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One World with Zain Asher
Russia To Respond Harshly To Attacks; General Kurilla Allegedly Ordered Twitter Announcement Of Drone Strike; DeSantis Expected To Announce Presidential Bid; Sudan Crisis Continues; Red Card Given To Vinicius Jr. Overturned; Typhoon Mawa Now Moving Away from Guam; Uvalde, Texas Marks One Year Since School Mass Shooting In Robb Elementary; School Restricts Inauguration Poem After A Complaint From Parent; Cheetah Makes A Return To Indian Soil; Nepali Mountain Climber Hari Budha Magar Becomes The First Above-The-Knee Double Amputee To Scale Mount Everest. Aired 12-1p ET
Aired May 24, 2023 - 12:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ZAIN ASHER, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. I'm Zain Asher in New York and this is ONE WORLD. It is 2 o'clock in the morning, Thursday,
in Guam where residents are facing a long and terrifying night as Typhoon Mawa roars through the island. The eye of the storm past north of the U.S.
territory, but its eye wall, that's the strongest part of the typhoon, is lashing the island with heavy rainfall and ferocious winds. Most of the
island is in the dark as the power grid has been impacted by the storm.
The Weather Service has issued warning for flash flooding, landslides and storm surges, as well. The governor ordered the evacuation of low-lying
coastal areas earlier this week. CNN Meteorologist Derek Van Dam is with us live now from the CNN Weather Center. We knew this was gonna be bad but
just in terms of the wind and the rains, this is historic. Just set the scene for us in terms of what people in Guam right now are going through.
It's two o'clock in the morning. So what are they experiencing?
DEREK VAN DAM, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yeah, well first of all, it's dark. It's terrifying moments for those residents, the people who are on the island
right now. Because take it from me, who has been through this, riding out a hurricane or a typhoon of this strength in the middle of the night with no
power is absolutely terrifying to say the least.
Now, the silver lining out of all of this is that they didn't get a direct landfalling storm. Even though they've got lashed with very heavy winds and
strong heavy rain, the worst part of the storm actually just veered to the north. And in fact, I went through what is called an eyewall replacement
cycle and why that's important is because it kind of leveled off the intensity briefly before it reached Guam. And now that it's north and west
of the island, the U.S. territory, it's starting to show signs of re strengthening again.
So, this system is going to continue to get stronger as it moves into the open waters of the Western Pacific. It is kind of clearing out the eye
wall. And there was a moment across Northern Guam where they had issued an extreme wind warning, that's the National Weather Services wording that
they use for only the rarest of moments when winds are so strong that they pose a danger to life and property, and you can certainly see that with the
winds howling there in the middle of the night 220 kilometers per hour. There's the clearing in the eye that is assigned to the meteorologist that
this storm is starting to get restructured and reorganized.
So, what are the threats going forward for Guam? Well, we still have heavy rain and tropical storm force winds, so conditions are slowly going to
improve through the next six to 12 hours. But you can see gusts over 100 kilometers per hour as it stands. That is powerful. Look at the amount of
rain that's fallen over 500 millimeters. Flash flood warnings in effect, and more rain is in store for the system as it slowly starts to pull away
over the next 24 hours.
We're still in the thick of it. We need to get through this overnight period and into the day on Thursday before we can really start to assess
the full scale of the damage. Zain.
ASHER: As you point out, Derek, riding out a storm of this magnitude in the middle of the night, when you are literally in the dark because there's no
power, is absolutely terrifying. You've been through it, as you say. There's nothing like it. Derek Van Dam, live for us there. Thank you so
Russia is vowing to respond extremely harshly to further attacks on its soil that Moscow is blaming on Ukrainian militants. The governor of the
Western Belgrade region says that nine people were injured in drone strikes overnight. It comes two days after a daring ground assault inside Russia.
Anti-Putin Russians claimed they crossed the border from Ukraine to carry out the attack. That prompted some high-profile criticism from a key
Kremlin ally who says that Moscow isn't able to protect its own territory. Yevgeny Prigozhin, also called Ukraine's army, one of the strongest in the
CNN's Fred Pleitgen joins us live now from Kyiv. It's interesting, Russia here, vowing to fight back, but also Russia using these attacks to justify,
essentially, the war in Ukraine. Walk us through it, Fred.
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, they certainly are. They certainly are, Zain, you're absolutely right. And Dmitry Peskov, the
spokesman for the Kremlin, he did exactly that. He said that this shows the fact that the Russians, anti-Putin Russians, came into Russian territory
and launched these attacks, shows that Russia is under attack from Ukraine, as he saw it. And that's why he said that Russia needs to conduct what it
calls its special military operation, which is of course the full-on invasion of Ukraine that this country has been going through for over a
Now, Yevgeny Prigozhin, I think, is really interesting in all this because you're absolutely right, he did criticize the Russian military, essentially
asking how something like this could happen, also saying, by the way, that, you know, what's the next time that something like this happens? What's to
stop attackers from going all the way to Moscow if the defenses in the border region are that weak?
So, you're absolutely right. There is a lot of high-level criticism coming not just from Yevgeny Prigozhin, also from the local authorities, the
governor of Belgorod. He came out and he said, look, I have a lot of questions for the Russian military after all of this happened. A lot of
people saying that the border defenses were simply too weak but at the same time, you do have the defense minister, as you said, saying that there
would be a harsh response.
Yevgeny Prigozhin kind of questioning how exactly that response could look or whether or not that was really true. The Russians trying to blame all of
this on the Ukrainians while the Ukrainians still are saying they have nothing to do with it. So, certainly this is a complex incident that took
But I think the bottom line that we're seeing right now is that this has caused a lot of concern among Russia, among the Russian military, among the
Russian leadership, and certainly among those people in the border area, as well, Zain.
ASHER: Fred Pleitgen, live for us there, thank you so much. All right, to a CNN exclusive now about the U.S. drone strike in Syria this month that may
have killed a civilian by mistake. We're learning that the senior general in charge of U.S. Forces in the Middle East, General Erik Kurilla, ordered
his command to tweet that an al-Qaeda leader was targeted in the strike despite not having confirmation of who had actually been killed. That's
according to multiple defense officials. The Pentagon says a review is ongoing.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRIG. GENERAL PATRICK RYDER, PENTAGON PRESS SECRETARY: They are investigating the allegations of civilian casualties. So, you know, I think
our record speaks for itself in terms of how seriously we take these. Very few countries around the world do that. The Secretary has complete
confidence that we will continue to abide by the policies that we've put into place.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ASHER: Elsewhere in Washington, the U.S. debt ceiling drama is intensifying. A source says negotiators for the White House and
congressional Republicans are meeting this hour as the standoff reaches what some observers call a white-knuckle moment. That's because the U.S.
could be on the verge of a historic debt default.
The Treasury Secretary reaffirming June 1st as a deadline to agree to a deal to keep the U.S. economy from crashing and by extension, avoid a
possible tsunami of global proportions. Government spending appears to be the rub here.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KEVIN MCCARTHY, U.S. HOUSE SPEAKER: The Democrats do not want to come off their spending addiction. And you've got to think, isn't it reasonable if
you're at the highest percent of taxation in America, more money coming in at any time in GDP, but there's more spending than at any time based upon
GDP. So, you're spending more than you've ever done. You've got more revenue than ever coming. And I don't understand why Democrats think they
can't find one dollar to cut. It took them all this time to say, oh, well, we're willing to freeze. No, you've got to find ways, just as every
household would do it. We have to spend less than we spent last year.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ASHER: A major contender is ready to announce his bid to be the next President of the United States. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, widely seen
as the most serious threat to Donald Trump among Republicans, will enter the race Wednesday night.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RON DESANTIS, FLORIDA GOVERNOR: But is it worth the fight? Do I have the courage? Is it worth the sacrifice? America has been worth it every single
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ASHER: DeSantis' wife, Casey, tweeted out that video on Tuesday. Unlike most other candidates, DeSantis is not going to be staging a big rally to
announce his candidacy. Instead, he's going to make the announcement on Twitter in an interview with Elon Musk. DeSantis will join a growing list
of Republican contenders. CNN's Randi Kaye looks back at Trump's 2016 primary campaign when he took on a former Florida governor and the tactics
he's likely to use this time.
DONALD TRUMP, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: The poll just came out and I'm tied with Jeb Bush and I said, oh, that's too bad. How can I be tied with this
guy? He's terrible. He's terrible.
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): That was Donald Trump in 2015. This was Donald Trump more recently.
TRUMP: The problem with Ron DeSanctimonious is that he needs a personality transplant. And those are not yet available.
KAYE (voice-over): Familiar tactics, but two very different opponents.
DOUG HEYE, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Jeb Bush and Ron DeSantis are light years apart from each other, even though they had the same job.
KAYE: That same job now means Donald Trump would have to dismiss yet another Florida governor if he wants to make it back to the White House.
But what worked on Jeb Bush --
TRUMP: Jeb Bush is a low-energy person. Very, very low energy. So low energy that every time you watch him you fall asleep. Jeb is a nice person.
He's very low-energy. I'm not used to that kind of a person.
HEYE: We know that low-energy Jeb is something that really stuck with Republican primary voters.
KAYE: May or may not work on Ron DeSantis.
TRUMP: Rhino, Ron DeSanctimonious. I'm leading DeSanctimonious by a lot. Today and every year of DeSanctimonious, DeSanctimonious.
UNKNOWN: Once Donald Trump had Jeb Bush in his sights, you could see just the slow death march of the campaign.
JEB BUSH, FORMER GOVERNOR OF FLORIDA: Please clap.
UNKNOWN: Ron DeSantis has that attitude that's very, very Trumpian. He's not going to not just back down from a fight, he picks fights.
RON DESANTIS, GOVERNOR OF FLORIDA: How you doing?
KAYE (voice-over): DeSantis is 44 and still governing, while Bush was 62 when he ran against Trump and had been out of office for eight years.
KAYE (on-camera): And Bush was a more traditional candidate, part of a political dynasty. DeSantis is pitching himself as a fresh face and leader
on the frontlines of the culture wars. DeSantis is also still riding high from a 19-point gubernatorial victory here in Florida.
SUSAN MACMANUS, FLORIDA POLITICAL ANALYST: So far, he sees DeSantis as more challenging than he did Bush. Trump is laser-focused on DeSantis because he
does have, DeSantis has the highest name recognition, he's been able to raise big money, get some good endorsements, had major policy
KAYE: Florida Political Analyst Susan MacManus says this time around, Trump does have the advantage of a new angle, taking credit for DeSantis' rise.
MACMANUS: Every single day, Trump reminds whatever audience he's speaking to that he was responsible for DeSantis' election to governor.
DESANTIS: Welcome to Florida, Mr. President.
HEYE: It's one of the skills that Donald Trump has, is that he's able to find a candidate's weakness, he's able to exploit it really well.
TRUMP: Ron's foreign ship was a total bomb.
KAYE: Exploiting DeSantis' weaknesses may be tougher. He doesn't have the family legacy Bush had, nor does he come from money. DeSantis grew up
middle-class in a suburb of Tampa Bay. His father installed TV equipment for Nielsen and his mother was a nurse.
In the end, Republican Strategist Doug Heye says DeSantis will need to take on Trump directly.
HEYE: Ron DeSantis has really positioned himself to be the heir apparent to Donald Trump. The challenge for DeSantis is Trump is not ready to leave the
stage and until that happens, you're not going to beat Donald Trump by going around him. You've got to confront Donald Trump head on.
TRUMP: Make America great again.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ASHER: Let's dive a bit deeper into Ron DeSantis and his candidacy. CNN Politics -- Senior Politics Stephen Collinson is with us now. So here's the
thing, Stephen. About a year ago, I think that there were many Republicans who were hoping that by now we would see a strong alternative to Donald
Trump emerge on the Republican stage in terms of who's gonna run for president.
Ron DeSantis was supposed to be the alternative. He was supposed to be Trump without the baggage but there are some say look, he does not have the
charisma. And when you look at recent polling actually just new CNN polling came out about 15 minutes ago showing that Trump is in the lead in terms of
the party 53 percent, DeSantis 26 percent. Do those statistics surprise you especially given that so many people within the Republican Party had really
placed their faith in DeSantis as sort of succeeding Donald Trump here?
STEPHEN COLLINSON, CNN SENIOR POLITICS REPORTER: I don't think they surprised me for this reason because I've seen how magnetic and popular
Donald Trump is to the vast swathe of Republican primary voters. The argument for DeSantis was always the smart people, if you like, in the
party who've seen how Trump has hurt the Republicans in swing state races, in midterm elections, and in the 2020 presidential election. And they're
looking for someone that can perhaps hit some of the same ideological markers as Trump, but perhaps doesn't alienate so many people and is
perhaps a more stable character.
The problem here is that one of the keys to Trump's appeal to his voters and other voters in the Republican Party is his personality. It's an
emotional bond. They like the fact that he stands up to people. They dismiss all of these legal cases and investigations against him. His
defiance and his anger and his fury is the point for a lot of these voters.
So, you've seen how DeSantis has tried to adopt some of that persona in a way. But the key question I think is for DeSantis as he tries to reach out
to some of Trump's voters is why would someone vote for him who likes Trump if they can get the real thing?
And I think Trump's longevity in the Republican Party is going to be a real problem for him.
ASHER: But Stephen, there was a moment, especially at the end of last year, where I think a lot of us really did think that, I mean, I certainly, maybe
you know way more than I do, but I certainly thought that Trump had sort of lost his luster. We saw in the midterm, not just the fact that Republicans
didn't do as well as they expected to do, but I think more importantly that the sort of Trump-backed candidates, the Trumpy candidates, if you will,
just did not do as well as people had been expecting either.
The abortion issue just proved to be a losing issue for Republicans and Donald Trump, of course, enabled that to happen, the overturning of Roe vs.
Wade. So what happened? He did seem to lose some of his sparkle at the end of last year, but now he's sort of come roaring back.
COLLINSON: No, I mean, I agree with you. Remember his announcement speech down at Mar-a-Lago in November which was very subdued, rambling, a little
boring, and it looked like Trump was the past. And at that point DeSantis, who's young, he's energetic, he's passing bill after bill after bill of
MAGA, "Make America Great Again" ideology. Logically, he looks like a much better bet, even if you might question whether he's going to be any more
appealing to some of those swing state voters than Trump.
I just feel that the Trump appeal is emotional. It's not logical. It's not even political. And I think Trump has done quite a good job at re-
establishing himself over the party. This narrative that he's created, that he is the -- he's being persecuted with all these investigations against
him, with the indictment and the case in New York, I think, is effective and has brought some Republican voters closer to his side. But again, you
know, this is very early.
Twenty-six percent that Ron DeSantis has in that poll is not nothing. We don't know how the cascading set of investigations around Trump will play.
If you look back to the 2008 campaign, for example, in the Democratic side, at this point Barack Obama, after a great flourish and a lot of popularity,
spent six months really struggling to find his feet in the Democratic campaign.
Ron DeSantis has never been a national candidate before. He's in Florida, which is a lot safer politically, given the Republican orientation and the
representation of Republicans in the statehouse there. It's gonna take him a little time, so I don't think we should rule out the fact that he might
be able to find his feet and become a stronger challenger to Trump, especially if a lot of these other candidates who are currently in the race
don't catch fire and he's able to consolidate the anti-Trump vote.
But the question still remains is, how is he going to take on Trump? And why would a Republican who still likes Trump change their mind and decide
they're gonna go with DeSantis?
ASHER: Yeah, I mean, it's interesting because, you know, many people would think that all these investigations and the trial in the middle of campaign
season for Donald Trump would be a terrifying thing for a national candidate, but it might actually be one of the best things ever for Donald
Trump. He will use it to win a lot of people over and raise a lot of money, of course, as we've seen him do. Stephen Collinson, live for us there. Good
to see you, my friend, thank you so much.
COLLINSON: Thank you.
ASHER: All right, still to come here, Africa's third largest country fighting a war from within and on the brink of a humanitarian disaster.
Ahead, we'll take a look at what's really happening in Sudan. Plus, we'll have a conversation with a man compiling a statistic no one else has dared
to track with such detail. How many shootings are there in the U.S. a year, really? And later, they have a long history in India. But after going
extinct 70 years ago, cheetahs are making a comeback under an ambitious new program. We'll tell you why it's generating controversy. That's next.
ASHER: Hundreds of civilians killed, millions trapped in their homes, and more than a million others making a run for their lives. The brutal battle
for control of Sudan is now in its sixth week with no sign of a deadly violence ending anytime soon. There's been plenty of talk about peace. Yet,
another ceasefire is supposed to be in effect right now, as I speak. But the reality on the ground is vastly different, with suffering on a level
that is very difficult to comprehend.
The United Nations is urgently appealing for more than $2.5 billion in humanitarian aid. They need that money desperately on the ground. And
neighboring Chad is boosting security all along its borders as a growing number of Sudanese refugees flee the fighting, increasing concerns of
regional destabilization. The U.N.'s Human Rights Chief says amid the chaos, those most vulnerable
are paying the highest price.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VOLKER TURK, U.N. HUMAN RIGHTS CHIEF: It's heartbreaking, what is happening in Sudan. In spite of successive ceasefires and they keep making these
arrangements, we see that they get observed in their preach almost within hours after these arrangements are signed.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ASHER: Joining me live now is Khalid Khair. She's the Founding Director of Confluence Advisory, a Khartoum-based think tank. Khalid, thank you so much
for being with us. I think it's important for our audience to understand that this is really the seventh attempt, the seventh attempt at a ceasefire
And we are hearing conflicting reports. Some people sort of talk about the fact that there has been relatively quiet moments during this particular
ceasefire. Other people are talking about the fact that there have been very, very clear breaches. Just walk us through what you are hearing in
terms of what's happening in Khartoum there.
KHOLOOD KHAIR, FOUNDING DIRECTOR, CONFLUECE ADVISORY: Well, it's true that there have been --there has been greater calm reported from certain parts
of Khartoum, but it's also true that we've seen intense fighting in certain areas of Khartoum. So, the ceasefire has been broken. It was broken almost
immediately as it came into effect.
But we've -- saw two fighter jets shot down today by the rapid support forces. And that implies that both sides, again, broke the ceasefire. There
is no one side that is, you know, sticking to the ceasefire. And that's because there is no or else. It's pretty please, will you abide by the
ceasefire? And that seems to be it.
And that's not really a policy approach. So, the whole mediation structure in Jeddah has not been able to properly incentivize the generals to adhere
to a ceasefire. And at the same time, it hasn't been able to convince them that if they were to break the ceasefire, that there would be consequences.
And this is why we're continuing to see, even up to now, reports of fighting in Khartoum and elsewhere in Darfur.
ASHER: I mean, yeah, it's interesting. You make such a great point, because even though Antony Blinken has said, listen, anyone who sort of violates a
ceasefire, there will be accountability, especially in terms of sanctions that's not really gonna motivate anyone at this point. Just given what's
happening on the ground, if that's not the motivator, what will be, do you think?
KHAIR: Well, I mean even if let's say sanctions are the way forward and you know, potentially, the fact that we have seen some level of compliance with
this ceasefire is because for the first time sanctions have been put on the table
So, you know, given that we know that the threats of sanctions, if not sanctions themselves, have at least been effective, why not, you know, have
a much more comprehensive strategy around sanctions?
ASHER: But this ceasefire has still been broken at the same time.
KHAIR: I'm sorry.
ASHER: This ceasefire has still been broken. This ceasefire has still been broken and violated at the same time despite the sanctions. There is
relative calm, but this ceasefire has obviously still been violated, too.
KHAIR: Exactly, but nothing has changed. Ideally, these sanctions would have come in when the coup happened 18 months ago. And then the threat of -
- or the promise of lifting these generals off the sanctions list would be a good incentive for them to comply but we don't have that. What we have
now is a chance to say to these generals, you know, if you break the ceasefire, your financial interests will be hampered.
Their financial interests are the only things, clearly, that they care about. They don't care about the hospitals that they're breaking into or
bombing. They don't care about the fact that Sudan is teetering on the edge of humanitarian collapse. They don't care that the state, as we know it, of
Sudan is effectively being demolished. So, clearly the only things that they do care about are the things that should be targeted.
ASHER: Gosh, when you think about in the middle of all this, what ordinary people are experiencing, I mean, it's everything from food insecurity,
hospitals utterly destroyed, buildings sort of reduced to rubble, one million people fleeing their homes. The list goes on. Very sad, indeed,
what's happening on the ground there in Khartoum. Kholood Khair, thank you so much for your analysis. We appreciate them.
All right, still to come here, Spanish football club Valencia slams the punishment it received following the racist abuse hurled at Valencia's
ASHER: Hello and welcome back to ONE WORLD. Let's catch up on the headline.
Spanish football club Valencia have criticized a five-game partial stadium ban given to them after the racist abuse hurled by --at, rather, Real
Madrid Star Vinicius Jr. on Sunday, calling it unjust and disproportionate. The Spanish Football Federation also fined Valencia more than $48,000 and
overturned the red card given to Vinicius Jr.
Despite volcanic activity from Mexico's most dangerous active volcano, Mexico City Airport is operational after days of cancellations and delays.
And Mexico's president says the volcano is emitting less ash after weeks of increased activity, but he's urging everyone to remain vigilant. Some 25
million people in central Mexico live near the volcano.
Typhoon Mawa is lashing the U.S. territory of Guam with powerful winds and torrential rainfall. The eye of the typhoon passed just north of the
Pacific Island earlier today, but the eye wall, the strongest part of the storm, is still pelting the entire island with hurricane force winds. The
National Weather Service says that Mawa is the strongest storm to impact Guam in decades. CNN's Erica Anna Coren reports from Hong Kong.
ANNA COREN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Zain, typhoon Mawa is now moving away from Guam. Landfall did not happen as expected. However, it passed over the
northern tip of the U.S. territory, located in the Western Pacific Ocean, home to about 150,000 people. The eyewall of the typhoon is now hitting
Guam. This is when the most intense winds and rain hit.
The U.S. National Weather Service, Guam, reports maximum sustained winds of 140 miles an hour. That's 225 kilometers an hour, packing quite a punch.
They said that the weather service building was being hammered and that the doors and windows were rumbling and vibrating, they could hear the howling
winds and things breaking outside.
There was a virtual blackout across the island as most of the power grids went out. Only a thousand of the 52,000 customers had power. The Guam
Memorial Hospital is currently operating with generators.
Marwa is no longer classified a super typhoon, but that's not to say that it won't cause significant damage, but it will be some time before we know
the full extent of the destruction. The Weather Service held a press conference a few hours ago reporting that there will be more heavy rain and
strong winds before conditions start to ease.
There was much talk earlier of the day of the risk of a triple threat by the Weather Service, torrential rain, destructive winds and a storm surge
that could pose a major risk to life and property. Everyone on the island, Zain, including the U.S. military station there, have been told to stay
indoors and ride this storm out. The Weather Service finished the press conference telling folks that while this is no doubt a scary experience,
this will all be over very soon. Zain, back to you.
ASHER: It has been a year since a massacre that devastated a community and provoked deeply painful questions about the response from law enforcement.
On May 24th, 2022, a gunman gained access to Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, and murdered 19 students and two teachers. You're looking at
the innocent souls who lost their lives that day. While the shooting itself may, of course, horrified America so did too the fact that it took police
so long to act.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ASHER: Well-equipped officers essentially stood in place for more than an hour, more than an hour, as the killer murdered his victims. These are some
of the scenes from a year ago, anguished, it is so difficult, impossible in fact, to forget. Vigils are planned for today and President Biden will be
speaking later from Washington. Much of what we know about the police response that day is thanks to CNN's Shimon Prokupecz and his team, whose
work has provided vital insight into this story over the past year.
Shimon joins us live now from Uvalde. Shimon, thank you so much for being with us. Of course, today's difficult for you, it's of course difficult for
the families, but I think that all of us, everyone watching this show right now should really spare a thought for the parents of those kids in Uvalde,
I mean, when you think about it, they are going to be reliving that nightmare today, essentially, of course, for the rest of their lives. Just
from the moment you hear that there's been a shooting at your child's elementary school, of course you hold out hope that your child is okay, and
then later on to find out that your child is not okay, and the soul- crushing pain that comes with that.
Just walk us through what this year has been like for the families that you have spent so much time with.
SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN SENIOR CRIME AND JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, certainly the loss of their kids has been the most difficult thing. Their
life completely turned upside down. This happened last year on what was the last day of school, there were awards, kids were in class watching a movie
just to sort of end the last day of school. Some parents had the opportunity to take their kids home early. They chose and said, you know
what, let me allow my kids to stay here and continue having fun and spending time with their friends.
And sadly, we know what happened right after that. And so for this whole entire year, the families have been living with the loss of their children.
But what's made everything so different here and much more complicated is this failed response from law enforcement and the fact that there's been no
accountability, there's been no transparency, there is a lot of infighting in these different organizations and law enforcement agencies, people
pointing fingers at each other about who did what wrong.
And the families, all they're asking for is A, the people who were in charge that day need to be held accountable, and B, we need to know exactly
what happened to our kids. We need to know how they died, how they suffered, what pain, if any, they had, because we need some closure and
understanding. And then for the survivors, certainly, living in this community, going back to the same school system has been really difficult.
Some of them are not going back to school.
They're too scared to go back to school. The building behind me is that school. It's closed. People today are coming. They're laying flowers and
there are crosses with the names of the kids who died and the two teachers, the 19 kids and then the two teachers. The other thing is parents just
recently had an opportunity to go back to the school, to visit, to see that classroom, finally.
Close to a year they were granted permission and they say it was, of course, the saddest moment for them realizing that they were standing in
the place where their kids died and now they're waiting to build a memorial behind me but they need for the building to be demolished. So, that's the
next big step here is to have this building demolished so that they can build a memorial, which is what they're going to do today.
Today is going to be a day about remembering their kids and a day for this community which has been so divided to come together and to remember the
people who died.
ASHER: Yeah, I mean, it's just, it's beyond heartbreaking. Not only are you dealing with that level of unimaginable grief, but on top of that, you're
also wondering would my child still be here if the police had just done things a bit differently. Shimon, thank you so much for your stellar
reporting over the past year.
PROKUPECZ: Thank you.
ASHER: I'm sure you have helped provide some degree, some degree of accountability, which is no doubt comforting for those families. Thank you,
Shimon. Uvalde was part of a terrible statistic last year. It was one of a staggering 647 mass shootings in the U.S. in 2022. The Gun Violence Archive
says there have already been 241 mass shootings in the U.S. so far this year, not even halfway through the year. Yet, 241 mass shootings so far in
May, through May, from January through May.
The archive defines a mass shooting as any incident in which at least four people were injured or killed. Keep in mind that mass shootings are only a
fraction of gun violence in the U.S. every single day. People wake up to news of shootings in their communities, whether it be road rage, domestic
violence, gang activity, workplace shooting or a drunken argument that got out of hand. There are so many shootings, it's hard for the government to
keep track of all of them, and that's why you keep hearing about this organization, the Gun Violence Archive. This year, there have already been,
as I mentioned, 241 mass shootings in the United States.
Time now for the exchange and my conversation with the Executive Director of the Gun Violence Archive, Mark Bryant, joins us live now from Lexington,
Kentucky. Mark, thank you so much for being with us. I'm not sure if you were able to hear what Shimon Procupecz was just talking about, but he was
a reporter on the ground there in Uvalde who provided just so much accountability for so many of us who wanted answers after the Uvalde, Texas
shooting, just in terms of why the police did not act sooner.
One of the arguments you hear in this country, especially from the NRA, is that the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is to have a good guy with
the gun. But, of course, in Uvalde, there were so many good guys with guns and that did not do much to prevent what ended up happening, 19 kids being
killed, two teachers, as well.
How much did the elementary school shooting in Uvalde change people's perspective on that argument, do you think?
MARK BRYANT, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GUN VIOLENCE ARCHIVE: I believe it changed the perspective a little bit. What we've noticed is that enforcement across
the country, when they have their press conferences after their mass shootings that have occurred since Uvalde, they're all very insistent that
they went straight into the fire. So, if nothing else, Uvalde brought back the training that the first responders go in hard and fast and not wait
around like they did in Uvalde. So, there is good that came from it although at a terrible cost.
ASHER: Yeah, it sort of showed police departments across the country, if you will, what not to do. So, I guess people did learn from that. You know,
as I mentioned, prior to talking to you, there have been over 241 mass shootings in this country just so far this year. That is a staggering
When you think about, I mean, I'm from the U.K., when you think about what happens in other countries, you know, in the U.K., we had just one
elementary school shooting, Dunblane, in the late 1990s, and it pretty much never happened again. Australia also had one mass shooting in the mid-90s,
as well, again, never happened again. Because after those mass shootings, everybody, community members, parents, politicians, everybody got together
to make significant changes. We're seeing a sort of similar movement in Serbia right now where there have been a couple of mass shootings quite
You know, for these other countries, it's only taken one, you know, I'm talking about the U.K. and Australia, for example, it's only taken one. Why
in the U.K. has it taken, and does it continue to take, hundreds, if not thousands, if you add them up over many years?
BRYANT: Part of that is just the extensive polarization of politics in the United States. Gun rights and gun ownership has taken on a cult status over
the last 20 or so years. They have had a -- they have presented a them versus us that for some reason the government was going to come and take
their guns so they have been adamant that that's not going to happen. It causes a polarization in that particular arena that we are working in. And
it just does not allow movement.
They use an argument of a slippery slope that if you ban one gun or if you regulate one gun that you're soon coming for all guns. We know that is
obviously not the case, but what they have on their side is a Second Amendment to the Constitution. So, they look at that and they use half of
it, they use the second half. They ignore the first half of an amendment and then they fight from that position. And they are very, I have to say,
they are very good at their arguments. And more and more kids and more and more adults are dying every day from it.
ASHER: It is interesting because, you know, a country like Serbia does have a significant number of guns per capita. Nowhere is quite like the United
States, but Serbia is high up there. But what a lot of these countries don't have is the equivalent of an NRA. And that is what makes the
difference here. Just in terms of your work, you've been tracking the number of mass shootings, the number of gun deaths, if you will, since
Sandy Hook. Just explain to us why you've decided to do this over the past decade or so, and what difference do you think it has actually made?
BRYANT: The reason we started was we saw that the FBI and the Centers for Disease Control were not able to provide accurate, up-to-date, fresh data.
They provided data that was two and three years old, but couldn't provide anything that to say, find out what happened last month. So, we came in to
fill that niche.
We thought it was gonna be a short-term initiative to do some research and to find out what was going on, on the playing field of gun violence. But it
became so much bigger as we realized that we were filling a void that just did not exist previously.
You were talking earlier about other than 200 and something mass shootings this year. Since Uvalde, there have been 674. So, that's just in one year.
ASHER: That's unbelievable and unacceptable.
BRYANT: And completely unacceptable.
And half of this country just goes along as if it's just a price of freedom as they like to argue.
ASHER: Yeah, I mean, it's politics, as you point out, and gun ownership sort of taking on a cult status, which you so eloquently explained. Mark
Bryant, live for us, thank you so much, appreciate you and the work that you're doing, thank you.
You may remember a moment from the inauguration of U.S. President Joe Biden, the nation's first ever Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman reciting a
poem titled, "The Hill We Climb". Here's a part of it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AMANDA GORMAN, U.S. YOUTH POET LAUREATE: We, the successors of a country and a time where a skinny black girl descended from slaves and raised by a
single mother can dream of becoming president only to find herself reciting for one.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ASHER: Well, access to that poem has changed for some children in Florida. The poem has been moved out of the elementary section of a library in
Miami, in one Miami area school rather, after a parent complained and argued the poem is not educational and has indirect hate messages. The poem
is still in the library, but it's now shelved under the middle school section. We'll be right back with more.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ASHER: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi there getting a rock star welcome at a massive rally in Australia, tens of thousands of overseas
Indians and Australians greeted Mr. Modi and Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese at one of Sydney's largest indoor stadiums. This is an all
too familiar scene for Mr. Modi who has addressed packed stadiums in the U.K., the U.S. and other countries, as well. Some 750,000 people in
Australia claim Indian ancestry. India is Australia's sixth largest trading partner, as well.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ASHER: Seven decades after being declared extinct in India, the magnificent cheetah is making a return to Indian soil as part of an ambitious and at
times controversial program. 20 South African and Namibian cheetahs were brought to India to begin a new life. Ivan Watson has more.
IVAN WATSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A sight not seen in India for more than 70 years. A litter of cheetah cubs born nearly two
months ago to Siyaya. She is one of eight Namibian cheetahs brought last year to India's Kuno National Park.
Hunting and habitat loss led to the extinction of cheetahs in India in 1952. But a plan decades in the making is returning these fast felines to
Last September, three males and five females made the long journey. The arrival of the cheetahs coincided with the birthday of Indian Prime
Minister Narendra Modi who celebrated their release into a special quarantine zone.
NARENDRA MODI, INDIAN PRIME MINISTER (through translator): Today, the cheetah has returned to the Indian soil. And I would also say that along
with these cheetahs, the nature-loving consciousness of India has also been awakened with full force.
WATSON (voice-over): In February, authorities shipped a second group of 12 additional cheetahs from South Africa to India. Veterinary Wildlife
Specialist and Associate Professor Adrian Tordiffe helped choose the best cats for the move.
ADRIAN TORDIFFE, VETERINARY WILDLIFE SPECIALIST: There are a few criteria that we were interested in. One, we wanted young animals, obviously a
certain sex ratio of the animals that are going and then we also wanted to make sure because they're going to areas where there's quite a high leopard
density, we wanted animals that are really quite wild and very used to being with other large carnivores, lions, leopards and so on.
WATSON (voice-over): For wild animals like these, a journey of up to 20 hours can induce high levels of stress. And then successful acclimatization
is not guaranteed. In recent weeks, four of the cheetahs have passed away, including one of the cubs.
TORDIFFE: In terms of the numbers, this is definitely better than expected.
WATSON (voice-over): Some experts have criticized the project from the start.
RAVI CHELLAM, WILDLIFE BIOLOGIST: My problem is the science is inadequate, the preparations are half-baked. India just does not have the space. How do
we do? Do right, go back to the drawing board. Secure the habitats.
WATSON (voice-over): These big cats have a long history in India. They're mentioned in ancient Sanskrit texts, and Indian royalty used them for
hunting for centuries. The Indian government now plans to introduce 50 more of these big cats over the next five years. The dream behind this high-
stakes project, for these wild animals to once again run free in India. Ivan Watson, CNN.
ASHER: All right, still to come, Nepal honors a hero who's surmounted all odds to scale Mount Everest. This story, when we come back.
ASHER: Finally at this hour, an incredible feat of strength, endurance and determination accomplished by a double amputee. Nepali Mountain Climber
Hari Budha Magar is now the first above-the-knee double amputee to scale Mount Everest. Incredible.
Working with a team of climbers, the 43-year-old reached the summit Friday using artificial legs. Nepal's Department of Tourism says the climb is
actually a world-record. Magar says he hopes his ascent will raise awareness for those with disabilities.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HARI BUDHA MAGAR, MOUNTAINEER: How I achieve my goals? Simply just focus on what you do. There's so much distraction around you and around the world
and just focus on what you love to do and what you need to do. That's it. One step at a time, you can climb the Mount Everest.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ASHER: Beautiful words there. Magar joined the British army in 1999 and lost both of his legs after stepping on an improvised explosive device in
Afghanistan, 13 years ago, excuse me. Thank you so much for watching ONE WORLD, I'm Zain Asher. Amanpour is up next. You're watchdog CNN.