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CNN NEWSROOM

Hurricane Nate Heads for Florida; Trump White House; Las Vegas Shooting; Catalonia Crisis; Challenges for U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May; Saudis Reject Blame for Child Deaths in Yemen; Aid Pours in to Puerto Rico; Russian Trolls behind U.S. Protest; Harvey Weinstein to Take Leave over Harassment Claims; Las Vegas Cab Drivers Become Life Savers; Nobel Peace Prize to ICAN. Aired 5-6a ET

Aired October 7, 2017 - 05:00   ET

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


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NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): President Trump referred to a gathering of his military leaders as, quote, "maybe the calm before the storm." The White House trying to figure out what he meant by that.

And more disturbing details about the Las Vegas gunman; police say his car was loaded with explosives and ammunition. But they still don't have a clue to his motive.

These stores are all ahead here. We're live in Atlanta. Welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world, I'm Natalie Allen. CNN NEWSROOM starts right now.

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ALLEN: The U.S. Gulf Coast is steeling itself against Hurricane Nate, which is due to make landfall early Sunday. The storm has already caused extensive damage in Central America. As a tropical storm, Nate killed at least 24 people in Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Honduras.

You can see what it left behind there; heavy rains and flash floods knocked out power and drinking water throughout Central America. And hundreds of people have had to be rescued from all of that, those rushing floodwaters.

Meantime, authorities in the state of Louisiana are not taking any chances with Hurricane Nate. They're desperate to avoid a situation like the Florida nursing home that lost power after Hurricane Irma, where 12 people there died in the sweltering heat. The mayor of New Orleans is urging caretakers to get ready now.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MITCH LANDRIEU, MAYOR OF NEW ORLEANS: The city health department has been coordinating support to those in nursing homes to ensure that they have updated emergency plans, backup power and evacuation plans if needed. I want this to be set out very clearly to all of the nursing homes and all of the facilities in New Orleans that are caring for the elderly.

You are responsible for their safety. If you don't have a generator, go get one, if you do not have a generator, call us. We are working with you and we expect that evacuation plans will work, as you have told us that they will.

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ALLEN: The White House is shedding no light on a bizarre remark by the U.S. president. At a photo op Thursday with senior Pentagon leaders, Donald Trump suggested the gathering was, quote, "the calm before the storm," end quote. He offered no explanation of that.

Meantime, Rex Tillerson's job as --

[05:05:00]

ALLEN: -- secretary of state appears to hang in the balance after he apparently called President Trump "a moron." Here's CNN's Jim Acosta with the latest on all this.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JIM ACOSTA, CNN SR. WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): President Trump warns there's a storm brewing. But the White House won't say what the storm is or when it will hit.

SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, DEPUTY WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I know the president has, as I have from this podium on quite a few occasions, we're never going to say in advance what the president's going to do. And, as he said last night, in addition to those comments, you'll have to wait and see.

ACOSTA (voice-over): The White House refused to explain comments the president made next to military commanders and their family members Thursday night, a photo op that was hastily scheduled after reporters were told there would be no more public events for the day.

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It could be the calm before the storm.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What storm, Mr. President?

TRUMP: We have the world's great military people, I can tell you that. And thank you all for coming. Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What storm, Mr. President?

TRUMP: You'll find out.

ACOSTA (voice-over): Asked again what he meant, the president winked.

TRUMP: You'll find out. ACOSTA (voice-over): But press secretary Sarah Sanders hinted Mr. Trump may be adopting what's known in foreign policy circles as the madman theory, a strategy aimed at throwing off adversaries with cryptic language.

ACOSTA: What is your sense of that?

Is there anything to that?

SANDERS: I think the president's addressed this himself. He certainly doesn't want to lay out his game plan for our enemies. So if you're asking, is the president trying to do that, absolutely.

ACOSTA (voice-over): This is hardly the first time the president's theatrics have unsettled Washington, like his superheated rhetoric aimed at North Korea.

TRUMP: They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen.

ACOSTA (voice-over): But even members of the president's own party argue the White House needs less chaos, not more.

SEN. BOB CORKER (R-TENN.), CHAIRMAN, SENATE FOREIGN RELATIONS COMMITTEE: I think Secretary Tillerson, Secretary Mattis and chief of staff Kelly are those people that help separate our country from chaos.

ACOSTA (voice-over): The White House response to that?

SANDERS: The president is the one that's keeping the world from chaos.

ACOSTA (voice-over): For now the White House appears to be seeking stability at the State Department, where secretary of state Rex Tillerson seems to have the confidence of the president, at least for now. That's despite the fact that administration officials see Tillerson on his way out, after sources say he called the president "a moron."

SANDERS: Nothing has changed, despite what you may read in the media or watch on TV. I would certainly trust the president and my comments far above those of other reporters.

ACOSTA (voice-over): But with President Trump, a good rule is, expect the unexpected. Whether it's throwing paper towels to people in Puerto Rico or how he pronounces Puerto Rico...

TRUMP: We are also praying for the people of Puerto Rico. We love Puerto Rico.

(LAUGHTER)

TRUMP: Puerto.

ACOSTA: The White House was asked at the Friday briefing whether we should expect any cabinet departures, as it was the end of the week. The response from the press secretary of state, "I don't think so." That's as clear as it got -- Jim Acosta, CNN, the White House.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ALLEN: A short time ago, I spoke with Inderjeet Parmar of City University of London and I asked him what he thought about the president's cryptic remark about the calm before the storm.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

INDERJEET PARMAR, CITY UNIVERSITY LONDON: I think, you know, having observed President Trump and also candidate Trump before that, it's quite clear to me -- or it seems increasingly clear to me anyway -- is that he plays a kind of three-level game, if you like.

One is centered entirely around him. That is he wants to be the center of every story. And I think that's part of his personal style. And he likes to keep people guessing. Therefore the attention stays on him.

I think the second thing, of course, particularly in regard to North Korea but more broadly as well, there's an actual split within the White House and its various departments, particularly the Pentagon and State Department and the presidency, about diplomacy versus military action and possibly war, especially in regard to North Korea.

I think there's a genuine split there and I think that plays to a kind of broader set of strategies, which is that I think President Trump does not want the United States to have any kind of international constraints by any other agreements or institutions or norms. And I think he wants a kind of hypernationalist American power to be active in the world.

So I think those three things together, I think, help us to understand more clearly the strategies that President Trump seems to be following.

ALLEN: And is that something that causes more understanding, more clarity?

[05:10:00]

Or is it about what Sarah Sanders says, this president's not creating the chaos, as she said, he is keeping the chaos at bay?

Do you believe that?

PARMAR: Well, I think there is chaos, actually. I think there's increasing, if you like, unraveling in the world. The old way, these established powers of the West and the United States, are being increasingly challenged by other states, which have become increasingly powerful and more assertive and also by non-state actors and large swaths of global population as well, because of the whole kind of financial position that people find themselves in. So there's a degree of unraveling that is change. And I think every

president really in the last 10, 20 years, has been trying to deal with that in various ways.

And I think now, President Trump has his own particular way and it seems to be that the hypernationalism, which says that we do not want to be constrained by international norms or agreements or institutions and so on, I think that is one of the hallmarks of this presidency.

And you can see that in the fact that America withdrew from the climate accord. You can see that with the Iran nuclear agreement, where Iran is actually complying with the terms of the agreement but is still being sanctioned in various ways and rhetorically attacked.

So what we can see is, the United States, under President Trump, is being far more, if you like, hypernationalist than previous administrations have been able to do.

ALLEN: One can argue, he steps away from the things that President Obama, his predecessor, put in place and then kind of circles back around to it in a certain way.

But I want to get to Rex Tillerson because it almost appears the U.S. president and his secretary of state aren't on the same team. I want to ask you what you make of it.

Fareed Zakaria said earlier on CNN, he likened it to President Trump is in the bleachers, commenting on what's going on down on the field, in the game, when he related the secretary's work to defuse the North Korea nuclear threat while he was in Asia.

PARMAR: Yes, well, I think that goes back to the original point and that is, there are various strategies one can follow. I think the end point of diplomacy, as championed by Rex Tillerson and, to some extent, Jim Mattis, and the sort of military option, I think the end point of both of those strategies is the same, a denuclearized North Korea.

So in a way I think both are on the same page in that regard. However, the option that President Trump appears to be favoring, of war or some other kind of military action, is far more risky.

And I think the diplomatic sort of people within the White House, I think they are chafing at the undermining of their efforts to try to come to some sort of a peaceful conclusion to this whole issue with North Korea.

And I think President Trump tends to undermine that. He may well argue because he takes a hard military line, that actually North Korea will be more worried and, therefore, more likely to come to the negotiating table.

The problem with this is that the United States is gearing up for some kind of military action and that could then bring in China to that as well. So it's a very, very risky strategy at a time when the world is on the brink of very many great conflicts and disasters. And it would seem to be that this heightens that risk even more.

And many people would argue this probably is very highly irresponsible.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ALLEN: Inderjeet Parmar talking with me last hour.

In the state of Nevada, authorities are still hunting for a motive in the Las Vegas shooting.

Why did he do it?

The gunman had explosives in his car when he shot and killed 58 people. But officials say they haven't found a link between Stephen Paddock and terror groups. Our Brian Todd has more on the investigation.

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BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: As Stephen Paddock was raining gunfire down onto the crowd at the Route 91 harvest festival, his 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Touring, like this one, was parked nearby, filled with explosives.

A law enforcement source tells CNN's Kyung Lah and Scott Glover that the 64-year old had filled his car with 50 pounds of Tannerite and then rigged it to explode if shot, an explosion that could have been deadly, as these tests of exploding target compounds show.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's composed of two substances. We had two chemicals of ammonium nitrate and aluminum powder that, when combined, make the finished product of Tannerite. Sorry to tell you I don't know what he was going to do with all of that Tannerite.

TODD (voice-over): While it's not clear if Paddock rigged the car as a diversion or a final trap for police, there's new information about the precision with which he planned to kill.

CNN has learned from a law enforcement official briefed on the investigation that Paddock tried to buy tracer ammunition at a Phoenix gun show in recent weeks. But the official says, for some reason, Paddock could not obtain those bullets which light up in the dark.

TODD: If he could have gotten tracer --

[05:15:00]

TODD: -- ammunition, what would have been different with the attack?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The first thing tracer ammunition does for a shooter, it allows them to get onto target in low-light conditions much more quickly than they might otherwise. So in his particular case, he would have been able to see pretty much where the strike of his bullets were landing within the crowd. TODD (voice-over): Former Las Vegas SWAT team member Chris Petco (ph), who was also a Marine machine gunner, says tracer bullets could have made the casualty count worse.

A law enforcement official said, with the ammunition he did use, while shooting in darkness, Paddock was probably just spraying bullets and couldn't see the people he was hitting.

Experts say investigators may be focusing on Paddock's chilling attention to detail leading up to the massacre, planning which seems to have gone beyond what police call meticulous. He brought 23 guns to his room in suitcases, undetected; carefully assembled them and stacked his clips of ammo neatly against a column.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He had many layers of redundancy built up. And you can view simply the number of weapons that he had available to him, really, to underscore the intent that he had to inflict the maximum amount of damage.

TODD (voice-over): Paddock took the time to barricade the stairwell door next to his room, painstakingly rigged cameras to a service cart near the entrance to his suite and to a peephole in the door.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was planning a preparation because, at some point, he had to know they were going to come for him. That way he'd be able to address that threat.

TODD (voice-over): Officials tell CNN there was a note in his hotel suite, seen here in this photograph, leaked to the "Daily Mail," not a suicide note but a sheet containing numbers, now being analyzed.

Authorities are looking into what might have changed last October, when he began buying many weapons. But his motive remains unclear, as does his mental state.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think the girlfriend is the key part here, to provide information on what his mental state was. Hopefully, through the electronics and through the girlfriend, they're going to find out exactly what that is or what his motive was.

A key question remains: were there any accomplices in Las Vegas with Stephen Paddock?

TODD: The undersheriff says they continue to investigate whether anyone might have known about this attack before it occurred, that they're examining voluminous amounts of videotape, including some from the Mandalay Bay hotel, and that, so far, they have not located anyone else who they believe might be a suspect -- Brian Todd, CNN, Las Vegas.

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ALLEN: And again, this killer was a multimillionaire, money he made from professional gambling.

Catalonia's bid for independence takes another unexpected turn. Why the regent's police chief spent the day in a Spanish court. We'll have a live report from our Atika Shubert right after this.

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ALLEN: And welcome back.

For the first time, Madrid is apologizing for the violence surrounding Catalonia's independence vote. Nearly 900 people were injured during polling activities, according to Catalan officials. Despite the apology, the standoff between Spain and Catalonia is far from over.

Right here, you can see police putting up barricades around the building where Catalonia's parliament will meet Thursday to discuss the region's future.

Our Atika Shubert joins us live from Barcelona, outside of the Catalan government building.

More protests are expected today; hopefully, we won't see the heavy- handedness by the police that we have seen before.

ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: No, I don't think we will. The rally today is really aimed towards dialogue. You can see behind me, it hasn't started yet, people are sort of trickling in. You see the white balloons and the white outfits; I see a man with a T-shirt that says, "Dialogue, please."

The movement today is very much about trying to bridge the difference between the two sides here. Some people here voted for independence; others have voted blank. That's the white there. Those are people who said I'm not sure I want independence here for Catalonia yet but what I do want is the right to vote.

And that's what this protest here today is about, is getting that dialogue out there, finding some way to break through this political impasse. At the moment, it seems to be at a bit of a lull. But it's still very much a standoff. And neither side, neither the Catalonian government or the Spanish national government is giving in at this point.

ALLEN: Yes, and more demonstrations are expected. People aren't just going to sit around and wait for something to happen.

They're taking streets still, right?

SHUBERT: Absolutely. I mean, the movement today is really about saying, listen, we're not 100 percent pure the political leaders are leading us in the right direction. Let's create a grassroots movement so we, in the community, can come together and find some dialogue, some solution. But tomorrow, there's likely to be a pro-unity protest, a protest in

support of union with the Spanish national government. So that could be a little trickier tomorrow.

And of course, all of this leads up to whether or not there will in fact be a plenary session on Tuesday by the Catalonian parliament. That is when, if there is to be any declaration of independence, that is when possibly the president Carles Puigdemont would make that announcement. It's still very unclear; we don't know if that's going to happen but that's what this is leading up to -- Natalie.

ALLEN: All right, Atika Shubert, coverage if for us, live from Barcelona, thank you, Atika.

We turn to Venezuela now, where opposition leaders say the balance sheet for upcoming regional elections is unfair. They say the pro- government election board is trying to skew the election to favor president Nicolas Maduro's ruling Socialists by including the names of candidates defeated in primaries.

Elections for governors are October 15th. Socialists now hold 20 of the 23 posts.

Brexit talks, calls for a leadership change and what some see as a crisis of confidence, just a few of the challenges facing British prime minister Theresa May. And it may only be the beginning. This is our CNN Nina dos Santos from London.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

THERESA MAY, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: Our economy is back on track.

NINA DOS SANTOS, CNNMONEY EUROPE EDITOR: The stuttering performance of the British prime minister at the Conservative Party conference is viewed by many as a symptom of a deeper malaise, a crisis of confidence in the British government, triggered by a disastrous election, which cost the Conservative Party its majority and left some to suggest Theresa May is in office but not in power.

Now word that 30 of her own MPs would back a call for her to stand down, that claim coming from the former co-chairman of the Conservative Party Grant Shatt (ph), the public face of this rebellion; 48 MPs are needed to trigger her removal.

Today, Theresa May moved to steady the ship.

MAY: What I think is necessary for the country now, what the country needs is calm leadership. That's exactly what I'm providing and I'm providing that with the full support of my cabinet. Thank you.

DOS SANTOS (voice-over): But this call for calm, like the falling letter behind her confidence backdrop as she delivered her speech --

[05:25:00]

DOS SANTOS (voice-over): -- is not a good look for the prime minister.

And the timing is terrible: with Brexit negotiations set to continue on Monday, the prime minister's weakness cannot have escaped the notice of E.U. negotiators or of the markets, with the pound having its worst week in a year.

The prime minister had hoped that a mea culpa over her decision to call a snap election would have turned the tide on her fortunes but to no avail.

MAY: I hold my hands up for that. I take responsibility. I led the campaign and I am sorry.

DOS SANTOS: There is one saving grace for Theresa May, that's the fact that, faced with a resurgent Labour and opposition, her party will do all it can to avoid triggering a general election. So until its members can fix on a suitable successor, it's likely that she may limp on a little while longer -- Nina dos Santos, CNN, at Westminster in London.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ALLEN: Another update of our top stories coming up here. We're following the quick-moving Hurricane Nate as it barrels towards the U.S. Gulf Coast.

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ALLEN: U.S. aid is pouring into storm-ravaged Puerto Rico finally. Coming up here, we'll tell you how one remote town is coping.

Plus, how fake news generated from deep inside Russia spawned an anti- Muslim protest deep in the heart of Texas.

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ALLEN: Welcome back to our viewers here in the United States and all around the world, you're watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Atlanta. I'm Natalie Allen. Here are our top stories.

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[05:30:00]

ALLEN: Saudi Arabia is firing back against a new report that blamed the kingdom for allegedly committing crimes against children in its war in Yemen. The U.N.'s annual Children in War report says Saudi-led airstrikes have killed or wounded more than 600 children and targeted schools and hospitals. But Saudi Arabia says that simply isn't true.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We reject the inaccurate and misleading information and figures contained in the report. And we express our strong reservation with respect to this information.

At the same time, we reaffirm the kingdom's Saudi Arabia's and the members of the coalition respect for, commitment to and compliance with all our obligations under the rules and principles of international law, international humanitarian law and international human rights law.

We exercise the maximum degree of care and precaution to avoid civilian harm.

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ALLEN: The ongoing war in Yemen between the Saudi-backed coalition and Iranian-backed Houthi rebels has killed thousands of civilians. Each side blames the other for war crimes.

U.S. vice president Mike Pence toured Puerto Rico Friday after Hurricane Maria ravaged the island two weeks ago. He was confronted by a resident angry over the federal government's slow response to the crisis. Here it is.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're going to help us, it's got to be now. And I know FEMA, you know, you got the papers. We need more people, we need communications, Mr. Vice President. And so, thank you for coming. But may this be of help because, right now, we are all wet, I'm a little bit angry, Mr. Vice President.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ALLEN: A short time later, Pence told reporters it will take time to rebuild Puerto Rico.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We understand the frustration. When you think of the sheer magnitude of the loss, the impact on families, the loss of life being the most grievous.

But with so many homes impacted all across Puerto Rico, our message here today is the same as President Trump's message earlier this week, that we're here for the long haul.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ALLEN: So many lives, of course, have changed in Puerto Rico since Hurricane Maria hit. Our Leyla Santiago visited the small town of Lares to see how residents there are coping now.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

LEYLA SANTIAGO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: These winds are nothing compared to Maria's wrath for the people of Lares. This time, they're a sign that help has arrived.

Half an hour earlier, Customs and Border Protection agents deployed from San Juan, two and a half weeks after the storm, to deliver FEMA's aid to hurricane survivors in need.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE).

SANTIAGO: Why is this now going to go by air versus by land, for that place in particular?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's pretty far up the mountain. So it's a pretty good community and there's also a hospital there.

SANTIAGO (voice-over): This team has been flying over hurricane devastation for weeks.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know, we did Harvey and Irma. And I think the thing that's striking is how much, on a larger scale this is, compared to those. They seem to be a little more isolated and this seems like the entire island was really devastated.

SANTIAGO (voice-over): Wheels touch down, engines do not stop. Unloading begins. Ten minutes on the ground.

As soon as we arrived, police officers arrived, firefighters arrived. People from the municipality, social services. They tell me that some of this will be --

[05:35:00]

SANTIAGO (voice-over): -- delivered straight to the municipality people in areas that haven't been able to get out. And some of it will be delivered to the hospital.

This river flooded the hospital the day after Maria struck.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So we've been a couple weeks without power.

SANTIAGO (voice-over): Dr. Adrian Gonzalez says half the supplies coming in are from FEMA.

Do you feel that the federal government is doing enough to help you?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I do, I do.

SANTIAGO (voice-over): In this remote mountainside community, rooted in Puerto Rican pride, the recovery mission has only just begun. The winds of hope have arrived in Lares. FEMA is bringing help, now with a sense of urgency -- Leyla Santiago, CNN, Lares, Puerto Rico.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ALLEN: In Denmark, police say there's been a gruesome discovery in the death of Kim Valle. The head and legs of the Swedish journalist have been found in a bag by divers. Another bag containing her clothing and a knife was also found. Valle went missing last August after boarding a privately built submarine. She was on a story.

A torso that washed up on Copenhagen matched her DNA. And the submarine's inventor-owner has been charged in her death.

We've heard many times from U.S. officials that Russia meddled in last year's presidential election. Now we're learning more about the tactics they used and just how effective they were. Clare Sebastian looks at a protest that took place in Texas but it all originated in Russia.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The small group of anti-Muslim protesters gathers outside an Islamic center in Houston, Texas, in May of 2016.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Down with the Nazis!

SEBASTIAN (voice-over): A much larger counter rally forms across the street. Just another example of the struggle for tolerance and understanding in America.

And yet this is different. The anti-Muslim protesters were responding to an event promoted on Facebook, called Stop Islamization of Texas, it was organized by a Facebook group named Heart of Texas.

Heart of Texas, according to sources with knowledge of the matter, is among 470 fake pages or accounts Facebook turned over to Congress following its investigations into ads generated by Russia.

Ads Facebook said came from an organization called Internet Research Agency, that according to people who worked there, operated out of this building in St. Petersburg, 55 savage in the streets (ph), more than 5,000 miles from Texas.

The Houston rally, an example of a Russian effort that had real impact on the ground.

While the stated mission of Heart of Texas was to promote Texans' secessionism, CNN has recovered parts of the account that suggest sowing religious, racial and social discord was also part of its playbook.

One post asks, "Since when has this country turned into a liberal cesspool full of all sorts of ethnic and sexual minorities??

Another raises the issue of voter fraud and another argues against gun control.

The Houston rally was small and ended peacefully, according to the Houston Police Department and yet the Council of American Islamic Relations in Texas had alerted the FBI after a post on the Facebook event page threatened to, quote, "blow this place up." Fear and divisions on the streets of Houston, engineered from Russia -- Clare Sebastian, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ALLEN: A new rule from the Trump administration means that many women may no longer have access to free birth control through their employer's insurance. CNN White House correspondent Kaitlan Collins has the details.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We're seeing the Trump administration essentially walk back this mandate. This is an Obama- era rule, that required employers to provide women with birth control through their health insurance.

But with this new rule, it grants broad exemptions to companies that say they have a moral or religious problem to doing just that. So to put it bluntly, non-profits, private firms and these publicly traded companies can now stop offering free birth control through health insurance if they have, quote, "sincerely held religious beliefs."

This is something Trump promised to religion groups when he was a candidate on the campaign trail that he would do. We heard press secretary Sarah Sanders defend it at the briefing at the White House.

Listen.

SANDERS: The president believes that the freedom to practice one's faith is a fundamental right in this country. And I think all of us do. And that's all that today was about. Our federal government should always protect that right. And as long as Donald Trump is president, he will.

COLLINS: That Obama-era rule was something that religious conservative groups pushed back against ever since it was first implemented.

[05:40:00]

COLLINS: And as you can see from Sanders' comments there, it's something the White House is framing as a big win for religious liberty.

But this rule is certain to see some pushback from groups. We've already heard from the American Congress for Obstetricians and Gynecologists, who had some really powerful language about this rule, saying that the Health and Human Services leaders under this current administration are, quote, "focused on turning back the clock on women's health."

On the other side of the spectrum, we have House Speaker Paul Ryan, who said it was a landmark day for religious liberty. But what we know for certain, it's certain to end up in the courts. Several groups have already threatened to file lawsuits over it -- Kaitlan Collins, CNN, Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE) ALLEN: The board of Harvey Weinstein's company says it backs his

decision to take an indefinite leave of absence; this, after "The New York Times" reported numerous allegations of sexual harassment against the powerful movie producer.

Weinstein is co-chairman of The Weinstein Company, which is behind Oscar-winning films including "Silver Linings Playbook" and "The King's Speech." In a statement, he says he's tackling his issues. His adviser, Lisa Bloom, spoke about that with CNN's Richard Quest.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LISA BLOOM, ATTORNEY: I will tell you that, as a very real human being today, Harvey takes this very seriously. And that's why he's issued this very broad statement, sincerely apologizing, offering to meet with any of the women, with me present, if they would like to.

If they want him to go jump in a lake, then that's fine, too. He's not going to attack or demean any of his accusers. He's going to try to work on himself. And I think that's admirable, you might not like all the things that he's done.

I don't like some of the things that are alleged but I think what he's trying to do now is a good model for anybody who's been caught up in something like this.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ALLEN: Well, the allegations against him by many women go back many, many years.

A short break here. When we come back, from cab driver to lifesaver, how a fleet of taxis stepped in and saved countless lives in the Las Vegas shooting.

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ALLEN: In Nevada, people continue to pay tribute to the victims of the Las Vegas shooting.

This was the scene Friday near the Mandalay Bay hotel, mourners placing flowers and cards to honor the dead; 58 people were killed when a gunman inexplicably opened fire from his hotel room Sunday. There's no motive right now why he did that but he made it the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. But tales of heroism continue to emerge. Here's another from CNN's Stephanie Elam.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Fireworks, that's what cab driver Winifredo Maquindane (ph) thought he heard as he waited to pick up a fare at Mandalay Bay Sunday.

WINIFREDO MAQUINDANE (PH), CAB DRIVER: A (INAUDIBLE) fire, rapid fire.

ELAM (voice-over): With bullets still flying, Maquindane (ph) drove across the street to help.

MAQUINDANE (PH): I said, oh my God, it's like a war zone. Everybody was screaming, panic, crying, people on the ground. I see a lot of wounds. Hit in the back, in the head.

ELAM (voice-over): People crowded around him, banging on the car, begging for help.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can you please come to the corner?

Can you please come to the corner?

To the corner, I got a guy shot in the corner. (INAUDIBLE).

ELAM (voice-over): So Maquindane (ph) jumped out and opened his doors, rescuing six people, all of them shot.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Go, go, go, go, go!

ELAM: What kind of wounds did you see?

MAQUINDANE (PH): Really bad. The ones in the back, one in the neck. I don't know if he's alive now. He was telling me, he's dying, he's dying, while I'm driving.

ELAM (voice-over): Maquindane (ph) rushed his wounded passengers to Sunrise Hospital.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE).

ELAM (voice-over): Not knowing any of their names, he still has no idea if they are alive.

ELAM: Does it weigh on you that you don't know what happened to them?

MAQUINDANE (PH): Sometimes you cannot sleep, thinking about what's going on (INAUDIBLE).

ELAM (voice-over): Like Maquindane (ph), many others raced to the scene to help. Transporting wounded, who were also left wondering who came to their aid.

Rocky Palermo tells Erin Burnett how someone selflessly helped him after he was shot.

ROCKY PALERMO, VICTIM: Somebody stopped in the car, there was already four people in the vehicle, there wasn't enough room for me. Somebody gave up their seat. They weren't injured.

Someone gave up their seat for a complete stranger to go in there to take that seat. If it wasn't for all that happening, we wouldn't have been having this conversation at all.

ELAM (voice-over): Another taxi driver, Cory Langdon (ph), was also at Mandalay when the mayhem began. People started jumping into her car.

CORINNE LANGDON, CAB DRIVER: They said, go, go, go just go, go. There's an active shooter. There's people dead everywhere. And then suddenly all these other people started trying to get into my cab. And I think I had at least, like, five or six people in my car. And so I said, OK, nobody else, nobody else.

ELAM (voice-over): For Maquindane (ph), there was no choice, he had to help.

MAQUINDANE (PH): I'm just a human being. I need (INAUDIBLE) I need to help these people. I look around, there's nobody else.

ELAM (voice-over): Stephanie Elam, Las Vegas, Nevada.

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ALLEN (voice-over): If you'd like to find ways to help the victims of the Las Vegas shooting, you can go to our website, cnn.com/impact. And we'll be right back.

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ALLEN: If you're shopping for a vehicle, we have a couple new high- tech vehicles about to be rolled out.

General Motors will unveil a self-driving hydrogen-powered army truck next week. It's designed to hold cargo or other vehicles. GM says it can be useful in disaster zones or in areas of conflict. It can also be fitted with a cab for a human driver. Imagine that.

And Tesla is supposed to be rolling out an electric semi-truck. But there are snags. The rollout was scheduled for later this month. Tesla founder Elon Musk said the unveiling now won't happen until mid- November. Tesla has missed production goals in the past.

While the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize winner was announced Friday, it went to the organization which the Nobel Committee says worked to draw attention to the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons.

As CNN's Diana Magnay reports, it's especially timely given today's political climate.

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DIANA MAGNAY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Not since the Cold War has the threat for nuclear weapons seemed so acute. North Korea's young leader dangerous flippant with his nuclear threats; the U.S. president worrying belligerent in his response.

And now the talk from Washington that he might scupper the Iran deal struck in July 2015 in a bid to curb Iran's nuclear weapons program. Perhaps that what's he meant on Thursday by this.

(BEGIN VIDEOCLIP)

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The calm before the storm.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What storm, Mr. President?

TRUMP: You'll find out.

(END VIDEOCLIP)

MAGNAY (voice-over): The Iran deal's key architect had been hot favorites to win this year's Nobel Peace Prize.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The Nobel Peace Prize for 2017 --

MAGNAY (voice-over): It went instead to the little-known International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons or ICAN, an international coalition of NGOs in more than 100 countries, working toward a ban on nuclear weapons.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE) all nuclear-armed states and all states that continue to rely on nuclear weapons for security, that it is unacceptable behavior. We will not support it. We will not make excuses for it.

You can't threaten to indiscriminately slaughter hundreds of thousands of civilians in the name of security.

MAGNAY (voice-over): This prize, a recognition of ICAN's work, pushing for a --

[05:55:00]

MAGNAY (voice-over): -- treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons adopted by 122 nations at the U.N. in July. The world's nine nuclear states, including the U.S. and some of their key allies, refusing to sign.

The prize today, said the executive director of ICAN, a tribute to the survivors of Nagasaki and Hiroshima and to the victims of nuclear testing all around the world and a rebuke to nuclear powers.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The first step to addressing North Korea is to also stop behaving in the same way.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) to come forward --

MAGNAY (voice-over): The Nobel Committee has honored the notion of a world free of nuclear weapons before awarding the prize in 2005 to the International Atomic Energy Agency, the IAEA, for its efforts to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons.

This year's winner, a clear message from the committee that they believe an outright ban, not a nuclear deterrent, will better safeguard peace -- Diana Magnay, CNN, London.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ALLEN: We'll end on that one. Thanks for watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Natalie Allen. "NEW DAY" is next for viewers in the U.S. For everyone else around the world, stay with us for "AMANPOUR."