Return to Transcripts main page

HALA GORANI TONIGHT

Admiral McRaven Adds His Name to The List of People Denouncing Trump's Revocation of Security Clearances; Trump's Military Parade in D.C. Canceled; China Is Challenging the U.S. Military Power Around the World; Manafort Jury Had A Note for The Judge Involving Two Questions; Vatican Responds Directly to Pennsylvania Abuse Report; Neo-Nazi Cafe Welcomes Germany's Far Right; Extremism Gains A Voice In Germany; Monsoon Rains Turn Deadly, Spark Landslides; North And South Korea Prepare For Family Reunions; Syria Faces Complicated Reconstruction As War Nears End; Aretha Franklin Remembered. Aired 3-4p ET

Aired August 17, 2018 - 15:00   ET

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


[15:00:00] HALA GORANI, CNN HOST: Hello. Live from CNN London, I'm Hala Gorani. Tonight, President Trump is unrepentant over revoking the security

clearance of a former hid of the CIA. All that as a planned military parade Mr. Trump had coveted is postponed.

We have heard the response from the Vatican about horrific sexual abuse in Pennsylvania, but was it strong enough. And it has been an excruciating

year. The words of Tesla's Elon Musk who opens up in an extraordinary interview.

We begin with a blistering rebuke to President Trump from 15 former senior intelligence officials. They say his revoking John Brennan's clearance has

nothing to do with security but everything do with an attempt to stifle free speech. A former navy admiral is going further. This man, William

McRaven, who, by the way, oversaw the raid that killed Osama Bin Laden, said it would be an honor if Mr. Trump strips his security clearance, too,

so he can add his name to the people denouncing his presidency. Critics say Mr. Trump's move against Brennan was a blatant attempt to silence

political opponents. President Trump says not so.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If anything, I'm giving him a bigger voice. Many people don't know who he is. Now he has a bigger

voice, and that's OK with me, because I like taking on voices like that. I have never respected him. I have never had a lot of respect. If you knew

anything, why didn't you report it if you were before all of these committees?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GORANI: President Trump's plans for a military parade in Washington are being rained on. And according to Mr. Trump he's the rainmaker himself.

It all started yesterday. The Pentagon -- you remember, it goes back to when President Trump visited Macron in July last year. The Pentagon

announced it was postponing the parade that Mr. Trump wanted so much after reports estimated it could cost millions more than expected.

Trump blamed local politicians in Washington saying they inflated the parade's cost so he canceled it. DC's mayor hit back on Twitter. She said

she's the one who got through to the reality star in the White House with the realities of what a parade actually costs. Let's get more from Sarah

Westwood. She's in South Hampton, New York. Let's start with the 15 intelligence officials who have written a letter saying President Trump is

using the security clearance power, his power to revoke the security clearance of some of these intelligence officials as a way to punish them

for criticizing him and his presidency.

SARAH WESTWOOD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right. President Trump is facing a backlash for revoking the security clearance of former CIA

Director John Brennan. The White House has yet to produce any evidence that Brennan was abusing his security clearance. The president has tried

to link the stripping of Brennan's security clearance to the Russia investigation. Now these former senior intelligence officials, the more

than a dozen of them who signed this letter are claiming that President Trump only removed Brennan's security clearance in order to stifle his free

speech and that this is an unprecedented move meant to intimidate other critics of the president. So far, the White House again not producing much

evidence as to the substantive reasons behind Trump's decision.

And the parade. Now this has been interesting. It involves Paris once again. We know that when President Trump visited president Emmanuel Macron

on France on July 14th, Bastille Day last year, he loved that military parade. That's part of French tradition. You have those parades to

celebrate Bastille Day. He wanted one of his own. And then he announced on Twitter interestingly we're not having the parade in DC because it costs

so much. I'll be in France on November 11th, which is armistice day, where they have a military celebration. It seems to have come as a surprise to

France. Did the White House know he was announcing this trip?

There was not a lot of warning that President Trump was planning to travel to Paris in November. The administration has been planning for a grand

military parade in Washington, DC early November to mark Veterans Day.

[15:05:00] The cost estimates had begun to spiral out of control with one administration official telling CNN that the costs ballooned to $90

million. Trump has been blaming local DC officials for inflaming the cost of the event. But the mayor of DC said the cost of security and hosting

the event amounted to $21.6 million, so the bulk of the costs were fulfilling Trump's wishes in hosting that military parade.

GORANI: We'll see. There are reports that the U.S. embassy in Paris wasn't aware of Trump's visit until he tweeted about it. Those are some

reports out there that it has come as a surprise to many people. Thanks very much, Sarah Westwood is in New York.

The Pentagon is raising a red flag about new military advancements in China. There's a new report out, it says the Chinese military is working

to make its long-range bombers nuclear capable. U.S. officials believe China is likely training its pilots for strikes on U.S. targets. Beijing

is believed to be less than a decade away from having a stealth strategic bomber.

According to one CIA official and other experts, China's ultimate goal is to replace the U.S. as a world superpower. As the world superpower. If

China goes through with those plans, that could be a game changer because China would for the first time be able to launch nuclear strikes from air,

land and sea. Ryan Brown joins us live from the Pentagon with more. How close is China to being able to have this nuclear capability?

RYAN BROWN, CNN PENTAGON REPORTER: They're pretty close, at least according to this newly released report by the Pentagon. This report is

mandated by Congress. Every year it comes out and tracks recent developments within the Chinese military. The highlight of this report was

the developments in China's long-range strategic bombing capability. China has had bombers for a long time but they're seeing the bombers fly further

and further out.

Training has improved. They're becoming more capable. They think that capability is geared largely towards targeting the United States and U.S.

allies. For the first time they decided to equip their bomber fleet with nuclear weapons adding a new capability. So, the U.S. watching this

closely as China uses these bombers to make strategic messages. They flew some of these bombers over their man-made islands in the South China Sea,

those contested areas. They have flown them in other strategic hot spots. The Pentagon sees this as a Chinese effort to expand its reach globally.

You see a recent military base in Djibouti. The Pentagon also thinks China may be planning to put a base in Pakistan.

GORANI: And what is the Pentagon's reaction to this. If this is the long- term Chinese strategic plan, is there likely to be a counter plan by the United States?

BROWN: The Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis has been vocal about the need for the U.S. and regional allies to counter aggressive Chinese moves in

the region. They have talked about freedom of navigation exercises around these manmade islands. The U.S. has flown some of its own bombers in the

region. Very much you're seeing from the Pentagon efforts to counter the growing Chinese capability, but again, with al lot of other commitments

around the world, it will be interesting to watch how much more the U.S. could do in the face of this ramped up Chinese presence.

GORANI: Thank you, Ryan Brown.

There's been developments in the Paul Manafort trial. Even though deliberations are taking place behind closed doors, we learned that jurors

deciding the fate of the campaign manager have sent the judge another note. Jessica Schneider has details. Tell us, the jurors have sent several notes

to the judge. What did these notes say?

[15:10:00] JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: This was the second note. Of course, any time we learn that the jury has a note for the

judge we sort of hold our collective breaths wondering if this could be the verdict. But just minutes ago we learned the second note was anything but

a verdict. This jury told the judge that as of 5:00 today, in two hours, they're ready to call it a week.

Get on with their weekends and come back next week for more deliberations it looks like at this point we will not see a verdict today. This is the

second note that the jury has sent. Yesterday they deliberated for seven long hours, really without a peep. They're ready to call it a week.

And then that's when they sent their first note to the judge. They had four different questions for the judge dealing with complicated matters of

tax filings, foreign bank accounts. They wanted clarification. They also wanted clarification as to what reasonable doubt means. Beyond a

reasonable doubt is how prosecutors must prove their case to secure a conviction of Paul Manafort. So, what this shows us perhaps is that this

jury is very methodical. They're taking this task, this important duty that they have very seriously.

There are 18 counts here. This is a complicated trial. These are dealing with a lot of financial documents, financial details, a lot of numbers, dry

details. They've seen 27 witnesses take the stand. So, they have to consider that testimony. They also have been presented about both at trial

and now at deliberations 388 documents. So, while many people may be hoping that this could potentially be a quick verdict, we're seeing this

jury, whether or not they're divided, they're taking their time to go through this. We have not seen any note as we sometimes do at some points

in deliberations saying that they can't come to a decision. It's probably too early for that.

But these two notes show that this jury is working. They're working hard. But as of 5:00 today, in just two hours, they say they're ready for the

weekend. This has been a long trial. This marks the end of three weeks in what has been a trial jampacked with information that these jurors had to

digest and then determine the guilt or innocence or acquittal of Paul Manafort. We will be back here at court on Monday morning for more

deliberations here. We'll see then if we might see something as it comes to a verdict.

GORANI: You mentioned 18 counts, these are complex financial tax evasion issues. These are big concepts, they need to take time to understand them

perhaps. The president of the United States, Donald Trump, had something to say about his former campaign manager today.

SCHNEIDER: He did. We've heard Donald Trump mention Paul Manafort before. He tweeted about him at the start of the trial. Today Donald Trump, the

president, was asked yet again a few questions about Paul Manafort, perhaps about his future and also his current situation. Here's what the president

had to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: I think the whole Manafort trial is sad. When you look at what's going on there. It's a very sad day for our country. He worked for me for

a short period of time. You know what? He happens to be a very good person. I think it's very sad what they've done to Paul Manafort.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHNEIDER: The president was also asked, Mr. President, if Paul Manafort were to be found guilty here, would you issue a pardon? The president said

I don't want to talk about that. That's been a lot of speculation here because Paul Manafort's defense did not put on a case. They did not call

any witnesses to the stand. Of course, they didn't put Paul Manafort himself on the stand. So, the swirling questions and speculations are if

Paul Manafort is found guilty on any of these counts, let alone all 18, would the president pardon him? That's a question that the president today

refused to answer.

GORANI: Jessica, he had some nice things to say about him, though. Thank you very much for joining us.

Let's take stock of everything we have spoken about in the last 12, 13 minutes or so. Military related news took center stage in Washington.

China's military making huge leaps forward. President Trump is at odds with his own intelligence community. And his show of force military parade

is not happening. So, what's going on? Let's talk to John Kirby for that. Your take on this military parade not happening in Washington on November

10th.

[00:15:00] The president then tweeting to the surprise of everyone I know and journalists I have contacted in Paris that he's going to be Armistice

Day celebration on November 11th in France. I don't know a single journalist who was expecting that.

JOHN KIRBY, CNN MILITARY AND DIPLOMATIC ANALYST: I don't think the Pentagon was expecting this announcement either, to be honest with you,

Hala. It is quite stunning. I have been on record as opposed to this idea from the very beginning.

I think the parade should be canceled. There's much better uses for the money, for the troops time and equipment. It's not a good idea. This is

not how the United States military needs to behave or demonstrate capabilities. There are more important things to do with that time and

that money. But he's adamant about showcasing U.S. military prowess. Maybe they can find a way for him to do that in 2019 or '20.

GORANI: Certainly, I don't think anyone doubts American military prowess. As you know, parades in France are part of the yearly tradition of July

14th. The intelligence officials who are signing a letter criticizing Donald Trump for his decision to strip John Brennan of his security

clearance, what do you make of that? They're all coming together with a unified message.

KIRBY: It's significant. It's significant on a couple of levels. These are almost all career officials or even those who are political appointees

are not partisan in outlooks, they're not individuals who have been out there much in the public eye with the exception of John Brennan. But they

are taking a stand around this because it speaks to two larger issues.

One is freedom of speech. The right for officials, particularly former officials, to be able to criticize the current administration. Number two,

the ability of former officials to advise current administrations. One thing that is at play here is the degree of which there will be a chilling

effect on former officials. Not just at the top levels but at the mid levels who daily need their clearance and need to be able to be can dad

with current government officials.

There could be a chilling effect here. And the last thing is I understand Trump wants to get back at Brennan because of the Russian investigation.

That's what this is about. But he's also potentially cutting himself off and his administration and his leadership from good counsel and wisdom from

people who have tackled some of these problems before.

GORANI: Because for people who don't know what it is, what precisely is a security clearance for someone like John Brennan or former intelligence

officials?

KIRBY: Depending on your job you get cleared for the ability to access classified information. There are various levels of classified

information. Your clearance indicates at what level you are cleared. But the second part of that is you have to have a need to know. Many of these

former officials, their clearances are still active. Mine is still active for a period of years.

Then it could just lapse if I don't have a need for it anymore. I also don't have access to information the way I did when I was at the state

department and seeing intelligence every day. Neither do these officials. Having them with the ability to get that access, having their clearance

still in effect, that gives them the ability, if need, to come in and help a current administration tackle problems that maybe they tackled when they

were in office. Be able to see at least some intelligence gives them a greater purview and able to provide that advice.

GORANI: Thanks for explaining that so clearly. John Kirby as always, pleasure.

KIRBY: You bet.

GORANI: Still to come, 48 hours after a damming report we get strong reports from the Vatican, but many are still waiting for action now. We'll

speak to Father Edward Beck ahead.

And it's been an excruciating year. Those are the words of Elon Musk. More on his emotional interview next.

[15:20:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

GORANI: We want to follow up on a story we broke yesterday when the Vatican ended its silence regarding a criminal report. It cataloged

decades of abuse by the Catholic Church in the state of Pennsylvania. The official response expressed shame and sorrow. The Vatican press office

director Greg Burke spoke for Pope Francis.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GREG BURKE, VATICAN PRESS OFFICE DIRECTOR: The Holy Father knows how these crimes can shake the faith and the spirit of the people in the pews. Pope

also wants victims to know that he is on their side. He wants to listen to them so that this tragic horror will not be repeated.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GORANI: Now that the Vatican responded, I want to get the reaction from CNN Religion Commentator, Father Beck. We spoke after that grand jury

creation report was released. At the time I asked about vet can response, we had not had up with yet. Now we do. What do you make of what we heard

from this report?

FATHER EDWARD BECK, CNN RELIGION COMMENTATOR: It was strong language to say criminally and morally reprehensible. There was an indication in the

statement that the pope gets the seriousness of what this grand jury report has said. I thought it was important that the pope said I'm on your side.

The side of the victims. Not on the side of predators or bishops who covered it up, but the side of victims. I thought it was a good statement.

And Hala, this is not an Apologia for the Catholic Church here what I am going to say. But I thought were the most important parts of the statement

was when Greg Burke reminded us that almost all of the charges in this grand jury report occurred before 2002, before the Dallas Charter in the

United States that required reporting to authorities of any abuse, and immediate removal of any priest who had a credible allegation made against

him, that all of these were old charges. What was so horrifying is that we were hearing the details for the first time. We were getting names. We

were seeing what some bishops did in not responding. But it was kind of what we felt in Boston, but now just coming to light.

GORANI: Most of these cases are old. They fall outside the statute of imitations. Do you believe within the catholic church we moved on from

this? This is being -- that potential sexual abusers are being reported, not moved around and shuffled around like they used to be?

BECK: I certainly believe that in the United States after 2002. I have seen it. There's zero tolerance. Now one or two will slip through and

they'll have to act on those people. Nothing is perfect here. If you have 4 percent or 5 percent pedophilia in our nation in the world, you will find

that in the priesthood. It has to act immediately. Now, in the rest of the world we're beginning to see this break in different ways.

[15:25:00] In Chile, you will see in Latin America more of it. So civil law is different in various countries. In some ways the Vatican response

will have to be different. So, it's a worldwide problem. The pope is going to Ireland in less than ten days. A country, as you know, that's

been wracked with this same issue of sex abuse of clergy. So, I suspect that the pontiff will speak about this there. He probably will meet with

victims again. And maybe personally address this grand jury report in the United States because of its blistering nature.

GORANI: So, the report is certainly -- I imagine the words would be comforting, though I can't speak for survivors of this type of abuse. I

imagine for some the words would be comforting. But nothing in the statement by the Vatican talks about going further, finding and removing

potential abusers. So, has it gone far enough in your opinion?

BECK: The statement says there will be accountability and is for abusers and for those who permitted abuse to occur. From the Vatican perspective

those laws are in effect. I think what people are responding to now is what about the bishops? What about those who enabled it? They have not

really been held accountable in the same way as zero tolerance for priests.

We know Cardinal McCarrick in this country, scathing allegations against him. Will they be investigated? So, the bishops in the United States

asked the Vatican to send a team. Find out what happened with Cardinal McCarrick? How did he rise to the top echelon of the Catholic Church when

all these rumors were there and he was an abuser? So, the bishops are asking for this investigation from the Vatican, which is a very positive

sign.

GORANI: Father Beck, as always. Thanks for joining us. Appreciate it.

Changing gears now, the CEO of one of Silicon Valley's most ambitious companies says the pressure has been excruciating. I'm talking about Elon

Musk in an emotional interview with the "New York Times," He says he is exhausted and demands from Wall Street have made this past year the most

difficult and painful of his career. Last week he tweeted out plans to take the company private. Here's some more details about Elon Musk. He's

famous for taking electric cars to the mass market through Tesla. He sent one of the cars into space.

That was thanks to another firm he's responsible for. The commercial space exploration company SpaceX. He's behind the renewable energy firm

SolarCity. He set up the Boring Company. A company that digs tunnels to make beyond ground roads. That firm also sells what it calls torch guns,

Musk named the product not a flame thrower. You know him best probably from Tesla. But in some of his appearance, some of the things he's said

over the last year. Some people were asking is he starting to crack under the pressure? Is he maybe sort of not as happy as he could be? As stable

as he could be? Clare Sebastian is following this from New York. She joins us live. What more did we learn from this "New York Times"

interview?

CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN MONEY CORRESPONDENT: I think those following Tesla over the last few months were not surprised to hear he used the word

excruciating. He's not had a vacation in 17 years. He doesn't see his kids. He barely made it to his own brother's wedding. This is starting to

impact his health. He said it's not been great. I've had friends come by who are really concerned. He also said it's often a choice of no sleep or

Ambien.

So, this paints a picture of a CEO who may be on the verge of a breakdown. The pressure has been mounting on him the past couple of weeks since that

tweet with his intentions to take the company private. The questions swirling around Tesla is should they hire a coo to take the pressure off

this man. The situation is not sustainable.

GORANI: People remember that conference call with journalists where he started berating them, calling their questions boring. Some things he said

sounded disjointed, and something that a person under pressure would say. Is he saying in this interview he will take his foot off the gas a bit

here?

SEBASTIAN: No. He's not saying that. He says he has no intention to relinquish his joint chairman and CEO role. But we did learn from the "New

York Times" that the board has been trying to hire someone in that COO, number two position for a number of years. Clearly that's something they

are thinking about. The onus is on the board now.

Their job is to keep this company running smoothly as a public company until such time that Elon Musk comes up with a proposal to take it private

and they have time to vet it a lot of team are look to them saying what are you going to do to try to keep his mental health in check and keep the

company running smoothly. The stock price fell off a cliff. It's down about 9 percent. Clearly the investor community is worried.

GORANI: Clare, thank you.

For many it's the stuff of nightmares, a symbol of Nazism and Hitler on full display in a cafe in Germany.

And in India, severe flooding and landslides transformed a region. We'll get an update on the rescue efforts after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[15:30:10] GORANI: A site many had prayed they'd never see again in Germany. The far-right is gaining visibility and so are those dreaded

symbols of hate.

Some groups have found ways to get around Germany's hate speech laws which are some of the toughest in the world, as you know. One cafe though is

proudly selling not so veiled neo-Nazi merchandise. Our Atika Shubert went to see it firsthand.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Schnitzel topped with a fried egg is the special at the Golden Lion, but you don't need a menu to see what this

place is all about.

TOMMY FRENCK, OWNER, THE GOLDEN LION: I buy the guest house because we didn't -- we can't go in out to guest houses. Every time the police come

or the government or some organizations from them or the leftists, and say don't let the right-wings in, don't let the Nazis in.

SHUBERT: Proprietor Tommy Frenck wears his politics on his skin. The word Aryan tattooed around his neck, yet he denies he's a Neo-Nazi.

FRENCK: I'm proud of my nation. I'm proud of my heritage. That's the thing in Germany. If you're proud of your heritage, you are a bad guy.

SHUBERT: At the back of the restaurant, Frenck shows us his other business, right-wing extremist merchandise.

Germany has some of the toughest hate speech laws in the world. It's, for example, illegal to display a swastika and that's led to a kind of coded

language like this. 88. That might not mean much to somebody looking at this, but to somebody who knows, H is the eight letter of the alphabet.

This means HH or Heil Hitler. And if that's too subtle for you, well, there's merchandise like this for sale.

Frenck won't explain what his t-shirts mean and denies that he is spreading Nazi ideology, but he claims that his sales have grown by 10 percent in the

last three years, echoing the rise of far-right politics across Germany, like the alternative for Germany political party that he voted for, Frenck

wants to ban Islam in Germany and stop immigration. That party, the AFD, won nearly 13 percent of the national vote.

FRENCK: Most important for me is that German government make politics for German people and not for the European Union and not for refugees in

Africa. They have to be for the German people.

SHUBERT: He's not a white supremacist, he claims, pointing to his world map of travels. He just doesn't like globalization.

You make it?

FRENCK: The thing is, they want to make from all these nice cultures, one big nonculture, you know what I mean?

SHUBERT: So you don't want that mixing basically?

FRENCK: No. I didn't like the mixing.

SHUBERT: These are some of his clientele. This summer, Frenck helped to organize a concert of right-wing rock bands and political speeches by the

local AFD. Under the watchful eyes of police. But police say they know Frenck as a right-wing extremist.

[15:35:02] Stefan Herdigan (ph) is using a long lens to zoom in and identify concert goers. He's an activist who keeps tabs on the growth of

Neo-Nazi activity in the area.

Tommy Frenck is less of an important Neo-Nazi and more of an entrepreneur of the Neo-Nazi scene, he tells me. Superficially, some of the t-shirts

try to be funny. They are not funny. They are serious, because they promote Nazi ideas to people and that is dangerous, he says.

So, we've got some heavily armed police coming in with us because they're worried that there could be some violence, even with media coming in.

Let's see how it is.

No punches thrown, just a few glares, one concertgoer had a message for us after learning we were CNN.

This is a typical rock concert against foreign infiltration into Germany happening here, he says. More and more illegals, criminals coming in. The

U.S. should be careful too. Better build your wall to Mexico, he says.

At the restaurant, Frenck is busy serving beers to concertgoers. He chides us for attending the concert without him. That, he says, is why we didn't

get a friendly reception.

FRENCK: The media can talk over me what I want. It doesn't matter for me, because all people, they know me. They know I'm a normal person.

SHUBERT: Exactly what some fear, that what Frenck is selling may be accepted as normal.

Atika Shubert, CNN, Themar, Germany.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

GORANI: Well that cafe owner certainly was comfortable enough talking about it to CNN and displaying all that merchandise. Remarkable.

Now, utter devastation in India. At least 164 people are dead after a monsoon rain sparked severe flooding and landslides in the southern state

of Kerala.

The official say the rains are as much as 50 percent worse than in previous years and they're still coming, unfortunately. Look at that torrent. Look

at that -- it looks like a river.

As always, where there is tragedy, there are stories of rescues and bravery. Chad Myers has that.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CHAD MYERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: They're being rescued by helicopter, by truck, by boat, and many are being carried to safety. The death toll keeps

rising and tens of thousands of people have been displaced after unprecedented monsoon rains led to widespread flooding and landslides in

the southern Indian state of Kerala.

Authorities and residents alike tried desperately to reach those stranded in the floodwaters. Weather experts are calling it worst flood in almost a

century.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): The water has gotten into both floors of our house. We went to our neighbor's place and stayed on the

second floor of their house. All of our things have been destroyed by the water. They are destroyed.

MYERS: India's national disaster response force has deployed 53 teams across the state. The country's army, navy, and coast guard have all been

called in to help. Even local fishermen have been asked to assist. Over 1,000 personnel from military and disaster authorities are now involved in

the rescue mission.

The Indian navy shared dramatic video of a pregnant woman being rescued by helicopter. She later gave birth to a healthy baby boy. A reporter from

CNN-News 18 describes the flooding in one district.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: As you can see behind me, this is the situation. This place is completely inundated. This entire town is under water.

MYERS: Flooded out roads and bridges and railway shutdowns are hampering emergency efforts. Over 100,000 residents have sought shelter in relief

camps.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): They're providing us with clothes and other things. We've been given clothes, cots, and blankets as

well as food.

MYERS: Monsoon rains are common at this time of year but experts say these have been abnormally heavy. And with more rain expected in the coming

days, the situation could go from bad to worse.

Chad Myers, CNN.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

GORANI: The Indian meteorological department has issued a warning for heavy rainfall in the state for the coming days. Let's get over to Allison

Chinchar. She's live at the CNN weather center. So, is it going to rain even more there?

ALLISON CHINCHAR, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yes, unfortunately, it is. And you're likely going to see what we call bursts, these heavy pockets of rain

that just keep coming over the same areas. And you can take a look at the paths. You can see not only some showers in the southern region, but we've

also have rain elsewhere.

The main concern, however, has been in the extreme southern portion of India, especially that southwestern region. That's where you have that

state, the main state of Kerala that we've been talking about.

Look at some of these rainfall amounts. Kochi, for example, 259 millimeters in just the last 72 hours.

Again, while monsoon rains are normal for this region, it is uncommon to get these heavy bursts one after another after another for these long

periods of time.

Now, overall, for India, in general, so far, the monsoon season is about up eight percent below average up to this point, but specifically for the

state of Kerala, we're about 11 percent above average. So just this one particular state has seen an inundation of those rains. And one of the

districts in that state, every single road is covered in water, which makes it almost impossible for travel, not only for the people to get out but for

aid and supplies to get in. So keep that in mind.

[15:40:29] The forecast again continues to bring more rain. Here, you can see pretty much almost the entire western coastline has additional rainfall

coming in in just the next 48 hours. That's going to be the short-term. The long-term aspects are how many more of these bursts can these people

take in terms of the rainfall? Because the amounts that they're expecting are still likely, Hala, to be between about 50 and 100 millimeters total of

rain, and that's just in the next couple of days.

GORANI: Allison Chinchar, thanks very much for that update.

In the U.S. State of Georgia, unbelievable story, police tased and arrested an 87-year-old grandmother who was picking dandelion. And now her lawyers

says she's considering legal action.

The pensioner was spotted holding a knife to cut the flowers. Her daughter-in-law says the woman didn't understand police commands. But the

police chief is defending his staff.

Kaylee Hartung has that story.

KAYLEE HARTUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Hala, Martha's Al-Bishara's granddaughter says this elderly woman has been known to wander into the

woods near her home, go looking for dandelions and cut them with a kitchen knife. But her most recent outing to do this to go very unexpected turn,

when this 87-year-old woman was taken down to the ground when she was tased by a police officer and then arrested. The actions of the officers from

this small rural community in Georgia are under intense scrutiny.

Listen first to the 911 call they received last Friday.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: 911, what's your emergency?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, I'm at Boys and Girl's club. I'm a staff here. There's a lady walking on the bike trail, she has a knife. And she won't

leave. She doesn't speak English. It looks like she's walking around looking for something, vegetation to cut down or something. She has a bag

big.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But she came at someone with a knife, though, right? Or did she just have it?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, she's just bringing the knife onto the property with her hand. She didn't try and attack anybody or something.

HARTUNG: You hear the caller say he didn't see this woman as a threat. But police officers must have felt differently. They say that they

reputedly asked Al-Bishara to drop the knife. She didn't respond, she didn't comply. They say she even had a calm demeanor when they had their

guns out and the taser out.

The police chief, who was among the responding officers, he continues to defend his officer's actions saying he believes they were justified.

We've since learned from Al-Bishara's granddaughter that the woman is originally from Syria. She speaks only Arabic and she has dementia. And

yet the police chief says nearly everyone should understand the universal command for stop.

Hala, this woman is being charged with trespassing and obstruction and she's expected in court next month.

GORANI: Thanks, Kaylee Hartung.

Don't forget you can get all the latest news, interviews and analysis from the show online, facebook.com/halagoranicnn. Check me out on Twitter,

@HalaGorani.

Now, Syria's war has been brutal and horrifying, but in the country many are trying to look forward in some parts of the nation. But the momentous

task is proving to be complicated.

Russia says it wants financial help from western nations. But the U.S. and its allies are hesitant to back anything having to do with the Syrian

president, Bashar al-Assad who, of course, Russia has propped up and helped retake parts of the country. He's been accused of course of war crimes,

and crimes against humanity.

CNN's Fred Pleitgen has been accompanying the Russian military in parts of Syria.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

FRED PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The territorial gains that the Russian military has helped the Syrian government forces

achieve are really are quite impressive. The Russian military has driven us on this trip from the southern border of Syria all the way up here to

Homs. That's several hundred kilometers, without having to make way for any sort of area still controlled by opposition forces.

At the same time, you do see a lot of the problems that Syria still faces. You look at the city that we're in right now, Homs. There's still so much

reconstruction that needs to be done.

We're in the central part of the city. Of course, people are trying to rebuild. You see some scaffolding. You see people cleaning up, but a lot

of money and a lot of resources are needed.

Homs' governor says the city is doing its best with what it has.

GOV. TALAL BARAZI, HOMS, SYRIA (through translator): In May 2014, rebels have abandoned the old city of Homs leaving behind major damages. The very

next day when fighters left, we allowed people to come back to the old city.

[15:45:00] PLEITGEN: One lighthouse project, Homs' historic market has just reopened after being almost totally destroyed in the fighting that

raged here.

This is what the market looked like four years ago when CNN was on hand as Syrian government forces retook the old town of Homs from rebels.

Some reconstruction is going on in Syria, like this bridge in the town of Rastan. But hundreds of billions of dollars will probably be needed to get

the country back on its feet. And Moscow wants western nations to pitch in.

MAJ. GEN. IGOR KONASHENKOV, RUSSIAN ARMY (through translator): Of course it's very hard because the scale of damage is large, and people no doubt

need help, especially those who are coming back to their homes. They need help to get back to normal life and make the economy work.

PLEITEGN: Western countries are reluctant to provide reconstruction help with both the Assad government and its Russian backers accused of war

crimes and crimes against humanity, claims they vehemently deny.

The Russian army took us to a military food and medical aid station, handing out rations to Syrians still struggling just to get by and

uncertain who will provide aid to repair the massive damage this war has caused.

Fred Pleitgen, CNN, Rastan, Syria.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

GORANI: A lot more to come this evening. Family members in North and South Korea are preparing to see each other, in some cases, for the first

time in decades. The emotional story is coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

GORANI: Decades apart. Families separated by the Korean War still long for their loved ones. CNN's Paula Hancocks met with one mother who will

finally get to see her son after nearly 70 years.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Lee Kum-Sum (ph) is 92 years old. Oblivious to the crowds in the Seoul shopping center. She has an outfit to

buy for a very special occasion.

On Monday, Lee will meet her son for the first time in 68 years.

Lee and her husband were among many North Koreans who fled South as the Korean War took hold in 1950. She recalls walking for days carrying her 1-

year-old daughter, her husband carrying her son. She left the road to breastfeed her baby, slipped and sprained her ankle. When she returned she

couldn't find her husband.

LEE KUM-SUM, SEPARATED MOTHER (through translator): (inaudible) I run into my brother-in-law. He said my husband had gone back to find me.

HANCOCKS: As the fighting caught up with them, Lee had to take a train, then a ship and waited in South Korea for her husband and son to catch up.

They never did.

LEE (through translator): Whenever I woke up, I would take my daughter out in the field and sit on a rock. That was my spot and I would cry. I cried

every day for a year.

[15:50:09] HANCOCKS: Lee is one of 89 South Koreans who will be reunited with family members they haven't seen in decades out of 57,000 who had

applied. These reunions happen only when relations between the two Koreas are good. The last one was three years ago.

It is an emotional and highly-controlled three days at a mountain resort in North Korea.

KUM SUM (through translator): (INAUDIBLE) I don't remember what my four- year son -- would it be ok to hug my son? He is over 70 years old now. When I see him I'll call the name Song-chol and hug him. That is the only

thing on my mind.

HANCOCKS: Jong Kea-Hyun (ph) is still waiting. He's one of thousands who can only wonder if their chance will ever come. He's 85. His two brothers

-- one older, one younger -- did not manage to escape the North during the war. He has heard nothing about them since.

JONG KEA-HYUN, SEPARATED FROM BROTHERS (through translator): At the very least, if I can't have a meeting, I just want to know who is still alive.

I cried a lot. I left when I was 17. Isn't that a time when I should have been in my mother's --

HANCOCKS: Paula Hancocks, CNN, Seoul.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

GORANI: Well, sadly the number of families participating in the reunions has been reduced due to declining health. The South Korean unification

ministry says more than 60 percent of the reunion applicants are now in their 80s and 90s. Both countries selected 100 people, but the number of

participants for the first round of visits on August 20th is down to 89 families. And the second round is even lower with just 83 families.

Coming up, tributes continue to pour in for the queen of soul, Aretha Franklin.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(CROWD SINGING)

"Before the day I met you, life was so unkind, you're the key to my peace of mind, you make me feel, you make me feel, you make me feel like a

natural woman."

GORANI: That was at the Apollo Theater in New York. And I doubt it was the only place that spontaneous outbursts in honor of Aretha Franklin rang

out over the last day. In fact look no further in our newsroom.

The queen of soul not only sang about respect, she commanded it. CNN's Jeanne Moos looks back at on an extraordinary life.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Aretha doesn't just get --

ARETHA FRANKLIN, AMERICAN SINGER: Just a little bit --

MOOS: She gets a lot. Imagine a president adjusting your foot stool.

BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: There you go.

FRANKLIN: OK.

MOOS: Sort of the same way she started around age 9.

FRANKLIN: They would have me stand on a little chair and sing.

[15:55:59] MOOS: Singing gospel, then singing soul.

How did she make us feel? "We have lost the greatest singer of our time," tweeted Billy Joel. Stars like Barbra Streisand and Oprah posted photos

taken with her. The Queen of Soul died on the same date as the King of Rock, 41 years apart.

Aretha wasn't lonesome. She died of pancreatic cancer at home with family. Temporarily, political bickering came to a halt.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You know what -- I'm sorry to interrupt. I'm very sad to report this morning --

MOOS: Fans imagined Aretha walking through the gates of heaven like royalty.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you a diva?

FRANKLIN: No. Would I be a diva? I'm really a very down to earth, I really am.

MOOS: Dictionary.com honor Aretha with this entry. Even if the way she sang it made it harder to spell it.

OBAMA: R-E-S-P-E-C-T meant to her.

MOOS: "Respect" won Aretha the first of her 18 Grammys, when they called to say she would be awarded the presidential Medal of Freedom she thought -

-

FRANKLIN: Is this a joke.

MOOS: Her second husband, divorced but still close, said she had a wonderful sense of humor.

ED BRADLEY, HOST, CBS NEWS: Can I ask you about sex? It's in a lot of your songs? I mean it's --

FRANKLIN: Sex?

BRADLEY: Well, lust.

FRANKLIN: Come on.

BRADLEY: Feelings.

FRANKLIN: No, no, no.

BRADLEY: Good feelings.

FRANKLIN: You got me mixed up with somebody else, Ed.

MOOS: Mixed up Aretha? Not possible. She sang at Martin Luther King's funeral.

She let freedom ring at the Obama inauguration.

And at the Kennedy Center, her performance drove Carole King into ecstasy. (END VIDEOTAPE)

President Obama didn't just sing along, he wiped away a tear. It happened again at another occasion when she sang "America" and the attorney general

also cried.

The Queen of Soul able to touch our souls.

Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.

GORANI: She could make grown men cry. Rest in peace, Aretha Franklin.

Have a great weekend if it's your weekend. I'm Hala Gorani. Stay with CNN. "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" is next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(CLOSING BELL RINGING)

[16:00:57] RICHARD QUEST, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Nice strong rally. Closing bell ringing on Wall Street. Dow Jones industrials up the best

farther. Half a percentage point. WWE ringing the closing bell today. We'll be talking to a little later in the program.

END