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WORLD RIGHT NOW WITH HALA GORANI
Huge Need For Aid On Hard-Hit Caribbean Islands; Extensive Damage Reported In The Virgin Islands; French President: St. Martin Will Be Reborn; Tough Rebuilding Effort Ahead For Florida Keys; Hurricane Leaves Trail Of Devastation In Caribbean; Iraq Sentences ISIS Foreign Fighter To Death; U.K. Parliament Approves E.U. Withdrawal Bill; Apple Unveils iPhone X, A Decade After Original. Aired 3-4p ET
Aired September 12, 2017 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
HALA GORANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Tonight, the race is on to get aid and relief to the Caribbean amid desperate pleas for help.
Hello, everyone. Good evening from London. I'm Hala Gorani.
Hurricane Irma we now know that liberated big chunks of several islands last weekend and were still learning the full extent of the damage. Look
at Puerto Rico, you see it there on the map. Here's the video.
Take a look at these pictures from the city of San Juan, houses flattened, homes ripped apart. The scene on St. Maarten is even worse, here are
pictures from the French side of that island.
The French president is expected there this hour. He says St. Maarten will be, quote, "reborn." Certainly, President Macron's arrival comes as
European government are feeling the pressure it has to be said to ratchet up their response to this disaster sending help to their territories in the
They will need every bit of aid they can get those islands as many residents have now lost absolutely everything. Polo Sandoval has more.
POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Catastrophic damage across the Caribbean, a Category 5 hurricane packing winds of up to 185 miles per
hour when it (inaudible) these islands late last week.
Irma left almost total devastation in its wake. Thousands are homeless. Businesses are wiped out. Many islands there is little food or clean
water. Thousands of American tourists and residents were among those stranded by the storm.
This is St. Maarten today. An idyllic resort turned to rubble overnight. The island of 72,000 took a direct hit from Irma. American officials say
they evacuated about 1,200 U.S. citizens from St. Maarten shoveling them on military transport planes nearby Puerto Rico.
For those who remained, there has been almost no food, water, or power for days, and the search for those essentials quickly took a desperate turn.
Looters, some reportedly armed demanded anything from food to a working car.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): That's the roof. The roof is about to come. Yes, there it is. The roof just went -- just -- the whole roof.
That whole roof just went flying right off.
SANDOVAL: Irma killed at least eight people when it pummeled the British and U.S. Virgin Islands. U.S. Navy personnel moved into medevac the most
seriously injured perhaps hardest hit the tiny islands of Antigua and Barbuda.
UNIDENTIFIED CALLER: (Inaudible) it was just all encompassing and it really became at one point a question of whether we would live to see
SANDOVAL: The island's prime minister said Irma wreak, quote, "total devastation" there.
SANDOVAL: Irma heavily flooded the streets of Havana, Cuba. Cuban authorities cut off power to parts of the city as a safety measure and as
bad as Havana was hit, Cuba's northeast coast took it even worst pounding all just before Irma turned and set its sights on Florida.
GORANI: CNN is covering the story across the region. Polo Sandoval whose report you just saw is in Tortola in the British Virgin Islands not far
away in the U.S. Virgin Islands, Sara Ganim. She's just hit the ground in St. Thomas. We'll to get in a moment.
Let's start with Polo. We saw the devastation across the Caribbean there. What's the situation now where you are? Polo, can you hear me? Polo
All right. We'll get to Polo in a moment. I can actually see him at the corner -- actually, in fact, we can go to him now. You're back. Polo
Sandoval, we saw the devastation across the Caribbean in your piece there. What's the situation where you are right now?
SANDOVAL: The communications as you can clearly see, Hala, has been the biggest challenge not just for us to try to bring some of these pictures,
but for people who live on this island, the largest of the British Virgin Islands.
People are desperate for news from the outside world. It's slowly -- it's trickling in. Meanwhile, there are some people who call this place home
that are trying to get up. Many folks trying to secure passes possibly to Puerto Rico where they can potentially have their first decent meal in the
last several days.
But as you're able to see behind me, Hala, the devastation is everywhere here in Tortola. This is what's left of the marina. There are many boats
and ships that have been destroyed by the storm that swept through the region.
[15:05:05] The eye of the storm actually passing through the region that we are standing in right now, about five or six days ago, and you can see what
it left behind and perhaps the most powerful image, you may be able to see in the distance, those were once blush green rolling hills, Hala.
Today, there are those trees, those branches have been stripped of any great. It's more like (inaudible) the Caribbean.
GORANI: It's unbelievable. I can see boats overturned there. It looks like the port there in Tortola. What about these reports of violence,
looting, unrest, what's the latest on that?
SANDOVAL: We have heard those reports barely that happened the day following the actual landfall that took place here about six days ago from
what we are being told. However, the British military is sending in assets, manpower trying to restore order.
I will tell you this, though, after speaking to one expat that now call this place home. They told us that many of these individuals that were
looting were doing (inaudible) of desperation. They were searching for food. They were searching for drink, anything, to be able to just get by.
So, that was an interesting thing that we heard once we landed here on the grounds. So, many of those individuals perhaps may not have had those
intentions to perhaps inflict that kind of damaged, but they were more desperate just trying to get their hands on anything they could possibly
However, we have seen some order restored now particularly after officials arrived here on the ground, particularly, British military. And I'll tell
you this, there is, though, a sense of resilience from the people on this island. They say they are determined to rebuild and to make this paradise
GORANI: Yes. And we've heard some complaints and criticism directed at the U.K. even from residents of the British Virgin Island saying help
didn't come fast enough. They didn't earmark enough money. Is that being echoed where you are?
All right. I think we've lost the audio connection there with Polo Sandoval. He's in the British Virgin Islands in Tortola. He mentioned it
there at the beginning of his live report, communications are a big issue. You can understand why the infrastructure was hit.
Look at these aerial shots of Tortola. This is the largest island among the British Virgin Islands. It gives you an idea of how badly hit the
structures are. Such a big percentage of residential homes have been destroyed.
So, the residents of the British Virgin Islands, many others in the Caribbean are saying we will rebuild, but that costs money. This is
something that takes a lot of time and these are islands that rely a lot on tourism as well.
And you can imagine that if the tourism infrastructure is devastated, it's going to take a very long time to get people back, to get tourist back to
that part of the world.
Now the European Union has pledged $2.4 million in emergency aid to the Caribbean and world leaders are surveying the damage to their territory.
These are overseas territories.
The Dutch king visited Dutch St. Martin where the Red Cross says nearly a third of buildings on the island were destroyed. The British Foreign
Secretary Boris Johnson is heading to the British Virgin Islands soon.
And the French president, Emmanuel Macron, was in Guadalupe earlier, and he says, the island of St. Martin will be, quote, "reborn." Listen to Macron.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
EMMANUEL MACRON, FRENCH PRESIDENT (through translator): What we put in place since the hurricane is one of the most important air bridges,
facilities (inaudible) all the time is speaking there are 1,900 armed troops in (inaudible) to secure the location and every day very
significantly with regards to planes, helicopters and boats that are communicating with (inaudible) in France to provide means to survive and
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: So, that was the French president, Emmanuel Macron. Now just north in the Florida Keys in the United States, the rebuilding effort will
be long and hard as well. Two major stretches of road were simply washed away and a government emergency official says the hurricane destroyed 25
percent of homes in the Keys.
David Sutta from affiliate, WFOR, sent us this report. Take a look.
DAVID SUTTA, WFOR CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): As the sun rose over the Florida Keys, we got our first look at the widespread damage from Hurricane
Irma. RVs sitting on their sides in Sunshine Key. Boats sitting next to houses in Marathon.
Big Pine Key where Irma's eye made landfall, we found homes smoldering, clearly burning through the night to the ground. No one around. No idea
if anyone was inside.
(on camera): Where are you headed?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Going back up to one of my divisions where my brothers at. We haven't heard from him yet. I worked at (inaudible) and that was
our safe haven for our employees. It stayed in the area and he didn't show up.
[15:10:07] SUTTA (voice-over): Ira got lucky. A friend who rode out the storm with his brother happened to ride by while we were talking. His
brother is just fine.
(on camera): It's got to be a huge relief right there.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, it is.
SUTTA (voice-over): U.S.-1, the main road that links the Keys together is in pieces huge swaths of lanes are missing. Engineers are still serving
the damage to that and 42 bridges.
Devastation in the lower Keys Atlantic side is almost indescribable. Concrete block homes didn't stand a chance in storm surge.
(on camera): This was at one point the inside of someone's house clearly the roof is gone and if you look right through the entrance way, you could
see straight into the bathroom. I mean, just totally exploded in here.
The force of the storm surge actually pushed all the way through and blew out the front door here. You see a boat out the front door and the whole
kitchen and pieces here.
(voice-over): Mike Ryan, a Marine was just in Houston helping rescue flood victims. He returned home today to find this.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's my turn, I guess.
SUTTA: At least 5 feet of storm surge piled through his home. Despite all the widespread destruction, Ryan was optimistic.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: At least I'm here to rebuild it (inaudible) that's the difference.
SUTTA: The (inaudible) of the Florida Keys can't seem to still be there including the ones who call Dear Key home. We saw so many deer frolicking
down U.S. 1, survivors of Hurricane Irma.
GORANI: There you have it the report from the Keys. I want to get you back to the Caribbean because we discussed the situation on the British
Virgin Islands. The U.S. Virgin Islands in the same part of the world obviously also took a big hit.
Sara Ganim just hit the ground there. She joins me now live on the phone line. First of all, the images that were showing them are from the U.S.
Virgin Islands. Tell us what you're seeing where you are, Sara?
SARA GANIM, CNN CORRESPONDENT (via telephone): Hala, I can tell you the first thing we noticed when we pull up here on a boat is that it is
completely round. All the vegetation is simply gone and it wasn't normally as lush in greens (inaudible) -- not in exaggeration to say there is not a
leaf on a tree.
And when you get closer and you realize that the shores are littered with boats that have capsized and homes, not a single structure I've seen didn't
have some kind of damage, but the people here (inaudible) we've been meeting in the last couple of hours and spoken to here that are very
You know, they were among the first to be hit by the storm and they are the last to get supplies because it's simply very difficult to get here. The
ports are damaged. The airport is damaged.
They don't have power on most of the island. Water supply is dwindling. I was headed to a distribution center where they are trying to get medicine,
water, food, any kind of supplies into this island and most of it is coming from locals.
It's locals helping locals (inaudible) private boats, people with private airplanes normally use them for fun occasion, vacation. They are using
them to ferry goods onto an island and then go off of the island.
There is 50,000 Americans here, 50,000 people who are stranded essentially because they cannot get off this island and the infrastructure simply is
very clear once you get here it was just devastated.
I've heard a resident who was here described the first few hours days after the storm as somewhat apocalyptic and you can tell just from walking down
the streets that's really not an exaggeration.
There's debris everywhere, but all of the power lines and phone lines that are in down and in the middle of the streets, they were cut away by people
with chainsaws, who simply used their own manpower to cut their way back to the main drive.
(Inaudible) that they are feeling like, though, some supplies really are starting to trickle on the island. I think the one thing that most
frustrating to people who I have been talking to is that communications are really poor.
So, it's very hard to get information in or out and that (inaudible) you know, it can start rumors and spread fears. The military is here and they
are assisting. FEMA is here. The DoD are staged at the airport. They are trying to get things up and running as soon as possible.
But some people, some officials have told me power could be out in some parts of this island for upwards of six months -- Hala.
GORANI: Wow. Six months, and obviously when you live on an island, you know that getting supplies is more difficult that food and water that
they're more expensive because transport is complicated.
But in the aftermath of a hurricane like this with the ports demolished, the airport having issues as well, when can the residents of the U.S.
Virgin Islands, where you are, expect supplies to come to them? They need medicine. They need water. They need food.
[15:15:05] You know, we pulled up to a port where the cranes are not working and the airport is not open to commercial flights. There is
actually a container ship just offshore, but it can't make it to port because there is nothing to get the containers off the ship.
So, what has happened is people in private boats are going to Puerto Rico. They are going to St. Croy (ph), and they're getting supplies there and
they're ferrying them back in their private yachts.
But you can only bring so much back in a shipment on a private plane or on, you know, a yacht that might hold (inaudible) people. We actually came in
the way. We came in with the local charter boat caption, who filled his yacht with water and pampers and food.
And you know, people is on the top of the supplies and came in with him, and you know, they were talking about the next load they wanted ice so that
they can bring back antibiotics and medicines. So, that's how it's happening. The local residents here who are coordinating.
GORANI: Sara Ganim, thanks very much. Keep us updated. She is on the U.S. Virgin Islands, the island of St. Thomas.
Very difficult situation and as Sara Ganim was saying there and this is something I didn't know quite interesting is not that the supplies aren't
ready to be delivered. It's if you have a container ship, you need cranes to offload those containers. They don't have the cranes for that.
So, a few hundred meters from shore there could be a container ship or a few dozen meters and they can't bring those in because they have no way to
offload them off the container ship.
So, the way to get some of the supplies is private individuals once again with their private boats and yachts. We'll keep our eye on the U.S. Virgin
Islands, the British Virgin Islands, across the Caribbean as well.
We are trying to contact the first lady of the British Virgin Islands, but as you saw from our live report with Polo Sandoval earlier communications
are very difficult. We've not been able to contact her, but when we are able to do that, we'll bring you that interview live on the program.
In the meantime, we are going to take a quick break. There are some other news I want to cover for you including this -- he left home to join forces
with ISIS. Now he is facing a death sentence in a foreign country in Iraq. We'll have details on an unprecedented court ruling in the Middle East
And something completely different to take your mind off the disasters, it's the dawn of the iPhone 10. We'll show you the high stakes handset
that Apple is banking its future on. We'll be right back.
GORANI: A court in Baghdad have sentenced a Russian man to death after finding him guilty of taking up arms with ISIS. It is the first ruling of
its kind in Iraq.
Let's get right to Jomana Karadsheh for details. She's following the story for us. She's in Istanbul. Tell us more about this particular case --
[15:20:04] JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Hala, the announcement came from the Iraq's Higher Judicial counsel, today, saying,
that the Central Criminal Court in Baghdad sentenced to death, that's usually by hanging in Iraq, a Russian national.
They say that this man was a member for ISIS and that it why he was sentenced to death under Iraq's anti-terrorism law. They say that since
2015, he's participated, taken part in several attacks on the Iraqi Security Forces.
And they say that he confessed to those attacks and that he was captured in the eastern side of Mosul during the battle to capture that part of the
city a few months ago. They say he ran out of ammunition and they captured the fighter.
And that was really rare, Hala, for us to be hearing of a non-Iraqi or a non-Arab fighter being sentenced to death in Iraq. If you recall back in
the days of ISIS' predecessor, al Qaeda in Iran, there was a group of Arab fighters from different countries who were on death row during these days.
But this is quite rare to hear of a non-Arab or non-Iraqi, and we don't know how many foreign fighters, Iraqi authorities or Kurdish authorities in
the north are holding. We've asked them for specific figures, but they haven't provided us with that.
But in recent days, we've seen reports and videos emerging from Northern Iraq when it comes to Western Mosul and also from the city of (inaudible)
where a large number of what these authorities are saying are foreign fighters have been rounded up from different countries.
Some saying they are from Turkey, others from former Soviet states and also Russian fighters and in some cases, the reports indicate that these
fighters' families, wives and children have also been captured by authorities.
So, we don't know what their faith is going to be at this point if it's anything like this Russian national who was sentenced to death today in
GORANI: Yes. Because, I mean, you are not talking here just about a handful of people. You're talking and I saw some of the video of the ISIS
fighters captured from (inaudible) and there are hundreds of them. What happens to them? Where do they put them? How do they deal with them after
these cities are liberated from ISIS control?
KARADSHEH: Well, as you know very well, Hala, there has been a large number of foreign fighters who have been present in Iraq and in a lot of
cases as our colleagues who have been on the frontlines of these battles to recapture these cities say, that a large number of these fighters have been
killed during these battles.
Some are on the run, but there is a large number who are captured and that predominantly is Iraqi fighters. According to estimates rights groups like
Amnesty International, for example, in recent months, they say that thousands are being detained for suspicions of links to ISIS.
And in so many cases, Hala, they are held without charge for a very long time and then when they do go to trial, they face a, what these rights
groups say, is a flawed justice system, these files described as unfair.
Sometimes they take place within a few hours and then there is this rush to convict and in many cases, according to Amnesty International, confessions
are obtained under torture, they say.
So, there is a lot of (inaudible), Hala, about what could happen when you don't have proper processes revering from these rights groups. A lot of
these people who are detained come from Sunni-Arab areas and legal experts I've spoken to recently say unless these files are done properly, there is
that risk that this could fuel sectarian tensions when you have Shia-led authorities and you have a Sunni-Arab population.
And if the Sunni population feels marginalized and discriminated against that could really create a perfect environment for ISIS or another group to
reemerge again in Iraq.
GORANI: It's -- we've seen that story play itself out before, haven't we? Thanks very much, Jomana Karadsheh live in Istanbul.
Here in the U.K., the British Prime Minister Theresa May is breathing a big sigh of relief today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The I's to the right, 326. The no's to the left, 290. So the I's have it. The I's have it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: That was the European withdrawal bill that passed through Parliament yesterday in the end with a pretty comfortable majority.
Theresa May hailed the vote as a historic decision to back the will of the British people.
[15:25:01] Next, it goes to a parliamentary committee where it will be scrutinized with the finest tooth combs and don't expect that to be easy.
More than 150 MPs have already asked for the bill to be amended including many from the prime minister's own party. So, there you have it, back and
forth, back and forth, but there you have it an important legislative step.
Apple has unveiled the next generation of its iPhone and it starts at a whopping $999. Samuel Burke was there at the event, the fancy event, and
has all the details from Cupertino.
SAMUEL BURKE, CNN MONEY TECHNOLOGY CORRESPONDENT: Hala, that big price tag for the iPhone X is certainly a lot of money, but it's got to be said it's
what we're expecting and there are a lot of iPhone competitors out there that have a similar price tag plus the higher-end versions of the previous
iPhones, the ones with 256 GB, they were within that price range.
Now the one big difference between the iPhone X and the iPhone 8s that were announced today is that the iPhone X has facial recognition. We've become
so lazy we don't even want to use our fingerprints to get in our phones.
And now people can use the face to unlock their phone and do things like make payments using Apple Pay. Now it also has an infrared camera so you
can use your face at nighttime to unlock your phone.
Now if you don't want to shell out that much money, you can pay for the iPhone 8 or the 8+ coming in at 699 and 799 bucks. Those have the wireless
charging. That was the big question, would only the iPhone X have a lot of these new features?
They have wireless charging as well as the augmented reality camera, augmented reality, one of the best examples of that is doing those Snapchat
face filters. Now it will have a special camera that can look and see, is that Hala Gorani's nose and will know exactly where to put that mask.
We also saw a lot of new announcements with other products including the Apple Watch. Apple has finally detethered that from the iPhone which has a
4G connection now so you can do things like make phone calls when you're out in the park running instead of having to have your iPhone with you all
the time -- Hala.
GORANI: Samuel Burke, thanks very much. Quite happy with the phone I have.
Just ahead, the tiny islands of the Caribbean were no match for the monster storm, next, some dramatic before-and-after images of the region. It will
really show you the damage and it will also show that it will take years to repair.
Also, Irma may not have hit Florida as hard as everyone feared, but after scenes like these, the damage is still shocking. We'll tell you more about
the aftermath in the United States as well.
GORANI: The damage wreaked by Hurricane Irma across the Caribbean is being felt acutely on the ground as we've been reporting throughout the hour from
high up in faith in fact were given a whole new perspective. Take a look at these before-and-after satellite pictures. Here at Anse Marcel Beach in
Saint Martin, you can see roofs blown off the building, vegetation destroyed as well.
In Codrington Port, Barbuda, most structures are simply gone. The ground is littered with debris.
On Richard Branson's famous Necker Island, lush green areas along the beach are turned to brown after trees were felled by the hurricane winds.
The US Virgin Islands also took a beating. Four people were killed there after Irma slammed the shore.
We're joined now by Stacey Plaskett, a congressman representing the US Virgin Islands. She is currently at Saint Croix. Thanks for being with
us, Ms. Plaskett.
First of all, we are reading reports of survivors who are hungry, who don't have access to food, who obviously are now left homeless. What's the
latest on the island?
REP. STACEY PLASKETT (D), US VIRGIN ISLANDS: Well, thanks so much having me on. In the United States Virgin Islands, we were fortunate that we had
FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, was embedded here in the territory.
(INAUDIBLE 1:18) stock some provisions for a fixed period of time, so that there could be food and water.
What has happened today is that there are now three naval ships that are here that have brought in Marines. The Navy is here. Additional support
from the Department of Defense. They are looking at moving trees, supporting this.
We've done a really good job of preparation and most of our buildings have because of the previous begins, Hugo in '89 and Marilyn in '95.
So, because of the ferocity and the ferociousness of this hurricane, a Category 5, there were things that we just could never have prepared for.
We lost a hospital, most of Saint John has been decimated, 70 percent of our utility system on Saint Thomas and all of it on Saint John are now just
So, what's happening is not only is the federal government on the ground, Coast Guard, and those others that I talked about, they are working in
conjunction with our governor, Gov. Kenneth Mapp, along with our emergency management agency to coordinate efforts from the federal level and make
sure that the National Guard is reaching those individuals that they need to.
GORANI: Right now, you are - what you're saying is, you have enough food, enough water, the medicine that you need, all those supplies, you're not
lacking in those areas?
PLASKETT: Well, on top of the federal government and local, there is, of course, a tremendous amount of support that's coming from the private
Additionally, the Virgin Islands, which has been part of the United States for 100 years, means that we have a great number of Virgin Islanders that
are living in the States. Those organizations and those associations are collecting, working together to ensure that cargo ships, freights are
coming down with what's needed for the emergency relief effort.
What we are now working on his distribution because, of course, that is a critical path. We live on an island. Ensuring that things get back and
forth where they need to - it was sometime before the Coast Guard was even able to clear the ports of something vessels degree - I mean, just the
amount of that were pushed up against there really made it difficult to get to the ports.
GORANI: And, congresswoman, let me ask you about - little bit looking forward here, what percentage, would you say, of the structures on the US
Virgin Islands were damaged or destroyed? Is it fair to say it could take years to rebuild?
PLASKETT: It's fair to say that it would take years. I'd be really reckless in giving an estimation. But just from my cursory view of it, I'd
say that 60, 70 percent of the Island of Saint Thomas and Saint John have been damaged, if not more. That's minimal that we're looking at.
When you're talking about hospital, fire stations, post offices, airport, air traffic control, really vital areas as well.
And you talked about the browning that's going on on those other islands. It's completely brown because the salt blast as really just burned
We have diesel in our bays and in our ports.
And what people also have to remember is, we are now heading into our tourist season. This is where a lot of our financial and economic growth
comes from. We lost an oil refinery in 2012 in the Island of Saint Croix, which increased our unemployment to 18 percent at that time.
And so, we really rely very heavily on tourism. And when you look on Saint John, Camille Bay, which is one of our greatest resorts, is obliterated.
So, this is going to take a lot of work, a lot of support from both the federal level - I've been on the phone talking with leader Pelosi and also
talking with those who are in Ways and Means and others about tax relief packages.
[15:35:13] I'm talking with Transportation and Infrastructure Committee about the package to support the infrastructure. We're going to need
permanent homes built. We can't have temporary homes. We're on an island.
Those are all the things that are going to take a tremendous amount of work and are going to be years in the making.
GORANI: Well, we wish you the best. We've seen so much destruction, not just on the US Virgin Islands, I should say, but the British Virgin Islands
as well. Thank you very much, Congresswoman Stacey Plaskett, for speaking to us today.
I mentioned the British Virgin Islands because the damage there is also extremely extensive. I'm joined on the phone line from Tortola by Lorna
Smith. She's the first lady of the British Virgin Islands, the wife of the Premier Orlando Smith.
Mrs. Smith, thanks for being with us. First of all, we had a report there from earlier from the British Virgin Islands where the devastation was
breathtaking, frankly, shocking. Tell us about the situation now for your islands.
LORNA SMITH, FIRST LADY OF THE BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS: Certainly. The devastation has been really significant. Let me say, I am the premier's
wife, but I'm also the head of financial services. And I would like to talk a little bit about that as well.
But I would say that about 70 percent of our building (INAUDIBLE) support significant damage. We are the yachting or the boating capital of the
world and a large number of yachts suffered.
The British Virgin Islands is based on tourism and financial services. Much of our tourism product has been significantly damaged.
GORANI: The financial impact of that, you wanted to discuss, what portion of the economy does tourism represent for the British Virgin Islands? Can
you give us a sense of just how damaging this would be for economic growth and just for ordinary residents there?
SMITH: Well, interestingly enough, our financial services contribute more in terms of government revenue and in terms of even in the revenues than
Tourism employs more people. Tourism financial services might employ 7,000 people and tourism would employ 10,000 or thereabouts. So, that's
GORANI: Can I ask you, just for a final thought, on what goes through your mind when you see the destruction firsthand, even if you see, for instance,
the images, the aerial video that we've been showing or even the satellite imagery?
SMITH: Let me say this. It's really shocking. It's really shocking, but the BVI people are resilient people. We are confident that we are going to
come back. It might take us a year. It might take us two years, but we're going to come back because the BVI people are determined to rebuild and we
should start rebuilding now.
We have a number of persons amongst us who are prepared to lead that effort, aside from the government. We have persons amongst us such as
Richard Branson. We have people like Larry Page of Google. We have a number of - there is David Johnson of Victor International. These are all
people living in the North Sound.
And on Tortola itself are a number of committed persons to the development of the country.
GORANI: But have you been happy with the UK government? Have you been happy with the UK government's response? They've been criticized for not
acting enough or quickly.
SMITH: It's really too soon to say. We are very happy to hear that the secretary of state will be visiting us tomorrow. But we've never been one
to rely on the British government. We are grateful for the law and order that they have been supporting us with. And we are hoping that we would
get the resources, financial as well as resources that would enable us to begin the rebuilding process.
[15:40:07] I'm certainly very happy that our ATMs have been reopened. Our shops have started to reopen. And we are really beginning - we're not
GORANI: You're getting on with the job.
SMITH: Getting on with the job, exactly. I wanted to say something about our financial services. That will remain on impacted because of the kind
of services that we offer.
GORANI: The message is out and it's clear. Thank you so much, Lorna Smith, first lady, also heading the financial services agency there on the
British Virgin Islands. Really appreciate your time.
Now, Mrs. Smith mentioned that the British foreign secretary is on his way to the Caribbean to see firsthand what is going on there. He will head to
some of the British Overseas Territories - Anguilla, Barbuda, the British Virgin Islands.
Here's why - island after island were ripped apart. Homes, businesses, communities devastated. He will arrive with criticism of Britain's
response ringing in his ears.
Earlier, the Foreign Office Minister Alan Duncan defended the response, saying, "our governance system is different from the French. We don't
directly govern. We circulate our troops around different entries."
Let's get more on Britain's response. We're joined by Alasdair Pinkerton, senior lecturer in human geography at the Royal Holloway, University of
Hi. I found it interesting that the first lady said basically we've not made a habit of relying on the British too much. We kind of get on with it
ourselves. We have our, for instance, Richard Branson, other private individuals, Larry Page, et cetera. What did you make of that?
ALASDAIR PINKERTON, SENIOR LECTURER IN HUMAN GEOGRAPHY, ROYAL HOLLOWAY, UNIVERSITY OF LONDON: I suppose, in some respects, she's right. The
British Overseas Territories generally are meant to be self-governing, self-determining.
They largely finance themselves. But, of course, they rely on the United Kingdom to supply security and defense and, in some cases, also the
So, they are in this very unusual position where they kind of rely on the UK for certain things, but they also have to be self-reliant in other -
GORANI: But they are UK citizens -
PINKERTON: Yes. They are British citizens. So, they have blue British passports. They have done for, since about 2002. So, yes, they are full
British citizens. And, therefore, Britain has the responsibility to them as British citizens and as overseas territories to participate and to
correctly support them during times of national emergency, and that's perhaps best exemplified right now.
GORANI: So, you do notice difference, though, in the response from the French, even from the Dutch, for instance. Emmanuel Macron, the French
president, went himself. We didn't see the prime minister who is probably very preoccupied with Brexit legislation passing in parliament. The Dutch
King was in Saint Martin. And foreign secretary is what the UK is sending and it's not until tomorrow.
PINKERTON: That's right. First of all, the British Overseas Territories are administered in part through the Foreign Office. They have an Overseas
Territories Directorate. So, it's probably appropriate that Boris Johnson is going, though not fully part of the UK in the way that the French
dependencies are part of metropolitan France and certainly some of the Dutch territories are also part of the Kingdom of The Netherlands.
Our territories, the British territories, are kind of held at this arms' length distance. They are part of this club, this family of overseas
territories; and in that sense, they are very much like Gibraltar and the Falklands, which have had some of the better-known examples.
GORANI: But also, the UK government has been consumed, literally consumed - they have been staying up till the middle of the night for the last two
nights with Brexit. Is it not taking attention away from other important issues?
PINKERTON: I think Brexit has taken the attention away from many things. It is one of the challenges of trying to support territories that are 3,500
miles away from the UK.
It is really noticeable that Boris Johnson described the criticism that Britain had been receiving as - he didn't use the word pitiful, but he
might very well have used the word pitiful.
It's quite extraordinary that a foreign secretary would feel able to do that kind of thing. If, for example, somebody from Grenfell Tower - who
had, of course, the recent tragedy in London had described the British government's response as inadequate.
I don't think that you'd find a government minister turning on that person in quite the way that Boris Johnson and indeed Alan Duncan have turned on
the criticism that they've been receiving in the overseas territories. It's very revealing of the kind of status that these particular British
GORANI: Alasdair Pinkerton, thanks so much for joining us. Really appreciate your time this evening.
In the US, millions in Florida listened to these orders to evacuate, but some decided to ride out the worst of Hurricane Irma. Our Ed Lavandera was
in the small fishing village of Goodland.
ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Where the Everglades meets the Gulf of Mexico, there sits a fishing village called Goodland. The eye
of Hurricane Irma chainsawed its way through here.
GARY STRINGER, GOODLAND RESIDENT: Feels like living inside a storm.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When Gary Stringer stared down the sharpest edge of the storm's blades -
LAVANDERA: - he sat in this room as the 130-mile-per-hour winds roared outside.
[15:45:03] (on-camera): Did you feel like the house was going to get picked up off the ground?
STRINGER: Yes. I got the dogs. I thought, well, here we go, it's going to go. I mean, nothing to do.
LAVANDERA: Like Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz?
STRINGER: Yes, almost. Yes.
LAVANDERA (voice-over): As the house shook, he heard the cracking and rumbling of a giant tree ripping out of the ground. He opened the door to
see the tree had fallen on to the neighbor's house. He was spared.
At that point, you start telling yourself, maybe I should have left town.
STRINGER: Yes. (INAUDIBLE 0:30) hour before that.
LAVANDERA: Emergency officials say some 40 people decided to ride out the storm here in Goodland, but there were no serious injuries reported. The
hurricane ripped apart this town that's home to several hundred people. Boats tossed around, trees toppled, and several homes destroyed.
DUSTIN SHEPARD, GOODLAND RESIDENT: It blew out my oil cap here, the pressure from the water.
LAVANDERA: The storm surge pushed about 7 feet of water under Dustin Shepard's home. The water has gone now, but the surge brought in fish that
weren't supposed to be here.
(on-camera): Well, what do you have there?
SHEPARD: We had a puffer fish here.
LAVANDERA (voice-over): Shepard works as a charter fisherman and stayed inside his home with his wife and a friend.
SHEPARD: My windows broke on the backside here. And for about a couple hours, I thought the house might come down. And it got scary. It was
something I'll never forget. I'll tell you that much.
LAVANDERA: Friends showed up to hug Gary Stringer, grateful he survived. He might have an incredible story to tell, but he just feels lucky to walk
STRINGER: I won't do it again. Trust me. If another one comes, I'm going to book a flight about a week early and I'll be on the other side of the
world at a tiki bar somewhere. No cell phone service, I'll try later.
LAVANDERA (on-camera): You learned your lesson?
LAVANDERA: I'm glad -
LAVANDERA (voice-over): Ed Lavandera, CNN, Goodland, Florida.
GORANI: Hundreds of thousands of Rohingya are running from violence and persecution in Myanmar. We will hear some of their desperate stories
GORANI: More than 370,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled the recent government crackdown in Myanmar. That number is hard to get your head around, but
this story is really about individual human tragedies multiplied. A woman who can't feed her newborn, whole families who don't know where they'll get
their next meal.
Alexandra Field brings us just some of their stories.
ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The children are hung and showing signs of malnutrition and their mothers are heartbroken.
HASSINA BEGUM, ROHINGYA REFUGEE (through translator): My newborn hasn't had anything to eat as I'm unable to breastfeed. She's suffering from
malnutrition and we haven't received any medical support or treatment. So, we're in a really dangerous situation.
[15:50:03] Hassina's baby was 12 days old when the family left everything behind, fleeing a violent military crackdown in Myanmar.
FIELD: An eight-day journey brought them to Bangladesh where they have practically nothing.
BEGUM (through translator): We have been living outside of the for five days. We have been waiting. No one has given us any shelter or support.
We're living in a very miserable condition.
FIELD: Hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims have raced across the border into Bangladesh in two weeks.
They have been met with aid groups underprepared to help them.
LUC CHAUVIN, UNICIEF EMERGENCY CHIEF IN SOUTH ASIA: So, all humanitarian agencies are struggling with the increased number of refugees coming every
day. And, therefore, we need to scale up our operations massively across all sectors - in health, in nutrition, water and sanitation, in education,
FIELD: Refugees tell CNN the camps are already full.
ALI ULLAH, ROHINGYA REFUGEE: We have only just arrived here. The military came into our village. They were slaughtering us and setting fire to our
houses, so we had to leave.
FIELD: Myanmar has said it's engaging in "clearance operations," following an attack by Rohingya militants that left 12 security officers dead.
ULLAH: It taken us seven days to get here and we crossed the border by boat. If the military had seen us, they would have shot us.
FIELD: A week ago, this was a forest. The Rohingya cleared it. The muddy banks are now a settlement for 100,000 of them.
Even newer arrivals are living on the roadside.
FAISAL ISLAM, ROHINGYA REFUGEE: It is very uncomfortable here. I cannot describe how horrible it is, but there is nowhere else, so we have to stay
FIELD: A local farmer tells us he has taken in eight Rohingya families who have nowhere to go and no way to live, including this man, Sayed Amin.
SAYED AMIN, ROHINGYA REFUGEE: We need support from international organizations and from the world. There are too many offers for the
Bangladeshis alone to be helping us.
FIELD: His family has shelter, some food and water now. The rest are waiting.
Alexandra Field, CNN.
GORANI: Rupert Murdoch's dream takeover of Sky TV has been put on ice by the British government. The country's culture secretary says she's
ordering an extensive review of the $15 billion deal over concerns it could give the Murdochs too much sway over Britain's media. She is also worried,
she says, about broadcasting standards.
Let's go live to our senior media correspondent Brian Stelter. So, this is a real setback, isn't it, for the Murdochs?
BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: It is. And this is looking more and more likely that this deal will not actually go through. The Sky
purchase - the takeover of Sky by the Murdochs may not actually ever happen.
Now, 21st Century Fox is still expressing confidence. They say they're looking now toward mid-2018, believing the deal will get through at that
point. But there has been setback after setback for the Murdochs as they try to take over all of Sky Broadcast.
And this has been a dream of Rupert Murdoch for some time. You'll recall the last time he tried to buy the rest of sky, it was derailed, partly
because of the phone hacking scandal.
Now, it's concerns about Fox News in the United States, about scandals of Fox News that are partly to blame for this latest delay. This deal now
being referred over to the Competitions and Market Authority, which will take a multi-month look at broadcasting standards by the Murdochs.
[15:55:11] GORANI: So, you're saying what's happening in the United States is perhaps being looked at by British authorities. And one of the concerns
was over media plurality, the government is saying, that we don't want the Murdochs to have - and their media empire to have too much control.
Talk to us about how perhaps that might have had an impact on the decision- making process in the UK.
STELTER: Right. Those concerns about consolidation were something that I think have been haunting this deal for a while. The idea the Murdochs
would own even more control, even more of the British media market.
At the same time, this broadcast standards issue has cropped up in recent months due to lawsuits against Fox News in the United States, questions
about how cozy Fox News is to the Trump administration.
So, Karen Bradley today saying that needs to be investigated as well to review whether the Murdochs would be proper owners of the rest of Sky.
By the way, this is happening at the same time that the Murdochs think the real threat they face is from the Googles and Apples of the world, much
bigger media companies, much bigger companies at all than 21st Century Fox is.
But I think it's understandable, whether in Britain or the United States and other countries, the regulators have concerns about media consolidation
and want to think very carefully about allowing a media mogul like Rupert Murdoch to own even more.
GORANI: All right. Thanks very much, Brian Stelter. I wish we could speak more about it. Thanks for joining us there. A setback for the
Murdochs. Still, obviously, one of the most powerful media companies in the world, with a lot of influence in the United States and elsewhere.
Check out our Facebook page, facebook.com/HalaGoraniCNN. There is going to be a lot more ahead here on CNN. More on the destruction caused by
Hurricane Irma, specifically in the Caribbean Islands. We saw some of those devastating images, but also the Florida Keys. Twenty-five percent
of homes destroyed there. Do stay with CNN for that.
I'm Hala Gorani. I'll see you same time same place tomorrow. "Qwest Means Business" is coming up.