Return to Transcripts main page

Isa Soares Tonight

At Least 40 Dead In A Migrant Shipwreck Off The Coast Of Lampedusa; House Fire In France Kills 11; Raging Wildfires Prompting Evacuations On Both Mount Maui And The Big Island In Hawaii; South American Leaders Wrap Up Brazil Meeting; Wildfires On Maui, Big Island; On the Front Line Near Orikhiv; Mushroom Poisoning Suspected In Three Deaths. Aired 2-3p ET

Aired August 09, 2023 - 14:00   ET



ISA SOARES, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: A very warm welcome to the show everyone, I am Isa Soares. Tonight, at least 40 people are dead in a

migrant shipwreck off the coast of Lampedusa. What caused the latest strategy? And a Summer day in eastern France after fire engulfed a vacation

home killing 11 people. We have the very latest for you.

And look at this video from Hawaii. Raging wildfires prompting evacuations on both Mount Maui and the Big Island. We start this evening with a

harrowing tale of survival in the Mediterranean. A boat with 45 people on board set off from Tunisia last week carrying men, women and children

seeking a better life in Europe, but their journey ended in disaster off Italy.

All but four now feared dead. The latest casualties in a growing migrant crisis. This account comes from the Red Cross after it spoke with the four

survivors. They say they had life jackets when their boat went down off Italy's Lampedusa Island, so you can see there on your map. And they

crawled onto remains of a different wreck to stay alive.

And they're not alone, authorities and NGOs report saving people from several wrecks over the past few days, dozens of others are said to be

missing or dead. A story that we have told you here on the show many times before. Let's get the very latest, CNN's Ben Wedeman is live in Rome. And

Ben, what more are you learning this hour about the victims of this shipwreck, and what are authorities telling you happened here?

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, we understand that the journey of this disaster basically began last Thursday in the

Tunisian Port of Sfax when this boat which apparently wasn't very big, but nonetheless held 45 people, took to see. Now, within hours however, it was

hit by a large wave and it appears to have gone down.

As you've said, four people survived and they are the ones who are giving the account of what happened. Now, they were just lucky enough to be able

to find an abandoned boat, they drifted for six days before they were picked up by a merchant, they got rescued by the crew of a merchant vessel

and then handed over to the Italian coast guard and eventually reaching the Island of Lampedusa, which is where many of these refugees and migrants are

ending up.

Now, according to the international organization for migration, so far this year, more than 2,000 people have drowned at sea trying to reach Europe,

and in fact, Italy seems to be seeing a spike in the number of people trying to reach its shores. Up to today, according to government

statistics, nearly 94,000 people have reached Italy crossing the Mediterranean.

That's more than twice the number who tried last year. Now, the European Union has spent hundreds of millions of dollars giving money to Libya and

Tunisia for example, to try to prevent people from crossing, but clearly, the desire to escape from hopelessness and war in their home country is

greater than the fear of drowning in the Mediterranean --

SOARES: Yes, and on that point, you know, Tunisia is -- has become one of the main departure points along with many others. Libya, you mentioned,

sub-Saharan Africa as you mentioned as well, more migrants trying to get to Europe, and Tunisia, remember this clearly, only last month, Ben, signed a

deal with the EU, with Italian Prime Minister Meloni present to stop smuggling and strengthen their borders and return migrants.

Talk to us about the challenges here from both sides. From the Italian side as well as those of course, making this journey, this incredibly difficult


WEDEMAN: Well, basically, the Italians and the rest of the countries of the European Union are trying to reinforce the abilities of these countries to

prevent people from taking to sea. They've spent hundreds of millions of dollars over the years to do it, but clearly, this isn't working.


The reason why people are leaving their homes as far away as Bangladesh and the Cote d'Ivoire and Guinea, Egypt, Syria and elsewhere, is because these

countries are either ravaged by war, instability, economic hopelessness, and those problems clearly aren't being addressed, perhaps those are bigger

than what the European Union can handle.

But nonetheless, they're trying to basically -- it's as if the house is on fire and the European solution is simply to build a wall around it. And

clearly, that's not working. Isa?

SOARES: Perfectly put, not going to the heart, not getting to the heart of the problem to start off with. Ben, appreciate it, thank you very much. And

we are learning more about the deadly fire that hit a vacation home in eastern France. The fire broke out on Wednesday morning killing at least 11


The home welcomed people with disabilities and their companions, they're called now popular tourist destination. Authorities say 17 people were

evacuated, but now, they're trying to find out if the building met all the safety standards to host such a large group.


MAYOR DANIEL LEROY, WINTZENHEIM, FRANCE (through translator): The accommodation floor, there is no more floor. There is nothing left,

everything is burned down. The wooden frames have collapsed.


SOARES: Jim Bittermann joins me now live now from Paris with more. And I'm guessing, Jim, an investigation must have been opened to try and answer

some of these questions.

JIM BITTERMANN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely, Isa, in fact, they're really wondering about this. This is the kind of thing that

really touches a lot of French because they'd like to believe that they take very good care of the disabled.

This is -- people were intellectually disabled, they were in this vacation residence, which is a tiny -- was a converted barn, renovated barn and they

were spending a couple of weeks there out in the countryside in Alsace for what promised to be a kind of a relaxing vacation.

But this fire broke out around 6:30 in the morning, and fire -- by the time fire officials got on the scene, it took them about 15 minutes from the

closest town, it's a town of about 7,000, it's a very rural area. It took them about 15 minutes to get there, by that time, the building was fully

engulfed in flames.

They believe that perhaps the fire had been smoldering for a while, and maybe it was started on one of the upper floors, it was a half timber

building, the kind of thing you see a lot in Alsace. And some of the timbers, of course, could be 100 of years old and could go up very quickly.

It certainly did in this case and the fire officials weren't able to rescue anyone.

In fact, the 17 people who came out alive were already there, were already on the ground before the fireman arrived, and the other 11, mostly from the

second floor of the building were -- they had been finding their remains and the bodies and the ashes throughout the day. And then at the end of the

day, they pronounced all 11 of them that -- so yes, I think there's an investigation going on, the local prosecutors are going to look into it.

And I think they're going to look into it like not only for instance, how the fire started, but also, whether or not this building was up to

specifications. Whether it was up to specs for housing, the disabled like it was being used for. Isa?

SOARES: And can you imagine incredibly traumatic shock for so many, and for the community, and so many like you said, Jim, so many so vulnerable. What

else are you learning about the victims this evening?

BITTERMANN: Well, that -- a whole lot more, but in fact, the families and friends of the victims are being welcomed at a crisis center that's been

set up there. And the prime minister took it upon herself to go to the scene later on -- earlier on this afternoon basically, because I think she

wanted to show solidarity with the people that were suffering, and the president sent his condolences as well.

So, it's a real tragedy, and I think that the -- especially for people who are meant to be protected and not to have caregivers around them and

somehow the system failed them. Isa?

SOARES: Yes, indeed, Jim Bittermann, good to see you, Jim, thank you very much. Well, Ukrainian officials are defending the progress of their

counteroffensive against Russia, claiming partial success on the southern front. They say troops are pushing forward in the direction of Bakhmut,

Melitopol and Berdiansk as they consolidate gains made around several villages.

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy met with top military commanders today to discuss strategy, and he acknowledges the counteroffensive is quote,

"difficult and is happening broadly slower", his words than some had hoped. But he says while his troops have fatigue in their eyes, Russian forces

have fear. Well, Ukraine is apparently also keeping up attacks on Russia itself.

The mayor on Moscow says two Ukrainian combat drones heading for the capital were shot down today.


Russia also taking steps to combat what it calls a threat on its western frontier, announcing plans to beef up troops along the border. Defense

Minister Sergei Shoigu singled out Finland which recently joined NATO of course, and Poland which he called the main instrument of the anti-Russian

policy of the United States. Shoigu accused the West of waging a proxy war against Russia, and said the threats will be met in a timely manner. Have a

listen to what he said.


SERGEI SHOIGU, DEFENSE MINISTER, RUSSIA (through translator): Threats to military security of the Russian federation have multiplied in a strategic

western and northwestern directions. A serious destabilizing factor is Finland joining NATO, and in the future, Sweden too. After Helsinki joined

the alliance, Russia's land border with the bloc countries almost doubled.

Unfinished territory, it's likely that the additional NATO military contingents and strike weapons will be deployed capable of hitting critical

targets in the northwest of Russia at considerable depth.


SOARES: And we're joined now by international diplomatic editor Nic Robertson to go through all of this. And Nic, let's start off with those

two drones that we were mentioning. Two drones just very close to Moscow in fact, right? Close to Moscow, and also this apparently fire at this

warehouse. What can you tell us about both of those incidents?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Yes, it's very interesting because there's been a sort of spate of these attacks, these

drone attacks from Ukraine towards Moscow. And just last night, two of the Russians say were intercepted. One just here just on the southern side of

Moscow at Domodedovo, an international airport, and another one intercepted, apparently the Russians say just on the eastern side of Moscow

in Vnukovo, another important international airport.

Now, we know the Russians have improved their defenses towards the Ukrainian drones around there, but interestingly, this afternoon, at a

small town just sort of here on the northern side of Moscow, there was an explosion. It's the biggest unexplained explosion in Russia close to Moscow

since this whole conflict in Ukraine began.

And it's unexplained because the Russians have launched an investigation, but they said at one point that it was an explosion in the boiler room.

That it was a pyrotechnics factory. But you look at that plume of smoke that rises up, and eyewitnesses say it doesn't smell like pyrotechnics. And

we've seen pyrotechnics factories blow up, there are lots of little explosions. There were none this time --

SOARES: It doesn't match up the narrative --

ROBERTSON: It doesn't. But it does appear that this factory was making military equipment, high grade optics for military use. Now, was it a

drone? The Russians say no. Was it sabotage? We don't know. The Russians say they were investigating, but the narrative they put forward and so

quickly seems to sort of hush up or at least move beyond those sorts of difficult-to-answer questions.

SOARES: Of who could be behind it, but the other two drones, we are assuming that it was from Ukraine. Is that fair?

ROBERTSON: Oh, absolutely, these are prime targets --

SOARES: As we're seeing more and more --

ROBERTSON: For the Ukrainians to try to disrupt -- they're not making that progress on the frontline, they want to put a crack in Putin's narrative

about how safe and secure Moscow is.

SOARES: And that -- and that could be that crack?

ROBERTSON: And that would -- that would absolutely be one --

SOARES: Who knows that, that --


SOARES: Could potentially be one. Let's talk about then what we have seen in the south of Ukraine. If we can bring the map back to Ukraine,

particularly in Kherson in the south, because we have seen Kyiv struck a command post, and that just on the banks of the Dnipro River, right? On the

Russian side. Talk to us about the significance of this.

ROBERTSON: And it's interesting as well because overnight, there was -- there were Russian military bloggers who were saying right around here,

Kozachi Laheri, the Ukrainians had crossed over that important Dnipro River that runs along there. And they'd had a surprise attack on the Russians


And the Ukrainians said, well, hold on a minute, don't listen to the Russian bloggers, wait until we give you the information, and that's when

they said that they'd hit a key command post in Nova Kakhovka. Why is that significant? Because that's where there's a dam, there was a bridge, this

could be a place if the Ukrainians are to come across here and bring their forces in across here, to link up with their forces that want to come down

here --

SOARES: That's the goal, isn't it?

ROBERTSON: That's the goal, and you would support them with forces coming in from here, all those forces would simply try to -- try to cut off this

peninsula here, because we know there have been a number of drone and other strikes at Russian military bases right along there --

SOARES: Don't wipe --


SOARES: Those off, because I've got a very quick question, I've been told to wrap up, but I need to get this in. Last time you and I were here, and

you were telling me how the gains that you saw on the ground were minimal. We have been hearing similar from U.S. diplomats. To get there, to

get there, I mean, just give us a sense of why it's going so slowly?


ROBERTSON: So look, the yellow bits on the map, and I'll just highlight them in blue here. This is -- these two areas I have just highlighted here

replaces the Ukraine's deputy Defense Minister --

SOARES: There and there --

ROBERTSON: Today, said, look, we've made some progress, but we've only just got to the first line. The Russians are reinforcing, putting concrete bases

in. There were lots of mines, we're going slowly which is reference to what President Zelenskyy --

SOARES: Yes --

ROBERTSON: Said about this progress, perhaps not going as fast as some wanted. I think what we've heard from the Ukrainians today highlighting

these two areas in blue we've just highlighted there, is that they're trying to say, yes, we're making some progress still, don't give up on us

yet. This is -- it's still in action.

SOARES: Right, Nic, appreciate it, thank you very much. And still to come tonight, dead bodies decomposing on the streets of Khartoum as fighting

continues in Sudan. We'll have more on the fears of a disease outbreak, that is next. And later, wildfires are burning up a popular Hawaiian

island. We'll have the latest on a dangerous situation. We're live on the ground, next.


SOARES: Well, new developments over the past few hours, we are hearing that an American nurse and her daughter who were kidnapped in Haiti last month

if you remember, have now been released. The humanitarian aid organization El Roi in Haiti made the announcement which is being welcomed by the State

Department. Alix Dorsainvil and her daughter were taken from El Roi's campus near Port-au-Prince.

Dorsainvil who is a health worker from New Hampshire moved to Haiti to offer nursing care for school children. The group asked that no one contact

the family while they process as well as heal of course, from that ordeal. Niger's ousted leader says he hasn't had electricity for a week and being

forced to eat dry rice and pasta while under house arrest.

President Mohamed Bazoum was overthrown by the country's military Junta last month, who are refusing to cede power. In text messages shared with

CNN, Bazoum also says he's being denied any human contact including with his doctor since Friday. An aid worker say thousands of dead bodies are

decomposing on the streets of Khartoum.

And as the morgues reach breaking points, there are growing fears of an outbreak of disease. This as Sudan's army and paramilitary forces have been

at war now for nearly four months. Our Larry Madowo has the story.



LARRY MADOWO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's not surprising that you see these dire warnings from Sudan, considering that this conflict has been running

for 115 days, nearly four months. You're looking at an almost total collapse of the health and sanitation infrastructure there. This is why

Save the Children is warning of a possible cholera outbreak in the capital, Khartoum. This is what it blames it on, a horrifying combination of rising

number of corpses, severe water shortages, non-functioning hygiene and sanitation services, and a lack of water treatment options.

I'm also hearing from people in Khartoum who talk about severe fuel shortages, some do not have electricity. So, a society that was once

functioning four months ago has all but disappeared as people in residential neighborhoods sometimes have to dodge the fighting that's been

going on for this whole time, as the Rapid Support Forces and the Sudanese army fight for control of the country.

More than 4 million people now displaced, 70 percent of them just from the capital, Khartoum, and almost a million people have had to cross borders of

Sudan into neighboring countries like Chad and Egypt, anything to try and get away from this conflict especially, because any attempt at mediation,

any talks did not lead to any meaningful -- meaningfully-observed ceasefires.

A couple of hours, maybe a couple of days, and then they were right back into it. And so, despite the fact that it appears that this has dropped off

from the world's attention, it is still a real crisis going on in Sudan. Larry Madowo, CNN, Nairobi.


SOARES: Well, Israel's far-right Finance Minister is being criticized once again, this time for freezing funds earmarked for education programs for

Palestinians in east Jerusalem. Bezalel Smotrich also announced that he will suspend about $53 million previously allocated for Arab municipalities

within Israel, claiming that the money could end up in the hands of criminal organizations.

Journalist Elliott Gotkine joins us now from Jerusalem to break this down. So, Elliott, how is he exactly defending this? I mean, any proof that it's

going into terrorists hands?

ELLIOTT GOTKINE, JOURNALIST: He didn't -- he didn't present any evidence, Isa, and in fact, we spoke on CNN to director of Hebrew University, which

was kind of the main beneficiary, I guess, of this funding program in east Jerusalem, because one of those two bits of funding that Smotrich says that

he is freezing was designated for east Jerusalemites to help them improve or learn Hebrew to enable them to study at Hebrew University.

And the rector speaking with CNN earlier, described this as direct discrimination against the Palestinians of east Jerusalem who just want to

improve their lives. He says that this program was simply improving integration, reducing crime and violence and improving understanding. And

say that it is totally untrue that this was going to criminal organizations.

The other aspect as you mentioned was destined for municipalities, the kind of leveling up policy that's well established in Israel, even after that,

it was found that Arab municipalities still had quite the shortfall between them and wealthier municipalities. And so additional funding was designated

towards them, that is also being frozen.

And Smotrich, in a very lengthy statement, he first announced his plans on Facebook yesterday, today, he gave a very lengthy statement, again

reiterating that he is the Finance Minister of all Israelis, irrespective of their gender, of their religious affiliation, of their ethnicity, and he

simply trying to ensure that the funds go to the people, that the services go to the people and not to criminal organizations.

But he also did reiterate that this funding in his view was also really just down to placate Mansour Abbas, who is the leader of the Islamist Ra'am

Party and he was part of the previous government coalition. That's another reason he is using to justify the freezing of these funds. And he also says

it's not fair that poor Arab municipalities are getting this money and poorer Jewish ones aren't.

Of course, Isa, the other I suppose unspoken element to this is that this is hardly going to play badly with his -- with his base as far as politics


SOARES: Indeed, and very briefly, I mean, is he likely to face any challenges here?

GOTKINE: Well, interesting, we've got a somewhat cryptic statement from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu saying that he was committed to ensuring

that all funding, all finances and funding are appropriated properly for all Israelis, without actually saying whether that meant that Smotrich

wouldn't be able to go ahead with the freezing, or that this was simply him lending his support towards Smotrich was doing.

But it is possible that it's not yet a done deal, that the prime minister could stop this from happening, and indeed, there could be challenges to

the court, but for now, as finance minister, this is what Bezalel Smotrich says it's going to happen. Isa?

SOARES: Elliott, thank you very much, appreciate it. And still to come tonight, the lungs of the earth are in danger and the world needs a plan,

but leaders are divided. We're following the last day of the Amazon Summit in Brazil. We have the very latest for you.



SOARES: Welcome back everyone. It aimed to nail down goes to avoid a point of no return in the Amazon rainforest, but as the Amazon Summit wraps up in

Brazil, do the eight attending nations leave with a plan or just rhetoric? Well, on Tuesday, South American leaders failed to agree on a definite

common goal to save their critically vulnerable Amazon from deforestation.

However, they did create an alliance promoting regional cooperation. That's a good step. Claudio Angelo is Climate Policy Coordinator at the Climate

Observatory which focuses on Brazil's role in both helping as well as hindering efforts to handle the climate crisis, and he joins me now.

Claudio, great to see you, thank you very much for taking the time to speak to us.

So, they have an agreement on key areas, but no commitment it seems to zero deforestation. What do you make of that? I mean, does it go far enough in

your view?

CLAUDIO ANGELO, CLIMATE POLICY COORDINATOR, CLIMATE OBSERVATORY: Well, Isa, thanks for having me. It's always hard in those multilateral meetings to

come out with a very significant anything. So it is a good thing that the meeting here in Belem agreed on where we would go, there was a strong

acknowledgment of science by stating that we need to advance the point of no return of the Amazon.

And there was not an agreement though on the direction of travel and went to start traveling, because what we really need now, we are at 15 percent

of deforestation in the Amazon. And more than 20 percent of deforestation in the Brazilian chunk of the Amazon.


What we really need is a collective goal to stop deforestation by 2030, which is, by the way, something that most Amazonian countries have already

agreed to in the Glasgow declaration a couple years ago.

So it is in one very real sense of failure of leadership that they couldn't agree on a collective for 2030 to stop deforestation goal here.

SOARES: So Claudio, failure of leadership, why couldn't they agree on this?

This was Lula's goal right from the beginning, right?

You say they are pretty much -- all see eye to eye on many of the importance of this of keeping, of ending deforestation.

What are the stumbling blocks from some of these leaders?

ANGELO: Well, some countries like Bolivia are not ready to commit yet and some countries feel very strongly that there is a lack of money on the

table from developed countries to nudge them, to make good on those commitments and really to have a commitment at zero deforestation.

If you look at the failure of climate planning (ph) so far, you can't really blame countries like Bolivia. And that is a tragedy of what we are

living right now, because everybody has a bit of reason. But the planet is baking while everybody discusses how right they are and how wrong the other

countries are.

SOARES: And I'm guessing that will be part of the discussion when it comes to COP, getting wealthier nations, the big polluters, to pay up for the

damages that we are seeing in the Amazon.

But they did agree, Claudio, to work together to combat illegal activity in the Amazon, some greater cross border cooperation. Talk us through how that

is going to work.

Who is going to pay for this critically?

ANGELO: Well, there already are. Look at Brazil for instance. Brazil has been able to reduce deforestation by 83 percent between 2005 and 2012

without demanding a single penny from abroad.

We have a world class forest monitoring system that helps enforcement agencies to get to the places where action is happening and stop action

from happening. So there is also very broad goodwill to cooperate for a self held cooperation (ph) in South America, to help other countries

implement strategies to fight deforestation.

And Colombia for one has already committed to zero deforestation. So it is a good thing that those countries at least are now committed to get

together and work together on this. But it's again a shame that they could not agree on the target because, as everyone knows, we don't have a lot of

time to waste.

SOARES: Claudio, we really appreciate you taking the time to speak to us, thank you very much. Claudio live from there from --


ANGELO: Thank you.

SOARES: National Guard troops have been called in to help battle out-of- control wildfires on the Hawaiian island of Maui. Winds from Hurricane Dora have partly fueled the fire, made it difficult to predict. Power has been

wiped out for 40,000 homes and businesses. One hardhit area is the popular town Lahaina, where flames reached the downtown shopping area. Conditions

have been so dangerous, so quickly as you can imagine, that many people jumped into the ocean to try and escape the flames and smoke.


LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR SYLVIA LAKE, HAWAII: 9-1-1 is dialed, cell service is down. Phone service is down and that has been part of the problem. Our

hospital system in Maui, they are overburdened with burn patients, people suffering from inhalation.

The reality is that we need to fly people out of Maui to give them burn support because Maui hospital cannot do extensive burn treatment.


SOARES: Incredibly scary. As we just mentioned one of the hardest hit areas on the Maui is Lahaina. It's a popular area for the locals as well as

tourists. Joining us now is the Alexa Caskey, owner of Moku Roots, a restaurant in Lahaina.

Alexa, can you hear me?

I'm not sure if you are with us. Give us a sense, Alexa, what it is like where you are.

ALEXA CASKEY, OWNER, MOKU ROOTS RESTAURANT: Well, I evacuated around 2:00 this morning and, where I am now, is almost like a different planet. There

is no breeze, there is no fire; you can smell smoke.


CASKEY: But where we were in Lahaina, the winds had just been absolutely unrelenting for the 36 hours prior. Trees were being blown over. It sounded

like freight trains driving through your house just constantly for 1.5 days. That obviously is what fanned the flames so quickly and got this fire

to being completely out of control.

Into the state that it is so quickly and without being able to be pain size (ph). The firefighters that have been working on it since I guess about 24

hours ago or a little longer.

We're not really going to know the extent of the, devastation until what people are able to get back over there. But the west side, including

Lahaina, I believe is completely shut off right now. So I actually don't really know how bad it had gotten after I left but it looked apocalyptic

for sure.

SOARES: It looks pretty grim. I am not going to lie. We saw some of the footage that you sent over, the pictures; we're actually looking at some

images right now as well.

Are the majority of people, Alexa, being able to leave?

What are you hearing?

CASKEY: All of the people that I've been in contact with, obviously they have left. There is no, you know like they were saying earlier, there is no

telephone service over there. There hasn't been for over a day. No internet, no power or anything.

So being able to get in contact with people over there has been really trying. And then once you leave, then I've been able to get in touch with

other people who have also left the west side. I mean, shoot, I hope everybody got out. I've heard reports that there were bodies in the streets

on French Street and I don't know if that is true.

I did not see it but I sure hope that that is not the case. I did pick up a bunch of hitchhikers on the way out of town.



CASKEY: You know, just trying to get out so people that did not have cars obviously were in a tricky situation, trying to leave because, once again,

the wind was blowing, like it was as if were you know in the middle of a hurricane for the last 1.5 days. It was just blowing so hard.

Tree branches were falling, trees were blowing across the street, all the power lines are down. So being on foot was really quite dangerous as well.

SOARES: Alexa, I am glad you are well. Keep us posted and thank you very much for taking the time to speak to us.

Alexa Caskey there, thank you.

High winds are also a problem in South Korea where the now tropical depression is quickly approaching. Flights and trains have been canceled as

heavy rain from the storm hit southern Japan and South Korea.

Khanun could make landfall in southeastern South Korea on Thursday. Earlier this week, a storm disrupted a Scout if you remember jamboree. Nearly

40,000 Scouts from around the world had to be relocated.



SOARES: We will be back with more news from Ukraine from the front line in fact with a special report from CNN chief international security

correspondent, Nick Paton Walsh. That is after this very short break.




SOARES: Returning now to one of our top stories on the war in Ukraine as Kyiv's counteroffensive pushes south near the city of Orikhiv. CNN has

gained exclusive access to the front line. Our Nick Paton Walsh has this report for you.


NICK PATON WALSH, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT (voice- over): The brutal work here, the world has not seen but wants its results. From the West, they have words and weapons of support.

But out here, it is them alone in searing heat, cloaked in dust. In the southern counteroffensive near Orikhiv, Ukraine has the initiative. Yet

they have to shoot their way forward, round by round.


WALSH (voice-over): The Russians are just past the building on the horizon.

Let's get moving, guys. They are very anxious. We need (ph) --

WALSH (voice-over): We are the first journalists to reach this part of Ukraine's counteroffensive push south toward Robotine.

WALSH: So that British (ph) (INAUDIBLE) tank was spotted by the Russians and so now we are moving fast out of here because they are expecting return


WALSH (voice-over): The losses from their early assault evident, sits a destroyed U.S. supplied Bradley armored vehicle.

WALSH: This thick dust, these tankers moving forward to fire at Russian positions where they say are beginning to look in peril as Ukraine's

southern counteroffensive pushes forward.

WALSH (voice-over): The 15th National Guard have lost many friends here but also gained ground. It has been incredibly tough. But some faces we saw

over the past week have brightened.

Robotine has got closer. Some have near assessment of their fight and the tools given toward it great here, they are being expected to do things no

NATO army would attempt with equipment they would scoff at.

A Humvee we travel in, with tires so threadbare, no American soldier would be expected to drive it. They have no time for armchair assessments that

they are failing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (from captions): They are wrong. We have successes. It depends on how fortified they are.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (from captions): Above all, don't underestimate the enemy.

WALSH (voice-over): And that underestimation is visible here in the nearest town of Orikhiv, pummeled by the main problem: Russian air superiority and

the half-ton bombs they drop.

At any moment, it may not matter how much cover you have.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Speaking foreign language).

WALSH (voice-over): We take a cover in a basement. One day 20 rockets hit in as many minutes.

WALSH: The wait now is for what they think is another missile to come in and land.

WALSH (voice-over): The smell of death haunts the rubble, where entire lives have been torn through.

WALSH: This was the main humanitarian aid point of the town. And weeks ago, this was where the remaining locals would be hiding out, getting shelter

from airstrikes. But it has taken direct hits and quite a few people lost their lives when this explosion happened.

You can still smell the explosive in the air.

WALSH (voice-over): In Moscow's warped world of targeting, it is these men, the military medics, who feel hunted. The underground world in which they

live is hidden, as their last two triage points have been bombed.

And in the three hours a day they spend above ground, this is what happens.

This is rare footage of their front line rescues.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Speaking foreign language).

WALSH (voice-over): The painkillers clearly not enough.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Speaking foreign language).

WALSH (voice-over): Treatments given at up to 100 miles an hour, over bumpy, shelled roads. It seems miraculous anyone makes it.

In the back of this armored vehicle, not everyone has. These transfers perilous, their vehicles bunched together, perhaps visible to Russian jets.

Sometimes, they don't all come back. On Friday, fellow medic, Andrei (ph), aged 33 was hit by artillery. They buried him Monday.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (from captions): We went there immediately. Another team picked up the driver. And that was the hardest thing I ever did, pick up

the body and deliver it to the morgue. His family, his mother, they are in temporary occupied territories. They couldn't even come to the funeral.

WALSH (voice-over): Down here, death is far too close and they seem to shut it out.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (from captions): When they hit further than 100 meters away from us, we don't pay any attention.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (from captions): If it's closer, we just laugh hysterically.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (from captions): I tell everybody, we will all die. But a bit later. Maybe in 50 years.



WALSH (voice-over): They need the war to end in months though, not years, before nothing but dust is left -- Nick Paton Walsh, CNN, Orikhiv, Ukraine.


SOARES: Powerful reporting there from Nick Paton Walsh.

And we are back after this short break.




SOARES: What would been an ordinary family meal in a quiet Australian town is now the center of a homicide investigation. Four guests attended the

lunch, now three of those guests are dead. The fourth is critically ill and the host is under investigation for potentially poisoning them with death

cap mushrooms.

CNN's Anna Coren has the details on the peculiar case that is puzzling police.


ANNA COREN, CORRESPONDENT: Police in Victoria, Australia, are investigating the poisoning deaths of three elderly people after they were served a meal

believed to contain extremely poisonous death cap mushrooms.

Police are trying to determine whether the deaths were homicide. At the end of last month, two elderly couples went to lunch at the home of 48-year old

Erin Patterson in a small township.

She is the former daughter-in-law of one of the couples. Police say she is separated from her husband, who has now lost both his parents from the

poisoning. Police say that evening, the guests began showing signs of food poisoning and were admitted to hospital.

Days later, 70 -year old Gail Patterson and her sister, 66-year old Heather Wilkinson died. A day later, Gail's 70 -year old husband passed away. A

fourth guest, Heather's 68-year-old husband, a reverend in the local community, remains in a critical condition.

Police say that Erin Patterson is a suspect because she cooked the meal and is the only adult at lunch who did not fall ill. She is not being charged

in the deaths. Her two children were also at lunch but did not get sick because they were served different meals.

Let's take a listen to what Victoria police homicide detective, inspector Dean Thomas, had to say.


DI DEAN THOMAS, VICTORIA POLICE HOMICIDE SQUAD: We have to keep an open mind in relation to this. It could be very innocent. But again, we just

don't know. But it is really interesting four people turn up and three of them have passed away and with another one critical.


THOMAS: So we just need to work through this.


COREN: In addressing the local media outside her home, a tearful Patterson denied any wrongdoing, saying that she was devastated and that she loved

them. While the cause of death has yet to be confirmed, police say these symptoms are consistent with poisoning by death cap mushrooms.

Toxins in a death cap mushroom found in the wild cannot be destroyed by boiling, cooking, freezing or drying. Eating a small portion can lead to

death -- Anna Coren, CNN, Hong Kong.


SOARES: Far from the lavish lifestyle associated with the Korean spotlight, even the big stars aren't exempt from the hardships of the Hollywood


Actor Billy Porter, famed for his work in "Pose" and "Cinderella," has revealed he's been forced to sell his house as a result of canceled

projects and uncertainty over when he will get his next paycheck.

Well, anonymous Hollywood executives were quoted in a "Deadline" article, saying the end game for studios was to starve members out so they have to

sell their apartments, which triggered the actor to respond in an interview with "Evening Standard" with this.

"You've already starved me out," says Billy Porter.

We leave you with that quote of the day for tonight. Do stay right here, thank you very much for your company. "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" is up next, I

shall see you tomorrow. Have a wonderful day, bye-bye.