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Trump's Twitter Tirade; Fierce Fighting in Mosul; Qatar Crisis; Election Fraud Commission; Honoring the Sacrifice of Hero Firefighters; Roman Ruins. Aired 4-5a ET

Aired July 2, 2017 - 04:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[04:00:00]

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NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Donald Trump explains his Twitter attacks as being "modern day presidential."

GEORGE HOWELL, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): And ahead this hour, a CNN exclusive: Iraqi soldiers retake Mosul, going house by house. We take you to the front line.

ALLEN (voice-over): Plus Rome's latest metro line is going to have to wait a bit with ruins dating back almost two millennia in the way.

HOWELL (voice-over): Life from CNN World Headquarters here in Atlanta, we welcome our viewers here in the United States and around the world. I'm George Howell.

ALLEN (voice-over): And I'm Natalie Allen. And NEWSROOM starts right now.

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ALLEN: And thank you for joining us. Like George likes to say, it's 4:00 am here on the East Coast.

HOWELL: It's early. It's really early.

ALLEN: We're ready.

Our top story: Donald Trump is away from the White House this holiday weekend, spending time at his resort at Bedminster, New Jersey, but he did return briefly Saturday night for an event at the Kennedy Center.

HOWELL: This was the Celebrate Freedom concert designed to honor U.S. veterans. The president, though, used the occasion to attack one of his favorite targets, the media.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The fake media is trying to silence us. But we will not let them, because the people know the truth. The fake media tried to stop us from going to the White House. But I'm president, and they're not. The dishonest media will never

keep us from accomplishing our objectives on behalf of our great American people. It will never happen.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HOWELL: He's pushing the brand but I'm not buying.

After the Kennedy Center even, the president immediately returned to his getaway in New Jersey. He's set to return to the White House early next week.

ALLEN: While he's away, he's keep alive his ongoing feud with the media, two TV journalists in particular. Here's CNN's Ryan Nobles.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

RYAN NOBLES, CNN WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: The president of the United States started his holiday weekend early Saturday by tweeting about Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough.

Continuing his feud with the MSNBC hosts, Trump tweeting, quote, "Crazy Joe Scarborough and dumb as a rock Mika are not bad people, but their low-rated show is dominated by their NBC bosses. Too bad!"

It wasn't the only thing the president tweeted about. He also went on a Twitter rampage accusing the media of trying to get in the way of his social media usage, suggesting that his Twitter feed is among the reasons that he is currently the president of the United States.

But there are many Republicans in Congress that are concerned about the president's use of Twitter and that it's getting in the way of his agenda, including some important things happening this week, like his trip to Europe for the G20 Summit and the debate over health care.

Still, his aides say the president is diligently working on health care. He is expected to make calls to lawmakers over the July 4th recess with the hope of coming to an agreement to repeal and replace ObamaCare when they return on July 10th -- Ryan Nobles, CNN, at the White House.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HOWELL: Ryan Nobles, thank you so much for the reporting.

Now let's bring in Leslie Vinjamuri. Leslie is a senior lecturer of international relations at SOAS University of London.

It's great to have you with us, Leslie, this hour.

LESLIE VINJAMURI, SOAS UNIVERSITY OF LONDON: Thank you.

HOWELL: Let's talk more about the president and Twitter from, what better than his latest tweet. Let's take a look at it here.

It says, "My use of social media is not presidential. It's modern day presidential."

That's what he says, "modern day presidential."

This clearly a response to critics who just want him to put the phone down, who say that he's demeaning the dignity of the office of President of the United States but Mr. Trump is pointing out here that he is rewriting the rules, as he is the president.

VINJAMURI: Well, he is rewriting the rules but, of course, there's a difference between tweeting and tweeting specific messages. I think that Donald Trump still has a high degree of confidence that his tweets are effective in mobilizing a certain part of his base. And there's data to suggest that he's holding onto a certain part of the base.

But remember that the strong approval ratings for Donald Trump have come down to around 20 percent, which is much lower than they have been for other presidents at this time, never mind the overall around 38 percent.

But the tweets are problematic. Those even in the inner circles I think are concerned. We can see that, occasionally, they're able to restrain him. The Republicans are concerned about Twitter as are of course many Americans. But the question of decency and dignity reached an all-time low --

[04:05:00]

VINJAMURI: -- this week with his tweets about the anchors on "Morning Joe."

But the question I think is how to respond. What we haven't seen yet is those people around him, those in Congress and the broader public, having a clear strategy on how do we respond.

Does one ignore the tweets?

Does one engage with them, name and shame and call them out?

This is a very difficult question. Because of course foreign leaders and foreign publics are reading the tweets and they're having a dramatic effect. You'll notice that this week the Pew Research Center released a very significant poll that suggests that more than half of the respondents polled in 37 countries see Donald Trump as a dangerous president.

They see him as a strong president but they see him as dangerous so there's very serious dropoff in terms of how people are viewing Donald Trump, how they're viewing America as a country.

But notably they continue to see Americans as individuals very favorably. So this distinction is being drawn. But the tweets are very difficult and there's been many modern presidents so there's something very distinctive about Donald Trump himself.

HOWELL: Let's talk about how registered voters are viewing these tweets as well. And, Leslie, important to put the context out here, that this poll that I'll show was taken before this latest Twitter storm, involving these MSNBC anchors.

But take a look here. This is a FOX News poll that shows that 71 percent of registered voters believe that this hurts the president's ability to accomplish his agenda; 17 percent believe it's helping the president.

So clearly he believes that this strategy is working for him but many voters seem to disagree.

VINJAMURI: That's right. Again, it's that 17 percent. So 17 percent to 20 percent strong approval, that's just not very high for a president at this point in his tenure.

So the question is whether or not the 70 percent who disapprove, does it actually change how they would vote?

Because what we have seen in recent polling is even with the greater disapproval, many people would vote the way they voted. So there's a question as we begin to head up to midterms, how will this actually affect people's voting behavior.

There's clearly disapproval for the tweets. It's making a lot of people cringe and turn away. Frankly, it's embarrassing for most Americans, I believe.

But what does it do in terms of actually responding and how does it actually affect what happens?

That's a much more complex question. But Donald Trump doesn't seem to be responsive or have any real radar for caring deeply about this, which creates a fundamental problem for anybody around him who wants to take this data and translate into it a new way of acting within the White House.

HOWELL: Mr. Trump gave more insight into his focus on Twitter. I want you to read, take a look at this other tweet that Mr. Trump put out because it gets to the heart of his rationale behind it.

But he says the following, quote, "The FAKE & FRAUDULENT NEWS MEDIA is working hard to convince Republicans and others I should not use social media - but remember, I won the 2016 election with interviews, speeches and social media. I had to beat #FakeNews, and did. We will continue to WIN!"

This is the president's point here.

The question though, is his strategy working for him?

VINJAMURI: Well, there's another question, too, which is that the cognitive dissonance question, as we like to refer to it, that he's not really updating. So as his tweets become viewed in a more problematic fashion and you see data, the kind that you've just put up, is he reassessing?

Is he reevaluating or is he continuing to integrate this into his pre- existing belief, which is that it's a successful strategy?

And I think, again, the challenge is for those around him to whether they can persuade the president that the strategy might have been effective, when it comes to -- might have been one component of why he won the presidential election.

There's so many components. The fact that he is overly relying on this and that he's not updating is going to be problematic, not only for those around him but probably for this president in due course.

HOWELL: Leslie Vinjamuri, live for us in London, thank you for the insight.

VINJAMURI: Thank you.

ALLEN: ISIS is on its last legs in Mosul but that doesn't make the fighting any less violent.

HOWELL: A photographer, Gabriel Chaim (ph), has followed soldiers on the ground and you may find some of this footage disturbing. Our Nick Paton Walsh has this story for you.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): From here to the river is all ISIS has left of Mosul. And this is the story of how it fell on the streets around the mosque, they once held sacred, but then destroyed.

Resilient photographer Gabriel Cham (ph) is on foot with Iraqi special forces. Every foot fall could hit a booby trap. An eerie silence, holes in just about everything, endless soot.

[04:10:00]

WALSH (voice-over): The street empty and each human they meet is either desperate for escape or the enemy.

In the alleyways, two men approached them.

One is carrying a bomb.

They rush in to help the wounded.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Speaking foreign language).

WALSH: The second man carrying a much larger device. Gabriel struggles to breathe.

The dust also means they can't see if there are any other bombers or where their three dead and other wounded colleagues lie.

The advance continues up to and around the mosque.

And civilians, human shields for weeks, stoop on the gunfire, or are even oblivious to it. (CROSSTALK)

WALSH: Some never leave the underground.

Loud, constant blasts in the darkness.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Speaking foreign language).

WALSH: Unable to walk, the first man feigns ignorance but soon admits ISIS were on the roof and have mined the entire street.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Speaking foreign language).

WALSH: The interrogator later tells his team the man is himself ISIS.

For the past week, the desperate rush to life continued. The U.N. estimated 150,000 people were trapped here. But in the end, nobody had any idea, or how many lie left behind them in the rubble.

(CROSSTALK)

WALSH: "Water, water! I'm dying," she screams, her lips white.

(CROSSTALK)

WALSH: In crippling heat and panic, you've never known thirst like this.

(CROSSTALK)

WALSH: Or what it is like to carry your family out, lifeless on a cart.

This is his mother.

WALSH: "For God's sake, help me carry him," he cries.

They try running to the closest point in the narrow street a vehicle can reach.

"Stop the blood loss," they plead.

It's unclear if the boy survived.

Even when this tract of dust is cleared of ISIS, the killing in Iraq's fractured society won't stop and her private hell of memories won't suddenly be washed away -- Nick Paton Walsh, CNN, Mosul, Iraq.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ALLEN: Powerful, powerful story there. The good news is this fight for Mosul is really coming to an end. Monday in a CNN exclusive, we expose the human side of war. We'll take you to the Netherlands, where Atika Shubert speaks with a Syrian mother who receives desperate messages from her daughter back in Raqqa. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (from captions): I'm exhausted, Mom. I can't bear this life anymore. My son is sick and there's no medicine or clean water or anything for my child. It was really hard to find some milk yesterday.

ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: You've never seen your grandson before?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): No, I haven't seen him. My dear, I wake up in sadness. I go to bed in sadness. I don't know any other emotion than sadness. Every day I live in fear of tomorrow.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

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HOWELL (voice-over): You'll hear more of those very desperate messages and the response of hope from her mother. That's Monday, only here on CNN.

ALLEN: A defeat in Mosul appears imminent for ISIS but the terror group is expanding beyond Iraq and Syria. It's brought groups like Abu Sayyaf under its black banner and is now waging war in the Philippines.

HOWELL: Our Ivan Watson recently spoke to a former Abu Sayyaf member; in a CNN exclusive he detailed that group's bloody history.

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IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): What was the attraction in those days to join an armed militant group?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To us, it was a noble obligation to take part in jihad.

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WATSON: What was the justification at that time for killing people?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: At first we thought that the organization is for religious purpose. It is for the propagation of Islamic teachings. It is to establish the sharia. We never thought --

[04:15:00]

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- that the group would resort to kidnappings, bombings and many other atrocities.

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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: $15 (ph) million in ransom for the release of 20 of 21 hostages kidnapped 4.5 months -- UNIDENTIFIED MALE: During the start of the group, the foreign connection. foreign support is very important.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Speaking foreign language).

WATSON: What kind of things did these men teach you?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They provided us with their experience in Afghanistan, how to conduct a ambush and what are the things needed during warfare.

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WATSON: Did you use the islands and boat to smuggle people and money and weapons?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. It was very easy for us. Using the fastest speedboats (ph) that we have they can easily transport firearms and money very easily.

WATSON: How much money would be on a boat?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Millions.

This has never happened before that militant groups in the Philippines have come together.

WATSON: Do you feel any guilt about your time with the militant groups?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. Yes. I resented having joined this kind of organization, having known people who brought these destructions.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HOWELL: Now onto Syria's capital, authorities gave chase to a suicide bomber. The man was driving a car, managed to escape and blew himself up at Tahrir Square in Central Damascus.

ALLEN: Syrian state TV says several people were killed and wounded. Authorities are also pursuing two other suicide car bombers. State media reported they were able to intercept the attackers and destroy the bombs at an entrance to the city.

HOWELL: Still ahead here on NEWSROOM, a defiant Qatar is facing a Monday deadline now to comply with demands from Saudi Arabia and other Gulf nations. And now it's saying what it will do. We'll have details on that ahead.

ALLEN: Also many state capitals across the United States are refusing a request from the Trump administration to turn over their voter data.

HOWELL: And later this hour, amazingly well preserved ruins discovered while excavating a new subway line in Rome, complete with central heating and even some bones. We'll have that story. Stay with us. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[04:20:00]

(SPORTS)

HOWELL: Welcome back to NEWSROOM.

The Russian president, Vladimir Putin, is urging the emir of Qatar and the king of Bahrain to resolve the diplomatic crisis between Qatar and its powerful neighbors. Monday is the deadline for Qatar to comply with 13 demands from several Gulf Arab states. It's increasingly unlikely that that deadline will be met.

Qatar's foreign minister says larger nations should not bully smaller ones and he adds that Qatar is ready to face the consequences.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

QATARI FOREIGN MINISTER: This list of demands made to be rejected. It's not made to be accepted or not made to be negotiated. The state of Qatar, the state are rejecting it as a principle. We are willing to engage in providing the proper condition for this.

These countries and Qatar is in a region which is considered a center of stability in a terrorist region. So there is, I think, enough wisdom in avoiding such an irresponsible action against Qatar or against any country. And none of the countries and our international allies is going to accept such an escalation in that region.

The region is vital for the entire world. It's not just vital for our region.

ALLEN: So there you have it. Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain and the UAE have all cut diplomatic ties with Qatar, accusing it of supporting terrorism, something which Qatar denies.

Among their demands, shut down all Al Jazeera channels. Stop developing a Turkish military base in the country. Reduce diplomatic ties with Iran. Cut ties to terrorist organizations. Stop interfering in the four countries' affairs. Stop giving Qatari nationality to citizens of those four countries.

Well, with all of that said, let's look at the mood in Qatar right now after this, CNN's Jomana Karadsheh is there for us in the capital of Doha -- Jomana.

JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Natalie. You know those comments that we heard from the Qatari foreign minister, this really is reiterating what their position has been all along, saying that this whole crisis is not about combating terrorism as it has been packaged.

They say this is about trying to contain Qatar moves by its stronger neighbors and trying to strip this country of its sovereignty. And it's not just government officials, Natalie. We're hearing also on the ground this is how people feel. There's really this undeniable mood of patriotism and defiance here.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

(MUSIC PLAYING)

KARADSHEH (voice-over): Four years ago, Dana Alfardan ended her singing career to focus on composing music. But as her country, Qatar, is facing an unprecedented crisis, it's time to act, she says.

DANA ALFARDAN, QATARI COMPOSER: All of a sudden, there is this embargo and we were blockaded. I wanted to get this message of love and unity and togetherness out and I wanted to show this --

[04:25:00]

ALFARDAN: -- the strength and loyalty for our leader.

(MUSIC PLAYING)

KARADSHEH (voice-over): Along with some of Qatar's most known musical talents and a volunteer expatriate choir, they recorded the song, "One Nation."

ALFARDAN: Our home is being attacked and we have got to stand up for ourselves, we've got to stand up for it. We have got to take ownership of our messaging. We have got to take ownership of our narrative. We've got to get this out there.

KARADSHEH (voice-over): Qataris, like their government, feel the demands by the Saudi-led alliance, they say, aim to strip it of its sovereignty. On the streets of Doha, it feels like national day, with what seem to be spontaneous shows of support for the country's leadership.

The latest, this wall with the emir's now iconic image, where people leave messages of support and patriotism.

Ten-year old Haya (ph), perhaps too young to understand the politics behind this, says she is here to express her love for the emir and is proud of her country.

MAYA AL KUWARI (PH), QATARI CITIZEN: Under this crisis from this blockade, it's brought us together. And to see people do this by -- from the grassroots, from the bottom up, because it's not forced by the government.

So it's -- I don't know. It's hard work being here (INAUDIBLE) everyone.

KARADSHEH (voice-over): We're told the poster was put up by a Qatari business man.

SHEIKH TURKIN BIN FAISAL AL THANI, QATARI BUSINESS MAN: During the crisis, our government, I think they have done very well in handling the situation and providing a continued normal life for people, for maintaining the standard of living in the country. So this is just the way for the people and for us to show our support

to our government and to our leadership, who have really made us proud of them at this time of crisis.

KARADSHEH (voice-over): This sense of national pride is a sure sign that Qatar will not be backing down anytime soon.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

KARADSHEH: And you know, Natalie, it's not just that mood of nationalism. There's also a certain level of uncertainty and anxiety as that deadline grows closer and closer.

ALLEN: And does anyone know what happens when the deadline expires?

KARADSHEH: Well, that's the big question. I don't think anyone really knows beyond the countries that have moved against Qatar. It's really unclear.

So you have the Saudi foreign minister in the past week, saying this list of demands is nonnegotiable. When they provided these demands to Qatar, the agreement was or the demand list said that these demands were valid for 10 days and after that they will be void. So it's really unclear.

We've heard from the Qataris again, reiterating their position, saying they're not rejecting them outright. They're saying they're open for dialogue, that if any country has any grievances, it should provide the evidence and they're happy to sit down and try and resolve the crisis.

But we also heard from a senior official from the UAE last week saying that there will be no escalation, that it will be a parting of ways with Qatar -- Natalie.

ALLEN: Qatar is remaining defiant in that. We'll wait and see. Jomana Karadsheh for us there in Doha, thank you.

HOWELL: Still ahead here on NEWSROOM, as their country runs out of supplies, busloads of Venezuelans are heading across the border in order to feed their families. We'll take a look at the journey ahead.

Also this:

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: These are the last images of the Granite Mountain Hotshots, preparing to fight the fire that will kill them.

ALLEN (voice-over): CNN speaks with the families of 19 brave firefighters who died protecting their city in one of the deadliest fires in U.S. history. And much of the Western United States is dealing with the same issue. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [04:30:00]

(MUSIC PLAYING)

HOWELL (voice-over): 4:32 am on the U.S. East Coast. Welcome back to viewers here in the United States and all around the world, you're watching CNN NEWSROOM. Good to have you with us. I'm George Howell.

ALLEN (voice-over): And I'm Natalie Allen. The headlines this hour:

(HEADLINES)

ALLEN: More than half of all U.S. states are balking at handing over sensitive voter data to the Trump administration. A presidential commission asked for the information last week, saying they want to investigate possible election fraud.

HOWELL: But some states are outright refusing to comply, prompting the president to tweet this, "Numerous states are refusing to give information to the very distinguished voter fraud panel.

"What are they trying to hide?"

To answer that question, here's CNN's Tom Foreman.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: So many cities are corrupt. And voter fraud is very, very common.

TOM FOREMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: In a quest to root out allegedly rampant voter fraud, the president's commission wants an ocean of sensitive information about every voter, including the person's full name, address, date of birth, political affiliation, voting, military and criminal records, part of his or her Social Security number and more.

States, particularly, some Democratic blue ones, are pushing back hard.

California is flat-out refusing to hand over the info.

ALEX PADILLA, CALIFORNIA SECRETARY OF STATE: The president's allegations of massive voter fraud are simply not true.

FOREMAN: So is New York, "We will not comply."

Virginia, too, "There is no evidence of significant voter fraud."

[04:35:00]

FOREMAN: But some states that went Republican red for Trump are also balking, including Utah, Alabama, Iowa and Wisconsin. They'll hand over only some data. And still others are dismissing the whole idea of voter fraud run amok.

MATTHEW DUNLAP, MAINE SECRETARY OF STATE: We might find some illegal activity but not on the scale described.

TRUMP: People that have died 10 years ago are still voting. Illegal immigrants are voting.

FOREMAN: As a candidate, Donald Trump insisted fraud was a real problem.

And even after he won the Electoral College, he lashed out at news more people voted for Hillary Clinton tweeting, "I won the popular vote, if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally."

TRUMP: So many things are going on.

FOREMAN: To help steer his commission, he chose Kansas secretary of state Kris Kobach, who calls the state's complaint "complete nonsense."

KRIS KOBACH, KANSAS SECRETARY OF STATE & DIRECTOR, COMMISSION ON ELECTON INTEGRITY: We're looking at all forms of election irregularities, voter fraud, intimidation, registration fraud, voter intimidation, suppression.

Kobach has zealously hunted vote cheaters back home for months, yet he's found less than a dozen provable cases out of more than a million and a half registered voters.

What's more, he's a champion for voter I.D. laws, which many skeptics consider a way to suppress minority votes.

And he was fined by a federal judge in Kansas just last week for his conduct in a lawsuit involving voting rights.

Connecticut State, "Given the secretary's history, we find it very difficult to have confidence in the work of this commission."

FOREMAN (on camera): Underlying it all is this simple fact there is simply no credible evidence that there's ever been a widespread voter fraud problem. That's adding, clearly, to the hesitancy of many of these states -- Tom Foreman, CNN, Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HOWELL: Tom Foreman, thank you.

In Venezuela more than four people -- four more people have died as protests demanding the president, Nicolas Maduro, immediately leave office. The months of unrest have raised the death toll to 86 people at this point. Venezuela facing crippling inflation with many people running out of cash.

They're also dealing with food shortages and some crossing the border to get supplies.

ALLEN: This weekend's protests are also a response to new sanctions against attorney general Luisa Ortega. The government froze Ortega's assets and banned her from leaving the country. She is a well-known critic of President Maduro.

Many Venezuelans are standing in lines outside grocery stores for hours and still aren't able to buy basic necessities. Or they're heading to Colombia to get what they need.

HOWELL: Our Leyla Santiago has this report from the border.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

(MUSIC PLAYING)

LEYLA SANTIAGO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A very busy and (INAUDIBLE) scene here in Cucuta, Colombia, where busloads of people come to the border of Colombia and Venezuela to buy very basic goods.

Tens of thousands of Venezuelans cross the border into this town to find basic goods that they cannot find in their home country.

And inside the stores here in Colombia, Venezuelans know that they can count on this. They can count on store shelves to be filled with the basics: pasta, rice, cooking oil, diapers, things that they cannot find in their home country of Venezuela right now -- Leyla Santiago, CNN, Cucuta, Colombia.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HOWELL: Leyla, thank you for the report.

Still ahead, it's a long holiday weekend here in the United States and as fires blaze through the western parts of the U.S., severe storms threaten the Midwest. We have an update ahead.

ALLEN: Plus above and beyond the call of duty. CNN remembers the Hotshots, the firefighters who lost their lives four years ago in one of the deadliest fires in U.S. history.

HOWELL: Plus Canada celebrates a major holiday. How Ottawa marked Canada Day as NEWSROOM continues.

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(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[04:40:00]

ALLEN: We are in the midst of a long holiday weekend but I would think no fireworks in the Western United States because fires are dominating the West. But heat is also an issue.

(WEATHER REPORT)

ALLEN: Well, as Derek said, wildfires fueled by gusty winds and high temperatures are sweeping through, did you say, 12 U.S. states?

Twelve U.S. states now. HOWELL: One fire in particular is a haunting reminder of the 19 firefighters who fought another blaze and lost their lives four years ago in one of the deadliest fires in U.S. history in the same area in Arizona.

[04:45:00]

HOWELL: CNN's Martin Savidge has more now on how the men went above and beyond the call of duty to protect their city.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): These are the last images of the Granite Mountain Hotshots, preparing to fight the fire that will kill them.

UNIDENTIFIED GRANITE MOUNTAIN HOTSHOT: Granite Mountain Hotshots, we are in front of the flaming front.

SAVIDGE: A wind shift later sends flames racing toward the team, trapping them in a box canyon.

UNIDENTIFIED GRANITE MOUNTAIN HOTSHOT: Our escape route has been cut off.

SAVIDGE: All 19 men died.

In the aftermath, friends, family and officials worked to preserve the now-hallowed ground and the memories of those lost.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We had to get it right. You had to get it right.

SAVIDGE: The result is a memorial like no other that will test your heart as well as break it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is a good example of the whole way.

SAVIDGE: A rugged seven-mile trail climbing more than 1,000 feet up the side of a mountain.

(on camera): Is it hard to come here?

DEBORAH KINGSTON, MOTHER OF ANDREW ASHCRAFT: Yes and no. No, because I know Andrew is in heaven.

SAVIDGE (voice-over): 29-year-old Andrew Ashcraft was one of the Hotshots killed. His mom remembers him returning from other fires covered in soot, a smile on his face, smelling of smoke as he hugged her.

KINGSTON: After we lost him, I would say to my husband, can you just build a fire in the fire pit?

I just need to smell Andrew for a minute.

SAVIDGE: On the trail, there are carefully placed plaques every 600 feet.

(on camera): Which means every so often, you meet a new member of the crew.

This is Andrew, Deborah's son.

The last part of the trail is the hardest of all, a 600-foot descent following the same path that the Granite Mountain crew did that day. It's tough physically. But it's very tough emotionally.

(voice-over): Because you end up here, the place where the men made their last stand. Iron crosses marking where each firefighter was found, tightly clustered. The men were as close to each other in death as they were in life.

Among them, Karen and Jim Norris' 28-year-old son.

KAREN NORRIS, MOTHER OF SCOTT NORRIS: Scott was fun-loving and adventurous and he really enjoyed making people laugh. This is a very emotional and very sacred place to me.

SAVIDGE: It's sacred to another family as well. Firefighters can often be found here, like this Montana crew hiking up during our interview.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I got to hug you. Moms got to hug. OK?

SAVIDGE: Four years after the deaths of 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots, their memorial is a trail for remembering and a path toward healing -- Martin Savidge, CNN, Yarnell, Arizona.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HOWELL: Wow.

ALLEN: It's so very sad but how about it, that those guys just happened to walk by during our interview to give her some extra support?

Coming up here, Canada gets the royal treatment for its 150th anniversary. We'll tell you how Prince Charles and Queen Elizabeth marked the date -- ahead here.

HOWELL: Plus, it's an archeologist's paradise, the discovery of a sort of mini-Pompeii during the excavation of Rome's newest subway line, a find that dates back 1,800 years. We'll explain.

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ALLEN: You never know what you might find digging underneath Rome. (LAUGHTER)

ALLEN: Well, how about this one?

While building Rome's third metro line archeologists found a third century house destroyed by fire but well preserved.

HOWELL: So cool, complete with central heating systems, beams and even the bones of a dog. CNN's Ben Wedeman takes a step back in time with this report.

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BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SR. INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Scratch the surface in Rome and you find history. It's an archaeologist's paradise.

But for officials overseeing the long-delayed construction of the city's newest subway line, Line C -- or Linea C -- Rome's embarrassment of ancient riches is a curse that keeps on giving.

While digging a shaft for the subway's tunnel near the Colosseum late last year, workers uncovered what appeared to be the charred remains of a luxurious home, complete with central heating, dating back 1,800 years.

"It's an extraordinary situation," Rome's archeological superintendent Francesco Prospetti (ph) tells me.

"Collapse of the ceiling sealed everything inside. It was carbonized without being burned. It's unique in Rome."

The ceiling's wooden beams, which would have decayed to dust, have been preserved. There are no human remains but archaeologists did find the bones of a dog who wouldn't or couldn't flee the flames.

"This poor dog was already in the room during the fire," says archaeologist Simona Moretta (ph).

"We found ashes under its paws. Probably part of the burning ceiling fell on it and there it was stuck and died."

Construction on Linea C didn't begin until 2007. And since then, work has been delayed by one archeological discovery after another.

This is the challenge of trying to make life modern in an ancient city like Rome. No matter where you dig, you're almost certain to find something.

Rome wasn't built in a day and its newest subway line won't be completed in a decade, maybe not even two. The future will have to wait as the past is uncovered -- Ben Wedeman, CNN, Rome.

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HOWELL: Ben Wedeman, thank you so much. ALLEN: I loved that. That was fun. Thank you, Ben.

HOWELL: So Canada marked a major milestone on Saturday.

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JUSTIN TRUDEAU, CANADIAN PRIME MINISTER: Hello, everyone. Happy Canada Day.

HOWELL (voice-over): The Canadian prime minister, Justin Trudeau, he was there celebrating that nation's 150th anniversary. He wasn't the only --

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HOWELL: -- high-profile guest at the festivities in Ottawa.

ALLEN: Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall have been touring the country ahead of the anniversary. The prince was also just awarded the Order of Canada, a top civilian honor.

The country's head of state, Queen Elizabeth, celebrated Canada Day on Instagram. The royal family posted this portrait of her, wearing a maple leaf brooch.

HOWELL: For more on the celebration, here's this report from the Canadian broadcaster, CTV.

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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): Pomp and ceremony on Parliament Hill as the prime minister and his family welcomed Their Royal Highnesses, the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, along with the governor general, a special indigenous welcome for the VIPs, a celebration of all that is Canada.

TRUDEAU: Let us be known the world over for our integrity, for our compassion and for our never-ending desire to be better so we can do better.

CHARLES, PRINCE OF WALES: Happy birthday, Canada.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): Fly past and a moment to thank those who served in uniform and Canada's veterans, an all-star cast took the stage to entertain the over 25,000 people on Parliament Hill, an extra special day for some.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) and congratulations, you're now Canadian citizens.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (voice-over): Sworn in as new Canadians as thousands cheered them on.

Gray skies and heavy rain made for a soggy celebration early in the day and a logistical nightmare as parts of Parliament Hill flooded, limiting access. But that didn't put a damper on people's spirits. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's part of being Canadian. We can survive anything. And still so everyone's been very polite in the lines.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We drove seven hours to get here. A little rain isn't going to stop us.

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ALLEN: Well, Mr. Trudeau got roaring applause in Ottawa but there was something missing. He gave a passionate shoutout to almost all of the country's provinces and territories with one key exception. He mentioned nine provinces in the country but forgot about the 10th, Alberta, which is home to about 4 million Canadians.

HOWELL: OK, so he got a little grief online about that from Alberta residents. The prime minister later said that he was embarrassed about the omission.

He's also tweeted this, "Got too excited somewhere over the Rockies. Sorry, Alberta. I love you. Happy Canada Day!"

ALLEN: Thank you for watching this hour. I'm Natalie Allen.

HOWELL: And I'm George Howell. The news continues right after the break.

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