Thanks very much for your company. Do stay right here. 'QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" is up next with Richard Quest. I'll see you