Return to Transcripts main page

CNN NEWSROOM

Mexico With New President; A Huge Win for Russia Kicking Spain Out; President Trump to Announce his SCOTUS Pick; Canada Retaliates on U.S. over Tariffs. Aired 3-4a ET

Aired July 2, 2018 - 03:00   ET

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


[03:00:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Viva Mexico! Viva Mexico! Viva Mexico!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GEORGE HOWELL, CNN HOST: Still awaiting final results, but crowds have been cheering in Mexico. The leftist Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador declares victory in that nation's presidential election.

Also another stunning upset. Russia defeats Spain in a World Cup game that has shocked fans all over the world, especially in Russia.

Still ahead this hour, time is running out in Thailand as divers search for a dozen teenagers and their coach. Lost somewhere in a cave.

Live from CNN world headquarters in Atlanta we want to welcome our viewers here in the United States and all around the world. I'm George Howell. The CNN Newsroom starts right now.

At 3 a.m. on the U.S. East Coast we begin in Mexico and a new direction for that nation. With a populist candidate now elected president. Early results show Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador won about 53 percent of the vote in Sunday's election.

The leftist candidate ran on an anti-corruption platform. He promises to build stronger relations with the United States and other countries, also promising to tackle domestic issues like crime and economic inequality.

In his speech Lopez Obrador talked about uniting Mexicans of all political views. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANDRES MANUEL LOPEZ OBRADOR, PRESIDENT-ELECT, MEXICO (through translator): The new project for the country will seek to establish an authentic democracy. We are not betting on building a dictatorship neither overt nor covert. Changes will be profound. But they will adhere to the legal order that is established.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HOWELL: And all this taking place at the epicenter of Obrador's support, Zocalo Square. That's where our Patrick Oppmann filed his report.

PATRICK OPPMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Mexicans they are celebrating what many are calling a revolution for this country. You see people pouring into the square behind me to celebrate an event they never thought would take place.

The election of leftist populist candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador. He's been running for president now for over a decade. This is his third attempt at the office. Previous attempts he said kept him from gaining office because of corruption.

Not -- right now, though, he has more than defeated the opposition. That's because more of Mexican society -- his main appeal over the years was to the nation's poorest, but this election he managed to reach out. So many people who were struck by his anti-corruption message, his message against the violence that is racking this country.

But now the hard questions will begin to emerge. How will he govern? How will he, for example, confront Donald Trump over the issues that are so unpopular like the wall, like the trade war? So those questions still remain but Mexicans are out right now celebrating this very unlikely victory.

Patrick Oppmann, CNN, Mexico City.

HOWELL: Let's bring in Carin Zissis to talk more about this. Carin, the editor in chief of the online division of the American Society Council of the Americas joining via Skype from Mexico City. It's a pleasure to have you on the show this day. Quite a busy day there. Surely there in Dieppe.

Let's talk more about Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador reframing himself as an outsider with a populist message similar to the U.S. President Donald Trump. That seems to have really resonated with voters.

[03:04:55] CARIN ZISSIS, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, AMERICAS SOCIETY AND COUNCIL OF THE AMERICAS: Well, yes. He has reframed himself as an outsider candidate but this is his third time running. So third time of a go and he made it. But he's in some ways not an outsider because he used to be a member of the party that's now in power, the PRI, the governing party.

And over the years he's been running, again, this is his third time running and he tends to use the same language, over and over. He constantly refers to the (Inaudible) that controls power. And he speaks in a very straightforward direct way.

So voters are very familiar with him. They're familiar with his message. And in a point where voters are feeling very discontented that was a message that reached them. HOWELL: All right. Let's talk about some of the issues that mattered

for voters. First the problems with violence and corruption. How does Lopez Obrador promised to take on these problems more effectively than predecessors?

ZISSIS: Well, that's part of the issue. He has talked about trying to end the issues of violence, trying toned the issues of corruption here. But there's been some lack of clarity about exactly how he will do that.

In terms of corruption he's really responded to questions about that by saying that by being in office and leading by example that he'll be able to reduce corruption. But that's not really a clear proposal. So there are some concerns about how he's going to actually be able to carry it out.

HOWELL: When it comes to trade relations with its neighbor to the north, Lopez Obrador seems open to continued talks on renegotiating NAFTA but he's also pushing for Mexico to become more reliant. Explain.

ZISSIS: Yes. Well, he has made some references to economic policies that would look at Mexico being self-reliant, particularly in terms of agriculture. He's made references to the campo, or the countryside being Mexico's greatest factory is how it would translate.

And so he is taking somewhat of an inward look. Look, he doesn't speak English. He's not a particularly much of a globalist himself. And he has been winning -- he won this election really based on the fact that he is focused on domestic issues.

So there is a sense that he's taking more of an inward look at the concerns of Mexicans because in this election Donald Trump really hasn't factored into a reason why Mexicans are choosing the person they're going to vote for. And haven't made Mexican -- the Mexicans do not have a positive view of Trump. So any candidate who says things against the rhetoric is going to only win points with the electorate.

However, that's not what people are deciding their votes on here given so many of the big domestic issues looming here. And he's really been focusing on the domestic concerns.

HOWELL: All right. Similar to the U.S. president his rural appeal there in Mexico seems to have paid off.

Carin Zissis, we appreciate your time and perspective. Thank you.

ZISSIS: Thank you very much.

HOWELL: President Trump congratulated Lopez Obrador on Twitter saying that he looked forward to working with him. This as Mr. Trump looks ahead to a busy week. Focusing in on possible Supreme Court nominees. He said he will announce his choice to replace the retiring justice Anthony Kennedy on July 9th. Senate confirmation is not expected to be easy, though.

Our Boris Sanchez explains.

BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The White House would only confirm over the weekend that President Trump spoke to key allies and advisers including White House counsel Don McGahn in broad strokes about the confirmation process.

The White House would not confirm that the president actually spoke to those one or two potential nominees that he told reporters he might talk to on Friday when he arrived here in New Jersey.

One of the topics we know the president will not be discussing with these potential nominees is their stance on abortion. The president saying that he would not ask these candidates about their stance on Roe versus Wade. Though it is something we know that lawmakers are going to be looking for including Senator Susan Collins of Maine.

Listen to what she told Jake Tapper Sunday on State of the Union.

SEN. SUSAN COLLINS (R), MAINE: I would not support a nominee who demonstrated hostility to Roe v. Wade because that would mean to me that their judicial philosophy did not include a respect for established decisions, established law. And I believe that that is some very important fundamental tenet of our judicial system, which as chief Justice Roberts says helps to promote stability and evenhandedness.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SANCHEZ: and Senator Collins is not alone. There are other Republican lawmakers out there who tend to vote in favor of abortion rights like Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.

[03:10:01] We should point out, it is going to be a razor-thin margin of error for Republicans. They're going to need almost every single vote. And it is going to be a tough process, a tough fight ahead.

Notably, the president has marked July 9th on the calendar as the date that he is going to be making the announcement of his nominee. So it is going to be a tight time frame for the White House to whittle down all these names, though President Trump has said that he has about five names on his short list and that he's going to be interviewing with six or seven potential candidates.

Boris Sanchez, CNN, traveling with the president near Bedminster, New Jersey.

HOWELL: All right. Boris, thank you. Now to talk about trade tensions, Canada fired the latest round in the escalating trade disputes with the United States. That nation carrying through on its promise to retaliate imposing tariffs on U.S. exports worth about $12.5 billion.

There's a 25 percent tariff on more than 40 U.S. steel products and a 10 percent tariff on over 80 other U.S. items. Items including maple syrup, coffee beans, and even ketchup.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the U.S. has to be held accountable for its tariffs and Canadians will not be punished -- pushed around.

The focus right now may be on Canada, but come Friday China will be front and center again. That's when the U.S. will slap tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese imports. Now, it's a very comprehensive list. Everything from nuclear reactors to tugboats.

The very same day China plans to retaliate in kind. Another $50 billion on U.S. imports. And if it does so, Donald Trump says the U.S. will then up the ante. This time tariffs will go on $200 billion of Chinese goods.

Beijing would then be unable to retaliate in kind because -- well, that's because they only import 170 billion worth of American goods. He's even threatening another $200 billion worth on tariffs. That highlight is the central argument of the trade situation with the U.S., that it's too uneven.

For more on this story let's bring in Steven Erlanger. Steven the New York Times chief diplomatic editor live for us this hour in Brussels. A pleasure to have you on the show.

Let's talk about the beginnings of the two words that cause businesses to panic, that make people pay more. Those two words, trade war. With regards to Canada. Where do you see this going?

STEVEN ERLANGER, LONDON BUREAU CHIEF, THE NEW YORK TIMES: Well, I think the Canadian numbers are pretty small and Canada simply has to retaliate. I mean, there's no reason for it to give in. It would be good if, you know, Trump keeps harping on these dairy tariffs. They have a long history. They're a very small part of the trade. But if they made a gesture toward reducing those, that would be good.

You talked about China. But there's also the European Union. And Trump has been threatening import tariffs on automobiles. And the E.U. just sent a letter to Trump saying that if he does that the E.U. will retaliate with tariffs on American goods of up to $300 billion, which is a huge figure.

So Mr. Trump is getting himself, you know, into a trade war willingly, it seems. But it will mean higher prices for Americans. American car. You know, it's supposed to help American steelmakers and car manufacturers. But the prices of American cars are going to go up if this is what he does. Because it doesn't feel right now like the rest of the world is going to back down.

They're willing to accommodate the obsessions of this American president but only up to a point. Then they will defend themselves. And I don't know why the Trump administration believes that they will not.

HOWELL: All right. Look, you mentioned some of these. Canada, China, the E.U. Mexico even. Taking the strategic approach at leveling tariffs and in many cases it appears they're targeting red states, specifically red states central to President Trump's base, his support. The question here, will people see a difference? And, if so, how quickly?

ERLANGER: Well, that's a very good question because this has been part of the European strategy too and the Chinese strategy, which is to try to hit products coming from states where congress people and senators support President Trump, or where they're on the edge.

And of course it goes back to the Supreme Court issue too because the Trump administration wants to get its new Supreme Court nominee through before the midterm elections.

So a lot of what we will see happening between now and November, which still I must say seems a long way away is, you know, maneuvering to appeal to a certain kind of Republican base, a Democratic base, to see what will happen to the mid-terms, which will be a sort of judgment on the Trump administration so far.

[03:15:07] HOWELL: Steven, now to the vacancy in the Supreme Court. President Trump saying that he will not ask about possible nominees -- ask the nominees about Roe v. Wade, will not discuss LGBT rights. But given his track record with truth, saying one thing, doing the other, should people take him at his word on this?

ERLANGER: Well, I think on his list he already knows where they stand on Roe versus Wade. So, whether he asks them or not almost doesn't matter. I mean, it's certainly true, as Boris Sanchez just reported, that in the Senate there will be hearings and there will be questions and one way or another one will find out how people stand.

I mean, I think Mr. Trump is looking for another Neil Gorsuch, who was a Republican, a conservative Republican whose credentials were so impeccable that no one could really have an objection to him. I mean, you can't vote against a Supreme Court nominee just because they view the world a certain way.

But Senator Collins' point about precedent and law and not overturning things at the blink of an eye I think is an important issue. And again, heading toward the midterms I think Mr. Trump will try to pick someone who is not in favor of Roe versus Wade. How they would actually vote on a case might be a little unclear.

But he is -- this is one of his campaign promises. And I think, you know, anyone he nominates will not be a big fan of Roe versus Wade. That's for sure.

HOWELL: Steven, I want to remind our viewers what happened over the weekend here in the United States. There were protests throughout this nation, the people coming together, protesting the president's zero tolerance policy.

Keep in mind there were also people who support President Trump's aggressive approach toward immigration. He sees this as a winning issue come the midterms. Do you think he has the support from his base to counter the outrage expressed seen here over the weekend on immigration?

ERLANGER: Well, I think he probably does. It is a good issue for him. I mean, basically, he is trying to keep the support of his base and to keep them excited, to keep them energized, which is very important. Of course, on the other side he's energizing his opposition too. He's energizing the Democrats.

So the Democrats are always going to have a fight within themselves over centrists versus more left-leaning democrats, the sort of Bernie Sanders wing and, you know, versus if you like the Joe Biden wing.

But out in the country I think the issue of children and parents and separating them has struck a chord with many parents and it again, you know, has brought a lot of Democrats into the streets. And it's brought a lot of women into the streets.

And then the whole point of midterms is to get people who care to vote because very often turnout's very low. So I think these issues which are hot-button issues like abortion is a hot-button issue, gun control, these are the things that drive people to the polls. I think both parties, if you like, will be let's say exploiting them.

HOWELL: Steven Erlanger, we always appreciate your time and perspective. Thank you.

ERLANGER: Thanks, George.

HOWELL: Still ahead, it could be the biggest upset we've seen yet at the World Cup. Spain versus Russia. And a look at Monday's action ahead.

Plus, it's not South Beach, but many Cleveland fans will not be happy. LeBron James' next move? Well, he's headed west. We'll tell you about it. Stay with us.

[03:20:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HOWELL: Well, another day at the World Cup and another stunning upset. Russia bids adios to Spain on Sunday with a 4-3 win on penalties. The Russians were the lowest-ranked squad going into the tournament, but they are now headed to the quarterfinals. The home team now set to face Croatia. Saturday Croatia won their own penalty shootout against Denmark.

To break down all the sports action let's bring in CNN's Patrick Snell here on set. Patrick, look, I mean, what a surprise with Russia. Where has this ranked for you when it comes to upsets?

PATRICK SNELL, CNN SPORT ANCHOR: This is the World Cup, George, that keeps on giving. And if you're not utterly riveted by this tournament I want to know why. Yes, officially, since FIFA rankings going back to 1994, officially the third biggest upset at the FIFA World Cup.

But taking it back even further I recall not personally but they talk of the 1950 World Cup when the USA sprung a huge shock on the English national team back then. But that was a whole different era.

This is a Russian team defying the critics and just raising the bar so high. Remember, no one thought they were going to even get out of the group stages, George. Now they've gone and beaten the 2010 world champions Spain, and they did it in dramatic fashion.

Let's just recap on how it all went down in Kuzhniki Stadium. They concede so early. Sergei Ignasevich, the 38-year-old. They've even called out a retirement, George, for this one putting through his own goal. And we pull it out in Spain would go on to an easy.

But it's this team spirit the Russians have. They do not know the meaning of the world defeat and they were level from the penalty spot when Artem Dzyuba put it away. What did it mean? It meant the nervy penalty shootout. And the hero of the hour for the Russians their keeper, their captain, Igor Akinfeev. He dives to the right and training left leg keeps out the spot kick from Iago Aspas.

And just look at those scenes. Joy for the Russians, heartbreak for the Spanish. But it's the Russian fans who are celebrating. And these were the scenes right through the night in the capital city Moscow. They are through to the last eight.

[03:25:01] Remember, they'd gone into this tournament without a win in their previous seven games. Nobody gave them a prayer of advancing. And now they're just two games away from the final. Incredible stuff.

Who will they meet? For a place in the semis. They're going to be taking on Croatia, who had another thrilling game against Denmark. This had plenty of action, I can tell you. In the first four minutes we saw two goals, would you believe. The Danes were on the board within about 55 seconds in that match. Mattias Jorgensen forcing it home.

And then three minutes later it's Mandzukic, the Juventus striker doing what he does best. At that time we thought it would be a glut of goals. It went to extra time. Croatia almost winning it in extra time actually. They win a penalty in the 116th minute of that game.

And it's Luca Modric surprisingly has a spot kick saved by the excellent Casper Schmeichel. This one also going to a penalty shootout. A tale of the keepers here. Nicolai Jorgensen the Dane had his effort saved by the Croatian keeper Danijel Subasic, and then wouldn't you just know it? Even Rakutic the Barcelona star rolling it home and it is Croatia who are through.

And by the way, that Croatian keeper I mentioned, Danijel Subasic, he saved three penalties in that shootout. He is the hero of Croatia. They are through to the quarterfinals. Really exciting stuff.

HOWELL: It is spectacular. I also want to talk about this big news in the United States. People have been debating, questioning what does LeBron do next? We know now.

SNELL: We do. He's made his choice. He's heading west. He's heading to the Golden State of California. The L.A. Lakers. So let's just recap what we know because this is significant. It's a four-year contract and it's worth a mouth-watering really hefty $154 million. Leaving his hometown as a free agent for the second time for the L.A. Lakers. The three-time NBA champ. Let's just remind our viewers worldwide, George, his stature in the

game. He is the biggest name in basketball. No question about that. He led Cleveland to a fourth straight NBA finals this year. But they weren't in the races there, were they? They were well and truly swept by the Golden State Warriors in four games.

Now earlier in his career LeBron winning two NBA titles. That was with the Miami Heat. But his finest moment, no question, his finest moment with Cleveland at least came in his second spell with the franchise when he really inspired the team in 2016 to the NBA title.

That by the way, bringing its first professional sports championship to the city of Cleveland since 1964. We've been hearing from LeBron as well. He's been taking to social media, to Instagram in fact on Sunday. His Cleveland farewell worded like this. "Thank you, northeast Ohio, for an incredible four seasons. This will always be home.

I've been giving this a bit of thought, actually, because in many ways this really is the perfect match-up for James. He has reportedly two homes and a film production company in California.

The Lakers themselves of course also one of the biggest names in the sport of basketball. They've won 16 NBA titles in their storied history. Although I will point out the last title came some eight years ago as well. So, LeBron James making his move heading west.

HOWELL: A lot of people in Cleveland waking up not so happy to this news, though.

SNELL: Not so happy but perhaps some of them will have been kind of resigned to the fact he was moving on again. That's LeBron.

HOWELL: All right. Thank you so much, Patrick. You're watching CNN Newsroom. We'll be right back after the break.

[03:30:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

GEORGE HOWELL, CNN NEWSROOM HOST: Live coast to coast across the United States and to our viewers around the world this hour, you're watching "CNN Newsroom." It is a pleasure to have you with us. I'm George Howell with the headlines we are following for you at this hour.

In Mexico, early results show that Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador will be that nation's next president. Obrador winning 53 percent of the vote in Sunday's election. The leftist candidate ran on an anti-corruption platform. He promises to build strong relationships with the United States and other countries and to tackle domestic issues like crime and economic inequality.

Seventy-five people were killed this weekend because of petty fighting in Daraa, Syria. This according to a local opposition group. CNN cannot independently verify that number. Daraa has been under government bombardment for weeks now. In Jalalabad, Afghanistan, at least 19 people were killed, 21 others wounded in a suicide bombing attack that happened on Sunday. The provincial police chief told Reuters the bomber targeted a vehicle carrying members of the country's Sikh minority. Seventeen Afghan Sikh are among the dead including the only Sikh candidate in the upcoming parliamentary election.

The U.S. national security adviser says he believes North Korea could dismantle its nuclear arsenal in a year. This if Pyongyang cooperates. At last month's summit, North Korea pledged to work toward denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula but no specifics or no timelines really given in the joint statement signed by Kim Jong-un and President Trump.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOHN BOLTON, NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR OF THE UNITED STATES: We have developed a program. I'm sure that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will be discussing this with the North Koreans in the near future about really how to dismantle all of their WMD and ballistic missile programs in a year.

If they have the strategic decision already made to do that and they're cooperative, we can move very quickly. And it's to North Korea's advantage to see these programs dismantled very quickly because then the elimination of sanctions, aid by South Korea and Japan and others can all begin to flow.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HOWELL: Bolton, however, refused to comment on a Washington Post report that U.S. intelligence officials believe Pyongyang does not intend to give up its arsenal and is considering ways to hide its weapons. Following this story this hour, our Paula Hancocks is live in Seoul, South Korea. Paula, some uncertainty for sure just as the U.S. and North Korea officials had their first face-to-face meeting since the summit last month.

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, George. There was a meeting on Sunday between U.S. delegation led by the U.S. ambassador to the Philippines, Sung Kim, a meeting in Panmunjom, so the DMZ between North and South Korea. Now, this has been happening a number of times just before that Singapore summit last month between the U.S. president and the North Korean leader.

We don't have exact details about what came out from that meeting, but we are hearing from Mr. Bolton there as you heard, the national security advisor saying that he does expect the U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to be talking to North Korea very soon.

[03:35:00] We don't have a timeline on that, though. But certainly the fact that they are talking, the first face-to-face talks since that summit last month has to be significant. But of course the question is, how much further are they along to having an exact plan as to how North Korea is going to denuclearize and of course how the U.S. is going to conceptualize that? How are they going to insist on checks along the way?

U.S. officials have already said that they believe they will be able to tell fairly easily and fairly quickly if Pyongyang is not serious about giving up its nuclear weapons. George?

HOWELL: Paula, look, I'll ask our director if we can pull up these images, the satellite images of North Korea that are certainly drawing a great deal of attention. But I'll ask if we're able to show them, Paula, just walk us through what's happening here.

HANCOCKS: George, these are images, satellite images from Planet Labs. They were analyzed by researchers in the U.S. at the MIIS. And they have assessed that it is the final construction or the finishing of construction of a chemical material institute.

Now, effectively this according to experts is where North Korea builds the parts for the missiles. We did have a photo there. You saw that the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un himself went to tour the area. He was photographed in front of an artist's depiction of what the construction would look like once it had finished.

So certainly we are seeing this continual movement from North Korea according to satellite images, and many experts caution that this is only one aspect of what you would be looking at when you're trying to figure out if Pyongyang is not following the path of denuclearization as they have said that they would.

But it's on top of those images from 38 North last week or the satellite images that they say showed that there was refurbishment happening at the Yongbyon nuclear research site. Certainly these are the sort of images that officials here, officials in the U.S. and around the world will be looking at very closely to see if it gives any kind of evidence that Pyongyang is not doing what they've said that they will do. George?

HOWELL: Paula Hancocks, thank you so much for the reporting, and we'll keep in touch with you.

Now to Thailand. Rescuers there are not giving up hope in their search for a missing youth football team. Twelve boys and their coach went missing nine days ago. Authorities there believe that they are trapped in the cave system that you see here. And they're sending in some of Thailand's best to try to get them out.

This elite group of navy divers are pushing deeper and deeper into the cave system, and they're closing in on where they hope this team may be sheltering. CNN's Anna Coren following this story live for us in Hong Hong. Anna, are they getting closer? Is there a sense that there could be some optimism here because it has been some time?

ANNA COREN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Look, George, authorities are remaining very positive despite the fact that we are now in day nine of the search. But you're absolutely right. They've made significant progress. They are within a kilometer of where they believe these 12 boys and their coach are. That is, if they survived the flash flooding, which happened nine days ago. So, they are within a kilometer and that in itself is very promising. But it is extremely challenging. It is extremely difficult. So, we don't know how long it's going to take for those Navy SEAL divers to make their way through the next kilometer of this cave system.

We know the water is extremely strong. We know that the passageway is very narrow, so narrow in fact that they said that they are going to have to widen it to get other teams and the equipment through to this location where they think this football team is.

This location, it is called Pattaya Beach. It's a massive cavern well known to locals. That's why they think these kids went all the way through the cave system to this particular spot. It is like a beach. The water apparently is crystal clear. But it's a large cavern. It's elevated. It's spacious. They think that it's dry which is why they hope that that is where they are currently located.

Now, there's a mini command system -- command center I should say that has been set up several hundred meters from that junction which is a kilometer from Pattaya Beach. There are some 60 Navy SEAL divers that are located at that command center.

They are in their knees up to water, but they have cables, they have lights, they have ropes, they've got oxygen tanks every 25 meters. This is in the third chamber. And it's from here they are staging this massive operation. They say they are not leaving this cave until they find these 13 people.

[03:40:02] But George, as I say, day nine of the search, obviously the odds are getting slimmer and slimmer. From the air and from above the cave system, they are looking for access points to drill down. But they're racing against the weather again because we are expecting a change in the weather within the next couple of days, more rain, just to cause even more problems. George?

HOWELL: Anna Coren, thank you for the reporting. Please continue to keep in touch with your sources and we'll keep in touch with you. Thank you. You know, Anna brought up this weather situation. Let's bring in our meteorologist, Ivan Cabrera, because look, they had a break in the weather at one point. That is so important for these teams to get in there. That may be a short change coming in.

IVAN CABRERA, CNN METEOROLOGIST: They're going to get breaks. There will be windows where it's not going to be raining. The problem is, we are in the rainy season. This is the monsoon, right? So we talk about torrential downpours and it's the kind of rain that can put down easily 100 millimeters of rainfall in just an hour. So that's the kind of rainfall rate we're talking about.

So, let's check in here and stay positive here. They do have access to water, right? So if they did survive the flash flood out there and they're in a little pocket there, hopefully we'll get to them soon. But there it is. There's the ramp-up here. We are in the monsoon and it's just a matter of how much rain, not so much whether it's going to rain. We're not going to have several days where it's going to be nice and sunny and dry. This is the area we're talking about here. When you get these explosive thunderstorms during the afternoon, they are charged with so much moisture that essentially they can put down all the heavy rain and of course that can lead to additional flash flooding.

I'm widening out the shot because not only are we of course in monsoon season but we're also in typhoon season. Last hour if you were with us I talked about the one impacting Japan. Well, there are numerous ones that try to develop here in the South China Sea.

Right now nothing going here. And that is huge. That is big-time. Because if we get a tropical system and its moisture associated with it pulling up to the north and west, then we'll really be in trouble here. So, forecast, there it is. Nothing and then it pops up. Nothing and it pops up. Just an indication of those typical daytime heat- induced showers and thunderstorms.

Again, that could be very heavy indeed over the next several days. There's the forecast. It's not going to be changing all that much as I see it right through the day on Wednesday. And so again, the windows really come at night, George, when the thunderstorms begin to diminish. But each and every day, we're likely to get more rain. And as I mentioned, it is heavy rain unfortunately for them as well.

HOWELL: The best part of what you laid out there, keeping it positive, let's just hope that these crews are able to have some success.

CABRERA: Absolutely. We'll keep you posted.

HOWELL: Ivan, thank you so much. Still ahead here on "CNN Newsroom," the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, may have gotten her E.U. allies to reach an agreement on the migrant crisis, but now she has got to get her own coalition on board. We'll have the very latest for you from Berlin ahead. Plus, a manhunt is under way in France. This after a notorious gangster escapes prison for the second time in daring fashion. Stay with us.

[03:45:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HOWELL: Welcome back. The European Union may have reached a breakthrough with its migrant crisis, but that hasn't helped the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, back home. Her interior minister is now threatening to resign because of her migration policy. Horst Seehofer says that he will resign as the leader of the conservative Christian Social Union which could put the future of Merkel's coalition government in jeopardy.

Following the story, our Atika Shubert in live in Berlin. Atika, the German chancellor under a considerable amount of pressure on this issue of migration and immigration.

ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, she's been under pressure for a while now. But the thing is she went E.U. summit. She delivered an agreement that dealt with the issues that her interior minister had brought up and then came back with several bilateral agreements, almost a dozen of them, to satisfy his demands.

So it's not clear exactly what's happening. What seems to be happening is it's an internal dispute of the Christian Social Union about how to handle the migration crisis. And keep in mind, the CSU is under pressure for regional elections coming up in October.

Now, Horst Seehofer may have overplayed his hand. He's threatening to resign. The key question is, if he resigns, will he take his party with him or will they simply put in a replacement as interior minister? If he takes his party with him, yes, that threatens Merkel's coalition government. If, however, the CSU says listen, we have an alternate name for interior minister, then it means that she is safe for now.

So it's not clear if this is simply internal politics yet or if it's going to affect it on a national level. We should find out later today at around 5:00 p.m. local is when they're going to be meeting and hopefully some announcement will come out today.

HOWELL: Atika, just the sense among people there given the pressure that the chancellor is under, what are people saying within the country about this new situation that she faces?

SHUBERT: I think they see this as a political spat. You know, the issue of migration was an issue in 2015. And that's when people felt overwhelmed by the tens of thousands of asylum seekers that literally walked into the country across Europe seeking asylum in wealthier nations such as Germany.

But the memory of that is what's fueling a lot of this politics right now. Because of that migration crisis, we saw, you know, more than a million votes going to the far right anti-immigration, alternative for Germany party. So what we're seeing now from conservative parties here is a reaction to that and it seems to be impacting the Christian Social Union far more.

HOWELL: Atika Shubert live in Berlin, thank you.

Now to France, a notorious gangster is once again a wanted man. Redoine Faid escaped from a prison near Paris on Sunday with the help of armed men and a hijacked helicopter. This is actually the second time Faid has pulled off a spectacular jailbreak. Our Ana Cabrera has more on Sunday's daring escape.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ANA CABRERA, CNN JOURNALIST (voice over): A stunning jailbreak, purportedly filmed from behind bars. CNN cannot independently verify this video, but these shaky images appear to show the moments gunmen arrived to free this man, Redoine Faid, France's most notorious gangster.

His accomplices hijacked a helicopter and forced the pilot to fly to a prison near Paris. There they staged a diversion that smuggled the 46- year-old out of a visiting room before fleeing by air. Police later found the burnt-out chopper in an area northwest of Paris. The pilot was released unharmed. The fugitive and his men were nowhere to be found. Sunday's spectacular escape is shockingly not the first for this criminal mastermind.

[03:50:00] In 2013, Faid held four guards at gunpoint in a detention center in the northern city of Lille then burst his way into freedom, detonating explosives to destroy five fortified doors. A witness described the dramatic scene.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): I first saw a prison guard walked by followed by someone dressed in civilian clothes who was holding a gun to the guard's head. So I got a little scared.

CABRERA (voice over): At the time, Faid's lawyer said he was not surprised his client broke out.

JEAN-LOIS PELLETIER, LAWYER FOR REDOINE FAID (through translator): He is also a young man, remarkably intelligent, and he is using his intellect to serve his ambitions. And I think he has so many years in prison behind him that he thought it was one too many.

CABRERA (voice over): The Frenchman is a self-styled modern-day gangster, often taking inspiration, he says, from Hollywood movies. He once wore a hockey mask during a heist like Robert De Niro's character in "Heat" and brazenly attacked armored trucks and other targets.

But for those who suffered his bravado, he is a real-life villain. The parents of a French policewoman killed in one of Faid's robbery attempts were devastated by the news. CNN affiliate VFM reported, now once again free and once again the subject of an international manhunt, his victims must wait for justice.

Anna Cabrera, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HOWELL: Ana, thank you. Still ahead, the migrant nicknamed "spider- man." The man who scaled a building to save a child. Just look at that. He settles into his new life as a hero.

[03:55:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HOWELL: In Japan, a major blow for an entrepreneur's bid to send the country's first privately-backed rocket into space. The rocket came crashing back to earth seconds after lift-off. Then, a spectacular explosion. And you can see the control room there, people there clearly stunned as that rocket failed. The company says it's not giving up, that it will continue to pursue rocket development.

And now some dramatic video to show you out of China. Watch this. This moment that a road suddenly buckled. Incredibly, no casualties to report. Authorities are investigating what caused this collapse. There are some reports that it was because of days of prolonged rain.

Do you remember the man nicknamed "spider-man" after scaling a building to save a child in France? The 22-year-old migrant climbed four stories to rescue a little boy, a 4-year-old boy, dangling from a balcony. This happened back in May. We now know that Mamoudou Gassama has started a new job, a member of the Paris Fire Brigade. Congratulations to him and watch that. Amazing.

Thank you for being with us for "CNN Newsroom." I'm George Howell at the CNN center in Atlanta. As we close the show, a good look at the good men and women who put the show to air each night here in Atlanta. "Early Start" is next for viewers here in the United States live from New York. And for viewers around the world, my colleague Hannah Vaughan Jones is up next from London. You're watching CNN, the world's news leader.

[04:00:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)