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One World with Zain Asher

Kenyan President William Ruto Visits The White House; U.S. Justice Department Sues The Parent Company Of Ticketmaster; CNN's Nick Paton Walsh Takes An In-Depth Look At Ukraine's Military Defense; Powerful Wind Gust Causes A Stage To Collapse During A Campaign Rally In Mexico; Cassie Releases A Very Powerful And Emotional Statement On The Issue Of Domestic Abuse. Aired 12-1p ET

Aired May 23, 2024 - 12:00   ET



BIANNA GOLODRYGA, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Some two decades in the making, Kenyan President William Ruto visits the White House. It is the first time

an African leader has been on a state visit to the White House since 2008. We're expecting a joint press conference later this hour and we'll bring it

to you live.

Also, Live Nation lawsuit. Moments ago, the U.S. Justice Department sued the parent company of Ticketmaster. What it means and what comes next. And

later, Cassie speaks. Her first comments in CNN's exclusive surveillance footage shocked the world.

Hello, everyone, live from New York, I'm Bianna Golodryga. Zain is off today. You are watching "One World". Kenyan President William Ruto is

meeting with President Biden at the White House this hour. You'll hear from both men later this hour at a joint conference in Washington, D.C. It is

the first state visit to Washington by an African leader since 2008.

An official arrival ceremony was held just a short time ago. And while the visit is aimed at boosting ties between the allies, there is another goal

for the U.S., countering China's influence in Africa. Now, for his part, President Ruto wants greater investment in Kenya and across the continent.

The visit also highlights U.S.-Kenyan cooperation on a number of security issues, including the fight against militants in Somalia, Houthi attacks in

the Red Sea and Kenya's security mission in Haiti. We're covering this trip from both the U.S. and Africa.

David McKenzie is in South Africa for us. But we begin with Priscilla Alvarez at the White House. Really a significant meeting here, not only the

first of an African leader in the U.S. and to visit Washington in 15 years, Priscilla, but also one that marks 60 years of diplomatic ties between the

U.S. and Kenya. What more can we expect to hear from both leaders?

PRISCILLA ALVAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: From both leaders. That's exactly right, Bianna. And the two leaders really underscoring that decades-long

relationship earlier today during that ceremony and also during their the top of their bilateral meeting.

Of course, the two are expected to talk about a broad range of issues which affect the two of them. First of all, the President wanting to elevate

Kenya as a regional --l from a regional partner to a global partner. Then, too, the two are expected to talk about the importance of democracy and

also private sector investments.

In fact, just yesterday, the two leaders meeting with business leaders here at the White House to continue to talk about those investments. But there

is no doubt that looming over all the pomp and circumstance today is countering China's influence in the region.

Of course, the U.S. and China both jockeying for economic and geopolitical influence in Africa and China, of course, one of the countries that has

made high interest or provided high interest loans to Africa. So, those investments, that economic cooperation are all core to the conversations

that are happening today. And the two are also expected to announce a spate of commitments, including the Nairobi Washington vision. That is a call on

creditors to help alleviate the financial burden. And also, President Biden designated Kenya as a major non-NATO ally.

So, the two clearly underscoring this relationship that comes after in 2022, President Biden said he was, quote, "all in for Africa". Now, he had

hoped to visit the continent. He has not done that during his time as President, as he has also grappled with multiple foreign conflicts that

have kept him here at home and visiting a certain country.

So, in some ways, this is also making up for that broken promise. But what has been clear so far over the course of the day is that the two are really

trying to strengthen their partnership and their relationship over the course of these conversations. And we'll hear directly from the two of them

later this afternoon during their press conference. Bianna.

GOLODRYGA: Yeah, you mentioned President Biden's commitment and pledged to visit Kenya. That didn't happen. But notable that he said if he wins in

November and wins a second term, he will come to visit in February. Thanks so much, Priscilla.

Let's go to David McKenzie in Johannesburg. Kenya, a major economic power there in Africa, I believe the seventh largest economy in Africa there. And

among the issues that are going to be discussed is this rather controversial commitment that Kenya has made to send about a thousand

police troops on a security mission to Haiti, a country that is all but for purposes, a war-torn country that is a failed state at this point.


The United States propping up this mission with about $300 million in investment there and trying to quell the chaos in Haiti on the island. Tell

us more about what we can expect to hear from these two leaders and why this meeting is so significant now.

DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Bianna, I think the -- the proposed and now almost on the ground paramilitary police

that are going to Haiti speaks to the ambitions of William Ruto, the President of Kenya. He sees himself as a statesman. He's spent a great deal

of time outside of Kenya and has been criticized in his nation for that.

He is not entirely as popular as he might be on the foreign stage as he is locally. But certainly that's proposed trip or that those boots on the

ground in Haiti speaks to that ambition. I think these are critically important meetings, both for the Kenyan President and for the U.S.


There is a sense that the U.S. has limited options when it comes to strong, powerful allies in the African continent. The relationship between the U.S.

and Rwanda has cooled. Ethiopia has gone through its civil strife and accusations of human rights abuses on both sides of a conflict there. And

in West Africa recently, the U.S. will have to move out of its anti-terror bases in Niger and is kicked out of Chad.

So, the U.S. is struggling for, well, I wouldn't say struggling, but it's trying to regain a strong presence diplomatically within the African

context. Kenya is the obvious country to strengthen that relationship and expand it. And in William Ruto, they have a very amenable President who's

also looking to burnish his own reputation. Bianna.

GOLODRYGA: Yeah. And notable that Ruto has been able to sort of balance both in China, a recipient of the Belt and Road Program in that country,

but also still maintaining close ties with the United States, which, of course, the U.S. hopes to counter China's influence on the continent as a

whole. David McKenzie in Johannesburg for us. Thank you. And we'll bring you that press conference at the White House when it happens.

Meantime, in the last hour, the U.S. government took steps to break up what it says is a monopoly in the concert industry. The target of the antitrust

lawsuit is Live Nation, the parent company of Ticketmaster. Thirty state and local district attorneys have joined the U.S. government effort to

break up the company.

Live Nation dominates the concert industry, controlling a huge percentage of both ticket sales and venues in the U.S. The U.S. attorney general was

blunt in pointing out the ways Ticketmaster and Live Nation harm both musicians and their fans.


MERRICK GARLAND, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: With exclusive agreements that cover more than 70 percent of concert ticket sales at major concert venues

across the country, Ticketmaster can impose a seemingly endless list of fees on fans. Those include ticketing fees, service fees, convenience fees,

platinum fees, Pricemaster fees, per order fees, handling fees and payment processing fees, among others.


GOLODRYGA: With more on the business impact of all this, let's bring in CNN technology reporter Brian Fung. So, Brian, break down what this case means

for the average concert goer, someone who visits these sites quite regularly. I mean, I know they've seen U.S. concert ticket prices rising

one hundred and thirty two dollars last year. That's up 23 percent from the year prior. Aside from that, how strong is this particular case?

BRIAN FUNG, CNN TECHNOLOGICAL REPORTER: Yeah, Bianna, this is a monumental case. It could change everything about how concert ticketing works in the

U.S. and officials say, you know, a break-up of "Live Nation" is absolutely on the table here.

According to the Justice Department and 30 attorneys general, Live Nation has a monopoly in live events ticketing. It enjoys huge leverage over

artists, fans and competitors because it owns big chunks of every industry needed to put on a successful tour. So, that stack includes not just the

sale of concert tickets through Ticketmaster, but also the concert promoters who work with artists on shows and even many of the most popular

venues where they play.

So, DOJ says Live Nation has weaponized that integration using things like threats and retaliation to make sure venues and rivals stay in line. And

that means the ability to charge fans higher fees and impose restrictions on what they can do with their tickets. As you heard the attorney general

saying just now, the suit has been a long time coming.

For most people, this became a high profile issue after that Taylor Swift debacle with Ticketmaster in 2022, you know, when millions of fans were

locked out of buying tickets for her Eras tour.


But lots of other antitrust critics say the problem dates back to Live Nation's merger with Ticketmaster in the first place in 2010. So, now the

DOJ is looking to fix that situation and they're asking for a jury trial, which, given how much of a headache Ticketmaster has been for consumers,

might potentially help them win the case overall. Bianna.

GOLODRYGA: That merger in 2010, it's notable because it was subject to a 10-year settlement agreement. Then in 2019, the DOJ modified and extended

the agreement, saying the group had repeatedly violated the initial deal. So, it's clear that there have been problems that the DOJ had been worried

about for a number of years now that ultimately led to this decision today.

FUNG: That's right. And in some respects, you might see today's decision as kind of a reflection that maybe that DOJ made a mistake when it first

agreed to those conditions and rather than trying to block the deal from the outset.

You know, this case is going to take years to play out. But ultimately, if it does end up going in the direction that the Justice Department wants, it

could potentially lead to a wholesale restructuring of this massive industry. Bianna.

GOLODRYGA: All right, thank you so much. We appreciate it. Well, massive crowds turned out in northeastern Iran to bid a final farewell to the late

President Ebrahim Raisi. Raisi is being laid to rest at a shrine in the holy city of Mashhad, where he was born 63 years ago.

He was killed in a helicopter crash Sunday, along with the foreign minister and six others. Tens of thousands paid their respects as his coffin was

driven through the streets in a motorcade. CNN's Frederick Pleitgen is in the middle of the crowds and filed this report from earlier.


FRED PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Pretty remarkable scenes here on the streets of Mashhad as Ebrahim Raisi's casket gets

wheeled through the streets. He will, of course, later be laid to rest inside the shrine of Imam Reza, one of the most important pilgrimage sites

here in Iran, but also the political and the spiritual homeland of Ebrahim Raisi.

He was always affiliated with the city. He was always affiliated with that shrine. In fact, his father in law is still the prayer leader at the Imam

Reza shrine. So, the folks here in this town of Mashhad, many of them are supporters of Ebrahim Raisi, and many of them told us that while they're in

great sorrow at this point in time, they also say they will remain loyal to his ideals, which, of course, were very tough on the United States.

You can hear them screaming now, death to America here in the streets of Mashhad as the casket is being wheeled through those streets. So, they hope

that this conservative ideals of Ebrahim Raisi will remain in place.

Again, remarkable streets here in the city of Mashhad on the ground here as the casket gets wheeled through the streets to then be laid to rest inside

the Imam Reza shrine. Fred Pleitgen, CNN, Mashhad, Iran.


GOLODRYGA: Thanks to Fred for that report. Well, we will soon be getting brand new video of the arrest of the world number one golfer Scotty

Scheffler last week at a PGA tournament just minutes ago. The Louisville mayor and the chief of police said they would release two videos of the

arrest, but they say they do not have video of the initial incident between Scheffler and the arresting officer because the officer didn't turn on his

body camera.

The police chief says the officer had received corrective action for not following proper procedure. A source tells CNN that some officials in the

police department think charging Scheffler with a felony assault may be excessive. CNN's Gabe Cohen is in Louisville tracking this story. And Gabe,

there had been rumblings about this police officer not following protocol by turning on his body camera. How much of a setback is this for the

police's case here?

GABE COHEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, look, it's not clear. And this is very early in the case, Bianna. We did expect potentially for the police chief

or the mayor to address the charges that Scotty Scheffler faces. He faces four, but by far the most serious of those charges is that second degree

felony assault on a police officer charge.

As you mentioned, we were reporting yesterday that a source tells me that in a recent meeting, several high ranking officials within the Louisville

Metro Police Department talked about the case. And there was really consensus that that felony charge is excessive and perhaps those charges

need to be revisited and reduced.

We thought they may talk about that today. They really didn't. They talked about the body camera issue that you, you spoke about, that the detective

who arrested Scotty Scheffler did not turn on his body camera. They say he has received some, corrective action, some counseling from his supervisor.

They also said they're going to be releasing more video of the arrest today.

One angle from a traffic pole camera in the area, another from a police vehicle, their dash cam. We don't know if there's any body cam video, any

other angles of the arrest itself. But what the mayor is now saying is that there is no video that they're aware of that shows the initial encounter

between that police officer and Scotty Scheffler. So, we don't know at this point how any of that is going to affect the charges in this case.

But listening to the tone of the mayor today, he was really clear saying that this was this unfortunate set of circumstances, that it was a dark

that morning, very rainy, very intense setting, really, painting a picture that this may have been a big misunderstanding as a Scotty Scheffler has

said from the very beginning, he said that on day one at a press conference after he was released from jail and went and played his round of golf at

that tournament here in Louisville.

We've also heard that from Scheffler's attorney who I spoke with just a few minutes ago. He says that the videos that are coming out later today really

back up their version of the events that Scotty Scheffler did nothing wrong. And he has said really for days now that they are not planning to

plead out this case. They don't want to take a plea deal that it is either all of the charges are dropped or they're prepared to litigate.

The Prosecutor's Office has said from the beginning that they have not made any final decisions on how they're going to charge this case. So, it is

very possible that the charges are going to change in the coming days or weeks. Remember, Scotty Scheffler's arraignment now scheduled for June 3rd.

And to be clear, Scotty Scheffler is not here in Louisville today. He's going to be teeing off at the next PGA Tour event, a tournament in Fort

Worth, Texas, here in the next, I believe, hour and a half or so.

GOLODRYGA: Hopefully much less eventful for him prior to the tournament there. And as you noted, we're still awaiting for those two videos to be

released. Gabe Cohen, thank you.

GOLODRYGA: Well, coming up, Russia has its sights set on Ukraine's northeast region. Ukraine -- CNN has this firsthand look at what Ukrainian

troops are doing to protect a key city. We'll have an exclusive report, straight ahead.



GOLODRYGA: China has launched military drills around Taiwan as punishment for what it called separatist acts. As part of those drills, dozens of

fighter jets carrying live ammunition conducted mock strikes alongside its warship in the Taiwan Strait. This complicates things for Taiwan's new

leader, who was sworn in just days ago and called on China to stop intimidating Taiwan. Beijing claims Taiwan as its own, despite never having

controlled it.


Russia has stepped up its attacks on northeastern Ukraine, pummeling the area's energy and transport infrastructure using bombs and drones.

Officials say at least seven people, all civilians, were killed after a strike on a printing company in Kharkiv. Sixteen others were injured in the

attack in Ukraine's second largest city.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has blamed the recent attacks on a lack of air defenses. CNN's Nick Paton Walsh got exclusive access to see

the battle firsthand on one key town that Ukraine is trying to hold on to. And a warning. Some of the images in his report are graphic.


NICK PATON WALSH, CHIEF INTERNATIONAL SECURITY EDITOR: Some towns they can never let Putin take. And this, Lipsy, is one of them. Destroyed artillery

on the streets. Homes aflame from an airstrike. They can only move at night.

UNKNOWN: Lights off.

PATON WALSH (voice-over): It's a perilous grip they keep, but lose here and Russian artillery will be in range of Ukraine's second city, Kharkiv.

PATON WALSH: You can still smell the smoke here from an airstrike that landed just in the last hour or so.

PATON WALSH (voice-over): This is life under the drone. We're the first reporters into the heart of the town. Only soldiers left here underground.

The Kharty 13th National Guard first tackled Russia's new offensive.

PATON WALSH: Do you think there were good enough fortifications here?

OLEKSANDR, UKRAINE'S KHARTILA NATIONAL GUARD BRIGADE (through translator): Nothing was prepared here. Nothing. Just nothing. All the positions are

being built by the hands of the infantry. The Russians are trained professional soldiers. We can see it from their equipment, from their


PATON WALSH (voice-over): There were eight airstrikes just in the last hour, so we leave soon. A buzzing noise near us, very close. And the only

way they know whose drone this is, is if it attacks. All around Kharkiv, they don't have enough guns and the Russians have too many drones. The 92nd

Assault Brigade showed us something that isn't even theirs.

PATON WALSH: Russian artillery piece that they captured in the first year of the war and the fighting in Kharkiv region, and now they use, strangely,

French mortar rounds to fire from here. It's just a sign of how little appropriate ammunition they have available to them. This wire is a

protection from FPV drones.

PATON WALSH (voice-over): Above, he sees a drone with two battery packs, a long-range scout. It is not friendly. If you can tell, it's an attack

drone, Hyde. This seems to be a scout, so running is better before it calls in shelling. Another artillery unit wants to show us something not even

Russian, but Soviet. Made in the 1940s, it can still fire newer Polish shells. In the autumn, it was 100 a day. Now it is 10.

PATON WALSH: Extraordinary to see something here that's three times the age of either of these two guys holding back a new Russian offensive in 2024.

I'd say the metal is so old that it limits the number of times. That sound warns another drone is incoming, and back in the bunker, they show us the

online-bought $30 gadget that is their best warning mechanism.

The team here embody Ukraine's exhaustion and resilience. Older guys, wounded infantrymen. Artur has drone shrapnel in his arm still.

PATON WALSH: He just saw an Orlan Russian drone passing overhead, so he's saying better stay inside.

PATON WALSH (voice-over): On the way back into the city, we see what fuels this defense. This was a lakeside resort. Football, cocktails, a beach.

PATON WALSH (voice-over): Extraordinary devastation, and they had to collect the bodies. A seven-month-pregnant woman was among the seven dead

here. Another body found later, just fragments in the mulch. Russia's advance looms over whatever life persists here, belching out over homes.

The darkest little salvation.

This is the place where the Ukrainian army is being held hostage. This may be a drone being hit, but they kill two when they crash in failure. Flares

breach the enforced blackout. Moscow is getting nearer again, and there are always too many blasts before dawn.


Nick Paton Walsh, CNN, Kharkiv, Ukraine.


GOLODRYGA: Stunning, sobering reality of life on the frontlines in Ukraine. Our thanks to Nick Paton Walsh for that. Well, it has been 16 years since

the U.S. has hosted a state visit from an African leader. And in just a few minutes, you'll hear from the presidents of both the U.S. and Kenya as they

take questions together at the White House.


GOLODRYGA: We're looking at video which captured the terrifying moment that a powerful wind gust caused a stage to collapse during a campaign rally in

Mexico. Nine people were killed, including a child, and more than a hundred were injured. Local government officials say they are -- all funeral and

hospital expenses for the victims will be covered. The rally was for the presidential candidate Jorge Alvarez Menes, who was not injured. He's

calling for a transparent investigation.

Well, one million people are currently under threat of severe weather today across parts of the central U.S. Large hail, tornadoes and powerful wind

gusts can be expected. The system comes days after a tornado outbreak ravaged parts of America's heartland. Clean-up efforts are underway in

Greenfield, Iowa, where a tornado carved a path through the small community, killing four people. That's where we find CNN's Whitney Wild.


WHITNEY WILD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Bianna, it has been almost two days since this tornado struck Greenfield. This is in southwest Iowa. This is one of

the hardest hit areas of Iowa.


And what you see is still blocks and blocks of destruction. Where I'm standing right now, I'll show you, this was a car wash. It was absolutely


What you're seeing around here are piles of debris. This is part of the clean-up effort. Basically, what crews are trying to do is gather up all of

this debris, things like mangled pieces of aluminum that are crushed up like little pieces of paper, you know, two by fours from homes, and try to

pile that into piles along the street.

This is downtown Greenfield, right basically off the main intersection, where there were also homes, Bianna. If you look here, you can see the

destruction is simply massive. Right there, just over this pile of debris here, that was someone's home. And you can look right into it as if it's a

dollhouse. Next to it, a mangled and crushed car, the glass completely blown out. Scenes like this exist throughout the town of Greenfield.

And this is not a big town, Bianna. This is a town of about 2000 people. The town is small. It's less than two square miles. This is a very

resilient town. We heard from officials about how the community is trying to rally around one another, try to build each other up as they face these

immense challenges. We know that four people died, 35 people were injured, and there is a very long clean-up underway here, Bianna.

GOLODRYGA: Unbelievable images behind you there that we've seen just way too many times the past few weeks there following horrific, tornadic

activities. Thank you to Whitney Wild.

Well, still to come, we take you inside a women's correctional facility where inmates use virtual reality to prepare for life outside of prison.

That's next. And Cassie Ventura speaks out about the support she's received since the CNN release of the video showing her physical abuse by Sean



GOLODRYGA: Cassie Ventura has issued a statement thanking people for their support following CNN's release of a 2016 surveillance video. That video

showed Ventura being physically assaulted by her then-boyfriend Sean Diddy Combs. Combs has since apologized for his actions in that deeply disturbing


The two dated on and off from 2007 to 2018, and in a lawsuit against Combs, Ventura alleged years of physical and other types of abuse. They settled

that suit the day after it was filed. Combs has denied her allegations.


We're joined now by entertainment correspondent Elizabeth Wagmeister. And Elizabeth, you first brought us that stunning and deeply disturbing video

of Combs abusing and punching and hitting Cassie last week. The world has still been talking about that. Now, we're hearing from Cassie directly.

What did she have to say?

ELIZABETH WAGMEISTER, CNN ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Bianna. So, Cassie has released a very powerful and emotional statement. She is really

shining a light on the issue of domestic abuse. And she is saying that she wants to be there for other people who are suffering from domestic

violence. I will read you some pieces from her statement now, Bianna.

She says that domestic violence is the issue. She says, it broke me down to someone I never thought I would become. But with a lot of hard work, I am

better today. But I will always be recovering from my past. Now, she thanks her family and her friends and strangers who have sent an outpouring of

support and love to her.

But one of the most poignant parts of her statement, Bianna, is she says, my only ask is that everyone open your heart to believing victims the first

time. That is very powerful from her because what she is doing here, again, she is shining a light on this larger issue. And she is saying, basically,

without saying it, it shouldn't take a video like this for somebody to believe a victim who has been suffering from this abuse.

Now, something that I do want to bring up, Bianna, is you will notice that she does not directly address the video that our team released here at CNN.

She does not directly address Sean Diddy Combs. Now, first of all, I would imagine that perhaps she wouldn't want to do that anyway because she really

wants to keep this on the larger issue and not talk about her abuser. But also, I have reporting I hear from sources that because of their

settlement, they are not allowed to talk about one another.

So, we saw Diddy, he released an apology video last week that was not received well, but he did not apologize directly to Cassie. Part of the

reason why they are not saying each other's names is because this settlement agreement states that they cannot speak about each other.

GOLODRYGA: Yeah, and that answers the question as to why Diddy in his video that he released didn't mention her at all. You referenced that it was not

well received. Can you give us more insight into why exactly that was and some of the reactions?

WAGMEISTER: Yes. So, Diddy released, absolutely, Diddy released this apology video this past weekend. It was two days after we at CNN had

released this really disturbing, violent surveillance video showing him, again, violently beating her. A lot of people are saying too little, too

late. Where was this apology? And it only came because you got caught, not because you are actually sorry.

We have to remember that Diddy's strategy has been to deny, deny, deny, and not just to deny these claims, but to also discredit a lot of his accusers.

Now, again, an accusation is just an accusation, right? Cassie is saying, believe all victims. But of course, as journalists, right, we have to

investigate this.

But still, when you look at what Diddy was saying, he said, my accusers are looking for a payday. These are typical behaviors and typical victim

shaming that he had put out there. And then when you have this video evidence, which, again, our work as journalists is to uncover the truth,

the truth was right there.

You cannot discredit the truth when you see it. When it's in the written word in a complaint from her lawsuit that came in November of 2023, he was

denying it. Then when it comes out in video, suddenly he's sorry.

GOLODRYGA: Yeah, that video speaks for itself. Very difficult to dispute. And then we saw a different side of Combs following that video. There

clearly was nothing else he could do other than say the words that he did. But as you mentioned, too little too late is the reaction that many have

had to that video. Really important.

Great to hear, actually, from Cassie saying that she's still recovering, but she's thanking all of those who have reached out and to believe women

is her message. Elizabeth Wagmeister, thank you so much for your really, really important and incredible reporting. We appreciate it.

Well, some inmates inside a women's correctional facility are training to be mechanics when they are released from prison. CNN's Clare Duffy shows us

how virtual reality is helping them prepare.


MEAGAN CARPENTER, V.R. TRAINEE: The best part about it for incarcerated people is you get to escape from this place and it reminds you that there

is something outside of here. Definitely takes you out of here. It's fun.

CLARE DUFFY, CNN BUSINESS WRITER (voice-over): This is Megan and Tiffany. Both are serving time here at the Maryland Correctional Institution for

Women. Tiffany expects to be released this June.


Megan next year. But for all of the freedoms beyond the facility's walls, their backgrounds will likely create significant challenges for them, like

finding a good-paying job.

CARPENTER: Some of us complain about going to work on Mondays and things like that. You really miss just simple things like making your own money.

DUFFY (voice-over): Both women are part of a program here in Maryland that uses cutting-edge virtual reality training. The goal? To put them on a path

towards becoming certified auto technicians.

CARPENTER: I feel 100 percent confident in my abilities.

DUFFY (voice-over): Trade groups say the industry sees tens of thousands of job openings go unfilled each year. So, when you first put the headset on,

it looks just like an automotive shop. You're able to maneuver around the shop, pick up different tools, use the lift, look under the car. It's very

realistic. Whenever we turn it on, we're not where we was. It's real. You got this headset on, it's like you're actually there.

DUFFY: What have you learned in your first week?

CARPENTER: I know how to do oil change, so that's not something I ever thought I would be able to do.

MARTIN SCHWARTZ, PRESIDENT, VEHICLES FOR CHANGE: I mean, virtual reality, number one, is going to be the way we train the skilled trades in five

years across the board.

DUFFY (voice-over): Martin Schwartz is the president of Vehicles for Change, the non-profit group that helped bring the V.R. training program to

Maryland's correctional facilities in 2023.

SCHWARTZ: This isn't rocket science. It's a matter of getting people a job that leads to a career, and we can keep people out of prison. That first

four months is vitally important for that individual to be able to stay out of prison. So, if they can get a job that's going to pay $16 to $20 an

hour, we can change the trajectory of that recidivism rate.

CARPENTER: It's dire that we get some type of training. Sometimes we just need that one program to have faith in us and give us an opportunity and

let us take the ball and run with it. I'm just trying to be self-sufficient and be a strong, independent woman. And I'm excited. I'm excited for it.

So, I'm excited to be able to go home and use what we have here.


GOLODRYGA: Technology offering this woman a second chance at life and a career. Interesting. Well, still to come for us, President Biden and

Kenya's President Ruto will be holding a joint news conference any minute now. We'll be live in Washington after a quick break.



GOLODRYGA: The leader of the U.K.'s opposition Labour Party says that the upcoming snap election is an opportunity for change. Keir Starmer kicked

off his campaign today, hours after British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced an election date of July 4th.


KEIR STARMER, LABOR PARTY LEADER: For a government to leave after 40 years our country with living standards worse than when they started is

absolutely unforgivable.


GOLODRYGA: Sunak's Conservative Party is widely expected to lose the vote. Latest U.K. polling shows the majority of voters say the opposition party

has the best plan for the country. Meantime, French President Emmanuel Macron says he will delay controversial voting reforms in the new Caledonia

until the violence stops.

He is in the French overseas territory amid deadly anti-government protests that have gripped the islands. Thousands of French security forces have

been deployed to New Caledonia since the violence began and Mr. Macron said they will remain in the country for, quote, "as long as necessary even

during the upcoming Olympics".

Protests began a week ago after the French government voted to approve changes to New Caledonia's constitution giving greater voting rights to

French residents who've moved to the islands and at least six people have died as a result.

Well, any moment now, we're going to be hearing from Kenyan President William Ruto and U.S. President Joe Biden. The two will hold a joint news

conference in the East Room of the White House. This is the first state visit from an African leader since 2008.

Now, earlier the two men touted the 60 years of relations between the two countries. Later this evening the Bidens will host a state dinner for

President Ruto and his wife. CNN Senior White House Reporter Kevin Liptak joins us now with more on this. So, what can we expect to hear from these

two leaders today at this press conference Kevin?

KEVIN LIPTAK, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Yeah the big announcement that's coming out of this visit today is the U.S. is designating Kenya a

major non-NATO ally which is sort of an emphasized position.

t's the first country in Sub-Saharan Africa to receive that designation and I think the President, President Biden that is, really wants to emphasize

that he does remain committed to focusing on issues in Africa and in Kenya specifically even as all of these other foreign conflicts sort of heap up

on his plate whether it's the Middle East or Ukraine and this state visit is really meant to show and demonstrate that he does remain committed to

issues when it comes to say Kenya's debt load when it comes to China, when it comes to infrastructure, security, all of these issues that Kenya is

playing sort of a critical role.

Now, the designation non-NATO major ally, it's symbolic in some ways but it does come with it new cooperation between the militaries. That will be

important when it comes to fighting extremism in Africa. Kenya has been a partner for the U.S. on that front. Kenya is also sending a force to Haiti

a thousand police officers to try and quell the gang violence there.

That's a mission that's been funded largely by the United States and President Biden certainly wants to express his gratitude to Kenya for doing

that. Of course, Haiti is in the United States' own backyard. It could pose a major migration challenge for the President. So, this is an area of

cooperation that he does want to emphasize.

I think the issue that is really looming over these talks today is China as it has on so many of President Biden's bilateral engagements. China of

course is investing heavily in Kenya and in Africa more broadly but also leaving those countries saddled with debt. And I think President Biden's

message and goal is to demonstrate that the U.S. can be a better partner and a more reliable partner.

It's a democracy just like Kenya and his goal is to emphasize that democracies can deliver for their populations.


That hasn't necessarily been an easy message to sell in Africa over the last couple of years. There have been military coups in a number of

countries. That is part of the reason why President Biden hasn't been able to fulfill his promise to visit Africa as President. But he says he's still

willing to and the state visit. I think is meant to demonstrate that he's still focused on that continent.

GOLODRYGA: Yeah, there is concern about a waning influence that the U.S. has on the continent. The President had promised to visit Kenya while he

was in office this year and that hasn't happened. Now, he said that if he wins re-election in a second term that he will make that trip in February.

But interesting that you bring up China because China has continued to increase its stance and position in African countries.

Kenya, we should note, is a recipient of the Belt and Road Initiative as well now, leveraged heavily in debt obviously to China. What more can the

U.S. do other than verbally now announce that the U.S. will be investing more in African countries, particularly Kenya?

LIPTAK: Yeah, and one of the major documents that these two leaders will sign today addresses this issue of debt. It's called the Nairobi-Washington

Vision and it's a way I think for President Biden to show the Kenyans and President Ruto specifically that the U.S. is serious about helping

alleviate these debt burdens in developing countries, much of which come with his borrowing from China.

And this is something that President Ruto has been outspoken about over the last several months, really since he took office, is trying to get that

debt down. And President Biden wants to assist by things like debt relief, better borrowing from places like the IMF. And so, that was a big topic of

discussion when they sat in the Oval Office earlier today.

GOLODRYGA: Yeah, it was interesting to hear the U.S. ambassador to Kenya, Meg Whitman, tell our own Kayla Tausche on this issue of the U.S. playing

catch up really to Beijing's influence in Africa.

She said, quote, "For many, many years, it was really the Chinese who showed up in Africa and in Kenya. They've been there for 20 years. I think

Africa is now poised for tremendous growth, lots of rare earth minerals, lots of natural resources. Also interesting coming from someone like Meg

Whitman, who's not only a diplomat, but also in her previous career has served as a chief executive of two very large tech companies as well. Kevin

Liptak, we'll get back to you when this press conference begins. Thank you.

Well, the U.S. experienced one of the most devastating storms nearly 19 years ago. Hurricane Katrina caused catastrophic damage to the New Orleans

area, displacing thousands of residents. Well, now one family is honoring the man they say kept them alive. CNN's Stephanie Elam has the heartwarming


STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): From hurricane evacuees. Congratulations, class of 2024. To high school graduates. For twins Jamari

and Amari Reynolds, this is a moment that seemed improbable at the beginning of their lives.

UNKNOWN: Right now, Hurricane Katrina looks --

ELAM (voice-over): In the summer of 2005, Hurricane Katrina ravaged New Orleans, defeating many of the levees surrounding the city, flooding its

streets, and killing nearly 1400 people. Survivors fought challenging circumstances to stay alive.


ELAM (voice-over): Alexandria Wheeler, knowing she needed to find help for her six-and-a-half-month-old sons, waded through the water, her feet

encountering unspeakable horrors in the turbid waters.

WHEELER: It was two bodies collided like this.

ELAM (voice-over): When the trio finally made it to the convention center- turned-makeshift shelter in the muggy heat, they were starving and dehydrated, the infants nearly limp. That's when Lieutenant General Russell

Honore, the decorated commander who led the military response to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, came to their aid.

RUSSELL HONORE, RETIRED LIEUTENANT GENERAL, U.S. FIRST ARMY: Folks in Washington, they were looking at calendars and we were looking at a clock.

ELAM (voice-over): It was a moment CNN caught on camera.

WHEELER: He was like God's angel. If it wasn't for him, we wouldn't be here today.

ELAM (voice-over): For years, Wheeler says she tried to get in contact with Honore to thank him for his kindness. But it would take another storm,

Hurricane Harvey, threatening their new home in Houston in 2017 to bring them together again.

HONORE: I understand there's some who that boys over here. Who that? Wheeler sent Honore a message on social media and he responded.

WHEELER: We don't even have words to put into our mouths to thank you enough or to repay you back for what you did.

ELAM (voice-over): Now, nearly 19 years after their life-altering encounter, Honore took time to celebrate the boys' achievement.

HONORE: We affectionately referred you as the Katrina twins because the world got to meet you.

ELAM (voice-over): But Jamari and Amari, after a lifetime made possible by the man in uniform, are honoring Honore each in his own way.


First, Amari.

AMARI REYNOLDS, TWIN RESCUED IN AFTERMATH OF HURRICANE KATRINA: And thanks to you, I'll be a future addition to the United States Marine Corps.

HONORE: Hoorah. You got to learn how to say that word, hoorah. I chose to be in the Marines because I watched over the video and I kept watching and

it inspired me to want to help people a lot more.

ELAM (voice-over): Then, Jamari.

JAMARI REYNOLDS, TWIN RESCUED IN AFTERMATH OF HURRICANE KATRINA: I would like to thank you so much for your bravery, your help that I was able to

survive. I'm going to college to do automotive engineering.

ELAM: How do you feel hearing that these two young men are pursuing these careers that have been inspired in part by you?

HONORE: I feel so gratified. I mean, there's no greater service than the service to others. The engineer that will change the world and the Marine

that's going to help protect the freedom in our democracy.

ELAM (voice-over): The twins now thriving after surviving hell and high water. Thanks to an undeterred mother.

HONORE: They're here today because of you and your tenacity.

ELAM (voice-over): And a compassionate commander.

HONORE: That these young men will be game changers. I'm so proud of you.

ELAM (voice-over): And now that they're done with high school, this is the first time that the twins will be living apart. They said that they're

going to remain close and keep those lessons that they learned from the Lieutenant General close to their hearts and continue to help others. Back

to you.


GOLODRYGA: What a story those twins have to tell. Another reminder of what a mensch General Honore really is. We thank him for his service. Thank you

so much for watching this hour. We'll have more news after a quick break.