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U.S. and Russian Presidents to Meet in Geneva June 16; U.S. President Arrives in England for Two-Day G7 Summit; Biden Revokes, Replaces Trump Order Targeting TikTok and WeChat; Report: Park Cleared to Install Fence, Not for Trump Photo Op; Migrants Face Dangerous Risks to Cross Border; Survey: EU Should Be Beacon of Democracy and Human Rights. Aired 4:30-5a ET

Aired June 10, 2021 - 04:30   ET



KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Among the tense topics will be the rise in Russia-based ransomware attacks on critical U.S. infrastructure.

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I've been clear, the United States will respond in a robust and meaningful way when the Russian government engages in harmful activities.

COLLINS (voice-over): The White House still unsure if Putin will take questions alongside Biden, like he did with Trump.

BIDEN: I'm going to communicate that there are consequences for violating the sovereignty of democracies, in the United States, in Europe and elsewhere.

COLLINS (voice-over): While visiting U.S. troops after arriving in the U.K., Biden driving home this message on democracy.

BIDEN: We have to discredit those who believe that the age of democracy is over, as some of our fellow nations believe. We have to expose as false the narrative that decrees of dictators can match the speed and scale of the 21st challenges.

COLLINS: And President Biden is scheduled to have several one-on-one meetings with world leaders, while he is abroad on this first foreign trip. Of course, the first one is going to be with the host of the G7 summit, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Kaitlan Collins, CNN, traveling with the president, in Cornwall.


BIANCA NOBILO, CNN ANCHOR: With us to talk about this is Catarina Thomson of the University of Exeter where she's a senior lecturer in security and strategic studies. Thank you for joining us.

CATARINA THOMSON, SENIOR LECTURER IN SECURITY AND STRATEGIC STUDIES, UNIVERSITY EXETER: Thanks for having me. NOBILO: Cloudy morning. Let's begin then by talking about President

Biden and Prime Minister Boris Johnson. What do you make of their political styles? Do you see areas where they might be aligned and areas where there are likely to be more of a clash?

THOMSON: Well in terms of leadership styles they are quite different. Joe Biden is known for reaching across the aisle and wanting consensus. Whereas Boris Johnson, let's not forget that very recently there was the so-called purge, the remainer purge in 2019 where members of the Torey Party including Churchill's grandson were expelled from the Conservative Party for voting against a no deal Brexit. So he's had a very hard party line in that regard.

So, yes, it's interesting to see how those different styles will come into place today, especially knowing that it's very important for the U.K. in context of global Britain to have those closer ties with the U.S., the so-called special relationship.

NOBILO: Apparently which annoys the Prime Minister so he's trying to esque that and call it other things. But global Britain is an important point to make. Because here we are, Britain has left the European Union. What image does Boris Johnson want to project to the world and specifically to President Biden about what the U.K. stands for now. Where its new partnerships will be, which direction it will be looking in globally for the future of its new strategic and economic partnerships?

THOMSON: Well I think one mistake people make when talking about Brexit -- and not just Brexit as a concept -- that people who voted in favor of Brexit, is this idea that people voted because they don't want the U.K. to be on the world stage. Right? So what I find in my research is that actually people who voted to leave want the U.K. to continue to have a very active international role. The difference is they want the U.K. to do that more unilaterally instead of multilaterally. Right.

So we can debate for a really long time whether the referendum was the right way to go about this pivotal decision in the U.K.'s history, right, this is a momentous thing that's happening, right, whatever you voted it's a big change. But on one level it was a very simple question, right, do you want the U.K. to continue to work in this multilateral institution that is the EU or do you want the U.K. to work unilaterally, right. So that's an important difference and I think Johnson is quite keen on this idea of global Britain and here we are on the global stage.

He's also been changing how U.K. -- the U.K. works domestically, right. This integrated review we just had, right. So he's really keen on bringing different areas of foreign policy that had previously been in separate departments together, right. We have the foreign aid department has been subsumed or joined I should say with the foreign commonwealth office and trade is becoming more integrated in that also. So I think this is also part of this idea of global Britain. It has these important reforms that are taking place to determine it.

NOBILO: And in direct contrast to President Donald Trump, Joe Biden has intervened in the Brexit discussion between the U.K. and Europe and he clearly sees it as a real difficulty when it comes to preserving peace on the island of Ireland, and in fact, all common places do. But the fact that he feels the need to get involved because that's an important issue to him for numerous reasons. How difficult do you think that's going to make things for Boris Johnson.

THOMSON: It's a really strange thing that's happened because historically part of the special relationship was U.K. was the bridge between Europe or the EU and the U.S. But now we find ourselves in this bizarre situation where the U.S. is trying to bridge the U.K. and Europe. So, yes, I hope -- it's been a very difficult situation.


Brexit was done, right, all the fine print which is absolutely essential to maintaining the union hasn't really been worked out. So I hope they can find a way to solve this.

NOBILO: Yes, it is a very interesting role reversal that you mentioned. Catarina Thomson, thank you so much for joining us.

THOMSON: Thank you.

NOBILO: Great to hear from you. Kim, back to you in Atlanta.

BRUNHUBER: All right, thanks so much, Bianca.

U.S. President Joe Biden has revoked a series of Trump era executive orders aimed at banning TikTok, WeChat and other Chinese-owned apps. He has replaced them with his own order that calls for a broad review of security risks posed by apps linked to foreign adversaries including China.

CNN's Steven Jiang joins me now from Beijing. So some Republicans, Steven, said that this was a step backward, Democrats saying Biden is actually taking it a step further and Beijing we're hearing now saying it's a step in the right direction. What more can you tell us?

STEVEN JIANG, CNN SENIOR PRODUCER: Well, that's just one part of their response, Kim, actually. A commerce ministry official as you said, said the removal of the ban against TikTok and WeChat is a step in the right direction but he also noted this latest executive order from Mr. Biden's White House and urging the U.S. government not to put it inside economic issues.

Actually a foreign ministry official went a bit further saying the U.S. government should not generalize the concept of national security or abusing state power to unfairly crack down on Chinese companies. So these responses obviously not surprising. But this latest move from the White House obviously reinforcing this notion of a continuity of Washington's China policy from Trump to Biden since both presidents do agree on the threats or potential threats from Beijing and want to address them head on.

Their approach obviously different, as you said, with Mr. Biden now deciding not to target individual Chinese companies because frankly Mr. Trump's earlier orders had not been able to take effect due to a series of lawsuits. Mr. Biden now trying to adopt this broader approach but some would say taking a step further as well with U.S. officials now trying to frame his latest order as a strong commitment to not only an open and secured internet but also the protection of human rights both online and offline. Since they say Mr. Biden simply finds it unacceptable that countries like China that do not share the U.S. democratic values are able to leverage technology or even American sensitive data to harm U.S. national security or even advance their own authoritarian agenda around the world.

So that notion, that interpretation obviously not being received well here with Chinese officials say this is really a reflection of the so- called outdated cold war mentality and hegemonic attitude from the U.S. towards China -- Kim.

BRUNHUBER: All right, thanks so much. Steven jiang in Beijing.

A new report says park police in Washington didn't clear protesters from Lafayette Park so former president Donald Trump could take pictures in front of a church last year. But as CNN's Brian Todd finds out, some experts are skeptical of that report.


BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It was one of the most disturbing scenes in a summer full of them. June 2020. Using tear gas, rubber bullets and batons, law enforcement officers pushed back protesters and journalists clearing them from Lafayette Park just in front of the White House.

Now a jarring new report on that incident. The Interior Department's inspector general says that the Park Police did not clear Lafayette Park for then-President Trump's trip to St. Johns church, but did it to allow a contractor to install a security fence around the White House.

ACTING CHIEF GREGORY MONAHAN, U.S. PARK POLICE: We did not clear the park for a photo op. There is 100 percent zero correlation between our operation and the president's visit to the church.

TODD (voice-over): But the report says investigators did not talk to then Attorney General William Barr who has been accused of being behind the effort to clear the park to the presidents walk to the church.

CHARLES RAMSEY, FORMER WASHINGTON, D.C. POLICE CHIEF: I mean, it is surprising to me because of the timing of it all. Obviously there was a need to have security around the White House that would include fencing. Bu the fact that it occurred at just the moments before the president decided to walk across the street to St. John's and hold up a bible for a photo op seems a bit on this a spacious side.

TODD (voice-over): During those protests that day, President Trump made a defiant declaration.

DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I am your president of law and order.

TODD (voice-over): Then he made his way across Lafayette Park.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is that your bible?

TRUMP: It's a bible.

TODD: Trump held that bible at St. John's Church.

The U.S. Park Police was skewered, accused of using force so the president could stage a photo op.

GINI GERBASI, RECTOR, ST. JOHN'S EPISCOPAL CHURCH: When I realized that people had been hurt and terrified for a political stunt I -- like, offended. It hardly begins to describe how I feel.


TODD (voice-over): But the new IG report says that the Park Police and the Secret Service decided to establish a more secure perimeter around the White House in response to the destruction of property during racial justice protests in the days just ahead of June 1.

DEMONSTRATORS: No justice, no peace!

TODD (voice-over): The report says that those agency started implementing the plans for a fence on the morning of June 1st and that it wasn't until mid to late afternoon that day that they learned of Trump's potential movement to the park which they were not given a specific time for.

TODD: While the new report says Park Police followed appropriate policies on June 1st of last year it doesn't completely absolve law enforcement. It says officers from the bureau of prisons arrived late, missed a key briefing and then inappropriately fired pepper ball munitions at the crowd. It also says protesters clearly could not hear three dispersal warnings issued by the Park Police before they cleared that area.

Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.


BRUNHUBER: The risks are deadly, but U.S. officials expect a surge of migrants will try to cross the border from Mexico in the coming months. We'll explain how they're trying to stop them ahead. Stay with us.


BRUNHUBER: The U.S. is responding to the political crackdown in Nicaragua with sanctions. Senior members of President Daniel Ortega's regime including his daughter are the targets. The sanctions come after police arrested seven high profile opposition leaders accusing them of acting against the sovereignty of the country. The U.S. leave Ortega almost unopposed in his bid for a fourth term in the November election. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken called the arrests during the past week, a wave of repression.

The U.S. is on pace to surpass last year's number of migrants at the border. U.S. border officials say they encountered more than 180,000 migrants at the U.S. Mexico border in May and are bracing for an increase in traffic during the unforgiving summer months.


Migrant deaths at the border have soared this year with COVID-19 playing a role in some of the cases. Rosa Flores has our report and we have to warn you some of the images may be disturbing.


ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This was the end of the American dream for this man.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He has a Mexican voter's card.

FLORES (voice-over): Who authorities believe crossed the border on a raft. Walked for five days then ran out of water. His arms scratched by the brush.

And for this woman --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She's only 24 years old.

FLORES (voice-over): Authorities say she drowned on the Rio Grande and had been in the water for three to five days. Her body is so gruesome we can only show you her clothes.

They are two of more than 1,500 migrants who died on the Texas border since Dr. Corinne Stern started tracking the deaths after joining the Webb County Medical Examiner's Office in 2007.

DR. CORINNE STERN, WEBB COUNTY MEDICAL EXAMINER: Majority are heatstroke, hypothermia or heatstroke and dehydration.

FLORES (voice-over): She tracks migrant deaths across these 12 South Texas counties and says, this year has been deadlier than recent years.

STERN: Typically, our busiest months are July and August and we're not even there yet.

FLORES (voice-over): Last year by this time, 45 migrants had died on the border. This year, that number has nearly tripled to at least 128. And 30 percent, says Dr. Stern, tested positive for COVID and in some cases considered a contributing factor in the deaths.

STERN: Saying this is a physician, there is a safer way to do it than coming across the border.

FLORES (voice-over): Despite the deadly dangers, the flow of migrants is on track to surpass a 2019 crisis, the last time a migrant surge occurred. Mostly due to poverty and violence in Latin America. In May alone, border authorities encountered around 180,000 migrants on the southwest border. The current surge in part driven by the misconception among migrants that the Biden administration was allowing migrant families with young children into the country.

Border Patrols Laredo sector uses horse units to rescue migrants from some of the most remote locations.

FLORES: How dangerous is this terrain?


FLORES (voice-over): According to Border Patrol Deputy Chief Carl Landrum, more than half of the 8,000 rescues conducted nationally have happened here. To gear up for the most dangerous and deadly months of the year --

LANDRUM: So you can see here, the actual mobile beacon right there.

FLORES (voice-over): This sector is deploying 13 beacons like these to help migrants call for help.

LANDRUM: This just takes it to a whole other level. Much more efficient. It's all solar powered. It's never going to run out of power.

FLORES: And it's very visible --

LANDRUM: It's very visible.

FLORES: -- from different locations.

FLORES (voice-over): Those beacons coming too late for some migrants.

FLORES: Why do you think they put carpet on the bottom of their shoes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: To erase their footprints.

FLORES: Exactly.

FLORES (voice-over): One by one, the items of both the men and women are documented. All are clues about who they are and the dreams that were cut short.

STERN: And even if you say to yourself, oh, it's worth my life. I'm willing to risk my life. Think about your family.

FLORES: Dr. Stern believes that she has enough evidence from the man and the woman that you watched in this story to identify them, but that's not always the case. She says that she has about 160 bodies in her custody, some of them have been identified, others have not.

Rosa Flores, CNN, Laredo, Texas.

(END VIDEOTAPE) BRUNHUBER: All right, after the break we will head back to Cornwall,

England, where we're soon expecting the leaders of the U.S. and the U.K. to meet for the first time ahead of the G7 summit. Stay with us.



NOBILO: U.S. President Joe Biden will meet with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson in the next hour. Their first in-person meeting coming one day ahead of the G7 summit. They plan to unveil a new Atlantic Charter dealing with issues from security to climate change. But what are other European leaders hoping to accomplish this week? A new survey shows they have a lot of work to do to regain public trust for their handling of the pandemic and it shows which countries Europeans see as a threat.


JANA PUGLIERIN, HEAD OF BERLIN OFFICE, EUROPEAN COUNCIL ON FOREIGN RELATIONS: The members for Russia and China show that there is kind of an awareness in Europe that those pose a severe threat. What is, I think, most striking is how many Europeans want to see the EU as beacon of democracy and as advocate for human rights also globally and I think that sits very nicely with President Biden's agenda to allowing the democracies of this world in kind of the fight between democracies and authoritarian regimes.


NOBILO: Well, once the G7 summit wraps up President Biden and the first lady will travel to Windsor Castle on Sunday to meet with Britain's Queen Elizabeth. He will then head to Brussels for the NATO Summit. The Queen at 95 years old has met with 12 U.S. presidents during her rain. Mr. Biden will be the 13th. The only president she never met during her time was Lyndon Johnson.

Now, a new sculpture aimed to ensure G7 leaders use their heads when tackling a greener future at the summit. The Mount Rushmore style artwork aptly titled "Mount Recyclemore" has appeared on a beach near the meeting site in Cornwall. You are looking at the heads of each G7 leader made of discarded electronics. The organizers of the installation want to highlight the growing threat of e-waste.

Well that does it for me here on CNN NEWSROOM. I'll be back tomorrow for more of a coverage of President Biden's trip.

BRUNHUBER: All right, great stuff. Looking forward to it. Thanks so much, Bianca.

The French open semi-finals promise to be a blockbuster as one of the matchups pits Rafael Nadal against Novak Djokovic. Don Riddell has our minute in sports.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) [04:55:00]

DON RIDDELL, CNN WORLD SPORTS : Rafael Nadal got himself a new statue at the French Open a fortnight ago, now he's on the brink of a 14th Roland Garros title but will have to beat his nemesis there. In the quarter final on Wednesday, Nadal dropped his first set in two years here, but still prevailed against Diego Schwartzman. While in the other match, the world number one, Novak Djokovic, knocked out Matteo Berrettini and he was pretty promise wd himself, too.

The women's draw is absolutely wide open now. The defending champion Iga Swiatek is out beater by Maria Sakkari, the first Greek woman ever into a Grand Slam semi. She'll play Barbora Krejcikova next, after she just mashed the young American star Coco Gauff.

The Phoenix Suns continue to shine in the NBA playoffs making their first post season appearance after some 11 years. They are 2-0 up on the Denver Nuggets after a big home win. And for the second consecutive season the New York Islanders are into the semifinals of the Stanley Cup. They beat the Bruins 4-2, it's the Lightning next in Tampa Bay. Back to you.


BRUNHUBER: Scientists are hoping some small mysterious flashes of light can help them understand the big picture about our universe. The fast radio bursts come from deep space, but it's not clear what's causing them. But the Canadian Chime Telescope has reported hundreds of them since 2018, far more than before. Experts say that could help them understand both where the bursts are coming from and our universe in general.

And finally those in Greenland, northern Russia and Canada will be lucky enough to glimpse a solar eclipse today. The moon will partially block out the sun creating a ring of fire effect. The eclipse is due to starts at around 5:50 a.m. Eastern time which is a little less than an hour from now.

All right, that wraps this hour of CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Kim Brunhuber. "EARLY START" is next.