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CNN Video Helps Prosecutors ID Russian Soldier Accused of War Crime; Britain's Conservative Party Names Liz Truss Next Prime Minister Succeeding Boris Johnson; Manhunt Underway in Canada for Two Armed Suspects in Mass Stabbing; Airports across U.S. Experiencing Large Numbers of Travelers for Holiday Weekend; Residents of Jackson, Mississippi, Still without Clean Water after Failure of Water Treatment Facility. Aired 8-8:30a ET

Aired September 05, 2022 - 08:00   ET



BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning to viewers here in the U.S. and around the world. It is Monday, September 5th. I'm Brianna Keilar with John Berman.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: So Britain's Conservative Party just named Liz Truss as the next prime minister succeeding Boris Johnson after a series of scandals. This comes during a precarious time for that country as the United Kingdom faces all kinds of economic turmoil.

KEILAR: CNN international diplomatic editor Nic Robertson is live for us in London on this big day with this big moment. Nic?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Yes. Liz Truss has given us a taste of what to expect. She's not, of course, prime minister until tomorrow. She'll fly out to Scotland separately to Boris Johnson, who will fly to Scotland as well. They'll both go meet the queen. The queen will accept Boris Johnson's resignation and she will invite Liz Truss to become the next prime minister, which, of course, is what's going to happen.

Liz Truss said that she will govern the country the way that she campaigned, on conservative values. She said that she will lower tax, she will grow business that way, that there will be personal responsibility for the people of this country.

She faces daunting challenges, not the least the rising energy costs. And she said there will be an early statement from her once she's prime minister about how she's going to tackle that. She's widely expected to lower taxes, to borrow money, to cap the cost of rising energy prices to try to keep control of inflation in the country. And she thinks that way she'll be able to grow businesses in the country.

But her party is fractured. The campaign to become leader has done that. She needs to rebuild the party. The health service, the schools in this system all need a lot of attention. Then there's the war in Europe. She has a very bad relationship with Russia right now. She visited Moscow just before the war earlier on in the year. And of course, then there's more Northern Ireland, Brexit, the

Northern Ireland protocols, and therefore also the relationship with President Biden's administration at the White House. She is expected to be tough on those Brexit issues which could bring her into a little bit of difficulty with President Biden's administration.

BERMAN: How much of a break -- sorry, I'm so sorry. How much of a break is she from Boris Johnson, Nic, because she wasn't one of the ones to split from him dramatically toward the end, was she?

ROBERTSON: She wasn't. Look, she played the political situation very carefully. She's certainly known as being -- for being ambitious. And part of that ambition saw the path to leadership as not trying to bring down Boris Johnson because part of the criticism of Rishi Sunak, the outgoing chancellor of the exchequer, as being the person that did finally push Boris from office, and that counted against him. So she played that politically well.

Boris Johnson was going to raise taxes. She doesn't want to do that. She wants to bring taxes down. She thinks that's the way forward. In terms it of relationship with the United States, that will remain the same. In terms of support for Ukraine, that will remain the same, very committed to military and financial support for Ukraine. In terms of relationship with the European Union, that's going to be as bumpy as it was for Boris Johnson. She will follow in his tracks in terms of trying to get a different deal for Northern Ireland, something that the European Union says it won't move on. That will bring contention to the relationship and possibly solitary trade measures further down the road.

But all of this is to be seen. The biggest issue is rising energy costs. People in this country are really concerned about those costs. They're concerned for their houses, that they can heat them. But also small businesses are concerned if they don't get the same support that she's potentially offering consumers at home, that's going to have a negative impact on business. There is so much on her plate as she will step through that door as prime minister later tomorrow.

KEILAR: She has her work cut out for her as she does. Nic Robertson, thank you for the report.

BERMAN: A manhunt underway in Canada this morning for two suspected killers. Police trying to find two armed and dangerous suspects, people involved in a mass stabbing that left at least 10 people dead and 15 injured. The attack took place across 13 separate crime scenes in an indigenous community in the surrounding area in central Canada. Police say some of the victims were chosen at random, some specifically targeted. The suspects have been identified as Damien Sanderson and Myles Sanderson. Police are not saying whether they are related, and there is no known motive for this at this point.

CNN's Paula Newton is live in Ottawa this morning. Paula, so many people waking up on high alert this morning, a very real manhunt under way.

[08:05:00] PAULA NEWTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely. And when you think it's now been 24 hours since police first got word of these incidents, top of mind now, John, is how do you apprehend these suspects who police say are armed and dangerous without more bloodshed. And that is what everyone is fearful of.

Right now, at this hour, police saying that those suspects were last seen about three-and-a-half hours away in Regina, Saskatchewan. They say that was the last sighting about midday yesterday. And no more information. And as you've already pointed out, this could possibly be one of the worst mass killings in Canadian history when all of this is said and done. Police are saying there may be more victims who went to different hospitals or clinics that are still looking for help.

Again, the mystery here, what is the motive. Police again appealing to the public of anybody who knows anything to come forward because that may give them clues as to where these two suspects are right now, last seen in a black SUV. But police have no idea if they're on foot, hiding out, or perhaps have attempted to take another car.

I will point out as well, there are basically citizens on alert, millions of them, across three provinces in Canada at this hour because police just don't know. It's been so long. I also want to say that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau put out a statement. He says he's following events closely and says I'm shocked and devastated by the horrific attacks today in James Smith Cree Nation and Weldon, Saskatchewan, that claimed the lives of 10 people and injured many more. As Canadians, we mourn with everyone effect by this tragic violence and with the people of Saskatchewan."

Now, there has been a state of emergency in place in that tiny native community. They are trying to make sure that they get the support that is needed there. But again, can you imagine, John, it's been hours that people there in Saskatchewan still getting alerts on their phone, being told at time to shelter in place and absolutely do not let any strangers into your home. John?

BERMAN: You can understand the anxiety for sure. Paula Newton, thank you so much.

KEILAR: Right now, airports across the country are feeling that Labor Day travel rush. More than 12 million people, actually, are expected to fly over this holiday weekend period. So after a summer filled with flight delays, baggage issues, and staffing shortages, how did this weekend stack up? CNN correspondent Pete Muntean for us at Reagan International Airport, where you may think that he lives, but actually he doesn't. He just sort of works there every day. What's going on there, Pete?


PETE MUNTEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: They'll let me out soon, I think, Brianna. It seems like we will likely hit that 12 million passenger projection with so many people flying on airlines that have been struggling all summer long with these staffing issues. The pressure has been on airlines not only from passengers but also from the federal government, also from workers themselves, fitting on Labor Day. In fact, just last week airline pilots protested at major hubs across the country, saying that a lot of these problems are the airlines' own creation.

Look at the numbers, though, of cancellations. Really the good news here is that it's been not all that bad over this weekend. We saw 210 cancellations nationwide just yesterday, according to FlightAware. That is the worst we have seen all weekend. But to put it into context, the worst day of last week was 800 cancellations. So just yesterday was about a quarter of the worst day of last week.

Put it even into more context, we saw 45,000 cancellations all summer long. So it's not so terrible this Labor Day weekend, a really big test for the airlines. And passengers remain mostly undaunted. In fact, we saw 2.3 million people screened by TSA at airports across the country on Thursday. That number is actually higher by about 200,000 than the same day back in 2019 before the pandemic.

So the real question now is whether or not airlines can stick the landing, really pull off a mulligan here, after the federal government and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg has been telling airlines all summer long to get their act together.

The other big question here is whether or not more people drove or were pushed to driving because gas prices have gone down so significantly. The national average for a gallon of regular, according to AAA, now $3.78, down significant from that $5 a gallon peak we saw back on June 14th. So a lot of factors at play here, Brianna, for this last big holiday getaway rush. We will see what the numbers truly are. So many tests have played, it seems like everyone has a story of the summer of a big travel headache themselves.

KEILAR: But look at you, Pete, with all the good news this morning, which we welcome. Thank you so much.


MUNTEAN: Any time.

BERMAN: So not so great news, this morning 50 million Americans are under heat alerts in the west facing extremely dangerous fire conditions. These temperatures are up 25 degrees above normal for early September. CNN's Natasha Chen is live in a pretty steamy Los Angeles with the latest. Natasha?

NATASHA CHEN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: John, just to give you a sense of what that feels like, typically in early September, the average high here in Santa Monica reaches the mid-70s in the afternoons.


But it's 5:00 a.m. here. It's already 75 degrees. And the weather is even creating issues with bacteria levels in the water. So there's an advisory for people not to swim or surf near the Santa Monica pier here because those levels are higher than state standards. Let's take a look at the heat alert map. Like you said, about 50

million people under heat alerts. A lot of Californians have been asked for several days in a row to power down between the hours of 4:00 and 9:00 p.m. just to relieve stress off the electric grid. On Sunday, if you take a look at that map, more than 45 places have hit record highs, including, if you look at those dots along the coast that typically avoid the most excessive heat, and looking into this coming week, we have 175 more places that could potentially break records with today and tomorrow being the most challenging.

If you take a look at the daily high temperatures, the records broken on Sunday, look at those triple digits there, including long beach California that hit 109. That's a temperature not really seen there since the 1950s. And of course, this creates really serious fire conditions as well. We saw one burning late last week north of Los Angeles, and now the Mill Fire in northern California near the Oregon state line. We learned that, unfortunately, two people were discovered dead there, two women aged 66 and 73. That fire already causing more than 1,000 people to evacuate that area, John.

BERMAN: Not just uncomfortable but flat out dangerous. Natasha Chen, stay cool, if you can. Thanks so much for being with us this morning.

CHEN: Thanks.

KEILAR: So this morning, thousands of people in Jackson, Mississippi, are still without clean running water almost a week after a major failure at a water plant. The FEMA administrator tells CNN they still don't know when things will turn around for the capital city.


DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: When will that happen, when will they get clean drinking water in Jackson?

DEANNE CRISWELL, FEMA ADMINISTRATOR: I think it's still too early to tell. And so it's going to happen in phases. The focus right now is making sure we can get bottled water out. But also, we're providing temporary measures to help increase the water pressure, so people can at least flush their toilets and use the faucets. The longer term and the midterm, about how long it is going to take to actually make it safe to drink, I think we have a lot more to learn about what it's going to take to get that plant up and running.


KEILAR: CNN national correspondent Nadia Romero is live for us in Jackson, Mississippi, this morning. Some of those more optimistic ideas about when this might get going prove to be incorrect, Nadia.

NADIA ROMERO, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, absolutely. Good morning, Brianna. And it's another morning for people in the city of Jackson to wake up without clean drinking water. The city officials say that they made big advancements and improvements over the weekend. Now the majority of residents in Jackson should have water pressure back to normal levels. And so to put that in simple terms, it simply means they can flush

their toilets again, something that many people weren't able to do for the past week. And the bar is so low in Jackson because that water treatment plant is so old, the mayor is warning there could be more ruptures, leaks, and delays in the future.

The other problem is the water quality. So now that people have water coming out of their faucets, they're still not allowed to drink that water. It's still unsafe. So there's a boil water advisory in effect. That's why water distribution sites are so important. They've been popping up all around the city, some state run and some done by charities and churches.

We went to a senior living facility and met a woman who told us that she's just physically not able to get to those sites, so she had to wait for the Mississippi Urban League and others to drop off water bottles to her and other residents. Take a listen.


ALMA REGINAL, LIVES IN JACKSON, MISSISSIPPI: It scares me. I have no idea. It's scary, it really is, not knowing whether you're going to have enough water from one day to another. And then it's just me as a human, but I have a fur baby. So she has to have water also. I can't give her that in the faucet. So yep, have to take care of her and me.


ROMERO: So we are outside of an elementary school right here because today in just a couple of hours they'll be giving away free hot meals and water to students because those kids have not been allowed to return back to the classroom. They've been in virtual learning all week. Today at around noon the school district says they'll update parents and students and teachers about whether or not they'll be back in the classroom or virtual learning, because now that they have water pressure, they still can't drink that water. And that's difficult to police, especially when you have younger kids.

Brianna, the city says that they have to do water samples and that will happen midweek, but they have to have two rounds of clear samples before they can lift that boil water advisory.

KEILAR: What difficult conditions and disruptions to folks there. Nadia, thank you for that report.


An exclusive CNN report helping prosecutors in Ukraine identify a Russian soldier accused of committing a war crime. We'll discuss that and the latest out of Ukraine with Alexander and Yevgeny Vindman.

JOHN BERMAN: Plus, how abortion is becoming a key issue in Michigan's Governor's race.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) KEILAR: Video exclusively obtained by CNN has helped Ukrainian

prosecutors identify a Russian soldier accused of committing a war crime in Bucha.

The suspect has been charged with violation of the laws and customs of war and intentional murder. We do want to warn you that the video you are about to see is violent and disturbing.

In this newly obtained video, two Russian soldiers are seen firing at someone alongside a building they just overtook in Kyiv. Another angle reveals their targets are two unarmed Ukrainian civilians.

The two soldiers shoot the unsuspecting suspect in the back as they walk away.

CNN first reported on this portion of the video in May showing the business owner dying where he falls. The guard initially survived this attack, but then bled to death.

Just moments before the shooting, both of the men can be seen speaking to the Russian soldiers who appeared to let them go, but as we now see in this newly obtained video, the two soldiers return and open fire on them.

Russia's Ministry of Defense has not responded to CNN questions about this reporting or our original report in May.


KEILAR: Joining us now to discuss this and the latest out of Ukraine are retired Lieutenant Colonel's Alexander Vindman and Yevgeny Vindman as well.

Congratulations, by the way, on your recent retirement, as you join your brother in that. I'm so glad to have you both here. This is your first in-studio interview together, and you, Yevgeni have been traveling back and forth to Ukraine. You'll be heading shortly again with the Atrocity Crimes Advisory Group. You're working on exactly this, prosecuting crimes in Ukraine.

LT. COL. YEVGENY VINDMAN (RET), WHISTLEBLOWER ON TRUMP-UKRAINE SCANDAL: So, we are in an advisory capacity, our job is in in coordination with the UK and EU to help the Ukrainians prosecute investigate crimes. So yes, this is exactly what we're looking at, war crimes, heinous crimes like this indiscriminate attacks on civilian targets, and inherently dangerous targets, like the nuclear power plants.

KEILAR: And I know you can't speak specifically about this crime, because this is ongoing, but more broadly, is there going to be accountability? What does that look like to you?

Y. VINDMAN: Well, the short answer is there will be accountability and the law of war is a mechanism under international law, frankly, we are one of the few available now since the Russians have a veto on Security Council and they can't be held accountable in the UN, where they can be held accountable under international law, whether they like it or not.

And I have no doubt there will be accountability. There has already been some level of accountability with a few prosecutions in Ukraine. The ICC, the International Criminal Court will have a role and we will be dealing with Russia and war crimes, the world will be dealing with Russia war crimes for quite some time into the future.

KEILAR: True accountability would require some cooperation from Russia, which doesn't seem inclined to cooperate at all, and I just wonder, you both have been to Bucha. You've talked to people there. I wonder, Alex, you know, accountability might be historic accountability.

Here, we see this guy's face. Here we see what has been done. We know what has been done. It might not happen on an individual scale, but we know, what do people do?

Have you talked to Ukrainians about that? That that may be the accountability they get?

LT. COL. ALEXANDER VINDMAN (RET), FORMER EUROPEAN AFFAIRS DIRECTOR, NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL: I think their initial -- for the people on the street, their initial thought is, these are countries that are playing a great game of geopolitics and they find it hard to believe that they'll be able to receive accountability.

But I think efforts like Eugene has undertaken with the allies --


A. VINDMAN: Yes, with the ACA and the allies, that's one effort. I think there are -- the US Congress is also looking at ways to hold Russian, both the individuals and the Russian State accountable through financial penalties, and there is an action underway to maybe evaluate the ability to take these criminals to US Courts. That's another kind of accountability.

I think there is a very -- at the very basic level, these folks will never be able to leave Russia. Too many Russians enjoy traveling to Europe and other countries around the world without any care or concerns. That's not going to be the case for a lot of these war criminals.

So, I think there are different levels of accountability, and as Eugene pointed out, it's going to happen in one way or another.

KEILAR: We've also been getting more visibility on the scale of atrocities in Mariupol. Look, we all knew it was bad, but it is almost, you know, it's hard to grasp how many people actually died there, we now know. Can you put that into perspective for us?

A. VINDMAN: Yes, it's really -- the numbers are -- we're going to have a hell of a hard time trying to figure out the numbers. It's likely in the thousands, and in the tens of thousands, frankly, with the mass graves and the ability to detect mass grave sites through just imagery, satellite imagery, but it's pretty clear that the city was devastated, and with enormous civilian casualties.

It is really -- you know, it's hard to equate lives lost on this scale. Do you make a comparison to someplace like Rwanda, where tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands people died? I think that's a hard thing to kind of equate or draw equivalencies to.

We could just say, this is a disastrous human toll imposed by Russia, imposed by an illegal war, a barbarous war, an unprovoked war and again, Russia hasn't been sufficiently held accountable yet.

There are efforts to undertake that through sanctions. Ukrainians are doing that on the battlefield by delivering a major defeats in terms of ordering Russians' objectives. This war is far from done, but that's clearly happening.

And Russia has taken huge blows on the international stage, both with its international prestige, the fact that it's a superpower war, and the fact that it's actually a good actor.

KEILAR: What's the biggest challenge that Ukraine is facing? What are you hearing as you are going back and forth and talking to folks there?

Y. VINDMAN: So, I think the biggest challenge is economic right now.


Y. VINDMAN: Their economy has been hit pretty significantly. For the normal population, of course, they're fighting a war, and they're losing many people each day. But their citizens throughout the country are having economic challenges. A lot of folks are out of work. They're about to head into winter. Winter is coming, which means -- I looked at the weather this week, and it's already in the 40s and 50s.

And so we're still -- we're dealing with heatwaves in the US, and they're about to deal with extreme cold, and they need to be prepared. We need to be, when I say we, the West, the US needs to be prepared to support them through a very challenging time.

KEILAR: Yevgeny, we look forward to catching up with you when you are back from this trip. Alex, thank you so much. We appreciate you both being with us for this, this morning.

Y. VINDMAN: Thank you, Brianna.

A. VINDMAN: Thank you. Our pleasure.

KEILAR: Washington States' two Senate candidates both dodging questions on CNN's "State of the Union," Dana Bash is going to join us to discuss.

BERMAN: A top executive at Bed Bath and Beyond falling 18 floors to his death from a high rise in Manhattan.