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Saudi Arabia Crucified A Man In Mecca While Aggressively Calling Out Canada Over Human Rights; Trump Backer Arrested Charged With Insider Trading; Toxic Algae Invading Florida's Gulf Coast; Thousands In California Under Mandatory Evacuation; Suspect Arrested In California's Holy Fire; Cows Help Catch Car Thief Suspect. Aired 2- 3a ET
Aired August 9, 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] ROSEMARY CHURCH, ANCHOR, CNN: Hello and welcome to our viewers joining us from all around the world. I'm Rosemary Church, good to have you with us. Well right now in Argentina, senators have voted down a landmark bill to decriminalize abortion.
It's now 3:00 a.m. in Buenos Ares and the nation's senators have been debating the issue for hours before holding the vote. The outcome was not unexpected, a majority of senators had already signaled they would reject the measure.
So despite the defeat, it was an extraordinary event in the deeply catholic country. Passions are running high on both sides. And we are looking at these live pictures as we bring you this news.
We get more now from CNN's Rafael Romo who filed this report before the vote.
(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)
RAFAEL ROMO, SENIOR LATINA AMERICAN AFFAIRS EDITOR, CNN WORLDWIDE: Those against were dressed in blue. Green was the color of choice for those in favor.
Both supporters and opponents of a bill that will legalize abortion in Argentina up until the 14th week of pregnancy, to (ph) fill the streets in massive numbers. Protestors surrounded the Senate building in Buenos Aires, the capital, where lawmakers were engaged in the same fiery abortion debate that has divided Argentina.
"Today I feel like never before that I'm part of a wide sector of our people who defend lives in general from the moment of conception and until death" this conservative legislator said.
Current laws allow the procedure only in cases of rape or when the mother's health is at risk. Those in favor of the bill say that has to change.
"I'm here because I no longer want to accompany my teenage students to have abortions in secrecy" this teacher said. "The bill should be approved because we shouldn't try to keep on hiding reality", this supporter said. "Abortions won't stop just because we have a law banning them".
But in this still deeply catholic country, the birth place of Pope Francis, the church and conservative groups have mobilized like never before to strongly oppose legalization. The pontiff issued a letter in March as the abortion debate began, urging Argentines to make a contribution in defense of life and justice.
"Abortion means society has failed, we believe it is a false solution to our country's problems, to women's problems" this protestor said. The bill was narrowly passed by the lower House of Congress in June.
But as it prepares to hit the Senate floor, analysts say it faces a very uphill battle. The battle over Abortion in Argentina has also galvanized women's rights groups elsewhere. Protestors showed up at the Consulate of Argentina in Barcelona, also dressed in green.
"Those who die in secret abortions are women" chanted protestors during a march in Mexico City. In Latin America as a region, only three countries have broadly legalized abortion, Cuba, Guyana and Uruguay.
Argentine President Mauricio Macri has said that while he personally opposes abortion, he will honor the outcome of the Senate's vote. Rafael Romo, CNN.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
CHURCH: Russia is mocking the United States, calling it the united sanctions of America after Washington announced it was slapping Moscow with new sanctions. They are in response to the poisoning of a former Russian spy and his daughter earlier this year in the United Kingdom.
Russia denies any involvement. Now, the sanctions come as U.S. President Donald Trump faces growing criticism over what is seen as his soft stance when it comes to Russia.
And CNN International Correspondent Matthew Chance joins us now live from Moscow. Matthew, what's Russia's likely next move in response to these new U.S. sanctions and the possibility of a second round of harsher sanctions in just a few months?
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well I'm not sure there's much, Rosemary, that they can do to respond except to criticize the - the steps that the - the Trump administration has - has taken.
And that criticism has already been forthcoming. The - the - the foreign ministry and the Kremlin here have been tightlipped on it so far, but there has been a comment from the deputy of the U.N. mission of Russia in the United Nations.
He's saying that this is the theatre (ph) of the absurd, there is no proof, no clues, no logic, no presumption of innocence, just highly likelys (ph). And so he kind of restating that Russian position that the Skripal poisoning had absolutely nothing to do with Russia and this - this move by the United States to sanction Russia under the 1991 Chemical and Biological Weapons Control and Warfare Elimination Act is illegitimate.
In terms of what those sanctions involved or in the first case, it involves a ban on exports of sensitive duel-use technology. There will be some - some exceptions to that, we understand, in the area of space travel where of course the United States and Russia cooperate.
There will also be exceptions in the sphere of commercial aviation in order to maintain safety standards on commercial airlines. I think crucially though in three months from now, if Russia has not given appropriate assurances that chemical weapons won't be used again and even given access to inspectors to its - to its - to various chemical weapons production sites or suspected production sites.
The sanctions can be (inaudible) to what are being described as draconian levels. And I think it's then, in three months from now, that the real tough sanctions, if they're implemented, could start to bite.
CHURCH: And Matthew, while this is all going on, President Trump apparently sent a letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin that was delivered by U.S. Senator Rand Paul. What have you learned about that?
CHANCE: Well it's - it's odd. We haven't learned much from - from Rand Paul himself or from - or from the Kremlin. But social media has been, you know, ablaze with apparent copies of the letter.
Rand Paul said that he was honored to deliver this letter to - to President Putin from President Trump. But the text of the letter that has been sort of laid public or printed on - on social media, basically it's a letter of introduction from President Trump to Putin saying can you have a meeting about no issues in particular with - with Rand Paul.
Of course, the senator has now left the country and no meeting with - with Vladimir Putin took place. It was sort of an odd episode in this very strange relationship that we're witnessing between the United States and Russia at the moment.
CHURCH: Certainly. Matthew Chance bringing us that live report from Moscow, just after 9 o'clock in the morning (inaudible) many thanks.
Well President Trump's legal team has responded to the Special Council's request when interview with a counteroffer Wednesday. Lawyer Rudy Giuliani did not disclose the terms, but emphasized he wants the issue settled soon.
[02:05:00] Kaitlan Collins has our report.
(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)
KAITLAN COLLINS, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, CNN: President Trump's legal team responding to the Special Council's latest request for an interview today.
RUDY GIULIANI, FORMER MAYOR, NEW YORK CITY: We have now given him an answer. He - he - obviously he should take a few days to consider it. But we should get this resolved.
COLLINS: The president's lawyers declining to characterize their response to Robert Mueller.
JAY SEKULOW, CHIEF COUNSEL, AMERICAN CENTER FOR LAW & JUSTICE: We're not going to discuss the contents of the letter that we will send. But I will tell you this, that our response will be - is thoughtful and includes issues that are raised under the Constitution.
So I will leave it at that.
COLLINS: While urging him once again to bring the investigation to an end.
GIULIANI: We not want to run into the November elections. So back up from that, this should be over with by September 1.
COLLINS: The response is the latest in the back and forth between the two sides that has dragged on for eight months now. Mueller indicated last week he'd be willing to limit the number of questions about obstruction of justice, while maintaining he still wanted to ask those questions in person.
Giuliani making clear certain questions are off limits.
GIULIANI: I could right now give you the answer that he's going to give to the question why did you fire Jim Comey? He gave it, he gave it to Lester Holt. It's on - on tape.
COLLINS: Openly admitting he's worried the president could perjure himself.
GIULIANI: You (ph) start to think that the only reason they want this explanation is so that they can come up with some kind of a - a perjury thing.
SEKULOW: What's called a perjury trap is something that we've talked about often.
COLLINS: While Trump has ramped up his public attacks on the Special Council, he remains at odds with his own legal team over the prospect of an interview.
SEKULOW: Well look, the president has stated that he wants to do an interview. I will tell you the position of the legal team is that we do not advise that.
COLLINS: Jay Sekulow admitting -
SEKULOW: -- ultimately the - the decision's up to the president.
COLLINS: Now sources tell CNN the reason the president is so eager to sit down with the Special Council is because he believes if he's in front of Robert Mueller he can prove his innocence and that that interview could bring this entire investigation to an end. Now what we're seeing with this latest development from the
president's legal team in response to that offer from the Special Council's team does not seem to be a closing of the gap after eight months of negotiations.
But instead, we're seeing just how far apart they truly are. Kaitlan Collins, CNN, travelling with the president in New Jersey.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
CHURCH: So let's talk more about all of this with CNN political analyst Ryan Lizza and CNN legal analyst Laura Coates. Good to have you both with us.
LAURA COATES, LEGAL ANALYST, CNN: Thank you.
RYAN LIZZA, POLITICAL ANALYST, CNN: Thank you.
CHURCH: So Laura, let's start with you. President Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani says Robert Mueller's probe should be over by September 1, but it's not actually up to him, is it?
And Giuliani insists some questions are off limits for fear of the president perjuring himself. How will Mueller likely respond to these demands and when might he decide it's time to trigger a subpoena?
COATES: Well you know, Giuliani's comments are not only ambitious but a little bit arrogant, because they presume that he is actually in the same bargaining position that Robert Mueller is in.
And he's not. Giuliani cannot dictate the terms of a sit down meeting. Although he can, at this stage, pre-subpoena before his client would not allowed to have his attorneys in the room if he testified in front of what's called the grand jury.
He can try to set some parameters. But for him to try to exclude whole categories of questions from Mueller's ability to question in particularly things that have to do with Donald Trump's actual conduct including the firing of FBI Director James Comey, his statements made to a variety of news force - news agencies about this issue.
In his own Twitter feed, it really kind of belies all logic that he could feel as though he could actually do that. And on the idea of why September, that's important because there is a policy in the Department of Justice that says that you should not pursue a prosecution that's going to have a direct impact on any upcoming election.
And we are 90 days away from the very important midterm elections. However, we're talking about September is a date that Giuliani wants because we have early voting here in the states as well prior to that November election.
But he's trying to consider that if you wrap it up by September, it'll have no impact on even those voters who want to vote early.
CHURCH: All right, let's look closer at that issue. Ryan, Mr. Trump's legal team wants this probe over before the November midterm elections. But there's nothing to suggest that will happen.
At the same time though, Giuliani says the GOP could benefit if this drags on. So which is it and - and what would the political impact likely be if this probe continues beyond November?
LIZZA: I think it's tough to say. I mean if you look at - you know, it's tough to say whether Giuliani's right that it would benefit Republicans. A lot of Republicans aren't talking about this issue.
A lot of Democrats aren't talking about this issue. It really depends on the state or - or the districts. And whether it benefits either party is - is really tough - it's very - it's tough to know.
I think it would be good for the American public to have as much information about this as possible before they went to the polls, right? I mean the - the makeup of Congress is going to be crucial when it comes to how all of this ends.
Because if Robert Mueller, the - the prosecutor, has truly decided that he cannot indict a sitting president, the forum - the end game for this investigation, if there's any serious abuse of power or crimes by - by the president would be in Congress in an impeachment setting.
And so the makeup of Congress after the November elections is obviously incredibly important. So for that reason, I think it would be good for the public, good for the country to have as many facts out there as possible.
And I think, you know, when you hear Giuliani talk about this issue and a lot of the, you know, bravado and the way they talk about the prosecutor, it's not the way a normal defense attorney talks about a prosecutor.
Usually a defense attorney is very careful not to anger the prosecutor in any way, not to attack him in any way, not to tell him to get the investigation over with. But Giuliani has said and they believe that this is a political fight.
It's not really a legal fight and that the most important thing is for Republicans in Congress to support the president because this - their - their belief is the only end game for this is impeachment and they think they can beat that.
CHURCH: Right, and Laura, President Trump says he wants to sit down for an interview with Mueller. His legal team advises against that. How will they likely resolve this and what legal perils lie ahead if the president is forced to answer Mueller's questions?
COATES: It's always fascinating to watch someone do this game of I would do this but my lawyers are telling me I shouldn't, they're the bad guys here, they're the bad cops and I'm the good cops. I'm the - I'm the reasonable, even tempered person who would like to
do everything I possibly could in furtherance of justice. Now whether that -
CHURCH: So you don't think - you don't think Mr. Trump has any intention of sitting down, is that what you're saying?
COATES: I think this is really feigned. I think the idea that he has this zell (ph) to actually participate is really partially feigned, because he wants to set in motion this notion that he has done all that he can, not only in the court of public opinion, as Ryan is alluding to, for the voter's sake and the -- if there is appending impeachment proceedings, but also for a court of law, who inevitably will probably find that a sitting president has to actually abide by a subpoena if it were to come to that.
And so, he's going to try to say, I have been trying to negotiate in good faith all of this time and Mueller has my jugular in his sights. That's the only reason he will not abide by my terms of it.
But ultimately, he faces a great deal of legal (inaudible) here Rosemary, mostly because his own statements have raised red flags and has also increased the scrutiny of the Special Counsel on his motivation and his intent behind the firing of key players and behind why it is he continues to make comments towards witnesses, towards -- his crafting of an explanatory e-mail and press release of his own son (inaudible) infamous Trump Tower meeting with a Russian Adoption lawyer.
There are a whole lot of things that gives him legal exposure, but largely this is an issue of him trying to win both the court of public opinion to sway the court of law to say it's Mueller who is the person to be blamed for me not being able to do what I want, which is to pursue justice.
CHURCH: Yes, let's look at that legal exposure. Ryan, Giuliani admitted that the answer to the question, why did President Trump fire James Comey is already out there, when he gave his answer to NBC's Lester Holt, in an interview on May 11, last year. Want to take just a quick listen to the part that he's referring to.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Regardless of recommendation, I was going to fire Comey, knowing there was no good time to do it. And in fact, when I decided to just do it, I said to myself, I said, you know this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story. It's an excuse by the Democrats for having lost an election.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: So Ryan, there it is. Mr. Trump admitted he fired James Comey because of the Russia investigation, it's out there. Why is it this fear of revisiting the issue? Why would that story change?
LIZZA: They've tried -- well, remember the original story, Rosemary, was that they fired Comey because they believed Comey's actions and the way that he handled the Hillary Clinton e-mail investigation in 2016 violated Justice Department guidelines, which we can all sort of laugh at the idea of Donald Trump thinking he was going to fire Comey, because he though Comey was too mean to Hillary Clinton, when of course he celebrated that during the campaign.
But putting that aside, that was the stated official reason the White House put out when he fired Comey. Of course, he did this interview that you just played, with Lester Holt, and he can't help but tell, what seems to me, was the real reason. Now they've tried to sort of ignore that, push that back and say, no, no, no, that was -- I'm not sure how they explained it, but they've tried to go back to this original excuse.
And look, they have another argument as well, Rosemary, their argument is that the president, because of his Article II in the Constitution, his Article II powers can fire anyone he wants in the executive branch and that you can't be accused of obstruction of justice by taking a legal action that's within your powers.
Now, there are plenty of people who argue that that is not a sound argument, but that's -- that's -- that is the jest of their argument of why Trump did not commit obstruction of justice.
CHURCH: So much more we could discuss, but we'll have to leave it there. Ryan Lizza and Laura Coates, thank you to both of you for joining us.
LIZZA: Thanks Rosemary. Appreciate it.
COATES: Thanks Rosemary.
CHURCH: And of course the Mueller investigation uncovered a list (ph) of crimes committed by President Trump's former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, who's currently on trial.
On Wednesday and FBI witness says Paul Manafort collected more than $65 million in foreign accounts between 2010 and 2014. He's on trial for hiding millions in income from U.S. tax collectors. His defense team, tried on Wednesday, to discredit his former deputy, Rick Gates, who took a plea deal and testified for the prosecution.
We'll take a short break here, but still to come another earthquake has just rattled Indonesia's Lombok Island as the search from victims from the earlier deadly tremor intensifies.
Plus, prosecutors say, this compound in New Mexico may have been a training ground to turn children into mass killers. And later, criticism of Saudi Arabia's human rights records and treatment of women sparks an all-out feud with Canada. How the kingdom is retaliating. We'll be back with that and more in just a moment.
(COMMERICAL BREAK) [02:20:00] CHURCH: Breaking news this hour, a landmark bill to legalize abortion in Argentina has just been rejected by the nation's senators. The vote was 30 to 31 with two abstentions.
People have been out in the streets following the Senate's move prior to tonight. Supporters have been holding large rallies after the lower House narrowly passed a bill to allow abortions up to 14 weeks of pregnancy.
The Senate's decision was not unexpected, but the fact that Argentina's legislature debated and voted on the issue was extraordinary, considering it is a deeply Catholic country and the birthplace of Pope Francis.
And I've been speaking with you, I've been looking at these live pictures. Demonstrators out in the streets, they're being arrested by police there in Buenos Aires in Argentina as we follow this story. Argentina Senate rejecting the abortion bill 38 to 31. Again, looking at those live pictures there of arrests on the streets.
We'll continue to watch that story, but moving now to the Middle East, a talk of a cease fire was interrupted when Israeli defense forces exchanged fire with Gaza militants for hours, along the border.
The Palestinian Ministry of Health says three people were killed in Israeli strikes. Israel says at least 70 rockets were launched from Gaza, 11 were intercepted by it's aerial defense system.
Well, another earthquake with a magnitude of 5.9 has hit Indonesia's Lombok Island. At this time there is no tsunami warning. It comes four days after a 6.9 quake devastated the resort area.
Indonesian news agency places the death toll at 347. Relief agencies say it could be days before the full extent of the damage from the quake is known.
Amara Walker has more now on the challenge facing rescue workers and the survivors.
(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)
AMARA WALKER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Tens of thousands left homeless. Many in crowded tents waiting for aid to arrive. On the Indonesian island of Lombok, entire villages lay flattened from two earthquakes in five days.
The survivors are now desperate for supplies, particularly in the most rural areas.
RAMLI, INDONESIA EARTHQUAKE SURVIROR (through translator): Six families live in our tent. It is very hot during the day and we are drenched with sweat. But it's chilly at night, we need some blankets and the children also need some cold and cough medicine and milk.
WALKER: Hospitals work to treat the hundreds injured, but some choose to stay in open air tents over air-conditioned wards, traumatized and fearful another building could collapse above them.
UNKNOWN FEMALE (through translator): We can still feel the aftershocks at night, just last night even. That's why we need to stay alert.
WALKER: Meanwhile, search and rescue efforts double down, but it is slow going. They face obstacles, road blocks and a lack of proper excavating equipment. At the Jabal Nur mosque a crowd gathers to watch rescuers trying to break up concrete in search for survivors and bodies.
A local imam watches the operation remembering when the first tremor hit in Sunday's quake.
SUHARTO, INDONESIA EARTHQUAKE SURVIVOR (through translator): We were praying in the evening together and during the first quake we didn't run. We wanted to continue, but after the second quake we broke our prayers and ran for our lives.
WALKER: The imam says, as many as 200 people were likely in attendance Sunday. It's unclear how many got out alive or how many are still trapped or crushed below the rubble, including the aunt of a famed local sprinter.
HUSANI, INDONESIA EARTHQUAKE SURVIVOR (though translator): My wife was buried under that mosque, so that's all I'm thinking about and waiting for. Now that the heavy equipment has arrived, I hope we can retrieve the body.
WALKER: As natives try to pick up the pieces, thousands of tourists have been evacuated from Lombok and two surrounding islands. Some taking ferries to safer places. Crowds waiting to board along the white sand beaches and crystal blue waters that make this a popular destination.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
[02:25:00] CHURCH: All right, let's go back to our breaking news story from Argentina where they have feigned the vote on that abortion bill. It didn't get through, but we're looking at these live pictures now where protestors have been out on the streets. They were in support of this bill to legalize abortion.
We're seeing now the face off between police there on the ground and in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Those police and of course these protestors who've been out on the street, they have been arresting protestors. This has been a truly hot issue. People have been pushing for this.
A lot of -- we saw one teacher say that she is tired of going with her students, quietly behind closed doors and taking them to illegal abortions, she wants to see it's legalized in the country. That is not going to happen this time around, but it is extraordinary in itself that this even come to this point, that this is being debated there in front of the legislature and, of course, we have to make the point too that the president there has said that if it did pass he would not veto it.
So, we will continue to watch this. Looking there again, just repeating, these are pictures, aerial shots of police facing off with protestors who have been out there on the streets in support of seeing this bill pass. It did not get through the vote, 38 to 31.
Let's take a short break here, but when we come back, Canada's prime minister fires back in the countries feud with Saudi Arabia. You're watching CNN Newsroom, back in a moment.
[02:30:53] CHURCH: Welcome back, everyone. I'm Rosemary Church. I want to update you on the main stories we've been following this hour starting with our breaking news looking at these pictures, a large police presence on the streets of Buenos Aires with confrontations and arrests after a landmark bill to legalize abortion in Argentina was voted down by the nation's senators. The issue gained traction after the lower house narrowly passed a bill to allow abortions up to 14 weeks of pregnancy.
The defeat in the Senate was not unexpected though, but the fact that Argentina's legislature even debated and voted on the issue was extraordinary in itself considering it is a deeply Catholic country and the birthplace of Pope Francis looking at those live pictures there. Well, the United States has announced new sanctions against Russia in response to the nerve agent attack on former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in the U.K. back in March.
The U.S. says Russia violated a chemical and biological warfare law. Russia denies any involvement in the poison attack. Back to the nations for healthcare workers are under way in Congo after Ebola has resurfaced. The deadliest strain of the disease has killed 36 people in this outbreak so far. The World Health Organization says fighting the virus will be complicated because it's in an active war zone. This is the 10th Ebola outbreak in the Congo.
Well, Moscow is siding with Saudi Arabia in a growing human rights dispute with Canada. The Russian foreign ministry says Riyadh has the right to decide its own internal issues and doesn't need criticism from a, "Moral superior." Meanwhile, the Saudi government says recent arrests are meant to protect state security and are not about human rights. Lynda Kinkade has our report.
LYNDA KINKADE, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: It all started with this tweet. Canada is gravely concerned about additional arrests of civil society and women's rights activists in Saudi Arabia including Samar Badawi. We urge the Saudi authorities to immediately release them and all other peaceful human rights activists. The Saudi government fired back on Twitter saying the Canadian position is a grave and unacceptable violation of the kingdom's laws and procedures.
In addition to violate the kingdom's judiciary and a breach of the principle of sovereignty. Then the Saudis followed up by deploying an array of retaliatory measures against Canada. First, they ordered the Canadian ambassador to leave the kingdom and recalled the Saudi envoy to Ottawa. The Saudis put a freeze on all new bilateral trade and investment with Canada although the two countries are not top trading partners. The trade total about $3 billion last year according to the Canada government.
Saudi Arabia's state airline suspended all flights to and from Toronto. The Saudis also cancelled the scholarships of thousands of Saudi students and ordered them to leave Canada. A Saudi education official told state-run media students would be placed in programs in other countries. Saudi Arabia also announced that it's working to transfer its citizens who are in Canada for medical treatment to other countries.
ADEL BIN AHMED AL-JUBEIR, SAUDI MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS (via translator): Regarding mediation, there's no need for it. Canada committed a grave mistake towards Saudi Arabia and it needs to fix that mistake and Canada knows exactly what it needs to do in this regard.
KINKADE: But Canada stands by its original statement.
CHRYSTIA FREELAND, MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF CANADA: Let me be very clear with everyone here and with the Canadians who may be watching and listening. Canada will always stand up for human rights in Canada, and around the world, and women's rights are human rights.
JUSTIN TRUDEAU, PRIME MINISTER OF CANADA: As the minister has said and as we will repeat, Canada will always speak strongly and clearly in private and in public on questions of human rights.
KINKADE: The kingdom has threatened to take further action against Canada for interfering in its affairs. Several other Middle Eastern governments have released statements in support of the kingdom's position. Lynda Kinkade, CNN.
[02:35:12] CHURCH: And joining me now from Beirut in Lebanon, Samah Hadid is the Deputy Director of Middle East campaigns for Amnesty International. Good to have you with us. So tensions escalated very quickly here with both Canada and Saudi Arabia refusing to back down and Russia now weighing in by supporting Saudi Arabia. Where is this all going?
SAMAH HADID, DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF MIDDLE EAST CAMPAIGNS, AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL: Well, this is a clear overreaction by the Saudi Arabian government. Them lashing out with such punitive measures in the face of criticism shows that their reform agenda and these promises of reform are a complete sham. And that they're a government that is unable to handle criticism. It's really important now that other governments who are strategic allies of Saudi Arabia, but also allies of Canada speak up for human rights. And women's rights and really speak out against the human rights
abuses that are taking place in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia such as this crackdown on women's rights defenders that we've been seeing over the past few month now. It's really important that governments like the U.S. and the U.K. in particular really speak out. They cannot remain silent in the face of these rather draconian human rights abuses taking place in the kingdom.
CHURCH: Yes. And Saudi Arabia claims this is all about deciding its own internal affairs and protecting state security insisting this has nothing to do with human right and of course Russia is right behind it on this. What is your response to that suggestion?
HADID: Well, the women and men that have been arrested over the past few months but also since the Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman took over the leadership in the kingdom are simply fighting for their human rights. They're calling for peaceful reforms. And so it's a complete contradiction for the government of Saudi Arabia to say that it's a reformist country, that it's pursuing reform, and then arrest the very people and activists that are only calling for peaceful reform.
They're calling for their human rights to be respected. These women and men are not national security threats, but what's worrying is that if they are charged under counterterrorism legislation, they may face up to 20 years in prison simply for speaking out for human rights and for calling for women's rights to be respected. That's an abuse that should be criticized internationally and it's about time for other governments to follow suit like Canada and speak up.
CHURCH: And what we're seeing from Canada is they are the moral leader here, aren't they? We're not hearing a lot from other nations. You mentioned that Amnesty International wants to hear from the United States, from the United Kingdom. It's deafening silence.
HADID: It's a huge deafening silence that we're seeing from strategic allies of Saudi Arabia like the U.K. and U.S., and European governments. These are governments that have strategic investments, business and trade investments with the government of Saudi Arabia, and they're choosing to prioritize those trade and security deals over promoting and championing human rights. That's the wrong signal to send not only to Saudi Arabia but other governments that dare to crackdown on human rights activists.
I think it's about time for governments who have traditionally championed human rights internationally to now speak out and not cower in the face of these bullying tactics by the Saudi Arabian government.
CHURCH: Samah Hadid, thank you so much for talking with us. We do appreciate it.
HADID: Thank you.
CHURCH: Let's take a short break here. But still to come, a U.S. congressman who's a big supporter of President Trump is arrested and charged with insider trading. Plus, a major fire sparked what's called a firenado. How does this happen? Our meteorologist Ivan Cabrera will be with us to explain it.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [02:42:09] CHURCH: Welcome back, everyone. It is almost 4:00 a.m. in
Buenos Aires and right now, there is a large police presence on the street, and that is because some angry demonstrations broke out after a landmark bill to legalize abortion was voted down by Argentina's senators. Now, there have been some confrontations and arrests. That vote was 38-31, and came after hours of debate. Passions have been running very high ever since June when the lower house narrowly passed a bill to allow abortions up to 14 weeks of pregnancy.
The defeat in the Senate was not unexpected. It has to be said. But the fact that Argentina's legislature even debated and voted on this very, very delicate issue was extraordinary. Considering it is a deeply Catholic country and the birthplace of Pope Francis. So looking there at pictures of those arrests taking place. Well, a U.S. congressman is defiant after being arrested and charged Tuesday with insider trading. Chris Collins, a Republican who represents Western New York says he will not step down.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. CHRIS COLLINS (R), NEW YORK: As I fight to clear name, rest assured I will continue to work hard for the people and constituents of the 27th congressional district of New York and I will remain on the ballot running for re-election this November.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: Collins faces very serious federal charges. If convicted, he could spend years in prison. CNN's Brynn Gingras has the details.
BRYNN GINGRAS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Republican Congressman Chris Collins, the first member of Congress to support Donald Trump arraigned in federal court after federal prosecutors charged him, his son, Cameron, and another man, Stephen Zarsky, with 13 counts of securities fraud, wire fraud, and making a false statement to the FBI. The charges stemming from an alleged insider trading scheme which played out on the south lawn of the White House last year according to court documents.
At the center of it all, an Australian pharmaceutical company called Innate Immunotherapeutics where Collins was a board member.
GEOFFREY BERMAN, UNITED STATES ATTORNEY, SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK: Congressman Collins was told some confidential and highly sensitive information about Innate information that was not yet made public namely that Innate's main drug, the drug Innate was developing to be the backbone of its company was a total failure.
GINGRAS: According to the 30-page complaint, that conversation happened while Collins attended the annual congressional picnic at the White House on Thursday, June 22nd, 2017. Federal prosecutors say Collins received an e-mail at 6:55 p.m. that the drug had failed its trial. [02:45:00] At 7:10 p.m., Collins responded to the e-mail. And then,
proceeded to try to reach his son, Cameron. The two placing six calls over a period of five minutes and connecting on the seventh call.
Later that night, Cameron drove to the home of Stephen Zarsky, the father of his fiancee. And then, 9:34 p.m., Zarsky's wife placed a call to her stockbroker to sell shares of the company according to the complaint.
Prosecutors alleged that between the opening of the market on Friday, June 23rd, and the close of business on the following Monday, Cameron, and Collins sold the total of nearly 1.4 million shares of Innate.
All in all, prosecutors alleged that Collins and the other defendants avoided more than $750,000 in losses on the stock.
WILLIAM SWEENEY, ASSISTANT DIRECTOR-IN-CHARGE, FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION: Here is a better insight tip for those who think they can play by a different set of rules. Access to this kind of information carries with its significant responsibility. Especially, for those in society who hold a position of trust, act honorably and in an accordance with the law and do not lie to special agents of the FBI.
GINGRAS: Collins has been dodging ethics questions about his activities with Innate for over a year.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: Congressman Tom Price, a friend of yours, colleague, nominated to become Secretary of Health and Human Services. He was facing some serious questions, ethics questions after acting on a stock tip from you. This is what all came up in the hearing. Did you encourage him to buy stock in this -- in this company called Innate Immunotherapeutics?
COLLINS: No. Absolutely not, there -- every -- there was nothing done that was insider trading or unethical. I've been involved with Innate Immunotherapeutics in New Zealand and Australia for almost 15 years. I'm the largest shareholder and I talk about it all the time, just like you would talk about your children.
GINGRAS: Collins who represents upstate New York, made national headlines by becoming a frequent Trump surrogate on cable news during the 2016 campaign. His lawyers are saying in a statement, "We will answer the charges filed against Congressman Collins in court, and will mount a vigorous defense to clear his good name. We are confident he will be completely vindicated and exonerated.
GINGRAS: The congressman has son, and his son's future father-in-law are out of jail on $500,000 personal recognizance bond. They each had to turn in their passports, and the congressman says that he plans to fight these charges even as he seeks re-election for his district in November. Brynn Gingras, CNN, New York.
CHURCH: We'll take a short break here. Coming up, killer algae invading Florida's West Coast.
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BILL WEIR, CNN SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT: Wow, you can really feel it in your -- in your nostrils, and your sinuses, in the back of your throat. It's like a mild pepper spray when this algae gets up in the air. And so, if we can feel that discomfort, you got to wonder what it's like to be a dolphin in a red tide like this.
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CHURCH: And we will look at the devastating toll from red tide. That is next.
CHURCH: Welcome back, everyone. It is an invasion of the worst kind of Florida's Gulf Coast. Toxic algae is killing marine life and there's almost nothing we can do.
This dead whale shark, eight meters in length, washed up on the beach. It is believed to be a victim of the so-called red tide. Here is CNN's Bill Weir, with more.
[02:49:51] WEIR: Normally, a voyage like this is filled with relaxed anticipation. But these days, a trip off of Florida's Gulf Coast brings only boatfuls of dread. Toxic algae is blooming like mad here, and you can see and smells result everywhere, onshore and off. A dolphin sighting that would normally inspire wonder -- oh, there's two right there. Now only makes you worry.
There he is, he's right here. Look at this. Wow, you can really feel it in your -- and your nostrils, and your sinuses, in the back of your throat. It's like a mild pepper spray when this algae gets up in the air. And so, if we can feel that discomfort, you got to wonder what it's like to be a dolphin in a red tide like this. Oh, there he is.
Their blowhole is just inches beneath the surface. 90 miles up the coast, they just found two dolphins that could not survive this epic red tide. And a visit to the marine biologist at Florida Gulf Coast University is like a sad visit to the morgue. These are just two of the more than 400 sea turtles found in this area alone.
BOB WASNO, RESOURCE COORDINATOR, FLORIDA GULF COAST UNIVERSITY: This one is able to breed, and this one here is still a juvenile.
WEIR: Makes your heart hurt, doesn't it?
WASNO: You go through stages. It hurts, and then you're angry.
WEIR: This is the villain right here.
MIKE PARSONS, PROFESSOR, MARINE SCIENCE, FLORIDA GULF COAST UNIVERSITY: Yes. WEIR: This is the red tide.
PARSONS: And this one down here on the bottom.
WEIR: Yes. The algae that causes red tides occurs naturally in salt water. But human activity on land can make the situation much, much worse.
PARSONS: While they love nitrogen and phosphorus.
WEIR: Which are fertilizers.
WEIR: That's burning sugar? Or is that --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's processing.
WEIR: They're processing sugar.
Generations of sugar cane farming has altered the chemistry of Lake Okeechobee and the health of the Everglades. In wet season, Florida dumps a massive amount of water into the most delicate ecosystems. While in dry season, that water is diverted to farms and cities. Great for the economy, horrible for the environment.
WILLIAM MITSCH, DIRECTOR, EVERGLADES WETLAND RESEARCH PARK, FLORIDA GULF COAST UNIVERSITY: You have a natural phenomenon called red tide, as Mike said. But you have the nitrogen, then coming in, and giving it a booster shot.
WEIR: And now, these scientists from Florida Gulf Coast University are testing water up to 20 miles offshore, looking for the definitive proof that America's sugar habit is also making red tides worse.
You're looking for the smoking gun.
MITSCH: I'm looking for a smoking gun.
PARSONS: I think -- I think we also have to realize that -- you know, collectively, we got to this point. It took -- it took 70 years, 80 years to gets to where we are now. And it's going to take a while to work our way out of it.
Back on the beach that should be full of tourists, I find only cleanup crews. Many of them unpaid volunteers.
Do you live in Tennessee?
ERIC CANADA, CLEANUP VOLUNTEER, SEVIERVILLE, TENNESSEE: Absolutely. Sevierville.
WEIR: Did you come out here just to do this?
CANADA: Yes, absolutely.
WEIR: You're kidding, really?
CANADA: I did. I did. Yes.
WEIR: Have you seen red tides at -- but this bad before?
THOMAS FORD, CROWDER GULF DISASTER MANAGEMENT: I have not.
WEIR: And who's to blame, do you think?
FORD: I think we all are to blame, to be honest. You know, I think we all play a role in this one way or the other. I think it goes all the way up the chain, all the way down.
FORD: I just think we just need to come together to figure it out and -- you know, let the scientists do what they can do. And -- you know, let's just try to get to the bottom of it.
CHURCH: Devastating images there, and that was Bill Weir, reporting. We turn now to deadly wildfires in California. More than 16,000 structures are being threatened by three major fires. In Southern California, 20,000 residents are now under a mandatory evacuation order.
As another fire burns in Riverside County, a 51-year-old man faces arson charges for that blaze.
Well, not only is California dealing with wildfires, they are burning, drawing record-breaking heat. And our Meteorologist Ivan Cabrera, joins us now to talk about that these temperatures are just incredible. What do they signal to us?
IVAN CABRERA, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yes, temperatures we haven't seen that ever in California. You could see Rosemary. Let's talk about this because this is, of course, on top of the fires that we've been talking about here that burned now almost the size of Los Angeles. This is the Mendocino Complex that we actually have a two fires that are ongoing yet here. And we'll continue to see that over the next few days.
Michael, go ahead and forward is through with me here, as we continue to see conditions, they're going to be quite hot. We're talking about temperatures are well into the 30s, we're going to have some very gusty winds as we head over the next two several days, as well.
And by the time we get into the upcoming weekend, I think we'll have better conditions. So, go ahead, stay on that shot there. Will you lean so I can forward through this here.
I'm telling you what, heading into the next few days. We are going to be looking at temperatures, the likes of which we saw in July, which was basically one of the hottest months that we saw. In fact, it was indeed the hottest we've ever seen in California. That was a record that was set.
So, we're talking about some incredible heat there across California, and unfortunately, my P.C. has completely a frozen over here. So, let us take you to some pictures that we've been able to capture here. We have those -- take a look at this. I'll show you this, and then, we'll get back into what over been talking about here.
We've been showing you that firenadoes, right? This is nowhere in California, though they've been occurring here. This is in Leicestershire and this is a result of a fire that was just spawned out by industrial complex here.
Look at that, just incredible stuff. I haven't seen one like that in quite some time. That is warm air that is rising, converging winds all over the place. They create whirlwinds essentially, these Eddie's, they lift up into the atmosphere, and there you see, just incredible scenes that coming out of England does there.
We'll rewrack with our machines here and get back to, of course, the stories we've been covering which is not just the fires in California, but also the drought ongoing into New South Wales in Australia. Rosemary?
[02:55:54] CHURCH: Wow, extraordinary images there. Thank you so much, Ivan. Appreciate that. All right, we have this story for you, authorities in the U.S. state of Florida got some beefy assistance over the weekend.
A herd of fleet-footed cows help them catch this suspected car thief. Seminole County police were actually chasing two suspects when they crash their stolen vehicle. One suspect bailed out but was captured as you can see. But the other fleeing suspect strayed onto the cow's turf.
The bovines followed and help corral the woman until police could put handcuffs on her. Good to see that sort of help there in the animal world.
Thanks so much for your company this hour, I'm Rosemary Church. Remember to connect with me anytime on Twitter, and I'll be back with another hour of news in just a month. Don't go anywhere, you're watching CNN.
CHURCH: The U.S. lefts Russia with more sanctions, this time over the poisoning of a former Russian spy and his daughter in England. Reaction from Moscow and London still to come.
Plus, clashes in Argentina after the Senate says no to an abortion bill that's divided the country. And Lebanon's government is looking for ways to jumpstart the economy, and it made a turn to marijuana.