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Official: Three Dead, 113 Unaccounted for in Japan Landslide; British PM to Set Out Next Steps in England's Reopening Plan; U.S. Troop Withdrawal Raises Prospect of Civil War in Afghanistan; U.N. Describes Dire Hunger Crisis in Tigray Region; U.S. Software Firm Says Hit By "Sophisticated Cyberattack"; Billionaire Jeff Bezos Stepping Down as CEO; Pope Francis Recovering from Surgery for Colon Diverticulitis; Turkey Withdraws from Violence Against Women Treaty; Pollution from Sunken Ship Devastates Marine Life. Aired 1-2a ET

Aired July 5, 2021 - 01:00   ET



PAULA NEWTON, CNN ANCHOR: And welcome to our viewers from all around the world. I'm Paula Newton.

Ahead right here on CNN NEWSROOM:

As the U.S. takes significant steps towards pulling troops from Afghanistan, there are serious concerns about the likelihood of a Taliban takeover.

Plus, more than 100 people are still unaccounted for after a devastating mudslide in Japan. We're live on the ground where there is a threat of another landslide.

And Ethiopia's months-long civil war is causing a massive hunger crisis. We'll discuss with a guest.


NEWTON: And we begin this hour with new developments, out of Japan. Just two days after a massive landslide in the city of Atami. Now, local officials tell CNN, three people are now confirmed dead, and more than a hundred others are unaccounted for. Even as emergency workers are racing to find survivors, rain, and the threat of another landslide have complicated rescue efforts.

I want to go straight to Blake Essig, he's been standing by for us live in Atami, Japan.

And, once again, a tough day there. Perhaps the weather has cleared a little bit, but tell us more just about the danger right now, and how precarious that situation is, especially given how vulnerable the places, still, to more landslides.

BLAKE ESSIG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know, Paula, I mean, for the most part of the day today, it's been pretty dry. But just in the last couple of minutes, some rain has started to fall. There are still helicopters flying overhead. So the fog that we saw yesterday, the amount of rain that we saw yesterday, it isn't a factor yet, today.

But we've had torrential rains here, for several days, and the reality of the situation is that all of that water, that has accumulated over that timeframe has led to the fact that there is a real potential for another landslide. In fact, it was just yesterday that we received multiple alerts, warning of that very possibility. Now, so far, 23 people who were stranded inside structures have been rescued, which is amazing, given the devastation caused by the massive landslide that swept through the seaside resort town of Atami.

But at this point, three people are dead, and there are at least another 113 people who have either been reported missing, or remain unaccounted for. Now, recently, I spoke with the women searching for her husband from a distance. She says she can see her house is still standing but she was told by neighbors that her husband was outside when the landslide came crashing through town and was likely swept away. Take a listen.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): I haven't been able reach my husband since 11:00 a.m. last Saturday. We're in a family group chat on our phones. I tried contacting him but couldn't get through. I thought it was odd and came back.

I just really want to see my husband again no matter what. That's it really.


ESSIG: And more than 560 people are now sheltering at two private hotels in Atami. These are hotels that are being used as evacuation centers in order to limit the potential spread of COVID-19. But for a second full day, more than 1,100 people are assisting search and rescue efforts.

We've watched these crews have used chainsaws to cut their way through wreckage, searching for survivors, drones and helicopters are being used to survey the area. Coast Guard ships continue to scour the coastline and we've seen at least one dog being used to squeeze inside partially collapsed buildings. This landslide cut a path of death and destruction, turning what was once a residual area into a wasteland. Atami city officials say 130 homes have been completely destroyed, either buried or swept away, while an additional 100 to 300 homes have been damaged -- Paula.

NEWTON: Yeah, the woman that you were talking to, so feel for her. Again, jus to out of the blue know that one of your loved ones was in the harm's way.

When you look at even at the scene behind you, anyone who's been to Japan knows that a certain point of time, these homes are precariously set atop hills and all along them. Is there some sense yet? I know it's early, as to whether or not any kind of developments would have been the problem during this landslide. ESSIG: Yeah, you know, Paula, geological disasters are unfortunately just a common reality here in Japan. You know, over the past years, a government shows that specifically regarding landslides, than average of 1,500 landslides take place across Japan on a year basis.

You know, as for what took place here in Atami. The governor of Shizuoka says that the prefecture will investigate the cause of the landslide and one theory that will be looked into is whether it was caused by housing and developmental projects that have deforested the area above Atami and possibly reduced the mountainous ability, excuse me, the mountain's ability to retain water.


Now, in walking around yesterday and today, we've talked to residents who have shared that same theory, believing that this was, in fact, a manmade disaster. They said that residents have been spoken out and express concern about a possible landslide for years as a result of that cleared land for housing and the development of a mega solar farm.

NEWTON: Yeah, and what's interesting is we've talked about the extreme weather patterns around the world and given torrential rains obviously a concern going forward for residents still in that area.

Blake Essig, thanks so much. Really appreciate the update.

Now, hurricane warnings are in effect for parts of Cuba as Tropical Storm Elsa gets closer. It's expected to make landfall there. Just in the coming hours, storm is bringing heavy rain and a threat of flash flooding and mudslides. Here is how one resident says he's bracing for the storm.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): We are moving because the building is falling. You need to move now because with the storm that's coming, things are grim, as us Cubans say, you need to move and that's how we keep on going.


NEWTON: So, meteorologist Allison Chinchar is here now to give us a very idea of where this storm is now -- it's been really changing over the last few days, and, of course, we're also honing in not just on Cuba, but it's the effect it will have in Florida.

ALLISON CHINCHAR, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yeah, that's right. So, the latest update shows that we are starting to see again, a little bit of strengthening with this particular storm. Winds have now increased back to run 120 kilometers per hour. Those wind gusts are at hurricane strength. It's the sustained winds that are still at tropic storm strength, but that's really what matters.

The forward movement still to the northwest at about 24 kilometers per hour, but we have hurricane warnings out again along that southern tier of areas of Cuba. But we also have tropical storm watches and warnings not only for other areas across Cuba but also areas of Florida, in preparation for where this storm is anticipated to go over the next 24 to 48 hours. Again, we anticipate it crosses over really the western portion of Cuba.

This is important because the western portion is not nearly as high up in elevation as that central region is, and it's that interaction with land as the storm crosses over that really gives us a good idea of whether this storm will continue to weaken, does it strengthen? Things like that. So, really the next 24 hours is going to be key.

From there, it goes back out over the open water and is likely expected to make an additional landfall over portions near the Tampa Bay region once we get towards Wednesday. Storm surges are going to be a big concern. Rainfall is also going to be another large concern, not only across Cuba, but also across the western portion, the southwestern portion specifically of Florida. And then the storm begins to veer back towards the east, perhaps involving some impacts around Savannah, Georgia. Maybe even perhaps Charleston, South Carolina.

So, a flash flood threat is also going to be a big concern for Florida as well. Not just in Cuba, but the short term concerns will be the flooding and the potential force for some mudslides across the area in Cuba.

Now, one of the things to note, the model comparisons, we always talk about the Americans versus the European. One thing to note is the timing is very consistent. In fact most of them have similar timeframe of where the storm is anticipated to be.

The difference is the intensity. The American model has the storm being a little bit stronger than the European model does, so this is going to be one of those things we are just going to have to keep a close eye on over the next 24 to 48 hours.

NEWTON: Yeah. And as we say, as well as Cuba, people in Florida obviously are keeping a close eye on that.

Allison, thanks for the update.


NEWTON: And now, crews have carried out a controlled demolition of the partially collapsed building in south Florida, you see it right there. What was left of the 12 story structure was brought down a short time ago and it could not have been easy for the families to watch that. The demolition timeline was stepped out over fears of that storm that Allison was just talking about. Officials say needed to happen for search and rescue efforts to resume safely.


DANIELLA LEVINE CAVA, MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA MAYOR: So, as soon as the building is down, once the site is deemed secure. We will have our first responders back on the pile to immediately resume their work.


NEWTON: Now, about 55 of the buildings 136 units crashed into the ground 11 days ago now. Twenty-four people have been confirmed dead while 121 people remain unaccounted for.

In the coming hours, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to lay out plans to further ease coronavirus restrictions in England. Now in a news conference later today he will discuss distancing, face coverings and working from home.


This despite the fact that as you see them there, infections are rising across the U.K.

The British medical group says weekly cases are up 74 percent and hospitalizations are up 55 percent over the week before in England alone. But a British official says safety measures such as masks will soon become a personal choice.


ROBERT JENRICK, U.K. SECRETARY OF STATE FOR HOUSING, COMMUNITIES & LOCAL GOVERNMENT: I don't particularly want to wear a mask, I don't think a lot of people enjoy doing it. We will be moving into a phase where these masks will be a personal choice, and so, some members of society will want to do so for perfectly legitimate reasons, but it will be a different period where we as private citizens make these judgments rather than the government telling you went to do.


NEWTON: So, Mr. Johnson, though, is widely expected to stick with his target date of July 19th for reopening England.

Nic Robertson has more now from London.


NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR (voice-over): Britain's leap of faith is nearing. When in effect scene is enough to remove remaining restrictions, the balance between politics and science tips in favor of more politically driven decisions.

DR. RAVI GUPTA, MEMBER, UK'S NERVTAG ADVISORY GROUP: The problem is that there are (INAUDIBLE) in figuring out what vaccine coverage is needed.

ROBERTSON: Dr. Ravi Gupta is an immunology expert and a member of the government COVID advisory NERVTAG team.

GUPTA: Fixing a target of vaccination percentage is probably the most appropriate thing at the moment, because we're not going to get to the levels that we really need, because to do that, we need to go to children. That's going to take time.

ROBERTSON: British politicians appear ready to test the science. Standing by and already delaying so-called Freedom Day, July 19th, where remaining COVID restrictions are removed.

SAJID JAVID, BRITISH HEALTH SECRETARY: The prime minister has called it our -- for me, 19th of July is not only the end of the line, but the start of an exciting new journey for our country.

ROBERTSON: In his first full day on the job last week, the U.K.'s new health secretary was bullish.

JAVID: No date we choose comes with zero risk for COVID. We know we cannot simply eliminate it. We have to learn to live with it.

ROBERTSON: The problem here in the U.K. is that infections are rising rapidly because of the delta variant. In the past, the response would have been to put on more restrictions, but now, the moment of really testing new vaccine data has arrived.

BORIS JOHNSON, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: The speed of that vaccine rollout has broken that leap between infection and mortality. And that's an amazing thing that gives us the scope of we think on the 19th to go ahead. Cautiously, irreversibly to go ahead.

ROBERTSON: Israel, among the first countries to near full vaccination and a bellwether for vaccine efficacy was recently forced to reverse some of its COVID protections, dropped when it ended all restrictions June 1st, with COVID infections spiking. A reality that seems to shade Johnson's characteristics sunny optimism, adding this caveat, freedom day will not be complete freedom.

JOHNSON: Try to get a factor like as close to it was before COVID. Maybe some things we have to do as an extra precaution that we have to take, but I'll be setting them out.

ROBERTSON: Getting those precautions right, Dr. Gupta says, is critical.

GUPTA: The more transmission we allow, the more chance the virus has to evil further, and, you know, delta maybe just a beginning of another line of things the virus is able to do.

ROBERTSON: We are undoubtedly less in the dark about this pandemic than we were a year ago. Even so as a new phase of living with COVID- 19 nears, we remain in seriously uncharted territory.

Nic Robertson, CNN, London.


NEWTON: Now, as the U.S. military nears its final stages of withdrawal from Afghanistan, a top soldier overseeing the move sets fears about what the talent will do next are real. Army General Austin Scott Miller is warning us of a possible civil war as the U.S. forces leave. This is as the Taliban are already looking to seize more territory.

Now, according to the "Long War Journal", the Taliban control, more than 160 out of nearly 400 districts, the Afghan government controls only about 80, it was in red that you see there are contested. CNN has not independently confirmed these details.

Speaking with ABC News, General Miller said it's important to preserve what's been fought for.


GEN. AUSTIN SCOTT MILLER, U.S. ARMY: We should be concerned. The loss of terrain and the rapidity of that loss of terrain has to be concerning, one, because it's a -- war is physical, but it's also got a psychological or moral component to it.


And hope actually matters. And moral actually matters.

And so, as you watch the television moving across the country, what you don't want to have happen is that the people lose hope and they believe they now have a foregone conclusion presented to them.


NEWTON: CNN's Anna Coren has the latest from Kabul.


ANNA COREN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): As a security situation continues to deteriorate across Afghanistan, the U.S. embassy here in Kabul has updated emergency its evacuation plans unnerving local Afghans. The State Department says this is just a routine procedure, however it comes just days after the U.S. and NATO forces left Bagram Air Base, once the nerve center of a 20-year American war.

They've now handed it over to the Afghan's, essentially winding down Americas involvement in these wars.

Six hundred and fifty marines will continue to protect the U.S. embassy while other troops and contractors will secure the international airport until a permanent solution is in place.

But the Taliban is emboldened. It's claimed more than 15 percent of territory launching its offenses across the country, particularly in the north, with districts falling on an almost daily basis. Peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban virtually nonexistent. There's been little if no progress made in recent months. People here say there is no political roadmap for the future of Afghanistan.

They say the withdrawal could not have come at a worse time, leaving Afghanistan in a state of helplessness, violence and insecurity.

Anna Coren, CNN, Kabul. (END VIDEOTAPE)

NEWTON: Coming up, nearly 2 million people in northern Ethiopia are facing famine and war, stopping them from getting critical food, the latest on the crisis in Tigray, that's next.

And South Africa's former president battles corruption allegations. He's lashing out at the court. Jacob Zuma's accusations ahead.


NEWTON: In Ethiopia, Tigrayan leaders say they're ready for a negotiated cease-fire with the central government but only if Ethiopian and Eritrean troops leave the region. Last week, Ethiopia's government announced a truce after some eight brutal months of war. Tigrean forces rejected that offer saying Sunday they need more ironclad protections, and time is, of course, ticking down.

The humanitarian crisis in Tigray is really careening out of control as Larry Madowo explains.


LARRY MADOWO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Truckloads of supplies, bound for people desperate for food in Ethiopia's Tigray region, standstill at a checkpoint for days. This footage filmed by "Reuters" more than a week ago shows sacks of aid being eventually unloaded from trucks, at a warehouse near a checkpoint, controlled by government allied forces.


The stockpile here is a little help to the people of Tigray without enough to eat. The U.N. warns shipments like these are critical as shortages of food in the war-torn region have sharply increased in the past few weeks.

RAMESH RAJASINGHAM, ACTING U.N. AID CHIEF: One of the most distressing trends is an alarming rise in food and security and hunger due to conflict. More than 400,000 people are estimated to have crossed the threshold into famine, and another 1.8 million people are on the brink of famine.

MADOWO: The World Food Program says it has resumed operation in Tigray, that is facing access problems from ongoing fighting, and the destruction of key suppliers like this at this bridge that the U.N. says was targeted by forces allied to the government.

The Ethiopian government denies blocking aid and blames Tigrayan fighters for cutting the bridge. But the spokesman for the Tigrayan People's Liberation Front, which has been battling the government in an eight-month civil war, says the damage is part of the government's plan to cut off the region.

GETACHEW REDA, TIGRAY PEOPLE'S LIBERATION FRONT SPOKESMAN (through telephone): Amhara and Abiy's forces are busy destroying, and blowing up bridges so they could, one, prevent humanitarian aid from reaching the people of Tigray and second, and moist important for them, to prevent Tigray defense forces from taking over the western part of Tigray.

MADOWO: The urgent need for food aid coinciding with a major shift in battle, a week ago, the Tigrayan defense forces retook the regional capital Mekelle. It's a blow to the government, which with the help of Eritrean soldiers forcing fighters out of the city last November.

The foreign ministry criticized the Tigrayan forces for first rejecting a cease-fire called by the government.

DINA MUFTI, ETHIOPIAN FOREIGN MINISTRY SPOKESPERSON: The cessation of hostilities was taken unilaterally from our side. However, to implement the cease-fire fully, it needs two to tango. The other side has to react appropriately.

MADOWO: But on Sunday, Tigrayans said conditions for negotiating cease-fire would include an independent investigation into alleged war crimes, and a safe corridor for aid to reach the region.

This followed a show of power by Tigrayan forces as they paraded thousands of captured Ethiopian soldiers through their recaptured territory.

But it's a victory that could be short-lived. Food and fuel are running out in the city because of a blockade by Ethiopian forces. Eyewitnesses say government forces and militias are obstructing rolls out of the city and there is no power there, leaving many homes without running water. Conditions that will surely bring more misery to civilians of help does not arrive soon.

Larry Madowo, CNN.


NEWTON: Alex de Waal, the executive director of the World Peace Foundation, and he joins me now from Boston.

He is also a research professor at the Fletcher School at Tufts University.

You know, the situation seems to get more dire. The U.N. says more than 400,000 people now are in a state of famine, 1.8 million more on the brink of famine. Aid is still not to be seeming to reach those most in need.

Why not? Because many are saying that right now, this disaster could reach historic proportions.

ALEX DE WAAL, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, WORLD PEACE FOUNDATION: It could certainly reach really her renders proportions, and in fact the USAID is saying that more than 900,000 are in famine conditions. And are likely to see the deaths of perhaps 30,000 children, because it's children that are dying came over the coming weeks. What we've seen in the last couple of weeks is a dramatic shift,

because until two weeks ago, the main driver of the famine was a campaign of starvation crimes, we can call them, destroying food, raping women, dismantling the economic infrastructure by the occupying armies of Eritrea and Ethiopia.

Now, what's happened now is those armies have actually been defeated by the Tigrayan resistance driven by the desperation of people who knew that the only thing they could do was to resist these forces. The Tigrayan resistance has actually driven out these armies. But we have now is a siege, essentially the government of Ethiopia is refusing to allowed food and it's blown up one of the major bridges which is a supply route.

It looted the United Nations agencies as it forces (INAUDIBLE). And it has made no effort, no concession to allowing any food in. So, we have -- as it were -- a situation with a population of more than 5 million people, 4 million of them who need food aid is completely surrounded that none of that aid is getting in.


NEWTON: And I'm glad you pointed out to put the scope of this and the politics and perspective, because the point is right now, the Ethiopian government says that they've declared a cease fire -- no idea where any of that stands. It's very confusing.

And yet as you say, the people on the ground here are really at their mercy.

DE WAAL: Well, the ceasefire was really a face saver, because they declared it only when their forces were actually being driven out of Tigray. And as the ambassador to the United Nations by U.S., Linda Thomas-Greenfield said, speaking to the U.N., the ceasefire was really only meaningful if the key weapon that the Ethiopians, which is starvation, which is hunger, if that weapon is seized to be used.

So, a huge amount of pressure is being put on government of Ethiopia on the moment to allow that essential food aid to stop this famine. On the other side just today, the Tigrayan defense forces declared their preconditions for a cease-fire, which on the one hand each of those conditions is quite reasonable, but the tone with which it made units meant made it clear that they intend to continue fighting, at least for the time being, and there's a sort of exchange of insults that Tigrayans call the government fascists. The government calls the Tigrayans a criminal junta. So, there's really no willingness on either side at the moment to send down and talk peace and talk interests of the people who are starving.

NEWTON: Alex de Waal, thank you so much for your perspective on this.

DE WAAL: Thank you.

NEWTON: The former president of South Africa is comparing the judges who sentenced him to white apartheid era rulers. Jacob Zuma was sentenced to 15 months in jail for contempt of court for refusing to answer questions from an anti-corruption commission. Zuma faces a number of corruption allegations dating from his time as president and before, a separate court case involves a $2 billion arms deal in 1999 when he was deputy president.


JACOB ZUMA, FORMER SOUTH AFRICAN PRESIDENT: The fact that I was lambasted with a punitive jail sentence without trial is something which should induce a sense of shock to all those who cherish freedom and the rule of law. I'm very concerned that South Africa is fast sliding back to apartheid times, and facing long detention without trial.


NEWTON: Zuma was supposed to turn himself in on Sunday, but the court will hear his challenge to the jail term on July 12th.

Straight ahead right here on CNN NEWSROOM, the grocery store chain in Sweden says it's the latest victim and a large series of cyber attacks alarming officials right around the world. A cybersecurity expert tells me what he believes this will amount to in the weeks to come.

And after his regular Sunday afternoon blessing, Pope Francis went into surgery. We'll have an update.



PAULA NEWTON, CNN ANCHOR: And welcome back to our viewers all around the world.

I'm Paula Newton. And you are watching CNN NEWSROOM.

Now, a major supermarket chain in Sweden says it is among the many victims of a global cyberattack aimed at an American software company. A spokesperson for Coop Sweden told CNN a major IT disruption affected its cast registers, prompting more than half of their 800 stores to close.

This comes as U.S. cyber officials track a massive ransomware attack on software vendor Kaseya. Now the firm said Sunday it is the victim of a sophisticated cyber attack.

The White House is urging companies who believe their systems were compromised to immediately report it to the Internet Crime Complaint Center. U.S. President Joe Biden said he's directed federal agencies to assist in the investigation.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: First of all, we are not sure who it is. A director in the intelligence community is doing a deep dive on what has happened. And I will know better tomorrow. And if it is either with the knowledge of and or consequence of, Russia, then I told Putin we will respond. We are not certain. The initial thinking was it was not the Russian government.


NEWTON: Dmitri Alperovitch is a cybersecurity expert, and the co- founder and former chief technology officer of CrowdStrike. He's currently the chairman of the Silverado Policy Accelerator focusing on geopolitical cybersecurity. He joins me now from Washington D.C.

And really happy to be able to tap into your expertise on this. I mean what do we know so far about the scope and the character of this cyberattack?

DMITRI ALPEROVITCH, CHAIRMAN, SILVERADO POLICY ACCELERATOR: What we know is that we had one company, an IT management company called Kaseya whose software was compromised and as a result at least a thousand, probably more customers were compromised by this ransomware group called REvil. This is the same group that compromised a meat processing company, JBS last month. And has been a menace for many, many businesses around the country for the last couple of years.

NEWTON: In terms of scope though, it seems that the more layers we pull back here, the more dire the situation is in terms of its implications.

ALPEROVITCH: Absolutely, the worst thing here is that the types of customers that this company has are small businesses. These are not Fortune 500 companies that have the resources to either pay the ransom or hire competent teams to restore the data.

These are small businesses. This may be a car dealership, you're accountant, you're real estate broker -- the types of companies and people that really don't have the money to pay to restore the data. And these criminals are charging upwards of $45,000 dollars per machine to get it back up and running.

NEWTON: Per machine, it's been totally crippling for that grocery outfit. And in terms of the damage that could be done here and the level of sophistication, I have to ask, where are the company defenses? Are they not in place, or are they just not good enough?

ALPEROVITCH: Well these groups are now becoming so good. Remember, they're taking in hundreds of millions of dollars in ransoms every single year from all these victims that they're hitting. But they are able to buy out the most sophisticated cyber weapons, hire the best developers. Their capabilities are now rivaling some of the best nation states.

So it doesn't excuse companies that get hacked, but for certain, they're facing a really formidable adversary now.

NEWTON: Ok. But what you are saying is pretty chilling for critical infrastructure. And not that this wasn't disruptive, but obviously, there are vulnerabilities here. ALPEROVITCH: There are huge vulnerabilities. Everyone can be impacted

by this. If they think you can pay money, if you think they will pay -- you will pay money, they're going to come after you.


NEWTON: Is there any doubt that the origins of this are still linked to Russia? Now I noticed that President Biden and some members of Congress even -- those members of Congress were also privy to U.S. intelligence reports -- you know, they're being careful not to blame the Russian government. What is your opinion about who is behind this?

ALPEROVITCH: We don't think that the Russian government is behind this, but there is pretty clear evidence that the people that are part of this criminal organization are, at least, in part based in Russia. And there's no question that the Russian intelligence services are aware of them.

I don't think they are directing them, but at the minimum, they are letting them continue to operate because they find it convenient because maybe they'd be getting paid off.

So President Biden was completely right to demand from President Putin in Geneva last month, to start dealing with these criminals, to start arresting them, and now that we've had yet another attack, post summit, we need to ratchet up the pressure on Russia.

NEWTON: Yes. The question is, how you do that. you know, I want to go back to the Solar Winds attack which was, you know, intrepid, insidious. It was very large. You know, the experts say, the remnants of that attack could still be burrowed in the networks and servers. What is your fear about what you might still be seeing from these attacks in the weeks and months to come?

ALPEROVITCH: Of course, the Solar Winds attack was more of a traditional espionage attack. That was the Russian government. In fact, the U.S. government has attributed to SVR, Russian intelligence service that that is a successor to the famous KGB.

But they were breaking into government networks. They're breaking into corporate networks to steal secrets. That is what espionage agencies do. And we will expect to see continued attacks from them, of that sort going forward.

The ransomware threat is however, much more strategic. That is a threat that can take down businesses. That can have huge implications for the economy as we've seen with the Colonial hacks in May, where people couldn't get gas because of the shortage at the gas stations.

So that is a threat that, I think, we all need to pay tremendous amount of attention to right now.

NEWTON: I don't have a lot of time left, but you are involved in this quite closely. Do you see us being able to mount defenses against these attacks? ALPEROVITCH: I think when it comes to ransomware there is hope.

There's probably no more than 200 individuals, around the world, that are responsible for the vast majority of the threats. Those individuals can be found, they can be arrested, if we pressure the host governments like Russia to start dealing with this problem.

So, I do see an end to this in sight, if we can get serious, and start applying significant pressure on regimes that host these criminals.

NEWTON: Yes. And perhaps the awareness that these attacks are going on, because what's been terrible is that sometimes these attacks had gone and the companies have not been transparent about.

I want to thank you for being here, I appreciate it.


NEWTON: So, in just a few hours, Jeff Bezos will no longer be the CEO of the company he founded, Amazon. He will be succeeded by the current head of web services, Andy Jassy. Now this comes as the trillion dollar online retailer faces harsh criticism over the treatment of its workers, as well as its business model.

CNN's Clare Sebastian has more.


JEFF BEZOS, AMAZON: Our obsessive focus on customer experience --

What has worked at Amazon is focusing on the customer --

Customer obsession has driven our success.

CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): For 27 years, this has been Amazon's stated mission. From pioneering customer reviews, to Alexa it AI personal assistant, to two-day shipping, and then same day delivery. Jeff Bezos, putting customers first. Even, it seemed, above shareholders.

BEZOS: As you know, we are a famously unprofitable company.

SEBASTIAN: It took Amazon more than four and a half years after going public to make a quarterly profit; two decades to see the billions start to roll in.

BILL CARR, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT OF DIGITAL MEDIA, AMAZON: We were reinvesting the revenue in profit that we were earning from our operating businesses back into the business to continuously improve the customer experience.

SEBASTIAN: Bill Carr, a former Amazon executive, says that Bezos was willing to take risks. Case in point, Amazon Prime which launched in 2005.

CARR: We've actually just invested several hundred million dollars in a fulfilments center network that is designed to ship packages to customers in a time frame of more like four to five days. So, we knew that we would have to scrap that overtime.

But, if we had focused on our sunk cost investment we have, we would never have made that leap to Prime, which is what the customers wanted.

SEBASTIAN: Today, a growing chorus of voices believe that Amazon's growth has come at too high a cost.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think the customer focus was always about how do we dominate everybody else in this industry? There is a growing level of concern about Amazon's power, and I think you see that, you know, across the public, but particularly workers.

You know, we have seen a lot of walk outs, a lot of wildcat strikes over the last year, you know, especially with the dangers of COVID.

SEBASTIAN: As the COVID-19 pandemic drove its sales up 38 percent last year, Amazon hired half a million people. Growing its workforce by more than 60 percent.


SENATOR BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT): There is no excuse for workers at Amazon not to have good wages, good benefits, and good working conditions.

SEBASTIAN: While an attempt to unionize at an Alabama facility in April ultimately failed, that threat hasn't gone away. One of the biggest U.S. labor unions, the Teamsters, has made building worker power at Amazon its top priority.

RANDY KORGAN, TEAMSTERS NATIONAL DIRECTOR FOR AMAZON: Millions of our members, over the last hundred years have helped propel this industry into the middle class. And we just got to make sure that it stays that way.

SEBASTIAN: Amazon says it's wages are fair and workers also get benefits like health care coverage, and a 401(k) plan. In June, Amazon told us, they've invested one billion dollars in new safety measures in 2020.

In his last shareholder letter as CEO, Jeff Bezos updated his mission, to become earth's best employer, and earth's safest place to work.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: At AWS, we are customer focused.

SEBASTIAN: It is a challenge that successor, Andy Jessy now inherits. The man who built Amazon web services from scratch, is the number one player in the global cloud market. He will, likely, have to do more of this.

BEZOS: We have a policy against using cellular specific data.

SEBASTIAN: Defending Amazon before lawmakers, who believe it's a threat to competition. Amazon asked Jeff Bezos -- Just like Bezos himself, you will have to reckon with the risks of stratospheric success.

Clare Sebastian, CNN -- New York.


NEWTON: Pope Francis is now resting in the hospital after undergoing surgery Sunday. The Vatican said that the 84-year-old pontiff was treated for a colon diverticulitis in a scheduled procedure.

CNN's Vatican correspondent Delia Gallagher, has details.


DELIA GALLAGHER, CNN VATICAN CORRESPONDENT: A brief statement late Sunday evening from the Vatican, SAID the pope's surgery had gone well. He has been operated on the lower part of the colon called the sigmoid under general anesthetic.

No further details were given. But the Vatican made the surprising announcement on Sunday afternoon that the Pope would be having surgery for colon diverticulitis. This is something experts say can affect the elderly, it is an information of the colon. It can sometimes be managed with antibiotics and diet, or sometimes, as in the case of the Pope, require surgery.

Now, importantly, the Vatican during that statement said that this was a scheduled surgery. So there was not a sense of emergency about it. Nonetheless, under general anesthetic at 84 years old, it did have its risks.

Importantly, also, we saw the Pope on Sunday afternoon, at his window, in St. Peter's Square, as we had seen him throughout the week, at his public event. And there was no indication of a problem.

He is resting now at the Gemelli Hospital, just behind me. No word yet on just how long he will have to stay.

Delia Gallagher, CNN -- Rome.


NEWTON: Coming up on CNN NEWSROOM, we're learning new details about Sunday's deadly military plane crash in the Philippines. What eyewitnesses say they saw just moments before the plane burst into flames.

And --


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She says she wants to smash in her head, beat herself just to end the pain, just for it to stop.

She had raised Sezen her as her own after Sezen's mother left. (END VIDEO CLIP)

NEWTON: A family in Turkey left heartbroken, after their loved one's a brutal murder. It's an all too common tragedy for women there. And advocates say, the situation could get even worse.



NEWTON: This was the scene in Santiago, Chile on Sunday as police pushed back protesters with water cannons and tear gas. They had gathered the protesters swearing-in of a constitutional convention made up of 155 members. No arrests have been reported. The committee has at least nine months to draft and approve a new constitution.

Officials in the Philippines say everyone has now been accounted for in Sunday's deadly military plane crash. At least 50 people were killed and dozens more hurt after a Philippine Air Force plane crashed while attempting to land.

Three of the fatalities were people on the ground. The C-130 aircraft burst into flames after missing the runway and crashing into a nearby village.

Video as you can see here shows a large plume of smoke rising from the wreckage just moments after the crash. Eyewitnesses told officials they saw several troops jump out of the plane before it hit the ground.

Sunday's crash is the Philippines' worse military air disaster in decades.

Turkey has officially pulled out of the European Human Right Treaty aimed at combatting violence against women in what's seen now as a huge blow to women's rights there.

Thousands have protested the decision including this group of lawyers you see there who chanted, we are not giving up.

CNN's Arwa Damon looks at the fall out. But first, a warning. Her report includes descriptions of violence that some viewers may find disturbing.


ARWA DAMON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Serdar Unlu can't come to terms with what happened to his daughter.

(on camera): Their last photograph together?

(voice over): "Surely, he says, something more could have been done, should have been done to save Sezen and his unborn grandchild.

SERDAR UNLU, FATHER OF SEZEN: I see her in front of me. I can see her next to you. I can see her face. DAMON (on camera): Does she say anything to you?

UNLU: No. She's just standing in front of me.

DAMON (voice over): It's almost as if he had a premonition of what would come in a society that he says doesn't value women. He took on multiple jobs to educate her so she could work, survive on her own, and never have to rely on a man.

Serdar had begged his daughter not to get married but she didn't listen. She was just 16 and in what she thought was love.

Then Serdar says the beatings and abuse began. The family filed two complaints that resulted in a restraining order. Sezen moved back in with her father.

"If he had just been detained for three months, six months, my daughter would be alive," Serdar mourns.

Sezen's husband lured her into meeting up with him, Serdar says, stabbing her 17 times. Killing her and their unborn baby boy.

If only this tragic story was a rare occurrence in Turkey. Women's rights groups that track femicide rates here say that on average one woman a day is killed by someone she knows -- a family member, husband, boyfriend, lover.

Three years ago, Gulsum Postaci, a domestic abuse survivor herself, initiated free self-defense classes. Some of those who attend want to protect themselves from harassment on public transportation or in the streets. Others are in more threatening situations.

"We are born into a society that villainizes women due to its patriarchal system as soon as we are born," Gulsum explains. "Our rage grows by the day."

And so too does their fear. A fear that no woman should have to feel and yet all too many do.

Turkey's withdrawal from the Istanbul convention, a European human rights treaty that aims to end gender-based violence is an attack on women's lives, Gulsum says. The irony, is that Turkey was actually the first country to ratify it.

Sezen's father says his daughters organs were so butchered by the repeated stabbings that none were viable to be donated. Just her eyes.


DAMON: "Our only hope is the eyes of our daughter that remained in the world," he says. "God willing, she will see the world with those eyes."

Sezen's aunt, Saniye (ph) feels like she is going insane. She says she wants to smash in her head, beat herself just to end the pain, just for it to stop. She had raised Sezen as own after Sezen's mother left. She grabs my hands, the same way she grabbed Sezen's when she begged Sezen for the truth about her relationship with her abusive husband.

Sezen's husband has been detained, and is awaiting trial according to authorities. His plea is not yet public.

The real crux is not with justice once the crime has been committed. It's with the systems, social and judicial that allow it to get this far.

"I want my child back. I want my child back," Saniye wails. "I can't forget. I can't forget."

Arwa Damon, CNN, Izmir.


NEWTON: And we will be right back with more news in a moment.


NEWTON: That's a helicopter spreading fire suppressant in Cyprus as wildfires rage across the country destroying dozens of property. The president of Cyprus says the entire situation is unprecedented.

Officials say least four people have died because of the fires. At the same time a heat wave is ripping through the island while no cause of the fires has been announced. Police have arrested a man in connection with the blazes.

Now, the owners and insurers of the container ship that blocked the Suez Canal in March have now agreed to a settlement. The Ever Given container ship will be allowed to sail on Wednesday. The Suez Canal Authority held the giant ship during the authorities' dispute for compensation.

No details of the settlement were given. The authority originally demanded $960 million for salvage efforts and lost revenue. It later lowered the request to $550 million. The Japanese-owned vessel became stuck in high winds and remained wedged across the canal for six days disrupting global trade.

We are just now seeing the environmental destruction caused by a ship that sank off the coast of Sri Lanka last month. But experts warn this could be the start of something far, far worse.

CNN's Paula Hancocks has more.


PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Already endangered in the waters of Sri Lanka, sea turtles are now dying by the dozen. Likely poisoned by toxic chemicals spilling from the burning cargo ship, the government says. More than 170 turtles, four whales and 20 dolphins have so far washed up dead according to the Marine Environment Protection Authority. The Singapore flagged container ship Express Pearl caught fire on May 20th off the coast of Colombo. It burned out of control for two weeks before sinking, sparking fears of an oil spill.

No sign yet of 350 tons of fuel oil on board seeping into the ocean, but nearly 80 tons of plastic pellets or nurdles are already widespread.


CHARI PATTARATCHI, UNIVERSITY OF WESTERN AUSTRALIA: There have been instances where the nurdles have been caught up in the gills of fish then they suffocate. And that could same happen to dolphins or turtles suffocate.

DON MUDITHA KATUWAWALA, PEARL PROTECTORS: This is unimaginable disaster you're seeing, not just to the marine environment but to the coast as well.

HANCOCKS: The United Nations representative in Sri Lanka has said an environmental emergency of this nature causes significant damage to the planet by the release of hazardous substances into the ecosystem. Not to mention the devastating impact on the local fishing community, many of whom rely on daily wage work.

D.S. FERNANDO, NEGAMBO FISHERMAN (through translator): We not only have the ship wreck and the ban on fishing. But people are now scared of eating fish because it might be contaminated. Prices have also dropped drastically. The situation is hopeless.

SARIKA DINALI, NEGAMBO RESIDENT (through translator): We also heard about what was in the ship and the chemicals, so we are scared. So now for weeks we have not consumed any seafood.

HANCOCKS: As locals try to assess the financial damage of one of the country's worst environmental disasters, one local activist has filed a lawsuit against the government and ship officials for environmental damage and quote, "inadequacy of preparedness". The government has not responded to CNN's request for comment on the lawsuit.

The captain of the ship was arrested then released on bail. He's not formally been charged, his attorney says the captain is a witness and is not commenting.

The cleanup along the beach has been in full swing for weeks. The devastating impact from the plastic pellets alone will be felt for years.

PATTIARATCHI: The major concern is that they last. The inert materials are distributed along most of the Indian Ocean -- northern Indian Ocean countries. If you go looking for them, you will find them for years to come.

HANCOCKS: The plastic pellets alone are being spread far and wide by the ocean currents. This graphic from oceanography professor Chari Pattiaratchi shows their projected movements toward India and Indonesia.

The Express Pearl is now resting on the sea bed according to the ship's owners. It's toxic cargo polluting and killing marine life and the water surrounding it.

And acute concerns of an oil spill from the wreckage mean that this environmental catastrophe still has the potential to become significantly worse for Sri Lanka and beyond.

Paula Hancocks, CNN -- Seoul.


NEWTON: I'm Paula Newton. Thanks for your company.

I'll be right back with more CNN NEWSROOM after a short break.