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President Joe Biden is in Brussels for the NATO Summit; President Biden to Meet with Putin in Geneva; China Denies Nuclear Power Plant Leak; Benjamin Netanyahu's Ousted After 12 Years in Power; Alliance Members Convene In Brussels Today; Members Wrap Up Three-Day Meeting In Cornwall; New Details On Eriksen Collapse. Aired 2-3a ET
Aired June 14, 2021 - 02:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ROBYN CURNOW, CNN HOST (on camera): Hi, welcome to all of our viewers here in the United States and all around the world. Thanks for joining me. You are watching CNN. I am Robyn Curnow.
So, coming up, Joe Biden on the next stop of his first world tour as U.S. president, a look at what's on tap for the NATO Summit in Brussels.
Israel's longest serving prime minister ousted. The country's new leader sworn in as Benjamin Netanyahu's 12-year grip on power comes to an end.
And the U.S. government looking into a possible leak at a Chinese nuclear power plant. We have the details of this in an exclusive CNN report.
Thank you so much for joining me this hour. So U.S. President Joe Biden is preparing for the next appearance in his America is back European diplomacy tour. The NATO Summit set to begin in just a few hours from now. And then later on this week, he will meet face to face with Russian president, Vladimir Putin.
Now, among the topics up for discussion at the NATO Summit, what the U.S. calls a new strategic concept for dealing with threats, including from Russia and China. Phil Mattingly has more on what to expect. Phil?
PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (on camera): President Biden may have landed in Brussels with a wind at his back in the wake of what U.S. officials believe was a positive G7 meeting and that was, to some degree, by design.
They understand the dynamics and the stakes heading into a meeting later this week with Russian president, Vladimir Putin, and they wanted to show as much as they possibly could unity and the front from western democracies. Obviously, the G7 heading into a NATO Summit as well, trying to roll
into that meeting with a kind of full show of force if they will, but that doesn't mean that that meeting is becoming any less difficult or complicated for President Biden.
And when you talk to U.S. officials, they have made very clear, there are no expectations of big breakthroughs or dynamic outcomes perhaps, but what they do want is small incremental steps to perhaps could better a relationship with Russia, to both the president and Russian president, Vladimir Putin acknowledges that a low point at least of the course of the last several decades.
And the president was asked about this view of what he was expecting in that meeting with President Putin during a press conference before he left the United Kingdom. This was how he framed things.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: It's about making myself very clear what the conditions are to get a better relationship are with Russia. We are not looking for conflict. We are looking to resolve those actions which we think are inconsistent with international norms. There's no guarantee you can change a person's behavior, or the behavior of his country. Autocrats have enormous power and they don't need to answer to the public.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MATTINGLY (on camera): Now, what you heard there was kind of a realistic perspective on things, understanding, or perhaps researching, and recognizing history of the course of the last several administrations that thought there were several actions they could take that could perhaps, change the calculations of President Putin.
Many of those fell far short, and I think when you talk to Biden administration officials, they understand that. Yet, they're willing to go into the meeting with kind of a mix. A mix of red lines to some degree, making clear where President Biden will lay out if red lines or red lines are crossed, what the repercussions will be from the U.S. side, but also incentives perhaps to better the relationship, areas where the U.S. believes that they could work productively with Russia.
And I think that's kind of a sweet spot that U.S. officials are hoping they can hit. Not necessarily any kind of a big breakthrough. I think they recognized that is certainly nowhere near a possibility at this point in time, but what they do want is stability. What they do want is some level of a productive relationship understanding that Russia is certainly a power on the world stage.
Russia is certainly a country that the president needs to have a relationship one sort and another. And what they want more than anything else going into this meeting, is to lay out where they stand. But also, to see where there are areas that the two countries can work together.
Now, keep in mind, there will not be a joint press conference when this meeting is over. You will not see a repeat of Helsinki with President -- then President Trump and President Putin. President Biden making very clear, he will have a solo press conference. President Putin will have his own solo press conferences. And that's by design.
U.S. officials do not want them to be viewed on the same level. Do not want them to be going back and forth with one another. They want to l ay out their versions of events and how they believe the meeting went. Again, by design, understanding perhaps that what they've seen in the past is not something they want to repeat.
What they really want behind closed doors is some recognition, or at least some understanding of where this relationship can go next. And, if, perhaps, they can possibly be in a better place. Phil Mattingly, CNN, Brussels.
CURNOW: Thanks Phil for that. Now we've got reporters standing by, around the world. Senior international correspondent, Ivan Watson is in Hong Kong with more on the effort to counter China's influence. And then correspondent Melissa Bell is in Brussels where meetings are set to get underway in the coming hours. Melissa, I just want to talk to you. What is expected in these early our meetings?
MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, a fair amount of disagreement, frankly, Robyn, because on the key questions, for instance, the kind of language that the final communique needs to adopt at the end of today's NATO Summit on a question like China.
For the time being, is the subject of much debate and a great deal of disagreement. Europeans have a very different view about how hard that wording needs to be. One of Joe Biden's priority is to make sure that this is tough as it can be.
One of the priorities of the French president, but not only many of the European partners is that it should be far softer, that is of course because Europe has been looking towards China for commercial reasons, and has made it very clear these last few days, as in the words of Emmanuel Macron, that Europe didn't want to become a vessel (ph) of China, but nor did it want to systematically to align itself on the American line.
So there is this renewed surge for independence on the part of the Europeans who represent a fair amount of the 30 members of NATO. And they are going to push back on that call for tough language on China. That's going to be one subject to disagreement. The other is going to be that strategic objective. What NATO becomes over the next 10 years of looking up until 2030.
Emmanuel Macron very reluctant to go down the road proposed by Jens Stoltenberg of a sort of increase in the common budgets that would allow NATO to carry out missions, to carry out deterrence from commonly funded budgets, relying less on those state budgets. This is meant to come as a sort of answer to the American reproach that not enough allies of members of NATO, really, have lived up to that target of 2 percent of their economic output spent on defense. So, that was his proposal. Emmanuel Macron, very reluctant, frankly,
Robyn, because he is looking to Europe beefing up its defense, creating a European defense force, sorting out its insecurity, standing up on its own two feet. Essentially the French president view is this. The American president may have changed, but so too has the world around him over the course of the last 4 years. And the rise in unity of Europe is one of those changes.
CURNOW: Thanks so much. Melissa Bell there at NATO. You're going to have a busy day. We'll check in with you in the coming hours as well.
So now I want to bring in our senior international correspondent, Ivan Watson in Hong Kong. Ivan, hi. You heard Melissa there lay out some of the concerns and some of the disagreements that these partners are having with regard to China. I mean, what's the view from where you are?
IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (on camera): Well, China doesn't like the fact that President Biden is trying to create a coalition of western liberal democracies to challenge it. And that was very much the message that Biden is bringing on this diplomatic tour. Take a listen to another excerpt from some of his statements.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BIDEN: I think we are in a contest with China, per se, in the context of autocrats, autocratic governments around the world, as to whether or not democracies can compete with them in the rapidly changing 21st century.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WATSON (on camera): So, a senior Biden official tell CNN that he scored a coup of sorts by getting in a lot of challenging statements into the final G7 communique, challenging and criticizing China. But, also conceding, that officials said, that China was a major topic of disagreement between the leaders particularly among European leaders in the room.
Such that, at one point, the internet had to be turned off in the room on Saturday because people could not come to agreement. But in the end, Biden said he was satisfied with the statement which tries to draw attention to alleged human rights abuses in China's Xinjiang region here in Hong Kong, channel: 105 date: 06/14/2021 time started: 02:10 time ended: 02:15 which calls for an investigation into the origin of the coronavirus, first detected in the Chinese city of Wuhan in December of 2019.
Calls for a free and open Indo-Pacific for maintaining the status quo in the South China Sea. The East China Sea where China is engaged in different territorial dispute with local powers, calls for peace with Taiwan, and calling for some kind of a large infrastructure, global infrastructure project which is seen as trying to compete with China's own Belt and Road Initiative coming about eight years too late. Robyn?
CURNOW: And also I understand you have a fresh response from China. What did they say to you?
WATSON: That's right. Well, China is now celebrating a national holiday, but the Chinese embassy in London has been busy. It first put out this statement with a dig at the G7 Summit saying, "The days when global decisions were dictated by a small group of countries are long gone." And saying that there is only one order and one system in the world "not the so-called system and order advocated by a handful of countries."
Now, the embassy has gone on to issue a statement with kind of a point by point rebuttal to criticisms raised in the G7 statement defending its record in Xinjiang saying that its initiatives there, Beijing has been anti-violence, anti-separatism, anti-de-radicalization, defending its moves here in Hong Kong saying that Hong Kong is not ruled by the Sino-British Joint Declaration from the handover of Britain of Hong Kong, from Britain to China, and going on to defend its actions vis-a- vis Taiwan and free markets and even on the origins of the coronavirus.
These are all areas of dispute that have been around in the past. They are going to continue to be areas of disagreement. China has a lot of power that it brings to the table. It's the world's second largest economy. It runs the world's largest naval fleet and it has extensive investment not only in Africa but extending into Europe and into Latin America, and in some ways what Biden is trying to do is trying to catch up to the deep is roads that China has been already making including with Biden's G7 allies. Robyn?
CURNOW: Yes. You make an excellent, excellent point there. Ivan Watson, always good to speak to you to get your analysis and reporting. Thanks so much, live there in Hong Kong.
So I want to take you now to an exclusive CNN report. CNN has learned that the U.S. government is assessing reports of a possible leak at a Chinese nuclear power plant after the French company that part owns and operates it warned of an imminent radiological threat.
At the center of concern is the Taishan Nuclear Power Plant, located in Guangdong province in southern China, which is home to more than 126 million people. CNN has reached out to Chinese authorities in Beijing and Guangdong and the Chinese embassy in Washington. None have responded. Though this weekend is as Ivan mentioned, a national holiday in China.
Well a source tells CNN the Biden administration believes a facility is not yet at a crisis level, the U.S. has certainly been in contact with Chinese and French governments. And multiple U.S. government agencies are also monitoring the situation. Now, the power plant has responded. Steven Jiang joins me now live from Beijing with more on that. What can you tell us? Hi, Steven.
STEVEN JIANG, CNN SENIOR PRODUCER: Robyn, that's right. The power plant in question has issued a statement that reads in part. I quote here, "Since it was put into commercial operation, the Taishan Nuclear Power Plant has strictly controlled the operation of the units in accordance with operating license documents and technical procedures. All operating indicators of the two units have met the requirements of nuclear safety regulations and power plant technical specifications. At present, continuous monitoring of environmental data shows that environmental readings at the Taishan Nuclear Power Plant and its surrounding area are normal."
So, this statement obviously aimed at reassuring and calming the public, but it does not address the question of whether there was, or still is, a leak of (inaudible) and gas. And that information, of course, we have learned, CNN has learned from officials, U.S. officials in Washington.
And one of the more serious allegations we have learned from Washington is the Chinese safety authority has been raising the acceptable limits of radiation for the power plants' surrounding area to avoid having to shut it down.
Now, as I mentioned, as of now, the U.S. government does not consider the situation in Taishan at a crisis level, but they are obviously concerned enough to have multiple meetings. The National Security Council in the past week to address and discuss this issue.
The U.S. government actually became involved in the situation because the French company reached out to Department of Energy officials late last month to inform them about a potential problem at the facility. And the French company followed up in a memo on June 3rd, formally requesting a U.S. government waiver so they could share American technical assistance with their Chinese partners at the facilities to address this issue of leaking (inaudible) and gas.
And a few days later, on June 8th, the French company followed up again with another memo. It's in that memo they used the word you mentioned, imminent radiological threat to describe the situation.
It is also in that memo they revealed the Chinese authority has been raising the so-called off-site dose limits to have exceed (ph) French standard.
That's why the company expressed concern over the potential risks to not only employees on site, but also the general public living in the surrounding area. Now, this French company has since responded to CNN's request for comment, acknowledging they are working to address "a performance issue at the power plant," but insisting the facility is operating within safety parameters.
But Robyn, according to experts CNN has spoken to that the key issue here is transparency because the controlled release of (inaudible) gas at nuclear power plants, that's not uncommon. And at controlled level, these gases, although radioactive, that are inert and quickly dissipate into the atmosphere (ph).
But the question is, we don't know the levels of emissions and the source of this leak. That's something the company in its statement and the Chinese authorities have not addressed. And given the current geopolitical tensions between Washington and Beijing, which is may not be able to find out these answers anytime soon. Robyn?
CURNOW: Okay. Well, thank you very much. Keep us posted. Steven Jiang there with this CNN exclusive report.
So still to come on CNN, the end of an era in Israeli politics. What the future looks like now that Benjamin Netanyahu is no longer prime minister.
CURNOW (on camera): Well, there is a new era in Israeli politics underway with the country's longest serving leader out, Benjamin Netanyahu took the hand of his successor, Naftali Bennett, as you can see here, but ahead of the swearing in, Netanyahu attacked Mr. Bennett calling the coalition weak and dangerous and vowed to return to power.
It's a fragile alliance of eight party spanning the political spectrum. It won the approval in the Knesset by just one vote. And after 2 years of political deadlock, the handover of power was anything but cordial. Here is Oren Liebermann with that story.
OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): After 4,457 consecutive days in office, Benjamin Netanyahu's grip on power was broken. In his final speech as prime minister before being replaced, Netanyahu lashed out at his rivals.
BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, FORMER PRIME MINISTER OF ISRAEL (through translation): You call yourselves the guardians of democracy, but you are so afraid of democracy that you are ready to pass fascist laws against my candidacy. The language of North Korea and Iran. In order to maintain your regime.
LIEBERMANN (voice-over): The man who replaced him, right-wing rival, Naftali Bennett, speaking under a hail of abuse from Netanyahu allies and far-right extremists.
Some ejected from the hall. Late Sunday night, Bennett won a crucial confidence vote in the Knesset, Israel's parliament. The swearing in, made it official. Bennett became Israel's prime minister. He promised a different kind of politics, one in that unity and agreement, not discord and division.
NAFTALI BENNETT, PRIME MINISTER OF ISRAEL (through translation): Twice in our history we have lost our national home precisely because the leaders of the generation were not able to sit with one another and compromise. I am proud of the ability to sit together with people with very different views from my own.
LIEBERMANN (voice-over): The 49-year-old, high tech millionaire, is Israel's first religious prime minister. His rollercoaster political journey has taken him through a series of different political parties on the right. He now leads the most diverse coalition in Israel's history, including the first Arab party ever to join a government.
BENNETT (through translation): We are not enemies, we are one people.
LIEBERMANN (voice-over): Until the final moment, Netanyahu is working to scuttle Bennett's government and hang on to power. In language echoing former U.S. President Donald Trump, Israel's longest serving leader accused his rivals of the greatest fraud in the country's history.
Trump gave Netanyahu major political gifts, recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, moving the American embassy to Jerusalem, normalization agreements with some Arab countries, and more. But it was never enough to get Netanyahu what he craved, an outright election victory.
Netanyahu couldn't overcome a polarized electorate and the ongoing corruption trial which he's denied wrongdoing. He's now leader of the opposition as he watches Naftali Bennett lead the country into a new area of politics. Oren Liebermann, CNN, Jerusalem.
CURNOW (on camera): Elliott Gotkine joins me now from Jerusalem with more on this new era of Israeli politics. It's day one. What is the main priority for the new prime minister?
ELLIOTT GOTKINE, JOURNALIST: Robyn, after achieving his dream of becoming a prime minister, Naftali Bennett is going to have a very, very full inbox, you know, after this exhausting election cycles, four elections, exhausting coalition negotiations. Now the really hard work begins.
And he outlined some of his priorities in his speech on Sunday at the Knesset, things like helping return -- helping the Israeli economy recover after the COVID-19 pandemic, boosting its offensive and defensive capabilities in terms of the Israeli Defense Forces. He was talking about judicial reform, tackling crime in Arab cities and towns. And also, of course, maintaining strident opposition to the Iran nuclear agreement.
Of course, there are more practical things as well like passing a state budget. That hasn't been done for a couple of years, trying to heal some of the divisions, and I suppose just, also perhaps keeping this government together will be, of course, one of his toughest jobs, and trying to avoid sending the Israeli electorate back to the polls again, for what will be a fifth set of elections, you know, in a space of just a couple of years.
So, he's got plenty to do. He certainly made a lot of promises and pledges on his priorities on Sunday. How he will get to them and avoid those issues that are going to expose the very real ideological differences between this kind of rainbow coalitions, constituent parts. [02:24:56]
These will be challenges that he will face, but certainly in his speech yesterday in the Knesset, he says that these are the things that he's going to work on.
CURNOW: Let's talk about the foreign policy changes here. Mr. Netanyahu actually criticized President Biden in his outgoing speech in the Knesset. And then, Mr. Biden called the new prime minister almost as soon as he had been sworn in. What will this new relationship look like between Israel and the U.S. with his new government?
GOTKINE: Yes. President Biden certainly didn't shilly-shally in the time it took him to call Prime Minister Naftali Bennett after he was sworn in. And it was certainly a marked contrast to what in a month or so that Biden took after his own inauguration in calling ex-prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.
Israel's perspective, the relationship with the U.S. is paramount in importance and, you know, there is no question that it will remains so. I think what we will see differences is more informed rather than substance necessarily in the sense that, for example, with regards to the Iran nuclear deal, negotiations which are taking place right now in Vienna in which Joe Biden has said that the U.S. intends to rejoin.
This is something that the new Israeli government led by Prime Minister Naftali Bennett will continue to oppose. You're not going to see Naftali Bennett using some of the language that Netanyahu used. You're not going to see him going to Congress you, you know, undermine President Biden, but he will oppose, but more discreetly.
CURNOW: Good to speak to you. Elliott Gotkine there live in Jerusalem. Thank you.
So U.S. President Joe Biden wraps up his U.K. trip with a bit of royal pomp and circumstance. When we come back, we'll head to Windsor for a look at his visit with Britain's Queen Elizabeth.
CURNOW: Welcome back to all of our viewers, here in the United States and all around the world. Thanks for joining me. I'm Robyn Curnow live in Atlanta. It is 29 minutes past the hour. So U.S. President Joe Biden is now gearing up for the NATO summit set to kick off in the coming hours in Brussels. It's his next key stop after spending three days at the G7 summit in England.
They are members tackled there - members tackled pressing issues and coordinated policy. They collectively pledged to donate more than 2 billion COVID vaccines to the rest of the world by next year. They called for a new study into the origins of the virus. Members also agreed to speak out against human rights abuses in China and they committed to net zero emissions by no later than 2050. And U.S. President Joe Biden and First Lady Joe Biden capped their
stay in the UK with a visit to Queen Elizabeth private residence at Windsor Castle. It marks the first time the Queen has hosted a world leader since the death of her husband, Prince Philip in April.
Well, I want to go straight to Windsor. Max Foster joins me now. Max, hi, lovely to see you. It certainly looked like a good time was had by all.
MAX FOSTER, CNN ROAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, really just feel like back to work as usual, didn't it for the Queen. This is what she does best, soft power, and is rolling out the red carpet in the best way that she can for a very important visiting dignitary. So you had the guard of honor there. And then you had tea with the Queen in Windsor Castle, which is probably one of the biggest honors that we can offer in this country.
And he certainly enjoyed it. I have to say they're a bit of chatter now, Robyn, because you remember last week I was interviewing her younger son, Prince Edward. He was saying the most remarkable thing about these meetings is that they remain private. They never discuss what happens in these meetings. And then Joe Biden appears at the airport later on and spills the beans. So this is what they discussed.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: She want the two leaders that I - the one I'm about to meet Mr. Putin and she wanted to know about XI Jinping and we had a long talk and she was very generous.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FOSTER: It's fascinating to hear that she was discussing Putin and Xi in that meeting, always wonder what they talk about. There's a bit of an insight there. I'm sure the palace, the Queen won't be too upset about it. It's up to Joe Biden to reveal it if he wants to, but it hasn't really happened before, happened slightly with Trump.
But he - all he said was we discussed Brexit. Biden's gone a bit further this time.
CURNOW: Yes, that is fascinating. And what did he get out of that meeting politically? And I also I must say, I don't know if we want to bring these pictures up. I thought it was fabulous that he was wearing his aviator sunglasses, there he is, with the Queen during the national anthem, in Windsor. I mean, he looks like a real cool cat, doesn't he? Or was that a protocol breach, I don't know.
FOSTER: - As well. I don't know if he felt uncomfortable. I don't think it is. You know, it's true, a lot of people were pointing it out, I think because it looks so American, as well. But I think you know, they were very formal. And he handled the guard of honor, the inspection of the guards really well, which of course Trump didn't do last time. I think it was a very successful chip.
I think all the Queen really wants out of these moments is for the head of state to leave, saying positive things about the experience. And he certainly did do that. I'm not sure whether or not he was told about the protocol about not sharing the conversation. He might be embarrassed today that he did. I'm not really clear on that. He's not the sort of person I don't imagine that would do it intentionally to try to upset the queen and I don't think she'll be upset anyway.
CURNOW: No, not at all. Max Foster, thanks so much. Appreciate it. Live there in Windsor. And then coming up on CNN, Aung San Suu Kyi goes on trial today in the first of several criminal cases against her. We'll get the latest details in a live report. Also new details from a team doctor about what happened when Danish footballer Christian Eriksen collapsed on the pitch. We have that story, next.
CURNOW: So the first trial of Myanmar's deposed civilian leader is set to begin today. Aung San Suu Kyi is facing a slew of charges from the acting military government, which stole power in a coup in February. The most serious violating the Official Secrets Act. That's being prosecuted in a different proceeding.
Her lawyer says the accusations are absurd and groundless. Well, let's go straight to Kristie Lu Stout. Kristie has much more on how significant this is and what this means for the democratically elected leader of Myanmar.
KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it all starts today. Myanmar's ousted democratically elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi is going on trial today in the first of several criminal cases against her and today she is facing a number of charges including illegal possession of walkie talkie radios, as well as breaking COVID-19 pandemic protocols.
Aung San Suu Kyi denies all the allegations and her lawyer tells CNN that this trial is expected to wrap up by the end of next month. Now Aung San Suu Kyi also faces charges in a separate case, a very serious charge of violating the Official Secrets Act. If found guilty that crime punishable with up to 14 years in prison. Last Thursday, it was announced that she was charged with corruption.
If found guilty, she would face jail time up to 15 years in prison. But as for the legal proceedings that begin today, Myanmar observers and analysts like David Mathieson say this is nothing more than a show trial. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVID MATHIESON, INDEPENDENT ANALYST: This is exactly a show trial. This is a political spectacle in order to discredit Aung San Suu Kyi and the democratic opposition, that's - that's all it is. It shouldn't be taken seriously as a legal proceeding. It's not, it's a political process by the coup makers to discredit the democratically elected leader of the Myanmar.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LU STOUT: Now the Myanmar military ousted Aung San Suu Kyi, seized power in a coup back in February - February 1, earlier this year, it has made the accusation without evidence that Aung San Suu Kyi and her party won the elections of November last year through fraudulent means.
Aung San Suu Kyi is one of 5900 people who have been detained in Myanmar since the coup, Robyn.
CURNOW: So what is the international community doing through all of this and particularly because this is such a significant day in terms of perhaps the death of any democratic movement within Myanmar?
LU STOUT: Well, you know, sanctions have already been applied by governments in Europe, also the U.S. Just last week, ASEAN foreign ministers, the foreign ministers of Southeast Asian countries came together and they asked for the Myanmar military Junta to release political prisoners and also to start an agreed upon political dialogue with the opposition but that hasn't started yet.
You know, ASEAN, its foreign ministers, they have expressed disappointment at the slow progress. The international community has expressed disappointment at the slow progress but the disappointment is most grave inside the country where since February 1, the nation of Myanmar has been paralyzed, you know by, of course the events following the coup.
You know, the loss of a democratically elected leadership but also the strikes, the boycotts, the protests, an economic collapse in the country, a humanitarian crisis, where you have fighting breaking out in the rural parts of the country displacing 10s of 1000s of people, a food crisis, not to mention the pandemic. Myanmar is in a dire situation right now, it continues to be without very meaningful international reaction coming in just yet, back to you.
CURNOW: Thank you. Kristie Lu Stout there in Hong Kong. Appreciate it. And thank you for joining us here on CNN. If you're an international viewer, I'm going to hand you over to the good folks at World Sport. But if you're watching us from here in the U.S. and in Canada, I'll be right back with more news for you.
CURNOW: Welcome back. I'm Robyn Curnow. So questions are already swirling around a Trump era Justice Department probe that seems to have targeted some political opponents. Now we're learning that the President's own White House Counsel was also a target. Don McGahn and his wife were told by Apple last month that their account record was sought by the Justice Department in 2018. Paula Reid has more on this extraordinary development.
PAULA REID, CNN SENIOR LEGAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: CNN has learned that in February 2018, the Justice Department requested records from Apple for then White House Counsel Don McGahn and his wife. Now to underscore what an extraordinary request that is, McGahn, at the time was the top lawyer for the President of the United States, and this request was kept secret.
Apple was barred from disclosing this request until May of this year. That means the Justice Department had to go back to court repeatedly to keep this under wraps. Now, at this point, CNN does not know if McGahn was targeted, individually as a target of an investigation or he was swept up into an investigation into somebody else.
Now a source familiar tell CNN that former Attorney General Jeff Sessions who had been leading the Justice Department at that time, and his deputy Rod Rosenstein, weren't aware of this request for Don McGahn's records. But something about that does not add up.
How would it be possible that the two top justice officials at that time would not know that the department was making such an extraordinary request? Now an important piece of context is that a few weeks before this request was made, the President was very frustrated with his White House Counsel.
He had pressured Don McGahn to fire then special counsel Robert Mueller. McGahn resisted. And that tension was really at the core of the obstruction of justice investigation into former President Trump. Now, former National Security Adviser Ambassador John Bolton spoke to our colleague Jim Acosta about all of this on Sunday. Here was his take.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN BOLTON, FMR TRUMP NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: I'm prepared to believe the worst. I think we're operating in a - in a--
JIM ACOSTA, CNN HOST: What does that - what does that mean, the worst? The worst meaning--
BOLTON: That Trump would attempt to do things for political purposes and subvert the course of justice, but we're still operating in a large fact vacuum here.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: Now Democratic lawmakers are calling for those top justice officials to come to the hill and testify. They want to hear from Attorney General Jeff Sessions, former deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, they even want to hear from former Attorney General Bill Barr and the head of the National Security Division John Demers.
Now, they can certainly make a request for any of these officials, former and current to come and testify voluntarily. But if they refuse, they could issue subpoenas though in the Senate that would likely require the support of at least one Republican on the panel. But if any of these officials refused to comply with that subpoena, then they need to make a decision about whether they want to go to court to try to compel this testimony.
There's also currently an ongoing Office of Inspector General investigation, which could potentially make that fight a little bit harder. They could want to wait until that investigation concludes. But it doesn't appear that that testimony will happen anytime soon. Paula Reid, CNN, Washington.
CURNOW: And Democratic Congressman Eric Swalwell was among those also caught up in the probe. He says his own records were seized and that some family members including a minor were targeted. He told CNN why he thinks Congress should conduct its own investigation.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ERIC SWALWELL, U.S. HOUSE DEMOCRAT: Welcome the call for an Inspector General by the deputy Attorney General but there's also options for Congress and we're going to be exploring them this week as far as what we can learn independently because an Inspector General report will not be able to compel the testimony of former Attorneys General Sessions, Whittaker and Barr and it seems like they're pretty key witnesses in this.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CURNOW: Now in California, there is a sense of hope and optimism. The state has endured more than 15 months of emergency restrictions aimed at fighting coronavirus.
Well, now that's finally about to change with case numbers falling, the state will drop its stay at home order and begin to roll back most pandemic related executive orders. That takes effect from Tuesday. Paul Vercammen has more. Paul?
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PAUL VERCAMMEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, in just a little while California is going to lift all COVID-19 restrictions, or at least most of them. And what does that mean for let's say the Getty Center here in Los Angeles?
Well, for this landmark, it means more than a few things. It means one, they will allow more visitors up here. Two, in California we're no longer going to see the six feet of separation rule. That means that the guests can be packed together more closely. We're also going to see that they will not require masks to be outside here at the Getty. This has been a long time coming.
They survived the pandemic and there really is just a great sense of accomplishment here.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know, it's really thrilling especially for a lot of us who have worked on the site for a long time. We really live it and we enjoy it through vicariously through the eyes of the visitors.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So excited that we can finally be out as a family and enjoy a place like this, like the Getty because it's like, that's all we've been wanting to do.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're going to continue to be safe, and follow the recommended guidelines. But definitely enjoy a little bit more freedom.
VERCAMMEN: Well, nuance where the Getty, the visitors travel up to the Getty on a tram. And so because of the rules involving transportation, people will have to wear masks on that tram, and that tram will not be jammed up so they won't be at full capacity quite yet. The positivity rate for COVID-19 in California is well under 1 percent.
And there's just optimism hanging all over the Getty Center and in the city itself. Reporting from Los Angeles. I'm Paul Vercammen. Now back to you.
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CURNOW: Thanks to - Thanks to Paul for that. So America's gun violence epidemic only seems to be growing worse. At least nine people were killed, another 47 injured in mass shootings across the U.S. just this weekend. The largest rampage unfolded in Austin, Texas. 14 people were shot there early Saturday morning. Ed Lavandera has the latest. Ed?
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ED LAVANDERA, CNN U.S. NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The mass shooting that erupted on Sixth Street in downtown Austin, Texas, which is an iconic entertainment district here in this city has now turned deadly. Early Saturday morning, gunfire erupted. 14 people were initially wounded. But now Austin police say one of those 14 has died and the victim is 25-year old Douglas John Cantor.
We have not heard many updates from Austin police as to how the investigation is unfolding. They initially said that they were looking - the investigators were looking for two suspects and that one of those suspects has been arrested. We've made repeated attempts to reach out to Austin police to see how the search for the second suspect is going, what kind of information they might have to share about that. But we received no response from Austin police over the weekend since their initial press conference on Saturday.
So that search continues but it was a chaotic scene when the gunfire erupted. There was a biker rally going on. And the street was filled with 1000s of people here on Sixth Street which is typical for a Friday night into early Saturday morning. But that gunfire erupted. 14 people were initially wounded and rushed to hospitals. And we're now told by Austin police that one of those 14 victims has now died. Ed Lavandera, CNN, Austin, Texas.
(END VIDEO CLIP) CURNOW: And we are learning more on just how serious the situation was
when Danish footballer Christian Eriksen collapsed on the pitch at the Euro 2020 match. Now, Denmark's team doctor says Eriksen suffered a cardiac arrest and was 'gone' before resuscitation. Earlier I spoke with a cardiologist for Major League Soccer here in the U.S. and I asked him what he saw when Eriksen collapsed. Take a listen to this.
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DR. MATTHEW MARTINEZ, DR. ATLANTIC HEALTH SYSTEM SPORTS CARDIOLOGY, MORRISTOWN MEDICAL CTR: I think what this underscores is how well that team prepared for this sort of event. And I was impressed with the speed at which they got to the athlete, very proud of the players who called over the athletic trainers who sprinted towards the athlete and appropriately started to evaluate, started CPR and then got that defibrillator on as soon as quickly - as soon as possible, which is really the best life saving measure when this sort of event occurs.
CURNOW: One of the team members said that he was gone on that on that field and that the defibrillator brought him back. What does that tell you?
MARTINEZ: If you're watching, if you watch from moment to moment, things are fine until they're not fine. And he keeled over, completely was unable to brace himself, which are some of the hallmarks of a cardiac reason for passing out. Athletes fall on the pitch often. They pass out for a variety of reasons. But in this case, the mechanism we think was related to the heart because of the way he fell. So he did not brace himself. It was very abrupt. It was a noncontact fall.
And the players I thought recognized it immediately. We have a problem. He's not responding. He doesn't look well. Amazing how quickly they can respond.
CURNOW: I mean, they saved his life and the ref as well. And of course those medics. It was just an extraordinary but also absolutely gut wrenching 10 to 13 minutes as people didn't really know what was going on. And I think a lot of people and fans in the stadium have told us that they thought that they had lost their star player. Why - why would such a young, fit man at the top of his physical peak, essentially, his athletic peak, have a heart problem like that, despite all the monitoring?
MARTINEZ: So this is a rare event. But it does definitely occur. Depending on the sport, the age of the athlete, we approximate one in 200,000 athletes per year are going to have an event like this, one out of every 200,000. Now that changes if you're a soccer player or a basketball player, or an American football player, that risk may be actually a little higher.
If you're a division one male basketball player, that seems to maybe be the highest risk.
CURNOW: Why? MARTINEZ: And although we do, although we do screening, these are congenital problems. You are born with these conditions under the age of 35, that's the most common reason you have an event like this.
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CURNOW: Well, Christian Eriksen remains in the hospital in a stable condition. His team's next match in the tournament is against Belgium on Thursday. And sticking with sporty news, the South African football - the South American Football Confederation is defending its decision to play the Copa America in Brazil.
The Nation reported more than 70,000 new cases for four straight days leading up to the tournament. But in a statement, the confederation said it is fully aware of the situation the continent is going through in the context of the pandemic. It also recognizes the importance of football in South American culture. So far, Venezuela, Bolivia, and Colombia, all have had players and staff test positive for the coronavirus since arriving.
And world number one player, Novak Djokovic is celebrating after winning the French Open title in thrilling fashion on Sunday. He is the first male player in the modern era to win all four major tournaments twice. Djokovic now has 19 Grand Slam singles titles in his career, just one behind Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, Rafael Nadal for the most all time.
So that wraps this hour of CNN Newsroom. I'm Robyn Curnow. Thanks so much for joining me. Rosemary Church picks up after the break.