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WORLD RIGHT NOW WITH HALA GORANI
Historic Hurricane Batters Florida, Millions Without Power; Irma Leaves Millions Without Power In U.S.; Many On British Virgin Islands Urgently Await Help; U.K. Parliament To Vote On E.U. Withdrawal Bill; U.N. Security Council To Vote On New Sanctions; U.K. Ambassador Calls For All To Support Revised Resolution; Myanmar Says It's Fighting Terrorism In Rakhine State. Aired 3-4p ET
Aired September 11, 2017 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So I'll answer (inaudible) so in Texas, again, going back to prison, the governor he's done what we haven't seen done so well in
the past and that is he's owning the housing problem with the task force that he's initiated.
He is also signed up a person to in charge of long-term recovery and there are four or five solutions to the housing problems in Texas. Of course,
some of them are short-lived and what you'll have to do is find short-term solutions.
People can stay in their home. It's been flooded when it's -- when the drywall is ripped out. When the repairs begin, they're going to have find
another place to live temporarily.
So, we try to find hotel solutions. In some cases, FEMA has initiated a manufactured housing solution where they will put a mobile home or travel
trailer on your property that you can live in for a period of time while your home is being repaired.
Those are ideal solutions when there's not enough anchorage on your lot where that housing units sit. You can then move back into your home and we
can remove that temporary unit.
HALA GORANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: I'm Hala Gorani. You've been watching the White House press briefing. The homeland security adviser
there has been telling people to stay put as officials take stock of Irma's damage.
And that is where we begin. Hello, everyone. I'm Hala Gorani. Irma has been downgraded, but it is still dangerous. It is not tropical storm. Its
unexpected path targeting parts of the southern United States that didn't expect to feel its wrath.
For instance, in Georgia and South Carolina, those two states are beginning to feel the lash of the storm. Both states in Florida are at risk of
flood. Some of them could be life-threatening.
Now six and million homes and businesses are without electricity today. You see the role of downed power lines in this video. We are told it could
take weeks to turn the lights back on in some areas.
The storm took residents, for instance, of Daytona Beach by surprise. That's where CNN's Sara Sidner watched the waves come ashore, take a look
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SARA SIDNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This is an incredibly powerful storm. We saw what it did in Miami and that wasn't where the eye was. We saw what it
did as it came up the coast of the Keys. We saw what it did when the eye hit Naples. We saw what it did as it started moving up and now undenounced
to a lot of folks here including the emergency management folks who told us that they did not have any idea they would get this strong of winds because
the storm was not forecasted to go.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Well, I'm not sure Sara Sidner was thinking that was going to be her day at work when she headed to her live shot location. Now rescues are
underway in Jacksonville where the St. Johns River hit a record level, you see it there.
CNN spoke with one man who fled his home like thousands of others, only to end up in the path of the storm as it changed course. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I've been up here for days now so I'm going home tomorrow and hopefully my house isn't flooded.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: A lot of people certainly are hoping that when they finally get back home that they'll -- there won't be too much damage. Let's get right
to Florida. Andrew Gillum is the mayor of Tallahassee and Florida's Panhandle.
You see it there highlighted on the map and he joins me now on the line. Mayor Gillum, thanks for being with us. What's the situation now in
MAYOR ANDREW GILLUM, TALLAHASEE (via telephone): Yes, thank you for having us. I will tell you we are counting your blessings today in Tallahassee
because based off of the changing directions of Hurricane Irma now tropical storm, we were very, very concerned about it getting back into the gulf and
having significant impacts on our area.
Just last year, we dealt with a Category 1 storm the first in our community in 31 years and it shook roughly 80 percent of our power grid to its knees.
This time, we got about 40,000 customers that are currently still out of power.
But we are working around the clock to try to get as many restored as we possibly can, but the other unique thing about the role we played is
because of these early evacuations that were issued for southern and central Florida, we became the host location for many, many parts of our
And citizens who were traveling from all parts of Florida to get out of harm's way only to find themselves, you know, impacted again by the storm
up here, but certainly not to the same bubble of severity in south and central Florida.
GORANI: But you still have some pretty dramatic rescues, though, people were trapped in flooded apartments and that type of thing.
GILLUM: Well, for sure and again, all of these things always relative with regard to escaping otherwise very detrimental situation. As I mentioned,
we still have folks who were trying to make sure are safe and that we get power restored.
But I will tell you, I mean, we feared for much, much work occurrence in this part of the state and thankfully, we are still confident enough about
our ability to sort of get back on our feet in the coming days or so.
GORANI: So 40,000 homes still without power and I know you've closed the airport the day before Hurricane Irma was due to reach Tallahassee. Is it
back up and running now?
[15:05:08] GILLUM: It is not back open yet. The hurricane is still -- I mean, the tropical storm condition was still a fear of ours with regard
wind and wind gust up to 70 miles per hour. We obviously can't take any risk there.
We hope to reassess the situation around the opening of the airport, but we have also closed our universities. We were home to Florida A and M
University and Florida State University and Tallahassee Community College, all of which have closed their campuses for the remainder of this week
reopening again next week.
Athletic events and football games for this weekend for universities have also been called off and so we obviously are -- it had its impact and now
we are trying to do everything we can to get out communities back on course.
GORANI: And lastly, I know that, you know, obviously it could have been worse, but how long will it take to assess the damage? The damage to
property, the damage as well to some of the infrastructure perhaps?
GILLUM: Yes. That obviously is a big part of our job. In fact, we got crews that are about to begin that process now. Obviously, we are making
sure that we are mitigating for live wires and streets and passes that are unpassable.
And we expect probably tomorrow to be able to be begin a much more comprehensive assessment of the total impact in our area. We've been about
by comparison last year to a similar size storm, we spent about 10 million locally in some of its impacts and FEMA reimbursement. And so, my guess
is, is that we may find ourselves just a little in that neighborhood.
GORANI: All right. In the neighborhood of 10 million. Thanks very much, Mayor Andrew Gillum of Tallahassee, Florida, who says it could have been
worse, but obviously we're seeing pictures. We are seeing some of the damage and the flooding as well in certain parts of the city. We thank you
Emergency officials are asking evacuees in Florida to stay put until they can assess the extent of the damage. We are getting our first look at the
destruction in the Florida Keys, for instance. You see some of those images there.
Road access was cut off as the storm took down power lines, destroyed mobile homes, overturned boats, but the damage is much, much worse on the
Caribbean islands that bore the brunt of Irma's fury.
There at least 26 people have died on St. Maarten. There are reports of violence breaking out as well as people search for the last scraps of food.
There been reports of looting. French troops are being deployed there.
The French president is due to arrive on Tuesday on the French side along with much-needed shipment of aid. We'll get back to what happened in St.
Maarten and other parts of the Caribbean in a moment.
But the cleanup and damage assessment is underway in South and Central Florida. Mike Galanos in Orlando for us with the very latest on that.
Now, of course, it's daylight. It's Monday. We have an opportunity to see the damage that my Irma caused. Tell us more about what's going on where
MIKE GALANOS, ANCHOR, HLN: Hala, right now the wind is blowing. The sun is shining, really belies what we saw early part of the morning when the
storm was at its peak at its worst, 2, 3 in the morning just pounding Orlando.
Probably getting worse unexpectedly say that as the storm took that last- minute tick to the east and we found ourselves, Hala, in one neighborhood. We are in downtown Orlando about 5 miles to the west, a neighborhood that
is flanked by two lakes behind it and a retention pond that suffered consistent rain.
Hour after hour and those lakes and that retention pond gave way to the point where floodwaters literally poured into homes and so now it's 2 or 3
in the morning and people need help. They need to get out of there.
So, by the time we arrived, people were being rescued on boats and then on the National Guard trucks and the look on their faces were just priceless
as they came off these trucks, waving thank you to those that came in to rescue them.
In this one neighborhood alone, Hala, over 500 homes of that 133 people had to be rescued, there still people in there that think they're OK and
authorities tried to tell them you're not can have power. You may not have enough food. It's best to get out of there.
But some have stayed, but all in all, the 133 are thankful that they are out of there and then to the next phase, we have a chance a little bit
later in the day to wade our way through some of those nasty floodwaters.
We put some waiters and it was 2 feet, 3 feet deep and even more if we look at continued on and now people just assessing the damage and one gentleman
told us he never would expect a flooding like this. He now has lost everything and must start over, but he is OK and he survived it. Back to
GORANI: Well, that's the most important thing. I mean, it takes a while to assess the extent of the damage. How does it work? I mean, in the U.S.
obviously, you have FEMA, which is the disaster management agency. They can contribute to some of the rebuilding.
[15:10:02] But what about private homes? If you're not insured or if your insurance doesn't cover flooding, for instance, what's the situation for
most of the people who were affected by Irma? How do they rebuild?
GALANOS: Yes -- without that insurance, without that specific flood insurance, now you're relying on disaster assistance, and that's where
people go, disaster assistance, that website, and apply for the (inaudible).
The gentleman I talked to did have insurance so he's waiting to file his claim and hoping for the best and hoping the next chapter happens very
soon. Because Hala, in his home, the water was still a foot deep, and he is looking at all of his possessions, all of those prized mementos and just
wondering what do we have left here.
GORANI: Yes. I wonder if some people will decide, you know, we'll get another storm later on, let's not risked it, let's not move back to the
same location. We'll see how people manage that, the aftermath. Thanks so much, Mike Galanos. Really appreciate having you on the program.
I was mentioning before the Caribbean and St. Maarten, there's the (inaudible) side, the French side as well that was complete devastation
there in some parts. Well, the British Virgin Islands have also been hit very hard by Irma.
And while the U.K. is spending aid and extra security, many there only have one thing on their mind, getting out. Penny Marshal from ITV News has our
PENNY MARSHALL, ITV NEWS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): These paradise islands now looks like an alien landscape. Nature has been scorched.
Every tree on the island stooped to its leaves and the infrastructure has been destroyed. Every building on the island blown apart.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Most every people have (inaudible) of their home destroyed.
MARSHALL: Felicito (ph) Moses survived by hiding in a (inaudible). His house did not.
(on camera): So what were you doing when you are in the (inaudible)?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Inaudible) but there is one piece who stayed on to shelter to save us.
MARSHALL (voice-over): But now all hope is with the British whose help has just arrived. Royal Marines spreading out across the islands to
reestablish order. Extra police have also been flown in from other parts of the Caribbean.
And if there was a delay getting help in here, there is now a clear urgency about trying to get it out to those who need it most. But those who can't
wait are desperate to fly out to safety.
Families sheltering at the airport waiting for places on planes that so far haven't come. Heather Robinson (ph) and her baby son, Luke, are waiting.
They've lost everything.
(on camera): So your house literally got sucked away from around --
HETHER ROBINSON, BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS RESIDENT: We have nothing left. Everything we own is gone.
MARSHALL (voice-over): Their entire worldly possessions have been reduced to one black bin bag. They nearly died. Luke survived strapped to his
(on camera): You must be desperate to get out.
ROBINSON: Yes. I mean, I'm really scared. Like we went through our rubble and found some like a peanut butter and some crackers and biscuits
and stuff. But we -- that's not going to keep us much longer.
MARSHALL (voice-over): This pregnant island restaurant owner is also desperate to get to the safety of Britain.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm not able to help right now so I may as well get out and don't become a problem. Like if I go into early labor then someone
has to look after me and that's not fair.
MARSHALL: Those who had little here now have nothing and those with more are worried about how long the recovery is going to take and how much help
they are going to get from the British.
(voice-over): With most of the island's tourist marinas also obliterated, this place has lost its main source of income too. The phase of the aid
operation is picking up with the planes need to come back again and again with this British protectorate is to get the help it needs to recover.
Penny Marshall, ITV News, British Virgin Islands.
GORANI: The devastation there, you saw it in some parts of the Caribbean including the British Virgin Islands. We'll have a lot more there on the
damage that Irma has caused especially in those parts of the world, those islands, those very low-lying islands where some of the structures just
didn't withstand the hurricane force winds.
But for now, let's turn in our attention to another very significant story happening here in London and across this country. There could be some
late-night drama at the Houses of Parliament in the next few hours. Let me tell you why.
Lawmakers there are about to vote on a contentious Brexit bill. Prime Minister Theresa May's first big test since she lost her majority in June's
election. These are live images coming to us from Westminster.
The bill would transfer European laws into British legislation once the U.K. withdraws from the E.U. Mrs. May's Brexit secretary had a stark
warning saying Britain faces chaos if the bill fails.
[15:15:00] The opposition Labour Party says, it is opposing it. Here is a Labour Member of Parliament, Chris Bryant.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRIS BRYANT, LABOUR MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT: This bill is utterly pernicious. It is dangerous. It is fundamentally un-British and I think
of it has at its heart a lie. It pretends to bring back power to this country, but it actually represents the biggest piece time power grab by
the executive over the legislature by the government over parliament in a hundred years.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Let's go live now to Westminster and speak to Vernon Bogdanor. He is a research professor at the Institute for Contemporary British History
at King's College London. What is so controversial, Vernon Bobdenor, about this piece of legislation?
VERNON BOGDANOR, RESEARCH PROFESSOR, KING'S COLLEGE LONDON: What is controversial about it is the powers it gives to the government. It's
government that will decide how E.U. laws to be change where it can't simply be copied onto the British statute book.
And what the opposition want is much greater parliamentary scrutiny of that process and that will be a key element in the discussions on the committee
stage of the bill, which will occur after the party conferences next month.
GORANI: Right. So, this to viewers who don't follow Brexit negotiations and news very closely might sound like something rather complicated that
it's in the "weeds" quote/unquote, if you will.
However, it's important because could it signal the beginning of the -- of some -- of the weakening of Theresa May's government to the point where at
some point, she will not be able to last much longer as prime minister?
BOGDANOR: Well, both major parties are divided on this issue. That is the problem and of course, the British people are divided, but it is a key
issue because after all those who want us to leave the European Union did so because they want to take back control to resume parliamentary control,
They didn't want to give huge powers to the government to alter the law without proper parliamentary scrutiny. So, it is a major constitutional
issue and I doubt if Theresa May's government will be in trouble from it because there are some conservatives who don't agree with her.
But there are also Labour MPs who don't agree with their leader and I think in the end she'll get it all through perhaps with amendments.
GORANI: OK. But at the same time, Theresa May is an extremely weak prime minister. Could we see surprises tonight?
BOGDANOR: No. I think tonight is no doubt she'll get the second reading through. That is the vote on principle. There is no real chance I think
of her being defeated on that because the conservatives who don't agree with her are going to hold their fire for the committee stage.
That's when the billers look at in detail next month and there may be some Labour rebels who actually vote with the conservatives because they want
Britain to leave the European Union. The Labour Party is also divided as I said a few moments ago.
GORANI: Yes. OK. And last question on the negotiations, these talks with the E.U., I mean, it seems like they are going slowly like at this point
what we are talking each time what we are hearing from both sides is quite procedural. But there is not much tangible progress being made. Why is
BOGDANOR: That's right. Well, the E.U. whatever it (inaudible) is not noted for speed of decision making and I suspect the negotiations won't
really get going until after the German elections later this month and then the European Council meeting next month.
They are maybe able to give the negotiators a bit of a front, but it may be that as so often happens with the E.U., nothing much occurs until very late
in the process, and then there are a lot of late nights and at the very last moment, some sort of deal is agreed. That has been the case very
often in the past with the European Union.
GORANI: But I was going to mention Tony Blair, the former prime minister of the U.K., who said, you know, it's only fair Britain did vote for
Brexit, but they didn't vote necessarily for a hard Brexit. There must be a third way, an alternative, and then we need to decide later on which
Brexit we want to go with. In other words, another referendum, is that likely?
BOGDANOR: Well, what Tony Blair is saying is that there is a possibility of the European Union authoring its rules on freedom of movement whereby
Britain could remain in the European Union, but nevertheless restrict immigration from the European Union.
Now that question of immigration was perhaps the key one in the referendum last year. So, Tony Blair suggesting a way by which Britain might in the
end despite a referendum remain in the European Union.
[15:25:05] Now that of course, as you say, would require a second referendum and there are some people who arguing through a referendum on
the deal that the government eventually brings back from the E.U.
Now that not the government's position, but it may be that public opinion changes and there is indeed a second referendum. That as you say is what
Tony Blair hopes for and some "remainers" are with him on that.
GORANI: All right. We will see if that pans out. Uncertainty, though, right now is certainly -- the word I think that best describes the
situation wherein with regards to Brexit will continue to follow this important parliament vote. Vernon Bogdanor, thanks very much for joining
As I mentioned more on Brexit, I'll speak with a former British foreign secretary and a Labour MP will be voting later.
Also, ahead tonight, rhetoric and retaliation as the U.N. prepares to vote on new sanctions for North Korea. Pyongyang has a threat of its own.
We'll reveal what in just a moment.
And Irma has been downgraded, but it remains a threat as the tropical storm heads for Georgia. All that and much more when we come back.
GORANI: In just a few hours, the United Nations will vote on new sanctions against North Korea for its nuclear and missile programs. We are covering
all sides of the story.
Richard Roth is at the U.N. while CNN's Will Ripley is the only western television journalist in North Korea and joins us from Pyongyang.
Richard, to you first, let's talk a little bit about what China might do because China, though, last time it joined other permanent members of the
U.N. Security Council in supporting sanctions against North Korea. Are we expecting the same this time around?
RICHARD ROTH, CNN SENIOR U.N. CORRESPONDENT: First, I should say this is one of the first real connections between the U.N. and Pyongyang by having
Will and myself on the same report. We expect China to go along with this resolution, which is a compromise.
The language is adjusted downward so that Beijing will get along with it. Beijing earlier today, there were words that indicated this resolution will
pass. Russia, of course, has to go along.
They drop the oil embargo on North Korea and they drop listing Kim Jong-un in terms of an asset freeze or travel ban. There are measures capping or
limiting North Korean foreign workers in crude oil and textile exports.
Earlier today here in New York, U.K. Ambassador Matthew Rycroft was asked if this resolution was watered down.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MATTHEW RYCROFT, BRITISH AMBASSADOR TO THE U.N.: (Inaudible) negotiation and that's what we do here in the Security Council. There is a significant
prize in keeping the whole of the Security Council united and I very much hope that all my council colleagues will vote in favor of the revised
The version on the table is strong. It is robust. It is a very significant set of additional sanctions on imports into North Korea and on
exports out of North Korea and other measures as well. So that's why we will be voting in favor of it is a very rumbustious mission.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[15:25:08] ROTH: Other western ambassadors championing the fact that there's unity on the Security Council behind this vote, but I did talk to
one Security Council ambassador who said he doesn't think this resolution will help change the actions of Pyongyang.
GORANI: All right. Will Ripley in Pyongyang, let's talk a little bit about reaction because it doesn't appear from the rhetoric coming from the
government there if there is any softening of their position.
WILL RIPLEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: No. In fact, when North Korea got wind of this draft resolution, especially the stronger word of
resolution that threatened to blacklist their supreme leader, which North Korea would essentially consider an act of war.
And then, of course, there was also the oil embargo now dropped. There was the freezing the assets of Air Koryo, their state and only airline, that
was also dropped, but at that time, North Korea was threatening the United States with pain and suffering like they never experienced before.
They put out a very strongly worded statement. They said the United States was a bloodthirsty beast. They've threatened permanent extinction. This
is the typical kind of rhetoric that we hear from North Korea.
But that initial sanctions resolution would have likely provoked a very strong response and in fact, the North Koreans will say that this current
resolution will also provoke a strong response. What that actually means?
Will they launch this ICBM that South Korea says they've been ready to do for several days now, but haven't? In some sort of act of defiance against
this vote? North Korea prides itself as being unpredictable, Hala, so we will have to watch and see what actions follow those very strong words here
GORANI: All right. Certainly, still very much a tense situation. Will Ripley in Pyongyang, thanks very much. Richard Roth is at the U.N.
The government of Myanmar says what it's doing is fighting terrorism, adding that human rights violations will not be tolerated. However, the
U.N.'s High Commissioner for Human Rights has a stark message about the violence and the growing exodus of (inaudible) Muslims. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Last year, I warned that the pattern of gross violations of the human rights of the (inaudible) suggested a widespread or
systematic attack against the community, possibly amounting to crimes against humanity if so, established by a court of law.
Because Myanmar has refused access to human rights investigations, the current situation, cannot be -- cannot yet be fully assessed, but the
situation remains, or seems a textbook example of ethnic cleansing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: All right. So, there you have it, the human rights chief saying this could be textbook ethnic cleansing of (inaudible) Muslims. Aid
workers say more than 300,000 Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh and the U.N. estimates that at least 1,000 people have been killed.
We'll be right back after a quick break. When we do they are still debating the E.U. withdrawal bill in Parliament. I'll speak to a former
foreign secretary and prominent "leave" supporter.
Plus, hard-hit Cuba struggles to recover after Hurricane Irma crashed across the island nation. An update from there live when we come back.
HALA GORANI, CNN HOST, THE WORLD RIGHT NOW: Irma makes a direct hit on the United States. The storm is now closing in on the state of Georgia after
leaving a lethal path through Florida and the Caribbean.
In Florida, roads and buildings have been ripped apart. That has left more than 6 million homes and businesses without electricity.
Irma has been downgraded to a tropical storm, but officials say the threat is still extremely high. In Jacksonville, there's unprecedented flooding,
with homes and communities barely recognizable. This is still the case in many parts of Jacksonville.
Now, European countries are working to get aid to their territories, the territories that Irma devastated. The UK is under fire, facing criticism
that it didn't act quickly enough to help its citizens in the British Virgin Islands.
Meantime, the French president is heading for St. Maarten and St. Barts. Melissa Bell reports.
MELISSA BELL, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hurricane Irma left a path of destruction as is it pummeled the Caribbean. From Antigua to Cuba, the
Category 5 storm destroyed homes, cut power and left dozens of people dead.
The damage is expected to reach billions of dollars. Barbuda was devastated by the storm. Its prime minister says around 95 percent of
buildings were damaged.
GASTON BROWNE, PRIME MINISTER OF ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA: It was heart- wrenching. Absolutely devastating. I have never seen any such destruction on a per capita basis.
BELL: In Cuba, people took stock of the devastation to their homes and livelihoods.
UNITENTIFIED MALE (via translator): It's been a huge catastrophe. My home and my business, everything is ruined. I'm a self-employed carpenter. I
tried to lift up things, but the water came too fast and too high. Everything is wet.
BELL: France has sent the army to its territories of St. Maarten and St. Barts with rescuers distributing food and water.
On the British Virgin Islands, fierce winds blew away roofs and trashed homes. Billionaire Richard Branson weathered the hurricane, sheltering in
the wine cellar of his private island Necker, where many buildings were destroyed.
British Prime Minister Theresa May announced $42 million relief fund and there are just under 500 hundred British troops in the region currently
helping with the aid effort.
The Dutch King Willem-Alexander arrived at the Dutch territory of Curacao yesterday to evaluate hurricane aftermath.
WILLEM-ALEXANDER OF THE NETHERLANDS, KING OF NETHERLANDS (via translator): I've just landed. So, I really don't have enough information. But the
only message that I have right now is we realize what has happened to you and we are doing our best to help everybody who needs assistance. So, have
faith in the relief efforts, have faith.
BELL: For people in these Caribbean islands, the worst of the storm may be over, but the long road to recovery has only just begun.
Melissa Bell, CNN, Paris.
GORANI: Cuba is recovering from the heavy lashing that Irma gave the island Friday. The storm, in fact, killed ten people, most of them in
CNN's Patrick Oppmann joins me now live from there, the Cuban capital, with more. Talk to us about some of this damage and also people losing their
lives. And it seems like the impact has been quite devastating for Cuba.
PATRICK OPPMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely, Hala. Tragic loss of life. The sun has finally come out after days of wind and rain, but we're
still feeling some of the after-effects of Irma.
Let me show you the Havana seafront here. And this is far more waves than usual. We're still receiving the final goodbye from Irma.
We could not broadcast from here yesterday. It was literally underwater. All the people along the seafront had their homes flooded, 2 to 3 feet of
water coming into their homes, sometimes breaking down the doors.
They are right now, Hala, taking all their belongings out that got soaked in the storm, putting them in the sun, trying to dry them out. So, people
are just beginning the recovery process, which will be quite lengthy.
But, yes, the Cuban government coming out today and they say ten people lost their lives. It's much more than usual for a storm in Cuba where the
government takes so much precautions and pride in getting everyone prepared, evacuating the people who needed to be evacuated.
But, simply, the scope of the storm was too much for them. Many of the people who died, died in building collapses. And the fear now, Hala, is
these buildings that got soaked for the last few days, as they dry out, that's when things begin to crack and come loose and sometimes you can have
a total building collapse.
And it's not usually - long after the storm has gone, that as the sun comes out and the water begins to evaporate that buildings and more structures
come down. So, we're not out of the woods just yet, Hala.
[15:35:13] GORANI: All right. Patrick Oppmann, live in Havana, thanks very much.
Heading north out of Florida once again, Daytona emergency workers used a high-water truck to rescue 25 people after they got caught by the wind and
Derrick Henry is the mayor of Daytona Beach and he joins me now on the line. Thanks Mayor Henry for being with us.
Talk to us about these rescues, these dramatic rescues in some cases from flooded apartments. Did people not heed warnings to evacuate?
DERRICK HENRY, MAYOR OF DAYTONA BEACH: Well, most people certainly did heed warnings. The storm took a sudden shift towards us in the sort of
last minute, which is what storms do.
But, fortunately, our first responders were prepared and had some dynamic equipment that is seldom used. But if we had not had that equipment, these
people, some of them may not have made it. So, they did a great job.
GORANI: Thankfully, they're all OK. What's the situation now in terms of the damage? Are you able to start assessing the damage from Irma on
HENRY: Well, certainly, we have some significant damage along A1A, which is located just off the Atlantic Ocean in the intracoastal waterway
But, overall, we as a city have fared very well relative to past storms and relative to how others are doing. We're considering ourselves fortunate.
We don't have any loss of life or any substantial injuries due to the storm. And most damage is fairly cosmetic and we certainly feel that we
can rebuild from any problems.
GORANI: Well, that's good news. And is the city functioning again? Are people able to return to their homes?
HENRY: Most people are able to return to their homes. And most power is being restored pretty expeditiously. We believe about 60 to 70 percent of
our residents are with power, which is very good, and we expect that number to continue to climb. And 75 to 80 percent of our roads are passable, and
so we're doing pretty well.
GORANI: All right. Well, it sounds like it could have been worse. Anyway, I hope you and the residents of Daytona Beach in the next few days
are able to put everyone back where they need to be in their homes, back to school, back functioning as well in terms of roads and airports and the
rest of it.
Thanks very much, Mayor Derrick Henry. Daytona Beach mayor joining us live on the program. Don't forget, by the way, check out our Facebook page,
facebook.com/HalaGoraniCNN. There you'll find our latest interviews and news reports including the latest on Irma.
Now, as I mentioned at the top of the program, we're waiting for British lawmakers to vote on a bill that, it is fair to say, is strongly dividing
opinion. These are live images coming to us from the houses of parliament where MPs, members of parliament, are still debating at this late hour,
apparently 90 are due to speak before the vote takes place, so they could be burning the midnight oil in London.
Let's bring in David Owen. Lord Owen is a former British Foreign Secretary and a prominent supporter of Britain leaving the European Union. Lord
Owen, thanks for being with us.
So, when you see in the last few months, negotiations as they've unfolded between Europe and the United Kingdom, the government of Theresa May, do
you still think Brexit was a good idea?
DAVID OWEN, FORMER BRITISH FOREIGN SECRETARY: Yes. Nobody believes it was for the short term. It was for a long-term repositioning of Britain to
make it more global in its diplomacy and in its output and in its defense policy and above all to some of our goods in the markets of the world.
GORANI: But do you think that the negotiations are going well?
GORANI: Why not?
OWEN: Well, to some extent, these negotiations always will have a difficult patch. And this was the period above all because the commission
are trying it on really. Basically, they're trying for a Brexit tax.
We will have to pay if we want to have a successful transition. And at that time, it's reasonable to pay to too because you will be getting
something back. So, that financial thing, which is the nub of the negotiation will come up probably early in next year.
GORANI: Do you think Brexit is inevitable?
OWEN: Yes. We can't buck the will of the British people unless they -
GORANI: Yes. But they voted for Brexit, they didn't necessarily vote for the deal they'll get with this government.
OWEN: Well, they voted for a negotiation under Article 50, which is now underway. We're in an international negotiation. Normally, in British
politics, that is taken out of politics and cross-party.
Remember, Brexit is not the prerogative and the sole responsibility of the Conservative Party. There were a great many Labour voters, potential
Labour voters, past Labour voters who voted for Brexit, and this is not. And this is really the crucial test. The government will win tonight.
[15:40:12] GORANI: Yes.
OWEN: But in the committee stage, (INAUDIBLE). If they don't take more account of the feelings of their own members of parliament, but also of a
lot of Labour MPs who are favorable to Brexit, but want some accommodation on these very democratic choices that are in this bill. The bill does
deserve, in my view, a second reading, but it must be amended.
GORANI: You have prominent voices. The former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair is essentially saying you need another referendum. You need a third
way. You need an alternative to hard -
GORANI: I understand that, but is his position not reasonable? You need another alternative to hard Brexit, at least let the British people decide,
even those who voted in favor of Brexit.
OWEN: He is largely responsible for the mess that we are in on immigration. He did not take the -
GORANI: He concedes that. He says perhaps the borders were open a bit too much.
OWEN: Give him a rest. He has had his time and I have had my time. We are older people. We can occasionally contribute to this, but we don't
contribute by trying to tell people that they should buck a referendum.
That referendum was passed by parliament. That referendum has taken place. We are going to come out. The question is, can we come out as united as
possible. We can indicate to business as soon as possible that this is going to be a smooth transition. And it's open to us to get that
agreement, but you may have to pay a bit more money for it, but that's not unreasonable.
GORANI: I just want - we'll give Tony Blair a rest in a moment. But before we do that, this is exactly what he told Andrew Marr.
OWEN: I'm not interested in Tony Blair. Tony Blair, in my view - I have not come here to talk about Tony Blair. Let him talk about himself. But I
am not going to get involved.
GORANI: OK. Well, we don't have to run this down, but I essentially wanted our viewers to hear for themselves.
OWEN: I am not going to discuss with Tony Blair, this issue.
GORANI: It's not Tony Blair that is the issue here. It's the issue of having a third way. This is really the crux of the question.
OWEN: That's half a trouble with Tony Blair. He always expects third ways. There has been a choice. The British people voted against his
advice. He campaigned actively against it. He lost.
GORANI: You yourself led a third-way party. Why do you have a problem with the third way?
OWEN: I didn't lead a third-way party. I led an alliance between Liberals, which I was not a member of and never have been, and the Social
Democratic Party. That's long past in history, but I think it was - I have always been a European up until the decision to have a single currency.
Once you have a single currency, you need a country. And that is where Europe is heading. It's going to be a federal Europe and that's better for
Britain to be outside it, but my view doesn't matter.
GORANI: Britain was never a member of the euro. Where was the issue? And the government now says let's just keep the alliances that we have, the
trade deals that we have, the trade relationship that we had with the EU, except let's close the border. You can't have your cake and eat it too in
OWEN: We can have the World Trade Organization, which we're all members of. The United States trades with the European Union without any actual
free trade area agreement. They trade under WTO rules.
I hope we don't have to rely on WTO rules and we can have a bespoke agreement with the EU. We are friends and allies. We talk about Article
50. Article 8 is about good neighborhood laws. I have been a lifelong European. I am not in any way anti-Europe.
I do believe that the EU is not for the UK in its present formation with a single currency. (INAUDIBLE) strongly influenced by - I have a house in
Greece. You live in Greece and see what the eurozone is doing to the country.
GORANI: Oh, that's Greece. That is not Germany. What is the eurozone doing to Germany, not necessarily bad -
OWEN: Tremendously advantageous. It is more or less designed for their economy. But what's happening in France. Look at the unemployment levels
Anyhow, we are coming out. I am not arguing about the eurozone. I am not going to argue about -
GORANI: I'm not relitigating the Brexit referendum. I am just saying that nothing has happened yet, negotiations are ongoing and many, many voices
are rising up now. And I'm not going to bring up his name again, saying perhaps there could be another option.
We could try to come up with a deal that would allow the United Kingdom to somehow either stay in the EU or have a deal that matches pretty much -
OWEN: It's wishful thinking. Remember that Prime Minister David Cameron negotiated for an emergency brake on immigration. He wanted some give in
the community's position. He got non, even though he thought he would get Angela Merkel's support.
You are not just dealing with Germany. You're dealing with 27 other countries. You are dealing with a commission which has got very fixed
views. And so, I think all of this is not going to happen.
The realities are we are coming out. We're legislating to come out. And we need to keep in mind that this is a British decision, which is not the
monopoly of the government or the Conservative Party, but it's supported by millions of Labour voters.
[15:45:09] I am sympathetic to Labour. I am a social democrat independent in the House of Lords, but I do not think you can buck a referendum.
GORANI: Yes. What do you make of the fact that of all of Britain's partners and allies, the only head of state who thinks Brexit is a good
idea is the President of the United States Donald Trump.
OWEN: I don't think that's true. I think the Australian Prime Minister indicated that he doesn't understand why this decision - there are great
many other democratic elected leaders who recognize that this has been a democratic choice and they respect it. So, it's unfair to say -
GORANI: Respecting the democratic outcome and supporting the decision are different things, though.
OWEN: Well, they are different things. You don't have to support the decision. And I well understand why many European friends of mine, people
in my own family, are very upset by this and they're taking time. And it's almost like a divorce.
And I think that we have to recognize that. We have to - I have just written a book about British foreign policy after Brexit.
GORANI: After Brexit, right.
OWEN: I wrote it with a person who voted remain and younger than me. You can bridge this gap and we must bridge this gap. We must get more united
and then we will carry the industry with us and we will be more prosperous.
Our prosperity at the moment is being damaged by the length of time we're taking to indicate the structure of the agreement. An agreement is there.
A transition within the European Economic Area, which you come out after two or three years. That's the way through it. And most people know it.
They are just not admitting it at the moment.
GORANI: Last question. Then we're going to leave it there. Will Theresa May survive the next year, two years?
OWEN: I'm not a conservative, so I don't know whether she will survive. That's up to them. All I care is that the policy and the respect for the
electorates is one which is maintained by Labour as well as Conservatives.
GORANI: Lord Owen, thank you so much for joining us on CNN. We appreciate your time on the program. More on the story coming up right after the
break. I'll be speaking to someone with a different opinion, a Labour MP, who will be voting just a few hours from now after this debate.
And we continue to follow Irma as what's now a tropical storm leaves behind a path of chaos across Florida and the Caribbean.
Stay with CNN. We'll be right back.
GORANI: In the next few hours, British lawmakers will vote on a highly controversial EU withdrawal bill. The opposition Labour Party is not in
favor of it. Let's go to Westminster and speak to Kevin Brennan, one of those labor MPs.
Mr. Brennan, you'll vote against this bill?
KEVIN BRENNAN, LABOUR MP: Yes. In the midnight hour, I think it'll be. In a in a few hours' time, we will be tripping through the no lobby to vote
against this bill because it's actually pretty much a monstrosity of a bill in parliamentary terms.
[15:50:00] It doesn't actually take us out of the European Union. This is about overturning the previous European Act from 1972, which made European
law superior to our law and transposing that law into British law, but it is doing it in such a way that it's completely cutting parliament out of
the process by use of draconian means, and that's why we're opposed to the bill and we'll be voting against in (INAUDIBLE) in the early hours of the
GORANI: Aren't you voting against the will of the people? Your countrymen and women voted for Brexit. It was quite clear, 52 to 48 percent. Why
vote against the Brexit repeal bill in this way?
BRENNAN: Well, we're not in this instance because the bill does not actually take us out of the European Union. That will happen through the
Article 50 process, which is what all these negotiations are about.
But what this bill does is give huge powers to the government to transpose, which is the right thing to do if we are leaving the European Union,
European Union law into British law, but then they can amend it without any proper going back to parliament for a democratic vote on it.
It's such a draconian bill that the government can actually amend the bill itself after it's been passed into an act without properly coming back to
parliament. So, it's almost like a piece of law that's written in invisible ink, which will disappear after it has been passed and be
rewritten by ministers without parliament having a say.
GORANI: But it's going to pass and it appears Theresa May is not in jeopardy this evening. There won't be more than six Tory MPs rebelling.
So, then what?
BRENNAN: Well, I think as David Owen said before the break, it's probably likely that it will pass this evening because there are not enough
conservatives. They should really vote against it if they cared about parliamentary democracy, but not enough of them will allow you to do that.
But then it's going into its committee stage. And at that stage, I think it's more likely that there might be some concessions given by the
government. And really, the government, they are acting as if the general election we had earlier this year has never happened and they have a huge
The British people clearly indicated they wanted more consensus about the Brexit processes. They wanted other parties and interests to be consulted.
And the way in which the government is ramming this bill through and giving itself these draconian powers goes completely against that later vote we
had in the general election, which showed that people wanted more consensus around the Brexit process, and not just a yes or no.
GORANI: So, your party, the Labour Party slightly modified its message on Brexit. It's now embracing ideas like a soft, like a delayed Brexit. Some
could argue, look, that's murky. That prolongs the uncertainty.
Just make a clear and quick decision, allow these negotiations to be as quick as possible, and then move on. What Brexit would the Labour Party
and you in particular would be happy with?
BRENNAN: Well, if I'm perfectly honest, I wouldn't be happy with any Brexit, but we have to accept that there's been a referendum. I think the
Labour Party's position now is much more coherent than perhaps it was in the immediate aftermath of the vote, in that we are saying clearly you
can't just have that clean Brexit, so called, or that cliff-edge approach because that would be extremely damaging to the British economy.
So, we need a longer transition period, one that leaves us effectively within the single market and the customs union and leaves us playing by the
rules during that period because to do otherwise is to do immense damage to the British economy and the government seems intent on following this hard
I think, eventually, they'll have to come around to our position because they haven't got time first and foremost to really negotiate all the trade
deals they said they were going to negotiate in the time that's available.
And secondly, it's an utterly impractical option just to jump over the cliff edge once the Article 50 period is over.
GORANI: Thanks so much, Kevin Brennan, Labour MP, who is about to vote this evening in the midnight hour on this piece of legislation. We
appreciate your time with us this evening.
Coming up. Imagine going into labor during a hurricane. That's exactly what happened to one mother in Florida. We'll hear from the team, who
helped deliver the baby in the storm. Next.
[15:55:38] GORANI: Now, imagine this scenario. Not only is Hurricane Irma bearing down, but you go into labor. That happened in Florida. CNN's Don
Lemon spoke to first responders who braved the storm to help with this dramatic delivery.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: Your driving expertise or skills have never been more important.
CHRIS HURST, CORAL SPRINGS FIREMAN DRIVER: No. It was pretty hairy getting through there. We had a four-wheel drive truck, we had to go over
a bunch of curbs. There's a bunch of trees down.
Once we got in there and then we had to barricade in there really quick, which is the armored vehicle, which was really cool. We've never got a
fire truck back in there.
LEMON: Yes. So, who actually delivered the baby?
JOHN WHALEN, CORAL SPRINGS ASSISTANT CHIEF: Chris and myself. When we got there, she was pretty much all the way - almost all the way out. And she
was - and her - the patient's mother, the mother of the person in labor, was actually pretty much delivering the baby, her own granddaughter in the
bathroom on the floor.
WHALEN: And I've never met or seen a more calm scene in the chaos that was going on outside. We were kind of taken back by it, it looked like a
labor, delivery room. And everybody was extremely calm and everybody was smiling.
And every - and we were - and it was very calming to Chris and I to walk into that non-chaotic scene. And then started doing what we had to do.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: There you have it. It's not just people we need rescuing. Look at these manatees. They are stranded in of all places Manatee County. A
group of Good Samaritans came to the rescue to get the animals out of the mud and back into the water.
Thanks for watching. I am Hala Gorani. We'll have your headlines and continuing coverage of Hurricane Irma. All coming up here on CNN. We'll
be right back.