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Isa Soares Tonight

Netanyahu: Deadly Israeli Strike On Rafah A "Tragic Mistake"; Officials In Papua New Guinea Fear At Least 2,000 People Have Been Buried In Papua New Guinea Landslide; Russian Strike On Ukrainian Store Kills At Least 18 People; Survivors Of Russian Attacks Struggle To Move Forward; Deadly Storms Leave Trail Of Destruction In Parts Of U.S.; State Media: Rocket Carrying Reconnaissance Satellite Explodes In Flight. 2-3p ET

Aired May 27, 2024 - 14:00   ET



ISA SOARES, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: A very warm welcome to the show everyone, I'm Isa Soares. Tonight, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin

Netanyahu says the strike on a Rafah displacement camp was a quote, "tragic mistake", it killed at least 45 people. In a moment, I'll speak to U.N. in

Rafah about the situation on the ground there.

Then officials in Papua New Guinea now fear at least 2,000 people been buried in a massive landslide. We'll have more on the search as well as

rescue efforts there. Plus, Ukraine reels from a deadly Russian attack in Kharkiv, which killed at least 18 people. We'll have that and much more

just ahead.

But first this evening, just days after the U.N.'s top court ordered Israel to immediately halt its offensive in Rafah. A devastating strike on a camp

for displaced Palestinians is triggering outrage right around the world, as well as new demands for accountability.

Gaza's Health Ministry says at least 45 people were killed, many of them women and children. The attacks sparked a fire that swept through tents

housing families, burning some people alive. Survivors tell CNN they spent the night pulling out charred bodies using flashlights to recover some


The Israeli military says it targeted a quote, "Hamas compound with precision weaponry, precise Intelligence, an area of surveillance, killing

two senior Hamas officials." Yet, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is also now acknowledging what he calls a tragic mistake. He says, Israel will

conduct an internal investigation.

Let's get more on this from our Jeremy Diamond who joins us this hour in Jerusalem. Jeremy, this is -- this attack on Rafah as we were saying, zoned

for displaced women and children is absolutely devastating and terrifying. The video is just too graphic. Just tell us what you are learning.

JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN JERUSALEM CORRESPONDENT: Yes, well, sadly, this is not the first incident in this nearly eight-month long war that we have seen

dozens of Palestinian civilians killed in a single Israeli airstrike. It is however, the first time that we have seen the Israeli military come out

very swiftly and pledged to investigate the incident, with even the Israeli Prime Minister weighing in, calling this a tragic accident.

That doesn't of course, diminish the horror of what has happened here as we see the images of women and children among the dead and the injured from

this horrific strike overnight.



DIAMOND (voice-over): Their blood-cuddling screams tell the story of the unfolding horror, more than words ever could. But it is only as bodies are

pulled out of the inferno that the scale of this attack becomes clear. At least, 45 people were killed after an Israeli airstrike targeted this camp

for displaced Palestinians in western Rafah, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health.

Plastic tarps engulfed in flames, sheet metal walls crushed by the blast. A block of make-shift shelters flattened in an instance. The Israeli military

says the strike killed two senior Hamas militants who commanded Hamas' West Bank operations, Yasin Rabia and Khaled Nagar.

In a rare move, the Israeli military's top lawyer launching an investigation into the strike, saying civilian casualties had not been

expected. It was assessed that there would be no expected harm to uninvolved civilians. The IDF regrets any harm to uninvolved civilians

during combat.


DIAMOND: Mohammed Abu Attiwe(ph) is one of those civilians so badly burned that he cannot even open his eyes, but there are so many more. So many

children writhing in pain. And then, there are the parents, desperate to save babies whose cries have been silenced, perhaps forever.

For those who survived, whatever thin sense of safety they still had has now been completely shattered. "We were sitting and suddenly, there was a

big blast and fire, people started screaming", Rahin(ph) says, describing how they spent the whole night pulling charred bodies out of the embers.


While hundreds of thousands have fled eastern Rafah after the military ordered its evacuation, many others like this man displaced from central

Gaza came here to western Rafah, told the area would be safe. And then, there are the mourners.

"The occupation army is a liar, there's no security in Gaza", says this man, whose brother was killed in the strike. "Here he is with his wife,

they were martyred, they are gone." For one man, a brother, for another, his sister. "She was the only one", he says, "she was the only one and

she's gone."


DIAMOND: And Isa, we should note, of course, that this horrific strike comes just days after the International Court of Justice ordered the

Israeli government to halt its military offensive in Rafah. That is an order that the Israeli government appears intent on ignoring altogether.

But Qataris who are key mediators, of course, in those ceasefire negotiations, they are now warning that this latest strike could

potentially hinder negotiations to reach a ceasefire and the release of hostages --

SOARES: Yes --


SOARES: And on that, I think it's important to point out like you did right at the top of your head here, but this isn't an outlier incident, Jeremy.

You know, U.N. agencies as our viewers would have seen on the show had predicted Israel's assault on Rafah would have dire consequences.

We've heard from NGOs here, and that's what we're seeing. We're now starting to see Jeremy also, international condemnation, Macron calling it

outrageous, many other leaders speaking out about this. I mean, talk to this moment for Netanyahu, and critically those ceasefire negotiations.

DIAMOND: Yes, I think it's impossible to disconnect all of those things as you just linked them there, which is the fact that Netanyahu talking about

this as a tragic accident the day after this strike, I mean, that is just unheard of in terms of Israeli airstrikes that have caused civilian

casualties in Gaza, of which there are hundreds of examples.

The Israeli military within 24 hours vowing to conduct an investigation, and I think all of this points not necessarily just to the uniqueness of

this strike, although that is what the Israeli government will argue. They will argue that this was a mistake and an accident here.

But I think it points more so to the chorus of international condemnation, Israel's increasing isolation on the world stage, and also keep in mind,

the pressure from the United States in particular, as President Biden earlier this month warns that Israel would be crossing a red line if it

carried out an all-out offensive in Rafah, that could lead to enormous civilian casualties.

You know, I think it's a fair question to ask whether or not this strike, whether or not Israeli actions recently in Rafah do indeed cross that line,

which the president has said would result in him withholding additional U.S. weapons from the Israeli --

SOARES: Yes --

DIAMOND: Military.

SOARES: Important point. Jeremy Diamond for us in Jerusalem, great to see you, thanks, Jeremy. Well, the U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees says

the attack once again proves that Gaza has become hell on earth. Sam Rose is Director for Planning for UNRWA is in Rafah, tonight, he joins us now


Sam, important to have you here on the show, very grateful for you being here with us tonight. I mean, I can't imagine -- I don't know if you heard

the report there from our Jeremy Diamond, it's just a sheer panic as well as the terror and fear that those families must have felt. Give us a sense

of what you are hearing unfolded there.

SAM ROSE, DIRECTOR FOR PLANNING, UNRWA: Absolutely, I mean, I think your correspondent caught it well and a very good clip. Look, this was a

horrifying, brutal massacre of civilians, some of the most vulnerable civilians anywhere in the world who have gone through eight months of an

absolutely brutal war.

What we understand happened is that there was -- the missile strikes hit it at about 9:30 last night on a camp that's located to the north of a large

UNRWA installation, and we woke up this morning to the same news that you did. Children were in bed, women were in bed, people were sleeping.

And what we're hearing and what we see on the ground is, it's very windy right now. It's windy at this time of year. In the Middle East as the wind

comes in through from the Sahara. But a lot of people killed in the blaze as your correspondent said, burnt to death and suffocated by tarpaulin

sheets that fell on them.

But we're hearing lots of reports of whether people killed and horrifically injured by shrapnel, so directly from the blast or the impacts of the

blast. So, really horrifying stories that leave one sick in the stomach.

SOARES: They do, indeed. Is somewhat absolute hell in the videos, of course, that have been obtained by CNN, Sam, shows tents on fire, charred

bodies being pulled from the location.


I wonder whether you and your team, UNRWA workers, whether they are safe, are they accounted for? Have you been able to make contact with them?

ROSE: With the internet and the -- all communications were down for about 12 hours in this part of Rafah, I'm a couple of kilometers away. So, we

weren't able to get into contact with colleagues. We have been able to since -- we've not been able to account for everyone, but we have spoken to

the colleagues and those that we've spoken to, they're safe, but they're numb. They're exhausted, they're done with all of this.

SOARES: But you haven't accounted for everyone. And you suspect it's because of coms being down, right, Sam?

ROSE: I mean, it's hard to say. I mean, 45 --

SOARES: Yes --

ROSE: People killed, many extended family members of UNRWA staff live in those areas. So, it's highly likely, but I wouldn't like to comment until -


SOARES: Yes --

ROSE: We got the confirmation. I mean, we've seen the hospitals are overwhelmed dealing with the trauma cases that they're facing, these are

hospitals that have been starved of doctors, of fuel, of medicines and equipment for so many months now.

So, it will take some days before we are able to ascertain the exact accounts of who is alive and who is dead.

SOARES: And we hope -- we hope, of course, Sam, that they are well. I'm not sure whether you heard there, our correspondent in Jerusalem saying that,

you know, Israel said it killed two Hamas commanders in the strike, which they said it was precision, used precision ammunition. When you hear that,

what do you -- I mean, what do you say to that, is anywhere safe?

ROSE: I mean, we've said for months that nowhere is safe in Gaza. I can't engage on the politics of it, but just for a purely humanitarian --

SOARES: Yes --

ROSE: Perspective, it's hard to see in any way that a precision attack, attack that's called a precision attack can leave -- have the consequences

such as this killing, over 45 people, majority women and children. This is what we've been saying for months and the camps overcrowded, built-up

conditions in Gaza, whatever you try and do, there will be large scale civilian casualties in any attack of this nature.

SOARES: And of course, in the last what? Hour or so, we've heard Prime Minister Netanyahu said that this is a tragic mistake, that they are going

to investigate that. I mean, how much faith do you put in that?

ROSE: I mean, I think the words he actually used were tragic mishap. And a mishap is what happens if you order the wrong thing at a restaurant or if

you book the wrong time for a taxi, it's not a respectful, dignified way to describe a tragedy of this nature.

But it's one of hundreds of attacks and strikes that we've seen and we witnessed over the past several months. It wasn't the only one overnight.

It was particularly vicious and particularly harrowing, given the circumstances and given the consequences of it. But we wait -- we wait to

see, but let's just -- we -- all we do is we hope that this is enough to bring us one step closer to the end of this war.

Because if it's not, there will just be more and more of these attacks, and we'll continue to bomb further deaths every day and every week.

SOARES: I wonder what you think it does. I mean, just last week, of course, the International Court of Justice told Israel to immediately halt its

attack on Rafah. Instead, you know, this is happening, this is something that I've heard throughout for months on end by NGOs including UNRWA here

on the show, saying going in to Rafah would be -- would have dire consequences.

There have been countless calls for this to stop. I mean, how do you see? First of all, how do you see this playing out? Because we are hearing

international condemnation, and what impact, Sam, is this having on your operations, UNRWA operations on the ground if this is what you're seeing

every day?

ROSE: It's having a very difficult impacts on our operations, on the mental health and the well-being of our staff who live in these communities of the

refugees and the Palestinians whom they serve. But it also speaks to an escalation and an expansion of the conflicts in Rafah, and when that

happens, it becomes far more difficult for us as UNRWA, the largest aid organization in Gaza.

But for all organizations to operate safely, to get to the crossing, to bring the supplies in, to bring the fuel in, and then distribute those

supplies around the Gaza Strip, our humanitarian space is constantly being squeezed and our room for maneuver constantly being constrained as the

conditions and the situation in which the population finds itself, which continues to deteriorate. So, this is not heading in the right direction.

SOARES: Yes, I think you're absolutely right. And Philippe Lazzarini of UNRWA, of course, said on X, the 200 trucks with the humanitarian supplies

offloaded on the Palestinian side yesterday, only 30 trucks were picked up due to heavy movement restrictions and ongoing Israeli airstrikes and the

launch of rockets by Hamas and delays and limitations on the routes that can be used.


Just reacting, of course, to what we've been seeing -- what we saw in Rafah, where he said Rafah's turned into hell on earth. Sam, I appreciate

you taking the time to speak to us. I know it is incredibly challenging and difficult times, we hope your teams on the ground as well, thanks very much

for your time.

ROSE: Thank you.

SOARES: Now, officials in Papua New Guinea now fear at least 2,000 people have been buried in a massive landslide. Rescuers have described a whole

mountain falling on households in the middle of the night as villagers were fast asleep on Friday. The landslide has completely blocked the main

highway to the area, making recovery efforts that much harder. Our Ivan Watson has the report for you.

IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It has taken days for authorities in Papua New Guinea to come to grips with the scale of the

destruction from a deadly landslide. They now say that the death toll could have grown into the thousands.


WATSON (voice-over): An outpouring of grief in a village community where the government says more than 2,000 residents could be trapped under deep

rock. Many of the people in these highland villages buried as they slept when a massive landslide hit overnight Friday.

Satellite pictures from before and after showed the sheer size of the landslide. The rubble so deep that few victims have been recovered.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): I have 18 of my family members buried under the debris and the soil that I am standing on. And a lot more

family members in the village I cannot count. I am the land owner here. Thank you to all those who came to help us. But I cannot retrieve the

bodies, so, I'm standing here helplessly.

WATSON: Yambali village in Enga Province is an extremely remote part of Papua New Guinea. Help has been slow to arrive through mountainous terrain

thick with jungle. The terrain unstable even for rescue workers. Without heavy lift equipment, desperate people have done what they can.

SERHAN AKTOPRAK, IOM CHIEF OF MISSION, PAPUA NEW GUINEA: They are using digging sticks, spades agricultural forks, and they are hands, of course.

WATSON: A small amount of aid has arrived, but the landslide has destroyed the main road into the village, and aid workers say violence between local

tribes has made the journey even more dangerous. Over the weekend, eight people were killed and houses and shops burned along the road to the

disaster site.

JUSTINE MCMAHON, COUNTRY DIRECTOR, CARE INTERNATIONAL: An evacuation area has been established, two emergency medical centers have also been

established. And there are defense force plans to bring in heavy equipment tomorrow.

WATSON: Papua New Guinea has called for help as it comes to terms with the scale of the disaster. The United States and close neighbor Australia have

offered support. But in this stricken community, hope for rescue is dwindling with every passing hour.


WATSON: Part of what is so tragic is the timing of this disaster. The landslide took place at around 3:00 in the morning local time. That is when

most of the members of these rural communities would have been at sleep in their homes. Back to you.

SOARES: Thanks very much, Ivan. Well, at least seven people including a 12- year-old girl and her father were killed when a powerful storm slammed into south Asia over the weekend, Tropical Cyclone Remal lashed the coast of

eastern India as well as Bangladesh with heavy rain as well as destructive winds.

Authorities say more than 1 million people had to be evacuated across both countries. And still to come tonight, heartbreaking stories of loss and the

struggle to move forward. A trail of destruction left behind as Russia targets eastern Ukraine in a massive assault.

We are live on the ground. Plus, deadly and destructive storms have hit portions of the United States, we'll take a look at the damage and where

there's still a threat.



SOARES: Horrifying and unacceptable. That's how one official in Ukraine is describing a Russian strike on a hardware store in Kharkiv that killed at

least 18 people. We want to warn you, some may find the video we're about to air -- to show you right now, disturbing. And this is security footage

from the store released by the Ukrainian government.

Dozens of people were wounded in the attack. Meantime, Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy was in Spain securing a $1 billion weapons deal with

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez. Mr. Zelenskyy says the agreement includes American-made Patriot missiles and tanks needed to counter the

Russian onslaught. Have a listen.


VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, PRESIDENT, UKRAINE (through translator): Russia uses over 3,000 guided-aerial bombs against people per month. We think it could

be 3,500 next month, 3,200 this month. Thousands of aerial bombs are raining down on people's heads. With whatever weapons and with whatever

level of training or protection, no one is capable to endure it.


SOARES: Well, the strike at that hardware store is part of a massive Russian bombardment that we have been seeing of eastern Ukraine. That's

where we find our Nick Paton Walsh. And Nick, before we talk about what's unfolding in the last 24 hours, I want to get your reaction to what we're

seeing from the Ukrainian army chief in the last what? Forty five minutes or so, pressuring France to commit military trainers to Ukraine.

I mean, that puts kind of the onus clearly on France, but it will be quite a shift for NATO countries to get involved this way. What's your -- what's

your assessment of this?

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN INTERNATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Yes, it will be a startling development if indeed it does come to fruition. Remember,

French President Emmanuel Macron, one of the first western leaders to hold out the possibility that an extremist NATO or France might have to commit

troops to the battlefield here.

And this certainly, Ukraine perhaps seizing on that, explaining to the West in great detail for weeks now the manpower crisis it's having, and the need

to get training happening faster, more regularly inside Ukraine itself, saying its army chief, that it essentially signed papers to allow the

French to send trainers.

The French and the Ministry of Defense not using the opportunity to deny that could happen, saying it's something that's been mentioned previously,

and that they're continuing to talk to Ukraine about exactly what their needs are. So, not a no, not a yes.

And now, this move, I think from arms to talking about training and possibly boots even on the ground here, a remarkable development indeed,

and one frankly, that comes as bombardments in the east and Russian progress there continues to claim innocent lives and inflict damage on

Ukrainian troops. Here's what we saw.


WALSH (voice-over): The fragments of loss and losing so often go unheard, but fast unravel lives all the same. Two missiles hit this comfortable

family home just outside Pokrovsk, now, only dust and a smell of a decaying family dog. "We're close enough to the Russians, we can pick up their radio



(on camera): Every time you see destruction like this, this is really hard to work out exactly what Russia must have thought it was hitting with

firepower like this. People on the streets say there's no military around at all. But all the same, utter devastation.

(voice-over): People here know two parents died. But the survivor knows a greater horror. Mikoyla(ph) is 10, and watched his mother Larissa(ph) die

as she laid crushed by the rubble.


WATSON: He says he hates himself for not saving his mother.



WATSON: When you hear the words two injured in Ukraine, the agony of survival is rarely heard too. A blast hit 4 feet from these two soldiers'

dug out.


WATSON: It will take weeks to learn, they'll see again. Now, the stabilization point has to just keep them alive.



WATSON: Well, these two are from the town that Russia claim to be seeing progress in the past days, possibly because forces are being withdrawn from

there by Ukraine and rushing north towards Kharkiv to stop the new Russian offensive there.


WATSON: Suddenly, he feels pain in his right, internal injuries from the sheer force of the blast, and must quickly intervene.



WATSON: The doctor says last year during Bakhmut was much busier.


WATSON: The beds here are empty now not because the war was getting better, quite the opposite. This unit, the 93rd mechanized brigade say it's because

they're running low on infantry, and that's how they live in complete darkness with their headlights off, so worried, are they about the Russians

spotting this place.


WATSON: That's one of the startling changes really in this war, how drones leave people vulnerable on the frontlines for Ukraine in the daylight, and

even their casualty triage points vulnerable at night to being spotted again by Russian drones and potentially hit by airstrikes.

That one location say they've had to move position five times because they were concerned their location may have been known. So, Ukraine really

feeling intense pressure all along its frontlines slow and persistent. But ultimately, it seems slowly-changing the course of this war in Russia's


SOARES: Powerful reporting there, Nick, from you and the team, that 10- year-old boy, my goodness. Appreciate as always Nick. And still to come tonight, severe storms across U.S. have left a trail of destruction. We'll

go to Texas, one of the hardest hit states, that's next.



SOARES: Welcome back, everyone. At least 21 people have been killed across four U.S. states after a wave of severe storms. About 120 million people

are under severe weather warnings on Monday.

The governor of Kentucky, where this video of a tornado was taken just on Sunday, has now issued a state of emergency. But one of the hardest hit

areas is in Texas. And our Ed Lavandera has the latest from there for you.

ED LAVANDERA, CNN SENIOR U.S. NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The National Weather Service says the tornado that ripped through this subdivision just near the

small city of Valley View, Texas, in North Texas, was an EF2 with winds of 135 miles per hour, which explains just the devastating destruction you see

around us. This is a subdivision where dozens of homes are just demolished. Emergency officials say seven people were killed here. Four of those

victims were children.

In fact, we spoke with the relative of one family that was just hit, devastated by this. This is these cars and this debris that you see behind

me. That is an area where a mother and two of her children were found dead by their -- the woman's brother-in-law. Their home was catapulted more than

a hundred yards.


And it landed here just in the -- that's the remnants of what you see there. And those victims were found there just minutes after the storm blew

through here. In all, some hundred people were injured as well. There was a convenience store along Interstate 35 where more than a hundred people

scrambling to get out of the storm's path only to find themselves directly hit by the storm.

The building collapsed. Those people had to be rescued. But right now, in what is becoming stifling heat, families are out here trying to clean up

the pieces and what is left of this debris field. And families simply just, in some cases, just kind of stunned as to where exactly you begin to clean

up after this.

We've seen people coming in with heavy equipment and just piling everything together, as you see behind me here. And right now, the biggest need that

families here need is temporary shelter. So the work is being done to get these people housed while they rebuild. Also, clothing, because as you can

see, everyone's belongings have just been strewn all over the place. The Red Cross officials say that the storm system here in Texas kind of cut a

path of 150 to 250 miles along throughout North Texas.

So the damage and the devastation are very intense in places like this, but also quite widespread as well. Back to you.

SOARES: Thank you very much, Ed. Ed Lavandera there for us in Texas. And it's not just the storms Americans need to watch out for this Memorial Day.

Over 23 million people are under heat alerts, many across parts of Texas as well as Louisiana.

Senior meteorologist Chad Myers is tracking this dangerous heat from Atlanta. And Chad, how hot are we talking about here?

CHAD MYERS, CNN SENIOR METEOROLOGIST: 47 Celsius? I mean, that's what it's going to feel like. 117 Fahrenheit. And talk about that heat and humidity

together when you're out there in Texas. It is so swampy, especially even in Houston, that your body can't really evaporate its sweat to cool you


And all you can do is get someplace cool, get in the shade or drink something cool. And all the numbers that you see on any weather map across

the globe, those temperatures are always in the shade. Not in the sunshine. They're in a little white box with louvers and the air blows through it and

it doesn't feel as hot.

But Brownsville is going to feel like 111, 45 Celsius there. Yes, it will cool down a little bit. Dallas, you do have a cold front headed to you

without thunderstorms, but it will cool you and dry you out a little bit. But all across the, what we call the deep south part of the United States,

that's where the heat index and also that heat, humidity and sunshine will really cause problems today.

A little bit farther to the north on up toward the big cities. We call this the I-95 corridor. Big cities, Boston, New York, Philadelphia, D.C.,

Baltimore, those are the cities that are under the gun for severe weather today. Not yet. There's a watch out and there are a few thunderstorms out

there. But later on today, these storms will get stronger.

Also, across parts of Georgia, the southern state there, down across parts of the southeast and part of the United States. So, yes, we have watches

out, which means that some of these storms could contain some hail, likely as big as a nickel to me. Some spots, especially down to the west. This is

the area that you're going to see the most severe weather today. Down to the south. Yes, just some thunder and lightning.

But here's the problem, Isa. We have millions, and I mean probably tens of millions of people, outside today on holiday that will be out there hoping

to have a very nice time in a picnic. But with power outages and the significant lightning threat today, you really need to have a place to go,

even if it's your car. Keep something close at hand in case a thunderstorm rolls by you, because that is certainly a possibility.

Just over the past three days, there have been 58 tornado reports across the United States, 737 reports of wind in excess that could cause damage.

So this has been a violent couple of days across the U.S., Isa.

SOARES: Violent and it seemed just picking up from what we heard from Ed Lavandera, Chad. I mean, I know that April and May are some of the busiest

months, right, for tornadoes and storms. How does this compare to previous years? Just add some context here.

MYERS: We are on track now for one of the busiest since 2011. So with so many tornadoes on the ground so far and how this works across the United

States, if you're not familiar with it, we have cold air that comes down from the north. We have a very warm Gulf of Mexico that gives plenty of

humidity to cause thunderstorms. And we have dry air that comes out of the mountains and they all come together right here, right here, a little bit

bigger this time. So that's how it works.

And where the jet stream is January, February down across the south, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, then a little bit farther to the north for

April, May and then June, July, August, September. And yes, even the Canadian provinces get severe weather when the jet stream is up there.

That's typically July and August.

And there have been some very large tornadoes across there.


Across the prairies and even into Calgary and Edmonton, where there have been large tornadoes in the past. So this is just a part of the North

American continent, how we all work together and how things don't want to work together when you talk about the humidity. And then the next thing you

work your way into is hurricane season.

SOARES: And that's for another day, I'm sure, Chad.


SOARES: I appreciate it. Good to see you, Chad. Everyone, Please stay safe.

While families across the United States are remembering those who lost their lives in defense, of course, of their nation, U.S. President Joe

Biden gave his annual address today at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia. The president underscored the importance of how U.S. Service

Members help sustain American democracy. Have a listen.


JOE BIDEN, U.S. PRESIDENT: America is the only country in the world founded an idea, an idea that all people are created equal, deserves to be treated

equally throughout their lives. We've never fully lived up to that, but we've never, ever, ever walked away from it. Every generation, our fallen

heroes have brought us closer.


SOARES: Very important message there from the president. And still to come on the show tonight, the island of Taiwan is surrounded by great expanses

of water. But when it comes to online security, Taiwan is looking to the skies. We will explain next.


SOARES: Well, that orange ball of fire you can see there on your screen shows North Korea's latest unsuccessful attempt to launch a new military

spy satellite.

State media reports the rocket exploded shortly after launch and a large amount of debris was spotted off the western coast. Explosion could have

been caused by the rocket fuel, but other possible causes were being investigated. We'll stay across that story, of course.

Well, earlier, the leaders of South Korea and Japan condemned the planned satellite launch by North Korea. The comments came during a trilateral

summit with China. Senior leaders from all three countries sat down together in Seoul to work on boosting cooperation. The three nations

haven't held these kind of talks in more than four years.

And the trilateral summit comes amid ever rising tensions between China as well as Taiwan. The self-governing island is looking to remedy a crippling

vulnerability, staying connected to the outside world.


Taiwan currently relies on only a handful of undersea cables for its communications. CNN's Will Ripley reports on a possible solution.


WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Deep beneath the waters around Taiwan, a fragile, digital lifeline. Some call it shockingly vulnerable to

a Chinese attack. Fifteen undersea internet cables, connection Taiwan to the rest of the world. Vital strategic assets and potential; military

targets. Cut the cables, you cut off the Internet, plunging 24 million people into digital darkness, leaving this island democracy dangerously


Elon Musk spent years and billions developing Starlink, using low orbit communication satellites to provide high speed Internet.

RIPLEY: Here in Taiwan, people have plenty of reasons to doubt the reliability of Starlink. Elon Musk controls it and he has deep business

ties with China.

RIPLEY (voice-over): In September, Musk made comments seen as siding with Beijing over Taipei.

ELON MUSK, CEO, SPACEX: Their policy has been to sort of reunite Taiwan with China. From this standpoint, you know, maybe it's analogous to like


RIPLEY (voice-over): Taiwan's foreign minister quickly fired back, posting on Musk's X platform. "Listen up, Taiwan is not part of the People's

Republic of China and certainly not for sale."


RIPLEY (voice-over): To protect itself, Taiwan is turning to space, investing billions to develop and launch its own low orbit communications

satellites to ensure uninterrupted Internet connectivity in times of crisis. A program spearheaded by Wu Jong-shinn, director general of TASA,

Taiwan's space agency.

WU JONG-SHINN, DIRECTOR GENERAL, TAIWAN SPACE AGENCY: The communications satellite is very important for our communication resilience during urgent


RIPLEY (voice-over): Starlink, developed by SpaceX, crucial in conflict zones like Ukraine and Gaza. TASA is racing to develop a similar system in


RIPLEY: The satellite you're developing, if the Internet or the communication lines were cut, Taiwan could go into the dark right now

without this.

JONG-SHINN: Yeah, right. Yeah, I think so. So that's very important for us. Yeah. We take it very, very seriously.

RIPLEY (voice-over): A chilling case study of Taiwan's digital vulnerability on its outlying Matsu Islands last year. Taipei accused two

Chinese ships of severing underwater cables without providing direct evidence. The only backup? Sluggish microwave radio transmission. Calls

dropped. Texting took hours. Online videos unwatchable.

Taiwan is cooperating with NASA in the U.S. accelerating its space program in the face of rising threats.

JONG-SHINN: China is rising up in space tech. For example, you know, Taiwan have this political difficulty international, as you know. But in space,

there's no country division or there's no boundary.

RIPLEY (voice-over): And back on Earth, rising cross-strait tensions adding urgency to Taiwan's space race. Will Ripley, CNN, Taipei.

SOARES: And still to come tonight, turbulence causing passenger injuries during a flight for the second time in less than a week. Our Richard Quest

joins me after this short break.



SOARES: The worst 15 seconds of my life. That is how one passenger described the turbulence on a Qatar Airways flight from Doha to Dublin. 12

people, including passengers and crew members, were injured in the incident on Sunday, which happened while the plane was flying over Turkey. And it

comes, if you remember, just days after a Singapore Airlines flight experienced a similar issue.

One person died and more than a hundred others were hurt. And severe turbulence is, as you all know, as we travel, is an awful experience even

for seasoned travelers like our Richard Quest. The anchor of "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS." Richard, good to see you.

I mean, it's pretty scary for anyone who's a bit of a nervous flyer like I am. How do you assess that these two incidents, the correlation at all?

RICHARD QUEST, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Oh, no, none whatsoever. Well, no correlation, direct correlation between them. The only correlation is

they're both weather related. And as long as we put little or big aluminum tubes into the plane and we fly them around, we are going to find that they

are at the mercy of the weather.

You can go around it. You can go perhaps through it if you're brave. You can go sometimes over it if it's not too big. But the weather is going to

be there. And you know that old line, whether you like it or not. And so in this case, slightly different. They'd started the meal service. They --

when the turbulence came, they put on the seatbelt sign. And it looks as though it was a handful of passengers who still hadn't got their seatbelts

on. And of course, the crew who are continuing with their service.

SOARES: And Richard, a professor here, which I'm sure you would be happy to hear this, of Atmospheric Science at the University of Reading, so he

believes climate change is modifying turbulence. I mean, where there's to blame, are we likely to see more of this? What is he telling you?

QUEST: Well, the things I hear suggest that it's getting worse, 50 percent worse than in previous years. Now, can we say that's climate change or just

shifts in climate? I don't know. To be to be blunt, I see reports that say this is a result of climate change. We are getting 50 percent more

incidents of turbulence.

But there is a very simple solution. I know you're going to roll your eyes. I can hear you now. Roll your eyes. Tut-tut. Tap your fingers. Keep your

seatbelt fastened at all times when you're in the seat. And if you're walking down the aisle, just pop your hand on top of the overhead

compartments to steady yourself if suddenly that was necessary.

SOARES: So keep your seatbelt buckled. Any best seats? Is there a best place to sit to avoid more turbulence? You're the, you know, you're expert

here on airbags.

QUEST: Oh, no, come on. No, you're being disingenuous, Mrs. Suarez, if I may say so. You are being -- you're really asking what's the safest seat on

the plane.

SOARES: Well, the wonder where you see, you know, less seesawing would be ideal.

QUEST: Yeah. And you're going to get a lot of buffeting if you're sitting under that 40-foot behemoth, which is the vertical stabilizer at the back.

So if you're right at the back, you're going to get a lot of umphorama. If you're right at the front, you're going to be where the plane hits the

wind. You're going to feel it.

SOARES: So you're hearing it first. The wings by the middle.

QUEST: No, no, no. Because now you're getting noise from the engines. You know, I would say in front of the wings, behind the cockpit, that's going

to be the quietest and it will ride the smoothest.

SOARES: Richard, always, always a pleasure. Thanks very much.

QUEST: Thank you.

SOARES: Good to see you. Now, it's one of tennis rarest sites, Rafael Nadal losing at the French Open. But in what might be the Spaniard's last

appearance at Roland-Garros.


Nadal fell to fourth seed Alexander Zverev, 6-3, 7-6, 6-3 in the first round, just his fourth loss ever at the tournament. The King of Clay has

won 14 grand slams in Paris. The most any player has won at a single slam.

He showed glimpses of his brilliant best, but Zverev was too good. After a spate of injuries, Nadal said it might be his last French Open, but he

wasn't 100 percent sure. We hope it isn't.

And two-time NBA champion and Hall of Fame center, Bill Walton, has died at the age of 71.

Despite an injury, play career, Walton's height and unique combination of defensive scoring and passing ability took him to the top of the game in

the 1970s and the '80s. He was the NBA's most valuable player in 1978. After retiring, he forged a successful broadcasting career.

The NBA said Walton died today after a prolonged battle with cancer and was surrounded by his family.

That does it for us for this evening. Do stay right here. "NEWSROOM" is up next with Erica Hill. I'll see you tomorrow. Bye-bye.