Return to Transcripts main page
Giuliani Says Trump Probably has Power to Pardon Himself; Fuego Volcano Eruption Kills At Least 25 in Guatemala; Top North Korean Military Officials Replaced Ahead of Summit; G7 Allies Blast U.S. Tariffs Ahead of Summit; China Warns U.S. Trade Talk Progress Wiped Out if Tariffs Imposed. Aired 1-2a ET
Aired June 4, 2018 - 01:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[01:00:12] CYRIL VANIER, CNN ANCHOR: An untouchable president: Donald Trump's lawyer claims the president has almost limitless power to pardon himself.
NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: Also this hour, new information here, a military shakeup in North Korea, days before officials from Pyongyang and Washington meet face-to-face.
VANIER: Plus, a possible medical breakthrough. Listen to this, millions of women may not need chemotherapy when treating breast cancer. We'll tell you more about that.
ALLEN: All ahead this hour. Thank you for joining us. I'm Natalie Allen.
VANIER: I'm Cyril Vanier. And your CNN Newsroom starts now.
Let's begin with the Russian investigation. President Donald Trump's lawyers argue it would be a bad idea for him to testify in front of the special counsel. One of his attorneys, Rudy Giuliani, suggests it may even be pointless. He told ABC News the president could probably pardon himself if it ever came to that, although, apparently, he doesn't intend to do so.
ALLEN: Giuliani also told HuffPost that as the sitting president, Mr. Trump is so untouchable he could have shot former FBI director James Comey in the Oval Office and still couldn't be indicted. A bizarre comment there from Mr. Giuliani.
For more now, here's CNN's Boris Sanchez.
BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Rudy Giuliani, for the most part, echoed some of what we saw in those letters published by the New York Times on Saturday that were sent from the White House legal team to the special counsel in January of this year. Giuliani said that he likely would have changed some of it, but that he agrees with 80 percent of its premise, namely the idea that President Trump, being the top law enforcement officer in the country, could end any investigation he so chooses, even one directed at him. To clarify, Giuliani said that he perhaps wouldn't go that far, but he said that theoretically it is clear in the constitution that the president reserves that right.
Further, on the issue of pardons, Giuliani made the case that in theory the president does have the authority to pardon himself, but on both counts Giuliani said that the president likely wouldn't go that route.
Here's more from the former mayor of New York City.
RUDY GIULIANI, FORMER MAYOR OF NEW YORK CITY: He's not, but he probably does. He has no intention of pardoning himself, but he probably does. It doesn't say he can't. I mean, that's another really interesting constitutional argument, can the president pardon himself.
I think the political ramifications of that would be tough. Pardoning other people is one thing, pardoning yourself is another.
SANCHEZ: Giuliani also said that he would be prepared to challenge any subpoena coming from the special counsel in court. Further, he argued, that the president reserves the right to challenge the special counsel probe in court legally as illegitimate.
Boris Sanchez, CNN, at the White House.
VANIER: We've got CNN legal and national security analyst Asha Rangappa here to discuss this with us as well as Larry Sabato, director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia. Welcome to you both.
Asha, first question to you. First of all, listen to Rudy Giuliani and his latest argument for why it is not a good idea for Donald Trump to talk to Robert Mueller.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GIULIANI: I mean, this is the reason you don't let this president testify. If, you know, every -- our recollection keeps changing, or we're not even asked a question and somebody makes an assumption. In my case, I made an assumption, then we corrected it, and I got it right out as soon as it happened. I think that's what happened here.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VANIER: Our recollection keeps changing. So the president's lawyer is saying we keep changing our story, and therefore it is too dangerous for us to testify. Is he helping or hurting his client here?
ASHA RANGAPPA, CNN LEGAL AND NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Rudy Giuliani never appears to help his client, which is the president of the United States. Basically what he's saying there is that not only the president, but his lawyers can't keep their own lies straight and that is why they can't sit down for an interview with Robert Mueller.
And that basically tells you everything. They can't keep their story straight, even their legal theories appear to contradict each other, and I'm happy to tell you more about that. But they just don't seem to be on the same page on pretty much anything.
VANIER: All right, what about the political angle here? Larry, the president reportedly wants to testify and sit down with Bob Mueller, but his lawyers don't. What do you think is the best thing for him politically?
LARRY SABATO, UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA: Politically it would be to testify, but of course in order to testify he'd have to get his story straight, and you have to be careful not to stray from it. He'd have to be careful not to contradict himself. And because none of those things are likely, probably he won't testify or it will be a surprise if he testifies.
[01:05:02] VANIER: All right, so another legal question, then, the president's lawyers, of course, say that their client has done nothing wrong. Donald Trump also says he's done nothing wrong. Yet his lawyers do not want him to testify, because they feel he could end up in some legal trap, those are the words they've used, legal trap. My question is, if you are innocent of any wrongdoing, can you nonetheless get yourself in trouble in front of the special counsel?
RANGAPPA: So, what he -- what Rudy Giuliani is claiming is that if the president talks to Mueller that he may basically catch -- get himself caught in a lie and then be criminally implicated. And there's a few problems with this. So first of all, the false statements charge in the United States, which is 18USC-1001. I was a former FBI agent. We called this our best friend. Which is to make sure people tell the truth.
It's still actually quite a hard crime to charge someone with. You have to not only show that what they are lying about is material, you have to show that they're doing it knowingly, that they know that what they are telling you is a lie.
So, something that is just a mere misrecollection or, you know, omission, inadvertent omission, can't really be prosecuted. But the bigger story here is that they just don't have legally consistent arguments. One of Rudy Giuliani's other arguments is that the president cannot obstruct justice, because he is in control of the executive branch. He can start and stop investigations at will, which means that even if he did make a false statement to the FBI or to Robert Mueller, according to Rudy Giuliani, he could make sure that that was never even prosecuted in the first place.
So they don't really believe their own legal arguments. And I think they're giving away their hand a little bit is what they're worried about.
VANIER: Giuliani -- still to you, Asha -- Giuliani says the president's pardon powers are limitless and that he could probably pardon himself if needed. What's the law on that? Do we have the answer?
RANGAPPA: There's not definitive answer, but there is case law that suggests that when a pardon is given, there has to be a recipient.
We need to remember that the pardon power is one of the few monarchical powers that was imported into the constitution, and this was Federalist 74, which Alexander Hamilton argued that the pardon power should be concentrated in one person, even though we were trying to decentralize that power.
And so there's a grantor and a grantee, that this is about giving mercy. So, the Office of Legal Counsel in the Department of Justice in 1974 actually issued an opinion that the president cannot pardon himself. So this is a very shaky legal strategy for Rudy Giuliani to be putting out there.
VANIER: Yeah, there's other stuf he said that's shaky.
Larry, let me ask you about that. Giuliani told the Huffington Post that the president's powers were so broad that he couldn't be indicted, even if he shot James Comey in the Oval Office. So, question number one, I mean, this is an interesting scenario to bring up after a week when Washington bemoaned the coarseness and incivility of public discourse?
SABATO: Look, sometimes I wonder why they let Rudy Giuliani out of the barn so frequently. He really hurts their case in many ways. The things that he is saying are preposterous. He is suggesting that not only can the president pardon himself, which politically is a nonstarter, forget about the legal rules of it, politically it's a nonstarter, they are also suggesting that because he's president of the United States, and is the head of the administrative branch, the executive branch, he can unilaterally stop any investigation and clear anyone. No one has ever made a claim like that before.
People have worried about the authoritarian strain in the Trump administration and in Trump himself. Here is a piece of evidence.
VANIER: And, you know, I'm reminded, you say you wonder why they let Rudy Giuliani out of the barn, I'm reminded that President Trump awhile ago, it's reported, had said he wanted better TV lawyers, better people to represent him on TV. And he chose Giuliani. And he's keeping him in that job. So, I guess to some extent, Larry, he must be satisfied with what he's seeing.
SABATO: Well, perhaps he is, or perhaps Giuliani makes him look good in this sense. As often as Trump strays from the interstate, I think probably Giuliani does it twice or three times as much.
So, Trump looks more sensible. It's as though his brain is connected to his mouth more frequently than Giuliani's.
But it almost doesn't matter, because what Giuliani says and what the prosecutors eventually decide to do, are probably very separate things.
VANIER: All right, Larry Sabato, Asha Rangappa, thank you for joining us on this show. Always a pleasure to talk to you. Thanks.
SABATO: Thank you.
[01:10:02] VANIER: And we are still following developments in Guatemala where at least 25 people have now been killed, so that death toll has been upped, after the country's Fuego volcano erupted on Sunday. The explosion sent a river of lava into nearby village and volcanic ash flew more than nine kilometers into the air.
ALLEN: So, search and rescue operations are underway and officials warn more explosions are coming. We'll continue to have more on this developing situation later this hour.
Some new developments out of North Korea.
VANIER: Just days before President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un are set to meet in Singapore, North Korea's top three military officials have been ousted. This come to us from multiple reports. Their replacements are apparently younger and staunch Kim loyalists.
ALLEN: This appears to be part of an ongoing transformation of the country's political and military establishment since Kim took power in 2011.
For more now, let's go to CNN international diplomatic editor Nic Robertson. He's live for us in Seoul.
Hello to you, Nic. And what more do we know about the replacement of these three military officials?
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: So, it's the defense chief, the army chief, and the head of the political office at the army in North Korea are all the people that have gone. As you say, replaced by people believed to be more loyal to Kim. This follows a pretty significant military reshuffle earlier this year, as well.
But reading too much into it is a little difficult at the moment, because even the best analysts here south of the border really don't quite know what it means.
But I think broadly speaking, it does show that Kim wants to make some changes. Why does he want to make these changes? That really isn't quite so clear. Perhaps to keep people closer to him who he feels are more loyal to him as he makes some potentially difficult decisions in the weeks and months ahead. But that really isn't clear.
You know, what we do know fundamentally is that he is willing to see President Bashar al-Assad of Syria, willing to meet him in Pyongyang, that he is going to meet President Trump in just over a week's time without really putting anything of what President Trump wanted on the table in terms of commitments to denuclearlization.
So, you know, the best way -- again, the best way to read this at the moment is Kim is shifting position, changing, there are other indicators that that's underway. But what does it all amount to? Does it amount to what President Trump hopes perhaps that this is Kim softening his position, not clear at the moment, Natalie.
ALLEN: One would hope so. It does illustrate, doesn't it, Nic, how much we don't know about the inner workings of North Korea, but perhaps in a few days we'll begin to learn a little bit about it. Thank you so much. Nic Robertson for us.
VANIER: A trade truce between China and the U.S. could be in trouble. Ahead, we'll be looking at Beijing's warning to Washington about the threat of U.S. tariffs. Stay with us.
[01:16:56] VANIER: U.S. trading partners are not couching their anger in diplomatic terms. At a preliminary meeting for Friday's G7 summit in Canada, the finance chiefs from the group of seven sent a message of rare and unanimous disapproval to President Trump.
ALLEN: They expressed their concern and disappointment over his decision to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Canada, Mexico, and the European Union. The U.S. insists the imports threaten national security. Canada's prime minister rejects that reasoning.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JUSTIN TRUDEAU, CANADIAN PRIME MINISTER: The idea that the Canadian steel that's in military vehicles in the United States, the Canadian aluminum that makes your fighter jets, is somehow now a threat, the idea that we are somehow a national security threat to the United States is quite frankly insulting and unacceptable.
LARRY KUDLOW, U.S. ECONOMIC COUNCIL DIRECTOR: Mr. Trudeau, I think he's overreacting. I don't want to get in the middle of that. As a fine friend and ally of the United States, nobody denies that. But the point is we have to protect ourselves.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ALLEN: Meantime, China says any progress in trade talks with the U.S. will be erased if President Trump follows through on his recent threat of tariffs on China. That would be $50 billion worth of Chinese exports. The U.S. Commerce Secretary, seen there, held talks with Chinese negotiators Saturday and Sunday about it.
VANIER: OK, Matt Rivers is in Beijing.
Matt, are the trade talks between China and the U.S. breaking down?
MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, I don't know if they're breaking down, Cyril, but we certainly didn't see any sort of substantive progress this weekend here in Beijing. At least no progress that was announced publicly. We haven't heard any statements from the U.S. side yet, somewhat interestingly. Usually, we would have by now. And from the Chinese side, well they did make a vague statement about how some progress was made between both sides. They didn't give any specifics. And the main take away from the Chinese point there is that they said any economic agreements that were possibly agreed upon here in Beijing would not be held to by the Chinese side if the United States goes forward with these tariffs.
And so that's the big question, the tariffs, set to be in place by June 15. Will the United States actually go forward an impose them as they say they would have? And we got a clue into that from economic adviser Peter Navarro who spoke on Fox over the weekend. Let's listen to what he had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PETER NAVARRO, ECONOMIC ADVISER: They take our technology, Maria. Everybody knows they steal it. But they also force the transfer of it. They evade our export controls. And they're coming over here, Chinese, state-owned enterprise, coming over here with bags full of money and buying up places like Silicon Valley.
So, that's a relationship with China that structurally needs to change. We'd love to have a peaceful and friendly relationship with China. But we also are standing firm on the idea, and the president is the leader on this, and he's known this for decades.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[11:20:01] RIVERS: And so what Navarro has argued in the past is that tariffs, to the tune of $50 billion, could, perhaps, force the Chinese to make those kind of structural changes that he's looking for. Other people would say, well, that is just a pipe dream. But that certainly the argument that he's making at this point.
And so, as of now, the White House is saying that they're going to put those tariffs into place on June 15, which then begs the question, well was Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross here in Beijing undercut from the very beginning? If you knew that Beijing is not going to agree to economic agreements under the threat of tariffs, and yet the tariffs are going to go forward, then it was unclear that Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross could make any substantive progress here in Beijing in the first place.
So, a lot of unknowns at this point between both sides. There is still a couple of days before those tariffs go into effect, but it doesn't appear that publicly the White House is backing down from these tariffs, and that China is backing down from putting up a fight and potentially both sides looking at the beginning of a trade war.
VANIER: All right, Matt, that's very interesting. I'm going to put some of that to our guests right now.
Janguang Shen joins us from Hong Kong. He's the managing director and chief economist for Mizuho Securities Asia Limited.
You just heard what Matt was saying. Do you get the sense that the U.S. and parts of the White House are actually wanting this trade war with China? JANGUANG SHEN, MIZUHO SECURITIES ASIA LIMITED: Yeah, I think so. You know, it's quite clear. I think the U.S. side has, you know, demanded something I don't think Chinese government will agree. For example, change the whole economic structure, you know, to reduce the role of state-owned companies in Chinese economy, and also reduce subsidy to high tech companies.
I don't think China will agree to those kind of demands. I think China said very clearly they are willing to increase imports from the U.S., and especially in the energy sector and agriculture product sector, but I don't think they agreed to do anything that, you know, Mr. Navarro mentioned.
VANIER: Let me push you on that. China, as you said, was willing to buy more goods from the U.S., were they willing to do anything else? Because the central argument coming from the U.S. president himself is that China has unfair trade practices. Is China willing to address that?
SHEN: I think China already also indicated they are willing to have more protection for intellectual property, you know, also improve the environment for foreign companies, for example, the financial sector, the entry of financial institutions from America, from Europe, from Japan, you know, that's something, you know, in addition to imports they are willing to give concession.
But, to the whole system, Chinese state capitalist system, the role of the government in the economy, you know, that's very, very important. Actually, that's actually what the U.S. is now targeting.
VANIER: Is China afraid of a trade war with the U.S.?
SHEN: Of course, you know, I think U.S. is China's largest export market. And I think China has the highest trade surplus against any nation and the U.S. is the biggest. So, of course, China tried to avoid, you know, (inaudible) already promised to increase, you know, substantially U.S. imports. I think they tried to, you know, avoid a trade war.
VANIER: How much impact, by the way, would there be on the global economy? I mean, with you as watching, is this a source -- should this be a cause for concern?
SHEN: Yeah, definitely. I think, you know, it's getting more and more worried about this potential for trade war between China and the U.S.
Of course, the U.S. government current action already show they really are not so afraid of trade war. You know, Trump (ph) already started a trade war with, you know, Canada, European Union. So, I think there is still probably we'll do the same to China.
And I think China probably will retaliate, you know, because they already said there is -- they cannot meet the requirement if they get attacked, they will counterattack. VANIER: One more thing, how is China presenting this to the Chinese, I mean to its population. Because one thing is they do not want to be seen as bowing to American pressure.
SHEN: Yes. Yeah, of course.
You know, of course China presents the idea of increasing U.S. imports is the domestic need that people need more high quality goods. So, of course, they say that's our own reform agenda. Of course, they are not willing to be seen to be forced to open.
Of course, they always were present to the Chinese public is, you know, there is no option for a Chinese government other than to, you know, have a counterattack.
VANIER: OK, Janguang Shen, thank you for joining us. It looks like the ball there again is in the court of the United States. We'll see what they do. Thank you.
SHEN: Thank you.
ALLEN: Ahead here, a young Palestinian woman wanted to exemplify that being a medic is not just a man's job. Next, CNN speaks with the family of the nurse killed in Gaza while trying to save others.
[01:25:10] VANIER: Plus, one of Central America's most active volcanoes erupts for the second time this year, and explosions are still coming.
[01:30:18] ALLEN: Let's talk about the unconventional leaders and what could be ahead with them. Stephan Haggard is the director of the Korea Pacific program at the University of California-San Diego. He's written extensively on North Korea. He joins us now.
Thanks so much, Stephan, for joining us.
First of all, the meeting is now set and now is the hard part. U.S. defense secretary seeming to emphasize vigilance in the U.S. dealings when it sits down with North Korea. In your opinion, what needs to be behind that vigilance?
STEPHAN HAGGARD, UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA-SAN DIEGO: Well, all the secretary was saying that the United States is going to continue to maintain the deterrent, obviously, on the peninsula. And we can't give that up until we have much greater assurances from the North Koreans.
But there is also, I think, a more subtle message that troop deployments are not likely to be part of U.S. concessions. That has come up in the past. The North Koreans would like to see a smaller U.S. footprint in the south. I think the secretary is saying that's not going to happen. ALLEN: And we just heard our reporter, Nic Robertson, talk about Japan saying that they want the United States to put the pressure on. They weren't happy that President Trump this past week said, you know, this is going to be a get to know you kind of meeting and he didn't want to use the language anymore of using extreme pressure on North Korea.
What's your reaction to that?
HAGGARD: The Japanese, of course, are concerned because they're in the line of fire. We're not really completely sure whether the North Koreans have an intercontinental ballistic missile capability, but we know that they have an intermediate range. And so one of the concerns of the Japanese is the U.S. would strike a deal with what would address our concerns, but not theirs.
On the sanctions front, I think it's just keeping the pressure up. I think one of the reasons that Kim Jong-un has come back to the table is because the sanctions are working. And one of the things we're afraid of, the visit of Lavrov, for example, this discussion of the Syrian meeting, is the possibility that the sanctions regime would start to fall apart.
ALLEN: What do you think North Korea is going to bring to the table?
HAGGARD: You know, honestly, given the discretion that's exercised at the top of that system, it's very hard to know. This is a personalist dictatorship. He can push things around. He's recently fired several top military -- people in top military positions, consolidating this power. He can come with something dramatic or try drag his feet.
I just simply don't think we know.
ALLEN: And what do you make of the dynamic between these two leaders? These are two leaders who have issued threats, who used school yard kind of language with one another, two leaders that have used misinformation in front of people and their citizens, and now they're going to be sitting down, Kim Jong-un and President Trump, Donald Trump, face-to-face, what do you make of that?
HAGGARD: Well as the president says we'll see what happens. But one thing I think is becoming more and more clear is that both President Trump and Kim Jong-un very much want this meeting to happen. You've seen both of them come back. President Trump came back to the table after canceling the meeting. Kim Jong-un had broken off contact several weeks ago. He came back. So, they really want it to happen.
I think what we're going to get is we're going to get a general declaration of intent on the part of the two parties, but the hard negotiations are going to take months.
ALLEN: What would this president want to come away with to make it look like he made serious inroads with the regime.
HAGGARD: The main thing he wants to see is a commitment to denuclearization. It's really that simple. It's not going to happen at this point, because the details required of such an agreement -- for example, with the Iran agreement, that took two years to negotiate. So, that's not going to happen at this summit. But I think he wants to see Kim Jong-un utter the words denuclearization, and with some sincerity.
ALLEN: And what could be the process following this initial summit? What do you expect will be laid out afterward?
HAGGARD: You might notice that the president is already lowering expectations. He's trying to say that everything is not going to get down at once. And I think actually that's a correct position to take.
So, what we're going to see ideally is a process that's going to involve further negotiations between the U.S. and North Korea, but also a bevy of negotiations between North Korea and Russia, the Chinese will be involved. And then you have the North/South process, which is going ahead full steam as we speak.
[01:35:01] ALLEN: Stephan Haggard, we appreciate your thoughts. We'll speak with you again. Thanks so much for joining us.
VANIER: To the Middle East now. Jordan is facing its largest protests in years as anger and frustration grow over austerity measures.
For the last five days, thousands have been demanding the prime minister's resignation after the government proposed raising income taxes for some workers.
ALLEN: King Abdullah had asked to meet with Prime Minister Hani Al- Mulki on Monday. Meantime, protesters say many are struggling to find and afford basic necessities.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): The citizens now have no power. They are searching for their children's daily food. Women starting looking in garbage containers to get their kids food. And every day we are surprised by rising prices and new taxes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VANIER: The International Monetary Fund recommended the austerity plan after giving Jordan a $723 million credit line.
The goal is to reduce Jordan's massive public debt, which is now 94 percent of its gross domestic product.
ALLEN: Officials estimate about 18 percent of the population is unemployed, and 14 percent live in poverty. Jordan has also hosted more than 1 million refugees from Syria's civil war, putting even more pressure on Jordan's economy.
We are learning more about a young Palestinian nurse killed Friday in Gaza while trying to help injured protesters. Her body was carried through the streets Saturday as thousands honored the woman who dedicated her life to saving others.
VANIER: She's the latest victim of Israeli gunfire, which has killed more than 100 Palestinian protesters in recent weeks, who are demanding the right to return to land now inside Israel.
Our Ian Lee has more.
IAN LEE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: A young medics final moments, Razan Al-Najjar races to help an injured Palestinian protester. Hands raised in the air. International law protects medics but minutes later, an Israeli sniper killed the 21-year-old east of Khan Yunis. Her friends struggled but failed to save her life, a bullet wound to the chest. She died just hundreds of meters from her neighborhood now adorned with her smiling image. We meet Razan's father Ashraf. He takes us inside their home.
Her mother Sabreen clutches her daughter's blood-soaked vest. The sorrow weighs heavily. She tells me they were scared for Razan, but that she alleviated their fears telling them she felt obliged to help and was clearly wearing a medical vest.
Ashraf and Sabreen now want accountability for their daughter's death.
I want justice for Razan. Here is her weapon. I want the world to know this is the weapon of Razan Al-Najjar.
Razan worked the front lines during the weekly protests near the Israel- Gaza border fence. Just last month she explained to the New York Times why she risked her life.
RAZAN AL-NAJJAR, NURSE KILLED IN GAZA: (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
LEE: Israel's military says it's investigating Al-Najjar's death adding the IDF constantly works to draw operational lessons and reduce the number of casualties in the area of the Gaza Strip security fence. Medical workers protested outside a U.N. office in Gaza City. All believe Israeli snipers are deliberately targeting them, the charge the Israeli military denies.
(on camera): Razan Al-Najjar is the second medic killed by an Israeli sniper according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health, more than 200 were also injured, many wearing vests like this.
(voice-over): Ruza and Abdul Aziz were with Razan on when she died. They tell me they'll remember her for her bravery, and will more than ever continue where she left off.
Ian Lee, CNN, Gaza.
ALLEN: That's a very tragic story there. What a waste of a life.
Algeria's government has been looking to tackle rising food prices during the holy month of Ramadan.
VANIER: And now officials have set up new markets across the country where local producers are offering fruits and vegetables to the public that reduced prices. Algeria imports much of its food, but its economy has been weakened by the fall in oil prices a couple of years ago.
[01:40:06] Despair is still palpable in Puerto Rico, eight months after Hurricane Maria. Next, CNN asked the mayor of San Juan who, or what, is to blame for the slow recovery.
ALLEN: Also, we've been telling you about the deadly volcanic eruption in Guatemala. Nearly 2 million people are being affected. We'll get the latest on the situation there ahead here. You're watching CNN Newsroom.
VANIER: OK, let's update you now on this, the volcano eruption in Guatemala. Officials say the eruption of the Fuego volcano has now ended, but there's still volcanic ash in the air, and a 19 kilometer radius surrounding the volcano.
ALLEN: And many people have died from this. The death toll is up to at least 25, and nearly 2 million people are affected in some way. Volcanic ash drifted all the way to the capital Guatemala City, that's some 40 kilometers away. And officials warn that new eruptions are possible. Evacuations and rescue operations continue. More than 3,000 people have been evacuated from their homes.
Let's get more on this from our meteorologist Ivan Cabrera. Yet another new volcanic issue to follow, this one deadly.
IVAN CABRERA, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Deadly, devastating, sudden. And I'll tell you what, at least with Kilauea, right, we had some activity. We had the swarm of earthquakes that kind of led up to it. Here, this was something that just happened within a moment. And because of the speed that we have that lava flowing down a mountain side, upwards of 500, 800 kilometers an hour, folks just did not have enough time to get out of the way. They were very close right at the foot of the volcano.
This is what it looked like earlier is that ash plume spewed up into the atmosphere. In fact, it went a good 10 kilometers up into the sky as we continue to see those movement.
[01:45:09] Michael, plays this out for me here, so we can show the folks at home what we've been talking about here as far as the location.
In Guatemala -- the eruption, by the way, came at 4:55 local time. And I mean, within minutes of that, right, within minutes we had the pyroclastic flow, which is what we call it, that deadly flow come all the way down to Rodello (ph), which was one of the communities that was just terribly impacted here, as we mentioned. We're talking about the death toll, at first six, now it's up to 25. And that may go up. We have numerous injuries, burn injuries as a
result of that. So, scary stuff here.
There's the volcano, and it just -- that flow came right into the city. There was just no way to get out of it as far as any kind of warning that we could give people out there.
So, we'll continue to monitor this.
Now, the difference with this and Kiluea, too, is that this has -- had one explosion, right. So, we're pretty much done with it now. But what we have to monitor, though, is some of the flow that has come out of the volcano. Sometimes when that mixes with rainfall, yet another term, right, we get something call lahar. And that is a slower moving danger, but it's a mud flow that goes down the mountainside and cause additional problems here.
And now we are in the season in Guatemala where we do get these pop of showers and storms, and we'll continue to see that, I think, over the next three days. There's the forecast as the search and rescue operations, as you can imagine, continue at this hour -- guys.
ALLEN: All right, Ivan, thank you. We'll continue to watch it. The Atlantic hurricane season has started, and the overwhelming feeling in Puerto Rico is that the island is not prepared for potentially another natural disaster.
Take a look at this, these shoes represent the lives lost after Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico eight months ago. The official death toll remained at 64 for months.
VANIER: However, a Harvard study has estimated that at least 4,645 people died in the hurricane and its immediate aftermath.
Earlier, San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz spoke with CNN on the phone.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAYOR CARMEN YULIN CRUZ, SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO: This has been something that myself and a lot of other people have been just reaching out and making sure that what's part of the conversation, removed from the onset weeks after Hurricane Maria, that the neglect of the Trump administration and their inability and bureaucracy was going to take a toll, and it did take a toll. We hear mayors talking about the amount of people that they have, you know -- they know that have died. And you hear people saying, well, my grandfather died because he was just sleep with his CPAP machine, and our generator gave out, it just simply -- or we couldn't afford to get it done -- of hospitals that were operating with the light on the doctor's cellphones.
So, it is truly one thing of the neglect and then the other thing that we have to take responsibility in Puerto Rico is about the silence of the Puerto Rican government on that neglect and about their really unwavering support for actions that they knew would turn into something like this. It has been appalling, it has been something that the Puerto Rican people have been mourning. And unfortunately the central government in Puerto Rico spent many days last week, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, kind of poking holes on the Harvard study and on the methodology that was used only after international pressure, pressure from the news organizations such as yourself, which I have to say CNN was one of the first ones that on the onset was talking about the real cases that they were seeing on the ground, only then did they say that 1,397 deaths more in the same period since September and December.
So, it's appalling. And, you know, in a humanitarian crises you have two choices, you either speak up and speak out, or you stand down and eventually become an accomplice to the neglect that turned out to take a toll, literally, on the lives of hundreds of thousands of people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VANIER: Officials in Puerto Rico tell CNN that if another hurricane were to hit the island, the fragile power grid will likely collapse again.
ALLEN: It's going to be a long hurricane season. We certainly hope Puerto Rico is spared this year.
It is a gamechanger, a new medical study have offered some truly good news for thousands of women with breast cancer in the United States. We'll tell you about that next.
[01:53:48] ALLEN: We've got revolutionary news for tens of thousands of breast cancer patience in the U.S. A new study says some 70 percent of women who have a common form of early stage breast cancer may not have to go through chemotherapy.
VANIER: And the study shows that a genetic test can tell doctors whether those patients would benefit from hormone therapy alone.
CNN senior medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen spoke to Anna Cabrera.
ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: This is actually is game changing. What this study found is that about 85,000 women a year in the United States are getting chemo who don't need it.
And so what the scientists did, is they used a genetic test that's already out there, and in use, they figured out, hey, wait a second, when the test says this, a woman needs chemo, but when it says that, a woman doesn't.
This doesn't work for all forms of breast cancer. But it does work for tens of thousands of women. And avoiding chemo, Ana, I don't know if you knew anyone who has ever had it, but it is of course great to avoid the hair loss, the nausea, but in addition, chemo puts you at a higher chance of getting leukemia later in life, and heart failure. So to avoid that, it's huge.
CABRERA: Yes. Is this something that women in the future are going to be able to do, or can people benefit right now?
COHEN: You know what, they can benefit really in their doctor's office is starting tomorrow because the test is out there, two to three women -- two out of three women with breast cancer are getting the test, so the test is there, and now doctors know how to use it better.
Now, you might be wondering what about that third woman? Well, it's interesting, sometimes women, their insurance don't cover it. Because it does cost thousands of dollars, or sometimes doctors don't know to use it. So this is going to really up the answer that this test needs to be used more often than it is.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[01:55:24] ALLEN: All right.
VANIER: That's great news. Elizabeth Cohen there speaking to Ana Cabrera earlier.
ALLEN: Finally this hour, an off duty FBI agent trying to let loose, and the night goes horribly wrong. You're looking at the agent dancing at a night club in Denver. He does a black flip, and his firearm falls out of his waistband and then accidentally fires shooting another patron in the leg.
VANIER: Yeah, you actually...
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CARA CHANCELLOR, SHOOTING WITNESS: It was a breakdown circle, a quintessential breakdown circle. There was one man who was doing flips and then he left and the FBI agent, I guess -- we didn't know that -- he came on the scene and he did a back flip. And he was dancing and then right as he did that back flip his gun fell out and it hit the ground. It shot off.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VANIER: What can you say?
The victim was taken to a hospital with non-life threatening injuries. Thankfully, police are investigating, but they haven't announced any charges.
ALLEN: Moral: gymnastics, guns don't mix.
VANIER: Don't do a backflip when you are carrying a gun.
Thanks for watching. I'm Cyril Vanier.
ALLEN: I'm Natalie Allen. The news continues next with Rosemary Church.