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CNN NEWSROOM

Charlottesville Reeling after Protests; Trump Fails to Denounce White Supremacists; North Korea Tensions; Crisis in Venezuela; At Least 17 Killed in Attack in Burkina Faso; The Violence History of the India/Pakistan Partition; Syrian Military Fight Escalates to Defeat ISIS; Guam Reacts to North Korean Missile Threats; Choir Plays for Peace at Korean Demilitarized Zone; India, Nepal Hit by Landslides. Aired 2-3a ET

Aired August 14, 2017 - 02:00   ET

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


[02:00:00]

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NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): A nation battling its past. The U.S. city of Charlottesville is mourning after violence at a white supremacist rally on Saturday.

GEORGE HOWELL, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Plus: diplomacy is our preferred option for North Korea, the U.S. secretaries of State and Defense signal they're not looking for war with Pyongyang -- their words.

ALLEN (voice-over): And 70 years ago this week independence for India and Pakistan in a partition that cost hundreds of thousands of lives. We'll go to both sides at the border for you live.

It's all ahead here this hour. Welcome to our viewers around the world. We are live in Atlanta. I'm Natalie Allen.

HOWELL (voice-over): And I'm George Howell from CNN World Headquarters. NEWSROOM starts right now.

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ALLEN: Our top story: Charlottesville, Virginia, is trying to recover after a devastating weekend. Flowers and kind messages mark the street where a car rammed into a crowd of counter protesters. The victims were demonstrating against a white supremacist rally.

One day later, the organizer of that same rally did not get a warm welcome.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ALLEN (voice-over): He was booed out of the area as he tried to hold a news conference.

HOWELL (voice-over): We're also learning more about the victims of the attack. Nineteen people were injured in the attack and 32-year- old Heather Heyer, who's seen here, was killed.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HOWELL: While the U.S. president is facing criticism for his response to what happened, the Vice President of the United States, Mike Pence, is strongly condemning the violence.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We have no tolerance for hate and violence supremacist neo-Nazis in. These dangerous fringe groups have no place in American public life and the American debate and we condemn them in the strongest possible terms.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HOWELL: Mr. Trump also facing outrage over his refusal to label the people at that rally as white nationalists, as extremists. In his statement Saturday, he blamed "many sides" for the violence.

ALLEN: As far as who carried out the attack, it's still not clear why this person rammed his car against these people. Police are searching for a motive. Here's our Brian Todd with a look at the investigation.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We're getting some important new information now about the suspect in the car strike which killed the young woman here in Charlottesville. The suspect named James Alex Fields, 20 years old from Ohio.

This information coming to us from our justice producer, Mary Kay Maloney. She, from a Justice Department official familiar with the investigation is reporting that federal investigators have enough evidence to be suspicious that this suspect James Fields intended to send some kind of a message with that strike.

Aside from just intending to harm these victims on the street, they say there may be some evidence suggesting he may have intended to send a broader message. Also according to this official, officials are investigating whether he had any accomplices in this attack. People who might have helped him plan this attack.

That is part of an ongoing civil rights investigation from the Justice Department.

Some other information we're getting about the suspect, a teacher of his from high school, a man named Derek Weimer has told reporters that James Fields had some kind of an infatuation with Nazis, that it was disturbing to him -- this teacher and that is, you know, again what he's telling reporters indicating that there may have been some extremist views on the part of this suspect.

The suspect is due to be arraigned Monday morning here in Charlottesville. He's charged with one count of second-degree murder, three counts of malicious wounding, one count of failure to stop in an accident which resulted in a death.

This all comes off another day of high tension here in Charlottesville, Virginia where one of the white supremacist leaders who staged that rally on Saturday tried to hold a news conference here on Sunday not far from where I'm standing. And he was shouted down. This man's name is Jason Kessler.

He showed up here. He was shouted down by counter-protesters. People played music trying to drown him out. Then people converged on him and he went down to the ground. Not clear if he was pushed or if he fell.

But at that point, the police swooped in and got him out of there for his own safety. They held him for a period here in the police department here in Charlottesville and then they whisked him away.

But again anger and frustration still boiling over here in Charlottesville -- Brian Todd, CNN, Charlottesville, Virginia.

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HOWELL: Mr. Trump again tough talking when it --

[02:05:00]

HOWELL: -- comes to the media, calls it the enemy of the state, calls his critics -- certainly calls them into question. But when it comes the white nationalists, again, he's getting criticism for not calling them what they are, white nationalists. Here's what Mr. Trump said on Saturday.

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DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred and bigotry and violence on many sides, on many sides.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ALLEN: Now the White House is trying to clarify the president's remarks.

One official says, quote, "The president said very strongly in his statement yesterday that he condemns all forms of violence, bigotry and hatred and, of course, that includes white supremacists, KKK, neo- Nazi and all extremist groups.

"He called for national unity and bringing all Americans together."

HOWELL: The footnote to that remark from the White House, it's important to point out that the statement is from a White House official, who asked not to be named. Critics are demanding that Mr. Trump state the words himself publicly. CNN's Brian Stelter has more now on President Trump's response to the violence.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) BRIAN STELTER, CNN HOST: Hey, there.

A White House aide in a familiar position on Sunday trying to explain and defend President Trump's statement from the day before. We've seen this story before but this weekend it happened about a very serious situation, the violent protests in Charlottesville, Virginia that were attributed to white nationalists and white supremacist groups.

Some of the men, they were mostly young men, who turned out for this unite the right rally in Charlottesville, were out and out racists expressing, racist and anti-Semitic views to anyone who would listen in Charlottesville. Hundreds of counter protesters turned out in order to condemn their views and there were clashes in the streets of Charlottesville.

The president's response was widely criticized on Saturday afternoon. Many commentators including some on the right saying that it didn't go far enough because the president didn't speak specifically about white nationalists and white supremacists. That he didn't call out the racism that was obvious in Charlottesville.

Now, we've heard from some GOP senators and other lawmakers who agreed that the president should have gone much further. And now there's even more pressure on the White House to try to do clean up and to see if the President will say more.

An anonymous White House official said on Sunday that it's obvious the president was speaking about groups like the KKK and other white supremacists when he condemned hate and bigotry. But because the president didn't actually use those words, there remains a lot of skepticism.

Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe called out the president and others on a Sunday saying that we should hear from public officials and leaders about this.

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GOV. TERRY MCAULIFFE (D), VIRGINIA: I call upon every elected official from the White House to the State House to all the local officers. We've got to call it out for what it is. It is hatred, it is bigotry and our leaders got to be very frank, unequivocal -- we will not tolerate that in our country.

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STELTER: President Trump was relatively quiet on the matter on Sunday.

Back on Friday he did promise to hold a quote, "pretty big press conference on Monday when he briefly returns to Washington during his 17-day visit to New Jersey to his golf course in Bedminster.

So he'll be in Washington on Monday and we'll see if he follows through on that press conference promise. It would be an opportunity in front of the country and the world to say more about the violence in Charlottesville -- Brian Stelter, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ALLEN: Joining me now is Larry Sabato. He's the director at the University of Virginia Center for Politics. He is also a Virginia native.

So this hit home with you, and Larry joins me from Charlottesville.

Let's talk about that first, Larry. This happened where you live and work.

LARRY SABATO, UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA: It absolutely did. I live and work on Jefferson's Lawn, the central part of the University of Virginia. And, unfortunately, this is where the neo-Nazis and their associates chose to begin their weekend of demonstrating.

And they all walked up the lawn; there were hundreds of them. They went around to the front of Jefferson's Rotunda. And that's when the first melee broke, out the first fistfights and the unpleasantness on Friday night that pretty much told the tale for the whole weekend.

ALLEN: And how do you phrase that tale?

How would you explain this to the students that are arriving there for school, about why Virginia, what happened?

And then talk with us about President Trump's reaction to it.

SABATO: Yes. Well, as far as what you would tell students, I think you tell them this is the real world. Often the real world does not impinge on university campuses, at least not very often.

But sadly, this is the real world I'm not characterizing all of them --

[02:10:00]

SABATO: -- as evil. But what they represent is evil, the neo-Nazis and others represent evil in my view and I think the view of a large majority of Americans.

So it's a good opportunity to do some teaching and for them to do some worrying about what the world is really like and how we have not managed to resolve all of our conflicts, certainly on race.

As far as President Trump's comments, they were wholly inadequate; even the Republicans agree with that. Even conservative Republicans agree with that.

I think one of the most amazing parts of the weekend was that almost every major figure in the Republican Party raced to be first, second, third, fourth, 10th, 20th to distance themselves from the president and what he said.

They were much blunter about what these neo-Nazis are really all about.

ALLEN: And Trump's homeland security adviser Tom Bossert spoke with CNN earlier today and, like the president, he also pointed to violence on both sides. That's when CNN's Jake Tapper asked this.

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JAKE TAPPER, CNN CHIEF WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: How many people did the counter protesters kill yesterday, Mr. Bossert?

TOM BOSSERT, WHITE HOUSE HOMELAND SECURITY ADVISER: Well, I will tell you, one death is too many, Jake. And --

(CROSSTALK)

TAPPER: But that wasn't by the counter protesters. She was -- the victim was a counter protester.

BOSSERT: I don't -- hold on one moment, Jake.

TAPPER: The victim was a counter protester.

BOSSERT: I don't -- I don't for -- I don't -- I don't for one minute, I don't for one moment and I won't allow you for one second to put me in a position of being an apologist for somebody who is now a charged murderer.

This individual should face swift justice. The President of the United States shares that view. I know he does. I share that view deeply.

And I don't want to be put in a position, I won't allow you to put me or him in a position of not finding that -- finding that justice as swiftly as possible. I think that you should -- you should --

(CROSSTALK)

BOSSERT: -- for a moment --

TAPPER: You just -- you just decried both sides. You just decried both sides.

BOSSERT: Well, I think --

TAPPER: Here we have a situation, Mr. Bossert, where --

BOSSERT: Well, no. No, I don't -- I don't -- I don't paint -- I don't paint --

TAPPER: -- where neo-Nazis, the Klan, alt-right and others --

BOSSERT: Yes.

TAPPER: -- went to Charlottesville, Virginia, chanting anti-Semitic, anti-African American and other racist slogans, provoking the people of Charlottesville, Virginia -- BOSSERT: Yes.

TAPPER: -- making them feel intimidated.

Yes, violence did break out. One person was killed by one of these alt-right, Klan, Nazi protesters.

BOSSERT: Yes.

TAPPER: And you just decried both sides of this. And this is the issue.

BOSSERT: No, I didn't. No. No, I didn't. And you're making this issue a little bit distorted.

So, what I would decry is the individual that committed murder yesterday. What I would do, though, is -- is quibble with this notion that any of this is acceptable.

These groups showed up spewing hate. These groups showed up looking for violence.

TAPPER: What groups?

BOSSERT: And I think it's just important for people to understand.

TAPPER: What groups are you referring to?

BOSSERT: Of course the groups that showed -- well, I refer to the groups that clashed yesterday. I think it was pretty graphically evident--

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ALLEN: So he's mirroring the president. He will not say or name or identify these groups, these alt-right groups.

What do you think about that?

SABATO: Well, I say first, thank you, Jake Tapper. That was excellent.

Mr. Bossert, you should be ashamed of yourself, just as your boss should be. You are engaging, as did President Trump, in false equivalency. There is no equivalency between the neo-Nazis and the thugs that I saw.

And the counter protesters, yes, some of them undoubtedly came with violence in their minds as well, at least violence toward the neo- Nazis.

But I personally witnessed this. I wish I had had Mr. Bossert with me. And I wish I had let him see the students on the lawn, the young students on the lawn, that I had to take into my pavilion and shelter in the basement because they were so angry and hurt and worried and fearful about what was going on, because those neo-Nazis were not very pleasant people. And they weren't pleasant to anybody.

If you were a minority, my goodness; if you were Jewish, watch out, because they were chanting anti-Semitic slogans as well as being very anti-minority.

But I wish he had seen and talked to these students. And then he would know about his false equivalency and how phony it is and the same for the president.

ALLEN: Larry Sabato, we wish you well as you start a new seat (ph) there at the school and the students well, too, much safety there. Thank you for joining us.

SABATO: Thank you so much, Natalie. Appreciate it.

ALLEN: He made some good points there about this administration needing to step up and own who caused this. You got to feel for those students arriving at school there.

HOWELL: Well, this goes beyond politics. It's not a matter of Right and Left here. This is a matter of just simply right and wrong. And I can tell you from life experience, just to be truthful not -- this is --

[02:15:00]

HOWELL: -- just a matter of being truthful -- there's only one side. We're talking about neo-Nazis here. We're talking about white supremacists. It's pretty clear.

ALLEN: (INAUDIBLE) that's the wrong side.

HOWELL: Still ahead here on NEWSROOM, the chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff in South Korea. What General James Dunford says about military options with Pyongyang -- ahead.

ALLEN: Also the son of Venezuela's president is threatening an attack against the White House if the U.S. military enters his country. More about that.

HOWELL: And with independence came tensions that last to this day. A look at the milestone anniversary of the end of the colonial rule in India. Stay with us.

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HOWELL: The top U.S. general in South Korea is addressing the growing threat from North Korea. Joint Chiefs Chairman Joseph Dunford will meet with South Korean president Moon Jae-in to discuss the situation that's playing out there. North Korea has said that it's planning to launch missiles toward the U.S. territory of Guam. ALLEN: Dunford says it is his job to make sure President Trump has viable military options if diplomacy fails. But the U.S. is aware those options have consequences. CNN's Paula Hancocks joins me now from Seoul.

It has to be unsettling times for Seoul there, the whole region, with the rhetoric and any talk of war -- Paula.

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Natalie, General James Dunford has finished his meeting with the defense minister here in South Korea. He's actually just briefed parliament a couple minutes ago; is possibly ongoing at this point.

But what he said was that if North Korea misjudges the situation and goes on with these types of provocations then it will face a strong condemnation from the South Korean-U.S. alliance.

So underlying the fact that South Korea and the United States are on the same page when it comes to how to deal with North Korea, this is what the South Koreans wanted from this meeting with the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to make sure that whatever happened, that it was going to be a bilateral if not more countries involved decision rather than the U.S. going it alone and having a unilateral decision as to deal with the United States, also saying that South Korea's closely watching the current situation and is still in a posture of readiness, something they always say when tensions are fairly high with North Korea.

And as you say General Dunford a little later this afternoon will be meeting with President Moon Jae-in as well. He will be giving a press conference after that with the president. It'll be interesting to hear what is said there. But I think it's really a sense that they want to make sure that the North Koreans know as well as the South Koreans that they are making decisions together and they will try and counter this threat from the North Korean nuclear and military positions together and also with allies in the region -- Natalie.

ALLEN: All right, Paula Hancocks following these meetings for us there. We'll get back to you, thanks, Paula.

[02:20:00]

HOWELL: The U.S. Defense Secretary and secretary of state have written an op-ed in "The Wall Street Journal" about the situation on the Korean Peninsula.

In part it reads, quote, "We are replacing the failed policy of 'strategic patience,' which expedited the North Korean threat, with a new policy of strategic accountability.

ALLEN: "The object of our peaceful pressure campaign is the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula."

They go on to warn that "Any attack will be defeated and any use of nuclear weapons will be met with an effective and overwhelming response." HOWELL: From the former U.S. intelligence chief says North Korea won't give up its nuclear weapons. Here's what James Clapper had to say earlier on CNN's "STATE OF THE UNION."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEN. JAMES CLAPPER, FORMER DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE: Ideally I'd love a denuclearized North Korea. But as I learned when I went there and had some pretty intense dialogue with them, that is a nonstarter with them. That is their ticket to survival. And I don't see any way they're going to give it up.

So I think our process, our thought process here ought to be on accepting it and trying to cap it or control it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ALLEN: Meantime, the CIA director says President Trump's bellicose rhetoric is working when it comes North Korea. Mike Pompeo says threatening Pyongyang with "fire and fury like the world has never seen" was effective messaging.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MIKE POMPEO, CIA DIRECTOR: He was communicating to many addicts (ph) and certainly the rogue leader in North Korea, communicating to him that the strategic patience of the past decades is no longer. We're just too close to him having this capacity to hold America at risk.

I think secondly he was communicating to the world, to China and too others who can influence the outcome there. We had a great success. We have the whole world voting to sanction North Korea, something that hasn't happened for an awfully long time.

This is real progress as a direct result of what President Trump has done and the way that we have communicated the threat, not only to America and to Japan and South Korea but to the entire world from this rogue leader.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HOWELL: The question, do those words make a difference?

Let's bring it now Martin Navias. Martin is a military expert from Kings College London, live this hour with us via Skype.

It's good to have you are with us, Martin. So you heard earlier the interviews that played out; Mr. Clapper and then Mr. Pompeo, hearing the difference in strategy here.

Former officials saying it is not likely that North Korea will ever give up its efforts to advance as a nuclear power; current official saying these words are working. They're doubling down on the strategy of pressure to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula.

How likely do you think that is to be the case? Are these words, in fact, working?

Or does Mr. Clapper have a point?

MARTIN NAVIAS, KINGS COLLEGE: Well, I agree with Mr. Clapper. I would write the chances of the North Korean regime denuclearizing (INAUDIBLE) zero. The North Korean regime is wedded to these nuclear weapons. They see them as absolutely central to their survival. They have committed enormous energy, economic, political and other energy, in getting these weapons.

And when they look at history, when they look at contemporary politics -- and I see for example what happened in Libya, when Col. Gadhafi gave up his weapons and he was overthrown, I agree they will never, ever give up those weapons.

But that horse has long bolted.

HOWELL: You might've heard earlier from our correspondent on the ground in Seoul, South Korea. But again, this meeting that's set to happen between the president of South Korea and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, it does appear that diplomacy is very important in this situation; however, very clear that military options are being considered if necessary.

Given these two different channels that are engaged that are happening as this conflict continues, does diplomacy win the day here, do you think?

NAVIAS: Well, the administration's approach is two-fisted. On the one hand, they wish to make very clear to the North Koreans that if Kim Jong-un decides to escalate, he will be met with severe force.

At the same time, the administration is exercising its diplomatic option and as with the previous Obama administration, the view is, number one, you demonstrate unity with the South Koreans; two and most important be, you push the Chinese.

And the emphasis in Washington remains that if there is going to be a diplomatic solution to this crisis, China has to be -- has to come on board. And much of the declaratory escalation on the part of Mr. Trump and his members of his administration has been to convince the Chinese that they are going to have to increase --

[02:25:00]

NAVIAS: -- their pressure on North Korea because until now, the Chinese have not been prepared to do so.

HOWELL: Let's talk on that point. When it comes to China -- so this op-ed that was written by Secretary of State Tillerson and Defense Secretary James Mattis, putting additional pressure on China to make headway, let's read this, a part of it.

It reads in part, "If China wishes to play a more active role in securing regional peace and stability, from which all of us, especially China, derive such great benefit, it must make the decision to exercise its decisive diplomatic and economic leverage over North Korea.

China's Security Council vote was a step in the right direction. The region and the world need and expect China to do more."

So, look, if -- you know, certainly, no one would want to see a war break out on the Korean Peninsula but if something like that were to happen, you would have to have these two nations, the United States and China, in lockstep; obviously, the two nations, the two leaders would have to understand what's happening.

So the question here, is this the way to push China to take more action and, in fact, to get a better relationship with the tensions are taking place on the Korean Peninsula?

NAVIAS: Well, China until now has been making the right (INAUDIBLE). They've supported the U.N. Security Council resolution. They said they want to work toward a peaceful solution. But they still remain very heavily entwined with the North Koreans. I've seen recent figures that showed that over the past few years, they have been more than 5,000 Chinese companies that are doing business with North Korea.

That's a very deep economic relationship. And while the Trump administration has said correctly, oh, we've made advances now with the U.N. Security Council resolution, I follow these sanctions resolutions quite close over the past few years.

And even this one, which does seem to suggest that the pressure will be increasingly brought on North Korea, there is still room for maneuver (INAUDIBLE). There's still room for Chinese, North Korea and economic relations. China has promised to give up future economic imports of coal and oil.

But (INAUDIBLE). But it doesn't say what the Chinese will do about honoring existing relations, existing contracts. (INAUDIBLE) like that where there remain loopholes. And much of Trump's declaratory escalation, his bellicose language is directed to China as much as it is to North Korea and the Chinese are beginning to understand that the era of strategic patience that preceded the Trump administration is over and the president is going to be much more aggressive in respect of resolving this problem quickly.

HOWELL: Martin Navias, thank you so much for your perspective on this. We will stay in touch with you, thank you.

NAVIAS: Thank you.

HOWELL: And later in the show, we will be at the Korean demilitarized zone, where a choir group is using music in the hope of bringing people together, the peace together on the Korean Peninsula.

ALLEN: We need more of that --

(CROSSTALK)

HOWELL: Absolutely, absolutely.

ALLEN: The son of Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro was sending an angry message to the U.S. He's threatening to seize the White House with rifles if the U.S. tries to send its military into his country.

Last week U.S. President Trump sparked outrage when he said he could not rule out military intervention in Venezuela.

HOWELL: In the meantime, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence says that a peaceful solution is possible for the country. Pence says the U.S. wants democracy to return to Venezuela.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Venezuela is sliding into dictatorship. And as President Trump has said, the United States will not stand by as Venezuela crumbles. We will continues to stand with free nations across our hemisphere until democracy is restored for the Venezuelan people.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HOWELL: More than 120 people have died during the months of political unrest in the nation. Protesters are calling for the president to step down. This as Venezuela's economy continues to collapse.

ALLEN: A cafe in Burkina Faso's capital comes under a deadly attack. We'll tell you what officials are saying happened -- coming up.

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[02:31:53] NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM, live from Atlanta. I'm Natalie Allen.

GEORGE HOWELL, CNN ANCHOR: I'm George Howell, with your world headlines this hour.

(HEADLINES)

HOWELL: The French foreign ministry says terrorists have targeted a cafe in Burkina Faso's capitol. At least 17 people were killed and eight others are wounded. Security forces are still trying to end the attack. State-run media say that two of the attackers have been killed.

Let's get the latest from Farai Sevenzo, in Nairobi, Kenya.

Good to have you.

Give us the latest on this situation. What more do you know?

FARAI SEVENZO, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: What we know, George - a very good morning to you. I'm reporting from Nairobi about a situation in Burkina Faso, a poor landlocked West African country. Around 9:00 local time, terrorists -- we know they are terrorists because the communications minister in Burkina Faso told us so. The gunmen attacked a restaurant which is on the avenue and barricaded themselves in this cafe. The result of the attack is 17 people were killed, about eight injured. These figures are coming from the French foreign ministry. Burkina Faso has been in the crosshairs of al Qaeda in the Maghrib. These terrorist groups are attacking mainly foreign people and, indeed, any kind of foreign interest there. It seems the kind of resources that go into identifying terrorists in a place like Paris, then imagine the kind of resources they have here.

It's not the first attack. Back in January 2016, terrorists also attacked a hotel, killing many people, many of them foreigners. They also attacked an army base up in the north of the country. And it looks, George, like this is another one of those attacks. Very much same kind of blueprint and same kind of consequences. It's a very serious situation for the Burkina Faso people.

HOWELL: We'll continue to follow the situation there.

Thank you so much, Farai Sevenzo, for your reporting. And we'll stay in touch you as we continue to monitor.

ALLEN: It has now been seven decades since India won its independence from the British empire. Power was handed over and the new country of Pakistan was created as well at the time.

HOWELL: But the partition of India also led to a massive, deadly migration, and the legacy of hostility between the two countries that remains to this day.

More now from CNN's Mallika Kapur.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

(MUSIC)

[02:35:12] MALLIKA KAPUR, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice- over): They're neighbors with a shared history but a fractured present. Seventy years ago, this week, British rulers sliced a giant Indian empire into two countries, a Hindu-majority India, and Pakistan, home to mostly Muslims. From the 18th century through independence, the British empire in India stretched from Afghanistan in the west to Burma in the east.

(APPLAUSE)

KAPUR: But by the 1940s, anti-colonial sentiment swelling in British colonies around the world, including India.

(SHOUTING)

KAPUR: Demands for India's independence grew, led by freedom fighters, including Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru and Muhammad Ali Jinnah, who favored a separate state for India's Muslim minorities.

India was burning. Continued tensions between Hindus and Muslims spiraled out of control. Calls for ending British rule were reaching a boiling point. (EXPLOSION)

KAPUR: On the back of a costly Second World War, Britain lacked the will and the means to defeat the independence movement. Britain decided to quit India.

In March 1947, Naval Officer Lord Mountbatten was appointed the viceroy of India to oversee the handover of power. He assigned British lawyer, Cyril Radcliffe, to draw the partition line. In just six weeks, he finalized a plan to divide India along religious lines.

There would be a new India, a secular India, though it's where the Hindu majority would leave, and a separate country called Pakistan for Muslims.

On midnight of August 14, 1947, the British empire officially transferred power to India and Pakistan.

(CHEERING)

KAPUR: After nearly two centuries of colonial rule, India became a sovereign nation and Pakistan was born.

(CHEERING)

KAPUR: Jinnah became head of the newly formed Pakistan. Nehru became the first prime minister of India.

UNIDENTIFIED NEWS ANCHOR: At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake in freedom.

(MUSIC)

KAPUR: The partition saw one of the largest human migrations the world has ever seen. Millions of Hindus and Sikhs living in Pakistan headed to India. Millions of Muslims migrated to Pakistan. In trains and on foot. In a matter of months, at least 10 million people moved across the border.

(GUNFIRE)

KAPUR: At least a million Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs died in communal attacks as they crossed the border. Tens of thousands of women and girls were abducted and raped, families were divided.

Twenty-four years later, in 1971, the east wing of Pakistan split away to become a separate country called Bangladesh. The west side remained as president-day Pakistan.

(EXPLOSION)

KAPUR: India and Pakistan have fought four wars since 1947, mostly fueled by disputes over the northern state of Kashmir. Both countries claim it in its entirety but only control part of it.

Though both sides have attempted to restore peace many times, they remain hostile, nuclear-armed neighbors even today.

Mallika Kapur, CNN, India.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ALLEN: For more now, we're joined by Mallika Kapur, in India.

It's a wonderful piece there on the history and what these two countries have been through.

Let's come current to 2017 and talk about relations between these two countries. What are the issues and where are some of the things they enjoy together?

KAPUR: There are several things they enjoy together. But back to the relationship between India and Pakistan, it still remains frosty. It has been the case for several years. As I mentioned, over the last 70 years, they have attempted to restore peace several times, but it always seems to be a case of one foot forward and two back. Relations really haven't improved much. If you just take the history both of these countries when they both became independent nations, there was so much bloodshed that it did affect the way relations would move forward. It has always been under the cloud of what happened, the bloody riots, the violence of 1947. So relations do remain frosty.

The most contentious issue is Kashmir. Both India and Pakistan claim the state in its entirety, but they only control part of it. That is the main sticking point between India and Pakistan.

They have over the last couple of years, there have been some terrorist attacks on both sides. Each time that happens, one side blames the other. So there has been a long history of suspicion and hostility.

Recently, we have seen this tension has spilled over into other areas, into sport, into culture. There's nothing more exciting for the people on the subcontinent, in India and Pakistan, cricket match, for example. But India and Pakistan do not tour each other's countries any more to play a match. If they play a match, they meet in a third country. So that's one of the casualties of this frosty relationship.

When you look at culture, movies, particularly Bollywood movies, they are currently enjoyed on both sides of the border. But after a cross- border issue, a skirmish last year, Indian movie producers and directors have decided they will not allow Pakistani actors and artists to act in Bollywood film. So there you have another casualty.

So overall, yes, I think it's fair to say that relations between the two countries remain very frost, even today.

[02:41:03] ALLEN: Thank goodness for movies and cricket. For sure.

Thank you so much, Mallika Kapur, for us. Thanks, Mallika.

HOWELL: Seven Syrian rescuers killed in an attack have been buried in an emotional funeral. The White Helmets say unidentified gunmen stormed the office of the volunteers on Saturday and shot them dead. It happened at Idlib, one of the last provinces the Syrian government does not control.

ALLEN: Meantime, Syria says it's making progress in recapturing areas controlled by ISIS.

Our senior international correspondent, Fred Pleitgen, has more from one of the frontlines in the battle against ISIS.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

(GUNFIRE)

FRED PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): An assault on ISIS in the eastern Syrian desert. The Syrian government says it has drastically stepped up its offensive against the terror group on various fronts and recently released this video showing their gains on the battlefield.

(on camera): Syria's military gave us access to one of those frontlines, where ISIS, too, is increasing the pressure, the local commander says.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE)

PLEITGEN (voice-over): "You feel like the fighters of ISIS are brainwashed," he says. They are coming here to died. They're fearless. They fight until the end."

ISIS is attacking this area because it's near a strategic road and a pipeline.

But also, the Syria army believes because the group is losing so much territory in other parts of Syria and in Iraq.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGAUGE)

PLEITGEN (on camera): As ISIS gets squeezed out its urban strongholds like Raqqa, more and more of its fighters are coming to this region. The men we're with say they have had to deal with a lot more ISIS attacks than before.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE)

(GUNFIRE)

PLEITGEN (voice-over): Sometimes those attacks amount to massacres. ISIS fighters invaded the village of Akarad (ph) in May, killing more than 50 civilians, according to Syrian government media.

Nine-year-old Buddar (ph) says he was forced to watch his mother, brother and two sisters get executed by the militants, only barely surviving himself.

UNIDENTIFIED BOY: (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE)

PLEITGEN: "I acted like I was dead," he said. They started stepping on me but I didn't move at all."

The massacre in Akarad (ph) has fueled hatred towards ISIS among Syrian government troops, vowing to rout the terror group at any cost.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE)

PLEITGEN: "I'm ready to fight day and night against ISIS," this fighter says. " We've decided already that ISIS will not get out of this area."

And the commander adds, "Getting rid of ISIS is only a question of time, because the Syrian army has decided to defeat them totally in this area. We tasted their massacres like the one in Akarad (ph)."

(on camera): Both attacking and defending against ISIS are difficult in this desert area. Still, the Syrian army and its Russian backers say ousting the terror group from the southeast of the country is now their main priority, and they hope to accomplish that task in the coming months.

Fred Pleitgen, CNN, Akarad (ph), Syria.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ALLEN: As the war of words between the U.S. and North Korea gets louder, a group of international musicians try to quiet it with a melodic message. We'll have that story coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[02:46:23] HOWELL: We've recapping a story that we're following out of the Korean peninsula. The chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Joseph Dunford, has arrived in South Korea.

ALLEN: He's set to meet with South Korean President Moon Jae-in to address the looming missile threat from Pyongyang.

HOWELL: The island in the middle of it all, it is the island of Guam. It's dubbed the tip of the spear. Very important strategic point for the United States with these tensions with North Korea. Pyongyang says it is finalizing a plan to launch missiles aimed close to the U.S. territory.

ALLEN: Under that threat, hundreds of people gathered on Sunday to pray for peace.

Here's CNN's Martin Savidge.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

(SINGING)

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In every church, in every pew, they prayed for peace.

Guam is a deeply Catholic island. And after of escalating threats, including nuclear annihilation, people sought shelter in their faith.

At the main cathedral, the Biblical readings spoke of God's protection.

FATHER PAUL GOFIGAN, DULCE NOMBRE DE MARIA CATHEDRAL BASILICA: Do not be afraid.

SAVIDGE: While the priest asked his congregation how they would spend their 14 minutes, blunt reference to the flight time of a North Korean missile from launch to impact.

(SINGING)

SAVIDGE: Before the service, Father Paul Gofigan confessed to struggling to find the right words.

GOFIGAN: It's very, very difficult in trying to really, especially with the threat of a nuclear explosion that might come, it's very difficult to really bring that message of inner peace.

SAVIDGE: Outdoors, at noon, in the capitol, hundreds more people gathered to pray.

(CROSSTALK)

SAVIDGE: With its palm trees and beaches, this is usually a place people come to get away from it all. But now, Guam is in the middle of it all, targeted by North Korea for its American military bases and U.S. citizens.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I pray that nothing happened and they come to a peaceful solution for this. That's what I hope. I think everybody else here would like to see something like that.

SAVIDGE: Saturday, President Trump called the governor promises America had Guam's back.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We're with you, 1000 percent.

SAVIDGE: The reassurance welcomed in this U.S. territory that often feels overlooked and misunderstood by Americans on the mainland.

(on camera): The words of the president's phone call he gave to the governor, do you think that helped?

GOFIGAN: I think it helps a little bit. I think we are blessed to be protected.

SAVIDGE (voice-over): There's another reason Guam has fears. This is one of those Pacific islands where World War II was fought. The bitter and brutal memories have been passed down.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have faith. It kind of worries me because my mom went through it during the World War II.

SAVIDGE: On Guam, they are worried and feel helpless. So they reach out to another super power, simply seeking peace.

Martin Savidge, CNN, Guam.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ALLEN: Speaking of seeking peace, you're looking at a live picture of the border between North Korea and South Korea where tensions are rising on the peninsula there. A choir aimed to drown out the noise by performing at the border between North and South Korea.

HOWELL: One singer hopes the universal language of music might inspire both countries towards reunification.

Here's our Alexandra Field with this story.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

(MUSIC)

[02:50:10] ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): If the sound carries beyond these walls --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you look around at these mountains, off in the distance, it really is a beautiful place.

FIELD: -- it will take you to a beautiful place and a strange place.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Before coming here, like, it seemed a really scary place, the barbed wire, the traps.

FIELD: A dark place.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They tell you not to hop the fence, do anything stupid. The reality is there is a lot of anxiety here.

FIELD: Mostly, though, there is the pain they've known almost forever now.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My heart is going boom, boom, boom. Why can we not go there? Part of my heart, it's something very painful.

(SINGING)

FIELD: The idea seemed like a stretch, a senior choir, a South Korean youth orchestra, a group of Harvard students in concert during a time of rapidly rising tensions right on the edge of North Korea.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's scary for a lot of people, not just us. A lot of families were contacting us, making sure we were safe and nothing was going to happen.

(MUSIC)

FIELD: As the war of words between the U.S. and North Korea get ever louder, for a moment, they're drowning out the noise.

(MUSIC)

FIELD (on camera): Why are you singing at the DMZ?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We wish for to send our wishes to the North. For our wish of reunification. That is my dream and my choir's dream as well.

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

FIELD (voice-over): They can't go any farther than this.

(on camera): This is one of the most heavily fortified border areas in the world. The Demilitarized Zone cuts the Korean peninsula in half. It's 160 miles long. It's 2.5 miles wide. And that's been enough to keep families permanently ripped apart.

(SINGING)

FIELD: This woman feels close to her husband's family in the North when she's here. She never met them and she's already lost him.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Before I did, I want to hear something useful from his family.

FIELD: When the choir and orchestra walk outside, she's looking in the right direction.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Music is our way. Why can't we be together?

FIELD: For Grant, who came from Harvard to be here, it's all it's about.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Music is the universal language. So you can come to Korea -- I don't speak any Korean, but I am Korean. And I can sit down with all these people and be able to make music together. It's really something everyone can personally relate to. there's some 80- year-old people in the choir and there's also like 10-year-old children we're playing with

(MUSIC)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When we started playing these folk songs, these traditional music, I had heard it before, a long time ago when I first learned trumpet, but none of it had any kind of real sentimental value for me. I had this emotion, I felt like I was a part of it.

(MUSIC)

FIELD: The finally is a song composed in the North when the Koreas were still one. If sound could carry, these musicians hope it will travel back there.

(MUSIC)

(CHEERING)

FIELD: Alexandra Field, CNN, at the DMZ.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ALLEN: What's not to like about that?

HOWELL: Music is powerful.

ALLEN: Very nice. Very nice.

Coming up here, our top weather story is from southern Nepal, and Pedram has that.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[02:55:00] ALLEN: Northern India and parts of Nepal are seeing terrible landslides caused by some of the worst weather in decades.

HOWELL: Our Meteorologist Pedram Javaheri is following this situation in the International Weather Center -- Pedram?

PEDRAM JAVAHERI, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Absolutely. This is something we see this time of year, but the progression of the monsoons to the north is really what has been leading to the disasters unfolding.

You look at the landscape, across North India, work your way into Nepal, tremendous mountains in this region. When you look into the valleys, you have a recipe for heavy rainfall in the mountains. What's known as the breadbasket of India. Video from this region where over a million people have been displaced in recent months. The video, transitioning it over into Nepal where the conditions are similar. You work from Northern India into parts of Nepal, monsoons prevalent. See the plane on the runway where areas have been almost entirely submerged. And 30,000 homes submerged across Nepal. Into India, look at this international space station perspective. Up to 10 kilometers high, that's how high the thunderstorm cloud tops are pushing into. They expand to expand outwards. In this region of India, two buses, at 1:00 a.m. were impacted. About 250-meter stretch of the highway collapsed. Almost 50 fatalities across this region as a result of this landslide. The rainfall not as tremendous as expected with this time of year. In Nepal, you see some areas south of Katmandu where significant flooding experienced as well.

The other story to shed some light on, what will be happening across the continental U.S. For the first time in 99 years, a total solar eclipse in place. The sun, moon and earth in perfect alignment. Once this happens, the rarity of it happening on a coast-to-coast impact for the U.S. It's unusual. The moon casts a shadow on the earth. About 100 kilometers of land in length. Goes from the northwestern U.S. to the southeastern U.S. When you look at this, this is the first time in the U.S.'s history where it's exclusive to the U.S. The only place on earth you can see it over land. Some open waters. Narrow stretches of open water where you can see this. But this is going to take place on Monday, the 21st. Very cool perspective. Not too far from here as well. (CROSSTALK)

ALLEN: Can't wait.

HOWELL: Yes.

Thanks, Pedram.

ALLEN: Thanks, Pedram.

Thanks for watching this hour. I'm Natalie Allen.

HOWELL: I'm George Howell.

The news continues right after the break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[02:57:56] (EMERGENCY ALERT WEEKLY TEST)