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Category 5 Hurricane Irma Batters Caribbean Islands; Dominican Republic Prepares For Irma's Landfall; Americans Ride Out The Hurricane In Hotel Room; Hurricane Irma Forces Florida Evacuations; Trump On North Korea: Military Option "Not Our First Choice"; Putin: Don't Push North Korea Into A Corner; Florida Governor Gives Update On Hurricane Preparations; May Under Pressure Ahead Of Crucial Vote; May Under Pressure Ahead Of Crucial Vote; Pope To Call For Healing And Forgiveness In Colombia. Aired 3-4p ET

Aired September 6, 2017 - 15:00   ET




CLARISSA WARD, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: This is the WORLD RIGHT NOW. I'm Clarissa Ward sitting in for Hala Gorani.

Right now, the hurricane that has been battering the Caribbean with 300 kilometers per hour winds is making its way towards Puerto Rico. The eye

just passed over the British and U.S. Virgin Islands.

This is what Irma looks like there. The strongest part of the storm crossed over ripping into island with a blinding winds and rain. Earlier,

Irma sent huge waves flooding into this beach resort on the island of St. Martin.

And the storm knocked out all communications in the tiny nations of Barbuda and Antigua. Hurricane Irma is the strongest Atlantic hurricane since

2005. It is so big it even looks dramatic from space.

CNN has correspondents tracking Irma across the Caribbean and beyond. Our team is fanned across the region to bring you the very latest on this

hurricane and the millions living in its path.

Among them is our own Leyla Santiago. She is in San Juan, Puerto Rico and filed this report just a short time ago.


LEYLA SANTIAGO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Take a look behind me, this is the northern coast of Puerto Rico. This is where we will see the strong

impacts of Hurricane Irma as she arrives, as she approaches Puerto Rico.

Not only are we seeing sort of aggressive waters on this coast, but we are also feeling those heavy winds. The rain is coming down. We've been

feeling that for several now. Many people already going to shelters.

There are 460 of them that have been established on this island and the governor is warning time is running out. I can actually hear also roofing

being impacted by this approaching Category 5 storm.

But rewind a little bit, this is something that they are actually kind of used to here, power outages are coming and let's also look at the time

here. We are in hurricane season to this is a Caribbean island that is used to as much one can be these types of tropical storms and hurricanes.

But this according to the governor -- Puerto Rico has never seen a weather system of this magnitude in its recorded history. So there is a lot of

concern about power outages and what's to come because, you know, they already have some experience dealing with this, but nothing of this



WARD: Well, also in Irma's path, Haiti and the Dominican Republic, they are expecting landfall by early Thursday. Haiti is shoring up his defenses

against heavy rains and possible flooding as the storm approaches.

And in the Dominican Republic, they are preparing as well. Let us go now to Jessica Hasbun in Santo Domingo. She is an anchor for a local news

outlet there called "Noticias SIN." Jessica, what are seeing? It does not look like its hit yet, but how are people preparing?


WARD: OK, Jessica, I apologize we appear to be having some technical difficulties. No doubt a consequence of the storm heading your way. We'll

try to get back to you once we establish a better connection.

Well, earlier CNN talked with two American women on a business trip on the island of Guadalupe. They were riding the storm out in their hotel room

and we talked with them about the damage from Irma. Take a look at this.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So we are in the eye of the storm. Here's what has happened over the past hour. We've been hiding in the bathroom.

(Inaudible) all over the balcony, really can't see much outside. A little bit to floor (inaudible) bed. Complete mess.

We'll go check out the other room. I can see stuff floating in the water. We'll go this way where we've been hiding out in the bathroom. Our balcony

in this room is now mini swimming pool. I think now it's the time to like move stuff.

[15:05:03] So, things have fared better out here, but you can still see the (inaudible) wall just kind of keeling off up here. We are about to get

mattresses and put them against the sliding glass doors because the rest of the storm is still coming from this direction.

It has since passed from the other way and I think the next part might be more stressful than what we just experienced with shaking doors and wind

howling and all of that crazy (inaudible) a video (inaudible) with "Good Morning America" from the bathroom.

So, if you guys are interested in watching that, it should air around 7:02 or 7:03. I guess that's about it for now. We are going to try and arrange

some of this stuff so it doesn't get completely ruined.

You can see the building across the way. We kind of see the waves almost all the way up to the building. Here's some dry wall on floor. We are

safe so that's good. We will be back with more updates.

We lost power so I guess we will try to keep trying update everybody until all of our phone batteries are dead, which should not happen.


WARD: Let's get a detailed look now at where Irma is headed next. Meteorologist Allison Chinchar is at the CNN Weather Center. Allison, what

are you seeing?

ALLISON CHINCHAR, AMS METEOROLOGIST: We are seeing a lot of those really heavy rain bands really now starting to impact Puerto Rico. They've been

getting rain for several hours. But now as the storm edges closer to them, they are really starting to get some of those heavy downpours into that


Now the main center of circulation of the storm has now pushed over the Virgin Islands making its way just to the north of Puerto Rico. Again, you

can kind of see some of these really heavy rain bands here.

Again, some of these communities and it's not just heavy rain, it is also incredibly strong winds because right now, Hurricane Irma has winds

sustained. That means consistent, 295 kilometers per hour.

But the wind gusts are upwards of 360 kilometers per hour. So again, this is very dangerous very strong Category 5 storm. The movement of Irma is

west northwest about 26 kilometers per hour so it has a pretty good clip to it as it's making its way to the west.

You can see going over the Virgin Islands, the British and U.S. Virgin Islands, and making its way to the west. Heading towards places like the

Dominican Republic, Haiti, Cuba, even into the Turks and Caicos.

And a lot of these locations have either hurricane warnings like Puerto Rica and the northern region of the Dominical Republic as well as the Turks

and Caicos. Hurricane watches are in effect for the Bahamas, as well as Cuba.

That means because it is still a couple of days out before it would start to make impacts there. When we talk about the storm surge threat, this is

the amount of water that ends up getting pushed in from the storm.

These numbers are relatively high. When you look at northern edge of Puerto Rico, we are talking 1.5 to 2 meters. Northern Dominican Republic

about 1 to 2 meters, but then you take a look further down, Turks and Caicos and Bahamas.

Now we are talking 4.5 to 6 meters of storm surge. The reason for that is as the storm continues to push in between them that front right quadrant is

oftentimes where you get the biggest storm surge and some of the strongest winds as well as some of the heaviest rains.

So that's why you are seeing those numbers slightly higher in those countries. Here's a look at the track. Again, in the short-term, we

expect it to get to about the Bahamas and Cuba.

At that point, Irma is expected to make a sharp right-hand turn towards the U.S. Now where it goes from there that is still the big question. In the

short-term, all of the models really have consistency to that Bahamas and Cuba part.

But some of the models make a sharper right-hand turn over the Bahamas meaning a landfall would be more likely say between Georgia and the North

Carolina region. But other models have it slowing down, not making that right-hand turn until it is directly over Florida.

So, this is where those what ifs scenarios come into play. A U.S. landfall is likely somewhere. We just do not know exactly where it is going to be


WARD: All right now. Allison, thank you so much.

Well, Puerto Rico's governor is urging residents in flood prone areas to head for shelter now. He has declared a state of emergency ahead of Irma's

potentially tropic landfall.

Our George Howell is monitoring the situation in San Juan. George, how does it look so far?

GEORGE HOWELL, CNN ANCHOR/CORRESPONDENT: Clarissa, good to be with you. So, yes, the situation getting worse and worse hour after hour. I will

show you scenes that are here and you can see with that thing.

[15:10:06] The white cat on the water surely tell the story. You can see the palm trees whipping and swaying there in the wind. What happens out

here at the wrong wind gust, they come and go.

And believe it or not, we are in the middle right now of a mall. So, we expect the wind gust to pick up from time and time as this storm

progresses. Let's talk about the different phases that we are expecting here.

So, with regards to the wind, rain, flooding, and then the aftermath, the winds again, they come and go, very strong winds had been monitored and

detected by the National Weather Service here.

Keeping in mind, the eye wall of the storm will be much closer to Puerto Rico than initially thought. So that's something we are keeping an eye on

because the closer we are to the eye wall, the closer we are to that churning, the intense churning, those very strong storms at the center of

this storm.

With regards to rain, we are not seeing the heavy rain bands yet. The rain also comes and goes, but as the night progresses, 8 p.m. hour Eastern Time,

that's when things should get even more dicey than they are now flooding.

So, we can expect anywhere from 1 liter of storm surge, but 9 to 10 meters of storm swell. That basically meaning that we could see 9 to 10 meters of

water rushing in at any given place here along the north shore or the northeastern part of this island that is being affected, impacted by the


The aftermath is an entirely different story here because of the backdrop of this U.S. territory, it's dealing with, it's grappling with $70 billion

in debt. We do understand that Puerto Rico will receive federal assistance for recovery, but again with so much debt that is already such a problem,

many moguls here wonder what recovery, Clarissa, will look like.

How long it will take? It all depends upon how bad the damage is and that is something we'll see as we get later into the night as this monster that

will lurk in the dark gets closer to this U.S. territory.

WARD: And so George, how are Puerto Ricans preparing themselves? What are they being told to do?

HOWELL: Sure. You know, there is a mandatory evacuation throughout the island and that means people in their homes are being told to go to safer

ground, go to higher ground, to the shelters.

Some 500 shelters that have been opened up for people to have a safe night and ride this storm out. It also means before the storm we saw this

throughout the islands of people taking the measures to board up their doors, windows.

Just to make sure that their businesses are as protected. Their homes are as protected as possible, but here's the thing, it's a Category 5 storm.

This is the strongest storm recorded in Atlantic.

Puerto Rico is used to dealing with strong storms, but again, they've not seen anything like this. So, for our viewers here in the United States,

around the world, looking at this, it's a Category 5 storm.

You know, we are in a safe place to cover it as safe as we can be. But what we are showing you this is the reason if you see this report, take

heed of the warning, find safe shelter, that is what they are telling people in Puerto Rico, to go to these shelters because this is no joke.

WARD: All right. George Howell, find safe shelter, thank you so much for bringing us that report from San Juan.

The U.S. is also bracing for the wrath of Hurricane Irma. Florida residents are being evacuated, but they are not leaving before preparing

their homes for the worst. The state's government says Floridians should not take the threat of Irma lightly.


RICK SCOTT, FLORIDA GOVERNOR: This storm is bigger, faster, and stronger than Hurricane Andrew. We are being very aggressive in our preparation for

this storm and every Floridian should take this seriously and be aggressive to protect their family. Remember, we can rebuild your home, but we cannot

rebuild your life.


WARD: Meanwhile, those already hitting the road face growing gas lines or stations that simply are already completely out of gas. We will bring you

the view from Florida in just a few minutes.

Well, the diplomatic back and forth over what to do about North Korea is still reverberating around the world. U.S. President Donald Trump says

military action is, quote, "not our first choice, but we will see what happens."

Following a call with China's President, Mr. Trump said Xi Jinping is, quote, "very much in favor of the de-nuke of North Korea." Those are his

words. We assume he means denuclearization.

Meanwhile, half way around the world, Russian President Vladimir Putin was meeting with his South Korean counterpart, Moon Jae-in, and had this to



VLADIMIR PUTIN, RUSSIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): We understand that to resolve the Korean Peninsula issue just by introducing sanctions and

pressure is not enough. We should not be emotional and push Korea into the corner.

[15:15:04] We should be cold-blooded and we should avoid steps to escalate tension. Without political and diplomatic levels, this situation will be

very difficult to resolve and I think even impossible to do.


WARD: Those talks are taking place in Vladivostok. It is an eastern Russian city situated right by the border with North Korea.

Our Frederik Pleitgen is there and sent the latest.


FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT): The town of Vladivostok on the Pacific coast of the Russian Federation really very much

at the heart of the diplomatic activity to try and come to grips with the crisis surrounding North Korea's nuclear and of course, all such ballistic

missile program as well.

The South Korean president was in town on Wednesday to speak with Vladimir Putin. The two leaders say they do see eye to eye on most of the things

involving the way forward to try and deal with this crisis, but there were also some differences in opinion as well.

The Russians are saying they believe that only dialogue and diplomacy could lead to a way forward. The South Koreans say they believe that as well,

but they believe that much stronger sanctions against North Korea are in order to get Pyongyang back to the negotiating table.

The Russians say they simply do not believe that that is going to work as they say. Vladimir Putin said only a day ago that he believes that the

North Koreans would, quote, "Rather eat grass than than bow down to international pressure."

So, they do not think that that has a future. One of the things that these South Koreans, of course, always have to keep in mind is the opinion of the

United States. On the one hand, of course, they want Russia's support in dealing with this crisis.

But at the same time America is also a very important ally, especially with the Trump administration saying that they have unconditional solidarity

with South Korea, and even offering to sell new weapons to South Korea as well.

In general, though, Vladivostok very much at the center of these diplomatic activities. The leader of Japan coming here on Thursday to also talk first

and foremost about the North Korean crisis, as well as Vladimir Putin, really has been very, very active in showing that he is going to play a

leading role to try and come to grips with what is going on here in the region. Fred Pleitgen, CNN, Vladivostok, Russia.


WARD: We want to take you live now to Naples, Florida in where Florida Governor Rick Scott is giving a press conference as Hurricane Irma

continues to barrel that way. Let take a listen.

SCOTT: -- Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. National Guard members will also be assisting utility companies. Phones (inaudible) as

they respond to return power to homes and businesses. I've directed the remaining 6,000 (inaudible) National Guard to report for duty no later than

Friday morning.

In addition, 13 helicopters, more than 1,000 technical. High-water vehicles are on standby. The Florida National Guard is coordinating with

other states and the National Guard Bureau to ensure approximately 30,000 troops, 4,000 trucks, 100 helicopters and air evacuation crews are ready to

support our state.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is preparing search and rescue teams for potential deployment. (Inaudible) more than 200

officers standing by for the first wave of response as the potential storm impacts.

(Inaudible) resources such as trucks, coastal and river patrol boats, ATV, and shallow draft boats are preparing for evacuations support search and

rescue missions for any addition needs.

The Florida Department Law Enforcement and FWC, the Department of Highway and Safety, and other partnering agencies are identified resources for

deployment and response. The Florida Highway Patrol is monitoring road and traffic conditions to ensure road ways are clear.

FDLE has established 18 emergency response teams for deployment to impacted areas and seven logistics and plane teams. Each FDLE region is having its

regional law enforcement coordination team in advance of the storm to assist local law enforcement with any needs.

Utility providers have been in constant contacts with the Florida utility providers. They are already working on staging an asset allocation -- so

they can return power as quickly as possible following the storm.

They are actively repositioning resources throughout the city and in neighboring states. We know from previous storms how clearly important it

is for power to be restored as quickly as possible.

I will continue to be talking with them often throughout the day (inaudible) counties duty officials including sheriffs and police chiefs to

reach out to their utility providers so we can all work together in response to Irma.

Lake Okeechobee, water levels in Lake Okeechobee are being lowered as well as the (inaudible) canals. Routine inspections at (inaudible) dike are

taking place. Additional inspections will begin once the lake approaches 17 feet.

The lake is currently 13.68 feet. The South Florida Water Management District and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to monitor this.

[15:20:01] Shelters, if you are evacuating from the keys, you can shelter at Florida International University. We are working hand-in-hand with the

counties to ensure that shelters are available for other communities who may need to evacuate.

There's absolutely no reason for anyone not to evacuate if you are ordered to do so. Shelters will be available and you should follow the directions

of local officials to go to the shelter that fits your needs. Families can go to to learn where shelters are in your area.

Comcast --

WARD: OK. You've been listening there to Florida Governor Rick Davis, essentially outlining a plan of action for dealing with Hurricane Irma when

it makes landfall possibly at the end of this week in Florida.

He talked about 30,000 troops on standby, hundred helicopters, hundreds of officers, communication plans going on with utility companies as Florida

braces itself for Hurricane Irma and we will have a live report from Florida later in the show.

Still to come tonight, a leaked document on Britain's post-Brexit immigration policy heaps more pressure on Theresa May. We'll be live on

Downing Street.

And we'll have details on the United Nations investigation into April sarin gas attack in Syria and what they say the evidence proves. Stay with us.


WARD: Summer is over here in London and for lawmakers in parliament that means the holidays are over too. Now they are back to work with a full

inbox. Right at the top for Prime Minister Theresa May is, you guessed it, Brexit.

And now a leaked report on immigration post-Brexit in the "Guardian" newspaper has ramped the pressure a bit more. She has been facing her

first prime minister's question time since summer recess. Here's what she had to say.


THERESA MAY, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: We will require certain powers to make corrections and statute book off the bill becomes law because the

negotiations are ongoing. We'll do that for our secondary legislation, which will receive parliamentary scrutiny.

An approach which has -- which has been endorsed by the House of Lords Constitution Committee, but I -- I would like to reassure my right

honorable friend that as the bill goes through, its scrutiny in this house and the debate continues, we will, of course, listen very carefully to that

debate and I will be very happy to meet my right honorable friends discuss this further.


WARD: Well, CNN's Bianca Nobilo is at Downing Street. Bianca, what more are you learning about this report?

BIANCO NOBILO, CNN PRODUCER: Autumn is going to be a very testing time for the prime minister and it all starts today with the leak of this report.

The document is a paper from the home office from earlier this summer in August, full of draft proposals.

[15:25:05] They suggest that in 2019 after Brexit, free movement stops. It also suggests a tough stance on low-skilled migrants allowing them work

permit of only two years. The high-skilled migrants, those will be permits of three to five years.

It was received quite poorly by the London mayor. He said it was likely to strangle the economy and other big business leaders aren't happy either.

But there are only draft proposals.

So, it's hard to say whether or not they are likely to be implemented by the prime minister, but there was a clear today earlier in prime minister's

questions. Though, Theresa May didn't reference the leak specifically, she did defend reducing immigration saying it will be good for wage growth.

That might be a sign of immigration policy to come.

WARD: All right. Bianco Nobilo at 10 Downing Street. Thank you so much.

Well, this our hour, Pope Francis is on route to Colombia for what is sure to be an emotionally charged visit. He is set to call for reconciliation

and healing after five decades of civil war.

CNN Vatican correspondent, Delia Gallagher, tells us why the pope has decided to visit now.


DELIA GALLAGHER, CNN VATICAN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's the first time a pope has visited Colombia in over 30 years. For Pope Francis, it's

also making good on a promise. Last year, he told reporters that he would plan a visit to the Latin American country after they reached a peace deal

with FARC rebels.

Pope Francis worked for several years both publicly and behind the scenes to help Colombia's government foster an agreement with Marxist militias and

put an end to a conflict that has plagued the country for more than five decades.

In June 2015, he met with Colombian President Manuel Santos at the Vatican. Three months later, on a visit to Havana, he made a plea for peace in

predominantly Catholic Colombia.

POPE FRANCIS (through translator): We do not have the right to ourselves yet another failure on this path of peace and reconciliation.

GALLAGHER: Days later, President Santos and FARC leader, Rodrigo Londonio (ph) came to an interim agreement to sign a definitive peace deal within

six months. In August of last year, a deal was reached, but struck down by voters in an October referendum.

Many voters felt the deal did not include sufficient punishment for rebels who committed serious crimes and some oppose the former rebels holding

political office. An amended agreement was reached and passed by Congress in November, but it remains widely unpopular.

Pope Francis met with Santos and former President Durebay (ph), who initially oppose the deal in December at the Vatican. An attempt to pave

the way for implementation. Santos announced the pope's visit in March.

Pope Francis will visit four cities in four days congratulating Colombians on the deal and urging them to take the first step toward forgiveness and

reconciliation. Delia Gallagher, CNN, Rome.


WARD: Now, a deadly chemical attack that killed 83 Syrians in April was carried out by the Assad regime. That's according to a U.N. investigation

published today. The attack was on opposition-held (inaudible) in Northwestern Syria.

At the time, the Syrian president and his Russian allies denied any responsibility for the attack. The U.N. conducted 43 interviews with

victims, eyewitnesses, and others who had been at the scene.

They also studied photos and satellite imagery concluding the Syrian government had dropped a sarin bomb on its own people.

In April, I brought you a special report about the chemical attack in (inaudible). I worked with some incredibly brave Syrian journalists, who

captured some of the most harrowing images of this massacre. Some of which are too graphic to show you at this hour.

Chemical weapons make no distinction between fighters and civilians, women and children. In fact, it's the most vulnerable young infants and the

elderly who are the most susceptible to the effects of the gas.

From the get go there were obvious inconsistencies with Russian and Syrian regime claims that this was the result of an airstrike on a rebel stockpile

of sarin gas. For starters, the timings they offered didn't match eyewitness accounts and videos.

More importantly, experts agree that blowing up a stockpile of sarin gas would essentially destroy the gas as opposed to spreading it. To weaponize

sarin gas actually takes considerable technical expertise and equipment.

The U.N. says that of the 25 reported chemical attacks in Syria in the last four years, 20 have been the responsibility of the regime. The vast

majority of victims have been civilians.

For those of us who have spent a lot of time in Syria, the U.N.'s findings come as little surprise. What is more shocking perhaps is the presumed

outcome of this report or lack thereof.

Stern condemnations for sure. but with the UN Security Council hamstrung by Russia's veto power, there's little reason to believe the Bashar al-

Assad's forces will face any real consequences for this brutal and inhuman attack, which means there's little incentive for them or any rogue actors

with chemical weapons in their power to stop using them in the future.

We'll be back after a short break.


WARD: We're continuing to follow the breaking news this hour. Hurricane Irma, the Category 5 storm, barreling toward Puerto Rico, Cuba and the US,

packing 300 kilometer per hour winds and torrential rain.

This was the scene in St. Martin just hours ago when the monster storm ripped through Caribbean Islands.

Take a look at that. Yikes! Another area that is in the path of Irma, Florida.

US President Donald Trump spoke about the potentially catastrophic storm just a short time ago.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: There's a new and seems to be record breaking hurricane heading right toward Florida and Puerto Rico

and other places. We'll see what happens. We'll know in a very short period of time, but it looks like it could be something that will be not



WARD: Florida residents are being evacuated. And depending on where they're going, traffic is gridlocked. There are long lines for gas,

stations are simply just running out.

While some are fleeing before Hurricane Irma makes landfall, others are boarding up their homes and preparing for the worst.

Meanwhile, lines are out of the door of people waiting for hours at local supermarkets to stock up on food, water and supplies.

Well, let's get the view from Miami. That's where we find CNN's Rosa Flores.

Rosa, how are people responding? How are they preparing?

ROSA FLORES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This storm is coming with a lot of fury, Clarissa, but there's also a lot of fury in the preparation. A lot of

people heeding the warning. Like you mentioned, many of them flocking to grocery stores, flocking to hardware stores to get plywood to patch up

their homes and windows.

But take a look around. Right now, it is all calm, it is all quiet here in beautiful Miami. You can see the water is calm. You can see just the

slight sway in the palm trees here. But this is the calm before the storm. As cliche as that sounds, that is really what is happening here.

[15:35:10] Now, don't be fooled by all the beauty that you see behind me. Folks here taking it very seriously. We know that city officials have been

evacuating people with disabilities here in Miami-Dade County today. And we hear from city officials they could be issuing a larger evacuation order

today or tomorrow. Of course, they're monitoring Irma very closely before they make that determination.

We also know that Monroe County, which includes the Port of Peace, that's under a mandatory evacuation. So, a lot of those folks moving north

because just look at the geography of Florida, everybody has to move north when they evacuate. There is no going east, there's no going west, because

Florida is a peninsula, surrounded by water.

And then, finally, our friends to the north in Broward County, just north of Miami, that county has 43 shelters at the ready to house about 33,000

people if need be.

But, Clarissa, when we're talking about this area of South Florida, we're talking about millions of people that are in the possible path of the

storms. As you mentioned moments ago, when it comes to traffic, when it comes to possible long lines at gas stations, we could see all of that.

It just depends on where the storm is headed and what local officials determine is the best way for residents to wait out the storm, if they're

actually going to issue out those evacuation orders or if there are going to ask for people to shelter in place.

WARD: Floridians are very much used to hurricane storms. This is part of their kind of yearly life, but it does seem in the aftermath of Harvey and

listening to Governor Rick Scott's press conference a short time ago about the enormous amount of resources that they're throwing at Hurricane Irma

response, do you think that Harvey has given a renewed sense of urgency to people that they're taking this particularly seriously.

FLORES: I think you're absolutely right. Who can forget those dramatic images of people getting plucked from their homes, being saved by high

water vehicles or being saved by boats from raging waters. That just happened days ago.

And so, Harvey is definitely very present in the preparation here in Florida and in the hearts and minds of Floridians, as they look at Irma and

those dramatic images that we're seeing of this tremendous storm as it comes closer and closer to Florida.

So, yes, this is definitely having an impact and in the way that people prepare, in the way that people respond, and it's important for people to

heed the warnings and to listen to their local officials when it comes to potential evacuations.

We know that in Houston there were no evacuation orders. But here, the governor saying that they're expecting more evacuation orders to be issued.


WARD: OK. Rosa Flores in Miami, the calm before the storm, thank you.

Now that Hurricane Irma is just days away from slamming into Florida, is the state really ready for what's to come? Well, joining me now is

Jennifer Pipa. She is the CEO for the Central Florida region of the American Red Cross.

Jennifer, thank you so much for joining us. Let me start out by asking you. What are your principal concerns right now?

JENNIFER PIPA, CEO, CENTRAL FLORIDA REGION OF THE AMERICAN RED CROSS: So, really, over the next several days, Red Cross here in Florida is focusing

on providing what we would call pre-landfall sheltering.

So, this is shelter, safe spaces for the residents of Florida to come to where we could provide a safe place for them to ride out the storm and some

food and water, while the storm passes. And so, that's what we've been mobilizing our resources actually across the nation, here into Florida and

along the Eastern Seaboard as the path of the storm is not yet defined far enough away that we're going to continue to mobilize resources all across

the Eastern Seaboard at this point.

WARD: And do you feel that you have those shelters in place if we do have more evacuation orders?

PIPA: So, we work in close communication with both the state, the county and the city officials. We talk about this and we prepare for this all

year long. This is something Floridians are used to, but it's also something the organization, the Red Cross, prepares for.

So, we've had ongoing conversations over the past several months with all of our emergency officials. We keep in close contact with them. Multiple

times a day we reach out and touch base with them. They're aware of what shelters we're opening; we're aware of what shelters they're opening.

This is a huge response. This is greater than any one agency. And so, this is a group effort and the community is coming together to support

people as they seek a safe place to ride out the storm.

[15:40:03] WARD: And, obviously, in Florida, there's a huge amount of elderly people living there. Is this something that you're factoring into

your planning? Is it something you're concerned about? What are you telling assisted living facilities for the elderly?

PIPA: So, at Red Cross shelters and shelters across Florida, we welcome everyone. We spend a lot of time proactively messaging out how to prepare

and what you should bring in order to support yourself - medication, additional clothing and snack items.

And so, we talk a lot about that. We also message through our community and government partners to assisted living homes about what their plans are

in order to evacuate their clients if that is what is recommended by their county official.

WARD: All right. Jennifer Pipa, thank you so much for joining us from Tampa, Florida.

Well, several gas stations in Southern Florida are completely out of gas as residents try to flee. I want to bring in now CNN's Miguel Marquez. He is

at a gas station in Miami. What's the verdict, Miguel? Is there any gas?

MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. It's a bit of hit or miss across Miami. Gas and water are in very, very short supply across

South Florida. Water may be more expensive than gas at this point.

We're at a Shell. I am going to show you this picture here. These folks are turning right. But if you look over that way, all the way back, it was

about 15 minutes, this gas station, when they dropped off about 16,000 liters of petrol a little while ago. Now, it's about two hours wait.

And if you come around the corner here, Jordan, you can see around this side, they're also trying to get into it as well. It makes a little bit of

a confusion here in traffic.

I want to show you one other thing here. This is US One that we're on. The traffic across the lanes from where we are, that's all traffic heading

up from the (INAUDIBLE) north. It has been steady for much of the day.

The Keys, that little, thin road out of the Keys, it is all one-way traffic, all going north, nothing coming south at this point. Or very

little going south other than emergency vehicles probably, but we expect this traffic to get very much heavier in the hours and days ahead.

Right now, sort of a very hot, muggy Miami afternoon. In the next several hours, in the next couple of days, it is going - the temperature is going

to heat up as that storm gets nearer and that traffic will get even heavier and there won't be anybody going that direction. Clarissa?

WARD: And, Miguel, are we expecting any of these stations to sort of replenish their gas reserves anytime soon or are people just - it's tough


MARQUEZ: So, both water and gas, every single place we went into, whether it was a pharmacy or a grocery store or a Target or a Walmart, out of

water. No more cases of water. Maybe you can find a couple of bottles in the refrigerator.

They're all bringing in cases of water in the next couple of days. Gas as well. There was a gas truck here. There are gas trucks trying to make

their way to these gas stations. So, it's a bit of a hit or miss situation. If you find the one that's just had a gas truck pull up, you're

in luck. If you aren't that lucky, keep trying. Clarissa?

WARD: All right. Miguel Marquez, you better go fill up. Thank you so much.

Well, this is the WORLD RIGHT NOW. The government cracking down, thousands fleeing, but why are the Rohingya one of the world's most persecuted

people. I'll ask an activist next.


[15:45:35] WARD: A shocking number to update for you now. Reuters is reporting UN officials think as many as 300,000 people could flee Myanmar's

ethnic violence. And those people could be running into a string of landmines.

The Bangladeshi foreign ministry is concerned about what it calls an unprecedented forced migration and about reports that the Myanmar military

is laying landmines at the border.

Rohingya, it's a minority label virtually synonymous with persecution, but why? The Rohingya claim Myanmar as their ancestral home, though

technically they are stateless.

Myanmar's government refuses them citizenship. This is where the violence comes in. Political persecution has sparked a Rohingya militant wing. The

government calls them terrorists.

The hundreds of thousands of civilians fleeing government violence are clearly not all terrorists, but allows the Myanmar leader, Aung San Suu

Kyi, to focus on terror.


AUNG SAN SUU KYI, PRIME MINISTER OF MYANMAR: We would like to thank India particularly for the strong stand that it has taken with regard to the

terrorist threat that came into our country a couple of weeks ago. And we believe that together we can work to make sure that terrorism is not

allowed to take root on our soil or on the soil of neighboring countries.


WARD: Well, my next guest has insight into why this group is persecuted and what should be done about this crisis. Tun Khin is the president of

the Burmese Rohingya organization here in the UK. Thank you so much for joining us.

First of all, let me ask you. Have you been in touch with people in Myanmar who have been fleeing the violence? What have they been saying?

What is happening there?

TUN KHIN, PRESIDENT, BURMESE ROHINGYA ORGANIZATION: So far, it's being going on like 13 days. We are receiving information consistently, Burmese

military killing Rohingya men, women and children.

They've even slaughtered many Rohingya women and children. We are receiving information, many children thrown to the fire. And they have

burned down at least 20,000 Rohingya houses.

According to our formation, at least 30,000 Rohingya have been killed by Burmese army in 13 days and 180,000 Rohingya IDPs. They have no food, no

shelter, no medicine for them. Humanitarian crisis is growing and government is continuously burning the Rohingya villages and continuously

mass killing Rohingya population in (INAUDIBLE). That is what we've been hearing from.

WARD: So, what do you think - given what you're telling me, what do you make of what you just heard from Burmese leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who said

that these are terrorists?

KHIN: Actually, they are not terrorists. They are - according to the information from Twitter, online from ARSA, they mention they are freedom


They are a kind of -

WARD: Well, one man's freedom fighter is often another man's terrorist. But, I guess, what I'm asking you is, are the majority of these people

involved in armed conflict with the Burmese Army?

KHIN: No, not at all. Some youth groups, they become desperate situation, that's why they are fighting with those police force and security force

because, before a few weeks, before the attacks taken place, military and those security forces rounded up the villagers, they're not allowing to get

food, medical aid and others.

So, the Burmese government and military let it happen to make them desperate, to attack them. So, now, by taking this excuse, Burmese

government targeting the whole population. They're not even attacking those attackers from ARSA.

They are attacking and killing those Rohingya population - Maungdaw, Buthidaung and Rathedaung. That is not Burmese government targeted. It's

been systematic - Burmese government having systematic plan to wipe out the whole Rohingya population. What we are facing today is completely

genocide, is a mass - direct killings involving.

According to legal experts, Rohingya facing genocide for many decades. So, this is (INAUDIBLE) we are facing. So, we really need urgent international

community intervention.

[15:50:06] WARD: What do you want to see? You talk about intervention. What do the Rohingya people want? Do they want an independent state? Do

they want to remain in Myanmar? Are they happy to go to Bangladesh?

KHIN: We, Rohingya, have been actually advocating for the Rohingya rights many years. As an exile myself, I should say, we want our laws right.

Burmese government taken away, strip up our ethnic rights and citizenship rights and they impose restriction of movement (INAUDIBLE) for many

decades. So, we want to get our laws right, what Burmese government taken away.

We are peaceful people. We want to live peacefully with Rakhine community in Burma. So, that's what we want. So, what we need urgently is to

protect the lives of Rohingya where Rohingyas are dying day by day.

According to our information, the military burned alive many children and women. In 21st century, this should not happen. The world leaders must

act immediately and we request, appeal international community to send UN Peacekeeping Forces to protect the lives of Rohingya as Burmese government

is continuously going on - we are facing genocide in 21st century. We need urgent international protection to save the lives of Rohingya immediately.

And also, must allow humanitarian aid access that people who are dying in a mountain, where 30,000 people trapped for 13 days, no food, no shelter, no


WARD: It's a horrific situation.

KHIN: The most horrific situation we are witnessing in our history. This should not be happening in 21st century. The world must come together.

World leaders must come together collectively to act, to stop this. That is what we need.

WARD: Tun Khin, thank you so much for your perspective. I am sorry we don't have more time. This is a story we will continue to keep covering.

You have my word. And thank you very much for joining us.

Well, turning to US politics now, Hillary Clinton is dishing on everything from Russia to President Trump to her marital problems in a tell-all book

about her losing the 2016 presidential campaign.

Titled "What Happened," she takes particular aim at Russian President Vladimir Putin, who she says does not respect women and has a personal

vendetta against her.

Jeff Zeleny has excerpts from the book.


JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: She does accept more blame than she has until now and said she takes responsibility for a series

of mistakes. But she also, no surprise, has strong words for President Trump.

Take a look at this. In one passage, she writes, "Still, in terms of fighting the previous war, I think it's fair to say that I didn't realize

how quickly the ground was shifting under all of our feet. I was running a traditional presidential campaign, with carefully thought-out policies and

painstakingly-built coalitions, while Trump was running a reality TV show that expertly and relentlessly stoked Americans' anger and resentment."

Now, she goes on to acknowledge bluntly that she was a lightning rod and blames that, in part, because that she is a woman, she says.

She also writes about her relationship with President Bill Clinton in ways we have not heard her do so. She says this, "There were times that I was

deeply unsure whether our marriage could or should survive. But on those days, I asked myself the questions that mattered to me. Do I still love

him? And can I still be in this marriage without becoming unrecognizable to myself, twisted by anger, resentment or remoteness?"


WARD: Clinton's memoir goes on sale next week.

Well, coming up, the fight for a realistic standard of beauty. Find out what steps two huge fashion houses are taking to promote health on the

runway. Stay with us.


[15:55:42] WARD: A battle has been won in fashion's fight against the unrealistic body image. If you're not a fashionista, the names LVMH and

Kering may not ring a bell, but how about Louis Vuitton, Dior, Gucci, Saint Laurent?

Those are some of the big-name designers associated with the two fashion houses that are now raising the bar on the health of their runway models.

Melissa Bell is on the streets of Paris.

MELISSA BELL, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Clarissa, you only need to take a stroll down Paris' iconic Avenue Montaigne to get a sense of the

clout of these two groups, Kering and LVMH.

Now, this statement, this charger that they have announced today is really aiming to clean up an industry as a result of that power that they have.

Already, back in May, legislation came into force here in France also aiming to clean up a notoriously fleecy business.

This charger goes even further than that. What does it include? Models turning up for castings will have to have a doctor's certificate showing

that they're fit to work, i.e. not too skinny, size 32 (INAUDIBLE) from runways altogether and children of less than 16 are to be barred from

representing from presenting adult collection.

A real aim by the most powerful in this business to speak for the very many voiceless and powerless people, who have for so long been its face.


WARD: Well, you heard Melissa there mention a size 32. That's a European size that corresponds to a US size zero and a UK size 4.

For reference, take a look at what a European size 34 to 36 looks like. That's around a size 2 in the US. Ulrikke Hoyer said that that was her

size in this Instagram post from May.

Incidentally, she posted this after being cut from a Louis Vuitton show because the casting agent said she looked bloated. For real. And that's

precisely what the newly announced measures are trying to fix.

Well, this has been the WORLD RIGHT NOW. Thank you for watching. "Qwest Means Business" is up next.