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Isa Soares Tonight
Idalia Strengthens into a Hurricane As it Nears Florida; Spain's Regional Football Leaders Join Calls for Disgraced Football Chief Rubiales to Resign; Rare Video of Paul Whelan in Prison; Woman Supplies Villagers Near Ukraine's Southern Front; CTE in Young Athletes; Doctors Find Live Worm in Woman's Brain. Aired 2-3p ET
Aired August 29, 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, we are following a major story out of
the United States where Hurricane Idalia gave strength as it heads towards Florida. The governor warns the region hasn't seen a storm like this in
over 100 years.
We'll bring you all the latest. Then, the backlash grows. Spain's regional football leaders join calls for disgraced football chief Rubiales to
resign. We are live for you in Madrid. Plus, detained American Paul Whelan seen on camera for the first time in two years. I'll ask his sister what
that moment meant to her.
But first, disgraced Spanish football chief Luis Rubiales has been stripped of his salary and benefits by Spain's football federation. According to a
federation spokesperson, Rubiales has been asked to hand back his official car, corporate phone as well as a laptop, and told, he cannot use the
organization's funds for his legal defense.
On Monday, the federation's regional president publicly called for Rubiales to resign after he gave an unwanted kiss to star player, Jennifer Hermoso.
The incident has sparked a tidal wave of anger and controversy, but amid this backlash, Hermoso's teammates say they are sticking together. Have a
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NALLEA VIDRIO, TEAMMATE OF JENNIFER HERMOSO, CF PACHUCA (through translator): Obviously, we are with my teammate Jennifer, we are in a macho
country, women are minimized. But notice that we know what we're capable of. We have discussed it many times among ourselves, and we are just as
capable as men. We want to stand out and that motivates us to put an end to it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES: Well, let's get the very latest with Atika Shubert who joins me now from Madrid. And Atika, clear that the pressure is continuing to mount now
on Rubiales, he's been stripped off his salary and official car. Any reaction from him since we last heard from him from when? Friday, I think
ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: No, he has been absolutely silent since that defiant speech that he made on Friday when he refused to resign. And
the pressure keeps building as you point out, FIFA has suspended him already temporarily for 90 days. The Spanish women's team is refusing to
play unless he is removed.
And now, there's this -- prosecutors opened up criminal investigations into allegations of sexual assault over his behavior at the World Cup, and we've
tried to reach him through the federation and other methods, but we have not had any response to those allegations so far, and we don't know when
he's going to be forced to resign.
SHUBERT (voice-over): Winning the World Cup wasn't just a victory for Spain, but a celebration of how far women's rights had come, all undermined
by the boorish behavior of Spain's football chief, Luis Rubiales, grabbing his crotch in victory next to the Spanish queen and her 16-year-old
daughter. And the forceful unwanted kiss he planted afterwards on player Jenni Hermoso.
Rubiales said he made a mistake, but called the kiss consensual. Hermoso said it was not, and felt violated. In places of power, protesters and
officials say Spain still has deep pockets of chauvinism. In Madrid, hundreds heated the Me Too rallying cry of Spain, SeAcabo, meaning, it's
over. Enough with the crotch grubs, the unwanted kisses and the chauvinism as Spain's deputy Prime Minister Yolanda Diaz told CNN, the country has
YOLANDA DIAZ, DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER, SPAIN (through translator): The structural sexism and the violence that they have had with a player like
Jenni Hermoso is intolerable in a democracy, she said. We are dealing with a person who is a victim of sexual assault and afar from having protected
her. What they have done is to continue to violate her rights. And yet, Rubiales refuses to resign.
LUIS RUBIALES, PRESIDENT, ROYAL SPANISH FOOTBALL FEDERATION: (SPEAKING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
SHUBERT: He argues that Spanish football has profited under him since he became president. He has increased the federation's budget nearly fourfold
to more than 400 million euros. And what would have been his crowning achievement, Spain bid for the 2030 World Cup along with Portugal is now in
jeopardy, sports officials say.
Even before this year's World Cup, the Spanish women's team had complained about the team culture. Late last year, 15 team members resigned in protest
of the way the team was run by their coach, who was supported by Rubiales. Only three returned to play in the World Cup. Their complaints might have
been swiftly forgotten, had it not been for Rubiales' own behavior.
SHUBERT: Now, his own federation is asking for him to resign. But they don't seem to be able to force him out. And what that means is it's going
to be a long and involved process in which the government through sports council must ask the tribunal to investigate him, have a tribunal and see
if they can then suspend him.
Now, this whole process was designed to prevent government interference in sports bodies. But what it effectively means is that there will be delay
after delay after delay unless he resigns on his own. Isa.
SOARES: Yes, perhaps, a tactic if we see it that way, Atika. Meantime, how do those on the streets of Madrid, the protests that you and I were looking
-- were seeing yesterday, what is the mood like? Are they keen to keep up the protests, the calls for him to resign? And are the calls growing for
other members of the federation, because this is something that I've been hearing too.
SHUBERT: Yes, I think it's clear that the calls are growing for him to resign, and definitely, there is demand to keep the pressure on him. I
think the question is whether or not they can get more people within the federation, within places of power in the football world to put the
pressure on him and see that it's going to cost much more to have him hang on like this, than just to have him resign.
There has been talk for example, about what could happen at the international level, UEFA, whether or not FIFA for example could weigh in
with a much more harsher suspension. So, there are still -- there are still other ways to force him, but they don't want it to reach that level. They
want him to go on his own. But he doesn't seem willing to do that. Isa.
SOARES: He does not. Atika, appreciate it, Atika Shubert on the story for us live from Madrid, thank you, Atika. Well, just before the show, I spoke
to former professional football player, Isabel Fuentes, she played on the Spanish national team for six years in the 1970s. I started by asking her
for her reaction to that incident.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ISABEL FUENTES, FORMER SPANISH NATIONAL TEAM PLAYER (through translator): Yes, I was somewhat surprised because I never expected the reaction of a
representative of the federation, of Spanish federation and not wait on -- so untenable for football and globally. I didn't understand the reaction --
a hug, yes, but not a kiss. It seemed to me that it was bad, and even worse, his reaction on the balcony, that was even worse.
SOARES: And Isabel, just for our viewers to understand, you played for Spain between -- from 1971 to 1976. You told our producer in Madrid this,
I'm going to read it out. "The problem right now is that men at the top of the federation treat us as if they were our fathers, our protectors, as if
we belong to them." What do you mean with that comment? What do you want to see from the federation?
FUENTES: When I was playing in the '70s, the way of living in Spain, the political situation was very different than the way it is now. In those
times, the problem with the federation, the Spanish federation has got a bit better now, but not much better. They continue acting like our fathers
and that they have the right to treat us as if we were children.
And because we are playing now, our women defending the Spanish shirt, and it's as if they were men. It's exactly the same. They should be treated the
SOARES: So, finally, what do you want to hear from the federation? What do you want to see from the federation?
FUENTES: As I answered, I would like to see everybody be thrown out of the federation. And that new people come, they protect the girls, and act for
the girls that they earn their money. People -- serious people and responsible people. That's what I'd like to hear from the Spanish
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES: I would like to see everybody thrown out of the federation. Strong words there from Isabel Fuentes. Incredible grateful for her time.
I want to turn over to United States because we have Hurricane Idalia just hours away from hitting the state of Florida. The governor says time is
running out to prepare. Right now, it's a category one hurricane, but it's expected to pick up speed before making landfall as a category three storm.
Temperatures in the gulf have reached record highs this Summer, and that kind of heat can make hurricanes even stronger.
Millions are now preparing for a potential storm surge, that is a huge concern, it could reach up to 4.5 meters in the Big Bend area and about 2
meters near Tampa. More than 20 counties have now issued evacuation orders. We're now just seeing Idalia strengthen, nearing category 2 strength,
that's what we've seen in the last few minutes. CNN as you know is on the ground.
We'll be getting to Carlos Suarez in the Tampa Bay area in just a moment. First, Patrick Oppmann is in Cuba where Idalia has already brought 10
centimeters of rain in some areas. And Patrick, from what I understand, parts of Cuba in the dark and under water. Just talk us through what you've
been seeing today.
PATRICK OPPMANN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, all morning long, we've just been thrashed by the wind and the rain, and Idalia
is moving closer to Florida, away from Cuba, that is lessening up, and that is allowing really for the first assessments to take place, all the damage
that was caused.
And you know, certainly, up until the storm came, it seemed like it was going to be more of a glancing blow to the far west, didn't even seem like
it was going to really come ashore. And all this saying that, oh, it's done quite a bit of damage here, trees down throughout Havana, power out in many
places, the cellphone service coming in and out.
And the further west you go, just the worse it gets. We've seen images of hundreds, if not more homes have had serious flooding, roofs damaged, power
is out, and most of the western part of the island, we're talking about hundreds of thousands of people. And so, that's going to take some time to
recover from, because of course, this is the same region that was devastated by Hurricane Ian last year.
So, the Cuban government says they're trying to get resources, resources, frankly, they don't have out to the impacted regions. We haven't heard of
any injuries or any deaths at this point, but of course, those can of course, occur in the days following the hurricane as people begin to carry
out the pickup. And this is going to last for some time, even though this hurricane came by -- you know, last time, it was a tropical storm, this
morning as a category one hurricane.
It has done a significant amount of damage, of course, as it goes towards Florida, it's expected to strengthen and likely do much more damage there.
SOARES: It is already strengthened, we're told nearing category 2 strength. Let's go to Carlos Suarez, who is in the Tampa Bay area. And Carlos, the
message for people along Florida's Gulf Coast is really get -- you know, get ready or get out. Are people heeding those urgent calls?
CARLOS SUAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: By and large, yes, although, exactly where this storm hit is going to -- or is going to hit rather, really will
depend on exactly just how much of a population that we're talking about. The part of the state of Florida that this storm is projected to make
landfall really is not that populous, there's not a lot of folks that live there, though there are a couple of parts, a couple of islands that are
pretty -- there are a good number of folks that live there.
And those evacuation orders are well underway at this hour. As you noted, we are in Tampa Bay. So, we're significantly south of where this hurricane
is expected to make landfall, although, the concern here in the Tampa Bay area is the flooding associated with the storm surge with this hurricane.
We're talking about anywhere between 4 to 7 feet of a storm surge.
And so when you take a look at the Tampa Bay area out here, one of the rivers, you can see exactly where the water level is right now. This time
tomorrow, we've got to take into account those 4 to 7 feet of a storm surge, the rainfall which is anywhere between 4 to 8 inches as well as high
tide. And so, for some of the low-lying parts of the Tampa Bay area, the concern right now is some of the flooding that we are going to see.
Just across the river here is Tampa General Hospital, it's one of the larger hospitals in this part of southwest Florida. They have their
floodgates up already at this hour, we're told that, that can handle a storm surge of up to 15 feet. But right now, the concern up and down the
western coastline of the state of Florida is, of course, this hurricane which is expected to get stronger (INAUDIBLE) --
SOARES: Unfortunately, we have lost Carlos Suarez's signal as great apologies for you there. But as you get the sense really of the concern
over the storm surge and preparations underway along that coast. Let's take a closer look at the forecast for CNN meteorologist Chad Myers. And Chad,
as just reporting, as I was speaking there to Patrick Oppmann, we are already seeing Idalia strengthening. Give us a sense --
CHAD MYERS, METEOROLOGIST: Yes --
SOARES: Of the timeline here.
MYERS: I think we're probably still about 28 to 30 hours from landfall across the northern part here of Florida.
So, here is Tampa, Fort Myers here, something that's going on right now with these outer bands as they come through. There are waterspouts that are
coming onshore here and landing on the land as tornadoes. Had a couple of tornado-warnings, and also reports of them coming onshore as waterspout.
And when that happens, obviously, you could get some damage, heads of wind gusts here in the 30 to 40 kilometer per hour range, already, and the storm
is still 240 miles away. So, we do have obviously, hurricane warnings all the way from Apalachicola, all the way south past Tampa. The storm right
now is 150 KPH, still getting stronger.
It was only about 140 last hour. The hurricane hunter aircraft, the C-130 cargo plane, so-to-speak, fly through the eye of the storm, to find out
what's going on inside, and they are finding a stronger core here. And I think it's going to continue and forecast its force, to continue, because
the temperatures in the gulf here, 32 degrees.
That is plenty high enough to make an explosive type event where this thing can go from 150 to 250 in really no time. Maybe in 24 hours, that is a
possibility, and that's the real risk. The big surge we call it, the surge of the water, the bubble of water that this storm will push on land is as a
reporter said luckily, not in a highly populated, not unpopulated, but tens of thousands, not tens of millions of people in the way of that surge.
Much easier for tens of thousands to evacuate than tens of millions, obviously, that's the case, no matter where you are. There is the radar,
what it will look like later on today, moving on up into parts of northern Florida. In this will be called, Big Bend. So, it's kind of like a Big
Bend, well, that's going to be a catcher's mitt that's going to catch all of the water that tries to go north, well, when land gets in the way, it
can't go any further.
And that's where that surge is going to be the most significant. Likely, 10 kilometers onshore for that almost 5 meters storm surge. Obviously, it's
not going to be 5 meters when it gets 10 meters in or 10 kilometers in, because the land goes up a little bit. But here, the land doesn't go up
very fast. It's a very slow slope, kind of a swampy area, and that's why people don't typically live here, because there's not that much there,
there, there's not that much land.
But we are going to see, all right, by 8 O'clock tonight, most of these areas already picking up wind somewhere around a 100 KPH. We are going to
see some spots here, without a doubt, 250 to 500 millimeters of rainfall over the next several days. If it continues to move quickly, we won't get
to that 500. If it continues to move forward at 30 kilometers per hour, we're not going to see that big-time rain because it's going to get spread
out in the speed of the storm as it moves off towards the east.
But as this thing slows down, 250 for sure, 500 may be a little bit much, but a lot of flooding could happen here. More people, Isa, now, we talk
about the storm surge, the water coming onshore, not a tidal wave, but one wave bigger than the next. That does not kill as many people as freshwater
rainfall flooding anymore.
Because people know to get away from where the storage is going to be. But what happens, where do they evacuate? The evacuate inland somewhere. What
happens there? Flooding, and they don't really know what town they're in or what county they're in or what parish they're in. If you're in Louisiana
because you just got here just a couple of hours ago because you evacuated from a place that you thought was dangerous, and sometimes you put yourself
right back in a different kind of danger.
SOARES: Wow, Important context there, Chad, appreciate, of course, and for all our viewers in Florida, please stay safe, Chad, thank you very much.
MYERS: You're welcome.
SOARES: And more extreme weather to tell you about, this time in Greece where heat continues to fuel wildfires. Officials say the northeastern
fires are now the largest in the European Union -- and get this, in 23 years. Extra help is on the way with the EU sending in eleven firefighting
planes and a helicopter. And just how big is the fire region?
Well, consider this, the fire has scorched more than 800 square kilometers. That scenario bigger than New York City. Important to point out, of course,
with the fires, the images we've been looking at, 19 people have been killed. Of course, we'll stay across the story. And still to come tonight,
a small private burial for larger-than-life mercenary leader known for his brutality in Ukraine and beyond, we'll have details of Yevgeny Prigozhin's
funeral, that's just ahead.
SOARES: Well, no cameras, no funfair and no public mourners. Just a private burial attended by family. That's how the funeral of Russian mercenary
leader, Yevgeny Prigozhin is being described today. A company owned by the Wagner chief first reported his burial at a cemetery in St. Petersburg,
saying it took place today in a closed format.
An independent Washington news says about 30 relatives attended and no military figures were spotted. Russia says Prigozhin died in a plane crash
with nine others last week, exactly 2 months after he staged a mutiny of course, against top military brass. Well, the secrecy around today's burial
prevented big crowds from showing up and turning it into a public show of support for Prigozhin.
Our Matthew Chance visited the summary(ph) -- cemetery, I should say, and filed this report.
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (on camera): The authorities have gone to huge lengths to try and cover up where the funeral
was going to actually take place. They put security barricades and metal detectors outside other cemeteries in St. Petersburg. Meanwhile, the actual
funeral took place here about an hour drive outside of St. Petersburg, the Russian city.
You can see, we've come here now, we were not allowed into the cemetery, but there's all these security guards, actually members of the National
Guard, and this armed sort of snipers outside the various perimeter points as well. And so, they're imposing really tight security on this entire
area. So make sure that people don't go in, presumably, so people don't go in and pay their respects.
It isn't quite a while, but obviously, they're very insecure indeed about that. I just want to show you the closest we can get though, to the grave
site, because if you come over here, you can look through the branches over there into the middle of this quite small cemetery, and you can see a
Russian flag, you can see some flowers there that have been arranged, and there's a very simple wooden cross which you may not be able to see that.
But that's Yevgeny Prigozhin's grave site. It's actually right next door to where his father was buried as well, and that's obviously one of the
reasons why this was -- this cemetery was picked. But I think the other reason is that it's just so out of the way, and that the authorities could,
you know, kind of pretend it was someone else, but actually, hold it here without much publicity, and that's what they've managed to do.
As I say though, a lot of security, we're not permitted to go in for the moment. This is as close as we're going to get.
SOARES: That's Matthew Chance reporting there. Still to come tonight, rare footage from Russia of American detainee, Paul Whelan in prison. We'll
speak with his sister for her reaction next.
Plus, a soldier describes complete chaos as Ukrainian forces come face-to- face with Russian troops in the south. We are live for you in Zaporizhzhia after this short break.
SOARES: Welcome back, everyone. A rare look now inside a Russian prison. New video showing American Paul Whelan has been released by Russian state
media. And you can see there, Whelan in a prison uniform as well as images of him using a sewing machine and then eating in a cafeteria. His brother,
David, said this video shot back in May is the first time he's seeing what Paul looks like since June 2020.
The White House says Whelan, a U.S. military veteran is being wrongfully detained on espionage charges he denies. CNN U.S. security correspondent
Kylie Atwood joins me now from Washington D.C. And Kylie, I suppose the question is, why was this video released now, because obviously, like we
said, it was shot back in May. How does the U.S. interpret the video and what it reveals here?
KYLIE ATWOOD, CNN U.S. SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Well, listen, we're not hearing much in terms of, you know, a definitive analysis from the U.S.
side surrounding that question of why this was put out now, because, as you said, our reporting according to my colleague who spoke with Paul Whelan's
brother, David Whelan, is that this was actually shot back in May, that's a few months ago.
So, now, that Russian-state controlled media is putting it out at this moment in time, there's probably a reason for that. But U.S. officials
aren't saying exactly what they think that. They say they're not going to comment on the timing. They're calling for Paul Whelan to be released, that
these charges against him are just plain wrong and false.
As you said, this video is rare, quite interesting to get a glimpse of Paul Whelan in that camp, doing daily activities. But none of this is altogether
new information. And this version of his life is being presented through the prism of Russian state media.
You can see the U.S. ambassador going in to visit Whelan at one point over the last few months. We'll see if this has any impact on efforts by the
U.S. to get him released.
SOARES: Kylie, thank you very much.
Paul's sister, Elizabeth, is with us.
Thank you very much for taking the time to speak to us here.
This is the first time you're seeing your brother in a while.
How does he look to you?
ELIZABETH WHELAN, PAUL WHELAN'S SISTER: I was a little bit afraid to watch the video. I wasn't sure what I was going to see. He looks and sounds like
himself. Obviously he's gaunt. We were just really glad to see him holding his own, particularly since he was being interviewed by a propaganda
SOARES: How did the video make you feel?
E. WHELAN: I was so proud of him. He knew the company was a propaganda channel and he didn't want his words used against him. He went through the
interview with grace and determination. But you can tell he felt a certain amount of contempt for what he was being put through.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PAUL WHELAN, AMERICAN IMPRISONED IN RUSSIA: So you understand when I say that I can't do an interview, which means I can't answer any questions.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES: He clearly looks uncomfortable.
Do you think he still has the fight in him?
E. WHELAN: Absolutely. And he understands what is going on, the bigger picture. And he understands, I believe, the U.S. government is doing all it
can. He was very fortunate to have a phone call with the secretary of state, Anthony Blinken, a couple weeks ago, from the prison.
And to get the reassurance that everything is being done that is possible at this time. And we are hoping that something is going to break and
somehow, some kind of negotiation can go on with Russia.
And I would like to sort of say thank you also, to the U.K. embassy, the Canadians, the Irish in Moscow. They have all been to visit Paul,
ambassadors. They've taken mail, food and supplies, that sort of thing. Everyone has been really supportive. But now we need to do what it takes to
actually get him out of there, get him back home to Michigan.
SOARES: I'm glad you brought that up because the Biden administration has put forth proposals for his release. And as you know, Russia has not
responded. At least not in a substantive way.
You mentioned other governments there. I wonder what they can do?
Because your brother has Irish, British and Canadian citizenship.
Do you believe that there needs to be more unified approach here to try and get your brother home?
E. WHELAN: Yes, it's really difficult, I think. We are somewhat fortunate, that because Paul was traveling on a U.S. passport that the U.S. took the
lead to try and get him out because not every country is as forward leaning in terms of trying to help their citizens when they've been
We're not just talking about people who got in trouble for a real reason in another country but people who have been arrested on false charges or set
up or entrapped like my brother was.
You know, that hostile country has a choice of letting the person go the minute the wrongful detention is revealed. But all too often, they decide
to hold the person, hold them hostage, to get some kind of concession from one of the other countries.
When it comes to Britain and Canada and Ireland and other countries, whose citizens have been held like this in various different countries, I think
it really is -- it is cowardly to look away. It is cowardly not to take this on and try to help your people.
Because by not doing so, it plays into the narrative that the hostile foreign countries have, that democracies do not help their people, that we
don't do what it takes to bring them home. So it is a national security issue, anytime a citizen is being held and some kind of concession from the
government is expected. It can't be ignored.
SOARES: And finally, a final thought as you saw your brother for the first time in three years, what that moment -- just leave us there with what the
moment felt like.
E. WHELAN: I think it has reinforced our determination to fight for him and bring him home. And we just hope that he hangs in there with the strength
and courage he has been showing until we can make it happen.
SOARES: Strength, courage and dignity. Elizabeth, we appreciate the time to speak to us. Thank you.
E. WHELAN: Thank you so much.
SOARES: Now to Ukraine, where one soldier has described complete chaos on the southern front. Troops are locked in battles as Ukraine tries to
advance on the Russian held town of Tokmak. Commanders want to capitalize on recent momentum and keep going.
But they now have to fight in close quarters combat, coming face-to-face with the enemy. It is shaping up to be a turning point in Ukraine's
counteroffensive with confusion, shifting lines and no lines at all as the Russians counterattack.
There are reports of automatic grenade and machine gunfire. Both sides are using drones. And the Russians are said to be bringing in reinforcements.
Let's put this all in perspective with Melissa Bell.
Melissa, what we've been hearing for some time from Ukrainians is that they are making ground. They're making ground. Small gains. In this kind of
counteroffensive in the south. But there's also these lines of complete chaos on the southern front. Just explain what you are hearing.
MELISSA BELL, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: And one, of course, is the result of the other, significantly small but significant gains not just in
and around Robotyne but beyond that to the south and to the east of that village.
Important strategically because what Ukraine hopes is that it will give them a much longer line of land from which to carry on their push toward
Tokmak. But those gains, as this counteroffensive nears and is nearly entering its third month, have brought Russian counterattacks.
That chaos sounds recent. We spent part of the day today, down by where the villages are. It is extremely open terrain, as you say. Everybody's using
drones. Nobody moves without being seen, day and night.
Russians and Ukrainians coming face to face. One particular area to the east of Robotyne is being described as a triangle of error, jokingly, just
given how chaotic it is with Russians and Ukrainians finding themselves in the wrong places, not knowing who trenches are whose.
And on the rear side of where they should be, it sounds like complete mayhem but it is to be expected as these advances happen and the Russians
try and attack back. It is, of course, for the civilians, along that great long line south of here, along which that fighting is going on.
This has been an extremely long war. They have been on the dividing line between the Ukrainian held territories and the Russian held territories now
since March 2022.
The shelling has been daily. And what they told us today, when we went to see one of these towns, is that, so far, the counteroffensive really hasn't
made much difference to them one way or the other.
BELL (voice-over): The water is for the animals left behind. Svetlana draws some each week, as she waits for her own supply.
BELL (voice-over): Or rather, her villages. It's too dangerous for emergency services, so she will carry it the rest of the way.
"I can't abandon the people," she says, "the elderly," and she quotes a Soviet era saying, "If not you, then who?"
But even in the center of the town, there aren't many people left. The Russians are five kilometers away.
BELL: Residential buildings like this one have been on the front line of the war for nearly 1.5 years. The shelling say a few residents left here,
is day and night, about 500 to 600 civilians left in the town from several thousand before the war.
So far they say that the counteroffensive hasn't made things much worse in terms of the shelling nor has it made things any better.
"It's dangerous every day," says this man. "Overnight, the roof of that house was hit. There was shelling yesterday afternoon and a building was on
fire just the other day."
As we inspect the damage done by last night's artillery fire, a Russian drone inspects us; exploding, just as we leave. But little fazes local
emergency local services who have been showing us around.
"People are used to the war," says this man, before a shell interrupts him.
Those the emergency services can't get to rely on people like Svetlana. She will now walk with what she can push on her bike for more than an hour
towards enemy fire. But with her dog for company, she says, she is never afraid.
BELL: Now Robotyne is just to the east of that town that we visited today. The progress then continues perhaps most for the Ukrainian side. What we
are hearing is that more Russian reserves are on the way.
We talked a moment ago about the chaos, counteroffensive and counterattacks from the Russians, determined to protect the defensive lines that are just
begun to be breached at long last by this counteroffensive.
They, of course, are now sending more men to the area. What we're learning is well, there will be a forced evacuation of some of the families with
children in these towns I mentioned. It wasn't clear for the time being whether that means Ukrainians expect this particular line is likely to get
more dangerous than it has been already.
SOARES: More dangerous or more chaotic. Melissa, appreciate it, thank you very much.
A new study sheds light on the traumatic brain injuries athletes are suffering from. But it is the type of athletes causing concern. Dr. Sanjay
Gupta joining us next to walk us through those findings.
SOARES: They are known for their skills on the tennis court. But many tennis stars are showing that they aren't just top players. The top women
in tennis are showing they can do it all, play at top levels and be grand slam mothers. Here Carolyn Manno with more.
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI, FORMER WOMEN'S NUMBER ONE RANKED PLAYER: I was just looking at the clock, actually. My kids are napping right now, which is
CAROLYN MANNO, CNN SPORTS ANCHOR (voice-over): These days Caroline Wozniacki is playing doubles off the court, after retiring three years ago
and having two children, she's back in tennis' spotlight.
WOZNIACKI: After being a mom and being a role model for my kids and, you know, for them to be able to see me play, I'm very excited about that.
MANNO: The former world number one is one of 10 women in this year's U.S. Open singles draw who are mothers, disproving the notion that women must
choose between sport and starting a family.
CHRIS EVERT, WON 18 GRAND SLAM TITLES, INCLUDING SIX U.S. OPENS: A mother is torn in a lot of different directions. You know, when she's competing at
such a high level, it's got to be difficult.
MANNO: Fresh off a semifinal finish at Wimbledon, 28-year-old Elina Svitolina's game is seemingly stronger in her return from maternity leave.
RENNAE STUBBS, TENNIS COACH AND FORMER PROFESSIONAL PLAYER: I think it's good that they're doing it because it's also showing some of these younger
players like in their early 20s that, oh, you know, if I really - if I want to have kids, maybe I could have a child, like a Svitolina and come back
and actually have a successful career afterwards.
MANNO: Two-time grand slam champion Victoria Azarenka, who returned to the game after the birth of her son Leo, has been vocal about the fact that she
wants the sport to stay in the foreground when it comes to progressive and inclusive attitudes toward working moms in the sport. And a change made by
the Women's Tennis Association back in 2019 now allows women to freeze their player rankings for up to three years so they aren't penalized in
tournament seeding for taking pregnancy leave.
MANNO (voice-over): While more than 20 active players on the WTA tour are successfully balancing motherhood with being a pro athlete, the sport's
most coveted prize, a grand slam singles title, remains elusive for women who have given birth. It's been well over a decade since Kim Clijsters won
three such titles after the birth of her daughter Jada.
KIM CLIJSTERS, LAST MOM TO WIN A GRAND SLAM TITLE (2009): I hope that I inspire a lot of other women who are willing or hoping to do the same thing
but maybe don't know the way to start. It's a great - a great feeling to have knowing that you can - you can combine both and still do - you know,
still play the sport that I love but then also, you know, being a mother at the same time.
MANNO: This year's U.S. Open is full circle for Wozniacki who lost to Clijsters in that 2009 U.S. Open final. Now she will try to make a run with
her family in tow.
WOZNIACKI: It's important that my kids believe that they can do whatever they put their minds to. If they work hard enough, the sky is the limit.
There's really nothing that they can't do.
SOARES: That is a great message. We will be back after the short break.
SOARES: Welcome back.
Researchers have found CTE, a brain disease often associated with NFL players and concussions, in younger amateur athletes. That is according to
a striking new study from Boston University.
The researchers evaluated 152 donated brains. They found evidence of the disease in more than 60 of them, including in athletes, get this, who never
played professionally. Chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta has been covering this for years and visited the very brain bank where this is
Great to see you. Put context for all of our viewers.
How concerning is this because it sounds alarming?
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: I think one of things to keep in mind, just when you look at a study like this, very important, is
that the people who donated to their brains for the study, these were people who had significant symptoms and were very suspicious they might
So it was a highly select group of people. When you see that 40 percent that should in no way suggest everyone who plays sports and takes blows to
the head will develop CTE.
What is concerning as you mentioned is the age, I think you typically think of CTE, which is chronic traumatic encephalopathy, almost this Alzheimer's
like disease, we think of it occurring later in life. I think what was clear is that people as young as 17 years old could develop these symptoms.
That was concerning.
And sometimes they would have the symptoms that we saw in much older patients of memory loss, confusion, depression and even suicidal thoughts.
In fact, the most common cause of death in 150 or so patients, you just talked about, the number one cause of death in that young group of people
So that I think obviously does raise some concerns.
SOARES: But 17, that is really young, is it not?
GUPTA: Yes. It is really young. I'll tell you something. When we made the original documentary, "Big Hits, Broken Dreams," we happened to be at the
lab the day Nathan Styles' brain arrived. His family donated his brain to science. They were worried about him and 17 years old.
And I saw his brain with Dr. Ann McKee (ph). We were looking at it for the first time. And again, think of Alzheimer's, for example, you think of
plaques and tangles in the brain and you imagine someone 70 or 80 years old.
When were looking at these images, we essentially were seeing those same types of findings in a 17-year-old brain that you'd see in someone much
older. So it is concerning obviously when you see that. What it means, it's a little hard to say. But now we know it can happen quite young.
SOARES: And do we know why some people develop CTE and others don't?
GUPTA: It is the critical question, I think. In the decades of research that's been going on, it's a question that keeps coming up. I think the
most honest answer is we don't know.
But a couple of things, there is likely some sort of genetic predisposition. There are people who take lots of blows to the head, never
have a problem. Other people who take few blows to the head and they develop CTE.
One thing to keep in mind is that I think a lot of people sort of envision these blows to the brain causing the problem. Typically, the brain is
accelerating and then decelerates all of a sudden because it's stopped in a sport or something.
And the brain itself keeps moving and stretching and twisting. And it is that mechanism I just described that is probably more sort of the genesis
of CTE. The more blows like that you take, the bigger problem.
SOARES: Sanjay, really appreciate it, thank you very much.
An Australian woman had been suffering I should say, mysterious symptoms for months when an MRI revealed something pretty unusual. She was sent for
brain surgery and the doctors were shocked by what they found.
SOARES: They pulled out exactly what you are seeing, a worm. It was eight centimeters long and it was still alive and wriggling -- got my whole team
Experts say this particular type of worm is found in pythons. She may have picked it up from eating greens that the snakes had contaminated. Just
Finally tonight, it's wrestling but not as you know it. As you can see here, this is the world, get ready for this, gravy wrestling championship.
The slippery contest took place in a small English village on Monday. Competitors battled in and out for about two minutes in these matches.
As you can see, there is a gravy filled bowl. The judge's awarded extra points for the fighters with the most comedy flare. I'd like to see what
that entails. And our quote today it comes from one of those fierce fighters.
He said, "We're going to get down, we're going to get dirty. World gravy wrestling, baby," I'm pretty sure you won't see Sunday dinner the same way.
That does it for us. Thank you very much for your company stay right here. QUEST MEANS BUSINESS is next. We will see you tomorrow.