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Donald Trump's Threats against Iran Part of a Strategy That Worked With North Korea; New Warnings As Japan Weather Kills Dozens; Enormous Iceberg Threatens Greenland Fishing Village; U.S. State Lawmaker Urged To Resign After T.V. Prank. Aired 2-3a ET

Aired July 24, 2018 - 02:00   ET

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


[02:00:00]

CYRIL VANIER, CNN ANCHOR: Iran says it's unimpressed by Donald Trump's Twitter threat, and the Iranian foreign minister has a further message for the U.S. president, "We've seen worse." Plus, hundreds of white helmet rescuers (ph) are still trapped in Syria. Those who couldn't escape the country this weekend now fear being targeting by the regime.

And a U.S. state lawmaker apologizing after he dropped his trousers and yelled racist slurs, turned out he was being pranked by comedian, Sacha Baron Cohen. Thank you for joining us everyone. Live from the CNN Center here in Atlanta, I'm Cyril Vanier.

So Donald Trump is anxious to move past the blistering reviews of his summit with Vladimir Putin, and the U.S. president is turning is attention to new targets, former U.S. intelligence officials critical of his performance on the world stage. CNN's White House correspondent, Kaitlan Collins, begins our coverage.

(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The White House targeting six former national security officials today who have criticized President Trump, announcing that he's striping them of their security clearances.

SARAH SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Not only is the president looking to look away Brennan's security clearance, he's also looking in to clearances of Comey, Clapper, Hayden, Rice and McCabe.

COLLINS: Sarah Sanders making the explosive announcement today, claiming the former officials have politicized their roles.

SANDERS: Making baseless accusations of improper contact with Russia or being influenced by Russia against the president is extremely inappropriate. And the fact that people with security clearances are making these baseless charges provides inappropriate legitimacy to accusations with zero evidence.

COLLINS: Sanders declining to give a firm deadline for when Trump would make his decision and rejecting the idea that it's the president who has politicized these agencies.

SANDERS: The president's not making baseless accusations of improper contact with a foreign government and accusing the president of the United States of treasonous activity when you have the highest level of security clearance, when you're the person that holds the nation's deepest most sacred secrets at your hands, and you go out and you make false accusations against the president of the United States. He thinks that is a - something to be very concerned with.

COLLINS: But it appears as though the White House didn't check to see who actually had a security clearance before making that announcement. Sources tell CNN, Comey no longer has a security clearance and McCabe's was deactivated when he was terminated.

The announcement, coming after a meeting between Trump and republican senator, Rand Paul of Kentucky, who called on Trump to revoke former CIA director, John Brennan's, clearance after he criticized his sit down with Russian president, Vladimir Putin, as treasonous.

Paul, tweeting after the meeting, "Public officials should not use their security clearances to leverage speaking fees or network talking head fees." James Clapper, the former intelligence chief, who was being targeted, said he doesn't see how this isn't political.

JAMES CLAPPER, FORMER UNITED STATES DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE: It's pretty obvious what the reason is, you know, why were singled out for this contemplated action is because of, you know, criticism that we've expressed about and reservations we've expressed about - about the president (ph). If - now, when someone applies for a security clearance, are we going to add to the Standard Form 86, a pledge of allegiance to President Trump.

COLLINS: Asked if Trump has the authority to strip him of his clearance, Clapper said.

CLAPPER: I guess, legally, the president has that prerogative (ph). He can suspend or revoke clearances as he sees fit, and if he chooses to do it for political (ph) reasons, I think that's a terrible president and it's a very sad commentary, and it's an abuse of the system.

COLLINS: Top officials typically maintain their clearances after they leave their post, in part, so they can offer advice and consult with their successors as needed. Michael Flynn, the former national security advisor, who has pleaded guilty to lying to investigators, kept his clearance during the Obama Administration, despite his political appearances.

Now there is no denying that President Trump has had long standing grievances with several of the people included on the White House's list, and now, his new announcement is raising questions in Washington about whether the president is using his power to punish people who criticize him. Kaitlan Collins, CNN, the White House.

(END VIDEO TAPE) VANIER: Donald Trump is also focusing his anger on Iran. After comments from President Hassan Rouhani, that war with the Iran (ph) would be, quote, "the mother of all wars." Mr. Trump went all caps this weekend in a response tweet that was read around the world. "Never ever threaten the United States again or you will suffer consequences, the likes of which, few throughout history, have ever suffered before."

Foreign minister, Javad Zarif, shot back on Monday in another tweet, "Color us (ph) unimpressed. The world heard even harsher bluster a few months ago" and he signs off with, "be cautious,".

[02:05:00]

Ramin Mostaghim is a reporter from the 'Los Angeles Times', he joins me now live from Tehran. Ramin, tell us more about the reaction where you are. Does Iran take Trump's Tweets seriously? Does it view it as a threat, or just verbal fireworks?

RAMIN MOSTAGHIM: It depends, some parts of society including the nationalist (ph) young people, they don't take it serious and they say let's come what may and they follow the suit of Sharif and President Rohani and say, "we are not scared of any war, we have seen worse than this. And we are born here, and we die here." But on the other hand people are -- some people are just trying say, "let's Trump do take corrective actions" and do something that we are not able to do.

So it's a mixed feeling of nationalists, defiant mode (ph) and also submissive mode (ph).

VANIER: Under Mr. Trump, the U.S. has moved toward a much more confrontational stance toward Iran, and it's not just this Tweet of course, it's getting rid of the nuclear agreement, it's putting sanctions back on Iran -- that's happening next month. What is Iran's strategy do deal with the Trump Administration, does it have one?

MOSTAGHIM: I don't think there is a clear cut strategy, if there is there might be some secret talks here and there. And there is also rumor that there might be some secret talking in the near future. But on the surface what is -- I mean, public diplomacy there is nothing except exchange of rhetorics against Trump and against any war mongers (ph).

They are doing as Trump, I mean, this is just ranting in return of ranting. But there might be some secret agenda that we are not aware of and some people are hopeful that that might work as North Korean secret agenda did.

VANIER: Yes, so I was going to ask about that because I wondered to what extent the North Korea precedent is coloring Iranian thinking on this? Of course the last time that Donald Trump threatened a country like this we all know it was North Korea and we all know in the end it was actually paving the way for diplomacy. And for the negotiations that are happening right now. Do you think Iran would be, could be open to negotiations of that kind with the U.S.? MOSTAGHIM: I think so, because the capability to start a war or retaliate a war against America or Israel, whatever -- is not (inaudible)

VANIER: All right, Ramin, I'm struggling to hear you. We're going to get you back up and running and we'll definitely talk to you again next hour. Thank you very much for your report though, live from Tehran Ramin Mostaghim, thanks.

We are now getting reports of what could be a crucial development in the on-going nuclear negotiations between North Korea and the U.S. we were just talking about those. A monitoring group says that these satellite images show that Pyongyang has started to dismantle some parts of a key missile test site in the country's northwest.

A nuclear expert with the group 38 North, believes this is a significant confidence building measure of Pyongyang's commitment to denuclearization. Alexander Field is following these new developments, she's in Seoul, South Korea. Alexandra, is this then a step even a baby step toward denuclearization?

ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Diplomatically perhaps more than practically speaking, Cyril. And that at this juncture is perhaps just as important. Let me break it down for you a little bit. This is a site that was key to the development of intercontinental ballistic missile technology for North Korea.

Those satellite images do appear to show some dismantlement for facilities that were used to test and develop engines at that site. So when you speak to analysts they say in terms of denuclearization this isn't a material or major step forward because North Korea has already declared that they have successfully built their nuclear program and their nuclear weapons which would make the need for testing sites less essential.

However the reason that analysts believe that this is a critical step forward is because it could preserve talks about denuclearization with the United States. This action does seem to make good on a commitment that was made in Singapore from Kim to President Trump, which was to destroy a missile engine test site.

That's something that he said he would do, this seems to be a measure that perhaps North Korea is acting in good faith, or that they're working to maintain dialogue. And this gesture Cyril is frankly needed in this moment because we haven't seen any concrete agreements about action that will be taken to achieve denuclearization since this summit happened.

[02:10:00]

And we know, in recent days, there have been plenty of reports that President Trump is frustrated by the pace of these talks with North Korea, though it's something that he's been denying on Twitter in the last 24 hours saying, he is just happy that there haven't been any recent rocket launches or nuclear tests, but that's certainly not the bar that was set in Singapore just about six weeks ago, Cyril. VANIER: And if I'm not mistaken, North Korea doesn't intend to do this for free. They're expecting the U.S. to take a step in their direction.

FIELD: Yes, North Korea was never going to do anything for free and I think that every expert that's weighed on this and anyone who's watched this evening (ph) (INAUDIBLE) knows that there is a very long road ahead when you talk about these denuclearization discussions. It's something that Secretary Pompeo has said, though he maintains that he and President Trump are optimistic.

They key here is probably about preserving negotiations, preserving discussions. So, what does North Korea want in the short term? Well, once source with knowledge of North Korea's end of these negotiations has told CNN that North Korea is looking for a bold gesture given the fact that they haven't done a recent rocket or missile launch, given the fact that they haven't done a recent nuclear test.

They are looking for something from the U.S. That source says, they are looking for the U.S. to move toward a permanent peace treaty that would officially end the Korean War. Don't forget the fighting in that war only ended with an armistice agreement back in 1953.

So, they want to see quicker movement toward a formal peace treaty that would provide some protections for the Kim regime and a key point here also, Cyril, we know that that regime is looking for sanctions relief.

That is something that Secretary Pompeo has said, just in the last week, will not come without some progress in terms of these discussions on denuclearization. So, a bit of a standstill here, but it does seem, with these satellite images, that, perhaps, North Korea is working to keep the talks alive.

VANIER: Alexandra Field reporting live from Seoul. Thank you. Dozens of members of Syria's White Helmets volunteer rescue group and their families may find a safe haven in Canada. Germany is also offering to take in some of the volunteer rescuers. They're now in Jordan after they were evacuated from Syria over the weekend, but as CNN's Jomana Karadsheh reports, hundreds of other White Helmets were still trapped in Syria's warzone.

JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: While more than 400 Syrians known (ph) as members of the White Helmets and their families were successfully evacuated over the weekend in this unprecedented international effort. We are being told by other White Helmet volunteers who remain trapped in southwestern Syria that 300 people were unable to make it this weekend.

They say they were unable to reach the evacuation point because of the security situation, because of military operations in the area, and that the regime had set up checkpoints around there. Of course, the regime has, at this point, recaptured almost all of that part of the country after they launched that offensive there, last month.

So, these trapped members of the White Helmets are appealing to the international community to countries that were part of this operation, this weekend, to save them. They say it is a matter of life and death, but they are told - they were told on Monday by the organization, by the White Helmets, that there will be no other evacuation and that they should take up the regime on its offer.

This is an offer that the Syrian government once it recaptures areas. It has been making to people there who do not want to remain under government control. That they can move to Idlib province in the north. That is the last remaining province under opposition control, but these volunteers say there is no safety in that.

They fear what might happen to them if they're caught on the road to Idlib. They say they are living in a constant state of fear, right now. That is because for years the Syrian regime has accused them of being terrorists. Jomana Karadsheh, CNN, Istanbul.

VANIER: There is a lot on the line in Pakistan's election on Wednesday. Cricket legend Imran Kahn has a real shit at becoming the country's next Prime Minister. We'll be in Islamabad after the break. Plus, the so called Benalla affair has put French President Emmanuel Macron on the defensive, raising questions about whether his political image has suffered a severe blow, and a little later this hour, an icy threat for Greenland, why some local villages refuse to panic in the face of looming danger.

[02:15:00]

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VANIER: Chinese President, Xi Jinping says it's violent shocking. An investigation is now underway after hundreds of thousands of doses of vaccines for children were found to be defective. Now, there's are vaccines that include ones for rabies, diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough.

Five senior executives of the company that made the vaccines are now in custody. They're being questioned. Some of the faulty vaccines were already on the market, and they were being given to children as part of a mandatory nationwide vaccination program. So have been recalled, but we don't know how many.

Pakistan's milestone election on Wednesday could be a violent one. It is just the second time in the country's history that a civilian government will transfer power to - all right, election observers are also concerned about Pakistan's powerful military and whether it can be trusted to stay impartial in the democratic process.

There's been speculation the Army's backing cricket legend Imran Khan in the race for Prime Minister. He's running against two political dynasties. Let's discuss this high stakes election with CNN's Sophia Saifi. She joins us now from Islamabad.

First, Sophia, tell me, please, about Imran Khan. Could this be the year that he breaks through and defeats these political dynasties that have been running the country for decades? SOPHIA SAIFI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, yes. Well, Cyril, you know Imran Khan has had many avatars. He's been a cricketing legend, he's been this famous playboy, and he's always had this sort of charisma that appeals across generations in Pakistan.

Now, in the previous election cycle in 2013, there was a lot of commentary that this would be his moment, that Imran Khan would become the next Prime Minister of Pakistan, that he'd finally break through and become the leader of this country, but that did not happen.

Now you have another surge coming from the youth. The majority of Pakistan's population is under the age of 30, and they very - he's kind of this - you know, he represents, you know, the 90s, the generation that's come of age, you now, loving Imran Khan, treating him as a demigod.

Imran Khan's politics, however, are not very representative of the youth. He's got a very center right party. His party's policies, perhaps, are not the best towards minorities, but there has been speculation that along with that youth vote he does have some shady backing from the military. Cyril -

VANIER: I was going to ask you about that. Do we know if the military is playing favorites? Do we know whether they have a preferred candidate?

SAIFI: Well, at the moment a lot of analysis is showing that Khan is definitely their favorite candidate, but the military and Khan have very strongly denied this. You know, you've got Nawaz Sharif (ph), who, himself, previously was a creation of the military, but then, you know, he was ousted in a coup, in 1999.

[02:20:00]

He's now currently sitting in jail (inaudible) on corruption charges. And his party, who is very prominent in the providence of Punjab, where this election is going to be fought, neck-to-neck, with Kahn and Sharif's family's party is - you know, they are saying - they are accusing Kahn of, you know, of the military being involved in people rigging, in favor of Khan.

They're saying that, while their rallies are prevented from being held, Khan can hold any rally without any obstruction in various parts of the country. And that is a fact, but to kind of make that correlation is not the easiest. So there's a lot of, you know, chatter, regarding the military's intervention in these elections.

There is a huge military turnout. They are going to be 350,000 troops stationed across polling (ph) stations in the country, but again, making those connections is not the safest and easiest thing to say out loud in a country like Pakistan, with its history of military occupation.

VANIER: Absolutely. And as - as we're saying, only the second time, that the - there is a civilian transfer of power. Thank you very much. Sophia Saifi, reporting live from Islamabad. Now I want to take you Paris, where many in the (inaudible) is facing,

possibly, the biggest scandal of his, admittedly young, presidency, all of this because of a video that surfaced showing his bodyguard - one of his bodyguards moonlighting, passing off as a policeman, and beating up on a protestor. Here's Melissa Bell, reporting from Paris.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MELISSA BELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The cameras were ready for the arrival of prompted (ph) interior minister. Amid calls for his resignation, Gerard Collomb was to be grilled by (inaudible) over a scandal involving one of Emmanuel Macron's aids. Collomb's defense, that it had not been for him to act.

GERARD COLLOMB, FRENCH INTERIOR MINISTER: I was informed about the video in the afternoo, the next day, by my chief of staff, who told me he had already spoken to the police commissioner and the president's chief of staff. The problem was dealt with at the appropriate level.

BELL: The video in question is this one, shot on May 1 during police clashes with demonstrators in Paris. By the very next day, the (inaudible), the police and the interior ministry were made aware of it, because the man delivering the beating, while wearing both a police helmet and an armband, is a civilian, identified as Alexandre Benalla, a presidential aid who was a senior security advisor for Emmanuel Macron.

At first, he was nearly suspended and only sat (ph) Friday, just days after the video was picked up by the French press. Benalla says he'd been invited to observe the demonstrations alongside France's riot police. He's now been placed under formal investigation, as have four others. And as the rile (ph) has grown, so to have questions about how this scandal might affect President Macron.

ALEXIS POULIN, POLITICAL ANALYST: The brand Macron is damaged forever. It will be very long before it gets to the same storytelling, the (inaudible) saying, "Oh, you have to trust me." Well, start by telling the truth, is all that we ask.

BELL: Which is why all eyes were very much on France's Parliament on Monday, where (inaudible) heard, not only from the interior minister, who said this week, the matter for the presidency, Paris' top policeman did the same.

MICHEL DELPUECH, PARIS POLICE COMMISSIONER: It was established that the Benalla case was being handled by the hierarchical authority he answered to, and that is exactly what happened. Mr. Benalla was summoned by the (inaudible) chief of staff and sanctioned.

BELL: But the sacking (ph) of Mr. Benalla seems to have raised more questions than it answered, which (inaudible) calls for the president's himself now (ph), to address the matter publically. Melissa Bell, CNN, Paris.

(END VIDEO CLIP) VANIER: A premature building collapse, Monday in Miami Beach, Florida, was caught on tape. The entire 12-story structure came down with very little warning. Now, it was due to be taken down in sections, but a contractor working nearby believes that too many load bearing walls were demolished, and this is what happened. He alerted the manager just before the building collapsed.

Streets were in the process of being closed, but one man was injured by the sudden implosion. Police are investigating this. The future of high speed travel is upon us, and in every sense of the word, it may be here before you think.

The city of Tongren, China is signing a deal for a super fast"Hyperloop" train. It's designed to move at 1,000 kilometers an hour, through almost zero-friction (ph) tubes using pressurized capsules. The train makes what would've been a one-hour flight or five-hour drive take just 20 minutes. Dirk Ahlborn, CEO of the Los Angeles firm, Hyperloop Transportation Technologies, explain the practicalities to our rigid quest.

[02:25:00]

AHLBORN: We're able to build and operate much cheaper (ph) than high- speed rail for example. So all our physibility (ph) studies so far have shown roughly from starting cost from $20 million to $30 million per kilometer. But we estimate that in China we actually might be able to build it much cheaper. We estimate that it's roughly within three years we should be able to go and (inaudible) together on the first 10 kilometers. But you know our Chinese colleagues are very aggressive and believe that they can do it much faster.

VANIER: Well the company has also signed agreements with Abu Dhabi, with Ukraine -- it began construction on its first track in Toulouse, France back in April.

Donald Trump is trading Twitter vollies (ph) with Iran, coming up just what is the U.S. strategy for dealing with Tehran (ph) and how could new economic sanctions help the U.S. President's case? Plus how people in a small fishing village are coping with a frozen giant that's just too close, we'll take you to Greenland later in the show. But before that...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I am genuinely worried. If we are a multi- national, or you've got billions in the bank then it's fine. You can ride all these things. But we haven't, we live day-to-day.

VANIER: Caught in the middle of a political storm, how BREXIT uncertainty and U.S. tariffs are putting a strain on the industrial heart of England.

(BREAK)

VANIER: And welcome back, the headlines today -- the White House says President Trump is considering revoking security clearances to six former National Security Officials who have been critical of him. They include former CIA Director John Brennan, who called the President's comments alongside of Vladimir Putin, "treasonous".

A monitoring group says these satellite images show North Korea has started to dismantle the key missile test sites in the country's northwest. A nuclear expert with the group 38 North believes this is a significant confidence building measure of Pyongyang's commitment to denuclearization.

Officials in Japan have put out new warnings as a deadly heat wave continues to blanket the country, temperatures set a record at more than 41 degrees Celsius Monday. Japan's Fire and Disaster Management Agency says 65 people have died in the scorching weather. People are being urged to take it easy, drink lots of water -- we'll have more on this with our meteorologist Petron Jahvihiere (ph) in a few minutes.

Iran is firing back in it's Twitter feud with Donald Trump after warning that war with the U.S. would be the mother of all wars. Foreign Minister Javad Zarif Tweeted late Monday that the U.S. should be cautious -- that was after the U.S. President warned Tehran to be cautious, Tweeting that if Mr. Rouhani ever threatens the U.S. again he will suffer consequences the likes of which few throughout history have ever suffered before.

[2:30:00]

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. President, are you concerned about provoking tensions with Iran?

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Not at all, not at all.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VANIER: Let's try and get some insights into this. David Rohde is standing by. He's a CNN Global Affairs Analyst and the online news director at The New Yorker. David, do you believe that Mr. Trump's tweet moves the U.S. closer to conflict with Iran? Or for the moment, do you see this as just words?

DAVID ROHDE, CNN INTERNATIONAL GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: I do think it moves the U.S. closer to conflict with Iran. You know, this is talk at this point. But renewed sanctions will take hold in August and November that will prevent not just U.S. companies from doing business with Iran, but European companies, any company that does business with Iran will face these tough new sanctions. So that kind of economic pressure, you know, is -- will definitely increase tensions.

VANIER: So this threat just a month before new sanctions kicking against Iran, that sounds like a strategy, a deliberate strategy?

ROHDE: Well, it sounds like a strategy. It's just what happens if, you know, these economic sanctions don't produce I assume the street demonstrations that the administration is expecting where people will rise up in Iran and topple the current government. If that doesn't happen, what is their strategy? And that's, you know, not clear at all to me. VANIER: Is that really what the administration is banking on?

ROHDE: Well, again, so the second element of the strategy was the speech that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo gave last night in California, and a real, you know, theme of the speech was the need for Iranians to have, you know, self-determination. And, you know, he was very vocal in attacking the current leaders of Iran saying they're all corrupt. So it seems to be an effort, you know, to instigate, you know, some sort of protest that has happened this spring, those economic protests.

But, again, it's not a very clear strategy. But this is what I see so far in terms of the tweet and the speech by Secretary Pompeo.

VANIER: And I was looking for clues of what was actually happening on the ground especially with respect to the U.S. military presence in the Persian Gulf. They have not changed their military posture. In fact, very recently they have taken away some of their assets from the Persian Gulf. What does that tell you?

ROHDE: I guess that, you know, we are not -- there's no sort of imminent planning for any kind of military action against Iran. So that just, you know, leads us back to this question of how is this going to happen? And I fear there's a, you know, an optimism among some of the president's aides or maybe President Trump himself about how easy it will be to somehow, you know, remove the Iranian government. Of course, there's a question of if the government were to topple, you know, what happens then? Who runs the country?

VANIER: I want to read you a line from Jennifer Rubin's editorial in The Washington Post. She says this, commentators might become alarmed that Trump's rhetoric will set off an escalation that leads to increasing conflict on the ground in the Middle East tinderbox. Instead, we should be more concerned that we have no Iran policy to speak of. What do you think of that?

ROHDE: I think that's -- again, I'm not in these meetings. I don't know what's happening. But there's a pattern of this White House ignoring the advice of the experts inside and outside the government. You know, these are hard problems. The president, you know, won the election in part by promising so the easiest solutions to foreign policy problems, to domestic problems, so, you know, I don't see a clear policy. I don't see this, you know, somehow toppling the government of Iran being as easy as this White House claims it to be.

VANIER: But, look, you've told us what the White House's leverage or potential leverage could be which is new sanctions starting to kick in a month from now, and we've got now threats which are not nothing from the U.S. president. What are the cards that Iran can play?

ROHDE: I think they can, you know, continue the Iran nuclear deal working with European powers. I think they can wait. You know, they might be in better, you know, a better economic situation than people realize. And then they have forces stretched out, you know, from Lebanon across Syria, Iraq to Iran as well. They're believed to be active in Yemen. So there's many ways through their proxies they can pressure the U.S. and its allies.

So Iran is a, you know, a very large country that has very large, you know, resources and a highly developed military and intelligence service.

[02:35:06] So any conflict would not be a simple one, and, you know, again, the idea that this government will simply accede power, you know, I think it's overly optimistic.

VANIER: David Rohde, thank you. As always a pleasure speaking to you. Thanks.

ROHDE: Thank you.

VANIER: (INAUDIBLE) says the European Union needs to change tactics or risk the U.K. leaving the E.U. without a deal. Speaking on first overseas trips since taking over from Boris Johnson, Jeremy Hunt says a hard Brexit would hurt the U.K. economy, but the British public would blame Brussels for that damage.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JEREMY HUNT, UNITED KINGDOM SECRETARY OF STATE FOR FOREIGN AND COMMONWEALTH AFFAIRS: Without a real change in approach from the E.U. negotiators, we do now face a real risk of no deal by accident, and that would be incredibly challenging economically. My real concern is that it would change British public attitudes to Europe for a generation.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VANIER: Well, a few areas would feel the effects of a hard Brexit more than Britain's industrial heartland. Decades of decline have already pushed many of its businesses to the brink. But now steel makers are caught between a trade war with the U.S. and Brexit uncertainty in Europe. Anna Stewart is on the ground.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ANNA STEWART, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: He said, crushed and molded. This is high grade steel that's heading to the United States and the E.U. Peter Davies owns four steel works employing around 200 people.

PETER DAVIES, OWNER, ORIGINAL STEEL SERVICES: Steel is the basic commodity that drives the west midland.

STEWART: Once the beating heart of industrial Britain, now, this region is caught between a rock and a hard place, Brexit and U.S. tariffs. The uncertainty putting hundreds of thousands of dollars in new investment on hold.

DAVIES: For the first time, I think in my life I'm genuinely worried. If you're a multinational or you've got billions in the bank then it's fine. You can ride all these things. But we haven't. We live day to day. STEWART: The steel he sells to America is highly specialized used in

railroads and mining equipment. It's not subject to tariffs yet, but he worries his factories could become a collateral damage in President Trump's trade war.

DAVIES: This is an e-mail from one of our major American customers asking what the impact will be on the steel tariffs.

STEWART: Davies says the two sides should negotiate instead of retaliating further.

DAVIES: They are literally like kids, you know, I'm going to slap this. I've taken your back. You can have my back. The problem is that this is real people, real jobs.

STEWART: So many of the workers here, it's the only job they've ever known. They sympathize with tariffs that protect local industry. Cheap steel from China and automation have forced hundreds of small factories to close in recent years. Many voted for Brexit for the same reason. Andrew Rich, the operations director is one of them.

ANDREW RICH, OPERATIONS MANAGER, ?BROMFORD IRON AND STEEL: When I look around them, the conditions are getting worse.

STEWART: But are you worried now that leaving the E.U. could be quite damaging for this industry that you all got?

RICH: Yes, I am. I'm not sure what's going to happen after Brexit. But whatever happens we need some certainty.

STEWART: And yet he says, he wouldn't change his vote.

DAVIES: A lot of them are sort of sanguine, it'll be all right. They don't roll over in the middle of the night thinking, oh, my God --

(CROSSTALK)

STEWART: That's your job.

DAVIES: That's my job. That's my job. You know, I'm paid to worry.

STEWART: His companies source more steel from Germany and if the U.K. crashes out of the E.U. without a deal, his costs could spike. What would that mean for your business?

DAVIES: It could mean closure. We would probably lose up to 50 percent or 60 percent of our market, and that would be devastating.

STEWART: Until then the workers here can only hope that politicians keep hammering away at a deal. Anna Stewart, CNN, West Bromwich, U.K.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VANIER: Japan's killer heat wave is pushing the mercury to record highs. People are trying to cope with the scorching temperatures. So is this going to end anytime soon? We'll be talking to the CNN weather center about that. Plus, there's a different threat in the arctic this time and this one looms over a peaceful fishing village in Greenland. We'll be there, too.

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[02:42:25] VANIER: Deadly fires in Greece. More than 20 people have been killed in fires that continue to rage Monday outside of Athens, the capital. Houses burned to the ground in Rafina and charred bodies were found nearby. Firefighters have had a hard time taming these blazes as they were battling fires on three fronts, and they've been hampered also by intense winds. Spain and Cypress have offered help and Greece is asking E.U. members for assistance as well.

Four men are now under arrest in connection of a suspected acid attack on a three-year-old boy in the English city of Worcester. He suffered serious burns to his face and an arm. But police still don't know why the boy was attacked. Britain has seen a 74 percent rise in acid attacks in the last year. Erin McLaughlin looks at the lasting damaged they leave.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's until now I've got nightmares about it.

ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: In 2016, Musa Miah's life changed forever when he was attacked with acid.

MUSA MIAH, ACID ATTACK VICTIM: My eyelid was burned completely, so they had to use skin graft from here and put on my eyelid. And for my face, they had to get it from my head.

MCLAUGHLIN: A year into his treatment, CNN sat down with Musa and he accounted how a cocktail of acid was thrown in his face when he was just trying to stop a fight.

MIAH: It's a feeling you can't describe, so bad. The pain of it is really, really bad. It feels like your face is just melting.

MCLAUGHLIN: A growing problem in the last three years, the number of acid attacks in the United Kingdom has tripled. The attackers mainly teenage boys and men are using chemicals to carry out a range of crimes, moped head robberies, gang violence, revenge, and even just random attacks. The chemicals are easy to find, cheap to buy. Corrosive substances like ammonia and bleach that are in many household cleaning products and sold in corner shops.

And while the materials to create the acid are cheap, the aftermath is costly. A study released this month estimates acid attacks cost Britain $80 million a year. The government is moving to tighten laws. If passed, new legislation would make it a crime to carry a corrosive substance in a public place without good cause. Musa's offenders received six and nine years respectively. But he says no punishment compares to his life sentence of disfigurement.

[02:44:55] MIAH: I used to get people staring at me, it's like -- it's like they're looking at a monster or something. This is something really bad. It'll change someone's life. You don't feel the same.

MCLAUGHLIN: Erin McLaughlin, CNN, London.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VANIER: Japan's Fire and Disaster Management Agency says 65 people have died and more than 22,000 have been hospitalized during the past two weeks in a record-setting heat wave.

Japanese officials are urging people to find cool spaces, to drink plenty of water after the mercury topped the record 41.1 degrees Celsius on Monday. Tokyo's governor says it's like living on a sauna. Pedram Javaheri joins us more from the CNN Weather Center. Pedram?

PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN INTERNATIONAL METEOROLOGIST: Yes, Cyril, it's very well put too. You know, when you think about how hot it's been for how long this heat has continued in the 41.1 you're talking about is now the hottest temperature ever observed in Japan. And, of course, records date back well over a hundred years across this region.

And Kumagaya, just northwest of Tokyo is where this observation took place there on Monday afternoon. So really remarkable heat, of course, that's measured in the shade not factoring the humidity in place. And when you factor that in, it becomes dangerously hot.

And, of course, we're running not just five or so degrees above average, but 10, in some place is close to 12 degrees above average in the hottest time of year. So, this makes it that much more dangerous. You factor in the humidity in Tokyo on Tuesday, going for a 41-degree afternoon, 37 degrees though, noticeably cooler come Wednesday afternoon.

And we know even places in Kyoto, they've actually canceled some parades there for as late as for Tuesday as well, because of the extreme heat. There's a children that were expected to be involved in the parade, some elderly, as well. And they're just saying it's too dangerous.

And, of course, the extreme heat has been persistent. But now the models indicating will get a little bit of a break here potentially good, a decent bit of cooling over the next several days. At least, going in towards this weekend. And then, early next week, we'll see the seasonal temperatures which are rather warm for this time of year.

Begin to rebound again, and in fact, the forecast in Tokyo does a really good job showing our first sub 30 degrees reading in about 30 days' time by Thursday afternoon. And in fact, again, a little bit cooler and then, the rebound comes back early next week.

Now, the other story we've been following in is what's been happening across portions of Europe as it relates to dry conditions and wildfires. And in Greece, we know multiple wildfires as we just talked about here moments ago. But, there's now becoming the deadliest fire season across this region since 2007. We've seen gusts upwards of 80 kilometers per hour and unfortunately, the persistence of this particular feature here, and the dry thunderstorms that have been ignited every single day have really been problematic. So, we've got a system that is pushing right through this region with it.

We're getting afternoon thunderstorms, most of which coming down on the dry side. So again, igniting additional flames and also making it for erratic wind behavior across this region in really fascinating study. You're kind of showing you the global temperature anomalies and the hottest years on record across our planet.

And, in fact, nine of the last 10 years have seen none of the last -- none of the 10 hottest years -- I should say have happened since the year 2005. And notice, the last three years are among the top three hottest years on record with number three being 2017 there.

And keep in mind that was a La Nina year which is we'd expect it to be a little bit cooler, and it still comes in among the hottest years ever observed. And I wouldn't be surprised if 2018 was somewhere into the top four hottest years of all time. Again going in for multiple years in a row with among the hottest years ever observed there, Cyril.

VANIER: Alright. Well, the numbers speak for themselves. Pedram Javaheri, thank you very much. Working on that Japan heat wave will still -- we will stick with that story here on CNN. Thanks, Pedram.

JAVAHERI: Yes.

VANIER: The death toll from last month's volcano eruption in Guatemala, continues to rise. Officials say it has climbed to 135, with nearly 300 people still missing. So it could still rise, and almost 3,000 still in emergency shelters.

Early last month, Guatemala's Fuego volcano unleashed a fast-moving pyroclastic flow. A deadly mix of ash, rock, and volcanic gases that covered entire villages and towns.

Now, we cover a giant threat but a very different one. It looms over a quiet village in Greenland, it is a mountain of ice. CNN's Phil Black shows us what it's like to live in the shadow of this iceberg.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

PHIL BLACK, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Very few people get to see this. The beautiful, hazardous waters of Greenland's west coast, a place where icebergs are often vastly larger than any ship trying to avoid them.

LCDR. FRANK EDLEFSEN, COMMANDING OFFICER: A lot of big icebergs in this area as you can see.

BLACK: And when we say big, they're enormous.

EDLEFSEN: Yes, they are enormous, yes, yes. BLACK: We've traveled with Danish Navy to see this one giant mountain of ice. You can see the iceberg's awesome mass above and below the water as it sits right next to the isolated village, the Innaarsuit.

Just moments ago, this is where a large part of the iceberg carved off into the sea. At first impression, it looks really big and intimidating solid and unmoving, wedge tied on the sea floor. But all over the surface, you can see cracks and crevices, weak points that have the potential to split.

And if they do, suddenly, you can see the dramatic breakup of this iceberg would be a hugely violent event.

We go ashore the twilight gloom that is a summer's night here. From almost every angle, the iceberg looms over this community.

[02:50:32] PIA KRISTENSEN, TEACHER, RESIDENT, INNAARSUIT, GREENLAND: It's beautiful.

BLACK: Beautiful?

KRISTENSEN: yes.

BLACK: Why is it beautiful?

KRISTENSEN: We are used to it. We have many like this in summers. And -- but it seems -- it seems bigger than the -- than the others.

BLACK: Bigger, and most dangerously, it's closer. If the iceberg breaks or rolls, it would send tsunami-like waves toward these people. In a new day's arctic sunshine, the iceberg is a brilliant white. From the shoreline, you can hear and see the ice changing and approaching its end.

Hans Matthias Christensen has lived in Innaarsuit for 52 years. Like almost every man here, he fishes, hunt seals, and whales, even polar bears in winter. And he knows icebergs.

He tells me his father told him, grounded icebergs are the most dangerous because they eventually break. He's seen them destroy boats, and he knows there will be huge waves from this one.

The people here felt some relief when the iceberg moved a little just beyond their Harbor. And they hope higher sea levels with the next full moon will allow it to lift off the bottom and float away. But if it doesn't, it will eventually become unstable, like this, another massive iceberg we could see from Innaarsuit.

We've sped up the video to show the incredible power as it rolls in the water. Scientists say the glaciers in this specific region of Greenland have long been known for producing big icebergs. There's no known link to climate change.

The people of Innaarsuit know how to endure the challenges of living in the Arctic. One key rule hard learned by generations, they must keep their distance from the unpredictable frozen giants they share these waters with. Phil Black, CNN, Innaarsuit, Greenland.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VANIER: Crazy but true and Americans somehow ends up dropping his pants on camera in the name of counterterrorism. An American lawmaker that is, find out why when we come back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VANIER: An American lawmaker is caught on camera making racial slurs, imitating in the worst and most offensive way possible a Chinese accent, and you saw it before the break, pulling his pants down. Now, unsurprisingly, he is facing calls to resign.

Well, the lawmaker has apologized, but he also says that he was set up. That he acted out of turn because of his fear is arising from previous death threats.

It turns out he's the latest victim of comedian Sacha Baron Cohen. Here is CNN's Tom Foreman.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SACHA BARON COHEN, BRITISH ACTOR, COMEDIAN: You have three seconds to attack the tension, go.

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Screaming a racial slur, mocking Chinese tourists.

REP. JASON SPENCER (R), GEORGIA: Red dragon, Beijing.

[02:55:03] FOREMAN: Dropping his pants.

SPENCER: I'll make you a homosexual or you drop that gun right now, USA.

FOREMAN: Georgia state lawmaker Jason Spencer, did all that and more as he talked with the supposed Israeli anti-terrorism expert.

The governor called it appalling and offensive. The State House speaker, reprehensible and called for Spencer's resignation. But he says he was tricked by deceptive and fraudulent behavior by a company that exploited my state of mind, his fear of terrorism. Because that expert was really comedian Sacha Baron Cohen of Borat fame.

COHEN: My name is Borat.

FOREMAN: Who is shooting an episode for his new T.V. show, Who Is America? And Spencer is not the only one who has been taken in.

MICHAEL SMERCONISH, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Our histones exposing truth or just pushing an already polarized country farther apart, many of the victims have been speaking out. So far, they include Sarah Palin, Dick Cheney, Ted Koppel --

FOREMAN: With some saying they never knew the true purpose or person behind their interviews.

JOE WALSH, FORMER CONGRESSMAN OF ILLINOIS: He gets people to say stupid things because he lies to them.

FOREMAN: Sarah Palin, whose episode has not aired yet, says she was lured by the promise of an interview about veterans, quote, "I joined a long list of American public personalities who have fallen victim to Cohen's evil exploitive sick humor."

Defending her James O'Keefe, the conservative activist who has used hidden cameras and deceptively edited videos to embarrass liberals. He tweeted at his past critics, "To those who praised Cohen's posing as a disabled vet to sting Palin, you can go straight to hell." But there is a difference.

BRIAN LOWRY, CNN MEDIA CRITIC: This is a situation where people are saying and doing really outlandish things while they know there's a camera on them. And I think, that, that ratchets up the heat on them significantly.

PHILIP VAN CLEAVE, PRESIDENT, THE VIRGINIA CITIZENS DEFENSE LEAGUE: Just remember to point puppy pistol's mouth right at the middle of the bad man.

FOREMAN: Nonetheless, conservatives clearly feel targeted even when they resist.

REP. MATT GAETZ (R-FL), HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE: You want me to say on television that I support 3-and 4-year-olds with firearms?

FOREMAN: And even as Cohen skewers progressives too.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), SENATE BUDGET COMMITTEE: Well if you put everybody into the one percent, that wouldn't be the one percent.

COHEN: No it still would be.

SANDERS: No, it wouldn't.

FOREMAN: You might dismiss it all as harmless fun, but in this town where people spend small fortunes to have folks manage their political images, alarm bells are ringing. Tom Foreman, CNN, Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VANIER: And as Tom pointed out, there's a lot more of that where that came from. More episodes to come from Sacha Baron Cohen's new show. No doubt we will at some point probably be talking about it again. I'm Cyril Vanier, and back at the top of the hour.

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