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Thai Kids Successfully Rescued; Two Top British Diplomat Resigns; Trump's SCOTUS Nominee to be Grilled by Lawmakers. Aired 3-4a ET

Aired July 10, 2018 - 03:00   ET



LYNDA KINKADE, CNN HOST: Healthy and in good spirits, that's how doctors describe the boys rescued from the cave in Thailand. Now the race is on to save the remaining four boys and their coach.

Plus U.S. President Trump announces his choice for the nominee to the country's highest court.

And has British Prime Minister Theresa May's hand been weakened after two high-profile members of her team resign over Brexit negotiations?

Hello and welcome to our viewers joining us from all over the world. I'm Lynda Kinkade, and this is CNN Newsroom.

Four young boys and their football coach may have spent their last day trapped inside the flooded cave in Thailand. The commander of rescue operations says he hopes to have all of them out safely in the next few hours.

Eight of the boys have been rescued over the past two days. They are currently under observation in a local hospital. They have seen their families, though only through a glass window. The doctors are waiting for blood test results.


JESADA CHOKEDAMRONGSUK, THAILAND PERMANENT SECRETARY OF MINISTRY OF PUBLIC HEALTH (through translator): All of the eight kids so far this morning are healthy and they are free of fever. They are fit mentally. They can help themselves and they can talk normally now.


KINKADE: CNN's Matt Rivers is at the hospital in northern Thailand. First we want to go to Ivan Watson who is near the cave entrance with the latest on that operation. This is the third day trying to rescue the remainder of the team. How are things looking so far?

IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the rescue operations resumed hours ahead of schedule. They have been underway for about four hours now. And as we've heard from the rescue mission commander, he's expecting that all four of the remaining trapped boys, their coach, the doctor who has been with them in the cave as well as three navy SEAL officers, that they should all be brought out before the rescue operations conclude today.

And certainly we saw on Sunday and on Monday that they were able on both of those days to pull out four boys each kind of staggered over a period of a number of hours. There may have been some complications. That we haven't confirmed because there was pretty heavy rain throughout the first half of the day here. But as you can see under this baking sun, the conditions have changed dramatically.

But we don't know what effect that might have up in the caves where water kind of floods in through a number of different channels and cracks and fissures in the mountain behind me. That could change conditions.

We do know that for weeks now the rescue operation has been trying to pump as much water out of there to make the rescue operation as easy as possible. But again, we need to remind everybody that this is a potentially deadly route. It has been.

It has unfortunately and tragically claimed the life of one former Thai navy SEAL diver who was part of the effort to kind of ferry supplies and oxygen tanks to and from the cavern where the boys have been trapped for more than two weeks.

We do know that in the rescue operation, they put wet suits on the children. They put full air face masks on them as well as they try to bring them out through these tight and very confined and flooded tunnels.

And even with those precautions, the doctors say that when they come out of the tunnel, that almost all of the boys, their body temperatures have been at a lower rate -- at a lower temperature level than normal, which is understandable given the malnutrition that they've suffered after being trapped for more than two weeks without solid foods, and the fact that they are under water for extended periods of time during the rescue journey. And that's going to plunge their bodies at lower levels, even with the wet suits that they're outfitted with.

Once they come out, they are rushed on stretchers to a field hospital near the mouth of the cave where we are told by an eyewitness that the full face masks come off for the first time and doctors begin looking at them.

And then there is a medevac process that involved both ambulances and then military helicopters to rush them to the provincial capital to a hospital about an hour's drive away. And that's where my colleague Matt Rivers is. Lynda?

KINKADE: That is a good segue for me, Ivan. Thanks. I want to go to Matt for more on the condition of those boys. Because despite the fact they're in good spirits, they are still in isolation, unable to hug their parents just yet.

[03:05:07] MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that's exactly right, Lynda. I mean, while we are waiting, hopefully on more beds being filled up here in this hospital, when hopefully the remaining people in the cave are trapped are brought out.

We do have good news about the eight people that are in here. In a press conference earlier today, a Thai health official did confirm that all eight boys inside this hospital are doing well. They're in good spirits. They don't have fevers at this point. And they say they're actually quite hungry at the moment and demanding chocolate.

Now to Ivan's point, the first four boys that were bought out all had lower body temperatures, and two of them had lung issues. And the second group of four, one of them had a lower body temperature, but all of those issues, we're told, have been treated by doctors and they have responded favorably to that treatment.

So, all these boys are doing well. They're actually wearing sunglasses right now, we're told, because you can imagine they were down in the dark for so long, their eyes need to adjust back to being above ground.

Now, in terms of what the next couple days are going to look like, they're in quarantine for up to seven days because their immune systems are weakened they're more susceptible to infection and therefore they cannot be visited by their families.

We do know the first four boys, the parents of the boys were able to come here on Monday evening. They could wave at their sons through glass, which is not what they'd like, but it's certainly better than where we were two weeks ago, Lynda. So there is progress being made. There is a long road to recovery ahead, but so far these eight boys doing well behind me.

KINKADE: It's great to hear. Matt Rivers for us outside the hospital. Ivan Watson outside the cave. Good to have you both with us. Thanks so much.

Well meteorologist Pedram Javaheri has more now on the weather conditions that may affect the rescue operation. And Pedram, as Ivan was saying there was a lot of rain earlier today, but the sun has come out now. So what can we expect in the coming hours?

PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN METEOROLOGIST: You know, it's kind of misleading when you get sunshine in an area that is tropical as it is in that region. Because the heating of the atmosphere, Lynda, actually destabilizes the atmosphere and then you can get thunderstorms that can eventually brew.

And that's the concern, of course, the weather the next couple of days. We know the wet weather has been in the forecast for a few days now. And the moisture is certainly president. It is moving right across northern Thailand. But some of the models have indicated lesser amounts in the rainfall than initially estimated. Fantastic news.

I want to show you how fortunate the rescue workers and these boys have been in the last few days. Because so far in the first nine days across this region in the month of July, only 19 millimeters has fallen from the skies. Just go back the same period, the first nine days of July over the

last three or four years prior to that. This same exact period, 136 millimeters fell in 2017, 108 millimeters fell even in 2015 on a very quiet early start to the month of July. Just 29 millimeters fell in 2014 on the first week or so of the month; 200 millimeters fell.

So you talk about an incredible turn for a lucky event there for folks in this region. It has been the case as quiet as it has been weather wise.

But again, the models do indicate showers and thunderstorms each and every single afternoon and evening across this region. Again, you get sunshine that destabilizes the atmosphere. You can get additional heavy rainfall. And you notice eight, nine and 16 millimeters in the next three days in the forecast. Hopefully by Thursday we get everyone out of the cave.

You notice there's plenty of rainfall still left. About 33 millimeters total. You take that total and you try to see how much water does that equate to. Take a football stadium, a World Cup size football stadium, bring that water down onto the ground at 33 millimeters across the entire field. That would equate to 300,000 liters of water.

So, even with that lesser amount forecast, Lynda, it's a tremendous amount of water that would potentially be able to funnel its way into the cave system. So that's why folks are working so quickly.

Another way to look at this, 2000 plus bath tubs of the average bath tubs, about 150 liters of water each that would be on top of that field, or potentially on top of the ground across this region if 33 millimeters does fall.

So, you look at it carefully over the next seven days, heavy rainfall is expected to persist over this region. So the sooner we get these folks out of this cave system, of course, the better. And we know climatologically, as you take a look of them as of June, July, and August, especially in August the wet season really gets ramped up with full force. So we want to watch this carefully here over the next few days. Lynda?

KINKADE: Thanks, Pedram. We hope they come out soon. We just got an alert saying that the Thai navy SEAL saying the rescue operation, this one in particular, would take longer than the previous two, so we will stay across that in the coming hours. Pedram, good to have you with us. Thanks so much.

JAVAHERI: Thanks, Lynda.

KINKADE: British Prime Minister Theresa May is planning to keep her job as she faces a cabinet revolt over how she is proposing Britain leave the E.U.

Boris Johnson, one of the most high profile Brexit advocates has resigned as foreign secretary. He was replaced by health secretary Jeremy Hunt. In his resignation letter Johnson wrote "The Brexit dream is dying and that the U.K. is headed towards becoming a colony of the E.U."

[03:10:04] This came less than 24 hours after the resignation of the minister in charge of Brexit negotiations, David Davis. Both Johnson and Davis are back to more hard line approach to Brexit, wanting a clean break from the E.U., but the Prime Minister is not backing down on her plan to keep close economic ties with the union on goods and agriculture.

Our Max Foster joins us now live from London. And less than 24 hours, two major resignations here for the government. How is this playing out there?

MAX FOSTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, all questions obviously there about what it means for the prime minister's leadership, and actually could argue that she's in a stronger position because she's replaced two ministers who don't believe in her policy on Brexit with loyalists.

That policy that was agreed on with the cabinet on Friday is due to effectively go into effect on Thursday when a white paper is drawn up. And she did meet backbenchers M.P.'s last night. And her argument is effectively is a choice at the moment, between me as Prime Minister or Jeremy Corbyn of the opposition.

Because if there is a leadership contest, it could end up with a general election. And she seems to have convinced backbenchers M.P.'s on that. There doesn't seem to be any appetite right now for a leadership contest.

So the debate here is about whether or not those Brexiters could get rid of this agreement from Friday. And they've only got a matter of days to do that and she is saying absolutely no movement on that.

So we'll wait to see whether or not they get any momentum on getting her to redraw that. But she's already said very clearly that she's not even considering it. So she looks like a stronger leader this morning than she was last night, Lynda.

KINKADE: I bet she's pretty pleased about that. But given that Brexit is meant to happen in the next eight, nine months, two new people have to get up to speed on these negotiations. Are they up to that task?

FOSTER: Well, Jeremy Hunt now as foreign secretary, Dominic Raab is Brexit secretary. Both have committed to the plan effectively that was agreed on Friday which many people are calling soft Brexit. So a lot of alignment with the European rules and regulations, but arguably still leaving the European Union as Theresa May would put it.

So they are going to have to take that now to the European Union. We'll see what they have to say on that. But certainly the message to the European Union, is that, you know, Theresa May put her career on the line to try to get this agreement through. She's not going to be able to offer anything more, anything softer than this.

So the ball effectively goes into the European court where they have to say whether or not they'll accept it. If they don't accept it then it's going to be very difficult to see anything other than a hard Brexit at this point.

If you look at it from Theresa May's point of view because if there is a leadership contest, that is obviously going to completely distract the government. If there is a general election, it's going to distract the whole country and it's very difficult to see any sort of agreement could be reached by next year when Britain is meant to be leaving the European Union.

KINKADE: Exactly. All right. Max Foster for us in London, thanks so much.

The widow of a Chinese democracy advocate, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, appears to have been released after eight years under house arrest. Liu Xia left Beijing for Berlin on Tuesday according to her brother.

She's never been accused of any crimes, but has prevent -- been prevented from leaving China even for medical reasons. Her husband, Liu Xiaobo died of lung cancer last July. He'd been serving an 11-year prison sentence for inciting subversion of state power.

Well, President Trump announces his choice for the Supreme Court. Coming up, the issues expected to come up in those confirmation hearings.

Plus, some hope amid the horror in Japan. We're following the desperate search for survivors after deadly flooding and landslides there. Stay with us.



BRETT KAVANAUGH, SUPREME COURT NOMINEE: I believe that an independent judiciary is the crown jewel of our constitutional republic.

If confirmed by the Senate, I will keep an open mind in every case. And I will always strive to preserve the Constitution of the United States and the American rule of law.

Thank you, Mr. President.


KINKADE: Well, the battle lines are forming over the latest nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court. Hundreds of demonstrators gathered outside the court to protest President Trump's selection of Brett Kavanaugh to replace retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy.

The 53-year-old appeals court judge is a Washington insider with a very conservative track record. Abortion rights, gay rights, and healthcare are expected to be key issues in Kavanaugh's confirmation hearings.

Boris Sanchez reports how -- on how Kavanaugh was an early favorite for President Trump. BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: There is no one more qualified or

deserving of the position. That's how President Trump described Brett Kavanaugh, his choice to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy after he announced that he was retiring from the Supreme Court.

Two sources close to the decision-making process indicate that the president showed a favor toward Brett Kavanaugh even before the announcement of Justice Kennedy's retirement a after the justice and the president had a conversation in the Oval Office about Brett Kavanaugh.

Sources indicate that the president favored him even more. We should point out that those sources also say that after several key conservative voices, like Ann Coulter and several writers at Breitbart defended Kavanaugh, the president was further inclined to name him as the nominee.

President Trump spoke openly about his criteria for making this decision during his speech. Listen to this.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: What matters is not a judge's political views, but whether they can set aside those views to do what the law and the Constitution require. I am pleased to say that I have found, without doubt, such a person.


SANCHEZ: Now, some Democrats have already come out in total opposition to this nomination, but it is still possible for Kavanaugh to draw votes from some red state Democrats considering he is previously suggested that he may respect legal precedent in upholding Roe v. Wade.

Abortion is going to be a key issue in this nomination process, and the margin for error for Republicans is razor thin, so that fact alone may court him some important votes potentially from Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski, Republicans who favor abortion rights.

If he is, in fact, confirmed it would be a major win for President Trump. Two Supreme Court confirmations in two years. This goes to show that the president is going to have his fingerprints on the leanings of this Supreme Court potentially for generations.

Boris Sanchez, CNN at the White House.

KINKADE: Gloria Browne-Marshall is a constitutional law professor from the John J. College of criminal justice, and author of "The Voting Rights War: The NAACP and the Ongoing Struggle for Justice." She joins me now to talk more about President Trump's Supreme Court selection. Good to have you with us, Gloria.


[03:19:58] KINKADE: Brett Kavanaugh, 53 years old, he has worked amongst Republican administrations in the past including under George W. Bush. What's your reaction?

BROWNE-MARSHALL: Well, he is the likely candidate who will get through the Senate. The Republicans will support him because he's not as conservative in his stance against Roe versus Wade, which is the abortion case, as was Judge Barrett or the other nominees or potential nominees.

My concern is that he is also one who has already ruled when it comes to big business, in favor of big business, against the employee. He's ruled to expand presidential powers. He's also ruled in other ways that would affect affirmative action and issues involving voting rights. So, he's not the best person for social justice, but for conservatives, he's their guy.

KINKADE: There are concerns, as you mention, one of the cases on abortion rights. And also same-sex marriage which was ruled legal under the Constitution in 2015. What's the likelihood that those sorts of decisions will be overturned?

BROWNE-MARSHALL: The likelihood is very high. I mean, even though Anthony Kennedy, Justice Kennedy who just retired and is being replaced voted for and wrote the opinions for same-sex marriage and other opinions supporting gay rights, we don't know if he had a personal issue, if that's why, because he was conservative in everything else.

So now that he's no longer on the bench, there's nothing that says that they're going to continue to uphold gay rights or issues involving abortion.

I mean, I think that conservatives gave Donald Trump a list and that list was one where they said these are the most conservative people, these are the ones you are to choose from and this person is going to be pushed through no matter what before the midterm elections, and they would not have put Kavanaugh's name on that list if he wasn't guaranteed to uphold very conservative viewpoints.

KINKADE: He has suggested that it would be a good thing to enhance the president's power to block any sort of criminal or civil action against the president. How concerning is that given that U.S. President Trump is under investigation or his campaign is under investigation right now?

BROWNE-MARSHALL: That' very concerning. I think it's the foothold that the Democrats need. They need to look at that and look at the fact that here is the so-called populist president who has done nothing for the working class, nothing for the poor.

The other potential nominee was Hardiman, Judge Hardiman, who was the first person in his family to go to college and he did drive a cab and worked his way up.

And each time that Donald Trump has been given an opportunity to do something that shows that he's going to be fair when it comes to judiciary and not try to be self-serving as it is with selecting somebody who is going to support presidential expansion of powers and clear the rug in many ways when it comes to his ability to do what he has to do without being investigated, he's chosen elitist and he's chosen self-service.

And it's really sad. And I think if the democrats get a foothold in this issue, that's where they can possibly stop this nomination, at least slow it down until the midterm elections in November.

KINKADE: So, do you think that's likely? Is it possible that this vetting process could drag on that long, that they could be, you know, potentially this might not go through after the midterms?

BROWNE-MARSHALL: It comes down to the numbers, it really does. And even with Senator McCain being out with his cancer diagnosis, the Republicans still have one vote ahead of the Democrats in the Senate and it's unlikely that the two women -- and that's, you know, the two female senators who have said that they're unsure about whoever this nominee is, if this nominee is going to say that he or she is against supporting Roe v. Wade.

And they say that well, if that nominee is going to come out and say they're not going to support abortion rights, then we're going to vote against them. But no nominee in this hearing process is going to come out and say that.

They're all going to toe the line, and this is someone who is very well versed in politics. He's a White House Washington insider. He's been through this process enough not to say anything that's going to stop those two women from supporting his nomination.

KINKADE: All right. Well, he meets with senators tomorrow, so we'll see how this plays out. Gloria Browne-Marshall, good to have your perspective. Thanks so much.


KINKADE: Now to the immigration crisis in the U.S. and a big deadline. The government admits it won't be able to reunite all the young children with their parents who were separated at the border by Tuesday as ordered by the court.

CNN's Miguel Marquez has the details.

MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The Trump administration set to miss its first deadline to reunite all kids under five with their parents by tomorrow.


[03:25:02] SEN. KIRSTEN GILLIBRAND (D), NEW YORK: One of my biggest questions is exactly that. What is the plan to reunite these children with their parents?


MARQUEZ: Senator Kirsten Gillibrand visiting a Brownsville facility caring for 1,400 unaccompanied minors, including 150 kids separated from their parents due to the president's zero-tolerance policy. Reuniting kids with their parents far more difficult than claimed when the president reverse the policy by executive order.


REP. MARC VEASEY (D), TEXAS: They had absolutely no, you know, vision, no thought to how this was going to play out.


MARQUEZ: The administration on track to reunite just over half of parents and kids under five by tomorrow's deadline. Parents of kids over five now getting out of detention based on their asylum claims and seeing little more than bureaucratic roadblocks to getting their kids back.

Lesvia (Ph) from Guatemala and got out of detention last week near Austin. She's already visited her son being held in Brownsville. She has documents to prove their relationship. They still won't give her, her son.

"It's very hard because my son cries when he sees me," she says. "He told me he doesn't want to be here anymore. It's too long to be away from my son."

CNN has spoken to five separated parents who made bond in their asylum cases and now desperately want their kids back.

Brenda Alvarado (Ph) now out on bond can barely speak about her 6- year-old son Jordy (Ph).

"He says he wants me to be with him," she says, "and prays to God to make the days shorter so we can be together."

KINKADE: That was our Miguel Marquez reporting there. Well, coming up, U.S. President Trump heads to Brussels later today. We'll have a preview of his trip to the NATO summit and the risks that await him and the alliance.


KINKADE: Hello. Welcome back to CNN Newsroom. I'm Lynda Kinkade. Let's update you on our top stories this hour.

Despite losing two senior ministers within 24 hours, British Prime Minister Theresa May is moving forward with her Brexit plan in which the U.K. would keep close to economic ties with the E.U. on goods and agriculture. Jeremy Hunt is now Britain's new foreign secretary after Boris Johnson resigned in protest.

U.S. President Trump has nominated Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. The 53-year-old appeals court judge is a conservative who served in both Bush administrations.

[03:30:00] Republicans are pushing for a speedy confirmation before the midterm elections in November. Rescue crews are hoping to get the last four boys and their football

coach out of the flooded cave in Thailand within the next few hours. The local hospital says the eight boys brought out so far are healthy and are in good spirits. The team got trapped in the flooded cave 17 days ago.

Neil Bennett is the managing Director at New Zealand diving limited. He joins me now live from Auckland. Good to have you with us, Neil.

Each day we've seen the rescue operation recover four boys. Today they are trying for five, four boys plus the coach. And we've already heard it's going to take much longer than the previous two rescue attempts. This is certainly no easy operation, is it?

NEIL BENNETT, INTRUCTOR/DIRECTOR, NEW ZEALAND DIVING LIMITED: No, it's been very, very tough, but the success so far has been incredible. They are ahead of schedule and everyone is coming out and know the situation. So it's a really remarkable recovery.

KINKADE: There's been so much rain today which, of course, the fear is that that means the water levels in the cave have risen. What sort of challenge does that pose?

BENNETT: It means that their swim will be longer, but the biggest problem is going to be the flood water is going to produce a stronger current. So the actual swimming is going to be a lot harder, a lot more challenging.

KINKADE: We initially heard that the strongest boys would be rescued first and then we found out the advice from the Australian doctor who is a diver there who saw the boys was to bring out the ones in the weaker condition first and leave the strongest to the end. That sound to be a good move. Does that give you hope with regards to this last operation?

BENNETT: That is certainly why we are seeing the rescue going, because you expect the pending rain to be a bigger challenge and the stronger boys have a better opportunity to fight against that challenge than the weaker ones. So it certainly seems to be a sensible move on behalf of the rescue team.

KINKADE: You're a diving instructor and coach. Have you ever had to try and teach someone to dive who can't swim? Because some of these boys have never swum before.

BENNETT: No. That is one of the three things we have when we're taking a dive course, is you have to be able to swim 200 meters. So we wouldn't even entertain taking someone on a training course unless they could swim. In this situation they have no choice. They have to save them so it's a different circumstance.

KINKADE: There were three options they had discussed to try and rescue them, whether it was like digging down into the cave to pull them out, waiting three months for the worst of the monsoon rain to be over, or go in as they did. Clearly that has turned out to be a pretty incredible options given what we've seen so far, but we can't forget the fact that one Thai Navy SEAL lost his life, a diver, an expert diver lost his life during these rescue operation.

BENNETT: And I think circumstances here have really crossed the hand to go ahead. Two things have really happened. The monsoon rains are coming so it's going to be a bigger challenge with possibly flooding, and losing of the safe haven. And also the oxygen in the cave has been dropping. So those two circumstances have really pushed their hand and made them move forward.

The point of actually drilling, they haven't actually found an area they can actually drill through without the danger of actually causing a cave collapse. So the best opportunity is the one they've now actually made and it's proven that it's working out really well. It's really unfortunate the Navy SEAL lost his life, but at the end of the day we've now saved possibly 13 people.

KINKADE: When you go -- I mean, this Navy SEAL diver who lost his life lost his life, because he ran out of oxygen. I would have assumed there would have been warning signals on oxygen tanks when they start getting low, but that is not the case, is it?

BENNETT: They possibly will be, but I don't know the full circumstances of how the accident happened. I would imagine he at some point during his dive he had a challenge, maybe getting stuck in that narrow cave system, or was facing the strong currents, the strong currents can make you breathe heavier and lose more air quickly. So at some point he had a major challenge to overcome the amount of oxygen he would normally need. They would normally pre-calculate how much air they need and how they need to get out. So, I imagine something went wrong during his dive that led to his circumstance.

KINKADE: Yes, well, our thoughts are with his family, but we are really hopeful that these remaining four boys and their coach will be out in the coming hours. Neil, really great to get your perspective. Thanks so much for joining us, Neil Bennett.

BENNETT: Thank you.

KINKADE: When U.S. President Donald Trump arrives in Brussels for the NATO summit, he'll likely bring up a long standing criticism of the group, how some countries are not contributing their fair share to the organization. The last thing Mr. Trump complained about it to his ally's faces. Anna Stewart looks at how valid his concerns are.


[03:35:20] ANNA STEWART, CNN PRODUCER: It's U.S. President Donald Trump's biggest gripe with NATO.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: 23 of the 28 member nations are still not paying what they should be paying and what they are supposed to be paying for their defense. This is not fair to the people and taxpayers of the United States.

STEWART: After Russia annexed Crimea in 2014, NATO members pledged to spend 2 percent of the annual GDP on defense by 2024. The U.S and U.K. do, but most don't including Germany and Canada. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: President Trump has a point when it comes to

defense spending, because we have not a fair burden sharing the alliance now. The U.S. is paying more than 70 percent of total defense spending in the NATO alliance.

STEWART: The U.S. has long pressured allies to open up their wallets.

BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: That is why every NATO member should be contributing their full share, 2 percent of GDP towards our common security. Something that doesn't always happen. And I'll be honest, sometimes Europe has been complacent about its own defense.

STEWART: Defense policy expert (inaudible) said spending more on military isn't quick or easy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You can't just put a next generation fighter jet on an air field and assume that everything around it will just happen. You need to train people, you need to provide support structures, and you need to put a lot of pieces in place to do this.

STEWART: For some allies like Germany, it would need to almost double its defense spending. In 2017 the country spent about 1.1 percent of GDP on defense. To reach 2 percent, it would have need to spend an extra $40 billion. The result?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think what we will be looking at is a somewhat larger German military, a fully modernized military that is reequipped across air, land and sea. To be frank, even if you started that now, right now, it will probably take a decade to achieve.

STEWART: It's a scary thought for German. The country shrunk its military in both scope and manpower after the cold war and he says spending more on defense to please Trump isn't a popular position.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The more it becomes an issue of spending money for Trump, the less likely you will see European member states increase their spending action, because that is not a political argument that you're currently winning.

STEWART: Now Germany says it is pushing to get to 1.5 percent by 2024, with a goal of eventually hitting the NATO target. It is stunning to high 20,000 soldiers and more staff to fight cyberattacks. It is not the only ally changing its tune on defense.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All allies cut defense spending and all allies have started to increase and the majority of allies have a plan to reach 2 percent. So we are really moving in the right direction.

STEWART: It may not be fast enough for the U.S. President. Anna Stewart, CNN, London.


KINKADE: Joining me now to talk about the President's upcoming NATO summit and much more is Annie Linskey, national political reporter for the Boston Globe. Good to have you with us, Annie.


STEWART: The President arrives in Brussels tomorrow for this NATO summit and ahead of that he sent these scathing letters to many of the allies, calling for them to increase their military spending. How is this meeting going to play out?

LINSKEY: Well, it's always hard to make predictions about this President. You know, if his previous meeting in Canada was any indication, I think he is going to be playing this tough. I mean one of his key goals is this America first mantra that he has and, you know, he likes to take it to foreign allies for some reason. And I think when you see him abroad, he is absolutely going to be pushing that message really hard. I mean, one thing he does not seem to mind doing is embarrassing leaders who have long been U.S. allies. So, I think you'll see him picking on somebody. And I think the question is who is it going to be?

KINKADE: Well, he has gotten out of his way it seems to pick on Germany more than most.

LINSKEY: That is right.

KINKADE: Germany has said they will increase their spending, but not to the 2 percent level, which is what he wants. How much leverage does he have and what -- how will he use it?

LINSKEY: Well, you know, I've always been a bit confused about why the Germans don't just come up with some sort of number that sounds reasonable to the United States. I mean, he is going to -- he hones in on numbers and he wants to have that, you know, 2 percentage -- the 2 percentage points. He is not going to back off of that. So, I've always been wondering why Germany doesn't just sort of finesse their GDP a little bit so they can get to the number that Trump is looking for, because I can tell you one thing for certain, he is not at all going to back off of it. He likes to hammer it over and over again. And he'll absolutely bring that up with Chancellor Merkel and I think he'll probably do it in a very public way.

[03:40:15] KINKADE: Yes, no doubt. And after that summit he is going to meet with the Russian President, Vladimir Putin. Talk to us about the optics of that. What sort of message does that send to his allies in NATO?

LINSKEY: Right. So, I think one thing that we can guess is the leader who Trump is not going to be embarrassing, the one that he will be going out of his way to flatter will be Vladimir Putin. I mean, the optics of that, particularly in the United States, are rough. I mean, he is -- you know, the Senate Intelligence Committee recently released a report just last week that showed they agreed with the assessment of the intelligence community that Russia played a key role, you know, supporting Trump and they were quite active in the 2016 election. So, on the heels of that report to come out, for him to go in, sit

down with Putin, you know, those are very awkward optics to say the least in the United States. And how it plays in the international community I think is quite interesting, because I am sure it will be coming after, you know, after him being quite tough on who our traditional allies really are in NATO.

KINKADE: Yes, it's interesting you mention that. Given that Russia has denied all along that they had any interference in the 2016 election, and President Trump has said, well, why doesn't he believe them?

But moving on to the next part of this trip, he goes on to England and Scotland and one police constable there said they have so many police that they're going to have to deploy as many as the 2011 London riots, because they're protesting against President Trump coming there. How unusual is that for a U.S. President to get that sort of reception?

LINSKEY: It's extraordinarily unusual. I mean, you know, the U.K. has been the United States closest ally for -- certainly since the birth of the nation. I mean, there's always been a special relationship between these two countries. And so the notion of widespread protests in the streets of London and elsewhere for the United States President is a completely foreign concept.

And, you know, I'm also quite interested in how his meeting will go with the queen. I mean, this is a President who has a strange obsession with the British royal family. He is always talked quite a bit about Princess Diana and his sort of affection from afar from her. So, I think that will be another moment that will be fascinating to watch. I mean, talking about body language, putting the two of them in a room together is something that, you know, the world will be looking at quite carefully. But, yes, absolutely the notion of widespread riot and -- excuse me, widespread protests and that kind of reception for U.S. President is something that we're not at all used to and it's going to be another, you know, oddity of the Trump White House.

KINKADE: Yes. It's something that will be a lot to watch this week. Annie Linskey, good to have your perspective on all of that. Thanks so much.

LINSKEY: Thank you.

KINKADE: Well, in the U.S. State of Montana, a 5 month old baby has survived after being left partially buried in the mountains. The baby was found under a pile of sticks and debris. After spending almost nine hours there with temperatures dropped to less than 10 degrees Celsius, police found the infant facing down, but says fortunately the baby only suffered minor scrapes and bruises. That is a picture the police released. The man who is supposed to be taking care of the infant has been charged. Police say it appears the 32-year-old man was under the influence of drugs when officers tried to question him.

The death toll from Japan's severe storms is rising. Coming up we'll go live to Tokyo with an update on the rescues of those stranded by landslides and flooding.

And the first semifinal match of this year's World Cup is an all- European affair. Coming up we will take a look at the France/Belgium match up.


KINKADE: The rescues in southwestern Japan are ongoing after heavy rains brought severe flooding and landslides. At least 155 people have been killed in severe weather. Dozens more unaccounted for. Meanwhile, many who were forced to evacuate may not have homes to return to. Journalist Kaori Enjoji is following the story for us from Tokyo and joins us now live.

And despite the fact the rains have subsided, have stopped for now, there are -- the death toll is rising and there are dozens still missing.

KAORI ENJOJI, JOURNALIST: That is right, Lynda. The chief government spokesperson just briefed the media and he has a higher figure for the death toll putting it at 155 in this huge tragedy that has unfolded over the last four days due to the torrential rain fall, a freak weather, the weather agency is calling it, and the landslides and the mudslides occurred after that.

The rains has subsided as you pointed out in most of these areas, but as of this afternoon, there was one spot in south western Japan were they issued a severe rain warning. SO, I think it just goes to shows how unpredictable the weather has been and continues to be in this area. And there are rescue efforts underway. Some 75,000 people are involved in that, but they are battling against time. They are battling against water that continues to rise along the rivers in some places, and also battling against severe heat.

You are looking at 35 degrees in some of these devastated areas and not to mention the rescue efforts on the ground, but very, very tough conditions for the evacuation, people who have evacuated. There are thousands of people in evacuation shelters, because the ground around their homes is simply too vulnerable to go back to. And they need basic necessities like water and food. And given that the transportation is stalling in some of these areas, getting access to that kind of -- those kind of necessities has been a challenge.

So we know that this is the worst rain-related disaster that Japan has seen in 30 years and that is saying something, because this is a country that is quite well known for natural disasters like earthquakes. So day four, this continues to be a very harrowing time and a challenging time for the rescuers and the people who are trying to find their loved ones who are still missing, and for those trying to just literally get through the mud and back to their homes, Lynda.

KINKADE: Yes. Absolutely horrific conditions. We'll speak to you soon, Kaori Enjoji. Thanks so much.

Still to come, the semifinal stage of the compelling World Cup is just about to begin. We'll take a look at the Belgium/France match coming up. And is it possibly get a former U.S. Vice-President autograph a device. Legendary (inaudible), Sacha Baron Cohen, of course, have a peek at his new show next.


KINKADE: And then there were four. The semifinal stage of the 2018 World Cup is upon us. In just a few hours, France takes on Belgium in St. Petersburg. The winner of this match will take on whoever wins Croatia versus England. Alex Thomas brings us a preview from Russia.


ALEX THOMAS, CNN WORLD SPORTS: Neither France nor Belgium played any of their previous five matches here at this impressive modern stadium. And France will be the only ones to have trained in it before kickoff, because Belgium has decided to practice their Moscow base before traveling here. Yet historic St. Petersburg is a fitting venue for this game between two impressive teams, but could well change football history this week.

The former winter palace, birth place of the Russian revolution, France also knows about kicking out the monarchy, but these days they prefer to kick around a football. And two decades after their first World Cup triumph, they are just one win away from a chance to do it again.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (TRANSLATOR): I think Belgium are the most complete team in all the possible aspects of the game during this tournament, because they have defense, they have attack, counterattack, they defend in the air, they are strong in everything. They have everything they need to be a great team and they are a great team. It is a fantastic generation, and to beat them we will have to play a great match.

THOMAS: In the heart of the original city center is the St. Peter and Paul Fortress, and defense is often seen as a key priority the French coach, (inaudible) his dilemma, stay cautious against prolific Belgium or free up his own potential match winner, (inaudible).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (TRANSLATOR): I have made sure my players are prepared for any scenarios for the beginning of the match. Any compositions, and during the match as well as that changes. This is not specifically to Belgium. It can happen with any opponent.

THOMAS: Belgium's golden generation of players is as eye catching as the dome above Saint Isaac's Cathedral, (inaudible) and in particular, living up to their pretournament billing. They've gone a step further here in the quarterfinal defeats of Brazil 2014 and Euro 2016 with the possibility of more to come.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We respect immensely the quality of France. The understanding between the two squads are clear. Many players play against each other in the leagues regularly, so my players share rooms. I think this is the perfect game in order to be focused and as good as you can be for the semifinal. THOMAS: This city's collection of islands divides the river as it

flows out to sea. The water can't choose which path to take, but France and Belgium can. Alex Thomas, CNN, St. Petersburg.


KINKADE: Sasha Barron Cohen, the comedian behind Borat and Allie G, has a new show doing what he does best. Putting politicians and celebrities in awkward situations. His first victim, the former U.S. Vice-President Dick Cheney, he signed Cohen's water board kit. Here's Jeanne Moos.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: He is a man of many names.


MOOS: From Bruno to Borat. To rapper Allie G. His new show time series, called who is America, instead of sniffing owners at a dog show.

[03:55:05] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You want to smell me?


MOOS: Sasha Barron Cohen reportedly will be sniffing around people like Sarah Palin and Bernie Sanders according to Matt Drudge, not to mention former Vice-President Dick Cheney.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is it possible to sign my water board?


That is a first. The first time I've ever signed a water board.

MOOS: Actually a water jug with the former Vice-President promoting the show.

CHENEY: I hope you'll tune in.

MOOS: Maybe Cheney was in on the joke. Cohen seems to be trolling President Trump with this tweet.

TRUMP: This third grade character named Sasha Barron Cohen, I only wish that he would have been punched in the face so many times. Go to school. Learn about being funny. You don't know (BEEP).

MOOS: From Trump University? The President and the comedian have an icy relationship. 15 years ago the character Allie G, pitched Trump a pretend product.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: These ice cream gloves that make the ice cream not go in your hands.

TRUMP: OK, well, it sounds like a good idea and I hope you make a lot of money. Good luck, folks. It's been nice seeing you.

MOOS: President Trump tweeted he is the only person who immediately walk out of his Allie G. interview.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was there 7 minutes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is that long for Allie G?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Quite a long time.

MOOS: But having now lost the incognito element of surprise, Cohen's new persona may have a harder time fooling folks like he did Representative Ron Paul. Bruno lit candles, turned down the lights and danced his pants off.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get out of here.

MOOS: Jeanne Moos. CNN. New York.


KINKADE: That does it for this edition of CNN Newsroom. I'm Lynda Kinkade. Thanks so far joining me. Remember you can connect with me any time on Twitter. The news continues with Max Foster next in London, live outside British parliament. For more on our special coverage of the political turmoil heating Theresa May's government. You're watching CNN.