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Isa Soares Tonight

EU Foreign Ministers Meet In Kyiv To Reaffirm Their Support For Ukraine; Donald Trump Appears In A New York Court For Day One Of His Civil Fraud Trial; Costa Rica Orders A State Of Emergency In Surging Migrant Crisis; Fmr. President In Court For Start Of New York Civil Trial; Kosovo- Serbia Tensions. The U.N. Says More Than 100,000 People Have Arrived In Armenia Since The Start Of Azerbaijan's Military Operation In Nagorno- Karabakh; U.N.: More Than 100,000 People Arrive In Armenia Since Azerbaijan's Military Operation In Nagorno-Karabakh. 2-3p ET

Aired October 02, 2023 - 14:00   ET



ISA SOARES, HOST, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: A very warm welcome to the show everyone, I'm Isa Soares. Tonight, EU foreign ministers meet in Kyiv to

reaffirm their support for Ukraine. That hasn't been enough to alleviate fears of Ukraine fatigue. Then former President Donald Trump appears in

court for day one of his civil fraud trial, and as expected, he's slamming the proceedings. We'll have all the details for you.

Plus, I will be speaking to the President of Costa Rica as he orders a state of emergency over the surging migrant crisis. That interview coming

up very shortly. We begin tonight though with reassurances from the European Union as foreign ministers meet in Kyiv to offer their support to

Ukraine, sensing what seems to be some Ukraine fatigue setting around the world, EU Foreign Policy Chief Josep Borrell threw his full weight behind

the war effort. This is what he said.



whole world. But for us, Europeans, it's an existential threat. Maybe not been seen like this for everybody around the world, but for us, Europeans,

I don't need to repeat it, it's an existential threat. And that's why we have to continue supporting them and discussing with our American allies

and friends for them to continue to supporting.


SOARES: Josep Borrell there. Well, those meetings come after the U.S. left aid to Ukraine out of a temporary bill to fund their government, and

another sign of possible Ukraine fatigue is right next door as Slovakia elects a pro-Kremlin prime minister. EU leaders say their support is

unwavering. The big question now is whether that will remain the case if support continues to waiver elsewhere.

Fred Pleitgen joins now from eastern Ukraine. So Fred, what we saw there, what we heard there from Josep Borrell, a show of unity, a show of support

from the EU. But what has been the reaction from Kyiv to the drama critically that we have been seeing in U.S., engulfing U.S. Congress? So

they believe that this is just a political blip or do they see this as a sign of waning support here?

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think they're very concerned, on the one hand, they do think that it was a

political blip or just to -- something that happened in between -- they do believe that this aid is going to come through for them, and they do

believe that the aid is going to continue, at least, that's what they're saying. But at the same time, of course, Kyiv is quite concerned about the

mood in the United States, and not just in Congress, but also among the United States population as well as they see support for providing weapons

to Ukraine also waning.

So, for them, it's very important to keep the weapons going because quite frankly, as this war goes on, Isa, Ukraine is increasingly relying on

western weapons. They're running out of old Soviet weapons, they were certainly running out of Soviet ammo which they were using before. And what

we did is we spoke to a unit that's fighting on the frontlines here in eastern Ukraine and asked them what it would mean --

SOARES: Yes --

PLEITGEN: If U.S. weapons were to dry up. Here's what they said.


PLEITGEN (voice-over): Ukraine's 88th Airborne Assault Brigade storming Russian positions on the eastern front --


PLEITGEN: Using U.S.-made weapons to try and dislodge Vladimir Putin's troops.


PLEITGEN: Gains that would probably be impossible if Washington cut military assistance. The soldier who we can only name as Vasyl tells me.

"I don't know what to say, that would be tough", he says. The troops say U.S.-supplied weapons like this brown and heavy machine gun are helping

them turn the tide because they're more accurate, more reliable and more robust than what the Russians have.

(on camera): You can see just how important military aid for Ukraine is for that country to stay in the fight. It's everything from rifles like this

one, to surface-to-air missile systems to help Ukraine push Russia back.

(voice-over): The U.S. has sent more than $45 billion worth of security assistance in Ukraine since Russia's full-on invasion. And weapons viewed

as game-changers by Kyiv, like the HIMARS multiple rocket-launching systems, and Bradley-infantry fighting vehicles which Kyiv says have

already saved the lives of many Ukrainian soldiers.


Losing U.S. assistance would be catastrophic, Ukraine admits, but the national security adviser tells CNN, he doesn't believe it will be cut.

"We are more than confident that this will not happen", he says, "but the United States is a country responsible for the democratic world and has

assumed this responsibility. It would be a great joy for Putin and all autocratic regimes that the U.S. withdrew the assistance it provides us."

But the Kremlin believes, sooner or later, Washington will buckle.

"Fatigue from the absurd sponsorship of the Kyiv regime will increase in various countries, including the United States", the spokesman says. "And

this fatigue will lead to a fragmentation of the political establishment and a rise in in-fighting." The soldiers from the 80th Airborne say they

badly need U.S. weapons to continue pushing the Russians back in the east, but will keep on fighting with or without American support.

"We don't have a choice", he says. "We have to do it", our brigade's motto is, "nobody, but us".


PLEITGEN: "Nobody, but us", he says there. So, obviously, the Ukrainians, Isa, saying that they are going to fight on whether or not they are going

to get those American weapons. But the big question for them is, of course, are they going to be able to continue winning on the battlefield without

U.S. weapons, and that certainly seems like something that would be extremely difficult.

If you look at the array of weapons that the U.S. provides, but then also, the array of weapons that the U.S.' partners provide, and many of them --

SOARES: Yes --

PLEITGEN: Doing that because they understand that they have the security umbrella from the big U.S. military, and therefore don't have to fear any

sort of Russian retaliation for that. So for the Ukrainians, what's going on right now in the U.S. is certainly a big concern, at the same time, I

think that visit by those 27 foreign ministers in that meeting today in Kyiv, certainly very important for the Ukrainians to see that the

solidarity, at least, from the European partners --

SOARES: Yes --

PLEITGEN: Is still very much there. Isa.

SOARES: And clearly, battling, fighting a battle not just in the battlefield, but also diplomatically too, critically as we're seeing in

Europe. And the fear, Fred, here is that electoral politics may begin to bite into Ukraine's support. Look, you covered Ukraine right from the get

go, you're based -- you're Germany -- you're based in Germany, you cover Europe too.

And we saw Slovakia recently just over the weekend, pro-Kremlin figures won parliamentary elections. We've seen concerns as well over election in

elections in Poland too. Just frame the mood right now, given all these electoral changes we're seeing across Europe.

PLEITGEN: Yes, you know what, I think it's quite difficult at the moment in Europe, and I don't think that necessarily among the populations in Europe,

that support for Ukraine is waning. But certainly, as this conflict drags on, a lot of countries seem to be getting less enthusiastic as they are

also to an increasing degree, also facing a lot of the economic repercussions --

SOARES: Yes --

PLEITGEN: Of all of this as well. If you look at Slovakia for instance, a lot of people underestimate how important Slovakia was to supporting

Ukraine. It's not just the fact that they've allowed other countries to deliver aid through Slovakia, but also Slovakia delivering very heavy

Howitzers that are extremely important for the Ukrainians.

Poland, of course, one of the biggest backers as well with an election coming up there soon, also the Poles saying they're not going to provide at

least for the median term any weapons to the Ukrainians. And then, if you look at other countries like Germany right now, it's a country that's

really stepped up, obviously, the biggest economy in Europe and also the second biggest weapons provider also as well to the Ukrainians right now.

You do have right-wing parties or one right-wing --

SOARES: Yes --

PLEITGEN: Party that is rising in the polls there, and that is also very much averse to providing aid to Ukraine. So, certainly, the mood in Europe

at least as far as the political landscape is concerned, becoming a bit more precarious for the Ukrainians. But at the same time, if you look at

the populations in many of these European countries, they still stand very firmly behind Ukraine.

They still reject Russia's invasion of Ukraine. And at least, mostly societies giving weapons to Ukraine is still something that a majority of

the people there want to see happen --

SOARES: Indeed. Our Fred Pleitgen for us in eastern Ukraine, thanks very much, Fred. Well, Fred was mentioning the situation in Slovakia where a

pro-Russian leader has just won the country's general election. That victory is important because as you can see on this map, Ukraine is

bordered by Russia to the east and then Slovakia there to the west.

Now, as Roberto -- as Robert Fico tries to build a coalition government, there's new focus on his comments against sending arms to Ukraine and

calling Slovakia's president, an American agent. But a CNN international diplomatic editor Nic Robertson explains, there is no guarantee Fico will

be able to form the coalition he actually needs.


NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR (voice-over): Robert Fico is Slovakia's pro-Putin populist leader, has been here before, 2006,

2010 and 2016, winning the biggest vote share in national elections, 22.9 percent, but not enough for his SMER ST Party to govern alone as they did

following the elections in 2012.


His challenge now, build a governing coalition. The clock is ticking, he has two weeks.

ROBERT FICO, LEADER, SMER PARTY (through translator): I want to say to all Slovakia that we are ready, we are enlightened and we are more experienced

in the fight we have taken.

ROBERTSON: If he succeeds, it would be his third term as prime minister, and could have a big impact beyond Slovakia's borders. Fico's no weapons to

Ukraine policy would be a massive U-turn potentially ending Slovakia's stalwart support for its neighbor.

FICO: We are ready to help Ukraine humanitarianly. We are ready to help in the restoration of the states. But our opinion on arming Ukraine does not


ROBERTSON: For now, no change in Slovakia's Ukraine policy. But current technocrat for a minister in Kyiv with its EU counterparts pledging


MIROSLAV WLACHOVSKY, FOREIGN MINISTER, SLOVAKIA: We came here to express our full support for sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.

ROBERTSON: Really is, his replacement in a Fico-led government may rankle EU unity and not just over Ukraine. Ahead of this election, European

Commission Vice President Vera Jourova warned Russia's disinformation is rampant in Slovakia.

VERA JOUROVA, VICE PRESIDENT, EUROPEAN COMMISSION: We speak about dangerous campaigns which is misleading, which can do harm to the society which can

radicalize the society and which can radically change the elections result.

ROBERTSON: It's too soon to know if Jourova's fears were realized, but pro- Putin sentiment is already strong. Most Slovaks don't blame him for invading Ukraine. If Fico fails to build a coalition as he did in 2010,

other parties are confident they can muster the 75 seats in the 150-member parliament needed.

MICHAL SIMECKA, LEADER, LIBERAL PARTY PROGRESSIVE SLOVENSKO: Realistically, there are two options, you know, at the table. One is a government led by

Mr. Fico, and the other one is a coalition made up of Progressive Slovakia and other partners which would in fact, have over 80 MPs.

ROBERTSON: For now though, it's Fico in the driving seat, potentially putting him on a collision course with European leaders. Something sure to

please Putin. Nic Robertson, CNN, London.


SOARES: Well, Costa Rica is in a state of emergency as a surge of migrants looks to cross the country towards the United States. More than 84,000

people entered Costa Rica through its southern border in just August alone. That's a 55 percent increase from the previous month. In a press

conference, President Rodrigo Chaves Robles said they will take a firm stance with quote anyone who takes Costa Rica's kindness for weakness. His


According to Mr. Chavez, the people crossing through the country are from around the world, including Venezuela, China, Haiti, Yemen, as well as

Bangladesh. Well, in a moment, I'll be speaking with Costa Rica's president. But first, we want to remind our viewers of the treacherous

journey many migrants are undertaking.

And that's the trek through the daring jungle, extending from Columbia through Panama. Many are injured on muddy slopes and vulnerable to robbery,

violence and sexual abuse. And last week, if you remember, right here on the show, CNN reported from many points along the route to the United

States. Our David Culver brings us to one crossing point along the way. Have a look at this.


DAVID CULVER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (on camera): To get a better sense of the migrant crisis impact in the U.S., we wanted to come to the border. Not the

border you might be thinking of, rather we're at Mexico's southern border with Guatemala. And that's Guatemala over there. And that -- if you look

here are folks crossing, waving at us, migrants who have made the journey from various countries.

We've met folks from Haiti, from Cuba, from Honduras, ultimately though, many of them tell us, if not all, they want to go north. By the way, that's

the official crossing that bridge, not many people using that. Instead, they come to this side, the Mexico side, and this is in to a city that's

Ciudad Hidalgo.

And they've set up little encampments. You can see here, you've got folks with tents set up, they've got clothes hanging, they're cooking food, you

see a lot of families, a lot of young children in particular.


SOARES: Well, Costa Rica has traditionally been a safe haven for people seeking support on their way to the United States with the sharp rise in

migrants passing through the country, the government is now taking a firmer stance. Joining me to discuss Costa Rica's state of emergency is President

Rodrigo Chaves Robles. Mr. President, thank you very much for taking the time to speak to us this evening.

Just explain to our viewers right around the world, why you've decided to order a state of emergency right now.



We ordered a state of emergency, but this is not a police action, this is more an administrative procedure, to deploy more resources and easier

procurement to help the people that are trying to cross through Costa Rica, to as you said in your report, to the north. However, we -- you also

mentioned that we're taking a firm stance, Costa Rica is a friendly country, it's a humanitarian country.

What we're doing is trying to deport, and we will deport 28 Venezuelans who basically misbehave and cause public disorder. The message to the people

that want to cross through Costa Rica is, this is a friendly country, you need to respect our law and move on along your trip.

SOARES: So those Venezuelans will be deported. But talk to -- Mr. President, talk to the impact that this is having, the surging numbers of

people, migrants arriving. How that -- what's that pressure -- how much pressure that's putting on the country's resources, how that's impacting

Costa Rican society.

ROBLES: It puts an enormous pressure. You may need -- it will be useful for your audience to realize that Costa Rica, in obsolete terms, is the third

country in the world that has the largest number of refugee requests. We have about 15 to 20 percent of our population are immigrants. This has been

a country with an open heart, humanitarian, who has helped throughout our history, humanitarian and political crisis in other countries.

Today, the large inflow of migrants, mind you, 71 percent of them, cross within 24 hours, we help them. It's putting pressure on our communities and

public safety, on waste management, on health services, and especially on our budget. We are a country under an IMF program, with some severe

austerity to reduce our debt levels. So, our fiscal position has been strained by this migration.

We are not receiving as much contribution to pay for what is an international problem. So, that's why we deployed emergency administrative

measures in order to be able to deploy more resources, however, it's been very difficult for us.

SOARES: You mentioned this being an international problem, and I'm -- you know, I think we mentioned at the beginning there just before we came to

you, how, you know, Costa Rica is a passage, is a route to get to the United States. Many people from Venezuela, I think 60-70 percent of

Venezuelans, Ecuador, but many others, Mr. President, from what I saw from farther afield, China, Yemen, Bangladesh, even Haiti.

What number of migrants are deciding to stay? Are people -- some people deciding to stay in your country or the majority leaving here?

ROBLES: The majority leaves. However, a substantial number of them decide to stay in Costa Rica. Costa Rica is a country with all freedoms, respect

for LGBT and all minorities, communities. We have freedom of the press, and we have the highest minimum salary in the whole of Latin America. So some

people will like to stay, and as I said before, Costa Rica has a very large portion of our population who receive Social Security, health basically,

education, public security, and the pressure on our finances is enormous.

Because no woman would be denied for instance, health services upon delivering a baby. Some are coming to Costa Rica to do so. We want to

continue being such a good global citizen, but it's --

SOARES: Yes --

ROBLES: Becoming unaffordable for us.

SOARES: How can you continue being a good global citizen? How can you continue this legacy of protections, safety and support, and manage, and

not having an impact on finances. What kind of help are you looking for here, Mr. President?

ROBLES: At the moment, what we want is to manage the flow of immigrants. And there is no clarity, both in the countries that have the pull factor

and in the countries that have the push factors. I'm referring to on the push factors, Venezuela --

SOARES: Yes --

ROBLES: Haiti, you mentioned it, Colombia, and the like, and the United States.


For instance, I suggest that Mexico and the United States upon multiplication of the number of arrivals, are saying that they are going to

deport people back.

SOARES: Yes --

ROBLES: Well, what we need to do is to get from them, what is the number of people they can -- they're willing to receive, and then discuss with the

push countries, the countries where the immigrants originate --

SOARES: Yes --

ROBLES: To say, OK, we have a flow that we could manage of X number of people who would be received over there, let's control the flow, let's give

them the protections, the situation is truly humanitarian crisis. Sex abuse, trafficking --

SOARES: Yes --

ROBLES: You know, that is happening.

SOARES: And Mr. President, I mean, you're talking about the poor countries. You -- our viewers would have seen this last week, we covered it, Mexico

agreeing with the United States, and this is what you were referring to, I assume, to deport migrants from its border cities to their home countries.

I think they're doing this to depressurize, I think was their words, at the border. Is this something that Costa Rica would be considering?

ROBLES: We are considering to protect the welfare of our people. If it comes to a situation where the countries in the region come to a reasonable

agreement to manage the flows, we would be part of that agreement, and be very clear with potential migrants the number of you who could transfer or

could move along these countries on -- in an orderly and safe way is X.

And then Colombia, Panama and Venezuela -- well, Colombia and Panama basically, would need to collaborate in allowing this flow in an organized

manner. As a matter fact, I will be going to the Darien --

SOARES: Yes --

ROBLES: To the jungle there to see --

SOARES: When are you going?

ROBLES: I'm going next -- this coming Friday and Saturday. I will be going with the president of Panama, to discuss what Panama and Costa Rica can do

together, to try to help these people in an orderly way. We cannot allow chaos and the humanitarian crisis -- they're suffering.

SOARES: Mr. President, let's catch up, maybe when you're back from the Darien Gap, it's an important discussion, one that we have focused a lot of

attention here on the show. Appreciate you taking the time to speak to us. Thank you, sir.

ROBLES: Thank you very much Miss Soares.

SOARES: Thank you. And still to come tonight, Donald Trump in court for his New York civil trial. What's at stake for the former president, and how

he's trying to spin this as part of his latest campaign. Plus, the top Republican in U.S. House of Representatives confronts a challenge from

within the GOP ranks. How he might seek to save his job, that's later this hour. We're taking a very short break, see you on the other side.



SOARES: Former U.S. President Donald Trump has been in court today for the start of his civil fraud trial in New York. The court has been recessed,

but should be back in session any moment now. In fact, Trump and his family business are accused of inflating the value of properties after a judge

found them liable last week. This is a civil case, and it's not criminal.

But the state is seeking $250 million in damages and Trump may be barred from practicing business in -- any sort of business in New York. The Trump

team is again trying to spin its legal troubles as part of his latest presidential campaign. He is attacking the judge and attorney general, and

says the allegations are politically-motivated. This is what he said.


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We're wasting our time with this trial with a Democrat judge from the club houses, it's a

disgrace. They ought to look for the murderers and the killers that are all over New York, killing people. And the violent crime that's being committed

in our city and our state is disgraceful. And we're going to be here for months with a judge that already made up his mind. It's ridiculous! He's a

Democrat judge, he's an operative and it's ridiculous.


SOARES: Well, for more, I'm joined by former federal prosecutor, Shan Wu. Shan, great to see you, going to have you back on the show. Look, just lay

out for us, all of us watching this court drama unfold. The opening statements and what this trial may unpack because I believe there are

several claims here.

SHAN WU, LAWYER & FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: Sure. So, first of all, it's important for us all to remember that the main issue of liability has

already been decided. The judge did something called a summary judgment, which means that no important material, facts were in dispute, and the

government Attorney General James is entitled to judgment on the law. On this question of whether the assets had been inflated.

So at this stage of the trial overseen by the judge because it's a judge trial, not a jury trial, is all about what kind of penalty is going to be

paid by the Trump organization. So as we saw in the opening statement, we're going to see this repeated tension where Trump's legal team tries to

take it back in merit, saying there is no fraud, your star witness, perhaps Michael Cohen is a liar, Trump's out-of-the-courtroom statement, this is

all political.

All that though really tends to go to the liability issue which is mostly done at this point. What they're going to have to do is really get into the

crevices about the accounting evaluations to talk about what kind of penalties will be appropriate here. It's going to be pretty dense financial

stuff, and I think it's really going to also reveal just how complex is the web that's woven by very rich sophisticated people like Trump who are using

these kinds --

SOARES: Yes --

WU: Of overvaluing one case, undervaluing another to make the most money possible.

SOARES: So then, what is at stake here then, if the -- in one many ways, that's already -- the judge has already decided it's persistent and

repeated fraud. What is at stake for Donald Trump besides a potentially hefty sum in damages. Can his business continue to engage in business

transactions. What does this mean for him?

WU: Yes, it's a little bit unclear. At this point, the judge has already placed the New York businesses in a receivership, so like a special master

to look at them. They may become dissolved, sold off. So his businesses in New York really could be coming to an end. It's not as extreme as what's

been referred to colloquially as the, quote, "corporate death penalty", meaning never again allowed to do business there.

But it could actually cause those businesses in New York to have to be shuttered and possibly liquidated and sold. Now, what's very unclear here

goes back to the complexity of his financial schemes is whether or not he could basically sort of shift things out of state to do the same type of

work. That's a little bit unclear right now and that still has to be cleared up through the court and probably through the input of this

receivership, a special master is going to oversee that.

SOARES: Yes, I mean, his businesses are very much tied to his identity, I think that's something --

WU: Right --

SOARES: That many of us, you know, tie -- remember and know him for. But in terms -- do we expect him, Shan, to testify here and his children to



WU: Well, his appearance today suggests he wants to give the impression he is there and will defend himself. The stakes are very different than in the

criminal trial. For one thing, he can still assert the Fifth Amendment, and his lawyers may be saying, you know, don't testify, it won't help you.

But here, because it's civil in the U.S. system, if he asserts the Fifth Amendment, says I don't have to testify, there can be an adverse inference

drawn against that that the judge can use, meaning if you're not testifying, I'm going to assume there's something bad about this point for

you. That can't happen in a criminal case. In a criminal case, you cannot testify in the Fifth Amendment, no one can mention it, nothing adverse

against you.

But in the civil case, there's penalties in that sense for not testifying, so that may add to his calculus, and therefore they might testify. I think

it's far more likely to see the children testify than to see Trump testify.

SOARES: And I mean, considering the huge sums of money that is at stake here, I suppose the other question is, why is in this a criminal case?

Criminal fraud case, I should say.

WU: Well, that is a good question. And I think that would go back to some of the inner workings, perhaps, of the Manhattan District Attorney's

Office, which was looking at these issues, but chose to pass on it. I think on the civil front Attorney General, it's more common for the AG's office

to go the civil route in financial crimes than for them to take on the prosecution of the criminal case. Criminal case would more properly have

been with the Manhattan District Attorney's Office, and that might explain it.

But there's a lot of inner workings here, because it's a complicated issue, not only financially, but to take on a former president, someone like that,

there's a lot of pressure on the offices, and they're going to want to make sure that they're very confident in their decision to go forward.

SOARES: And I've been told to wrap, but very quickly, how long do you expect this to last, this case to last, Shan, here?

WU: I would say I would expect this to last probably a good month or so to go through that. Although, I must say, that the openings went much faster

than we thought. They were planning for two hours, and they went through it much more quickly, so maybe not as long as we think.

SOARES: Here's a former candidate, a former president, who didn't show up for the Republican debate, but will show up for a civil trial. That says

absolutely everything how he sees this. Shan, appreciate it. Thank you very much.

WU: All right. It's good to see you.

SOARES: Thank you. And still to come tonight, NATO beefs ups its peacekeeping force in northern Kosovo following deadly clashes, we hear

from the president of neighboring Serbia. That is next.



SOARES: Welcome back, everyone. Tensions are flaring between Kosovo and Serbia. NATO is beefing up its peacekeeping mission in northern Kosovo, and

it follows a deadly attack on the nation's police force last month. Our authorities say one officer and three armed attackers were killed. A top

Kosovo Serb politician, Milan Radoicic, reportedly admitted to taking part in the gun battle.

Serbia's president spoke to CNN's Christiane Amanpour in just the last hour. He says the incident is being investigated. Have a listen.


ALEKSANDAR VUCIC, SERBIAN PRESIDENT: Of course, Serbia will hold accountable all the people that committed criminal deeds, and that we might

find on our territory, and he is available, and he is on our territory, and prosecutors will do their job.


SOARES: Well, Bianca Nobilo is here. She's across all the developments for us, so Bianca just walk us through what we have been seeing, because

tensions have been rising for many months now. We've covered it on the show. But what has led in particular to this latest flare-up?

BIANCA NOBILO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's appropriate to start with a map, because of course, the issues between Kosovo and Serbia begin with

deep-seated geographical and historical enmity. Now, the tensions at the moment are flaring in this area here, and the U.S. has warned of an

unprecedented, they say, military buildup from Serbia of troops, artillery, and tanks on this border, which, of course, is making Kosovo and their

government very nervous. They say it resembles what we saw Russia do prior to its invasion of Ukraine in 2022.

But where did this current tension come from? For that, we need to go back one week. And this man is now at the center of what was a very violent

attack in the northern provinces of Kosovo, which was Serb served majority. It came out of nowhere. It surprised people on both sides.

Now, the Kosovo government says there were 30 gunmen involved. They stormed a Kosovo police patrol, and this man, Milan Radoicic, says that he was

fully responsible for that, that the Serbian government --

SOARES: So admits to it?

NOBILO: -- had nothing to do with it. He said it was all his idea. It was his planning. He executed it. And he said that his intention was to try and

encourage Serbs in Kosovo to resist the rule of the Kosovan Prime Minister, Albin Kurti. Now, this seems strange for a number of reasons, and we'll get

to that in just a second. We can see here on the far right that's Radoicic, supposedly captured on video on the day of these attacks.

Now, what is raising question marks for some in Kosovo is the extent of the weaponry that Radoicic had when these 30 supposed Serbian government made

this attack in northern Kosovo. There were sophisticated artillery, there were radio kits, plenty of weapons and grenades, which would seem very

strange for a sort of last-minute paramilitary force to put together. So the question then becomes --

SOARES: Who could be behind this is where you're leading?

NOBILO: Exactly.

SOARES: So question marks. And what is the thinking? And who has the most - - let me put it this way, who has the most to win from this?

NOBILO: Well, this is what is so deeply perplexing and why the plot keeps thickening, because both sides have a lot to lose here. Serbia has been in

a really difficult position since Russia's invasion of Ukraine, because it has these historical ties to Russia, has a Slavic and an orthodox affinity,

and they want to keep that relationship. But Serbia does have aspirations to join the European Union, so it's trying to straddle Russia and the West.

So launching an attack on Kosovo, which obviously G7 countries recognize, or potentially even gearing up to some sort of invasion, which is what the

Kosovans have said they're worried about, would completely destabilize and eradicate any possibility of that happening.

But equally, the idea that they had no knowledge of an attack of paramilitaries with --


SOARES: Of that size, of that scale.

NOBILO: A large amount of weaponry. Their intelligence services weren't aware that that was bubbling away in northern Kosovo and being prepared

does stretch credulity a little bit. So as far as both sides are concerned, there has been criticism of those in Kosovo and the government there for

not granting the autonomy to Serbs that was promised. The Serbians feel like they've reneged on those promises to feel like they're necessarily

protected in the north.

But as far as Kosovo is concerned, to see this surprise attack, this potential military build-up, when trust is at an all-time low, there is

just no capital there between it.

SOARES: The two.

NOBILO: It certainly has the potential, as the German ambassador to the U.S. said, just a day ago to be Europe's next powder keg.

SOARES: Yes, and that is the huge concern of something I know that Europe's looking in very closely. Bianca --

NOBILO: Thank you.

SOARES: -- I appreciate it. Queen of maps here. OK. Thank you very much.

NOBILO: Thank you.

SOARES: Well, the U.N. says more than 100,000 people have arrived in Armenia since the start of Azerbaijan's military operation in Nagorno-

Karabakh. The enclave had a population of about 120,000 ethnic Armenians before the start of fighting last month. The U.N.'s Refugee Agency says

about 80 or 1,000 people have been registered in Armenia, around half are children and elderly.

Meanwhile, video from Nagorno-Karabakh shows its de facto capital abandoned. Stepanakert is a ghost town, as you can see there, in the wake

of this mass exodus. We will stay across the story for you.

To the United States, Matt Gaetz, the Florida Republican, looking to oust Kevin McCarthy from his role as House Speaker, now says he'll hold a vote

as many times, really, as it takes to get him out after McCarthy said he wouldn't rule out cutting a deal with Democrats to keep his gavel. Gaetz

filed back a short time ago, saying he might survive, but he wouldn't -- it won't be because of Republicans. Have a listen.


MATT GAETZ, U.S. HOUSE REPUBLICAN: Well, he's probably right. As I said on CNN and on ABC this past weekend, you know, Kevin McCarthy's true coalition

partner on all things of substance has been the Democrats. If Kevin McCarthy works for Democrats and utilizes Democrats in order to keep power,

that would be consistent with everything we've seen from him.


SOARES: Let's get more on this. Stephen Collinson is here to make -- help us make sense of what is happening in Washington. So Stephen, I mean, Matt

Gaetz, not moving forward clearly there, as you saw, to oust McCarthy, at least not yet. But he said, I think he said he still has some answers that

McCarthy still owes him, some answers. What questions does he have?

STEPHEN COLLINSON, CNN POLITICS SENIOR REPORTER: Well, first of all, he is alleging that there was a secret deal between President Joe Biden and

Speaker McCarthy over the weekend to eventually push that $6 billion in the latest Ukraine aid through the House that was not put in the resolution

that kept the government open in order to get enough Republican votes. The President actually led a lot of people to believe with his remarks on

Sunday that there was a deal. The White House hasn't confirmed that, and neither has McCarthy.

But Gaetz has really jumped on that. He's one of these Republican congressmen who are very against any more U.S. aid to Ukraine. Some of them

have even called it blood money and a big split in the Republican Party. But Gaetz says he's still going to press ahead with that motion to vacate

the Speaker's chair. The question is whether McCarthy will be able to get a majority of the House voting for him to survive.

There's a very thin majority that the Republicans have. He can only use -- lose four Republican votes on a party line whip. So, that's why he would

need Democrats to come and help him to survive if he can't get enough Republicans to back him.

SOARES: I mean, where does this -- I mean, what does McCarthy say to Gaetz' comments that we've heard in, you know, the last -- in the last, well, a

couple of hours, I should say? Because he looks very much like he's hanging on by a thread here. Where does he leave McCarthy here?

COLLINSON: Right. McCarthy is basically saying bring it on, he's giving every impression that he's really fed up with appeasing these right-wing

members of Congress. He's also led a lot of Democrats to believe that he might be open to some kind of deal to win some of their votes, to make up

for the number of Republicans he might lose. The problem with that is he's deeply distrusted among Democrats. After all, he was the person that went

down to Mar-a-Lago a few days after the Capitol insurrection and resurrected Donald Trump's credibility in the Republican Party. And he has

opened an impeachment investigation into President Joe Biden.

So you can see there's not a lot of incentive for some Democrats -- most Democrats, really, to vote for him. So, I think what we're going to see is

more chaos and dysfunction than what is an inoperable Republican majority. And, you know, Gaetz is a politician very much in Trump's image. It's about

the circus.


It's about disruption, it's about getting interviews on conservative television. He's not really into government, so he's one of those

politicians that thrive in chaos and want to propagate it.

SOARES: Yes, red on red mutiny, like you said, I wonder who that helps. Well, you just answered that. Stephen Collinson, appreciate it, thank you

very much.


SOARES: And still to come tonight, unwanted tourists are swarming Paris train stations, hotels as well as homes. We have a live report on the

bedbug infestation. That is next. Don't look away.


SOARES: Well, France is battling a bedbug outbreak that's sweeping through Paris. The pests have been spotted at places like movie theaters and on

public transportation and it comes as the French capital is preparing to host next year's Summer Olympics. Our Melissa Bell has the story for you.


MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A nasty commute and not just for the passengers you can see. French officials say that bedbugs have

infested Paris' transport networks and the wider city. The race is now on to exterminate the bugs with less than a year to go until the Olympics.

From metros to high-speed trains, videos have shown them taking over some cinemas and even Charles de Gaulle airport. Which is making for an itchy

situation as France prepares to host the rest of the world next summer. French officials are preparing to take measures to contain the scourge with

transport operators gathering this week to try to find ways of getting rid of the pests. But that's not enough for some who say the thought of sitting

on a bus or a train next to the uninvited seatmates makes their skin cool.

LAURA MMADI, TRAIN PASSENGER (through translator): That really traumatized me. I'll keep my luggage closed to prevent them from getting to my home.

Also, I'm not from here so once I get home, I'll have to wash all my clothes.

LUC VILLETTE, TRAIN PASSENGER (through translator): I mean, the fact that we can actually see them means there are a lot of them. And in addition,

they're being seen in the day when they usually come out at night. So, there is a big problem somewhere.

BELL (voice-over): Paris Deputy Mayor Emmanuel Gregoire says that no one is safe from the problem because the bugs can be picked up anywhere. A recent

government report estimated that about one in ten French households had had bedbug infestations between 2017 and last year. Though some fumidation

companies say business is higher than usual and more urgent.


SACHA KRIEF, PEST CONTROL STORE MANAGER (through translator): We've had customers calling us up crying desperate for a solution. It's very, very

costly. When you have to throw away all of your bedding, when you have to undergo works in your apartment. And so you get into a sort of paranoia.

BELL (voice-over): And whilst bedbugs may be a growing nuisance in Paris, health experts say that they're not considered dangerous, causing merely

itching and rashes, and their numbers are increasing not just in the French capital, but around the world, as people travel more, and the bugs become

more resistant to pesticides.

An irritating problem, but not one say French officials that should pose a threat to the upcoming Olympics. Their plan, to stop the bedbugs biting as

soon as they can. Melissa Bell, CNN, Paris.


SOARES: We're (INAUDIBLE) now from Paris (INAUDIBLE) in Montparnasse Metro, CNN Senior International Correspondent Jim Bittermann. So, Jim, let me just

pick up how Melissa left off there. Talk to us, is there a plan to stop bedbugs from biting? What is the plan?

JIM BITTERMANN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I don't think there's a plan that could stop them from biting, Isa, but in fact there is

going to be a meeting of transport officials later on in the week. What they have said, both in the metro officials and the metro subway system

officials, and the SNCF, the train officials have said that in recent days, they really haven't seen any bedbugs. They haven't had any reports come in.

So, it's a real question about exactly how serious this problem is. The transport minister himself may have kicked the bedbug nest a little bit

earlier when he scheduled this meeting to talk about the problem.

And one of the things that should be said, repeated what Melissa said in her story there, that in reality there's nothing you can do about it. They

are a worldwide problem. In my hometown, Chicago, it's number one in bedbugs in the United States, and where you have been in London, they've

had a 65 percent rise according to pest control people in bedbug infestations. And the reason for that, perhaps, one of the reasons anyway,

could be that COVID in fact, because during COVID, people basically were sleeping in their own beds. And now that COVID is over, people are

traveling and so are the bedbugs. Isa.

SOARES: Jim, I have a feeling you and I will be talking about this for much longer. I appreciate it. Jim Bittermann for us in Paris. Thanks very much.

I'll be back after this short break.



SOARES: Well, it's another history-making day for decorated gymnasts, Simone Biles. Look at that. While competing at the World Artistic

Gymnastics Championship on Sunday, she became the first woman to land a Yurchenko double pike vault during an international competition. Hair-

raising stuff indeed. The skill will likely now be named the Biles II in honor of the 19-time world champion. Congratulations to her.

And finally, tonight, the 2023 noble prize in physiology and medicine is awarded to scientists who help developed vaccines against COVID-19. The

committee commended the scientists for their groundbreaking findings. These findings shaped understanding of how our mRNA interacts with our immune


One of the scientists who won the prize had this to say about his work. "I'm not a Hollywood actor," he says, "who loves to be in front of the

audience and take credit for things like this. My job was to make a vaccine and I did it." Pretty straightforward.

That does it for us. Thanks very much for your company. Do stay out here. "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" is up next. I shall see you tomorrow. Bye-bye.