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House Approves Committee to Investigate January 6 Attack; U.S. Embassy in Kabul Calls on Taliban to End Violence; China's Ruling Communist Party Marks Centennial; Statue to be Placed at Kensington Palace Honoring Princess Diana; Dogs Play Key Role in Search and Rescue Efforts. Aired 4:30-5a ET

Aired July 1, 2021 - 04:30   ET



KIM BRUNHUBER, CNN ANCHOR: Many Republicans say it's just another chance to attack Donald Trump, but two of them joined with Democrats to approve a House investigation into the U.S. Capitol riot six months ago. CNN's Ryan Nobles has details.


RYAN NOBLES, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The House of Representatives will have a select committee that will be charged with investigating the events leading up to the January 6 insurrection. This after a vote in the House on Wednesday largely along partisan lines although two Republicans, Illinois' Adam Kinzinger and Wyoming's Liz Cheney did vote yes. Both of them are seen as possible appointees to this committee by the House Speaker Nancy Pelosi who has hinted that she may appoint a Republican as part of the eight people that she has to select to be put on this committee.

Now the other five will come from the Republicans, at least in consultation with the minority leader Kevin McCarthy. He's been coy as to how he is going to cooperate with this panel. He told me on Wednesday, that he thinks the whole thing is too political. Now that could be because McCarthy himself could be a big part of this investigation. Bennie Thompson, who is the current chair of the Homeland Security Committee, and he's seen as a frontrunner to become the committee chair of the select committee. This is what he said about McCarthy's role on January 6 and how the select committee may investigate that.

REP. BENNIE THOMPSON (D-MS): He's acknowledged that he had a call. There have been other Republicans who said he had a call and that would be part of the collection of evidence necessary to produce a report.

NOBLES: Now what this also means is that those five Republicans should they be appointed because there were so many that voted no in forming this select committee, that that crop will likely be people who voted against forming this committee to begin with. So it will likely begin its work in a very partisan manner. Still Pelosi said that the point of this is getting to the truth. She wants it to be transparent and open and hopefully able to come up with a consensus as to what went wrong on that day and prevent it from happening in the future.

Ryan Nobles, CNN, on Capitol Hill.


CHURCH: The military architect of the U.S. war in Iraq and defense secretary to Presidents Ford and Georgia W. Bush has died. Donald Rumsfeld passed away Tuesday at his home in Taos, New Mexico, he was 88. Rumsfeld served in the George W. Bush administration when the U.S. invaded Iraq and Afghanistan. Critics blamed him for many failures that followed in Iraq but Rumsfeld refused to accept that.

The U.S. embassy in Kabul is calling on the Taliban to end its ongoing violence as it gains ground across Afghanistan. Statements coming with the U.S. now just days away from completing its troop withdrawal from the country and as military officials voice concerns that Afghanistan could descend into civil war.

CNN is in Afghanistan covering all of the developments. So let's turn to Anna Coren who was standing by in Kabul. Anna, I imagine for many Afghans what's happening now is confirming their worst fears. You're there, what are they telling you?

ANNA COREN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Kim, there is a real sense of disbelief and abandonment. You know, Afghans knew that the U.S. were obviously going to withdraw. There was a deadline put in place September 11 was set by President Biden, obviously the 20th anniversary of the September 11 attacks. The whole reason why the United States came to Afghanistan. But they did not think that the U.S. would be leaving this quickly.


We are hearing reports that U.S. troops could be out of country within the coming days. They are going to leave about a thousand troops here, 600 to protect the U.S. embassy, the remainder to secure the international airport until Turkish forces come into play. But the Afghans that I've spoken to, Kim, say that this is not the right time. That the Americans are leaving while the Taliban are on the offensive.

You know, they are gaining ground daily. You know, you can go by districts, and depending on whether you listen to the Taliban or to the government, you know, roughly it's about 100 districts of the 370 that have fallen to the Taliban. The official data that we are getting.

But, you know, regardless of whether or not the government says that that is not accurate, we are seeing the propaganda videos that the Taliban are releasing on a daily basis. And they are taking over outposts of Afghan national security forces. They are, you know, having the troops surrendered, often peacefully. Even not a lot of this is being done with force, often the surrenders are done peacefully.

But they are handing over U.S.-funded equipment, you know, weapons, ammunition, Humvees, armored vehicles. And these optics are extremely distressing. We should note that the Taliban have yet to take over any provincial capitals.

And General Austin Scott Miller who is in charge of the U.S. withdrawal here, he is the one who said that an impending civil war is in play because of what is taking place in Afghanistan. He said that Afghan forces should retreat to the cities, get out of the countryside, the districts, and retreat to the cities and secure those areas. That will be the focus of the impending battle as the Taliban get closer and closer to these major cities -- Kim.

BRUNHUBER: Very worrisome. Thanks so much for your reporting there on the ground, Anna Coren in Kabul, Afghanistan, appreciate it.

Human Rights Watch says Myanmar's detention of an American journalist is outrageous and unacceptable. Denny Fenster is managing editor of the news publication "Frontier Myanmar," it was detained by Myanmar's military in May on charges of spreading false news. Human Rights Watch is calling for his release and for all charges against him to be dropped. Fenster appeared in court today after almost a month in jail.

The Chinese Communist Party is celebrating its 100th anniversary with a massive display of pageantry and patriotism. Tens of thousands gathered in Beijing's Tiananmen Square to mark the milestone and to hear Chinese leaders tout China's prominence as a global power, with a modernized military on full display. President Xi Jinping said no foreign power should dare to bully China or interfere with its affairs.

CNN's Steven Jiang has been following the celebrations for us in Beijing. Steven, lots of pageantry and plenty of threats. Take us through the day.

STEVEN JIANG, CNN PRODUCER: That's right, Kim, and also there is a major thunderstorm sweeping through the city right now. So I'm sure the country's most powerful leader in decades and this carefully selected crowd of 70,000 people are feeling relieved that the big party did not get rained on.

But for the communist, of course, today is all about putting on this enormous show to remind the people what the party has given them. It's also about traveling down the memory lane, but very selectively. So in that hour long speech President Xi delivered as expected he extolled the party's virtues and listed its many accomplishments. Which of course, are undeniable. From a very humble beginning, this is now the world's biggest ruling party boasting more than 95 million members and commanding the world's second biggest economy.

But what's missing from the official narrative of course are the many dark chapters in the party's history that critics say has resulted in the deaths of millions of Chinese including the bloody crackdown on pro-democracy protesters in 1989 in the very place that they held the celebration on Thursday in Tiananmen Square. Now that missing piece of course is a reflection of the party's ruthless nature. It crushes any forms of dissent both within or outside the party.

But it also shows how the party has managed to not only survive but also thrive after these dark periods because of its willingness to shift ideologies and the priorities. That's why the leadership launched its reform in opening policy in the late 1970s to usher in decades of rapid economic growth.


That's also why Xi Jinping in recent years has been increasingly reasserting the party's dominant role in every aspect of Chinese society to make sure that the party maintains its monopoly on power in this age of new technologies. And the party of course has also taken advantage of its top down power structure to deliver economic benefits and effective governance. More recently quickly containing the COVID virus within its borders, even after mishandling the crisis. So all of this of course allowing the party to tout the superiority of its political system even as its strongman leaders policies and additions are increasingly on a collision course with the United States and other liberal democracies of the world -- Kim.

CHURCH: Steven Jiang in Beijing, thanks so much for that.

In the coming hours, a redesigned garden at Kensington Palace will be the setting for a new statue of Princess Diana. Coming up, we'll explore the role her son's will play in the memorial. Stay with us.


BRUNHUBER: In a few hours Princess Diana will be honored on what would have been her 60th birthday. Her sons Princes William and Harry will formally unveil a statue of her at one of her favorite spots at Kensington Palace. The last time the two were together was at the funeral of their grandfather Prince Philip in April.

Anna Stewart is live at Kensington Palace. Anna, I understand it's going to be a small event in terms of size, but obviously of huge importance to the family in many different ways. Take us through what's expected there.

ANNA STEWART, CNN REPORTER: Really significant day, particularly of course for Princes William and Harry. Harry has come over from the U.S., he has been isolating for several days to make sure that he can be a part of this. It has, as you say, been scaled back due to the pandemic. But still the core of it will be the unveiling of a statue by a famous artist called Ian Rank-Broadley.


We actually all have a little bit of his artwork in our pockets here in the U.K. Because he designed the picture of the Queen that's actually on all British coins. So that will be unveiled.

As you say it is in the Sunken Garden, which you can't quite see. It's here at Kensington Palace. And it's supposed to be one of the favorite spots of Princess Diana. And actually it was where Prince Harry announced his engage to Meghan back in 2017. Largely because it's such a special place for him and for the family. So that will be beautiful.

The garden itself has had a big redesign. Thousands of new flowers have been planted, many of Princess Diana's favorites, including forget-me-nots. We expect to see Prince William and Prince Harry together. This will be the first time we've seen that since the funeral of Prince Philip.

Of course many people will be looking and then trying to work out whether the rift has been healed. Looking at their body language wondering what is going on with their relationship. We've heard so little publicly in terms of statements and interviews. And hopefully that is a good thing and they are working things out behind crowed doors. You never really can tell, can you. But a beautiful day, a really great event. Hopefully this unites these brothers to their love of their mother.

BRUNHUBER: Absolutely. All right, think you so much, Anna Stewart outside Kensington Palace, appreciate it.

Lightning strikes twice in the Stanley Cup finals, plus basketball, tennis and more. Patrick Snell has our minute in sports.


PATRICK SNELL, CNN WORLD SPORT: Kim, thanks so much. We start right here in the U.S. where the Phoenix Suns went into Wednesday night's clash with the LA Clippers knowing that they were just one win away from the NBA finals. A very special night indeed for Chris Paul and his team who do indeed advance to the finals for the first time since 1993 and the first time ever for the 36-year-old Paul. Paul with a game high of 41 points as well. Phoenix will face either the Atlanta Hawks or Milwaukee Bucks who meet later on tonight. They are level at two a piece in the East.

Meantime the Bucks' Greek superstar Giannis listed as doubtful after he suffered a hyperextended knee injury in game four.

Want to get to the Stanley Cup final now. Another win for defending champs Tampa Bay Lightning against the Montreal Canadiens. Blake Coleman scoring the all-important goal right at the end of the second period. The Lightning now with a commanding 2-0 series lead.

And Thursday, day four at Wimbledon, where the games top stars continue to slide into humble. Tournament organizers though saying that they've been happy with conditions on both Monday and Tuesday. On Wednesday, defending champ Novak Djokovic advancing in straight sets against South Africa's Kevin Anderson. And with that is back to you -- Kim.


BRUNHUBER: Britney Spears' father will remain in charge of the pop star's multimillion-dollar estate, at least for now. A Los Angeles judge has denied a motion from November which requested that the singer's father be removed as her co-conservator. The decision isn't a result of Spears bombshell testimony last week where she asked a judge to help her regain control of her estate. Two sources close to the star says she plans to file a petition soon to terminate the nearly 13 year conservatorship. As the search and rescue efforts move ahead in Surfside, Florida,

highly trained K-9s are proving to play a critical role in the search for survivors. We'll meet the dedicated dogs when we come back. Stay with us.



BRUNHUBER: Dogs are playing a crucial role in search and rescue efforts in Surfside, Florida. The city's mayor said the group of specifically trained K-9s has been very, very active at the collapsed condo site. CNN's Randi Kaye explains how the dogs are searching for survivors.


RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): These K-9 search and rescue teams have just finished up a 12 hour shift searching for survivors in the rubble pile where Champlain Towers South once stood. Families are counting on these dogs to help find loved ones. Bohdi, Zoe, Stone, Gunner and the others are all part of Florida Task Force 1. They are built for this sort of delicate work.

PJ PARKER, FLORIDA TASK FORCE 1, BOHDI'S HANDLER: The dogs, and the way they move across the rubble, they are very agile and they distribute their weight with four different paws. And they don't hesitate like humans do. So it's much safer for them to move across the rubble. They don't displace rubble, so they won't create further damage to the victim if there's a further collapse.

KAYE (voice-over): And when disaster strikes, their keen sense of smell gives them another great advantage over their human handlers. The team says dogs have as many as 300 million smell receptors in their noses, compared to about 6 million in humans. That sense of smell helps direct search crews where to look saving them precious time on the rubble pile.

FRANK GARCIA, FLORIDA TASK FORCE 1, ZOE'S HANDLER: Their job is not to say X marks the spot. Their job is to say hey, this is where we have to start looking. This is where we start our search and that's where we bring in our tech search guys who will then help to pinpoint -- I know, sweetheart, she's excited, my apologies. They will then work the pinpoint and then after that, the technical rescue guys will then bring the victim out.

KAYE (voice-over): On the pile, there are two types of dogs. Those trained to find people who are still alive, and those looking to help recover bodies. Both types of dogs alert their handlers by barking, a lot. We asked them to show us how it is done.

MEGHAN WASHLOW, FLORIDA TASK FORCE 1, GUNNER'S HANDLER: I'm going to release my dog from up here. He's going to go search for Riley.

KAYE (voice-over): A team member Riley Edgar is hiding behind some bushes. Watch how quickly this pup Gunner sniffs him out. WASHLOW: Dog coming. Search.

Good job, buddy. That's a good boy. When you're ready you can let him win. Yes, bud, good job you found him. This way. Come here. That's a good job.


KAYE (voice-over): The dogs do it for the praise and the toy they get as a reward. They have no idea lives are at stake or that every minute counts.

JOE LONG, FLORIDA TASK FORCE 1, STONE'S HANDLER: Everything we do is worth a toy, so they just think it is a big game. You know, if price is right everything for them.

KAYE (voice-over): The key is teaching the dog to ignore other distractions that may be in the rubble.

WASHLOW: We'll hide different clothes, cat food, high reward items, cat food, meats, stuff like that, to make sure that they not to alert on those, but only they're only alerting on people.

KAYE (voice-over): Despite the 12 hour shift, handlers say the dogs never tire of the work. They often have to pull them off the pile and make them rest before their shift starts all over again.

Randi Kaye, CNN, Surfside, Florida.


BRUNHUBER: So as rescuers search for survivors, let's take a moment to remember those who we know won't come back to their loved ones. 18 names each one someone's father, son, grandmother, husband, or wife. Among those names is Stacie Fang who lost her life in the rubble, but her teenage boy was luckily pulled out alive.

And Antonio and Gladys Lozano who were preparing to celebrate their 59th wedding anniversary when the building came down. There's also Michael Altman, an immigrant from Costa Rica whose son describes him as his best friend who is a selfless happy person.

And Hilda Noriega, a feisty 92-year-old who, according to a priest, was found in the rubble with rosaries on her body. Her son says three items from Noriega still made their way to the family. A postcard and two pictures he founded the site after the collapse.

Well thanks for joining me on CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Kim Brunhuber in Atlanta. "EARLY START" is next.