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Iran Nuclear Deal; Russia Investigation; Taliban Captured Family Returns to Canada; California Fires; Puerto Ricans without Water; Harvey Weinstein Hollywood Scandal; Boxing Seniors Fight Back against Old Age. Aired 4-5a ET
Aired October 14, 2017 - 04:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CYRIL VANIER, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): U.S. President Donald Trump puts the future of the Iran nuclear deal in doubt. He says Washington will pull out of the agreement if Congress and U.S. allies don't take a harder line.
NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Former White House chief of staff Reince Priebus is interviewed by special counsel Robert Mueller. More interviews with other former and current White House officials are expected.
VANIER (voice-over): And firefighters in California report some progress as they battle the deadliest fires in the state's history. But there are fears that strong winds on Saturday will allow the fires to spread further.
ALLEN (voice-over): It's just surreal what is happening there.
Welcome to our viewers here in the United States and all around the world. I'm Natalie Allen.
VANIER (voice-over): And I'm Cyril Vanier. This is CNN NEWSROOM from Atlanta.
VANIER: Nine months after taking office, Donald Trump is aggressively dismantling what his predecessor, Barack Obama, accomplished during eight years. Against the advice of his own cabinet and key U.S. allies, the U.S. president on Friday declared Iran was no longer in compliance with the landmark nuclear deal negotiated during the Obama administration. The fate of that agreement is now uncertain.
ALLEN: Mr. Obama's signature health care law is also under fire. On Thursday, Mr. Trump ordered an end to government subsidies to help the poor buy health insurance. For more, here is CNN's Ryan Nobles.
RYAN NOBLES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Friday was promise-keeping day at the White House. And for the Trump administration, that meant going after some of Barack Obama's key accomplishments.
NOBLES (voice-over): President Trump is trying to make good on major campaign promises with two key policy moves that could have dramatic consequences.
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I am announcing a new strategy to address the full range of Iran's destructive actions.
NOBLES (voice-over): Mr. Trump unveiling a new approach to the nuclear agreement with Iran, decertifying the deal and forcing Congress to come up with a plan within 60 days.
TRUMP: We will not continue down a path whose predictable conclusion is more violence, more terror and the very real threat of Iran's nuclear breakout.
NOBLES (voice-over): In addition to forcing Congress to make the deal tougher, the president promised new economic sanctions and sanctions against Iran's Revolutionary Guard. He warned that if he doesn't like the congressional plan, he is prepared to pull out of the deal completely.
TRUMP: In the event we are not able to reach a solution working with Congress and our allies, then the agreement will be terminated.
NOBLES (voice-over): This warning matches the president's strong condemnation of the Iran deal on the campaign trail.
TRUMP: The Iran deal, forget about deals between countries. This is one of the dumbest contracts I've ever seen of any kind.
NOBLES (voice-over): But pulling out completely could potentially isolate the U.S. from key allies that support the Iran agreement. It also stands in contrast to the recommendations of the president's key advisers, like Defense Secretary James Mattis, who argued the U.S. is better off in the deal.
GEN. JAMES MATTIS, U.S. SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: Absent indications to the contrary, it is something the president should consider staying with.
NOBLES (voice-over): And it comes despite the fact that the administration concedes Iran has lived up to their end of the bargain.
REX TILLERSON, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: My view of the nuclear deal is they are in technical compliance of the nuclear arrangement.
NOBLES (voice-over): While the move may make U.S. allies and diplomats nervous, it will likely be welcomed by the president's supporters, enthusiastically cheered by his speech at the Conservative Value Voters Summit.
In addition to pointing to his plan with Iran, as an example of his attempt to make good on campaign promises, the president bragged about his decision to withhold cost sharing payments for insurance companies as the first step to repealing and replacing ObamaCare. Republicans have argued for some time that the payments to insurance
companies were unlawful. Today Mr. Trump argued the payments were just making insurance companies rich.
TRUMP: As far as the subsidies are concerned, I don't want to make the insurance companies rich.
NOBLES (voice-over): But Democrats contend the White House is purposely attempting to dismantle ObamaCare in an attempt to force Congress to take action, a move that could result in many Americans paying higher insurance rates.
Democratic leaders Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi called the move, quote, "a spiteful act of vast, pointless sabotage, leveled at working families and the middle class in every corner of America."
The president argues he's just following through on his campaign pledge.
TRUMP: In the last 10 months, we have followed through on one promise after another.
NOBLES: And it's not surprising President Trump is focusing on health care and Iran. If you paid attention to his campaign, a key theme was an implied promise that he was going to do everything he can to undo the Obama legacy. He is now taking direct aim at two of Barack Obama's most significant accomplishments -- Ryan Nobles, CNN, at the White House.
VANIER: Many U.S. allies reacted with dismay to Mr. Trump's decision on the Iran nuclear deal. They say they will continue to honor the international agreement.
ALLEN: Iran's leader went on television immediately after Mr. Trump's announcement. He suggested Mr. Trump had acted out of ignorance.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HASSAN ROUHANI, IRANIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): This is an international multilateral deal that has been ratified by the U.N. Security Council. It is a U.N. document.
Is it possible for a president to unilaterally decertify this important international deal?
Apparently he is not in the know.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VANIER: Well, President Trump's assessment that Iran is not complying with the deal conflicts with the view of international inspectors and his own secretary of state. The thorny issue now goes to the U.S. Congress. It has 60 days to pass tougher legislation toward Tehran that satisfies the president. That includes taking a harder line on Iran's ballistic missile program, which was not part of the original nuclear deal.
ALLEN: International reaction to President Trump's announcement has been swift. E.U. leaders are defending the current agreement and the U.K., Germany and France all say they are committed to the deal as is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FEDERICA MOGHERINI, E.U. HIGH REPRESENTATIVE FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS: It is not a bilateral agreement. It does not belong to any single country and it is not up to any single country to terminate it.
We cannot afford, as international community, as Europe for sure, to dismantle a nuclear agreement that is working and delivering, especially now.
BORIS JOHNSON, BRITISH FOREIGN MINISTER: And it is succeeding in stopping Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. And that is very important. It's a good thing for Iran and for the world.
We will work very hard to persuade our friends and partners in the U.S. Congress that we think the deal has value and there are many people in Congress who want to fix it, not nix it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VANIER: Other parties to the deal are Russia and China, who said they support the deal as is.
Russia's foreign ministry stated this, "Attempts to use such methods to solve foreign policy problems which will affect the fundamental security interests of other countries are doomed to failure."
ALLEN: But Israel and Saudi Arabia are supporting Mr. Trump's confrontational stance toward Tehran.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, PRIME MINISTER OF ISRAEL: President Trump has created an opportunity to fix this bad deal, to roll back Iran's impression and to confront its criminal support of terrorism.
That's why Israel embraces this opportunity and that's why every responsible government and any person concerned with the peace and security of the world should do so, as well.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ALLEN: Saudi Arabia's state news agency reported Riyadh welcomed Trump's strategy and said that lifting sanctions had allowed Iran to develop its ballistic missile program and destabilize the region.
VANIER: John Thomas is with us now, CNN political commentator and a Republican consultant.
John, Obama's legacy is being picked apart, quite clearly. The Iran deal may implode after what Mr. Trump said on Friday; the Affordable Care Act, the health care system in the U.S. is being dismantled, as well.
As a conservative, is this what you've been waiting for?
JOHN THOMAS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes, at last. Trump is starting to deliver on some of the promises that he made. But you've got to remember, this is what he campaigned on. He said that he was going to repeal and replace ObamaCare. We haven't quite gotten that but we're a step in the right direction.
He said not just that he was going decertify the Iran nuclear deal, he was going to rip it up. In fact, I think it was a contest in the Republican primary who was going to rip it up faster.
You're starting to get -- and, of course, he's going to bring the jobs back and make our economy grow again and we're starting to see the economy grow; unemployment numbers are low.
VANIER: Well, the economy had been growing for quite a while.
THOMAS: That's true but the unemployment numbers had been dropping.
VANIER: Also dropping for quite a while.
THOMAS: Consumer confidence is at a 13-year high today. The metrics are good. I'll give you credit in the sense that they were starting to go up at the end of Barack Obama's term. But they certainly have continued under Donald Trump.
So as a conservative, I'm happy to see this is a step in the right direction. But there are huge challenges still ahead and Trump doesn't have any major legislative wins like tax reform or health care. He has to get that done.
VANIER: Yes, he doesn't. Let me take both of those issues, the Iran deal and health care. First of all, the Iran deal. Mr. Trump wants a better nuclear deal with Iran. He wants to curb Iran's aggressive actions in the Middle East and its missile programs.
In other words, he wants to go -- he wants to look at Iran's behavior globally and he wants to make it more global than just a nuclear issue.
What if he can't get a better deal, though?
He's telling Congress, get a better deal with Iran. We got a terrible one.
What if he can't do that?
THOMAS: I think he ends up ripping up the deal and just going back to sanctions. I think that's what we end up seeing.
VANIER: And is that what you're happy with as a conservative?
THOMAS: I think what we've got now is such a dangerous deal. Trump calls it a bad deal but I think that really doesn't articulate what makes it bad.
What makes it bad is that we -- in my opinion, was that we gave Iran $150 billion back there, what Americans think are the number one sponsor of terrorism. So that's bad. And it really does nothing -- you know, our ability to understand if they're complying with the terms of the deal, meaning not making --
VANIER: Other parties to the deal say they are, France, the U.K., Germany, the E.U.
THOMAS: That's right. But most elected officials and senators, Rex Tillerson, obviously this current administration, thinks there's not enough teeth in the deal to certify whether or not they're actually complying so they want more teeth.
Then, of course, in a few years from now, we can't stop them from developing nukes. So for us, this is so dangerous. That's the issue. It's not just that we would like a better deal. It's that it's a dangerous deal and we've got to change it.
VANIER: All right. Health care, really quickly, ObamaCare -- here is a tweet by Donald Trump just a few hours ago.
"ObamaCare is causing such grief and tragedy for so many, it's being dismantled. But in the meantime, premiums and deductibles are way up."
For our international audience, that means how much it costs you to get health care in the United States.
So Mr. Trump is reintroducing cheaper insurance policies that also give you less coverage. They're cheaper for a reason.
That's good for you?
THOMAS: It is. I don't think as a male I need to be paying for female birth control and other things that don't apply to me. I think at the end of the day, the problem you're seeing so far with ObamaCare is premiums are going up and that's because there's a wide range of coverage being offered.
I think I should have the ability to buy the coverage that I want to cover the things that I want. I don't think I have to subsidize other people for things that I'm never going to use.
So I think it's a good thing. The current system we have under the Affordable Care Act is not working. Trump hasn't proposed a perfect solution. You can see we can't even get our own party to agree on it.
But we do need changes because I know, for instance, my premiums have almost had doubled here in California. And I don't think that's right, either.
VANIER: John, real quick, I want to hear your view on Mr. Trump's overall political strategy. He seems to be using the same tactic when it comes to immigration, when it comes to Iran, when it comes to health care.
He creates some degree of chaos or urgency and puts Congress in an uncomfortable position where they have to fix a problem because he's putting them on the brink. And he's done that for -- you know, he's started the clock ticking on DREAMers, on the Iran nuclear deal, on the health insurance market.
Is that what's going on?
Am I reading this right and is that a good strategy?
THOMAS: I think you're partially right. On the one hand, with DACA with the DREAMers, the president wants to see action on that. I don't think he wants to completely repeal DACA. He doesn't want to force all of these --
VANIER: But he started the clock ticking on the DREAMers and he laid that problem at the doorstep of Congress.
THOMAS: You're right. And he had to because, remember, he campaigned on fixing immigration, building that wall, repealing and replacing health care -- and the beautiful thing but also the problem about our government here is that the president has the power to authorize things and veto things but not the power to drive this legislation through Congress on his own. So he gets the conversation going.
Now you can say it means that he's created a crisis. I think he's just bringing up the things that need to be solved. And the real trouble here is that the Republicans can control all branches of federal government right now.
They should be working together. Speaker Ryan, Leader McConnell should have been working to solve DACA, should have been working to repeal and replace ObamaCare without Trump having to drive it from the top.
VANIER: John Thomas, thank you very much for coming on the show. Pleasure speaking with you today.
ALLEN: Another issue involving the U.S. government, the investigation into alleged Russian meddling and the 2016 election has taken another step forward.
VANIER: The special counsel's office interviewed former White House chief of staff Reince Priebus on Friday. Jim Sciutto tells us what that was about.
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF U.S. SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: We're learning that special counsel Robert Mueller's team has now interviewed Reince Priebus, the former chief of the staff to the president. This interview took place here in Washington at the offices of Robert
Mueller. Priebus' lawyer tells CNN that it was voluntary, he was happy to cooperate. But it shows this investigation is now extending to the most senior advisers to the president. Priebus is key not only because he was chief of staff until recently but he was the chairman of the Republican National Committee.
During the campaign in 2016 when Russian meddling in the election was taking place. The list does not end there. It is our understanding that the special counsel also wants to speak with the current communications director, Hope Hicks; the current White House counsel, Don McGann as well as former White House spokesman Sean Spicer.
Topics he's interested in looking into, the firing of James Comey, the FBI director; the firing of national security adviser Michael Flynn as well as a meeting on Air Force One that took place as "The New York Times" was first reporting, a meeting in June 2016 between Donald Trump Jr. and Russian lawyers, who were promising damaging information on Hillary Clinton.
All of this showing how seriously the special counsel is taking those various lines of investigation -- Jim Sciutto, CNN, Washington.
VANIER: A Taliban linked group is being accused of raping and authorizing the murder of a baby by the family that they held hostage for five years. Canadian Joshua Boyle and his American wife, Caitlan Coleman, were captured in 2012 while backpacking in Afghanistan.
ALLEN: Boyle and Coleman arrived in Canada Friday with three children after Pakistani forces freed them the day before. Boyle appeared angry and he accused his kidnappers of horrendous crimes.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOSHUA BOYLE, KIDNAP VICTIM: The stupidity and the evil of the Haqqani Networks, kidnapping of a pilgrim and his heavily pregnant wife, engaged in helping ordinary villagers in Taliban controlled regions of Afghanistan, was eclipsed only by the stupidity and the evil of authorizing the murder of my infant daughter, Martyr Boyle, as retaliation for my repeated refusal to accept an offer that the criminal miscreants of the Haqqani Network had made to me and the subsequent and the stupidity and evil of the subsequent rape of my wife, not as a lone action by one guard but assisted by the captain of the guard and supervised by the commandant, Abu Haja (ph) of the Haqqani Network. God willing, this litany of stupidity will be the epitaph of the Haqqani Network.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VANIER: Joshua Boyle speaking there in Toronto.
We're going to take a short break. When we come back, thousands of homes destroyed, hundreds of people missing. We'll have the latest on the deadly wildfires in Northern California. (MUSIC PLAYING)
VANIER: The wildfires in Northern California have wiped out thousands of buildings leaving scorched earth and rubble behind them. Nearly 90,000 hectares have burned since the fires erupted on Sunday and at least 36 people are dead.
ALLEN: Officials are now searching through the damage for hundreds of missing people but they are finding some bodies burned beyond recognition. Meantime, thousands of firefighters are making progress containing the fire. But officials warn strong winds could cause flames to spread over the weekend. CNN's Miguel Marquez has the latest for us.
MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Firefighters battling from the ground and the air. The weather, for now, cooperating. Crews finally getting the upper hand on fires that killed dozens, leveled entire neighborhoods and burned through nearly a quarter of a million acres.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Today, the weather is cooperating but we are going to go back into red flag again and that's going to be an issue that we will have to keep a close eye with low humidities (sic) and potentially wind for the next couple of days.
MARQUEZ (voice-over): The magnitude of the loss only grows. The Petaluma home of "Peanuts" creator Charles Schulz, destroyed along with all his personal memorabilia. His widow evacuated and survived.
The fire spared nothing, even a Santa Rosa fire station gutted. Crews now doubling efforts to cut lines, burn out brush and undergrowth and prepare for hot, dry winds in the days ahead.
ALLEN: And we're now getting harrowing video from the first night these fires raged. This bodycam footage released by the Sonoma County sheriff's office shows a deputy responding to the emergency. He runs through raining ash and drives through walls of flames as embers, as you can see right there -- my goodness, look at that -- fly off his car.
VANIER: Yes. And at one point, he rescues a woman from her burning home. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where are you at? UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right here.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Come on. Come on.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She's disabled.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right, all right, let me get her feet. Let me get her feet.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Her husband is right behind you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sheriff 1, 10-4, we're doing a carry out.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ready?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hold up, hold up, hold up. We have a house on fire.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You've got to get her out, you've got to get her out.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. Hold on. There we go. OK. Watch your leg, watch your leg, watch your leg. Watch your leg, watch your leg.
Sir! You've got to go.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VANIER: And that just shows you how dicey those situations can be, how touch and go those situations can be. Even the firefighter, when he got in the car, clearly he could have been trapped by the fires and by the embers.
ALLEN: A landmark deal to keep Iran from developing nuclear weapons now hangs in the balance. Still ahead here, we'll tell you the reaction in Tehran to President Trump's decision not to recertify the national agreement that Iran accepted just two years ago.
VANIER: Plus, actress Rose McGowan said Hollywood wouldn't listen when she tried to tell them about Harvey Weinstein's sexual assaults. Now she's speaking out louder than ever. Stay with us.
VANIER: Welcome back, everyone. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Cyril Vanier.
ALLEN: And I'm Natalie Allen. The headlines this hour:
(HEADLINES) ALLEN: President Trump's decision not to recertify the Iran nuclear deal was roundly condemned by Iranian leaders. That country's president suggested Mr. Trump is ignorant of how international agreements work.
VANIER: And it's not just Iranian leaders speaking out. Hardliners there say it proves the U.S. cannot be trusted. We get more from CNN's Frederik Pleitgen in Tehran.
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: President Trump's speech has caused a lot of anger and frustration, especially among those in power here in Iran. But also it has caused some reactions in the political sphere as well.
Iran's president Hassan Rouhani came out really very shortly after President Trump spoke and gave a speech of his own absolutely blasting the U.S. president, on the one hand saying the U.S. can't unilaterally leave the deal, because of course it's not a deal between Iran and the U.S. but between Iran, the U.S. and many other countries.
And on the other hand, also saying that Iran would stay within the nuclear agreement but also if the U.S. also plays its role as well and does not violate the terms of the agreement.
One of the other things that President Rouhani also said that's very important, he said that the speech that Trump gave today shows that, quote, "the U.S. government is against the Iranian people."
That, of course, playing to the fact that President Trump in his speech kept talking about the Iranian people being, quote, "oppressed," by what he calls "the regime" here in Tehran. It was a very fiery speech that Hassan Rouhani gave and certainly one that was watched by many people in this country.
When you look at the reactions we're seeing from ordinary Iranians, we spoke to both moderates and hardliners here in this country and among the moderates, especially, you could sense the disappointment that they feel that this new stance that the United States is showing.
Many of them had high hopes after the nuclear agreement of economic benefits because of the agreement, of an opening up towards the West and possibly even better relations with the United States.
On the other hand, you have the hardliners, who, at this point who are somewhat gloating about all this. They were always very critical of the nuclear agreement and now they're saying, look, we always told you the U.S. can't be trusted. And now this has been proven once again.
One of the other very, very important things that the Iranian government has said, not just President Rouhani but other government agencies as well is they've defended the Revolutionary Guard here in this country after the U.S. has declared it a terrorist organization at least by the U.S. Treasury. Many government agencies here in Tehran have come out and said that they believe the Revolutionary Guard is an integral part of this country and they certainly seem to be standing by it -- Fred Pleitgen, CNN, Tehran.
ALLEN: From Iran now to North Korea, President Trump's handling foreign policy is fueling plenty of critics, some are even from his own party. Senator Bob Corker has said before he didn't think secretary of state Rex Tillerson was getting the support he needed. Now he's taking that statement even further.
VANIER: On Friday, "The Washington Post" quoted the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, saying this, "You cannot publicly castrate your own secretary of state without giving yourself that binary choice. The tweets, yes, you raise tension in the region and it's very irresponsible.
"But it's the first part, the castration of Tillerson, that I am most exercised about."
ALLEN: Again, Iran is warning it may restart its nuclear program if the U.S. carries out its threat to pull out of the nuclear deal just ratified two years ago. Let's bring in Sanam Vakil, an associate fellow with the think tank, Chatham House, in London.
Thanks so much for joining us, Sanam. First of all, your response to Iran's Rouhani that the U.S. president did this out of ignorance and going against his top military advisers.
SANAM VAKIL, CHATHAM HOUSE: Yes. Well, the Iranian reaction was predicted to be strong. Trump's speech was very belligerent and very critical of the Rouhani regime. Without a doubt, this has opened Rouhani up to criticism within the country and will also allow him to be very forceful and push back.
ALLEN: The president made this move, saying Iran is no longer in compliance. World leaders disagree with that.
So one wonders, is this yet another move for him to just take away that which Barack Obama figured out and made happen and throw it back at Congress, to make it look different?
And if that is the case, what does that do to stabilization right now, vis-a-vis Iran and its nuclear program, since Iran is now threatening to proceed with it?
VAKIL: Well, the Iranians, I think, are also talking up their game in a way to pressure President Trump but also to rally the rest of the signatories of the nuclear agreement to its side.
Iran, it's not in its interest to restart its nuclear program. It needs to keep the economic incentives and international investment coming to Iran because that's a real part of Iran's compromises in this nuclear agreement. So if it does restart the nuclear program, it will shift all of the
rest of the signatories of the nuclear agreement into President Trump's camp. So they're both playing hardball against each other.
ALLEN: Yes. And it seems like this is another case, where you have world leaders kind of shaking their heads.
I'll let you get your earpiece in so you can hear me.
ALLEN: It's OK. This seems to be another case where world leaders are shaking their heads over the actions of this president and one wonders if his "make America great again," America first, is a destabilizer. The United States has always been one that ameliorates global crisis.
Do you think under this leadership it still can?
VAKIL: The problem with this deal is frankly that it is just a nuclear deal and the United States and Iran have never come to the table to talk about their larger issues. And until that happens, there will be long-term instability in the Middle East and there will be this tension that has the ability to spiral out.
And in the context of President Trump's America first agenda and putting American national interests ahead of the world's, we're going to have this ongoing instability, where the Iranian regime can capitalize on that and that is exactly what they're going to do going forward.
ALLEN: But beyond the United States and Tehran, who can step up and, you know, kind of secure this deal or, you know, get the United States to kind of look at it differently, if that's what needs to be done?
VAKIL: Well, I think both sides are really pushing on the European signatories as the deal; Federica Mogherini, the E.U. chief came out yesterday very strongly, pushing back against President Trump. And also the heads of state of Great Britain, France and Germany have spoken in favor of the deal.
So the onus is going to be on them to hold the deal together and to try to find points of resolution from the Iranian side and to protect the deal in order to keep Iran on board.
But at the same time, President Trump is putting great pressure on these leaders to push back on Iran's regional influence, its ballistic missile program and develop some greater cohesion over these issues and not let Iran get away with these things.
ALLEN: We appreciate you joining us, Sanam Vakil, with your analysis. Thank you.
VAKIL: Thank you.
VANIER: In Puerto Rico now, basic necessities are still hard to come by. More than a third of the island is without drinkable water.
ALLEN: It's hard to believe so long since the storm. Decimated infrastructure is isolating entire communities from the help they need. Some people are so desperate they're drinking water pumped from hazardous waste sites. Our Leyla Santiago is in San Juan.
LEYLA SANTIAGO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Three weeks after Hurricane Maria, much of Puerto Rico is still struggling to survive, 91 percent of the island still without power and a third are without fresh water.
REP. PAUL RYAN (R), HOUSE SPEAKER: First and foremost, a humanitarian disaster.
SANTIAGO (voice-over): House Speaker Paul Ryan witnessing the devastation today, his tone a stark contrast to President Trump.
TRUMP: I love Puerto Rico. We've done a great job in Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico has to get the infrastructure going.
SANTIAGO (voice-over): Earlier this week, President Trump tweeted a FEMA video, highlighting the government's relief efforts, saying, "No one could have done what I've done for Puerto Rico with so little appreciation. So much work."
But this is the reality on the ground: 45 minutes south of San Juan in Caguas (ph), the town's hospital evacuated when the generator failed. One of the doctors told us they are operating on a day-by-day basis without reliable power.
SANTIAGO: Do you think you'll get that help?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We hope so.
SANTIAGO: Do you need the help?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
SANTIAGO (voice-over): Eight-year-old Diego is lucky. He's getting off the island. A rare medical condition means life is particularly hard and Mom tells us he's running out of the medicine he needs to stay alive.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (Speaking Spanish).
SANTIAGO: She says yes, (INAUDIBLE) it it's tough to get this now, she can only imagine what it will be like in the few days and weeks, when there's less on the island.
SANTIAGO (voice-over): In the last 10 days, Florida says more than 36,000 people have fled there from Puerto Rico.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (Speaking Spanish). SANTIAGO (voice-over): Three-year-old Nayeli (ph) is from a mountain top community, will soon be one of them, another family torn apart by Maria.
Senate They're cousins and now they're going to be separated because she's going to Connecticut and she's going to Florida. Their parents are worried about the conditions here.
RYAN: We're in a crisis moment of making sure that lives are saved, that people are put out of harm's way, that hospitals are running, that water is flowing, that power is up and running.
SANTIAGO (voice-over): The government has a long way to go -- for water, for power, for a sense of normalcy to come back to the island of Puerto Rico -- Leyla Santiago, CNN, San Juan, Puerto Rico.
ALLEN: Unbelievable situation they face there.
Coming up here, Hollywood's most prestigious players will decide what to do about the fallen Harvey Weinstein.
ALLEN: The Motion Picture Academy will meet Saturday and possibly hold a vote to strip Harvey Weinstein of his membership. The Academy hosts the Oscars awards and there's reportedly a push within the group to remove him.
VANIER: And that would be a huge blow to Weinstein, who's already been fired from his job at his namesake company after widespread allegations of sexual misconduct.
ALLEN: Meantime, actors continue to raise their voices against Weinstein and against the culture of silence over sexual harassment in Hollywood. Here's Jason Carroll with more.
JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): For years, Rose McGowan was known for her hit TV series, "Charmed," and for her movies. But now the actress is in the spotlight for accusing former film executive Harvey Weinstein of sexual misconduct.
"The New York Times" reports that, in 1997, after McGowan appeared in the movie, "Scream," she reached a settlement with Weinstein after an alleged incident involving him in a hotel room. Weinstein denied any wrongdoing.
Over the years, McGowan has not kept quiet about the alleged assault but never named Weinstein. Her outrage coming to a head Thursday, when she took to Twitter, accusing Weinstein of raping her.
In a tweet to Amazon's chief, Jeff Bezos, McGowan said, "I told the head of your studio that HW raped me. He said it hadn't been proven. I said, I was the proof."
That unnamed head of Amazon Studios, Roy Price. Amazon released a statement saying Price is on leave of absence effective immediately. The move comes after a female producer lodged a complaint against Price.
McGowan's followers credit her for speaking out but the actress' prolific tweeting took a hit after Twitter temporarily suspended her account on Wednesday. It outraged her followers, the hashtag "WomenBoycottTwitter started trending and calls for no tweeting Friday to support McGowan.
A Twitter spokesperson says her page was not suspended because of her Weinstein rant but because she had violated their policy by posting a private phone number. Whatever the case, her account was restored the next day.
DEE POKU SPALDING, THE OTHER FESTIVAL: Now we have the power of social. We can rally communities around these issues very, very quickly. So that's really what Rose is doing.
CARROLL (voice-over): Dee Poku Spalding is a former Hollywood agent. She, like so many others in Hollywood, knew of Weinstein's behavior.
SPALDING: It was just a sort of an accepted evil.
CARROLL (voice-over): McGowan continues to shame those who she says allowed Weinstein's misconduct to continue for years, tweeting, "You all knew." And to use her platform to advocate for women, like acting legend Tippi Hedren of Hitchcock fame.
TIPPI HEDREN, ACTOR: Oh, I don't think it'll ever stop. I don't think it ever will.
CARROLL (voice-over): Hedren recounted her experiences of alleged sexual assault from director Alfred Hitchcock in her book, titled, "Tippi."
HEDREN: I told him that I, you know, just stop it and I walked out. And as I left, he said I'll ruin your career. He didn't ruin me. And in my own mind. And that was worth everything to me.
CARROLL (voice-over): Jason Carroll, CNN, New York.
VANIER: OK. Stay with us. We're back with you right after this.
ALLEN: Uber has launched a legal appeal that will let it keep operating in London -- for now. The move means the company can keep offering commuters rides through its smartphone apps while courts work out the status of its license.
London's Transport Authority had pulled Uber's license over concerns about its approach to serious crimes, among other things.
VANIER: Some South African grandmothers are hitting back against old age and they're doing it with gloves in a ring.
ALLEN: Why not?
CNN's Robyn Kriel has more on the grannies who pull no punches in life.
ROBYN KRIEL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): These grannies in South Africa are striking back at getting older. About five years ago, a gym in Johannesburg began fitness classes for the elderly. It started off with aerobics. But the clientele, made up of women between 75 and 80 years old, preferred something with a bit more punch.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I feel young. I feel like I'm 16 but my age is 80.
KRIEL (voice-over): The trainers at the gym say the workout is giving the women a new lease on life.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They're taking care of their grandchildren, cleaning the House, some of them. So most of them we try, we thought that boxing is the one that will also make them relax, make them think, make them young again.
KRIEL (voice-over): Twice a week, the grannies spar, work the bag, even face off with each other. They say the camaraderie and the exercise is better medicine than anything they can get at a doctor's office.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We have high blood pressure. Some others have diabetes and others have done operations. But here they are alive and able to walk, while even if they have done operations. They used to walk with walking sticks but, today, they are able to walk without their walking sticks.
KRIEL (voice-over): And though they may never be the next Laila Ali, the ladies say the sense of hope they get from boxing is a knockout.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just because you are a granny does not mean you need to burden yourself with that word, "granny." You need to wake yourself up and show that you are a granny with life.
KRIEL (voice-over): Robin Kriel, CNN, Atlanta.
ALLEN: What's not to absolutely love about that story?
ALLEN: That's pretty cool.
All right. That does it for this hour. Much more ahead. I'm Natalie Allen.
VANIER: I'm Cyril Vanier. Don't go anywhere. We'll be back with another hour of news just after this.