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12 Rescued Boys and Coach Recuperating in Hospital; Trump Berates Allies Ahead of NATO Summit; Rescuers Searching for Survivors House by House; Drake Holds 7 Spots on This Week's Billboard Top 10. Aired 12-1a ET

Aired July 11, 2018 - 00:00   ET

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


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JOHN VAUSE, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: This is CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles. Ahead this hour, Europe pushes back over NATO. The president of the European Council has some very harsh advice for Donald Trump.

From mission impossible to mission accomplished, after an agonizing 18 days, 12 Thai boys and their coach have been rescued. All are in good condition.

And France edges Belgium, punching a ticket to the World Cup final.

Hello, welcome to our viewers all around the world. I'm John Vause. NEWSROOM L.A. starts right now.

We'll start in Northern Thailand where officials have been updating the media on the condition of the last remaining boys taken out of that cave as well as their coach, five in all. We are told they are in good health. Pretty much in similar condition as the other eight boys who were brought to the surface over the last couple of days.

Ivan Watson live for us now with more on this. Ivan, you know, everything about this story, it just seems it is just beyond belief. It is miraculous.

IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Doctors described there that was pretty fascinating was that they said that the boys had gone nine days without food when they were trapped initially in the cave. But the thing that had trapped them, the element that trapped them, which was the rising waters as a result of rain, rain like the kind that we have today.

That trapped them deep four kilometers within the mountain behind me, the water also sustained them. They had no food, but they had ready water supply, and that helped keep them alive. He also gave credit to the 25-year-old coach of the Wild Boars youth football team, that he helped keep the boys alive.

And then of course, credited the rescue team, four Navy SEALs from Thailand that included a doctor who were able to provide them with nutrition to keep them going for basically another week until their remarkable rescue.

He did give some details about heightened white blood cell levels and that the first group that came out on Sunday, they had signs of infections of the lungs, but they're responding well to medications and that they have not seen any signs of any viruses in the blood tests that they have done thus far -- John.

VAUSE: OK, Ivan, thank you for the update. Again, it is incredible to think how good of a condition these kids are in considering what they have been through. Ivan, thank you.

Well, before the U.S. president landed in Brussels for the NATO summit, it was on. He criticized members about defense spending and sounded more eager to meet with Vladimir Putin than traditional U.S. allies.

In a few hours, Donald Trump will face the European leaders he was berating. He also complained again about the trade deficit with Europe. His combative tone deepened concerns he will shatter NATO unity as the alliance faces global threats.

CNN's Nic Robertson live for us in Brussels. Nic, for the past few weeks, the criticism has been all one-way traffic it seems, all coming from the U.S. president. But on Tuesday, the European Council President Donald Tusk fired back. Here's what he said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TUSK, PRESIDENT, EUROPEAN COUNCIL: Dear President Trump, America does not have and will not have a better ally than Europe. Today Europeans spend on defense many times more than Russia and as much as China. Dear America, appreciate your allies. After all, you don't have that many. Dear Mr. President, please remember about this tomorrow when we meet at the NATO summit, but above all, when you meet President Putin in Helsinki. It is always worth knowing, who is your strategic friend and who is your strategic problem.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: I think there seemed to be this agreement in the past, let the president have his say. Don't risk upsetting him any further. It seems in Europe have they had enough?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Yes, Tusk really kind of went against that dictum, didn't he? Don't upset President Trump because things could get worse. Your number of allies is dwindling. That was a pretty tough message.

Another thing that Donald Tusk said as well is look, this isn't just about money. This isn't just about a 2 percent contribution of GDP to be spent on defense spending as part of the formulation the 29 NATO member nations have signed up to.

This is about a commitment of blood and treasure. He points out that in 2001 following the 9/11 attacks on the United States, that its allies at NATO stepped in. They sent troops to Afghanistan. [00:05:12] He said 870 European servicemen and women lost their lives as part of that contribution. So, you know, Tusk is playing it tough. Let's see how some of the other leaders that President Trump has been sending letters to recently decide to respond to him.

But there is a sense here that perhaps President Trump really needs to hear back a little more from the European leaders. But this is a drumbeat and a drumroll that the president has been beating as the days have been counting down to this summit.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Folks, we're getting ripped by everybody. We're getting ripped in NATO. The countries in NATO are not paying their fair share.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): Even before he was elected, Trump was blasting NATO.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Many of them are not paying what they're supposed to be paying. In our businesses, we call it they are delinquent.

ROBERTSON: Once in office, he said it to their face.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: I have been very, very direct with Secretary Stoltenberg and members of the alliance in saying that NATO members must finally contribute their fair share.

ROBERTSON: It was a speech which left other leaders of the 29-nation military alliance stony-faced.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: This is not fair to the people and taxpayers of the United States.

ROBERTSON: Now on the eve of his next NATO summit, leaders are bracing for an even bumpier encounter. In the past month, the White House has sent letters demanding all NATO countries meet the target of spending 2 percent of GDP on defense. Germany, for one, pushing back.

URSULA VON DER LEYEN, GERMAN DEFENSE MINISTER: We have a very clear path going up to more investment in the defense budget.

ROBERTSON: Coming just weeks after the divisive G7 summit in Canada where he split with other leaders over trade, concerns arising that Trump could fall out with his allies yet again.

LEYEN: Our opponents would love to see a division in NATO. Therefore, we have to show unity. There is a lot to defend.

ROBERTSON: The challenge facing NATO's leaders, analysts say, is getting Trump to see the bigger picture and the importance of working together.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't think he understands what alliances are. Everything is, what are you going to give me, and what am I going to get out of it? I don't think he understands all the other things that come with alliances.

ROBERTSON: Amplifying those concerns, reports that Trump may shift at least some U.S. troops from Germany to Poland, a potential threat for Russia and NATO.

LESLIE VINJAMURI, ANALYST, CHATHAM HOUSE: What the president is trying to do is to work bilaterally and it's seen as dividing the basic norm that underpins NATO, which is that you work collectively. You work multilaterally. You don't strike bilateral deals within this multilateral alliance.

ROBERTSON: No one expects Trump to pull out of NATO as he has with some multilateral arrangements. But America may no longer be the leader they have long relied on.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ROBERTSON: One of those nations that has been some of the first among Europeans who say we need to look to ourselves for security has been Germany. We're likely to hear the Germans pointing out to President Trump how they've increased their defense spending by $5 billion this year, that they are the biggest single contributor amongst the European NATO nations.

So, there will be pushback. The Germans are far from making that 2 percent. In fact, they're only committed to 1.5 percent by 2024. But this is the type of detail that President Trump is likely to hear from the leaders. They're not ignoring him. They're working on it, but it's their own sort of budgetary timetables -- John.

VAUSE: OK, Nic, thank you for that update. For more on this, I'm joined by Republican strategist, Chris Faulkner and Democratic strategist, Caroline Heldman. We have seen this pattern before with this president ahead of a meeting with traditional allies.

There are the tough tweets like this one on Tuesday, "Many countries in NATO which we are expected to defend are not only short of their current commitment of 2 percent, which is low, but are also delinquent for many years in payments that have not been made. Will they reimburse the U.S.?"

We'll get to the absurdity of that in a moment. This pattern goes on because once he arrives at this summit or whatever it is, you know, he makes it obvious he doesn't want to be there. Then Caroline, when he's safely on Air Force One and getting home, or some place else, he starts mean tweeting again.

CAROLINE HELDMAN, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Well, what he is doing essentially, I think my favorite description is that he's the skunk at the garden party, right? So, he's using NATO to throw red meat to his base.

[00:10:06] He's not going to withdraw from NATO, but his constant critiques of NATO have led to 40 percent of Republicans thinking that we should stay in NATO with 60 percent thinking we should pull out. It's ludicrous. I mean, this is an alliance that we helped create, and presidents have been critical of NATO and the amount that other countries pay in since as long as I can remember. But this is the first president who has actually gone after the very existence of a crucial and vital organization that the United States helped to create in order to contain a threat, and that threat is still here. It is Russia.

VAUSE: Yes. You know, I want to get back to tweet as well, Chris, because, you know, the actual concept of reimbursing NATO, you know, does the president understand just how the alliance actually works? It's not Mar-a-Lago. There are no green fees members have to pay.

They are collective defense organization. They made an agreement years before Trump was elected, they would raise it to 2 percent by 2024. That's what's happening. No one owes anybody any money.

CHRIS FAULKNER, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: That's not completely accurate. The reporting we heard earlier, I'm pretty sure he said that the Germans are going to increase their spending by $5 billion and that's only going to take them to 1.5 percent. The only countries that are actually meeting their obligations are us and Greece. And if the Greeks, amidst a total financial collapse and meltdown can figure this out, I'm pretty sure the Germans and the rest of Europe can as well.

VAUSE: Their economy contracted to such an extent and they didn't cut defense spending proportionate to the shrinking size of the economy, which is why this arbitrary number seems kind of asinine in a way. It doesn't really reflect the commitment that countries make to NATO, Chris.

FAULKNER: Well, when it comes to the commitment to NATO and the commitment to the defense of Europe in the face of any enemy, Russia or otherwise, I think that the commitment of the United States to defend Europe has been pretty fairly recent history set in stone and in blood if you could say. The president's critique certainly is of a financial nature, but America's commitment to protect these democracies in Europe is unassailable.

VAUSE: Which, Caroline, is also in Europe's interest, but also in the interest of the United States. A peaceful, prosperous Europe is good for the world and good for America.

HELDMAN: Absolutely. So, poking the bear and constantly making comments about the E.U. and using such frivolous arguments as the amount they pay into NATO as a point of consternation before a major summit, it doesn't make any sense.

And I'm actually worried and many people are worried about what he will actually do when he gets there because he's so easily bored and wants to be the center of the attention. So, he's disrupting the proceedings now. He's disrupting them when he arrived.

And then the final slap in the face is that he's meeting with Putin just four days later. So, I don't know if Donald Trump is as committed to protecting the E.U. and the democracies there as previous presidents, Republicans and Democrats alike.

His position on Russia invading Ukraine has not been as strong as it could be. Thankfully, there are a lot of good Republicans in the White House who are standing against Donald Trump's critiques of NATO and of the E.U. more broadly. But I remain unconvinced and many experts do that he is as dedicated to standing against Russia's imperialism as previous presidents.

VAUSE: OK. This is Donald Trump last week in Montana in front of supporters. He's talking about how tough he's going to be when he gets to Brussels.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PRESIDENT TRUMP: I'll see NATO, and I'm going to tell NATO, you got to start paying your bills. The United States is not going to take care of everything. We're paying for anywhere from 70 percent to 90 percent to protect Europe, and that's fine. Of course, they kill us on trade.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: All right. Chris, Trump is conflating NATO's direct and indirect spending numbers. According to fact check.org, in direct costs U.S. currently pays about 22 percent of NATO's principal budget that are funded by all alliance members based on a cost-sharing formula which factors in the gross national income of each country. I guess paying 90 percent will get a much bigger applause line than 22 percent. This sounds like it's an awful lot about domestic politics.

FAULKNER: The factcheck sounded like some sort of strange arithmetic problem I'd see on the SAT. So, I won't comment on whether it's 22 or whether it's 50 or 70. The point being is the president is negotiating.

Any absurd over the president's politics, love him or hate him, the president is negotiating. This isn't about NATO. This is about the trade imbalance between the United States and Europe.

This is about the Europeans taking advantage of a passive U.S. foreign policy for the last several years in terms of what we allow them to basically dump their goods into our country that are deeply subsidized so they can help their internal domestic economies. The president is pushing back on behalf of American businesses and workers and holding them accountable.

VAUSE: You know, Caroline --

FAULKNER: As far as the president's base, the president doesn't need to demonize NATO to be more popular with his base. Any number of pollsters, survey left or right will tell you, he's immensely popular with his base. He doesn't need to throw any extra logs on that fire.

[00:15:05] VAUSE: I'll give you that one. Caroline, presidents from JFK to Obama have all complained about NATO members not spending enough on defense. Trump is always the first to tie the issue to trade and more importantly, he is the first U.S. president to question NATO's very existence.

HELDMAN: Absolutely. He's bringing us into new territory that not only is uncharted but is not going for the United States. It appears to be playing right into what Putin wants, which is destabilization of the west.

And the fact that he is, again, meeting with Putin just days later is a symbolic gesture as well as a practical one. So, Chris, when you talk about him negotiating, yes, he's the first to tie it to trade, but he's already escalating a trade war.

So, why bring in the percentage costs for NATO, especially given the fact that the 2 percent goal is set in 2024, so why are we talking about it in 2018? I can see the president at that time, who certainly will not be Donald Trump, having some complaints about it.

But we've actually seen a rapid expansion in the amount that countries have paid since 2014 and that has a lot to do with Obama's criticism of how little was being paid in.

VAUSE: Very quickly, I want to get to how the president talks about the president of Russia. We know that they're going to have this one- on-one meeting after the NATO summit. They'll meet in Helsinki. Just remember this is the president of a country which hacked the 2016 election in a brazen attack to undermine the very foundations of democracy.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PRESIDENT TRUMP: I think I'd get along very well with Vladimir Putin. I just think so. I will get along, I think, with Putin and I will get along with others. And we will have a much more stable, stable world.

Donald Trump is a friend of Putin. Well, actually, Putin did call me a genius, and he said I'm the future of the Republican Party, so -- I'm not a friend of Putin. I don't know Putin. I respect Putin. He's a strong leader, I can tell you that.

I have nothing to do with Putin. I've never spoken to him. I don't know anything about him other than he will respect me.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: Chris, you know, when NATO allies hear that kind of talk, why wouldn't they be worried?

FAULKNER: Well, like I said earlier, at the end of the day, the United States has definitely shown its commitment to the safety of Western Europe and expanding democracies in Europe, east or west.

The president's used a bunch of language there that has certainly scared some people who are used to a much more diplomatic and parsed nuance in terms of how someone describes a relationship.

If this were any other president and he was talking about trying to get on a one-on-one basis with a potential foreign adversary, we'd applaud him for his diplomatic skills. But because it's President Trump and he does it in a way that we are not used to or we're not comfortable with, all of a sudden, somehow this is, you know, scare mongering or making people upset or uncomfortable.

VAUSE: As he was leaving Brussels -- I want to play this last sound bite. This is from today, on Tuesday. He was asked specifically about Vladimir Putin. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Would you say Vladimir Putin is a friend or a foe?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: I really can't say right now. As far as I'm concerned, a competitor, a competitor. I think that getting along with Russia, getting along with China, getting along with others is a good thing, not a bad thing.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAUSE: So, Caroline, friend or foe. The correct answer to that question would be what?

HELDMAN: The answer would be foe, and I disagree with Chris that it's simply a matter of style and the way he's doing it. Previous presidents weren't duped into meeting with millennial rogue dictators like Kim Jong-un and cozying up with murderous dictators like Putin who hacked our election.

This is not normal, and your language normalizing it and saying it's just a matter of how he's differing that message, no. It's the very fact that he is meeting with Putin. Putin has perhaps murdered as many as two dozen of his own critics or at least ordered that to happen.

It is not a mystery that he hacked our election, which Donald Trump refuses to acknowledge even though all of our intelligence agencies and his own administrators acknowledge it. So, no, not a matter of just style. This is not normal, and it is un-American. It is a threat to our democracy to be cozying up with someone who hacked our election.

VAUSE: We are out of time, but luckily, you're coming back next hour, so Chris wild get the first question then. Thank you, both.

France has fought its way into the World Cup final. They beat Belgium 1-0 on Tuesday to advance to the championship. They'll meet the winner of England/Croatia who square off in the coming day. France last won the World Cup back in 1998. Tuesday's victory set off wild celebrations in the streets of Paris. CNN's Melissa Bell was at the party.

MELISSA BELL, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Paris is tonight as though it is celebrating its win in the final. This was only the semifinal, but really although everyone in the country had hoped the side, as strong as it is this year, would make it through to the semifinal. [00:20:08] Getting this far and pass Belgium, especially given how tense the match turned out to be, was really beyond almost anyone's hope. So, a huge victory tonight being celebrated here in France. We wait to know now who France will take on in the final next Sunday. Melissa Bell, CNN, Paris.

VAUSE: We'll have full highlights and a preview of the England/Croatia match later this hour in "WORLD SPORT."

There have been celebrations in Thailand and around the world as rescuers bring the last of the boys out of that flooded cave. We'll have an update on their recovery in just a moment.

Also, a closer look at how the football team and their coach managed to get trapped in that cave in the first place and the unprecedented efforts to get them out.

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VAUSE: Authorities say all the boys and their coach rescued from that flooded cave in Thailand are in good mental and physical condition. Crowds cheered as ambulances transported the four boys and the coach to hospital on Tuesday. All the divers and other rescuers are also out of the cave.

CNN was able to go inside the cave after Tuesday's rescue. The boys became stranded by rising floodwaters on June 23rd. Doctors say they lost an average of two kilograms of body weight, about five pounds.

CNN's Ivan Watson live in Northern Thailand. Just about that point about the average amount of weight these boys have lost, two kilos, that does not seem to be an incredible amount of weight given that they went without food for such a long time.

IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I think anybody who saw the initial videos that emerged from the cave where they were trapped noticed that the boys all looked visibly thin, John. You could see they had gone without solid food for more than a week at that stage.

But the doctors pointed out that, yes, they went without food for nine days, but they were kept alive by the very waters that trapped them. They were not dehydrated because they were surrounded by water.

The doctors say that all of the boys that were rescued and their coach are in the, quote/unquote, "safety zone." Some of them have had signs of infection of the lungs, but they are responding to antibiotics.

The second group of boys who were rescued on Monday no longer have to wear sunglasses to protect their vision. This, of course, after they had been deprived of natural light for more than two weeks, and that they're now eating foods.

[00:25:11] That their parents are going to be allowed to visit them at a distance of about maybe two meters, for example. So, you know, this sounds remarkably positive considering the ordeal that the boys and their coach went through and that the health results are positive for the rescuers.

Four Thai Navy SEALs, one of them a doctor who spent more than a week in that cave with the trapped boys, helping keep them alive and feeding them gels basically to give them some kind of nutrition after their time without food -- John.

VAUSE: Yes, it's more good news in a story which, you know, so many people have been following every moment around the world. You know, glued to every detail. There was this tweet which has gone viral. It's from Brian Class, a columnist with "The Washington Post." he tweeted this.

"One of the jarring things about the Thai cave story, 41 people died when a boat capsized in Thailand on Thursday evening, and nobody really cared. It's a pretty clear illustration of how we latch onto stories that are gripping while ignoring worse human suffering that lacks drama."

He makes this interesting point. Why were so many people drawn to this rescue, to the fate of these 12 boys and their coach?

WATSON: Well, I think I'm going to take a moment to disagree with the author of that tweet because here in Thailand, the prime minister paid a visit to Pattaya after that disaster that resulted in the lives of so many people. There were press conferences about that.

It was being reported on in Thailand, and I remember us reporting about it in CNN. Now, yes, there wasn't the same kind of international attention. It didn't grip the headlines here in Thailand day after day after day the same way as the drama surrounding these boys.

And that I can't -- I don't have a scientific explanation for that except that t confluence of circumstances here. The fact that you had these boy boys, that first video that emerged of them trapped beneath the mountain here.

The fact that they showed incredible manners. They spoke in English to the divers who discovered them. The fact that many people feared they would never be found, and yet after nine days they were discovered by two brave and intrepid British divers.

And then the fact that they're children, too. You know, in this business that you and I do, we sometimes wonder why does a disaster in one country get more attention than a disaster in another country?

There are built-in prejudices that may contribute to that fact. But I disagree with someone who says nobody cared about the extreme loss of life in that dive boat disaster in the south of the country because we witnessed that it was a priority and of concern to the Thai government.

So perhaps that twitter writer should have kind of taken a look at how it was covered here in Thailand before authoring such a kind of viral statement. VAUSE: Maybe there wasn't the same level of investment around the world of people, you know, wanting to follow what happened to the people onboard that boat compared to the kids in the cave. But I get the point that it was covered, and it was reported out there.

Just while we have you, "Variety" magazine now reporting a movie deal is in the works. Not surprising, but maybe a little sooner than expected. Ivan, clearly for the 12 boys and the coach, it's going to be a long time if ever before life returns to anything close to normal.

WATSON: Yes. I mean I can't stress enough this is a rural corner of Northern Thailand. We're very close to the border with Myanmar and much of the community up here are actually people with strong ties who are actually originally from Myanmar.

So, some people would argue that they have felt forgotten in the past by the central government in Thailand. That certainly hasn't been the case in this rescue effort, which got the full support of the Thai government, the Thai military, and volunteers and governments from around the world.

Australia's federal police just put out a statement that Australian divers were on-scene here helping in this effort. There was the U.S. military here. I heard there were Chinese divers involved in this effort.

There has probably never been a moment when so much international attention has been on one small community on the border, on certainly one youth soccer team. But as we've seen in other kind of dramas around the world, eventually this will pass, this will recede.

And we've seen remarkable -- a remarkable tight community that has come together to support their missing children, soccer team. The coach here who was the lone adult, with them, when they were trapped, this is a resilient community that has been through hard times in the past.

And they will have to, eventually, go it alone that we've heard from the doctors. They're going to be keeping an eye both on the physical and psychiatric health of these kids in the days and weeks ahead, John.

JOHN VAUSE, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Yes. Ivan (INAUDIBLE) spot with that second question, but I think it's an interesting point that there were so many people rooted to the story and, you know, just why it was so compelling, and I thank you for being with us and that answer is great.

WATSON: Thank you.

VAUSE: Thai government is also thanking people around the world for their support throughout this rescue. Posted a story on Facebook, with thank you, written in a number of languages and the post reads, we would like to express our gratitude for all that you have done. We are most grateful for your support. Thank you for taking the time to help us. We really do appreciate it from the bottom of our Thai hearts.

And under the drawing, a simple message, you are our heroes. We'll take a break. When we come back, there is a tough recovery ahead with Japan after the worst flood in the country has seen in decades. And now, survivors are facing a new weather risk.

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VAUSE: Welcome back, everybody. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM, live from Los Angeles. I'm John Vause with the headlines this hour, U.S. President Donald Trump, hours away from what's expected to be a tensed meeting with allies at the NATO Summit (INAUDIBLE) in Brussels, he slammed alliance members for not standing enough on defense, and late into the European Union for what he views as unfair trading practices.

The last of the boys trapped in the cave in Thailand are now safe in hospital. Doctors say they are good mental and physical condition. Rescuers brought out the final four boys and their coach on Tuesday. Some of those rescued earlier in the week are now allowed to visit with their families.

Coming into court on a deadline, U.S. immigration officials are reuniting some young children separated from their parents, under the Trump administration's zero tolerance policy. As of late Tuesday, 38 children, younger than 5, are now back with their families, 64 more children are still in government custody.

For the first time in 12 years, France is headed to the World Cup Finals, beating Belgium, 1-nill, Tuesday, in a defense (INAUDIBLE) France last won the World Cup in 1998, will place either England or Croatia, they'll play their semi-final match on Wednesday.

[00:35:02] In Japan, they're trying to recover after the worst floods in almost four decades. Torrential rains unleashed huge flash floods and landslides, killing at least 155 people, dozens more are missing or unaccounted for and rescuers are now going from home to home, looking for anyone, for survivors who may be trapped.

Two million people were forced to flee their homes and thousands remain without power or running water. Officials are warning a possible heat stroke as temperatures reached up to 33 degrees Celsius. CNN's Alexandra Field, following the story from Hong Kong and Alexandra (INAUDIBLE) complains from many there about this government response.

ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, there is certainly been questions about the preparations that the government was making. A lot of these are political criticisms, given the fact that ruling party members were having a party at the time there were forecast for torrential rain, the southwest part of Japan.

Officials connected to the administration are batting with that criticisms saying that they were doing what was necessary to prepare right now, though they are focusing on the response, that includes some 75,000 rescue workers on the ground, more than 83 helicopters in the air. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FIELD: The search goes on in flood-ravaged parts of southwest Japan. Dozens are still unaccounted for. And every day, rescuers declare more lives lost. The rescue operation is now 75,000 strong, involving police and the defense force. The rain wreaked havoc and brought so much heartbreak, has stopped. But there are still risks. Damaged infrastructure complicates the rescue efforts.

And there's a possibility of more deadly mudslides. Here, in one of Japan's hardest hit structures, Hiroshima Prefecture, a river clogged with debris overflows, Tuesday morning, forcing another round of evacuations. Twenty three thousand more people told to immediately leave their homes. Cancelling a trip overseas, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe plans to visit the devastated areas and he's looking ahead of how to deal with the coming set of challenges, including intense heat.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FIELD: He says the government is gearing up to secure necessary items like water, air conditioners and portable toilets. The rising waters and mudslides forced two million people from their homes. Thousands of houses are damaged. Thousands more are still without power. Here in Okinawa Prefecture, life as it once was, is at a standstill. A Mitsubishi factory and a Panasonic factory were both temporarily hold operations. Smaller businesses slowly begin to pick up the pieces.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FIELD: And a death toll from this disaster now stands at 176 people killed. John, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has begun his tour of those devastated areas. He started out in a helicopter, getting an aerial view of the damage and all the water that remains on the ground. He also went on to visit an evacuation center. He will continue with his tour later this afternoon.

John, certainly, those pictures say it all, to put it into a little bit of context for our viewers here, what the experience on the ground, in Japan, over the weekend, was about 14 inches of rain in some parts of the southwest in just the space of two hours. We're talking about torrential rain and then of course, a lot of this disaster compounded by the landslides that followed. Still, of course, the risk there is not something that they want people to be very much aware of right now, John.

VAUSE: They will be cleaning up for quite a while. Alex, thank you, I appreciate the update. We'll take a short break. A lot more news when we come back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[00:40:51] VAUSE: So, does that song sound familiar? It should, because it's carrying number one on the Billboard Hot 100, and rapper Drake's Nice for What, but having the number one hit (INAUDIBLE) Drake has top of the record held by the Beatles back in 1964, the fab four had five songs in that top 10 all at the same time. Let's take a look at this week's Billboard top 10; seven of the songs are Drake's, numbers one, two, four, six, seven, eight and nine, not bad.

Scientists in Australia believed they've discovered the world's oldest color, and that color would be, pink. They dug out these pigments from billion-year-old rocks, deep beneath the Sahara Desert. Researchers say the pigments come from bacteria once found in an ancient ocean, which has long since disappeared. Bad bacteria dominated the food chain at the time, long before animals or humans, ever, inhabited the earth.

Australia now, because there may be bigger things on their minds, such as that great, big, scary crocodile, our rangers in Northern Territory corralled the croc, one of the largest, on record, measuring almost five meters, weighing in at 600 kilograms. They're trying to catch the beast for eight years, and now, he'll live out his life on a farm, a bit like retirement for the king of the crocs.

Thank you for watching CNN NEWSROOM, live from Los Angeles. I'm John Vause. World Sport with Patrick Snell is up next. Patrick, king of the crocs, it was a big win for France, says England and Croatia gets set to square off on Wednesday and you got all the details.

PATRICK SNELL, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: I do, certainly, what a performance by the French national team. They're through to third World Cup Final. Remember they were champion of the world, 20 years ago, back in 1990. I am going to be looking ahead to the other semi- final as England, the 66th winners take on Croatia, and why am I wearing a waistcoat on this, of all days? CNN World Sport in just a few moments. Stay with us.

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