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CONNECT THE WORLD
Palestinian Teen Who Slapped Israel Soldier Now Free; Putin Touts Russian Fleet On Navy Day; Qatar Denies Report It Smeared Rivals To Win Bid; Deadly Wildfire Tears Through The Entire Neighborhood; Dozens Dead In Northern India After Heavy Flooding; Trump's Push To Drill In Alaskan Nature Refuse Spurs Debate. Aired 11-12p
Aired July 29, 2018 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[11:00:00] PAULINE CHIOU, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Hello and welcome to CONNECT THE WORLD, I'm Pauline Chiou in New York sitting in for Becky
Anderson. A hero's homecoming for Ahed Tamimi, the teenager who's become a symbol for Palestinian resistance is back in the West Bank after serving an
eight-month sentence in an Israeli prison. In a news conference a short time ago, she was defiant saying her fight against Israeli occupation
continues. Tamimi was arrested in December after this video emerge of her slapping and kicking Israeli soldiers near her home in the West Bank. The
incident took place after she found out Israeli troops had shot her 15- year-old cousin in the head with a rubber bullet. CNN's Ian Lee is in Tamimi's hometown in the West Bank and our Oren Liebermann is following the
story live from Jerusalem. Ian, I'll start with you. What has this homecoming been like for Ahed?
IAN LEE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, this homecoming was a time of celebration for the people of Nabi Saleh but there were a lot of steps to
this homecoming. It wasn't just going from prison to her house. The first thing she did was she went to -- at the house of a family member who had
someone died to pay her respects, then she went to the grave site of the former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat to lay a wreath at his grave, then
she talked to the Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to talk with him. She said that she conveyed a message from all the Palestinian
prisoners to the Palestinian President saying that that not to forget them, that they want unity within the government. And that's kind of one of the
political statements that she made today because there is this split between Fatah and Hamas, the West Bank and Gaza.
She talked about unity to the Palestinian President and then she came back to her hometown where she visited some more people and then had a press
conference talking about what her life has been in prison, what it was like for her. She said that it was a challenging time but she said it really
focused her. You know, she was 16 years old going into prison. She's 17 coming out. She finished her schooling there. She says that she is now
more driven to what she says despite the occupation than ever.
CHIOU: And she has been politically active along with her family for years even before that incident in December. What does she say is next for her?
LEE: You know, that's interesting because that question what she was asked her and said would you do this again and she said well she can't really
talk about that. She's under a court order or it's part of her parole is that not talk about anything that they could be seen as what Israelis would
view as incitement. But for her future she says that she wants to study law, she wants to go into human rights to use her voice in the legal
avenues, she says, to fight the occupation. You know, the one thing that's interesting is when I talked to her father many months back, I asked you
know, what she wanted to be and he told me that she wanted to be a soccer player. She even had a picture of Messi on her wall. But she said that
this whole experience really had forged her into focusing her career path. She says she wants to study law so that she can use her voice and the law
to fight it.
CHIOU: Let's bring in Oren Liebermann right now live from Jerusalem. Oren, what have we heard from the Israelis about her release today?
OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Very little in fact. It seems we haven't heard from any Israeli politicians making any big statements. We
certainly heard a lot of big statements when she was arrested, and when she -- then we should took a plea deal pleading guilty to charges of incitement
as well as disrupting a soldier. It has to be noted that eight of the 12 charges against her were dropped. But the day upon her release we've heard
very little. And it is worth pointing out that plea deal could be seen as essentially the easiest way out for Israel. To have dragged her through a
trial would have only focused international criticism on Israel and on Israel's military court system and its handling of Palestinian youth. To
have let her go would -- to have been -- were two would be to have appeared soft on what Israel sees as incitement, what Israel sees as a crime. So
that plea deal in a fairly short sentence of eight once was seen as her -- could be viewed as a way for Israel to come out of this as quickly and
quietly as possible. It seems with very few statements from politicians it seems Israel would likely to have this go on to have this continue and to
have this be passed.
CHIOU: But in the meantime, she's held a news conference and Tamimi did speak about other teenage girls and young women serving time in the Israeli
prison. So Oren, why do you think her case in particular has gotten so much attention?
[11:05:04] LIEBERMANN: And that's been one of the questions about Ahed Tamimi from the very beginning. Part of it is that even before this video
from last December became famous and went viral, she was already famous. Her fame dates back to 2012 where a video of a young Tamimi -- I'm sorry --
a picture of a young Tamimi can be seen holding her fist up to an Israeli soldier. That already gained her international acclaim and since then her
fame has only grown. But it's also the other side's reaction that made this even more famous. It wasn't just the Palestinians viewing her as a
symbol, viewing her as a hero following that December video, that video also sparked a debate within Israel. How did the soldiers react? What was
the proper way to respond? And because there was a discussion on both sides, all of that served to prolong the story and serve the increase to
Mimi's fame. And that's why we're talking about her release right now. That's why there was so much attention so much media at her press
conference upon her release.
CHIOU: Yes, and speaking about the amount of attention she's gotten while preparations were being made for her release, Israel made some related
arrests so three graffiti artists, two Italians and one Palestinian were detained by Israeli soldiers for painting this mural of her on the
separation barrier in Bethlehem. So Oren, back to you again, how worried is the Israeli government about Tamimi becoming even a bigger symbol for
Palestinian resistance and how much effort are they putting in to try to counter that move?
LIEBERMANN: Whether they're worried about it or not it's happening right before our eyes and that mural, that giant-sized mural, that hyper-
realistic mural is very much evidence of that. The preparations made for her release, the celebration upon her release. She is a symbol whether the
Israeli government likes it or not. Perhaps that and this is justs peculation perhaps one of the reasons we're not seeing comments from the
Israelis right now is to comment would have been to make the story even bigger so they let the story go. They'll see where it goes from here.
What efforts will there be to stop her from being a symbol, in a sense those efforts are irrelevant. She already is for Palestinians such an
important symbol even at such a young age.
CHIOU: Oren Liebermann live from Jerusalem and also Ian Lee live from her hometown in the West Bank, thank you very much to both of you. A massive
show of force of bravado for the benefit of friends and also foes, Russia is offering a not too subtle reminder of its military might as President
Vladimir Putin shows off his country's newest and most advance to warships. On Sunday Russia commemorated Navy Day with a parade sailing 41 vessels
including 30 warships through the Gulf of Finland into the Neva River near Saint Petersburg. Let's get over to where it's all been happening. Senior
International Correspondent Fred Pleitgen live for us in St. Petersburg. Fred, obviously, Russia is flexing its muscle but it is specifically geared
towards the U.S. even though both leaders that say they want to improve relations?
FRED PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I think it's something appalling that's happening in parallel. I think a lot of what we
saw today was a really a giant show of force by the Russian Navy and of course also Vladimir Putin on hand giving a speech. A lot of that was for
domestic consumption but there certainly seems to be an international message as well which was to show that the Russian Navy once again is as
strong as it ever has been since the end of the Cold War. They unveiled some new vessels including a spy ship that's clearly geared towards
intercepting NATO communications and also to work against defense systems, missile defense systems that NATO especially the United States have been
building up especially in Eastern European countries let a submarine that's nicknamed the Carrier Killer here in Russia which tasked is to hunt down
especially American aircraft carriers or another aircraft carriers as well should that become necessary.
And then a brand new frigate, one of the first ones that Russia has unveiled since the end of the Cold War also for the first time was seen
here at this event. So certainly it's something where the Russians have shown that they do have a very powerful Navy, again. I think one of the
interesting things that we heard was Vladimir Putin in this very short speech, one of the things that he said that the Russian Navy had been
successful at (INAUDIBLE), he said yet that they had been successful at creating what he called parity. That obviously is geared towards the
United States to show the U.S. that while hawks between himself and Donald Trump have been going on, while both leaders have said they are committed
to not letting an arms race get out of control, the Russians are still saying they are going to have their Navy be strong and become stronger
throughout the year. Pauline?
CHIOU: And Fred, while he's aiming for that parity, we also have the International Army games going on simultaneously they kicked out of Moscow
yesterday so that's a double punch there. Is it essentially an international reminder that Moscow keeps very powerful friends?
PLEITGEN: Yes, I mean it certainly is. It's actually a very interesting way to phrase that. I think you're absolutely right. Because one of the
things that the Russians have shown is that they do have nations who are friendly to them that we're also very powerful. China, for instance,
taking part in those International Army games as well. In fact, one of the main events of the first couple of days, the tank biathlon which is always
extensively covered on Russian T.V. was won by both the Armenians and the Chinese. You also have the Indian as well taking part. Other big nations,
one notable nation, by the way, is also Iran that's taking part as well. First, the Russians are very close relations with the Iranians, both have
been fighting on the same side in Syria and that's also something that of course the U.S. has do very critically as well, Pauline.
[11:10:25] CHIOU: And also as you mentioned, good material for the domestic audience there. Fred Pleitgen live from St. Petersburg, thanks so
much. There is now even more controversy surrounding one of the most high- profile sporting competitions in the world. The Sunday Times is reporting that Qatar broke FIFA's rules by launching a smear campaign to win its bid
to host the 2022 World Cup. CNN Sports' Don Riddell joins me now live. Don, what is the newspaper alleging?
DON RIDDELL, CNN WORLD SPORTS: Well, the organizers of the next FIFA World Cup in Qatar have denied running a so-called black operations campaign in
order to win the rights to host this tournament. That is in response to these allegations made by The Sunday Times newspaper the Qatar's bid team
hired former CIA agents and a P.R. firm to distribute propaganda about its main rivals the United States and Australia. Their reporting is based on
e-mails from a whistleblower who had worked on the campaign and it details a plan to weaken support for rival bids by recruiting influential people to
undermine those bids. Responding to CNN Qatar categorically denied the allegations saying it "rejects each and every allegation put forward by The
Sunday Times. We have strictly adhered to all FIFA's rules and regulations for the 2018, 2022 World Cup bidding process.
The CNN has also reached out to Brown Lloyd James the P.R. firm named in the report but they were unable to comment. Qatar successful bid was a
major surprise. I'm sure you remember back in 2010, and it has been marred by allegations of corruption, allegations of human rights abuse, and
complications around when to stage a tournament traditionally timetabled around a European summer. A June, July tournament is too hot in Qatar so
it would be held in November and December which means that Europe's top domestic leagues will struggle to accommodate. The Qatar bid has already
been the subject of a lengthy investigation by FIFA and cleared of any wrongdoing. Qatari officials told CNN today "we have been thoroughly
investigated and have been forthcoming with all information related to our bid including the official investigation led by Attorney Michael Garcia.
The tournament is scheduled to kick off on the 21st of November in just over four years' time.
CHIOU: So after this whistleblower report done, what could possibly happen next? Well, I guess if FIFA deemed that this is new evidence that they
haven't seen before, perhaps they could reopen an investigation. They are certainly keen to distance themselves from the FIFA of old under Sepp
Blatter. It does seem hard to imagine or foresee them actually stripping Qatar of the tournament given the billions of dollars that have already
been spent but many within the football community, many football writers and experts still struggle to actually accept the fact that Qatar will be
hosting this tournament in four years' time. They think that there is a chance that this could be held somewhere else or perhaps even shared with
other countries in the region.
CHIOU: All right, so just another controversy piled on top two others in this space. Thank you so much, Don. Don Riddell reporting live on this
latest report. Well, still to come tonight, from fierce defender to a potential legal nightmare for the U.S. President. We take a look at the
dramatic shift made by Donald Trump's former attorney Michael Cohen.
[11:15:0] CHIOU: You're watching CNN and this is CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Pauline shoes sitting in for Becky Anderson, welcome back. What a
difference a few weeks and a leaked audio tape can make. Michael Cohen looks more and more like he's turned on his former client, the U.S.
President. The shift is causing Donald Trump's current attorney Rudy Giuliani to accuse Cohen of lying and doctoring tapes. If it isn't clear
enough that the relationship was dead, Giuliani now confirms the agreement for both legal teams to share information has ended. CNN's Tom Foreman
takes a closer look at Cohen's dramatic and sudden shift from loyal fixer to persona non grata.
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPODENT: Donald Trump's defender --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You guys are down and it makes that there would --
MICHAEL COHEN, FORMER LAWYER, DONALD TRUMP: Says who? Says who?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Most of them -- all of them.
FOREMAN: His trusted advisor.
COHEN: The words the media should be using to describe Mr. Trump are generous, compassionate --
FOREMAN: And most of all, his lawyer.
COHEN: My job is I protect Mr. Trump. That's what it is. If there's an issue that relates to Mr. Trump that is of concern to him it's of course
concern to me.
FOREMAN: Michael Cohen has been all that to Donald Trump and Trump has returned the favor with an extremely rare close relationship.
DAVID SCHWARTZ, FRIEND MICHAEL COHEN: It was much more than an attorney- client relationship, it was certain -- it was something much deeper, almost father and son kind of -- kind of thing. Donald Trump knew that Michael
always had his back.
FOREMAN: The two native New Yorkers joined forces about a dozen years ago when Cohen bought a condo in a Trump building and by most accounts they
bonded quickly over their shared values and sharp elbows. Soon Cohen was handling real estate deals helping run some companies and even coordinating
transportation for Trump.
COHEN: They say Mr. Trump's pitbull, that I am his -- I'm his right-hand man.
FOREMAN: When Trump's campaign lit up, Cohen's portfolio expanded to include alleged payoffs to women claiming sexual relationships with his
client even as the President has steadily denied them.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why did Michael Cohen made (INAUDIBLE)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, you'll have to ask Michael Cohen. Michael is my attorney and you'll have to ask Michael.
FOREMAN: And as the Russia investigation tightened, Cohen famously told Vanity Fair last year I'm the guy who would take a bullet for the
President. Then came April.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: Breaking news, the FBI today raided the offices of President Trump's longtime attorney Michael Cohen.
FOREMAN: The President erupted.
TRUMP: It's an attack on our country in a true sense.
FOREMAN: But while he shouted witch-hunt, Cohen has since gone another way telling ABC I don't agree with those who demonize or vilify the FBI. I
will not be a punching bag in anyone's defense strategy and now I put family and country first.
FOREMAN: For his part, President Trump who used to routinely and warmly talk about Michael Cohen now seems to not be saying his name publicly at
all, let alone nice things about him. Tom Foreman, CNN Washington.
CHIOU: Well, Mr. Trump just weighed in a short time ago tweeting this reminder of how Michael Cohen viewed the infamous Trump Tower meeting a
year ago. Cohen called the President's eldest son's account honest and transparent back then. Now he's saying the opposite with sources telling
CNN that Cohen says that Mr. Trump not only knew about the meeting with Russians ahead of time but signed off on it. Julian Zelizer is a CNN
Political Analyst and a Historian and Professor at Princeton University. He joins me now live in New York. Julian, thanks so much for coming in
again. So now we've got Cohen publicly breaking from Trump. We've also got the CFO of the Trump Organization subpoenaed to testify in the Cohen
investigation according to the Wall Street Journal. Do you see this as reaching a very critical level in this investigation?
[11:20:32] JULIAN ZELIZER, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Sure. I do think we've reached the new point where multiple investigations are getting very deep
inside the Trump Organization. It does not totally surprising that this is the moment where some former ally is all of a sudden appear to be
adversaries and potentially willing to give information that could be damaging to the President.
CHIOU: So you think some of those will see sort of the news tightening and pull away?
ZELIZER: Well, sure. I mean, I think some of the allies -- former allies, the want to protect themselves and so as the investigators are more
aggressive in this respect, that's when you get things like what you're hearing from Michael Cohen where they're more willing to share information
to protect themselves. And in this case, you someone who's not particularly reliable but someone who does have it seems a lot of audio
CHIOU: Yes, and you said it's not that one audio tape that was released that (INAUDIBLE) Trump but the others that the FBI has. Julian, let's talk
about these -- the two main investigation and just divide that and see where they overlapped. First, you've got the Mueller probe and some
possible Russia collusion, and then you've got the New York Southern District of New York probe into Michael Cohen and possible campaign finance
violations with the payment to Karen McDougal. So how are you looking at these two investigations and where they overlap? How are you distilling
the information and try to focus on what the main points are?
ZELIZER: Well, the obviously overlap and that you're dealing with the same group of players. So Michael who's being investigated in New York for
potential campaign finance violations is the same Michael Cohen who protected the President or then-candidate Trump throughout the campaign of
2016 so there's got to be information that is released in one case that's relevant for both cases. And the second part is as you put, pressure on
someone through an investigation like the New York one, the might be more willing to help and share their information with the other investigation,
the Russian collusion. That's why some of the inner circle of Trump's White House is very unsettled by what's going on.
CHIOU: Looking ahead to the midterm elections, Trump says he wants to campaign for vulnerable GOP candidates and apparently he's told his chief
of staff to narrow down the top vulnerable candidates and he says he's going try to campaign six to seven days a week ahead of the midterm
election a month or two out. How much trouble is the GOP in right now and do some of this candidates even want Trump on the podium with them?
ZELIZER: I think the Republicans are in a lot of trouble for the midterms. Midterm usually go poorly for the party of the President and then added to
that is all the trouble and instability that the President brings to the party as a ticket. So there's got to be many candidates who the last thing
they want is for President Trump to stomp with them right now. In some ways they don't want nationalize this campaign. The best step for
Republicans to contain the damage might actually be to separate themselves from the White House and to try to make politics all about the local. But
that might be impossible and I think the President has his own reasons for wanting to get out from the campaign trail that have nothing to do with the
benefit of the GOP.
CHIOU: Julian, thank you so much once again for being with us. Julian Zelizer joining us in New York. Meanwhile, it could be America first
President be producing his reelection campaign flight in China amid a bitter trade dispute or that's what a factory in an Eastern province that
spoke with Reuters are saying. You can see for yourself the unmistakable design were linked through. But an official for Mr. Trump's reelection
campaign says they must be knock off. He insist that 100 percent of their merchandise is made in the USA. As we heard, the U.S. midterm elections
are just three months away and the outcome could dramatically alter the balance of power in congress but there is a growing concern Russian hackers
are targeting some campaign in a systematic effort to disrupt and undermine American democracy. CNN's Alex Marquardt has the details.
ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN, SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Facing growing criticism, he hasn't focused enough on the election cybersecurity threat
from Russia, the President met with his national security team in the White House Situation Room to discuss election interference. So far the
administration vague on the details.
[11:25:11] JAMES MATTIS, DEFENSE SECRETARY, UNITED STATES: Just rest assured there are actions underway to protect our elections or to expose
any external any -- by anybody external efforts to influence the American public to show false news that sort of thing.
MARQUARDT: It comes as Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill accuses Russian operatives of trying to hack into her office last year saying in a
statement while this attack was not successful, it is outrageous that they think they can get away with this. I will not be intimidated. I've said
it before and I'll say it again, Putin is a thug and a bully. McCaskill is one of the most vulnerable Democrats running for re-election this year. A
senior Microsoft executive confirmed that three 2018 candidates have been targeted by the same group of Russian intelligence operatives who targeted
Democrats in 2016.
TOM BURT, VICE PRESIDENT FOR CUSTOMER SECURITY, MICROSOFT: They were all people who because of their positions might have been interesting targets
from an espionage standpoint as well as an election disruption standpoint.
MARQUARDT: The hackers used fake Microsoft pages in so-called phishing attacks. The company is on high alert for similar pages which they say
they take down when discovered. It's the campaign's rather than the voting systems that are among the most vulnerable targets.
ROBBY MOOK, DEFENDING DIGITAL DEMOCRACY PROJECT: I think the fact of the matter is the campaign staff are just never going to be able to get to the
level of these adversaries and scare them down. We're talking about the most sophisticated cyber operators in the world, Russian intelligence, the
Iranians, the North Koreans.
MARQUARDT: The Trump administration has come under fire for not announcing a comprehensive coordinated plan to thwart cyber threats.
SEN. MARK WARNER (D), CONNECTICUT: I think it's an embarrassment that this White House has not made election security a top priority and has not put
the kind of attention and focus on it that we need. In May, the cyber coordinator role on the National Security Council was eliminated as top
intelligence officials are sounding the alarm comparing the current state of danger to the months before the 9/11 attacks.
DAN COATS, DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE, UNITED STATES: I'm here to say the warning lights are break blinking red again. Today, the digital
infrastructure that serves this country is literally under attack.
MARQUARDT: The Department of Homeland Security oversees the defense of the countries voting infrastructure but on offense it's less clear with the
NSA, FBI and military all taking leading roles.
MOOK: We really need more connective tissue between people gathering intelligence, people during law enforcement and people charged with
protecting our different assets in the digital realm. Alex Marquardt CNN New York.
CHIOU: The U.S. midterm elections are being seen by many as a referendum on Donald Trump from fired up Democrats to the woman factor and Republican
fears. We've put together a guide on what to watch as we count down the days. That's at cnn.com. And still ahead, wind at heat are fueling a
massive wildfire in Northern California. Entire communities have been laid to waste and more lies lost. The latest on the conditions there after this
[11:31:58] CHIOU: You're watching CNN and this is CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Pauline Chiou, sitting in for Becky Anderson. Welcome back. Three more
people are dead as an out of control wildfire rages in Northern California.
Two children and their great-grandmother were not able to escape when flames engulfed their home, Thursday night. The death toll now stands at
five. The Carr Fire as it's called has burned nearly 33 thousand hectares.
President Donald Trump has declared an emergency in California to allow federal assistance. You can see the massive scale of this wildfire from
the sky. This is a view from an airplane and those are not clouds, it is smoke.
Tens of thousands of people have already fled their homes. Officials are warning anyone in the area to leave while they still can.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TOM BOSENKO, COUNTY SHERIFF, SHASTA: It is important when people receive an evacuation notes that they are prepared and ready to have their
belongings, their important paper, artifacts and belongings ready to go.
And then, be set, have your car full of gas, have those medications already. Have that cell phone and cell phone charger ready with you. And
then, when you see that notification is to go.
The worst thing that happens is people refuse to leave. And then, the fire is coming. And then, firefighters are placing themselves in harm's way and
danger to go in and do a rescue.
And we saw that happening in this fire where a firefighter was going in, did a -- did a rescue. And the windows in the vehicle are literally
blowing out or all damaged. And he was able to perform that rescue, but it definitely putting himself in harm's way.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHIOU: The work is non-stop, but even firefighters have to take a break. More than 3,000 of them are working around the clock to get that fire under
Officials say the fire is only five percent contained and the hot dry conditions are likely to intensify the flames. CNN's Paul Vercammen has
the latest from Redding, California.
PAUL VERCAMMEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Pauline, some staggering statistics associated with this fire, we've heard now that five are dead including two
young children and their great-grandmother. Also, more than 530 homes completely destroyed.
Look behind me, you can get a sense for that. How the ferocity of this fire played in all of this just raising homes to the ground. Over here,
just to the left, the remnants of what was a garage. Now, this is extremely difficult for firefighters to reckon with the heat generated by
both the blaze itself in the backcountry and the blaze when it consumes homes like this.
They've been talking about temperatures in the Redding area. We're going to talk Fahrenheit, about oh, let's say 108 to 112 degrees. But when you
get closer to the fire itself, it is much hotter.
Let's listen to a veteran firefighter to describe what it is like to battle this menacing Carr Fire.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[11:35:04] GREG POWELL, BATTALION CHIEF, SACRAMENTO FIRE DEPARTMENT SPECIAL OPERATIONS: Extreme heat. I mean, we're used to hot, but you know, 116-
117 degrees on the fire line. Humidity is hovering around ten percent or less during the day which is critical few moistures for us, which means
that we have a 100 percent probability of ignition.
So, we're just battling those two things right there. Just the fatigue on the firefighters of putting out fires is horrendous. Let alone the
equipment fatigue, because just the absolute heat is causing equipment to overheat.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VERCAMMEN: And he isn't just talking about helicopters failing and not being able to get up and drop water on the fire, he's talking about
bulldozers also, suffering from mechanical fatigue, if you will. Those bulldozers extremely important because they're trying to cut fire lines,
build fire brakes, and allow for some of these crews to get a break.
And in some instances, you can see the firefighters taking that break. A group of them were found to be just off, laying down, trying to recuperate,
some of them working 24-hour shifts as they battle this huge fire in Northern California. Back to you now, Pauline.
CHIOU: That's Paul Vercammen, thank you. And let's get the very latest now from Meteorologist Allison Chinchar. Allison, we've heard talk about
fire tornadoes in this wildfire. What are these and are they rare?
ALLISON CHINCHAR, CNN METEOROLOGIST: OK. So they're not all that uncommon, and what you're talking about is this video right here. Take a
look, absolutely stunning. And perhaps, even a little scary to see the flames right there. And yes, what looks like a tornado in the background.
So, just as you asked what is this?
And the real question is, what type of impact does this have on the fires that are already there? OK. So, here is the thing, you have your fire in
place, we all know that heat rises. Well as that air gets lifted up, new air comes in to replace it but it's coming from all different directions,
and that is starting that rotation of that column of air as it goes up.
And in turn, you end up getting what looks like a tornado but made out of fire. Now, it's not a tornado in the traditional sense, but very much like
a real tornado. This can also have debris, but unlike objects, they like a car or pieces of wood, this fire debris is actually looking at other pieces
of fire, you're talking embers.
And the concern here is that those embers can be shot out and put in new areas where that fire will spread where it may not have had perhaps spread
otherwise. So, this is going to be a big concern for the firefighters there, but it's not the only concern we have.
California's topography plays a huge role in this. For those unfamiliar, California is a very mountainous area. And when you talk about that slope,
well, that slope plays a big factor in this.
Take, for example, a 20-degree slope. Again, you are talking about a 10- degree difference, every 10 degrees that you go up, you're talking about an increase in the wind speed of double. And that's going to be a concern.
Now, also in the valleys of California, you also have the concern of smoke, because that smoke gets trapped in those valleys. Well, the concern there
is all of the people breathing that smoke in. So, for all the folks there that are trying to evacuate their homes, while they're doing it, they're
breathing in that toxic air.
And the air quality is very poor not just in California but in other states like Arizona and Oregon. The other concern too are the temperatures, the
heat has been so intense there, and is likely to continue. In fact, the temperatures around the Carr Fire are likely to stay in the low 40s, for at
least, the next three to five days.
And again, the other concern, rain there is a zero percent chance of rain in the short-term forecast. That's not what they want to hear, but look at
the forecast for this reading, 42 Sunday, 42 Monday, 41 on Tuesday, lots of sunshine and very low humidity's. And that's going to make it very
difficult not only for the Carr Fire in Northern California but for all of the wildfires across areas of the Western U.S.
We have nearly 90 of these Pauline, across about a dozen different states. So, obviously, not only is that hard for the people who live there. But
it's also very hard on the resources that are needed to fight a lot of these fires.
CHIOU: All right, such important information and interesting information that you've given us. Especially, about the slope and the wind speed, and
some of those critical elements. Allison, thank you so much, Allison Chinchar.
And let's get you up to speed on some other stories that are on our radar right now. Indonesia's National Disaster Agency says at least 14 people
are dead and 162 injured following a powerful earthquake. The magnitude 6.4 quake hit early in the morning on the popular tourist island of Lombok.
More than a thousand homes have been damaged.
Monsoon rain is causing deadly flooding in Northern India. Authorities say at least 60 people have been killed, and dozens have been injured since
heavy rainfall, lightning, and flooding began late last week.
Cambodia's ruling party is reportedly claiming victory in an election some critics are calling a sham. The prime minister in power of more than 30
years is expected to pick up another term. Rights groups condemned the vote as the main opposition party was forced to disband.
U.S. President Donald Trump has threatened to impose new sanctions on Turkey after it refused to release a detained American pastor. Now,
Turkey's president says sanctions will not be effective. Recep Tayyip Erdogan, says that Turkey will bring the U.S. to international arbitration
if the U.S. withholds fighter's jets that it sold to Turkey. Our Jomana Karadsheh has more on this detained pastor.
[11:40:54] JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Finally, American pastor Andrew Brunson, walked out of jail on Wednesday but not yet free. After
almost two years behind bars, a Turkish court transfers him into house arrest, barring Brunson from leaving the country. The decision unleashing
threats from U.S. officials against their NATO ally.
MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: To President Erdogan and the Turkish government, I have a message on behalf of the President of the
United States of America. Release Pastor Andrew Brunson now or be prepared to face the consequences.
KARADSHEH: Brunson was detained in 2016 following the failed coup attempt charged with ties to Kurdish militants and the Gulen movement, the group
accused of being behind the attempted coup.
President Trump weighing in on Twitter, threatening Turkey with "large sanctions" calling the North Carolina evangelical a great Christian and a
wonderful human being. Turkey's foreign minister firing back in a tweet, "No one dictates to Turkey," he said, we will never tolerate threats from
anybody. Rule of law is for everyone, no exception.
Brunson and his family have repeatedly denied the charges, saying he's being persecuted because of his faith.
JACQUELINE FURNARI, DAUGHTER OF ANDREW BRUNSON: Having grown up in Turkey, it has been hard for me to understand the situation. My family loves and
respects the Turkish people, and my father has been dedicated to serving them for over two decades. I know the allegations against him are absurd,
he is not an armed terrorist trying to overthrow any government.
KARADSHEH: U.S. officials have accused Turkey of using Brunson as a political hostage. Last year, President Erdogan, hinting at a swap. The
pastor for the U.S. based Muslim cleric who Turkey says was behind the failed coup, a claimed the cleric denies.
Brunson's imprisonment just one of the issues that have strained ties between the two allies. But in recent weeks, it seemed like disagreements
were being resolved.
The threat of sanctions threatens to undo any progress that's been made recently. Especially, with two unpredictable leaders not known to back
down easily. Jomana Karadsheh, CNN, Istanbul.
CHIOU: Live from New York, this is CONNECT THE WORLD. Coming up, it's one of the pristine untouched parts of the U.S. But now, the U.S. is paving
away to let big oil companies in. Can Alaska's Arctic wildlife refuge survive? We'll take you there, next.
[11:45:30] CHIOU: The Alaskan Wilderness is one of the last to unspoiled places in the world. But that may soon change with Alaska's Arctic
National Wildlife Refuge, now under threat from the Trump administration.
Tax reform signed into law last year is renewing a long-running controversy by opening the door to oil drilling there for the first time. In this
third part of a trilogy of reports investigating Mr. Trump's policy towards the American Wilderness, our Bill Weird, takes us to Alaska's Arctic
BILL WEIR, CNN ANCHOR: This is magnificent. Wow. Way up at the tip-top of Alaska, an airplane can feel like a time machine.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You see them there? There's a bunch of little babies running around.
WEIR: Because the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, commonly known as ANWR, is the kind of pure wilderness most of America paved over long ago.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, this is it. They are in the heart of the Arctic refuge.
WEIR: Welcome to one of the last truly wild places on Earth. The coastal plain brims with life from musk oxen to bears, both grizzly and polar.
Birds that will migrate to the backyards of all 50 states.
But as Florian Schulz, has captured over the years, the most common creature is the caribou. And not just a few, but hundreds of thousands.
The kind of herd unseen since the plains buffalo were wiped away.
And when Florian is here with his family, he can't help but wonder how long it will last.
FLORIAN SCHULZ, FILMMAKER AND WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHER: We need to keep some of these places untouched. We are changing the world everywhere so fast,
but why not leave a few places unspoiled?
WEIR: For almost 60 years, that was the rationale that protected ANWR from this. These are the oil fields of Prudhoe Bay that fill the famous
pipeline and power countless lives. But, since there are billions of barrels elsewhere, nature lovers have long argued there is no need to drill
here. And for decades, that argument held until --
TRUMP: One day, a friend of mine who is in the oil business called. "Is it true that you have ANWR in the bill?" I said, "I don't know. Who cares?
What is that?" He said, well, you know, Reagan tried. Every single president tried."
I said, "You got to be kidding. I love it now." and after that, we fought like hell to get ANWR. He talked me into it.
WEIR: December's tax cut bill also opened ANWR to drilling, thanks to Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski, who slipped in the provision, knowing that
it would only need 51 instead of 60 votes to pass.
SEN. LISA MURKOWSKI (R-AK), CHAIRMAN, ENERGY AND NATURAL RESOURCES COMMITTEE: It is wrong for those from the outside looking in, who have
taken a nice trip into an area and said, this must be protected.
WEIR: But conservationists point out there is already a huge glut of American oil.
And oil companies have been laying people off. And you know, up, right? Because prices are so low.
NICOLE WHITTINGTON-EVANS, REGIONAL DIRECTOR, THE WILDERNESS SOCIETY, ALASKA: Oil companies have been laying people off. And you know, for the
first time, in the last five years I was seeing more oil company workers leaving the state of Alaska and going to places like North Dakota than
coming into the state.
WEIR: But, much like Trump's efforts to revive dying coal mines, the rush to drill here seems driven more by politics than economics.
Former speaker of the House Tom DeLay once said, if we could drill in ANWR, it'll break the back of the environmental lobby.
DAN RITZMAN, REGIONAL DIRECTOR, SIERRA CLUB: Well, they haven't -- they haven't drilled in ANWR, yet. We know that the Arctic regions are heating
twice as fast as any other part of the world, and it just makes zero sense to come here and look for more oil that's just going to exacerbate that
And among those opposed is the Gwich'in Nation, the northernmost Tribe of Native Americans.
How many people live here?
FAITH GEMMILL, MEMBER, NEETSAI GWICH'IN TRIBAL: About 150 year-round.
WEIR: Wow. I think about 150 people live on my floor, at my apartment building.
Their numbers may be tiny, but they are definitely not outsiders.
GEMMILL: Archaeological evidence shows we've been here over 25,000 years.
WEIR: And the only reason they survived is caribou. Back in the day, they would trap the animals in these handmade corrals. These days, they use
guns and snowmobiles, but still, need the animals to survive in one of the most expensive neighborhoods in America.
Groceries at the midnight sun can cost twice as much as the Whole Foods in Manhattan. Gasoline up here runs $10 a gallon. But still, given the
choice between oil money and caribou, there is no debate.
These folks will stick with the one animal that has kept them alive for thousands of years. And they cannot imagine drills, and trucks, and
pipelines across what they call the sacred place where life begins.
[11:50:25] GEMMILL: Look what happened to the Plains Indians, and the buffalo. That's not going to happen to my people. We're not going to
allow that to happen again.
WEIR: To the Gwich'in, they are a Native American David against a Goliath of oil companies, Republican lawmakers, and the Inupiaq, a coastal tribe of
Native Alaskans eager to drill and cash in.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now, that the U.S. is saying we can finally do this, now we have the other side -- the environmentalists saying we can't do
this. What's wrong with this picture?
WEIR: As the government rushes towards development, community meetings lay bare the fight. Tribe versus tribe, neighbor against neighbor.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We have thousands of gallons discovered in places that have already seen destruction, but restraint is what we lack. When
did we all become owners of the land? It has always owned us.
WEIR: Bill Weir, CNN, Kaktovik, Alaska.
CHIOU: And we are live from New York, this is CONNECT THE WORLD. Coming up, as nature unleashes its wrath around the world, there is one spectacle
that caught everyone's attention for the right reason. That's next.
CHIOU: You're watching CNN, and this is CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Pauline Chiou. We sitting in for Becky Anderson. Welcome back.
The Tour de France is coming to a close with a new champion wearing the yellow jersey. Geraint Thomas of Team Sky is poised for his first ever
tour victory after maintaining the overall lead in Saturday's time trials.
The 32-year-old cyclist is from Wales today's final stage into Paris is largely ceremonial. Meaning that Thomas is all but assured to be on top
following the final sprint down the Champs-Elysees.
And in today's parting shots, we're getting some of the best sights from the blood moon lunar eclipse, which millions of people saw and captured
around the world. One creative photographer snapped these unique images in Athens.
Beautiful. Using statues of figures from Greek mythology as props, as the moon hovered above a Greek temple. And the images are just as spectacular
from elsewhere around the world, from Australia to Hong Kong there. And to this image in Western Germany, where the huge red orb looms over a
[11:55:02] CHIOU: The moon was in total eclipse for 103 minutes, making it the longest lunar eclipse of the century. Something that only happens once
in a red moon.
So from stories of natural beauty to the destruction of nature, CONNECT THE WORLD covers it all. And so do our social media pages, you can find the
stories we've brought you this hour and check in on what the team is working on throughout the day by going to our Facebook page. That's at
I'm Pauline Chiou that was CONNECT THE WORLD. Thank you so much from the team here in New York, in Atlanta, in London, and also in Abu Dhabi. We do
want to thank you for watching. The news continues right here on CNN.
Up next, we have "WORLD SPORT with the Don Riddell and correspondent Melissa Bell, live in the French capital. Don't miss that.