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Flood danger not over for Houston surrounding areas; Houston police; rescue 18 people overnight; Water rescues on going in southeast Texas; Hope and humanity in aftermath of storm; UK and Japan to move quickly on North Korea sanctions; Remembering the people's princess. Aired at 11-11:30p ET
Aired August 31, 2017 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[11:00:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
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HANNAH VAUGHAN JONES, CNN ANCHOR: Ruin as far as I can see. The rain may have stopped but the waters are still rising in some areas and from fire to
disease, to alligators, the chaos in Texas after Harvey is far from over and for many, the grief never will be.
Six members of this man's family were killed, swept way in a van. That heartbreaking story ahead and we will take a look back at a princess, an
icon, an idol exactly 20 years after she died, the world remembers Diana.
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JONES: Hello and welcome to Connect the World. I'm Hannah Vaughan Jones live for you in London sitting in for Becky Anderson.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JONES: Our top story this hour, the long road ahead for Texas as it recovers from Hurricane Harvey and the unprecedented flooding swamping
Houston and the surrounding area.
Right now, the entire city of Beaumont, that's about 178 kilometers east of Houston, has no running water. Its water pumps will not be repaired until
the floodwaters recede and people started lining out to buy bottled water from very early this morning.
Then there's a volatile situation in Crosby, that's northeast of Houston. A fire broke out overnight at a chemical plant there sanding sick black
smoke into the air. The fumes are from that smoke made more than a dozen sheriff's deputies, sick.
Well, Houston simply threatened 18 people from the floodwaters overnight, and the death toll from some of overall has now risen to 37 people.
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JONES: CNN's Polo Sandoval joins me now from Richmond in Texas near Houston where it's currently a mandatory evacuation on the way.
Polo, so many people have lost their lives presumably many more still unaccounted for. Just tell us some of the stories that you know have heard
and perhaps even rescues that you've witnessed.
POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You know that certainly is the reality here is that that death toll is likely to rise as we are expecting
officials to begin today going door-to-door in the city of Houston checking some of the homes.
Making sure that everybody got out OK or perhaps for some homes that are still underwater making sure that anybody who needs rescuing be rescued.
Yes, to answer you question, we've seen some of those very dramatic rescues take place here. People essentially plucked from their rooftops and taken
to safety, we've seen some of those pictures, some of those images that are coming from the area while those who have positive outcomes for the most
Officials are hoping to prevent the need for more rescues altogether because while some of the water goes down, there is definitely still some
of the floodwaters that are rising including here as you mentioned not far from the city of Houston in Fort Bend County where the Brazos River
continues to rise.
It's been doing so for the last several days on the slow and steady rise already exceeding record levels. For the people who live in this
community, I can tell you that folks are no strangers to this.
This took place only about a year and a half ago. In fact most of the individuals who were affected by that storm were already completing some of
the repairs from the storm.
In fact I had an opportunity to walk into the home of the gentleman just downriver from where we are here. The interior still smelled like fresh
He had just completed the repairs and now that little house is again underwater. What is perhaps the positive news here, officials and people
saw this coming.
So there were some of those mandatory evacuations that were put in place days ago. So a majority of the homes that you see behind me, they are
The residence, the owners have come by, stood at the water's edge and watched helplessly as the water begins to made some of their space and
destroy some of their belongings.
And finally I had -- I can tell you that today even more of those mandatory evacuations were put in place because yes, while the water levels are
dropping in some parts of the Lone Star State, there certainly are some of the regions that where the water continues to rise.
JONES: Yes, all the rain may have stopped but as you say, the water keeps -- keeps on rising and infrastructures down as well across the state.
Polo, thanks very much indeed. Around a third of the city of Houston is now entirely covered in water.
And thousand are taking refuge inside the city's convention center. That's where Scott McLean joins me. Now, so many people having to start to
rebuild their lives, rebuild their homes eventually as well. But in the short-term, what is the future for these flood victims?
[11:05:00] SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, there is some good news Hannah, and that's with the number of people staying in this particular
shelter in the convention center in downtown Houston has gone down.
It reached the peak of around 9,000 Tuesday and through Wednesday overnight. And now they're down about 2,500 people but as you can imagine,
people don't want to stay here, you know, sleeping in a big convention hall, with hundreds of other people is not a very comfortable situation.
So people are trying to do whatever they can find other alternate arrangements some are going back into their homes which have been flooded
There are area around mold and chemical contamination, and so the shelter manager is concerned that a lot of those people will return. People are
also registering for FEMA assistant. They have successfully registered 90,000 people.
They doled out some $57 million in assistance. Already that number is expected to rise. I want to introduce you to Matt Whitmore. Matt was
actually a flood victim himself.
He was actually in between moving from one apartment in Houston to Baytown which is just a couple of miles outside of town when the truck that you had
your things loaded into actually ended up being stranded. And so now, he's been staying at another shelter not far from here and that I wonder where'd
you go from here?
MATT WHITMORE, FLOOD VICTIM: Start over and rebuild. Take a one step at a time. All resources that we here in Houston was the only reason why can
pick yourself back up.
MCLEAN: Now you're telling me when the truck had all your belongings in it, and it's flooded out in floodwaters, and you were telling me about how
you ended up getting to the shelter. How did you?
WHITMORE: Went up hike in the from 146 crossing over 146 at to 10 -- I-10 east, cross down to west, trying to headed downtown, sleeping in between
rest stops, probably about two or three hours every time. I was hoping to get to the 137 which is like the hub for all the eastside.
And get to downtown before it got really bad but as it turned out (Inaudible). So I was happened to go, you know, from stop to stop, to
stop, all the way up to 610. All the way but it has best Burberry. And then back to Fifth Ward then down to (Inaudible), then up Salvation Army.
MCLEAN: And so how long do you think you'll be staying in the shelter for?
WHITMORE: I am pushing for at least two week of the max.
MCLEAN: And then where?
WHITMORE: I'm hoping to have a place I paid for because I've got some temporary work on the side that I found yesterday and that might be enough
to at least get me started back up.
MCLEAN: Well, I wish you the best of luck, Matt. Thank you so much for talking to us and Hannah, we just want to point out as well, Matt, lost all
of his things and he said he's not worried about getting those replaced.
He said is one of the people whose loss the least. There are people who are in far worse shape than him. And so I hear a lot about that type of
sentiment around this shelter, people really pulling together in a really tough situation.
JONES: Just an unimaginable situation for these people. So many people have to rebuild from -- from scratch as he just appointed out for us,
Scott. Thank you so much.
Well, we've seen so many stories of heroism and humanity in the aftermath of this horrendous story. Our Nick Valencia met one woman from Victoria,
Texas whose home was destroyed by the hurricane but her story certainly doesn't end there. Take a look at this.
MARY MARTINEZ, FLOOD VICTIM: OK. All right, this is the living room.
NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This is the first time in nearly a week that Mary Martinez can see hope. Last Friday, she was among the countless
Texans displaced by hurricane Harvey. What really was affected?
MARTINEZ: The three bed rooms. There was a bed room here with the roof came down.
VALENCIA: Oh, my god! Was anyone home at the time?
VALENCIA: Mary and her family fled to her daughter's work to seek shelter ahead of the hurricane.
MARTINEZ: I was scary.
VALENCIA: They barely got out.
MARTINEZ: I'm really (Inaudible) outside because we could hear the rain falling and the wind, trees which is...
VALENCIA: Well, how does it sound like?
MARTINEZ: It didn't sound good.
VALENCIA: Well her block in Victoria, Texas was mostly spared, her house took a direct hit.
MARTINEZ: It was like just a shock. Speechless. I did not think it was going to be this bad.
VALENCIA: Leaning on her faith, she says she reached out to the Christian relief organization, Samaritan's Purse for help. Forty-eight hours later,
a dozen volunteers were in her home to clean up. (Inaudible) was one of them. What makes you help up perfect strangers, Dora?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I enjoy it. I just enjoy it.
DEBORA COOPER, SAMARITAN'S PURSE: We're going to wrap the whole roof at the same time...
VALENCIA: Debora Cooper leads the volunteer's efforts to rebuild Mary's home.
COOPER: As we come in, she said I can see hope now. Yesterday today I had hope, today I can see hope.
VALENCIA: You're lucky to get this help.
MARTINEZ: Oh, my god. Yes. It's just heaven sent is wonderful. I've been blessed.
[11:10:00] VALENCIA: Nick Valencia, CNN, Victoria, Texas.
JONES: OK. We turn our attention away from Harvey now and to the Korean Peninsula where the U.S. and South Korea put up a united front, a combined
total of 10 bombers and fighters bond together for a drill, a simulated strike on enemy targets.
U.S. Pacific Command said it was a direct response to North Korea's launch on Tuesday of an intermediate-range missile that passed directly over
Japan. Aware on both Korea's for you.
We will get you the view from inside North Korea, the capital Pyongyang in a minute. But first, let's turn to Ian Lee who's in Seoul for us.
And Ian, U.S. president Donald Trump says when it comes to North Korea, talking is not the author is talking is not the answer. If the time of
talking is over, can we assume that military force is the only option left?
IAN LEE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Hannah, there is still one more tool in that toolbox that they can use to put pressure on North Korea and that's
sanctions trying to squeeze those economics screws.
And we heard that recently from the U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May when she was speaking with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
THERESA MAY, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: Prime Minister Abe and I have agreed to work together and with others in the international community to
strengthen pressure against North Korea including by increasing the pace of functions implementation and working towards the adoption of a new and
effective resolution of the United Nations Security Council.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEE: And of course, Hannah, to really get any sort of effective sanctions program on North Korea, it's going to take China and not something that the
U.K. knows, that the people or the players in this region know and that's something that they're going to be worked on to try to get China on board
on more sanctions.
JONES: And in these drills between the U.S. and South Korea -- they have been every year, but perhaps sort of being ramped up slightly this year.
What messages South Korea trying to send to its neighbor in the North?
LEE: Well, frankly simply it simply put that they just can't be bullied. And that's the message that we are seeing from the South Koreans.
We saw this right after that missile test just the other day, shortly afterwards Korea came out and conducted a military exercise which they said
was designed to go after North Korea, and leadership if an event of a war.
And also today we saw that this exercise took place and what's unique about this one, Hannah, is that we saw jets from different areas. We had B-1
Bombers from Guam which has been the target of North Korean threats.
We also had F-35, those advanced few fighters from Japan involved, as well as F-15s, each plane showcasing its unique abilities to wage war in the
event of the war today during that 10 hour exercise.
But really what South Korea is trying to say is that with these North Korea tasks that they still are defiant. They say that these moves are defensive
but they wouldn't back down, Hannah.
JONES: Ian, we appreciate your opposing there from the South Korean capital. They view there from Seoul.
And while the U.S. President Donald Trump says the talking is over in his mind, others in his administration and many others around the world beg to
differ. CNN's Will Ripley, the only Western television journalist in North Korea has the latest now from Pyongyang.
WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We know the North Koreans are closely monitoring President Trump's Twitter account and the president messaging on
North Korea is clear.
He thinks that talking is not the answer which directly contradicts his secretary of state and secretary of defense who both feel that diplomacy is
And perhaps only path forward given that a military option will be catastrophic according to nearly all military analysts who study the issue
on the Korean Peninsula.
That didn't stop the U.S. and South Korea from conducting a major show of force flying bombers and fighters over the Korean Peninsula.
So if it's not a military or diplomacy, then what other options that the U.S. and its allies have. Well, one word, sanctions. We know that the
United States and Japan would like to see sanctions that cripple the North Korean economy, that makes them desperate and force them to come to the
In fact Japan and the United Kingdom just agreed to speed up the pace of implementing this latest round of U.N. sanctions that have yet to take
effect to have yet to slow down North Korea's unprecedented grange of missile testing.
But the problem with sanctions is that they need the full cooperation of China and what China says they will implement the latest round of U.N.
[11:15:00] They seem unwilling to take the economic steps that the United States would need them to do to try a cripple North Korea. And keep in
mind, North Korea's been through some very difficult economic times.
They survived a famine in the late 1990s when hundreds of thousands of people are believed to have died from starvation and the regime stay firmly
in control, and was even launching missiles during that time.
It's hard to see how North Korea could be forced to negotiate if they don't want to which is why you have threats from Pyongyang that they will
continue launching missiles targeting the Pacific and perhaps even targeting U.S. territory of Guam. Will Ripley, CNN, Pyongyang, North
JONES: Will in North Korea there. Now, still to come on Connect the World this hour.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JONES: Her death stuns the world. For 20 years, all memory of Princess Diana still shine brightly for so many around the world. Know on how the
people's princess in being remembered next.
And we follow the top of British diplomats to Nigeria bringing U.K. support to the fight against Boko Haram. We're back for more after this break.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
JONES: Welcome back to Connect the World. Twenty years ago the world received news of a horrific car crash in Paris. One that resulted in a
loss that seemed almost unimaginable, the death of Diana, Princess of Wales shook the world.
It had a profound impact on Britain, her own country in particular marking an historic shift in the relationship Britain's have with the royal family.
Our Jim Bittermann is in Paris out for tunnel where Diana, Princess of Wales was killed while Clarissa Ward is at Diana's former home, Kensington
And Clarissa, to you first, she will of course be remembered as the people's princess but first and foremost says there's a much, much missed
mother and a grandmother of course to the princess who reside behind you.
CLARISSA WARD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right and of course Diana lived behind me for many years and it's incredible to see today, Hannah,
hundred's of people, most of whom I should add, you can't see there on the other side of the palace.
But they have been pouring in all day, they're laying flowers, they're paying their respects, they're taking a moment to remember Diane who 20
years after her death continues to be this incredibly compelling enigma.
And we put together a two hour documentary really going throughout her entire life. Parts of the fairytales, parts of the Shakespearean drama,
parts of it sadly of course a Greek tragedy.
And what we found is all of these years later the enigma still hasn't become any less compelling to people. Here's a sneak peek. Take a look.
WARD: The most famous and photographed woman in the world.
[11:20:00] A princess with style and substance, a loving mother.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Diana was absolutely born to be a mother.
WARD: A passionate advocate.
PRINCESS DIANA, PRINCESS OF WALES: Really trying to highlight a problem that's going on all around the world.
WARD: Through it all, here every move scrutinized and scandalized.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She's followed everywhere. In fact she found that time very difficult.
WARD: Behind the flash bulbs, a light is marked by loneliness.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She wanted her freedom. She wanted a life.
WARD: The tragedy that took her life...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Princess Diana at the age of 36 has died.
WARD: ... left the world devastated and in disbelief. Twenty years later, what do we know?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She went to her lawyer and said they wanted to kill me, and here's how.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: she knew something was wrong.
WARD: Friends, family those who were there speak out about Diana, a woman who transcended celebrity and transformed a monarchy.
WARD: And of course all these years later people are talking a lot about what is Diana's legacy and I think it's become clear especially this year
that her primary legacy is that of her boys, princes Harry and William who have spoken out in an incredibly brave and unprecedented way this year.
Not just about the death of their mother but also about grief, about trauma, difficult issues relating to mental illness, all of these subjects
that Diana keen to tackle.
And it's quite refreshing and quite inspiring to see her legacy, her warmth for humanity, her compassion live on through these two boys who have
conveying the best of the traditions of the monarchy with the warmth and human humanity of their mother, Hannah.
JONES: Yes, we assume she would have been so, so proud of them. Clarissa in London for us, thank you. Let's go over to Jim Bittermann. He is in
Paris for us now.
I presume that, Jim, there are people paying their respect to the place where Princess Diana lost here life. And a huge amount of shock that the
crash happened in the first place, and that 20 have passed, it seems like just yesterday for so many of this.
JIM BITTERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely, Hannah. I mean I think to address the shock, I think a lot reason were absolutely amaze that such a
thing could have happened in this city were very few accidents of fatal car accidents inside the city limit each year.
And to have someone as well protected as Diana should have been to be in a fatal car crash was pretty amazing. And yes, 20 years on, there are still
quite of motion here.
We talk to a number of people that gathered at this would become a Memorial effect, this is actually a torch -- a replica of the torch of the Statue of
Liberty that directed years before the crash.
But because it sits on top the tunnel almost exactly over where Princess Diana has her accident. These have become the gathering sport from people.
Anyway, we've talked to few of them who have been (Inaudible) as it has been in every day since the crash.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I grew up in U.K. and I grew up of this image of a woman who was really trying to help people. People love her. I mean you
can see here. I came 10 years ago, I was around 12. I told myself that (Inaudible), I'm going to come every 10 years.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We arrived in the city of London, we see (Inaudible).
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Twenty years and she's still alive with us.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BITTERMANN: That's something we hear a lot that 20 years on, princess lives on at least in everybody's memory. Her life ended very short and it
was a very positive life at the end. So I think that's the way people will remember and the reason that remember her. Hannah.
JONES: Jim, we appreciate it. Thank you. Well, Diana's death was so momentous that people still talk about where they were when they heard the
And for the journalists who broke that tragic story, the occasion was no less remarkable. Jim Bittermann, who we just saw there cover the crush in
Paris and looks back now on his experience.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As the world awaits a word on the fate of Princess Diana, the Princes of Wales seriously injured in a car accident.
Hours ago in Paris along with companion Dodi Al Fayed who apparently was killed in that accident. Let's go now live to CNN's Jim Bittermann who was
on the phone from Paris. Jim.
BITTERMANN, (via phone): Good evening. The -- primarily the accident that caught after midnight...
News stories especially the big ones really happen at convenient times, really alive with all the facts tied up underneath bundle, that was never
more true than the night that Princess Diana died.
I was sound asleep when I got the call about 12:40 A.M. There have been a crash of the l'Alma Tunnel in Paris and they believe that Dodi Fayed have
been in the car.
[11:25:00] What's more, since Princess Diana had been seeing with Dodi Fayed recently, they also believe that she might be in the car, too. I had
it with the scene reporting with (Inaudible) along their way.
It was a Saturday night at the end of August, a very sleepy time for Paris and the officials who were on duty at that hour were about to confirm
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They were up against the wall, and debris was on both sides of the tunnel.
BITTERMANN: But we did have some e witnesses thanks to what I would call the CNN effect. Two groups of Americans of lawyers who happen to be in
town and a couple from the West Coast happen on down the crash within seconds after it happened.
And independently, they went back to their respective hotels and made an effort to get in touch with CNN so tat they could tell us what they saw.
Meanwhile, the first responders have taken a decision. Later criticize. They were going to treat Diana at the scene. It was more than an hour
before they have decided to move her to a hospital, cautiously, having to at one point stop to inject her with adrenalin to keep her heart going.
But by 4 A.M., the confirmation came, Diana was dead.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are just getting words at the French government, has informed all of us that Princess Diana has died.
BITTERMANN: They're followed for those of us who have covered the story, weeks and then months, and years of investigation, suspicions, and doubts
about what have happened that night exactly.
Now could this have happened to a princess? Will the paparazzi who stalked responsible for the crash, his driver Henri Paul who drunk too much, the
cause is behind things.
He is certainly was speeding when he hit the tunnel because the next day, the day after the crash, there were still skid marks on the pavement the
indicated the car was practically flying when it came down to tunnel ramp.
And there was that mysterious white Fiat that came into collusion with Mercedes. Parts of it with broken taillight were found in the tunnel just
before the Mercedes rammed into the (Inaudible).
And of course, there was that question that never seen to go away, have somebody tried to kill Princess Diana and Dodi Fayed? The best answer to
that I heard a few days after the accident form an investigator.
He said the most unreliable way to try to kill somebody is with a car crash. You never know who's going to live or die. And he added Princess
Diana might be with us today if he has just chosen to buckle her seat belt.
JONES: CNN's Jim Bittermann there, reflecting on covering Diana's death and CNN's Clarissa Ward who we spoke just now, examined the events
surrounding Diana's death, in the documentary, Diana chasing a fairytale.
You can see at 7 P.M. here in London, that's 2 P.M. in New York. And we have there an in depth to look at how Diana changed the royal family on our
website. You can head to CNN.com for more details on that.
Still to come, on Connect the World, political and military ministry front lines for Britain, we explain all, coming up next.