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One Confirmed Dead and 99 Still Unaccounted in Condo Collapse; President Biden Meeting with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani; Israel Back to Wearing Masks; U.K. Loosen Rules for Local Travelers; Ugandan Athlete Tested Positive for Delta Variant; Unmarked Graves Found At Former Indian School; Kamala Harris To Make First Trip To U.S.-Mexico Border As V.P.; Former Officer Derek Chauvin To Be Sentenced Today; Russia, British Warship Incident A Dangerous Provocation; Trading Blame After Deadly Strike; Denmark Turns Tragedy Into Inspiration In Euro 2020. Last Chance For Strawberry Full Moon. Aired 3-4a ET
Aired June 25, 2021 - 03:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
KIM BRUNHUBER, CNN ANCHOR (on camera): The desperate search for survivors of the Florida condo collapse. Almost 100 people are still unaccounted for. I'll speak to the mayor of Surfside, Florida.
Plus, the Delta variant is spreading around the world. We are live in Jerusalem where they are set to reverse the lifting of face masks as the variant escalates.
And why so many are rooting for Denmark at the European football championship. CNN's Amanda Davies speaks to their goalkeeper about their extraordinary start to the tournament.
Welcome to all of our viewers here in the United States, Canada, and around the world. I'm Kim Brunhuber. This is CNN Newsroom.
Search and rescue teams racing against time in Surfside, Florida to find 99 people still unaccounted for in the collapse of the Champlain Towers. Part of the 12-story building pancaked down on itself early Thursday killing at least one person. Rescuers are working through the night using listening equipment, cameras, and sniffer dogs to try to find anyone buried alive in the rubble.
Now, slow motion video surveillance shows the moment it happened. The center part of the building collapsed first, and then moments later, the tower on the right fell. Fire and rescue crews used cherry pickers to reach residents stranded on their balconies in part of the buildings left standing.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARRY COHEN, BUILDING RESIDENT: We opened the door from our apartment, and there was a huge pile of rubble and dust and just havoc. AARON MILES, COLLAPSE SURVIVOR: We grab the children and we started
running out the door, and as you went down the stairway through the exit emergency ramp everyone was screaming and panicking.
UNKNOWN: I have never seen so many police in my life all at once. It looked like something from like 9/11, literally.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BRUNHUBER (on camera): As you can see there, video shows rescue crews inside the building's parking garage using concrete saws to cut through the structure. Trying to create tunnels to reach any survivors.
U.S. President Joe Biden has approved an emergency declaration freeing up federal resources to deal with the tragedy.
CNN's Randi Kaye is in Surfside, Florida with more.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RANDI KAYE, CNN INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER (voice over): In a matter of moments, a huge chunk of the Champlain Tower South in Surfside, Florida collapses into a cloud of dust. This video appears to show it happened at about 1.30 in the morning as residents left.
MAYOR CHARLES BURKETT, SURFSIDE, FLORIDA: We don't see buildings falling down in America. And here we had a building literally fall down. It just doesn't happen.
KAYE: The 12-story condo tower just north of Miami Beach was built in 1981. Of the more than 130 units inside, nearly half of them are now destroyed. More than 100 people have been accounted for but officials say, nearly 100 are still missing.
UNKNOWN: I found out that my nephew is here with his wife and three more children. You know, I'm losing hope. I'm just asking God.
KAYE: Whatever brought the building down was so strong, neighbors heard it and felt it next door.
FLORELLA TERENZI, HEARD THE BUILDING COLLAPSE: I was asleep here and suddenly, a loud bang, almost like a tremble went on. It woke me up, but this rumbling was a very different and very strange. And something was not right in this sound. It was too strong, too violent. It almost felt like a shockwave coming from the next building.
KAYE: Since long before dawn, search teams have been combing through the rubble using concrete saws and other lifesaving equipment. Search and rescue dogs also helped lead the way. Rescuers are hoping someone, anyone is still alive trapped beneath the rubble. Earlier today they thought they'd found someone.
JIMMY PATRONIS, FLORIDA STATE FIRE MARSHALL: They have heard sounds early this morning from what they feel was somebody in the parking garage. So, however, the communications were -- like playing -- and people when those types of situations they will find items to make noise with, because they want to be saved.
KAYE: Thirty-five people were rescued from the structure that was still standing. Two more people were pulled from the rubble. At least four were taken to the hospital where one died.
BURKETT: The problem is the building has literally pancaked. It has gone down, and I mean there is just feet in between stories where there were 10 feet. That is heartbreaking because it doesn't mean to me that we are going to be successful, as successful as we would want to be in find people alive.
KAYE: Nicholas Balboa was out walking his dog when he heard a boy in the wreckage screaming for help.
UNKNOWN: He was just screaming, don't leave me, don't leave me.
KAYE: Rescue teams helped pull the boy to safety, but dozens of families are still wondering about their loved ones.
JOSE 'PEPE' DIAZ, CHAIRMAN, MIAMI-DADE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS: This is very sad when you are dealing with people that don't know the outcome of their family. They are very worried. They are desperate in the sense that they want to know what's actually taking place. But we continue to try to rescue, we continue to try to find more people.
KAYE: Randi Kaye, CNN, Surfside, Florida.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BRUNHUBER (on camera): Joining me now on the phone, the mayor of Surfside Florida, Charles Burkett. Thank you so much for taking the time to join us now. First of all, my sympathies to you and your community. I know you are not far away from the building itself. What is the latest?
BURKETT: The latest is we have moved and relocated all of the residents of that particular building that we were able to get out. And we have focused our efforts exclusively on search and rescue. And we've been doing that now for hours and hours. We will continue to do that until we pull everybody we can out of the rubble.
BRUNHUBER: Unfortunately, I understand the rain isn't helping.
BURKETT: The rain is really a disaster. We've had a fire and we've had these rain storms come through, and it just -- it's heartbreaking because, you know, you've got people that are potentially waiting to be pulled out of the rubble and it just slows everything down.
BRUNHUBER: I mean, how are you balancing that need to have hope versus the realism of the enormous odds against the search and rescue efforts?
BURKETT: I don't know that we can sort of focus on that. I think that, you know, the bottom -- it starts with buildings like this don't fall down in America. It's a third world phenomena, and there is something really, really wrong here. People have died, and it's not something that needed to happen. And we need to find out why it happened.
BURKETT: But that's not today. Today is the day that we're focused on rescuing the people that need to be rescued, and we will continue that focus until all of them are rescued.
BRUNHUBER: Yes. I mean, as you say, I mean, I've covered these types of building collapses usually after earthquakes in the developing country, as you say. The search can be long and painstaking.
BRUNHUBER: It usually involves flying in experts from countries like the U.S. But you happen to have some of the top urban search and rescue experts right here in your city. Is that making a difference in terms of the speed that you are able to get to people?
BURKETT: At two o'clock in the morning when I arrived, I guess it was today, you know, the dogs came at four and we were told the building was potentially in imminent danger of collapsing. And those teams proceeded to go right into the building and grab some people that I think we saw, we saw some lights up on in the upper floors, and without any regard for their own safety went up there and grab those people and brought them down.
So, I mean, we've got these guys working around the clock now, and there is no guarantee that the rest of that building doesn't come down. And they just keep going. That is the one silver lining in this whole thing. We've got real heroes out here doing an amazing job. I'll tell you, we've had calls from the White House, I had calls from our two U.S. senators, we had one senator here, we had Governor DeSantis here, they've committed funds and they are not just talking the talk, they're actually walking the walk.
We had Debbie Wasserman-Schultz who's been amazing, we had our own county mayor, Mayor Cava who has been awesome. They have drowned, drowned us in resources. We just, you know, we're not lacking for anything. All we are lacking for is a little bit of luck that we need to be able to have some decent weather so we can continue to work to get these people out of there, the ones that are trapped.
BRUNHUBER: Yes. We are all playing that you do have that luck that you need. You talk about finding a cause for this, obviously it will take weeks, probably months to do that.
But there is some pressure here to find the cause, because this building I understand has a sister building. There are many other sister buildings out there that might be facing similar conditions, and whether it has something to with the ground or erosion. What can you do to reassure people in your city? BURKETT: That is a great point. And you know, this is a home chapter
for us because up until sort of, 15 hours ago, no one had any inkling that this kind of problem could ever have existed. You know, they were doing work on the roof but and certainly, you know, putting under roof on a building is very typical, and it is done every day and it doesn't cause buildings to fall down.
So, there is something else going on, and we absolutely need to find out what that was. And I know we will find that out, but like I said, today is not the day we are going to find that out. Today is the day we are going to try to bring people out of that rubble.
BRUNHUBER: Absolutely. Listen, we wish you and the rescue crews and everybody in your community the best of luck as you try to navigate through this horrible tragedy. Mayor of Surfside, Charles Burkett, thank you so much for joining us. We appreciate it.
BURKETT: You're very welcome. Thank you.
BRUNHUBER: Not everyone staying in the was a U.S. citizen, so some families are having to wait for news about their loved ones from a continent away.
CNN's Matt Rivers reports.
MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well as we learn more and more about the victims of this partial collapse it's becoming more and more clear that the United States is not the only country whose citizens have been affected by this tragedy.
In fact, we heard on Thursday from the foreign ministry of the South American country of Paraguay, the foreign minister saying that the sister of the first lady of Paraguay, the first lady of Paraguay's sister and her family were now unaccounted for after this partial collapse. The foreign ministry saying that the first lady's sister and her sister's family we're staying in one of those towers on the 10th floor. They were in the country according to the foreign ministry to get vaccinated.
With the Paraguayan government saying they spent the day checking in with various hospitals in the area to see if there was any news about the first lady's sister and his sister's family but unfortunately, they turned up no positive results.
But Paraguay is not the only South American country affected. In fact, we heard from other countries whose citizens have been affected and now are unaccounted for including Uruguay, including Argentina, and including Venezuela.
And we know that this is part of south Florida where many people from South America either live permanently or visit from time to time. Unfortunately, this tragedy touching the lives of citizens from across the western hemisphere.
Matt Rivers, CNN, Mexico City. BRUNHUBER: The U.S. president will welcome his Afghan counterpart
Ashraf Ghani to the White House Friday. On the agenda, the continued withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan as the U.S. winds down its longest war. But with the troops moving out, the Taliban advance is gaining momentum. The United Nations says more than 50 districts have fall into the groups since last month.
CNN's Phil Mattingly has the details from Washington.
PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: President Biden will welcome Afghan President Ashraf Ghani to the White House at a critical time. A critical time for the U.S. position in the country as it continues to move towards withdrawing all of its troops by September 11th.
The critical time for President Ghani and for Afghanistan as the tempo of Taliban attacks Taliban offensive over the course of the last several weeks has reach the level that I don't think anybody had actually predicted. Certainly, a higher level than had been occurring last year.
Now it's important to note and U.S. officials point out those attacks, those offensives have not targeted U.S. troops but they have paid a heavy toll on Afghanistan Security Forces and Afghanistan police. And it's part of the reason why this meeting at the White House between President Ghani and President Biden and some President Ghani's top senior officials is so crucial.
Trying to lay out what actual next steps are for U.S. support. President Biden made very clear when he announced the withdrawal that he planned to continue to support the government, that obviously the U.S. would keep an embassy in Afghanistan and that both the U.S. and its partner allies would continue to support the Ghani government over the course of the coming years.
But that had been severely threatened by the offensive with the Taliban over the course of the last several weeks with very real questions amongst many U.S. officials as to how long the Afghanistan government could actually hold out to those Taliban offensives once U.S. troops officially leave.
And it's worth noting while September 11th is the deadline, U.S. officials have made clear those troops are pulling out at a faster clip. More than half troops, half of the U.S. troops in country right now have already been pulled out. Some questions about whether or not over the course of the next several weeks because of those Taliban attacks that process will slow.
But make no mistake about it U.S. officials have been very clear the September 11th deadline is a hard deadline. It is not changing. So, what the U.S. can offer, what the Afghanistan president will seek and how this meeting ends up when all things are said and done is a very open question and a crucial question given the current state of play in the country. One thing the U.S. officials stress is they want peace talks with the
Taliban to continue or to at least ramp up to some degree from where they were or they are. But based on the Taliban posture over the course of the last several weeks some are skeptical. And it will certainly be a centerpiece of a very crucial conversation at a critical moment for the country as the U.S. departs.
Phil Mattingly, CNN, the White House.
BRUNHUBER: Joe Biden has a promise for the Afghan nationals who have helped the U.S. military and diplomats over the past two decades.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNKNOWN: You know anything about these reports of moving Afghan nationals to other countries who helped during our war?
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: They're going to come, we've already begun the process. Those who helped us are not going to be left behind.
UNKNOWN: Do you know what country they're going to move to first?
BIDEN: I don't know that. I'll be meeting with the -- with Ghani tomorrow. He'll be coming to my office. That will be a discussion, but they're welcome here, just like anyone else who risked their lives to help us.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BRUNHUBER (on camera): The White House says it plans to relocate thousands of Afghans who worked with Americans to a third country while they wait for visa approval to protect their safety. Now sources tell CNN that Guam maybe an option. And as you just heard Biden plans to discuss the details with Ghani when the two seat together, down together on Friday.
COVID cases in Israel once again going in the wrong direction. We'll explain what's behind the uptick and the restrictions being considered to stamp out new outbreaks.
Plus, the Tokyo Olympics are less than a month away, and that's probably not enough time to erase fears of the Delta coronavirus variant. Stay with us.
BRUNHUBER (on camera): Israel will once again require face masks to be worn indoors. A new mandate is set to go into effect in about an hour and a half from now at noon local time. The more contagious Delta variant is thought to be one of the reasons behind the new outbreaks. Israel is among at least 85 countries where it's been detected. Many of the new outbreaks have been in schools. And Prime Minister Naftali Bennett is urging everyone over the age of 12 to get vaccinated.
Elliott Gotkine joins me now live from Tel Aviv. Reinstating a mask mandate many here as we open up are seeing what's happening in Israel as a cautionary tale. What more can you tell us?
ELLIOTT GOTKINE, JOURNALIST: Kim, yes Israeli had, you know, grown use to even though it was only 10 days ago that all masks requirements were rolled back with one or two very minor exceptions.
But Israelis had already grown used to not having to wear mask having been able to go back to life pretty much as it was before the pandemic begun. But as you say, right now they will be dusting those masks off right again and there will be a requirement to wear it at any indoor venues and also on public transportation as well.
In addition to that, the government is recommending that people wear masks in large outdoor gatherings including, for example, the pride parade which is due to take place in Israel today in Tel Aviv with thousands of people expected to be in attendance to that.
So, there are concerns, there have been outbreaks in towns like Binyamina in the north, in Modi'in in the center, Herzliya, just to the north of Tel Aviv. And they've even found traces of the Delta variant in sewage from Ashkelon to the south of Tel Aviv as well.
For now, the country's coronavirus czar is saying that this isn't a nationwide outbreak, this is a series of -- a series of localized outbreaks. But in the words of Prime Minister Naftali Bennett what they want to do is throw a bucket of cold water over these small fires before they get out of control.
And to that end, they are, as we've just said, reintroducing mask mandates for indoors. They are expanding testing capacity at Ben Gurion International Airport. They are going to require a PCR test for everyone return -- coming into the country as well.
They are delaying their reopening of the country to vaccinated tourists from the 1st of July to August at the earliest. In addition to that, they are also, as you say, encouraging children aged over 12 to get vaccinated as quickly as possible. Because in this country with a majority of adults already vaccinated, children really are the weakest link here for the Delta variant to spread.
In addition to that, the vaccines in Israel has right now from Pfizer/BioNTech are due to expire in July. So, the government very keen to ensure that none of those go to waste. So, it's not panic situations just yet but there are concerns that if they don't head off the spread of the Delta variant here in Israel that things could get worse. Kim?
BRUNHUBER: Yes. Very troubling. All right. Thanks so much. Elliott Gotkine in Tel Aviv. I appreciate it.
Well, now there is a mutation of the Delta variant that's causing new concerns. England has reported 41 cases of the Delta plus strain which researchers say is even more transmissible. Authorities are ordering new COVID measures in areas where it's turned up but it's not just the U.K. The variant is quickly spreading worldwide. These here you see there
are other countries where it's showing up. India's health ministry was the first to report the new Delta plus variant which this week it labeled a variant of concern.
And Britain is adding more countries to its quarantine travel list. This comes despite a resurgence of COVID infections linked to that Delta variant.
CNN's Cyril Vanier reports not all countries are ready to welcome British travelers just yet.
CYRIL VANIER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Some good news for U.K.-based travelers. They will be able to enjoy a tropical getaway this summer without needing to quarantine upon their return. The U.K. government's list of green countries has been expanded to include Caribbean islands like Barbados or the British Virgin Islands. Close to home, Malta and Spain's Balearic Island, including Ibiza have made the cut.
Just as important, if not more important, the travel policy of the U.K. should soon factor in the country's successful vaccination drive. At some point this summer, dates still unknown, fully vaccinated Britons should be allowed to travel to so-called amber countries. That's Europe, that's the U.S., that is most countries in the world without having to quarantine when they come back.
At a later stage, fully vaccinated travelers from those countries should in turn be allowed into the U.K. without self-isolating. So, good news for international travel except we'll accept it takes two to tango. And this is all happening just as European neighbors are starting to impose restrictions on U.K. travelers on account of the Delta variant which has caused a surge in infections here.
Starting Saturday, Belgium is banning U.K. travelers. Italy and Germany already have mandatory quarantines in place. And Chancellor Angela Merkel is pushing other European leaders to follow suit. As the U.K. gradually reopens, some European neighbors are shutting the door.
Cyril Vanier, CNN, London.
BRUNHUBER: The Delta variant is causing concern in Tokyo. The Olympics are just 28th short days away and there's already been a new case. One Ugandan Olympic team member who tested positive for the coronavirus has the Delta variant.
Selina Wang is in Tokyo for us. This is the last thing people there want to hear. What's been the reaction there?
SELINA WANG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kim, this is just another example of how hard it is to keep these Olympic Games in a completely safe bubble despite the litany of COVID-19 rules.
Now what happened here is that the Uganda athlete was completely vaccinated. Fully vaccinated. They had tested negative before departure to Japan. Despite that, one member, a coach tested positive upon arrival at the airport in Japan. That person was then put into quarantine, then the rest of the team continued their plans to go to Izumisano, Osaka to hold their pre-training camp.
And days later an official said that one of that group then tested positive. Now we are learning that a member, one of those people had the Delta variant. The whole team now including other close contacts are in quarantine. Now this is just one example of the many complexities that the Olympic organizers could face when you have tens of thousands of participants all flying in in a much shorter span of time, and not as much time to sort out the kinks and figure out these close contacts and everyone is treated. And they'll all going to be flying into Japan.
And health experts are continuing to warn that these games could lead to a rebound of COVID-19 cases in Japan not just from the athletes, participants flying in but also from the increased activity among the Japanese public.
Japan decided to allow spectators at the games which was going against Japan's top COVID-19 advisor's recommendations. And Kim, it's clear right now that the Japanese public also is not convince that these games can be held in a safe bubble.
I attended a protest to mark the one month until the games this week, there was a huge turnout there a lot of emotion, anger, and frustration. People were angry that the government was putting so many resources towards the Olympic Games when so many in Japan and around the world are still suffering from COVID-19. So, take a listen to what some of the protesters told me here.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNKNOWN: It's too dangerous! I want the Japanese government and the IOC to cancel immediately.
UNKNOWN: This COVID-19 pandemic, it is disaster, so that's why we are here, to stop this craziness.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WANG (on camera): Kim, I also spoke to several protesters who told me they were unable to get a COVID-19 vaccine and they were frustrated that the government was prioritizing Olympic athletes and participants ahead of the broader public. Japan's vaccination rollout while it is speeding up is still lagging behind. Still less than 9 percent of the population has been fully vaccinated.
Now amid all of this, organizers are saying that what's happening in Uganda proves that their protocols in place are working, that they are finding cases, they are putting them into quarantine, but still you are getting major pressure from health experts who say the measures are not enough, and even Japan's emperor making a rare comment saying that he is concerned about the Olympics potentially leading to a rise of COVID-19 cases in Japan. A weighty comment people are listening to that. Kim? BRUNHUBER: Yes. A lot of 'I told you so' already. Selina Wang in
Tokyo, thank you so much.
Canada is now coming face-to-face with one of its most tragic legacies. Hundreds of unmarked graves at another former Indian school. One tribal chief says there are many others waiting to be found across the country.
Plus, a high-profile sentencing in a case that sent off a movement for racial reckoning in the U.S. Former officer Derek Chauvin convicted of murdering George Floyd is about to learn his fate in court.
KIM BRUNHUBER CNN ANCHOR (on camera): And welcome back to all of you watching us here in the United States, Canada and around the world. I am Kim Brunhuber and you are watching CNN Newsroom.
Hundreds of unmarked graves have been discovered on the grounds of another former Indian residential school in Canada. The remains were located by radar at a school in Saskatchewan which operated for nearly 100 years. Just weeks earlier 215 graves were found at a former Indian school in British, Columbia.
CNN's Paula Newton has our report.
PAULA NEWTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (on camera): And what Canadian indigenous leaders are again calling a genocide the calluses first nation and the province of Saskatchewan says that it is found 751 unmarked graves on the grounds of the former Marieval Indian residential school.
Now the announcement came Thursday with officials saying that what the investigative team found was not a mass grave but hundreds of unmarked graves where headstones and memorials were removed by officials of the Catholic Church several decades ago. Now the school operated from the late 19th century and closed in 1996.
This is a stunning discovery. Indigenous leaders say more like these are to come. I want you to listen to now to how one Saskatchewan chief characterized the findings.
UNKNOWN: This was a crime against humanity. And an assault on first nations people. We had concentration camps here. We have them in Canada in Saskatchewan. They were called Indian residential schools. Canada will be known as a nation who tried to exterminate the first nations. Now we have evidence.
NEWTON: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau released a statement after the discovery was announced saying his heart breaks and that the trauma of this is Canada's responsibility to bear. The findings in Marieval and Kamloops are part of a larger tragedy. They are a shameful reminder of the systemic racism, discrimination and injustice that indigenous people have faced and continue to face in this country. Together we must acknowledge this truth, learn from our past and walk the shared path of reconciliation so we can build a better future.
Now this stunning discovery comes less than one month after the remains of 215 indigenous children were found buried on ground surrounding the Kamloops residential school in British Columbia. Now in 2015 Canada's truth and reconciliation commission released a report detailing the damaging legacy of the country's residential school systems.
Thousands of mostly indigenous children were separated from their families and forced to attend these residential schools. The commission estimates that at least 4,000 children died while at this schools over a period of several decades. But the final commission report made it clear it is impossible to know the true number.
Paula Newton, CNN.
BRUNHUBER (on camera): And for many tribal elders who have survived these schools the discovery of the graves has reopen painful memories of a brutal chapter in Canadian history. A calluses tribal elders says, parents were threatened with jail if they didn't send their children to the Marieval School. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FLORENCE SPARVIER, COWESSESS FIRST NATION ELDER AND KNOWLEDGE KEEPER: They were putting us down as a people. So we learned that they didn't like who we were. And that has gone on. On and on, and it is still going on. We learned. They pounded it into us. And really they were very mean. When I say pounding I mean pounding.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BRUNHUBER (on camera): U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris is hours away from heading to El Paso, Texas to tour facilities along the border with Mexico. She is tasked with trying to stem the flow of migration from Central America and has faced blow back for not touring the border area before now. Well, here is how she responded to that criticism just a few weeks ago.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KAMALA HARRIS, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: At some point, you know, we are going to the border. We've been to the border. So, this whole thing about the border we've been to the border. We've been to the border.
UNKNOWN: You haven't been to the border. HARRIS: And I haven't been to Europe. I mean, I don't understand the
point that you are making. I'm not discounting the importance of the border.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BRUNHUBER (on camera): A senior official insist that a visit to the border was always part of the plan.
Kaitlan Collins has more on the vice president's upcoming trip.
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (on camera): This is going to be the first time you seeing Vice President Harris on the border since she got this immigration-related portfolio for President Biden earlier this year. Similar to one he held when he was vice president to then President Obama. And so she will be in El Paso. She will be joined by the DHS secretary Mayorkas while she is there.
COLLINS (voice over): And of course it's hard to ignore this is a trip that comes after she had faced many questions about why she had not been to the border yet. A lot of those were from Republicans though as well who are criticizing her, and trying to paint her as the face of any immigration problem under the Biden administration. Though her office has sought to make clear she is in charge of diplomatic efforts not necessarily those soaring border numbers that you saw earlier this year.
COLLINS (on camera): But it will still be something that hangs over this visit that is in the background of it. And the White House has defended the timing of this trip given just a few weeks ago. Harris was pushing back on questions about when she was going to go saying she also had not yet been to Europe either. And instead Jen Psaki, the press secretary was saying that they essentially evaluating this and they thought now was the time for her to go.
Of course, look at the timing here. This is also coming when former President Trump is expected to be at the border with the Texas Governor Gregg Abbott and in the coming days Trump has tried to claim that the only reason Harris is going is because he is going, although the White House has said that is not true.
BRUNHUBER (on camera): It is a horrific killing that set off a movement for racial reckoning in the U.S. It played a big part in making the words I can't breathe a rallying cry for racial justice. George Floyd was killed at the hands of Minneapolis police during his arrest last year. And later on Friday a former officer convicted in that case Derek Chauvin is set to hear his sentence.
Sara Sidner reports.
SARA SIDNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Less than 24 hours from now former police officer Derek Chauvin is expected to learn his punishment.
PETER CAHILL, HENNEPIN COUNTY JUDGE FOR DEREK CHUAVIN'S TRIAL: I find the defendant guilty, guilty, guilty.
SIDNER: Two months after former officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty on all three counts including second-degree unintentional murder in the death of George Floyd, Judge Peter Cahill who presided over the trial will now decide Chauvin sentence.
GEORGE FLOYD, DIED OF POLICE VIOLENCE: I can't breathe.
UNKNOWN: Get up. You get in the car.
SIDNER: The world watched as Chauvin slowly took Floyd's life kneeling on his neck for nine minutes 29 seconds. That slow motion murder captured on a cell phone prompted protest worldwide. It also prompted Judge Cahill to find that there were several aggravating factors in the case including the slow death of George Floyd occurring over approximately six minutes of his positional asphyxia was particularly cruel. During which the defendant objectively remained indifferent to Mr. Floyd's pleas Cahill wrote. But on May 25th, Floyd's flee were heard loud and clear by eyewitnesses trying to save him.
DONALD WYNN WILLIAMS, WITNESS: You can call the police on the police.
UNKNOWN: Why did you do that?
WILLIAMS: Because I believed I witnessed a murder.
GENEVIEVE HANSEN, PROSECUTION WITNESS: Had they let me into the scene? I already had decided what his level of consciousness was so I would have requested additional help.
SIDNER: Prosecutors are asking for a 30 year sentence. The defense is asking for probation, no prison time beyond time served. But because of sentencing guidelines and aggravating factors it will likely be something in between.
MARY MORIARTY, FORMER CHIEF PUBLIC DEFENDER: The fact that the judge found aggravating factors simply means that he now has the authority to give a sentence greater than our sentencing guidelines.
SIDNER: But before the judge makes his decision, Floyd's family will get a chance to tell the court the deep and painful impact George Floyd's murder has had on their lives. Something they had revealed to the public many times outside court.
BRIDGETT FLOYD, GEORGE FLOYD'S SISTER: The officer took a great man, a great father, a great brother. A great uncle. He loved his family.
SIDNER (on camera): Well we are almost definitely here for members of the Floyd family who will be making those victim impact statements. We could be potentially hear from the defendant Derek Chauvin. He has the right to speak in court. However his attorney, Eric Nelson has filed a post-verdict motion for a brand-new trial. He has cited many different things including prosecutorial misconduct and juror misconduct. And so it isn't likely that we will hear from Chauvin and it is likely that there will be an appeal depending on what the sentence is.
Sara Sidner, CNN, in George Floyd square, Minneapolis.
BRUNHUBER (on camera): Russia and the United Kingdom at odds over a trip through disputed waters. We will explain what's next after Moscow warns the U.K. to stay away from Crimea. Also ahead dozens are killed and many more injured after Tuesday's airstrike on a market in Ethiopia's Tigray region. We'll explain why the Ethiopian military says it did nothing wrong. Stay with us.
BRUNHUBER (on camera): Russia is warning the United Kingdom against what it calls dangerous provocations after an incident off the coast of Crimea. On Wednesday, a British warship sailed through the disputed waters that Russia claims as its own. Moscow says it responded by dropping bombs and firing warning shots. While the U.K. disputes that account and Prime Minister Boris Johnson insists the warship did nothing wrong by taking that route. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BORIS JOHNSON, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: I think it was wholly appropriate to use international waters and by the way the important part is that we do not recognize the Russian annexation of Crimea. This is part of a sovereign Ukrainian territory which was entirely right that we should vindicate the law and pursue a freedom of navigation in a way that takes the shortest route between two points and that is what we did.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BRUNHUBER (on camera): Alright, Nina Dos Santos joins me now live from London. Nina, two very differing accounts of what happen and now some stark warnings. What more can you tell us?
NINA DOS SANTOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (on camera): Well, as you pointed out they are very different accounts putting the Russian sides that says that HMS defender a navy frigate which is part of a strike force that later on this year is set to go towards the south China sea.
So they say that that incurred (inaudible) about three kilometers in (inaudible) in what Russia considers to be its territory waters off the coast of Crimea. Remember that Russia annexed Crimea in 2014 but the international community for the large part does not recognize that annexation.
And as such as you just heard there, the British Prime Minister was pointing out, the U.K. considers these to be international waters and also it has the right. He and various other government ministers were saying yesterday to travel from the shortest point in this case HMS defender was moving from Odessa, the port city of Ukraine towards Georgia. They can take the shortest route possible as per international maritime law.
But Russia, as you are pointing out says or at least just claiming that they had to take some pretty extreme measures here to try and get this naval frigate out of these important territorial waters that they claim are theirs. That included supposedly throwing bombs in its ways, sending coast guard ships to try and get it to change course.
Nonsense says the U.K. They actually claim that there were military exercises going on at this part of the black sea at the time and they claimed that the fleet had indeed been warned about this.
Either way there were journalists on board this particular ship and they show intense scenes and we've seen so far. What it does indicate just a few weeks after that crucial NATO summit during which the U.K. of course, tried to stress its importance to the United States, is a crucial, important member of NATO with a big and important naval force, that it is willing to try and challenge Russia's increasing spirit of influence in eastern Europe, and, also, it's desire to try and cement this area around Crimea as part of its international waters.
But, the U.K. trying to challenge that. It is not the first time the U.K. has done this. Just last year, in fact, it had a similar situation in the black sea as well, sending a naval frigate around this waters too. And either way though as you pointed out, there are concerns that this could be a bit of a diplomatic skirmish that could portend for worst things to come in the future.
As I said, this particular ship will later on be heading back with the strike force towards the South China Sea. And there would concerns, of course, it is similar situations, and people taking similar measures over there. You got to remember, this isn't just about warfare it is about disinformation as well.
So the real question mark here is, exactly, what happened, will the picture become clearer, and does it portends something more tense in the future? Does it also mean that the U.K. is trying its best to be that strong NATO partner? And this is part of showing that to the international community too. Kim?
BRUNHUBER (on camera): Alright. Thanks so much for breaking that down for us, Nina Dos Santos, in London.
A Tigray and military spokesperson has accused the Ethiopian government of carrying out a crime against the people of Tigray. The words come just days after an airstrike, in a packed market in the region, leaving dozens dead. Ethiopia's military says, it only targeted combatants in the strike, and is now suggesting that those filmed with the injuries in hospitals were actors. CNN's Larry Madowo, has more from the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.
LARRY MADOWO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): A chaotic scene at the main hospital in the Tigrayan capital Mekelle. The casualties, pouring in. After an airstrike on a busy market Tuesday afternoon into (inaudible), killed at least 30 people, according to eyewitnesses, wounding dozens more.
Aid workers and Tigray and rebel leaders saying the death toll is likely climb much higher. Outside the hospital, disrupt family members in Mekelle wait anxiously for information, and loved ones. Health care and aid workers at this hospital telling CNN, that Ethiopian forces repeatedly blocked ambulances from driving to the scene about 20 miles away. This nurse was one of them.
UNKNOWN: We hear that the ambulances are coming, and we would get excited, but they will turn them back at some checkpoints. It was so hard to be there, and be able to help the patients.
MADOWO: Doctors in the hospital, saying they are currently treating 68 people injured in the air strike, including several children under the age of 15. The youngest, is this two-year-old girl. Ethiopian military spokesman, (Inaudible), confirmed, that government forces carried out the air strike, but said it only targeted Tigrayan fighters, dressed in civilian clothes.
UNKNOWN (through translator): Our planes have eyes. They can identify who is civilian, and who is combatant. It is the era of technology. It was a great success. Our heroic air force, carried out a successful job.
MADOWO: the spokesman claiming those injured in the hospital are actors, faking their injuries.
UNKNOWN (through translator): There is no way they would act as a member of Tigray's army when they move around, and then Tigrayan civilians when they get hit.
MADOWO: But the U.N. spokesperson, expressing alarm on behalf of the secretary general, Stephane Dujarric, amid growing reports of civilian casualties in the air strike.
STEPHANE DUJARRIC, SPOKESMAN FOR U.N. SECRETARY GENERAL: The situation in the area remains very, very volatile, it is important that everyone engaged in fighting do their most to protect civilians, to obey international humanitarian law. Once again, we want to see an end to hostilities in the region.
MADOWO: Amid the backdraft of an election that will decide the next Ethiopian Prime Minister. The region which did not vote in this week's election has seen some of the worst fighting since the conflict began in November.
It tool Ethiopian military two days to finally admit that it carried out the air strike on the north of the country, and that is only after condemnation from the U.S., the E.U., and the U.N. though not the African union. The international community wants an immediate succession of hostilities, access to the region for aid workers, and independent investigation. But, already dire humanitarian situation in Tigray could worsen during this standoff.
Larry Madowo, CNN, Addis Ababa.
BRUNHUBER (on camera): Fear, inspiration, and a team coming together. Still ahead, Denmark's goalkeeper talks about a teammate suffering a cardiac arrest on the pitch, and how the squad bounced back from that Euro 2020, stay with us.
BRUNHUBER: As a 16 teams remaining at the European football championship prepare for the start of the knockout round on Saturday. Many neutrals are preparing to root for Denmark. The Danes kick off their tournament in the high hopes that the football, quickly, became irrelevant as their star player, Christian Eriksson, collapsed to the turf after suffering cardiac arrest. Well, for everyone involved and many watched it on television, it was horrifying, and traumatic.
Denmark lost that game to Finland, and they were beaten again by Belgium, but in their final group game, the Danes provided, arguably, the best moment of the tournament so far with a rising win against Russia. It was a night of high emotion in Copenhagen in which carried them to the second round, in a knockout, game against Wales. Their goalkeeper, Kasper Schmeichel has already experienced tragedy in football. The owner of his club team, Leicester city, was killed in a helicopter crash back in 2018. He has been telling Amanda Davis about Denmark's extraordinary start to this tournament.
KASPER SCHMEICHEL, DENMARK GOALKEEPER: The most important thing for us was to know that Christian was OK. And you know, it was great to see he came by the camp, when he came out of hospital, and that helped a lot of the guys, I think just to see -- it raised the last image we had of him (inaudible), to see in real life, and to see that he was OK. It was really important.
AMANDA DAVIES, CNN WORLD SPORTS (on camera): What was that moment like when Christian came in the room? Did he walk into the room?
SCHMEICHEL: he came during training, so we are out on the pitch, yes, it was a great moment, and it is nice to see. I was lucky enough to be able to visit him in the hospital and to see him there and along the boys that was the first time for them seeing him. So, naturally training stuff straight away and everyone (inaudible).
DAVIES: I think it's difficult to know what to do, on the one hand, everybody would've wanted to give him a big bear hug, but I suppose, equally, you know, not want to hurt him.
SCHMEICHEL: Yes. A couple of the guys, maybe hug him quite hard, but it's SUTTER: really nice to see him, and to see him in good spirits.
DAVIES: What has the balance been like, you know, trying to move on and draw a line? But then, actually using it as motivation? I could imagine that has been quite tough from an emotional perspective.
SCHMEICHEL: We were very, very emotional as we go into this tournament because of the circumstances. A small country like ourselves, being able to host three group games is an honor. So, we were highly motivated beforehand, but obviously, to held what happened so early in the tournament for us, all that kind of went out of the window, and it became about so much more, it became about a human side, it became about team and the country, you know, living through quit traumatic experience and basically everybody getting together and supporting one another. So the motivation was always there, and now this is just added motivation.
DAVIES: Of course, it's not just your emotion. Yes, you are from a footballing family, but you know, you are a footballer, you are a husband, you are a father. I can imagine the conversations with your family were not the easiest.
SCHMEICHEL: No. Without a doubt. I mean, what happens to Christian could have been anybody. You know, and of course, that plays on not just your own mind, but your family's minds. You know, and all of our families where there for the game and there is a definitely a feeling that it could have been anybody. I think that's why the players and the staff, reacted the way they did. Because that's what we would've wanted if we were ourselves.
DAVIES: How much have you drawn on the tragedy that you are so part of Leicester city?
SCHMEICHEL: Obviously that was something that came into my mind. You know, a tragic situation and that probably allowed me the opportunity to be, probably be more grateful than anything. That this didn't end that way. So, for me, you know, I was able to speak to Christian, and to see him, that made me feel a lot more comfortable. Knowing that he was still here, that he was alive, and he was well. It's definitely that experience was something that came to be in all of this, and the joy of it not ending the same way.
DAVIES: And we know that Denmark, your team in the past, have won this tournament against the odds. How much of a discussion has there been about the spirit of 1992? And, just maybe?
SCHMEICHEL: Absolutely not at all. Biggest mistake we could make is to get ahead of yourself. We've see life throws curveballs at you, anything can happen in any given situation. Football is so unpredictable. Our only focus is Wales, we aren't looking anywhere beyond that, because if we do, and we lose focus on Wales, then they will beat us, because they are (inaudible). (END VIDEOTAPE)
BRUNHUBER (on camera): And finally, depending on where you are, pick out your window, and look up at the night sky. It is your last chance to see a super moon this year, meaning, the moon is brighter, and closer to the earth. The June full moon is sometimes called the strawberry moon. It is the first of the four full moons of the summer season in the northern hemisphere.
Now, the name has to do with the ripening of strawberries and other fruit this time of the year in parts of the world. The website Earth skies says you will be able to see the large golden moon for two or three nights.
Well, that wraps this hour of CNN Newsroom, I'm Kim Brunhuber, I will be back in just a moment with more news, please do stay with us.