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Isa Soares Tonight
Libya Left Like A War Zone After Catastrophic Flooding; U.S. Auto Workers Begin Historic Strike; Colombian Artist Fernando Botero Dies At 91; Ukrainian Military: "Surrender If You Don't Want To Die; Chinese Foreign Ministry Skirts Questions About Whereabouts Of Recently Promoted Defense Minister; Spanish Judge Approves Restraining Order Against Rubiales. Aired 2-3p ET
Aired September 15, 2023 - 14:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ISA SOARES, HOST, ISA SOARES TONIGHT: A very warm welcome to the show everyone, I'm Isa Soares. Tonight, devastation in Derna. We take you there
for a first-time look at the destruction after this week's catastrophic flooding in Libya. A historic strike for the first time ever, the powerful
United Auto Workers Union downs tools at all three big U.S. automakers at once. We'll have the very latest for you.
And a legendary painter passed away. We pay tribute to Colombian artist Fernando Botero. But first, this evening, new details are emerging today
about the catastrophic flooding in Libya from Storm Daniel. Officials say bodies are still washing back up on the shores of Derna after six days
really after a wall of water swept through the city.
Survivors are in shock as they desperately search for their loved ones. Thousands of people are dead, some 10,000 reported missing according to one
humanitarian group. And today, the UNAID chief says the extent of the unfolding disaster, it's still unclear. Have a listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARTIN GRIFFITHS, U.N. UNDER-SECRETARY-GENERAL FOR HUMANITARIAN AFFAIRS: This is a tragedy in which climate and capacity has collided to cause this
terrible tragedy. Derna, a city of about a 100,000 people -- 900,000 people affected. And this is on top of the situation in Libya where 300,000 people
in Libya already need humanitarian aid.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES: Well, one humanitarian group says it's sending 5,000 body bags to ensure a dignified burial for the dead. Our Jomana Karadsheh is on the
ground in Derna and she filed this report.
JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (on camera): It's a scene of utter devastation here everywhere you turn. It's apocalyptic
scenes here. It resembles a war zone. Many cities across the Libyan coast were impacted by that storm, but what happened in Derna was so different.
This catastrophe as people describe here was of course, caused by those two dams that burst, unleashed all of that water.
The floods that swept through this city and destroyed pretty much everything in its path, washing out entire neighborhoods, entire buildings,
infrastructure, families that ended up in the sea. And you speak to people here, survivors who describe a night of horror that they went through. All
this destruction, all this human loss, the thousands of lives that were lost.
The -- more than 10,000 people who were unaccounted for. Right now, they say this all happened within the span of about 90 minutes. We've spoken to
some survivors describing how they have to race to save their lives, their children grabbing what they can, their children, and running and trying to
escape. The rising waters that just kept on rising three-story high.
We heard that the waves were up to about 22 feet, and those who survived it are just traumatized. You speak to people right now who are barely able to
comprehend what happened to them, what happened to their city. People are in shock, and Libyans tell you they have seen everything. They have dealt
with war. They have seen death.
They have dealt with loss before, but nothing prepared them for this. And right now, from what we have seen, they don't have the capabilities to deal
with a disaster on this scale. There are some search and rescue teams that have come in from different countries, but they say that this is nowhere
near enough. They need more.
We have seen so many volunteers here in this bitterly-divided country, a country where city fought city, east has been fighting west for more than a
decade now. We have seen people from all across the country who have poured into Derna, who have poured into the east to try and support the people to
help volunteers, search and rescue, trying to help retrieve the dead bodies.
In the words of one woman we spoke to earlier, saying this catastrophe has united the people of Libya, and it seems like it has at least for now.
Jomana Karadsheh, CNN, Derna, Libya.
SOARES: The scenes behind are just truly apocalyptic. Well, I want to take a closer look really at what A, Libya is getting right now. One, U.N.
agency and other humanitarian groups are appealing for about $71 million to respond to the most urgent needs in those flood-affected areas. But they're
getting a lot less, and that's the reality. The World Health Organization is providing $2 million.
The U.S., $1 million through its development agency. The EU as you can see there is sending just over half a million dollars as well as medical
equipment, rescue boats and helicopters. And the U.K. has pledged $1.25 million to support victims. Well, the director of International Medical
Corps, David Eastman joins me now live.
David, I appreciate you taking the time to speak to us, we just got that report, just came into us from Derna. It looked -- sir, I don't know if you
heard me saying there. It looks apocalyptic. You've got teams on the ground, just give us a sense of what they are telling you.
DAVID EASTMAN, DIRECTOR, INTERNATIONAL MEDICAL CORPS: Our teams entered Derna yesterday last night and the Ministry of Health officials so that we
could arrange medical care tomorrow with our medical team working with Ministry of Health's health workers, we're rushing medicines in right now,
and what we're -- what they're seeing is yes, there are dead bodies that are scattered, being clean. They described wreckage as if there was a war
zone. They --
SOARES: Yes --
EASTMAN: He said that he saw a car on their third floor of a house that had been thrown out by the water. So, the search and rescue efforts is
really over at this point, it's cleaned up, providing health services, mental health services care for the survivors.
SOARES: And so, search and rescue as you said on your side is over -- medical supplies then. I mean, our team took quite a long time. They did a
phone call with us yesterday to try and to get to Derna. How are you moving medicine to that part of the country? Because I know the infrastructure has
been seriously hit.
EASTMAN: Well, International Medical Corps has been in Libya since 2011. We were the first international aid organization to enter and arrive in
Libya when the conflict started in 2011, we've been there ever since. So we have strong relationships, our team there is Libyan. They were able to
secure medicines from Tripoli where we had our office and moved them across to Benghazi, and then now they're going to be moved to Benghazi and
tomorrow to Derna. So, a local effort with a lot of professionalism from a decade of experience.
SOARES: From a medical point of view, then what kind of -- what kind of injuries or medical assistance most people needing right now?
EASTMAN: Well, what we're understanding from the Ministry of Health is that the cases of trauma have diminished, now it's healthcare for the
survivors that needs to continue. Obviously, a lot of people as the reports described are traumatized. You can imagine that the estimates of death are
between 6 and 11,000 out of a population of about 90,000.
That's at least one in 20 people that's died. So families are torn apart, children are going to need support. They're seeing their families
traumatized. So, not only will healthcare be necessary and helping to rebuild the system, working with the Ministry of Health, it's caring for
those survivors and helping them to rebuild their lives.
SOARES: And clearly, you know, with the infrastructure affected sanitation is a huge problem as well, and there are concerns about waterborne
diseases. How worried are you right now about that?
EASTMAN: Well, of course, safe water is very important. We're looking at ways that we can help households to sanitize their water and educating
people and just basic approaches to that while they're in a situation that they never could have expected. Of course, the clean-up of the dead bodies
will be important. The bodies in and of themselves, let's say aren't infectious, but the carrying and the handling of those bodies is hazardous.
So it will be important to make sure that any volunteers, any workers, you know, are using safe procedures to protect themselves.
SOARES: David, I really appreciate you taking the time to speak to us. I wish your team on the ground the very best of luck, thank them for all
their work and effort. We, of course, are thinking of everyone in Libya, we'll continue to stay on top of this story. Thank you very much. Now --
EASTMAN: Thank you so much --
SOARES: Like Libya -- like Libya, Morocco has also seen devastating disaster in the last week. A magnitude 6.8 earthquake, while the two
countries are close to one another, as you can see there, separated by Algeria. The response to disasters couldn't be more different while
international aid has been slow to reach Libya, thanks to the country's political instability.
There's been a massive influx of help to Morocco, still the country and its people face a long road ahead. CNN's Nada Bashir has some survivor stories.
NADA BASHIR, CNN REPORTER (voice-over): It took days for the winding mountain roads leading to Telouet Yarku(ph) to be cleared. Debris from the
earthquake making it almost impossible for aid workers to reach the small town. But a week on, and it has become a hub for humanitarian aid. Two days
after the earthquake struck, Dr. Zouhair's team arrived from Casablanca. But it's not just physical wounds that they are treating.
"Some of these people have lost their entire families. Children come and tell us that their parents or siblings have died", Dr. Zouhair tells me.
"Sometimes the emotional trauma these people are faced is even worse than their physical injuries."
In this town, the crumbling remains of life before the earthquake are a constant reminder of all that has been lost. Homes, livelihoods and loved
ones all gone in an instant.
(on camera): Across Morocco's devastated mountains, there are countless stories of tragedy. Few people have been untouched by death, and there are
towns like this one, which were cut off for days. But amid the stories of destruction, there are also remarkable stories of survival.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (SPEAKING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (SPEAKING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
BASHIR (voice-over): Abdelaziz Rogui(ph) is the head nurse here Telouet Yarku(ph). He rushed to the local midwife's residence with a glimmer of
hope, only to find that the building had collapsed.
(on camera): So this is where he found the midwife --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (SPEAKING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
BASHIR: Mariam(ph) --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mariam(ph) --
BASHIR: And you can still see her halo, he saw her head beneath the rubble and he began digging himself and pulling her out.
(voice-over): Alone and in the dark, Rogui(ph) says he prayed that nurse Mariam(ph), a colleague he considers to be like a sister would survive.
"She begged me not to leave her", Rogui(ph) says, "and I promised that I wouldn't leave her alone." Nurse Mariam(ph) did survive and they're shaken
and with no clinic to operate in.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (SPEAKING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
BASHIR: Rogui(ph) tells me she delivered two healthy babies the next morning. This town like all those affected in the earthquake will never
forget the tragedy of September 8th. So far, the death toll has climbed to nearly 3,000 people. And while there has been an outpouring of support, not
only from the Moroccan people, but also from the international community. The road to recovery for this country will be long. Nada Bashir, CNN, in
Telouet Yarku(ph), Morocco.
SOARES: North Korea's Kim Jong-un is on his extended tour of Russia. Hours ago, the leader inspected a Russian fighter jet inside a factory that's
under western sanctions. He is also expected to visit the Russian Navy's Pacific fleet. It's all part of a rare visit that could help Russia's
military in Ukraine as well as North Korea's missile program. Our Paula Hancocks explains.
PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): There aren't many world leaders alive this close to Russian military secrets. North Korea's Kim
Jong-un is shown around the plant where Vladimir Putin's warplanes are developed and built. A close-up look at the inside of a fighter jet, Kim
asking plenty of questions.
He was walking in his father's footsteps, the late Kim Jong-il toured here just over 20 years ago. It is a visit that may prove useful. Beyond the
jets seen at Kim's public events, his air force is mostly built on old Soviet-era jets, in desperate need of an update, analysts say. Putin and
Kim made a very public show of unity on Wednesday, Kim pledging his full and unconditional support for Putin, whether in Ukraine or his fight
against hegemonic forces.
Putin has appeared willing to help Kim with his military ambitions, although how far and how quickly is not clear.
The United States, South Korea and Japan jointly warned there would be quote, "clear consequences if either country violated U.N. Security Council
resolutions banning unregulated arms trade and military cooperation. The Kremlin says it has fully complied with the restrictions Russia and North
Korea are both already heavily sanctioned.
NIGEL GOULD-DAVIES, SENIOR FELLOW, INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR STRATEGIC STUDIES: Recall sanctions are a long game. They're not a light switch.
They are dimmer switch. And we're seeing the erosive consequences steadily in committee over time in the case of Russia.
HANCOCKS: Kim Jong-un's Russian tour is not over. His private limousine parks up in his special armored train ready for the next stop. It is a
slower journey, but at least, it means no photographer is left behind.
(on camera): Putin already announced that Kim Jong-un will see a military demonstration from the Pacific fleet when he is in Vladivostok as well as
university visits. The Kremlin though says that no agreements were signed between the two leaders on Wednesday, saying the talks were quote, "a
sensitive sphere of cooperation". Paula Hancocks, CNN, Seoul.
SOARES: Can the South proclaim most pro union presidents bring the old tour -- I should say that again, auto workers strike to an end? Coming up,
what Joe Biden is saying about the UAW strike and what it means for his economic agenda. And then why Hunter Biden's attorney says the indictment
of president's son represents a grave threat to the U.S. system of justice. We'll have both those stories for you after this very short break.
SOARES: Well, it is official. U.S. workers have launched their historic strike against the big three automakers. It is the first time that UAW
Union has gone on strike simultaneously at Ford, GM and Chrysler parent company, Stellantis. The labor action is targeted less than 13,000 workers
at three plants in three states. But it could expand and it could be a headache really for U.S. President Joe Biden and his plans for the economy.
Mr. Biden says he is the most pro union president ever. But the UAW still hasn't endorsed him. He addressed the strike a bit earlier, and says he's
sending his acting labor secretary to Detroit. Here's a snippet of what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Auto companies have seen record profits including the last few years because of extraordinary skill and
sacrifices of UAW workers. Those record profits have not been shared fairly in my view with those workers. The bottom line is that autoworkers help
create America's middle class. They deserve a contract that sustains them in the middle class.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SOARES: Well, the strike could play into next year's election. Some of these factors are in battleground states in America's Rust Belt including a
Stellantis plant in Toledo, Ohio. CNN's Gabe Cohen is in Toledo with the very latest. So, Gabe, give me a sense though of how President Biden's
message was received where you are?
GABE COHEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, look, I think workers here are ready for the long haul. This strike that is just day one, and this is what it
looks like here in Toledo. This is the parking lot outside of a local union office where there is this huge crowd alignment snakes around the entire
lot of people who have arrived here to sign up for strike pay, a $100 a day that they will be paid by the union.
In just three months down the road at that Stellantis factory, there are about 15 picketers outside each and every gate, and that's where they will
be 24/7 in the coming days for who knows how long at this point. I want to bring in one of the autoworkers who I have been talking to a little bit.
Ishaun(ph), you were telling me before, you're a parent, is that right?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes --
COHEN: OK --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have four boys
COHEN: Four boys?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
COHEN: Talk to me about what this strike means to you. What have you felt in terms of compensation and how workers have been treated?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're just trying to get what was owed to us. You know? We gave up a lot in the past, and we're just trying to get it back and just
trying to make a better future for my kids and our families, that's all.
COHEN: How long are you ready to strike for?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As long as it takes. As long as it takes. So when they -- when they give us a fair agreement, we'll go back to work and we'll do
COHEN: A $100 a day of strike pay. What is it going to be like trying to take care of four kids on that?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, I had to -- things are going to get a little tight, but we're just going to have to make them do what they do. You know?
We've been saving up, we've been preparing for this, so we just got to plan it out and do what's best.
COHEN: We heard the CEO of Ford yesterday say that if they were to meet every one of the demands that the union has, it would bankrupt the company.
What do you think hearing that?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know, that's above my pay grade. But I mean, seeing them meet everybody else's demand, so we're in line, we're next, it's our
COHEN: Are you going to be out there on the picket line?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Of course, of course. I'll be out there as long as -- as long as I need to, as many days as I need to.
COHEN: Well, thank you so much --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right --
COHEN: Ishaun(ph) for your time. And as I mentioned, 5,800 members of this local union, about 13,000 UAW workers now on strike across those three
plants, one in Michigan, one here in Ohio and one in Missouri. It is just day one, and for so many of the workers, this is what today is all about,
getting signed up for that strike pay and getting ready to hit that picket line. Back to you --
SOARES: Yes, some prepared to stick it out. Gabe, really appreciate it, thank you very much. Well, an attorney for Hunter Biden says political
pressure led to the indictment of the president's son, vowing to fight the charges in court, and a special counsel formally charged Hunter Biden on
three criminal counts. He's accused of falsely stating he was not using illegal drugs when he purchased a gun in 2018.
Biden's attorney says a plea deal collapsed despite no change in the facts of the case. He blames pressure by Republicans as the indictment represents
a great threat to the U.S. justice system. Let's bring in our Kara Scannell live in New York for more. So, Kara, the question then becomes, you know,
what's the next move for Hunter Biden? What is attorney saying here?
KARA SCANNELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, so Hunter Biden's attorneys have come out swinging, saying that they are going to fight this case, and it
looks like they're going to challenge it in a couple different ways. They're going to challenge it on the facts to argue that he wasn't actually
using drugs at the time that he made the gun purchase.
But also whether the law itself is constitutional. There is a big Supreme Court decision about gun ownership in the U.S., and then there have been
subsequent lower court decisions. So his lawyers already looking to those to make the case that the charges themselves are not legal, that they're no
longer constitutional, you know.
But this is still a case that is likely to go to trial. It's likely to go to trial when his father is running for re-election of president. And you
know, the next immediate step here is that Hunter Biden will have to be arraigned. So he'll have to appear in court, enter his plea in this case,
and you'll remember, this all related to what was a wrapped up plea deal that was presented to a judge a couple of weeks ago.
And that involved no prosecution on the gun charge, if he abided by certain conditions for two years. Now he's facing three felony counts with serious
potential prison time. And it also included a plea deal where he would have pled guilty to two tax misdemeanor charges for not paying his taxes on time
for two years. And in that case, the prosecution said that they would have recommended he received a probation sentence, so no jail time.
But right now, we do know that around the corner in the tax case is some possibility of additional charges. So Special Counsel David Weiss' team has
said that they may see charges on tax cases either in Washington D.C. or California, because that's where Hunter Biden lived during the years that
he allegedly failed to pay his taxes on time. And that the question there is how soon will that happen?
Well, for one of the years that's under scrutiny, the Statute of Limitations or the amount of time that the government can look back on to
bring a case is coming to ahead next month. So we could see additional movement in that space just in the next couple of weeks. So, you know,
we're really kind of facing the situation, it's unprecedented in America to have a sitting president --
SOARES: Yes --
SCANNELL: Have one of their children facing federal charges. Isa?
SOARES: Kara, I know, you'll stay across it, Kara Scannell for us there in New York. Thanks, Kara. And still to come tonight, a new offensive from
Ukraine, plus a warning to Russian soldiers. We are live from Kyiv for the latest and what this all means. And Russia's war on Ukraine has cost
countless lives. We'll have the heartbreaking story of one Ukrainian soldier's family as they prepare to lay him to rest.
SOARES: Welcome back everyone. Ukraine says that a Russian brigade has been quote smashed to pieces after some of the fiercest fighting along the
eastern frontlines. Ukrainian forces claim to have re-taken the village of Andriivka, as you can see there, that's south of Bakhmut. Kyiv describes
the operation as lightning fast as its troops surround it and destroy, their words, a Russian outpost.
And take a look at this new drone footage we have from Andriivka, it was taken by Ukraine's third separate assault brigade. As it flies over,
they're telling the remaining Russian soldiers to surrender if they don't want to die. I want to bring in our senior international correspondent Fred
Pleitgen for the very latest on this from Kyiv.
And Fred, first of all, let's start with Andriivka. How significant then is the retaking of Andriivka, and what does it mean, this part battle and this
push for Bakhmut that we have been focusing on for so long now?
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, you're absolutely right, Isa, we've been focusing on it for such an extended
period of time now. I think if we bring back our map and we can see that the battle for Bakhmut is obviously one that has been going on. And
Andriivka is basically south of Bakhmut.
It's pretty much due south of Bakhmut. There have been battles going on there for an extended period of time.
Now, we do have to tell our viewers it is a very, very small place that the Ukrainians have now been able to take back. But one of the things that we
can see there in that yellow that we see under screen right now, is that they are now very close to those Russian positions, and also to some of
those Russian supply lines into Bakhmut as well. Now, that does give them certain ways of tampering with those Russian supply lines by hitting those
Russian supply lines, and in general, increases or betters the positions that the Ukrainians have there on the frontline.
We've seen some of the videos that have come out from there, and certainly, some of them do seem quite spectacular, like the one where that drone seems
to tell the Russian soldiers to surrender. There's another one with a drone actually attacking what the Ukrainians say is a Russian vehicle with an
officer in it. The Ukrainians are touting this as a big success for themselves because they say that the unit that was down there for the
Ukrainians managed to smash the Russian unit, as they put it.
It's obviously been a while since the Ukrainians have had a success like that. We know with the Battle of Bakhmut that it's sort of been a little
bit secondary over the past couple of weeks, as the Ukrainians have been trying to make their push to the south. But certainly, for them, this is
something that I think was very important for the Bakhmut area because they've been having some pretty tough going there as well, Isa.
SOARES: And on that point, I mean, the success for Andriivka comes at a -- at a crucial point because of course, we have President Zelenskyy, Fred,
going to the United States to meet with President Biden next week around of course, the UN General Assembly meetings.
PLEITGEN: Yes, absolutely.
SOARES: What will be Zelenskyy's message, you think here?
PLEITGEN: Well, I think Zelenskyy's message and I think we've heard this from Zelenskyy in the past as well, where he is urging specifically the
United States, but also some of others -- some of the other partners for Ukraine to have patience with the Ukrainians and to have patience with
their counter-offensive. Now, of course, we know that the main thrust of the counter-offensive is actually not in the east of Ukraine.
PLEITGEN: But in the south of Ukraine. And there, for the Ukrainians, the going has been even tougher because some of those very large Russian
minefields are very difficult to penetrate. They have had a certain degree of success over the past month or so but still, the going there is very
Nevertheless, the Ukrainians now saying, look, they are showing that they can hit the Russians hard there in the east of Ukraine that they can make
gains. And certainly also that the Russians pretty much no place along the front lines are making any gains themselves. It's been a long time since
we've seen a very big Russian victory.
So, what President -- or Ukraine's President Zelenskyy is most probably going to urge the U.S. to do is to stay the course to remain with Ukraine
to keep those weapons deliveries going, and then of course, the things that the Ukrainians have been asking for for a very long time as well. Like for
instance, fighter jets and of course also things that we've been talking about as well, those ATACMS, short-range missiles, but the ones that do
have a longer range because the Ukrainians do want to continue to hit the Russians and their supply lines as well, Isa.
SOARES: Fred Pleitgen for us this evening in Kyiv, Ukraine. Thanks very much, Fred. Good to see you.
Well, it is really difficult to truly comprehend the grief in a war that's left so many people dead. The number of deaths from Russia's war on Ukraine
is just staggering. U.S. officials quoted by the New York Times put the number of Ukrainian soldier deaths at about 70,000 and as many as 120,000
injured. Melissa Bell has a story of one family that has paid the ultimate price.
MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voiceover): There's been no shortage of grief in Ukraine. Today in St. Michael's Cathedral, it's the turn of Yevhen
Shayan's mother to say goodbye to her 42-year-old son killed on the front line he volunteered for. How many have died? Neither side will say. For
Ukraine, the number is believed to be many tens of thousands. Today, though, for Yevhen's wife, Karina, her own grief is all there is.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (TEXT) We need to let him go from this world, no matter how hard it is for us.
BELL (voiceover): Saying goodbye too soon is part of everyday life in Ukraine now, but never any easier for it. Yevhen Shayan will rest amongst
his own, many like him, had never fought before. All died too soon.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (TEXT) He wasn't scared. He went because it was his duty.
BELL (voiceover): Yevhen Shayan had been a speech writer, a political analyst who put down his pen to pick up a gun, he told his wife, so that
she might live in safety.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (TEXT) An honest and good person, a loving son, husband, brother --
BELL (voiceover): Everyone here describes a man who was larger than life. Now, his optimism and light have given way to grief and disbelief that he's
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (TEXT) We couldn't find a serious photo of him for the tombstone because all of his photos are all smiles and optimism. He always
said there was no need to cry or be upset whatever happened.
BELL (voiceover): The priest has urged those here to forgive Yevhen for dying. Besides he says heroes never really die. And of heroes in cemeteries
across Ukraine, there is no shortage either. Melissa Bell, CNN, Kyiv.
SOARES: Well, China is being cagey about the whereabouts of Defense Minister Li Shangfu. This is Li at an event in Singapore earlier this year,
but he hasn't been seen publicly in weeks. And there are reports the recently promoted general is under investigation. China's foreign ministry
skirted questions about Li on Friday. There have been several, if you remember, dramatic shakeups in China's government this year, including the
ouster of the ex-foreign Minister in July.
Well, we are learning from multiple sources that China appears to have suspended its spy balloon program. If you remember, a Chinese balloon was
shot down off the eastern U.S. coast. That was back in February with the Pentagon saying it was part of a surveillance program that China had been
conducting for years. Well, U.S. officials now say they haven't seen any launch since. So, what to make of this?
Our Natasha Bertrand is standing by for us in Washington. So, Natasha, why then is we -- the U.S. think that they are suspending the program, and how
does the U.S. interpret the suspension?
NATASHA BERTRAND, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's a couple of reasons. So, over the last several months, the U.S. and China have been
trying to kind of ease tensions. And so, one way to look at this, according to officials, is that the Chinese are simply trying to maintain that and
not further provoke the U.S.
But another way to look at it is that the Chinese leadership was actually pretty angry about the incident back in February. Particularly, Chinese
leader Xi Jinping, who apparently was not informed beforehand this balloon was going to transit the continental United States and was very angry when
it prompted that diplomatic uproar that prompted Secretary of State Antony Blinken, of course, to postpone his long-planned trip to Beijing at that
So, the U.S. officials now believe that the Chinese leadership because they never really intended for the balloon to transit the U.S. because it kind
of caused this major upset, that really was not worth it in the end. Because according to U.S. officials, they really were not able to gather
that much intelligence when they were transiting the U.S. It simply was not worth it to continue this surveillance program.
Now, the U.S. has not actually seen any additional launches out of China of these balloons at all, even though this was a global program that the U.S.
had had launched roughly two dozen missions in the years before, of course, that Chinese balloon was shot down by the U.S. back in February. So,
clearly a valuable program for the Chinese but they seem to have made a calculation here that for right now, at least suspending the program is the
smartest move, Isa.
SOARES: Natasha, thanks very much. Appreciate it.
Well, in the art world, a legendary creator has passed away. Colombian sculptor and painter Fernando Botero died Friday at the age of 91. He was
known for sometimes comic renditions of pomp figures but also created art taking on some more serious issues. According to Sotheby's, his work
frequently sells for more than two million dollars.
Stefano Pozzebon is in Boteros' home country, no -- though not in his home city, and he joins us now from Bogota. And, Stefano, of course, for those
who know him, he was a giant for the art world and much love Maestro for the Colombians. How's he being remembered?
STEFANO POZZEBON, CNN JOURNALIST: Yes, Isa. He's really a person that portrays the height of secrecy of this entire country since we learned that
early this morning there of the passing of the master, Botero in Monte Carlo. The news arrived here in Colombia at about 6:00 a.m. Now, confirmed
by the daughter of the master, (INAUDIBLE) Botero who spoke on Colombian radio at about 6:20 a.m. and confirmed that what had happened and the
passing of her father.
We're seeing, of course, all the major political figures, members of the public institutions, mayors, governors, the entire country coming together
to pay respect and to remember really one of the most famous sons of these -- of this country. It's interesting, Isa, to understand how much Botero is
important for the history of Colombia. Think that. He was born in 1932. He died be 91. So, you think of what he's -- how much this country changed
during the lifespan of this incredible artist.
And I want to bring up a photo that was tweeted or posted on X just a few hours ago by the mayor of Medellin which is of course, Botero Home City,
the birthplace of the master. With a photo of -- a very famous photo of a statue that Botero exposed to in Medellin and that in 1995, was heavily
damaged by a car bomb that killed 23 people.
The tweet I believe, we haven't translated, but I'll translate that for you. The words that Botero said that was that he wanted the statue to
remain on display with the half destroyed by the car bomb. But as a memory of the stupidity and the criminality of Colombia.
You think of what was Colombia. Where was this country in 1995, and how that changed in the 20 -- 30 years since? You can understand how important
Botero was for the -- for the psyche, for the national soul of this nation. And that's why we're seeing hundreds of thousands of people now paying
their respect, Isa.
SOARES: Yes, with the Colombian president saying he was a painter of our virtue. Stefano, thank you very much. Appreciate it.
And still, to come tonight, new fallout from that unwanted kiss a former Spanish football chief, if you hear, gave to the player. We have the latest
from Friday's court hearing. We are live for you in Madrid. Next.
SOARES: Welcome back, everyone. A restraining order has been issued against the former head of Spanish football. Luis Rubiales testified in Spain's
National Court today after prosecutors filed a complaint against him on charges of sexual assault as well as coercion. It's over, if you remember,
a kiss given to player Jennifer Hermoso after the final Women's World Cup game. Earlier today, her lawyer reiterated that the case was non-
consensual. And now, 39 Spanish women's players are battling to miss upcoming games in the nation's league matches.
Joining us now from outside the courthouse in Madrid is Al Goodman. Al, good to see you. Just talk us through then what we saw play out in the
courts today and what the next legal steps will be for Rubiales here potentially.
AL GOODMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Isa. Well, the restraining order that the judge issued which -- in which Rubiales needs to stay at least 200
meters or 600 feet away from Jennifer Hermoso, that was far less than what the prosecution asked for. 500 meters.
But the judge did agree with the prosecution's request to -- that he would have no contact with -- whatsoever with Hermoso during the investigation.
The judge also denied a request from Hermoso's lawyer to protectively embargo the assets of Rubiales during the investigation. That was denied.
Now, Rubiales and his lawyer walked right down here on that far side of the street to the court building behind me as they came in about an hour before
the hearing. They said nothing to the throng of media out here. When they left after the hour-long hearing, they also said nothing.
But the prosecution issued a statement saying what he said in the court which was that he denied the charges of sexual assault and coercion. And he
did answer questions from the judge, the prosecutor, and Hermoso's lawyer. Hermoso's lawyer talked to the media and said so many people saw that kiss.
It was televised -- globally televised --
GOODMAN: Right after the game and the award ceremony at the stadium in Sydney, Australia. Rubiales says that it was consensual, and Hermoso says
SOARES: And while Rubiales has been in court today, the Spanish women's team I believe continues, Al, to stick to their demands for the better pay
and are refusing to play. Just what is the latest set because I think they've got a game in what a week or so?
GOODMAN: The pressure is on because most of the members of the 23-member World Cup winners team that beat England in that tough game match about
four weeks ago have said they're not going to play if called up again by the new coach. So, Rubiales, who said he wasn't going to resign insisted on
that. He finally resigned last Sunday.
The male coach that coached the team to the victory has been fired. And a new -- a new female coach who was an assistant has been installed as the
new coach. She was today this afternoon after the court hearing was supposed to come out and say here are the players for the next match
against Sweden which is next Friday and against Switzerland in the nation's cup which is kind of qualifying for the Paris Olympics.
But these players many from the World Cup team and others said we're not playing until changes have not been deep enough at the Federation. We --
it's not just pay. It's also what they say is the attitude of the leadership of the Federation.
GOODMAN: And their demands -- they're saying that they don't want to do that. The Federation issued a statement just a short while ago saying we
need time. Basically, pleading for time. The pressure is on. The game is next Friday. There's no team right now.
SOARES: Yes. And of course, like you said not just pay. It's structural changes that they are seeking. Al, really good to see you. Thank you very
much. Al Goodman for us there this evening from Madrid.
It's me, hi. I'm the writer. It's me or you Swifties might want to dust off your resume. Gannett, the largest newspaper chain in the U.S. is looking
for someone to cover the midnight artist's full time.
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SOARES: The Swift shift requires five years of newsroom experience and the ability to travel internationally. Who didn't want that? Of course, plus,
you get paid upwards of $50 an hour -- an hour. Basically, Swift's influence is ever-expanding. For example, the Federal Reserve, if you
remember, says Swift's era store boosted the economy.
Joining us now live is a music reporting critic for Variety and apparently their resident Taylor Swift expert, I'm being told, Chris Willman. Chris,
great to have you on the show. Look, I asked my team here on the -- on the studio what they made of this. Taylor Swift you know, getting a reporter
just when -- this news organization. At once it to me it's a gimmick. What do you make of it?
CHRIS WILLMAN, CHIEF MUSIC CRITIC, VARIETY: I've been trying to turn it over in my own mind. Is this like a sound journalistic move or a publicity
stunt? And I think it's a bit of both. I think that, you know, there's a case to be made that you know with Taylor Swift, there's news every day,
you might cover it like you would put someone exclusively on a political campaign here in the States because that's almost what it's like. I mean,
there have been moments where I feel like I'm a full-time Swift reporter, although that's not my job description in the last year.
I do -- I am a little bit cynical about it, like a lot of journalists in that, you know. Again, that has been slashing jobs. That cut six percent a
week last year, that cut like 40 percent Over the last few years, and then so you're cutting local reporters, but you're adding a Taylor Swift, it'd
be as a reporter.
WILLMAN: And yet, it makes a certain sense to me. They're trying to attract a younger audience. And they're asking for a video cover letter. So, it's
obvious they want someone who's going to have a digital online presence to sort of be their Swifty and chief online as well as in print. So, it makes
a certain sense to me.
SOARES: And what -- I mean, you said you've written -- done more Swift reports than probably that you'd like to, I'm guessing. But how many give -
- me a sense of how much demand is there for Swift stories, for the covering of the singer? Because that's been a Swift influence, right?
WILLMAN: Yes. It's like on a micro level, like, during the Swift tour in the U.S. here, we were updating every day the surprise song she did on
tour. She does two surprise songs that night. That takes you know, a little bit out of a journalist's day just to update fans about that.
And then, you know, there's -- besides the tour news, economic impact, local communities, cultural essay type of stuff, she's announced a new --
reissue campaign for an album. And of course, she has this huge concert film coming out here in the States on October that is going to be if not
quite Barbie-level, one of the biggest films of the year with a projected 200 million in gross. So, it really feels like (AUDIO GAP) every day.
SOARES: Yes. And it's not just Taylor Swift. It's also Beyonce. You know, I have to say, I admire both of these women independently. But I'm given -- I
wonder what the job would be like and what you'd actually be covering besides going to concerts and reporting on not just the new songs, but the
music, the atmosphere. What do -- how do you envisage to this?
WILLMAN: Well, that's what I'm wondering too because they're jumping on this a little late, which sort of makes me think it's a little bit of a
stunt because Beyonce's tour just finished, and she's done.
WILLMAN: And she goes six years between her last two albums. So, if she goes six years until the next one, what's that person going to -- that
recorder going to twiddle their thumbs for the next six years? So I'm not sure what the Beyonce reporter is going to report on.
WILLMAN: And with Taylor beat they said, you know, international travel. And they almost make it sound like you know, Willy Wonka. You're
registering to win a golden ticket if you win this almost in posting, you know, like a serious journalistic job. So, we'll see how that pans out.
Whether they're really going to send somebody to every stop on the Euro tour.
SOARES: Yes, and I'm pretty sure there'll be plenty of people who would love that, who will have to not be clear about what the job entails, of
course. And like you said that we have seen as well, company cut, starting with six percent of jobs at one point and that raises a lot of eyebrows
there what they're creating with this position. Chris, really appreciate you taking the time to speak to us. Chris Willman there, thank you very
much, joining us from LA.
Well, U.S. aviation authorities say they may grant SpaceX a launched license for a starship by the end of October. The most powerful rocket ever
built. Starship is meant to take humans on lunar as well as Mars missions, but it was grounded after exploding over the Gulf of Mexico during a test
launch in April.
The rocket also damaged the launch pad and started a large fire nearby park raising environmental concerns. Last week, the FAA said they had completed
its safety investigation. It required SpaceX to make some corrections, which is subject to environmental review.
And you could call it a lunar blast from the past. According to a new study, the lunar lander from the Apollo 17 Moon Mission is apparently
causing small quakes on the lunar surface.
They are known as Moon quakes. The moon has massive temperature swings throughout the day. These temperature swings make the lunar lander expand
as well as contract causing small moonquakes.
Researchers have known about this phenomenon for a while but didn't know why it was happening. So, how did they figure it out? By analyzing Apollo-
era data using modern algorithms.
And that does it for us for this evening. Thanks very much for your company. Do stay right here. "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" with Richard Quest is
up next. I shall see you on Monday. Have a wonderful weekend. Bye-bye.