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One World with Zain Asher
ECOWAS Senior Official Says Constitutional Order Will Return To Niger By All Means Available; Ukrainian Air Force Spokesman Says It's Clear That American-Made F-16 Warplanes Will Not Be Part Of Ukraine's Defense Force Against Russia This Year; Eyewitnesses Speak To CNN About Genocide In West Darfur; First Cargo Ship To Depart The Port City Of Odessa Since Mosco's Pull Out From Black Sea Grain Deal Reaches; Texas Woman In Custody After Threatening A Texas Judge Overseeing Trump Federal Election Case; Spanish Island Of Canary Wildfire Remains Out Of Control; Death Toll From Devastating Maui Wildfires Is Now 111; Afro-Beats Makes Beautiful Music Blending Artificial And Real World. Aired 12-1p ET
Aired August 17, 2023 - 12:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LYNDA KINKADE, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, I'm Lynda Kinkade live from the CNN's headquarters here in Atlanta. Welcome to ONE WORLD. Well, constitutional
order will return to Niger by all means available. That's the tough message from a senior official with ECOWAS, the West African regional block.
Defense ministers from member nations are meeting today in Ghana discussing whether to intervene militarily to reverse the coup in Niger. ECOWAS agreed
to activate a standby force just last week, but an ECOWAS commissioner says the group is still open to a peaceful resolution.
Larry Madowo is following the developments from Nairobi, Kenya, and joins us now live. Good to have you with us, Larry. So, it's interesting hearing
that ECOWAS say they're going to use all means available to bring this coup to an end. What does that entail? And given we've heard this sort of
warnings from ECOWAS before, the coup leader is taking these warnings seriously because we did hear that ECOWAS said had the coup leaders an
ultimatum to end the coup or deal with some sort of military action and that deadline well and truly passed. So, what's expected to happen next?
LARRY MADOWO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The coup leaders are not taking this warning seriously. It's quite clear that they barely have any respect for
ECOWAS. This is more tough talk from ECOWAS, to be honest, and not a lot of movement, because they gave an ultimatum, which they then allowed to pass,
and then they called another extraordinary summit of the heads of state, who called another meeting of the chiefs of defense of staff, which is
what's happening in Ghana, in the capital Accra, today and tomorrow.
And there will probably be another strongly-worded communique at the end of this meeting on Friday, but so far, not a whole lot of action. So, there's
a couple of countries from the bloc, the economic community of West African states that have said they're ready to contribute troops to this military
intervention, Senegal, Nigeria, Benin. But there's also countries that are reluctant to do so, partly because they are also military, they also run by
the military, notably Mali, Burkina Faso and Guinea.
But you hear this statement from this ECOWAS commissioner saying that they will restore constitutional order there by all means available and they're
ready to move in. Listen to what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ABDEL-FATAU MUSAH, ECOWAS COMMISSIONER FOR POLITICAL AFFAIRS, PEACE AND SECURITY: They are pretending, you know, that, oh, now they are ready for
talks. But even as they are telling that they are ready for talks, they are still seeking reasons, reasons to justify an unjustifiable coup d'etat.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADOWO: Trying to justify an unjustifiable coup d'etat is how he puts it. But this further antagonizes the coup leaders in Niger, who have only so
far been willing to speak to religious leaders, but none of the political emissaries has been sent their way, partly because of this language and the
sanctions that continue to affect the people of Niger, Lynda.
KINKADE: And Larry, we know that there is a fear that this could spill over into other countries. What is the African Union saying about that?
MADOWO: The African Union Commission chairperson has expressed support for the ECOWAS sanctions and the threat of military intervention. But I've got
to make a distinction here. The African Union chair and the commission, that is the administrative body. The African Union members have not yet
spoken about this. In fact, the African Union Peace and Security Council met on Monday.
Ambassadors from countries representing all the member countries of the African Union were there. They're supposed to have given a communique. They
still have not released this communique. And one ambassador telling me that, on a sensitive issue like this, it takes long to try and agree on the
language and the wording of this. So, that is a sure sign that there are members of the African Union who do not agree that there should be a
military intervention here.
We have seen, for instance, Ali Bongo Ondimba of Gabon sent an emissary to Niger to the coup leaders. The coup leaders' prime minister has been to
neighboring Chad, Algeria is reluctant to have this military intervention there. So, there is quite some signs that their members of the African
Union were not keen to draw Niger into a long conflict that would have destabilizing effects across the wider Sahel region.
KINKADE: All right, Larry Madowo, joining us from Nairobi, Kenya. Good to have you on the story. Thank you. Well, there is one main reason the U.S.
has not officially declared the military takeover in Niger as a coup, because Niger is a key partner in anti-terror efforts in West Africa.
If the U.S. State Department declares a coup in Niger, the U.S. mission there could end or be scaled back. Well, now the Biden administration is
trying to find a way to keep its forces there even as Niger's domestic turmoil continues.
Joining us for more on this is our Oren Liebermann from the Pentagon. Oren, the U.S. has of course led efforts in West Africa to crack down on terror
networks especially in Niger who is considered a key ally of the U.S. when it comes to countering any sort of jihadi groups. So, what now, given the
situation and the crisis unfolding there?
OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: For now, and let's provide a little background here, the U.S. has about 1100 troops in Niger stationed
across three locations, two air bases known as 101 and 201, and some troops at the embassy as well providing embassy security. Much of this had
essentially two roles. One was training and security cooperation with Niger and the Nigerian military, and the other was ISR, intelligence,
surveillance, and reconnaissance for the region.
Often, that information was then passed on to either a local national partner like Niger or the French military, which had a larger presence
there and was more often carried out a kinetic strike against a violent extremist or Islamist target. So, the U.S. had a very specific role here.
Now, that role, at least for now, has been curtailed as the U.S. troops remain restricted to the bases or the embassy. The question, where does
this go from here? That ISR was a crucial presence in the region. Officials here have acknowledged that.
Now, they could try to do that mission from somewhere else, but the U.S, has invested millions, if not hundreds of millions of dollars and building
up their ability to operate out of Niger and there is no close by option and it would be very difficult for example to try to do this mission from
another country needing the secure overflight rights if you are going to try to overflight drones to try to monitor what is happening there. So, a
lot of this becomes very difficult but crucially the U.S. has not made the decision to move its troops out yet.
KINKADE: All right, Oren Liebermann, we'll leave it there for now. Oren Liebermann at the Pentagon, thanks so much. Well, at least 60 migrants are
believed dead after a boat disaster off the coast of Cape Verde, West Africa, according to the International Organization for Migration. It says
that the boat, with 101 people on board, left Senegal on July 10th and was rescued this past Tuesday. Thirty-eight people were saved. The health
minister there says the crisis requires a global response.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FILOMENA GONCALVES, CAPE VERDE'S HEALTH MINISTER (through translator): Given what the world is going through right now with migratory issues, it
means that we all, all the nations, have to sit down at the table and see what we can do so that we don't lose any more lives at sea above all.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KINKADE: Authorities say it's still not clear exactly what caused that disaster. We're turning now to Sudan and what's being called one of the
worst days in Darfur's genocide-scarred history. Eyewitnesses spoke to CNN about a gruesome massacre that unfolded in West Darfur two months ago. We
must warn you, some of the images you're about to see are graphic, and the report includes distressing descriptions of the conflict. Our Nima Elbagir
has this exclusive report.
NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT: The streets of El Geneina in Sudan's Darfur region are eerily quiet. Filmed at
great risk by survivors. The video shows racist graffiti defacing walls and corpses littering the streets. Seen here in their own propaganda, Sudan's
paramilitary rapid support forces, RSF, occupied Geneina in June.
After a heavy shelling campaign and fighting in their war for dominance over Sudan's army, a CNN investigation has now uncovered some of the cost
of the RSF's victory here in Geneina. Survivors, aid workers and body collectors described to CNN how, together with their allies, the RSF gunned
down hundreds of civilians in and around Geneina on June 15, in one of the most violent massacres to date in the recent history of this genocide-
scarred Sudanese region.
Using satellite images, eyewitness testimony and geolocating what few videos have made it through, the telecommunications blackout cutting Darfur
off from the world.
UNKNOWN (through translator): I lost eight members of my family that day during the escape from El Geneina to Chad.
ELBAGIR: This man says he buried hundreds of victims in Darfur since April. But on that day, he couldn't even reach his slain relatives. The
RSF's troops are drawn from Darfuri Arab tribes and together with its leader Mohammed Hamdan Degalo, AKA Hammad D are implicated in the years-
long genocide in the region against African tribal groupings.
It's unsurprising then that the war between the RSF and Sudan's military for control of the country, took an even more sinister turn here in Darfur,
mirroring the RSF's previous tactics, forcing civilians to flee, many arriving in Geneina. That is until June 14, when the West Darfur governor
seen here at his arrest by the RSF was executed. The RSF blamed for the killing denies responsibility. As hundreds attempted to flee, they were
harassed and threatened. Even children joined in. A lucky few made it to Chad.
SABRY MOHAMED, FORMER EL GENEINA RESIDENT AND EYEWITNESS (through translator): They were going into houses killing people. Snipers were
ELBAGIR: Bringing with them stories of ethnic targeting.
MOHAMED (through translator): On the road out of the city, we were stopped and searched. They took our phones. Men were separated from the women so
they could kill us. We ran, but they shot some of us.
Evidence shows much of the killing occurred here outside the main hospital in Geneina. Then fleeing civilians were ambushed again in Wadi Qajar.
Satellite images show the river, which is usually shallow enough for cars to cross, had water running high that day. Scores struggled in the water.
Some shot as they drowned. Survivors say they heard gunfire from all directions.
UNKNOWN (through translator): I saw 17 kids who were shot dead, then thrown into the water. This was one of the most surreal scenes I've
ELBAGIR: Even as they fled Geneina for Adre, across the border in Chad, our evidence shows men, women and children were shot as they fled. At the
MSF hospital in Chad, survivors arrived with gunshot wounds in the back, legs, and buttocks. The lead doctor told CNN, all injuries consistent with
being shot from the back. Over 850 people flooded the hospital in Adre between June 15th to 17th, according to MSF, more than any other period
since fighting began in April.
Body collectors say, according to their count, around 1000 people were killed on the day of June 15, buried in dozens of mass graves. Survivors
say the RSF is replicating these same tactics across the region, even as their supporters celebrate in the aftermath of mass killings and the sweep
of escalating ethnically targeted attacks.
ELBAGIR (on-camera): A spokesperson for the Rapid Support Forces told CNN that they categorically deny the assertions that we put forward in our
reporting without, though, denying any of the specifics that we shared with them. It's also important to note that the RSF have previously denied the
findings of an investigation where we uncovered evidence that RSF troops had engaged in rapes before subsequently the leader of the RSF stating that
those who had been implicated in violations were to be prosecuted. Nima Elbagir, CNN, London.
KINKADE: And for more information on how to help Sudanese refugees, you can go to CNN.com/impact to find a list of humanitarian organizations you
can support. Nearly 18 months into Russia's all-out war on Ukraine, Kyiv says it still can't properly protect its airspace. And despite having big
hopes, it doesn't expect that to change anytime soon. A Ukrainian Air Force spokesman says it's clear that the American-made F-16 warplanes won't be
part of Ukraine's defense force against Russia this year. Ukraine has persistently logged with its Western allies for those fighter jets.
Meanwhile, the first cargo ship to depart the port city of Odessa since Moscow pulled out of the Black Sea grain deal has now reached Romanian
waters. Well, CNN's Nick Paton Walsh joins us now from Dnipro, Ukraine. Good to have you with us, Nick. So, no F-16 fighter jets in Ukraine
expected this year. What's with the holdup?
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, look, this is always going to be a huge technical challenge to supply these
high-tech jets and get people trained to use them. Lynda, let me just let you understand what's happening. That noise is an air raid siren, happens
four or five times a day and people frankly are just used to hearing it.
This is a central street in Dnipro, a major city and this is essentially saying to people that there is somewhere in Ukraine's airspace inbound
missiles or jets and their lives could be at risk.
I don't know where it's necessarily going to land but it's so frequent that people really can't maintain their normal lives if they react to every
single noise like that. Now, that's why Ukraine needs F-16s. They want to use them on the frontlines, push Russians further out to stop Russian air
security, making their counteroffensive a very hard task. Russian jets can drop half-metric-ton bombs at will on Ukrainian positions.
But if you want to try and have the discussion about geopolitically, where should Ukraine be in terms of its air support, in terms of its air
defenses, it's hearing this noise at this volume this frequently that gives you an idea as to why emotionally Ukrainians feel there shouldn't even be a
KINKADE: Yeah, it is just incredible seeing those pictures of people going about their everyday life in the midst of those air sirens almost 18 months
into this war. And you, of course, have just been on the frontlines going into a village in the Donetsk region that has just been recaptured by
Ukraine. What did you find?
WALSH: Yeah, the Urozhaine village is tiny. These villages are tiny. They're not consequential in themselves, but they are evidence that Ukraine
is moving forward, despite Western analysts as saying this isn't going as far as it necessarily could, as fast as it necessarily could. And it's
also, frankly, a reason why these aero sirens are relevant, too. They need air superiority or air support, at least, to move faster. But still, the
motion is there, and the fight is very slow and very bitter, as we heard.
WALSH (voice-over): There may be ruin around them, but their direction is forwards. We're with the 35th Ukrainian Marines, the first reporters to get
to the outskirts of Urozhaine, yet another village announced liberated Wednesday. The victories may be small, but a constant.
So, just down here, Urozhaine, yet another town taken as the counteroffensive does move forwards. We were just seeing the neighboring
village taken last week, but they keep moving. With that marching coming, we're getting out of here as quick as we can. While they control Urozhaine,
the Russians do everything they can to make it a nightmare for the Ukrainians to be there.
The unit showed us the intense fight captured by drone. This, their tank advancing, dropping a string of anti-mine explosives behind it, they said,
which then, once it turned, detonated. The unit released a video of them in the town Wednesday, of how they turned their firepower on what was once a
Russian stronghold that shelled them. The company commander recalls many more Russians hidden there than he expected.
Very many died, he says, especially when they started to run and when they held houses. Lots of them died there. But they were caught as they fled.
The smoke around Russians, likely made by cluster munitions. Ukraine has said it is already using some rounds controversially supplied by the United
States. We could not confirm if these fired here with the new American cluster bombs. But the losses suffered were clear. And they say their use
is less of an ethical dilemma when you're in this brutal fight.
I don't understand it, he says. That side is using whatever they want. Our people are dying from all this, and it's okay. But when the other side die,
it's not. I don't understand. His footage shows how young some in the assault were. He has no time for Western analysts who say this should be
moving faster. I would say they can always come to me as a guest and fight with me, he says. If someone believes that you can fly over the minefield
on a broom like in Harry Potter, it doesn't happen in a real fight. If you don't understand that, you can sit in your armchair and eat your popcorn.
Yeah, you smell it.
Out here the last month of advances feel both empty and grueling. Littered now with Russian dead. They haven't moved perhaps as far as it has felt.
These just empty farm fields in which many have died to take each kilometer. The Russians mined so hard here, they used this machine to do
it. So much damage done, it's hard to imagine what plans Moscow had for here at all had they kept it.
WALSH (on-camera): Now, just a reminder that when you hear those sirens, it isn't always without consequence. We don't know what they were
referenced towards, what may have landed inside of Ukraine, but in the last, well, under a week, we've seen a children's playpen hit outside a
hotel in Zaporizhzhia, a 23-day-old baby hit by artillery shelling in Kherson, and just outside of Dnipro, in the Dnipropetrovsk region, there
was a loss of electricity for 10,000 people because of infrastructure being targeted. This is daily life in Ukraine for civilians and that is why for
them, that counteroffensive isn't a question of Western political patience or what level of equipment NATO is willing to supply it's a simple decision
about survival, Lynda.
KINKADE: Yeah, Nick you provide such valuable perspective and insight. Our thanks to you and your team for that remarkable reporting and please stay
safe. Nick Paton Walsh there in Dnipro, Ukraine. Well, still to come, the Georgia case against Donald Trump, the former U.S. President and his
accused co-conspirators now have just days to surrender. We'll have a live report on the key developments ahead. Plus, a dire situation in northern
India as dozens are killing landslides caused by heavy downpours. An update on the search and rescue efforts when we return.
KINKADE: Welcome back. There are several new developments in the case against former U.S. President Donald Trump here in the state of Georgia.
One key issue has to do with timing. Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis is asking the judge to start the trial on March 4th next year.
That's the day before Super Tuesday, a critical date in the U.S. primary season. Mr. Trump and his 18 co-defendants are facing sweeping charges
related to the efforts to overturn Georgia's 2020 election results.
And another major issue is security in the federal January 6 case against Mr. Trump. There are chilling threats against the judge. Well, CNN's Nick
Valencia is following the developments and joins us now from Atlanta. Good to have you with us Nick. I'll get to that Georgia case in a moment on
where the judge is hoping -- the attorney general is hoping the case will start.
But in terms of the death threats against the judge -- this is in the federal case in D.C. What more are you learning?
NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, law enforcement source with knowledge of the situation tells me that some of the Fulton County grand
jurors are currently being doxxed and that safety is a main concern for them right now. The law enforcement source telling me that an unfortunate
reality under Georgia laws that these Fulton County grand jurors had their names made public and as a result of doing their civic duty.
The source tells me that they're now being threatened with death. And it was overnight that we learned that far right groups, anonymous individuals
online are calling for violence against some of these Fulton County grand jurors going so far as to post addresses, home addresses, purported to be
of these Fulton County grand jurors.
Now, CNN cannot independently verify the post. We're not naming the websites where this information showed up, but some of the names seem to
officially match the names of those Fulton County grand jurors. We should mention that none of them have made any public comments or safety -- or
statements, but safety and security continues to be a main concern for those tied to this legal process involving Trump.
We should also mention that a Texas woman is currently in custody after threatening a Texas judge that's overseeing the federal election case for
Donald Trump. That judge received a phone call in her chambers where this individual said, quote, you are in our sights. We want to kill you. Going
on to use some racial epithets in that phone call. DHS special agents caught up with this woman a couple of days later. She's currently in
custody and pretrial detention. But it really, Lynda, underscores the safety situation involving these legal cases tied to the former president.
KINKADE: Yeah, absolutely, Nick. Certainly frightening for anyone involved in these cases. And I want to ask you about how soon we could see Donald
Trump surrender here in Atlanta given that we know the deadline is next Friday. And talk to us more about the negotiations for a trial date.
VALENCIA: Sure. Sources familiar with those negotiations tell us that Trump's team is negotiation -- negotiating currently with the Fulton County
District Attorney's Office, who also not only has to negotiate with Trump's team, but also the Secret Service, the details of Trump's surrender. We
understand those are still being worked out, but early indications are that the former president will show up here at the Fulton County jail sometime
Trump, along with his 18 code defendants have until August 25th at noon to turn themselves in voluntarily. And we understand this process once he gets
processed through the Fulton County Jail, he will be given a mugshot, fingerprinted, and then he will have his first appearance there inside the
jail. All those details, though, Lynda, are still being worked out.
KINKADE: All right. Nick Valencia for us, staying across all the developments from Atlanta. Thanks so much. Well, still to come. As a
regional bloc meets to consider the next steps in Niger, the U.N. is warning that the coup is disrupting humanitarian efforts there. We'll get
more from a United Nations official when we come back.
KINKADE: Welcome back, I'm Lynda Kinkade. Good to have you with us. The United Nations is warning cuts in aid to Niger could worsen the food crisis
there. Defense ministers with ECOWAS, the West African regional bloc, are meeting in Garnet today. They're discussing whether to intervene militarily
to reverse the coup in Niger.
The West African nation has been engulfed in political chaos since late last month. That's when a military junta ousted the democratically elected
president, Mohamed Bazoum. And even before the coup, more than three million people were severely food insecure.
Now, the World Food Program says some seven million could see their situation worsen due to the unfolding crisis. Well, time now for The
Exchange where we want to take a closer look at the crisis in Niger. And joining me now is Louise Aubin. She is the United Nations humanitarian
coordinator in Niger. And she was in Niger last month, just days before the coup. Thanks so much for joining us.
LOUISE AUBIN, HUMANITARIAN COORDINATOR, OCHA NIGER: Thank you.
KINKADE: So, Niger, even before this crisis, was already one of the poorest countries in the world. How would you describe the situation there
before the coup and what are the challenges now?
AUBIN: Looking at a map, you can quickly see, you know, this very vast country, enclaved and therefore highly dependent on trade and imports. The
majority of the population is concentrated on the southern borders of the country, 26 million strong. And while the population is very young and
resilient, it does have a very high demographic rate and is battling food insecurity since many years. Climate change has a huge impact on this
Sahelian country. And so, any shock to populations quickly erodes their normal coping mechanisms.
KINKADE: And of course, Louise, you were appointed the U.N. resident coordinator in Niger back in January 2021. Did you see this unrest coming
or was this pure, complete shock?
AUBIN: When you're speaking about a country that's still quite fragile in terms of building its development approach, there's a lot of programs in
place to try to stabilize people's access to livelihoods and modernize modes of production, where the access to education is still nascent and
still needs to be built up. Evidently, you know, it is going to be prone to shocks. The important thing to remember is that, like I was saying, the
population is quite resilient to working and battling quite against all odds.
Already, we were expecting in 2023 that more than four million people would need some form of humanitarian assistance. In addition to these development
programs that we have ongoing, and of these 4.3 million, we already had 3.3 million people acutely, severely food insecure. So, with the current
political crisis, which is impacting trade across borders.
It's impacted access to electricity and energy sources. And this could render several million people more, so over seven million people who are
food insecure at the moment to tip into acute food insecurity, meaning they want to know where the next meal comes from.
KINKADE: So, ECOWAS, the leaders from neighboring countries around Niger have threatened military action if democracy is not restored. They've also
closed the land borders under sanctions. What's the risk? if there's military action.
AUBIN: Already, we've seen price increases dramatically. Just since the political crisis has unfolded, we saw the price of rice increase by 17
percent, which is a staple for people of Niger. We've seen power cuts severely impacting the few modes of transformation of goods. And evidently
with an economy that is so reliant on exporting and trading to be able to have access to some of the things that Niger cannot produce itself. It has
a very immediate and deep impact on people.
KINKADE: Louise Aubin, the U.N. resident coordinator for Niger. Thanks so much for your time and we wish you all the best.
AUBIN: Thank you.
KINKADE: Hello and welcome back to ONE WORLD. I'm Lynda Kinkade. Let's catch you up on some climate headlines from around the world. Canada has
been battling wildfires since spring. Months later, the evacuations continue. More than 200 wildfires are raging across the country's northwest
territories, prompting a state of emergency. Residents of Yellowknife have been told to leave by Friday, while others in the area have been told to
get out now.
And a wildfire that broke out in a Spanish island of Canary remains out of control. Residents there have been ordered to evacuate as more than 1800
hectares have burned in 24 hours. Officials say the outlook is grim even as hundreds of emergency personnel are battling the blaze. And in northern
India, a desperate race against time as rescuers dig through debris looking for survivors after deadly landslides swept through the area.
At least 71 people lost their lives, 13 others are missing after torrential rain led to flash floods. CNN's Vedika Sud tells us this year's monsoon
season is hitting the region especially hard.
VEDIKA SUD, CNN REPORTER: Home swept away, lives destroyed. Since Sunday, more than 70 people have died and more than a dozen are missing. After
heavy rainfall let the landslides and flooding across India's northern Himachal Pradesh state. In this video, man is heard repeating, Oh Lord, Oh
Lord, shocked as he sees flood water gushing through a valley. Search and rescue operations have been underway since a desperate attempt to locate
survivors buried under mud and debris. For those who were lucky, the wait has been excruciating.
SUDESH SHARMA, FAMILY MEMBER OF LANDSLIDE VICTIM (through translator): We should get the missing members of our family back. We should get a glimpse
of them for the last time and set their souls free. We have no doors left open for us now. We should get them back.
SUD: With more heavy rain on the way, according to forecasts, Himachal Pradesh remains alert, sending residents to relief camps. This monsoon has
been devastating for the state. Since the start of the rainy season in June, 300 people in the region have died, according to Chief Minister
Sukhwinder Singh Sukhu. On Wednesday, Sukhu carried out an aerial survey of some of the worst affected areas. Like in many parts of the world, sites
like these due to extreme weather are becoming more common.
Sukhu estimates the damage has caused losses over 1.2 billion U.S. dollars and could take a year to rebuild infrastructure. But for some residents,
it's more than just infrastructure. Lives will also need to be rebuilt. Vedika Sud, CNN, New Delhi.
KINKADE: Well, the U.S. State of Hawaii, the death toll from the devastating wildfires in Maui is now 111. And that includes children. The
governor says it's likely there are still more than 1000 people missing. Checkpoints into the worst hit town of Lahaina are set to reopen to
residents and volunteers. But the main disaster zone will remain closed so that searches can continue the grim task of trying to find human remains.
Musician Mick Fleetwood, whose restaurant was destroyed in the fire says the immediate focus should be at helping the victims.
MICK FLEETWOOD, FLEETWOOD MAC DRUMMER AND MAUI RESTAURANT OWNER: Going into the future is not an appropriate conversation right now in my
particular way of explaining it. What it needs to be is the immediacy of what has to be taken care of and everyone is coming out of a very tragic
situation which can lead to certain confusions, and guidelines now, I think, are the magic formula.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KINKADE: Well, fires are still burning on Maui and many residents still have their guard up. CNN's Bill Weir shows us how some are trying to put
out hot spots with bottles of water.
BILL WEIR, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT: Aloha, again, from Kula, Maui where the effort to put out these pesky hot spots in this upcountry fire
continue. This is Maui Fire Department. With the yellow bucket, you recall our report from yesterday where we had guys out in these canyons with
bottled water trying to put smoking hot spots down until they actually, eventually, got some help from this chopper here.
But the latest here is just that death toll continues to tick up in a way that has people worried about whether it'll jump, if this will just be sort
of a constant one or two a day. About a third of the area in Lahaina town has now been searched. They've radically increased the number of dogs. Now,
I believe the governor said there's 40 dogs working that scene now, so they should be able to get a lot more covered in the near term here. I did see a
couple of folks in FEMA vests talking to homeowners today, maybe trying to get them into the system to make a claim for a one-time cash payment or get
some housing repair -- help.
But if your house looks like this, there's not going to be any repairs. So, for working class, especially native Hawaiians, there's a lot of worry that
they'll be tempted to sell or can't afford to rebuild. And dwindling that soul, the cultural heart and soul of Hawaii, the Natives, is a great worry
to a lot of folks here, especially in rebuilding Lahaina town.
There's concerns it could turn into another Honolulu. There's a lot of talk about the alarm system. We continue to get conflicting information about
what happened with the governor saying that maybe some of those sirens were old and didn't go off. We did hear from the fire chief who says it was
never set off in the first place, that the communication between the field and somebody at the computer to start the alarm broke down, given the speed
of the fire. There were tests. They do test these alarms the first of every month. So, a lot of questions there for the investigation as that is
The President and First Lady coming on Monday. We'll see if that solves any wounds from a lot of people who feel abandoned here. Still no signs of
National Guard, although they say they've doubled the number of troops, now close to 500, to help put out these fires. We'll keep looking and keep you
posted as best we can.
KINKADE: Our thanks to Bill Weir there. Well, the U.S. citizen held prisoner in Russia for more than four years has been told to keep the
faith. The source says that message came during a phone call between former U.S. Marine Paul Whelan and Secretary of State Anthony Blinken on Wednesday
Blinken told Whelan, the U.S. is doing everything it can to bring him home as soon as possible. Whelan is serving a 16-year sentence in Russia where
he was convicted of espionage. But American officials insist he's been wrongfully detained.
Well, for more on this, I want to bring in CNN's Kylie Atwood at the State Department. Good to have you with us Kylie. So, the U.S. Secretary of State
spoke to Whelan on Wednesday. What was his message and are there any other potential deals or prisoner swaps on the table?
KYLIE ATWOOD, CNN U.S. SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, well, listen, I mean, as you said, his message was twofold. It was first to keep the faith and
also that the U.S. government is continuing to work to do everything that they can to get Paul Whelan home as quickly as possible. We should note
he's been wrongfully detained in Russia for more than four years now and spoke to the Secretary of State from a prison camp in a remote area of
So, it's been an incredibly challenging number of years for his family and for himself. Ad you know, behind the scenes, we know that U.S. officials
continue to try and come up with a solution here, try and entice the Russians into something, some sort of agreement that could secure Whelan's
release. We also know, however, that the significant proposal that the Secretary of State publicly discussed earlier this year that the U.S. put
on the table with Russia more than eight months ago hasn't received a substantive response from the Russian side.
And so, that is concerning. But of course, we do know there has been engagement between U.S. and Russia. We also know that there's, you know,
that other American, Evan Gershkovich, who was wrongfully detained at the end of March. So, U.S. officials are also working, of course, to try and
secure his release. So, the efforts are twofold right now. And U.S. government officials really still focused on this, even though it doesn't
appear that there are active negotiations underway at this time.
KINKADE: All right, Kylie Atwood for us at the U.S. State Department. Well, coming up the next time you are singing along to a catchy tune, you might
just be the only real voice. The Nigerian Afro-Beats producer shows us how the music industry may have to change its tune.
KINKADE: Welcome back. Actor Harrison Ford is going into the history books, but not necessarily for a reason you're expecting. Researchers have
named a new species of snake after the man who he portrayed in a character who was absolutely famous for hating them.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HARRISON FORD, ACTOR, "INDIANA JONES": Snakes. Why did it have to be snakes?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KINKADE: He doesn't love that film. In a nod to "Indiana Jones", Ford's name is included in the reptile's official species name. Researchers found
the yellow and brown serpent during a trip to one of Peru's national parks. Ford calls the discovery humbling, adding that it's a reminder that there's
still so much to learn about our wild world.
("BORN IN THE USA" PLAYING, PERFORMED BY BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN)
KINKADE: Well, say it isn't so but the boss has called out sick. Veteran Rocker Bruce Springsteen is postponing two shows this week in Philadelphia
because he's, quote," taken ill". He and the E Street band have been on the road for most of the year and just returned to the U.S. from an extensive
European tour. We wish him all the best. Well, social media posts said no replacement dates have been decided just yet, but fans were assured that
their tickets will be good.
Music has always been an important part of Nigerian culture. So, when artificial intelligence apps started spreading through the country's music
industry, an Afro Beats producer thought his days were numbered until he figured out a way to blend the artificial world with the real world and
make beautiful music. Our Stephanie Busari has more from Lagos.
When doubt and fear surround me, I turn my face to you. To find the strength and courage to help me through.
STEPHANIE BUSARI, CNN EDITOR: Melodious singing by "Breakout" star Maya Blue. Her voice could pass for 18-year-olds, except she's not a woman.
She's not even human.
MAYA BLUE, A.I. SINGER: Hi everyone. It's your girl Maya Blue, your favorite A.I. singer and this is my cover of "Conte" (ph) by David O. (ph).
BUSARI: Maya Blue is an artificially generated personality with a synthesized voice. She's a creation of Eclipse Nkasi, a Nigerian Afro-
Beat's producer who's blending artificial intelligence with music.
ECLIPSE NKASI, MUSIC PRODUCER: I wanted to find out what was possible with A.I. so there were several parameters I needed to test. Songwriting,
production, voice creation. At the same time, I was trying to test the efficiency of the tool, so in terms of timeline --
BUSARI: So, Nkasi took up a challenge to make a music album in just a few hours, a feat that could normally take up to six months.
NKASI: And as ridiculous as it was, we made the whole project in three days.
BUSARI: There are nine songs on the album titled "Infinite Echoes". It features both human artists and artificially generated voices. The result
is a sound many struggle to distinguish from human and machine. The lyrics, songs and album title are also AI generated using ChatGPT and other
NKASI: It did take quite a few prompts to get it and the biggest challenge was trying to get the AI to give us a consistent look.
BUSARI: Experiment successful.
NKASI: I give it the seed number. And Cassie now aims to teach how AI can empower what it calls a new kind of artist.
NKASI: For people who are music-minded, but don't necessarily have the skill set or the talent, they have a fair chance of actually creating music
BUSARI: The emergence of AI has sparked debates about copyright and intellectual property. But music critic Motolani Alake is looking on the
MOTOLANI ALAKE, MUSIC CRITIC: There are different ways that AI will affect the music industry. There are negatives and there are positives. On the
positive side, the production of the music is going to get much better.
BUSARI: Here's Nkasi's advice for artists who want to use AI in their music.
NKASI: Embrace it from an ethical standpoint to know that there's a way to use these tools that enhances the work that you create as opposed to taking
it away from someone else's work.
BUSARI: They're both optimistic that governments in the future will make and enforce laws that regulate the interplay of AI and creativity.
Stephanie Busari, CNN, Lagos.
KINKADE: Incredible, isn't it? Well, that does it for this edition of ONE WORLD. I'm Lynda Kinkade. Great to have you with us. Stick around,
"AMANPOUR" is up next. You're watching CNN.