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HALA GORANI TONIGHT
Mattis Warns Saudi Arabia That U.S. Support Has Limits; Senator Chris Murphy Condemns U.S. Sale of Precision Guided Missiles to Saudi Arabia; Six Thousand Right-Wing Demonstrators in Germany Attack Foreigners Shouting Neo-Nazi Slogans; Prime Minister Theresa May in Africa Trying to Salvage Trade Deals; French Environment Minister Quits During Radio Show; Trump: Google Rigs The News Against Me; U.N. Report Says Murder, Rape Committed Against Rohingya; New Study: Hurricane Maria Killed 2,975 In Puerto Rico; Paying Respect To Aretha Franklin; Trump Moves Are Followed Closely In Lebanon; Louis C.K. Attempts Comeback After #MeToo Scandal. Aired 3-4p ET
Aired August 28, 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 INTERNATIONAL HOST: Hello, everyone. Live from CNN London, I'm Hala Gorani. Tonight, possible war crimes committed
from all sides in Yemen. That is the verdict of a report by the United Nations. Who is going to finally stop the carnage?
Also, today, soul searching in Germany after neo-Nazi slogans were chanted on the streets of Kemnitz at an anti-immigration protest. We're live in
And dancing diplomacy. Theresa May busts a move on a trade mission to South Africa. As Yemen's devastating war drags on the United Nations says
all parties to the conflict could be guilty of war crimes. A new report finds the Saudi led coalition backed by the U.S. and UK and the Iran-backed
Houthi rebels have made little effort to minimize casualties. Airstrikes have caused the most deaths. But the list of alleged crimes includes
torture, rape, and the use of children in war. It's impossible to ignore the U.S. and UK's role in all of this. They support the Saudi-led
coalition with weapons and intelligence. The U.S. is now warning Saudi Arabia that its support has limits.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAMES MATTIS, UNITED STATES SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: We are constantly reviewing the support we're giving. Yes. We also had an army lieutenant
general in Riyadh almost immediately following the early August tragedy to convey our concerns and ask for a swift and complete investigation. It is
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What is it conditioned on?
MATTIS: That they do their everything humanly possible to avoid any innocent loss of life, and they support the UN brokered peace process.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Senior International Correspondent, Nima Elbagir has been following this story. So, does anyone believe the U.S. is going to suspend
or make its support of the Saudi-led coalition conditional on respecting certain rules of engagement?
NIMA ELBAGIR, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, this is the strongest we have seen the secretary of defense. This is the most brutal
phrases we've heard from him regarding this. The reality is no. No one believes this. The only person who can make this into a reality is the
And President Trump showed the world clearly what he cares about when you came back from Saudi Arabia last year hawking that $110 billion trade deal.
Secretary Mattis has been increasingly concerned about the situation in Yemen. He's been concerned about the actions of the Saudi-led coalition.
Without President Trump's sign-off, there's not much he can do.
GORANI: The UN saying war crimes are potentially being committed on both sides.
ELBAGIR: Suspected war crimes. War crimes need a tribunal to find definitively. This is incredibly strong language from the UN given their
mandate is probably not going to be extended given that the Security council needs to do something. They've put the Security Council in a tough
position. What we heard from them was extraordinary, especially laying majority of the civilian casualties at the door of the Saudi led coalition.
That keyword, disproportionality.
When we were talking last time about the 500-pound bomb that was dropped on a bus full of school children, that's the kind of incident that they're
referring to, this disproportionate shock and awe use of force.
GORANI: So what needs to be done? I mean, you can issue strongly worded statements. Or James Mattis can say what he did. In the end the war is
continuing and the civilian deaths are also continuing to happen.
ELBAGIR: Yes. I mean, that's the question. Isn't it? Let me tell you what the Saudis have released in response to the UN, the Saudi led
coalition has said they are looking into these reports. They're taking them very seriously, and their legal team will be taking -- will be looking
at taking the appropriate response and the coalition will do so as well. The reality is they knew there was coming. They've been given warning
after warning about the specificity of their targeting.
The only thing that makes a difference is if the warning from the Department of Defense and there is pressure put on them when those talks
start on September 6th to do something. But when the weapons are being sold by the people who are tasked to pressure them, the U.S. and the UK,
the people who sit on the security counsel and can block any sanctions against them, it makes it difficult to believe anything is going to change.
GORANI: Thank you very much. Appreciate it.
Well, the Democratic Senator Chris Murphy is a loud critic of American involvement in Yemen. He, in fact, introduced an amendment on the Senate
floor last week that proposed cutting funds to the coalition.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. CHRIS MURPHY, (D), CONNECTICUT: The United States sells the coalition the bombs that are used. We, in fact, have authorized have taken votes on
in this congress several sales of precision-guided missiles. We sell them PGMs because we believe that they will make fewer mistakes, and that
probably is right. They are probably making fewer mistakes with the PGMs. The problem is their targets are school buses, funerals, water treatment
facilities, and water mains. They can more effectively hit their civilian targets with the bombs that we are selling.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[15:05:00] GORANI: A Republican blocked that motion from going to a vote. I spoke to Senator Murphy a few minutes ago. I asked him why he thinks his
effort failed there.
MURPHY: We still have a lot of education to do here in Congress about how disastrous the Yemen civil war has been for U.S. national security
interests. We are radicalizing a generation of Yemeni people against the United States. We are empowering al Qaeda and ISIS and we're participating
in the slaughter of thousands of Yemeni civilians.
This Congress right now isn't focused on Yemen to the extent we're looking to the middle east or thinking primarily about what's happening in Syria
today, and yet, I would argue that what is happening on the ground in Yemen is just as dangerous to the United States in many ways as what's happening
in Syria. So, it's about education of my colleagues right now.
GORANI: And the Republican of Alabama blocked the amendment. Among his top donors are defense companies like Lockheed Martin or Boeing. Do you
think it has anything to do with that?
MURPHY: I don't know, actually. Frankly, those companies donate to my campaign as well. They're located in Connecticut and yet, I'm a strong
opponent of our presence inside Yemen. I don't think this is necessarily a question of campaign donations. I think it's a question of members of
Congress who just haven't gotten up to speed as to how disastrous this war has been, and frankly, a lot of members of Congress who are listening to
the administration when they tell us that if the United States was not involved with the Saudis and Emiratis that the casualties would be worse.
If they look at data, I think they'd see the casualties are getting worse. There worse this year than they were last year.
GORANI: How can they not be up to speed? It takes a few minutes to read newspaper articles about the extent of the civilian carnage that is taking
place. Especially when the world had forgotten for a few months about what was going on in Yemen but especially after the bus with children on board
MURPHY: I'm not going to argue members of congress shouldn't be up to speed on what's happening in Yemen. I will say while you're covering this,
this is not getting virtually any coverage in the United States. If you turn on cable news networks here, there isn't coverage of what's happening
in Yemen today. We need to get everybody talking more about that. Members of Congress and the media.
GORANI: What would you want the United States to do now, to suspend funding? What would that look like practically?
MURPHY: So, if I were in the United States would get out of the civil war and stop participating in the bombing campaign. We'd stop selling the
bombs and stop targeting and re-fueling the planes. I think in every way possible this is hurting U.S. national security interests. I understand
that's not where my colleagues are. I'm offering legislation that would at least put humanitarian conditions on this funding. Say let's come to a
conclusion that the Saudis are not intentionally bombing civilians, which they are, before we put more money in. That's what I'd like to see done by
congress very soon.
GORANI: You just said you believe the Saudis are intentionally killing civilians? What makes you say that?
MURPHY: I think that's the conclusion that the UN reached this morning in their report. I just don't think that you can make this many mistakes.
The Saudi coalition hit --
GORANI: But that's a war crime.
MURPHY: That's what the UN said this morning. They said there are likely war crimes being committed inside Yemen today. I don't know how you hit a
cholera treatment facility located inside a humanitarian compound plainly labeled accidentally. Some of the bombs may miss their target, but you
can't miss your target that badly.
GORANI: We're seeing all over the world as you noted Saudi officials and people in the Middle East watch our network a lot. What would you say to
Saudi officials, then?
[15:10:00] MURPHY: I just don't believe that the Saudis are making this many mistakes. And, in fact, they don't claim as of today that the school
bus was a mistake. In fact, they initially responded by saying the school bus was a legitimate military target and there were no children on board.
That's ridiculous. Of course, you know there are going to be children on a school bus if you attack it. The Saudis, I think, have to come to the
table here and talk about why they are over and over again hitting civilian targets.
GORANI: Quick last question. This isn't your first attempt at blocking U.S. funding for the Saudi-led coalitions' war in Yemen. Why do you care
so much about this issue in particular?
MURPHY: Well, you're right. I've been very critical of both the Obama administration and the Trump administration. This isn't about politics to
me. Listen, I just have seen over and over again the United States exercise a level of military hubris in the Middle East that's been
disastrous. The fact that we think we can use blunt force of military power, has no evidence to back it up. We have created a humanitarian
nightmare in this case. I won't be part of the intentional killing of civilians, a famine inside Yemen being funded in part by the United States.
I just won't do it as a United States senator.
GORANI: Chris Murphy, the Democratic senator from Connecticut speaking to me a little bit earlier about his efforts to suspend funding for the Saudi-
led coalition there. U.S. funding for the Saudi-led coalition.
The German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, says hate in the streets has no place in Germany after Hitler salutes and neo-Nazi slogans punctuated a protest
in the city of Kemnitz Monday night. It was a big crowd, 6000 far right demonstrators clashed with more than 1000 counter protesters. Atika
Schubert has this report on how it began.
ATIKA SCHUBERT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A mob of thousands targeting immigrants and refugees. Some gave Nazi salutes, a brazen violation of Germany's
tough laws against hate speech. Fireworks were launched as weapons. Bottles thrown injuring 20 people, including two police officers. Police
now admit they underestimated the crowds and the anger temporarily losing control of the streets and this violent revolt against Germany's refugee
and immigration policy. Chancellor Angela Merkel has faced intense political pressure after opening Germany's doors to more than a million
asylum seekers. Many from Syria. At a presser with his Irish counterpart, Germany's foreign minister trying to explain what happened.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HEIKO MAAS, FOREIGN MINISTER, GERMANY (through translator): It is intolerable what happened. It is the task of the state to shed light and
investigate crimes. And also hold perpetrators to account, and this is why Germany has not presented itself in the best light. I don't believe that
this reflects the reality in Germany.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SCHUBERT: Now, this is where it all started in an east German town. This is a spot where according to place a fight broke out between five
individuals at around 3:00 a.m. on Sunday morning. A 35-year-old German man was killed, stabbed to death. Later on, police arrested two
individuals, a Syrian and Iraqi on suspicion of murder. That triggered calls on social media to take to the streets, including this Facebook post
with a photo of the blood-stained crime scene from the anti-immigration party, Alternative for Germany.
What was supposed to be a spontaneous demonstration on Sunday afternoon against Germany's refugee policy had become an angry mob with hundreds
shouting foreigners out and this is our city. Police had promised to regain control of the streets but on Monday, it happened again with even
bigger numbers. What is behind the lawlessness and will it spread? On the streets of this city, residents tell us what they think.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): I just don't think it's so good that this murder has been manipulated. I find this very frightening to
hear people saying we must defend our city. I found it frightening when I saw the video chasing down foreigners. It sent shivers down my spine.
[15:15:00] UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): In Kemnitz we stand for humanity, for solidarity, for togetherness, against agitation, against
a raging mob which portrays Kemnitz as a racist city.
SCHUBERT: East Germany has been chafing under the refugee policies of the federal government. The chaos in this city has been the most serious
manifestation of that public anger so far.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: We are joined now live with Atika. Is it calmer now in the city?
SCHUBERT: It's a lot calmer now, and frankly, things returned to some semblance of normally here, but as you can see, local residents have
continued to come here to pay their respects and really offer their condolences. And what's happening now is a lot of local residents are
trying to figure out what happened. Who to blame for the mobs. There's a lot of anger, sadness, and confusion as to what's happened.
GORANI: And -- but where did all these protesters come from? Were they all local? We know the AfD sent out a tweet encouraging people to protest
and take matters into their own hands. There were also Facebook messages circulating. Where did all these people come from in their thousands?
SCHUBERT: Well, this is exactly what police and local residents are trying to figure out. What triggered all this? We know, of course, there have
this murder, but then how did that snowball on social media? It went viral on Facebook, on Twitter. It involved not only the anti-immigration party
known as the AfD here, but also, for example, a local football team got involved in spreading social media reports. There were numerous rumors
circulating online. And so, police are trying to tease all of these threads together to figure out how did this become anger over this incident
to what appears to be lawlessness in the streets of Kemnitz.
GORANI: Thank you. Reporting there from Kemnitz, Germany.
British Prime Minister Theresa May is dancing her Brexit anxieties away in Africa. But is she right to brush off some dire warnings about a no deal
Brexit. We're live in Johannesburg, next.
[15:20:00] GORANI: The British Prime Minister Theresa May is charming and dancing her way across South Africa. She's hoping to drum up new business
for the post Brexit UK. Mrs. May will also visit Kenya and Nigeria during the trip. Although it's only just begin, the visit may be already
overshadowed by the biggest topic in the UK as the prime minister brushed off a dire warning of Brexit's financial repercussions. She said a no deal
Brexit, a no deal with the EU, quote, " would not be the end of the world" unquote. Let's go to Johannesburg where Eleni Giokos has the latest. What
did the prime minister get out of this trip to South Africa?
ELENI GIOKOS, CNN AFRICA CORRESPONDENT: Well, Theresa May walked away with what seems to be the first post Brexit agreement, and that's going to be
with African nations. She's also committed around 4 billion pounds of investment into the continent over the next four years and was able to
secure with six African countries the movement of the European partnership agreement with, of course, the single markets and then basically copying
and pasting that with the United Kingdom.
So essentially it will hopefully be a seamless transition when Brexit happens. As we know the fact that when she's revived the specter or the of
a no-deal Brexit, she also has to start forging new relationships with strategic partners. In Africa is going to be very important. South Africa
is hugely important in the greater scheme of things. It accounts for about 60 percent of trade out of the continent.
And it's interesting whenever I visit in London, I eat South African fruit there. It goes to show that agriculture products are important. For South
Africa it's been important. There was going to be a huge fallout on the Brexit front. It had to do with the trade pact. Now South Africa has it
signed. Theresa May walking away with it as well. Both ends are looking happy, it seems.
GORANI: Eleni Giokos. Thank you very much. While Theresa May says a no- deal Brexit wouldn't be Armageddon that runs counter to her only chancellor of the Exchequer who has warned it would be severe for the UK. Bianca
Nobilo joins me now in the London studio.
I don't know if it's comforting for Brits to hear from their prime minister that the only deal worse than no brags it is the end of the world. In any
case, her hope to replace some of the potentially lost markets from a hard Brexit with Africa and other parts of the world, consumers in other parts
of the world. You look at exports to Africa. In their totality it is such a tiny portion of what the UK exports to the EU.
BIANCA NOBILO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's about 17 billion, I think for all of Africa compared to around 243 billion to the EU. We're talking about 7
percent. That doesn't exactly compensate. And Liam Fox, the international trade secretary, back at party conference in the UK last year said that he
would have about 40 trade deals ready to go on the eve of Brexit so they could all be signed off, however, even if she's had success on this trip,
it really doesn't even come close to that.
You mentioned it was almost a rebuke to the chancellor and his comments last Thursday, the same day the Brexit secretary was releasing all the no-
deal preparations and obviously they have to do that, because people need to be informed. They'd be accused of negligence if they didn't. The
Brexit secretary was still trying to strike a tone of optimism and saying the best days of Britain lie ahead, and then the chancellor releases a
letter saying that British public finances are going to take 80 billion hit over the next decade. This is under the no deal Brexit.
GORANI: Why is the prime minister saying this on foreign soil that it's not the end of the world, a no-deal Brexit that many even ardent supporters
say it would be very bad for the UK economy. Every economist I've spoken to says it will be a disaster for the UK economy.
NOBILO: She is trying to appease her Brexiteers. They will be cheered to hear that. It's not particularly complimentary as you outlined. However,
the prime minister has never been comfortable celebrating Brexit. She's never been able to say, yes, I think this is a really good thing for us to
do. She famously had a tepid showing but did support remain? She's not fully behind this in spirit, but she's effecting the will of the people and
delivering on Brexit.
That's why this is a fairly lukewarm sentiment, but she's trying to say it will be OK, and she's echoing the sentiment of the Roberto Azevedo, the WTO
director general who said something very similar. So, what the prime minister is saying isn't exactly controversial. It's not a ringing
endorsement. But it is a wrap on the knuckles to her chancellor. She also said he was using old figures and he was wrong. And the chancellor has a
nickname of spread sheet Phil. He won't be pleased with this.
[15:25:00] GORANI: More divisions really within the leadership in Britain as we enter these crucial few weeks. Thank you very much.
Now, one of the French governments' most popular ministers is stepping down. Nicolas Hulot is France's environment minister, says he's frustrated
with the government's slow pace on climate goals and other environmental issues. By the way, he did not resign in a traditional way. He basically
announced it live on the radio.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NICOLAS HULOT, FRANCE'S ENVIRONMENT MINISTER (through translator): I'm going to take the hardest decision of my life. I don't want to lie to
myself anymore. I don't want my presence in this government to give the illusion that we are doing enough to answer these challenges so I am taking
the decision to leave the government.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: Well, he's a former TV personality. His resignation is seen as a big blow to the French president. Our Paris correspondent joins us now.
Melissa, it's a big blow because the French president has said since his election, he is the champion of environmental protection. And now his
environment minister is walking away.
MELISSA BELL, CNN PARIS CORRESPONDENT: That's right. The champion of an environmental protection. The guarantor, really of the Paris accord.
Macron wasn't the president when it was signed in Paris, but he has said he'll do all he can to be a champion of the cause. And at once the fact of
this resignation that is such a blow, and the manner of it. The fact that he spoke neither to the prime minister nor to the president, he says
because he didn't want them to try to talk him out of it, left the entire government looking fairly foolish. Here was the equality minister this
morning learning live on radio this morning as well that he'd resigned.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are all surprised. We just learned about the resignation, I see your eyes are --
MARLENE SCHIAPPA, FRENCH EQUALITY MINISTER (through translator): It's a joke.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No. No. This isn't fake news. It happened on France Inter radio. He has resigned.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: I mean, I have to say what's going on? Everybody is learning about important cabinet government business live on the radio in France
BELL: That's right. It was a catastrophe in terms of communication and how the government responded. It simply wasn't ready, able to get a spin
on it. It was a surprise announcement. The fallout has really taken all day for the government to try to mop up, trying to say they hope he will be
able to continue working with them on other issues, but their environmental policy and policy for the ecological transition lies in tatters. This was
a man whose nomination meant something for the government. He is well- liked in France.
He is well-respected. He has always been seen as a champion of this very important cause, someone who spotted it way before the rest of the world
was paying attention. Others had tried to give him a job in government and failed, but Macron got him to be an ecologist minister, but now he's gone.
And he needed to keep a left-wing politician within the ranks to prevent the feeling that's growing among the French public, that the government is
veering ever more to the right.
GORANI: We're not going to say or do anything rash on live television. Thank you. We're going to toss to a break.
BELL: That's quite enough.
GORANI: That's right. We've had enough for one day. When we come back, the serious topic of Yemen, protecting the innocent and I should say
Myanmar, protecting the innocent and punishing the guilty. They discuss what to do about genocide in Myanmar.
Plus, Trump versus Google. Why the U.S. president says the search engine is unfair and how he appears to have Googled himself in the middle of the
night in Washington. We'll be right back.
[15:30:38] GORANI: Well, after that deal with Mexico. Canada, obviously, does not want to be shut out of any potential new North American trade
deal. The foreign minister of Canada is in Washington resuming NAFTA negotiations.
Now, Canada is back at the table a day after the president, Donald Trump heralded an agreement reached solely with Mexico in that very unusual
conference call that was televised.
The Canadian official tell CNN they'll know by the end of the week if there'll be a deal coming for them as well.
Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau is hailing the progress made so far and says he looks forward to signing a deal as long as it is good for
Google is responding to President Trump's early morning tweets accusing its search engine of producing biased results. The tweets say almost all of
the hits that appear when Googling Trump news are rigged, fake, and dangerous. That's what the president is contending and that's something
will be done about it.
The president offers no evidence to back up the claim that Google is biased, but he did reiterate the claim moments ago in the oval office.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think Google is really taking advantage of a lot of people, and I think that's a very serious
thing, and it's a very serious charge. I think what Google and what others are doing, if you look at what's going on at Twitter, if you look at what's
going on in Facebook, they better be careful, because you can't do that to people. You can't do it. We have tremendous -- we have literally
thousands and thousands of complaints coming in. And you just can't do that.
So I think that Google and Twitter and Facebook, they're really treading on very, very troubled territory, and they have to be careful. It's not fair
to large portions of the population.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GORANI: So a lot of things said there. Thousands of complaints coming in. No evidence of that. The fact that Google or any search engine is rigging
the results somehow. The search results so that they are left-leaning. No evidence to that either.
Oliver Darcy joins me with more on Google's reaction. And also, how these tech companies are reacting. They have to be very careful, the president
said. What are you hearing from the tech world?
OLIVER DARCY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Well, this is, again, the president of the United States going out and basically accusing another tech giant of
censoring views, censoring conservative views to long-running theme with this White House.
Today, it was Google and Google, of course, came back and said that they don't discriminate based on politics or political beliefs, that they return
results when you search -- using their search engine, the return results that are best for the users. And so they don't sensor based on
conservative views. They're really stressing this.
But again, this is a larger theme for this White House, where they have accused Facebook. They've accused Twitter. They've accused a lot of tech
giants of being hostile to those on the right. And a lot of times there's no real evidence to support these claims, and they fall under a light touch
of scrutiny, but they really excite the conservative base.
They really excite the base that got Trump elected into the White House, and they're often not moved by facts. Trump's not moved by facts in this
case. He's just things that are flatly untrue. But it works well with his se. It excites them. And so I think you're going to continue seeing them
do this in the future.
GORANI: But -- by the way, what time was it when he sent out the tweet that he'd Googled himself with the word news?
DARCY: It was very early this morning. I'm not sure of the exact time because he deleted his original tweet and reposted it. There must have
been a typo. But it was extremely early this morning. This was a thing that was going on over the past couple of days in conservative media.
His friend, Lou Dobbs on Fox Business, picked it up last night. So he probably saw it from there, if I had to guess. But this is a long-running
theme that he's been pushing.
Last week he said that, "I think Twitter was censoring thousands of views." These things are just not true. But the White House has continued to push
them. And, again, it's something that excites that base, that Trump base gets really excited. It's sort of like the media. Think about when Trump
accuses the media of a liberal bias. It's very similar. He's accusing a powerful group of people, of pushing his supposedly liberal bias on
And really no matter what big tech does to respond. No matter how many times they put out evidence that contradicts the claims, this theme has
really continued to exist in conservative media and with politicians like Trump.
[15:35:08] GORANI: Oliver Darcy, thank you so much. Check out our Facebook page. Facebook.com/halagoranicnn.
Right now, the U.N. Security Council is meeting to discuss the genocide in Myanmar. You're looking at live pictures of that meeting now.
A U.N. report on Monday told of murder, rape, and other crimes by the Myanmar military against the people of -- the Rohingya people. The
question now is, what if anything can the U.N. do about it?
Richard Roth is at the U.N. with a very latest. And I believe we're seeing you the actress, Cate Blanchett, there addressing the U.N. Security
So the U.N. is very good at putting out reports. There's no doubt about that. But what tangible action is it proposing should be taken here?
RICHARD ROTH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Cate Blanchett, the actress, award- winning star is making an impassion plea for action as many have since the yesterday's report and for months previously.
But as you know very well, we've seen before in situations even other than Myanmar, crisis, mass murders and no action has really taken. Why?
Because China and Russia, in this case, primarily China, are waiting and have been blocking any sanctions on the Myanmar military regime, or any
The secretary general of the U.N. did not use the word genocide as the report did use with the intent of genocide, says the report issued in
Geneva on Monday. But he did say to the Security Council that now is not the time, really, for the 700,000 plus refugees to be even going back to
Myanmar who have been in Bangladesh.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANTONIO GUTERRES, U.N. SECRETARY GENERAL: It is clear that conditions are not yet met for the safe, voluntary, dignified and sustainable return of
Rohingya refugees to their places of origin or choice. And they ask members of the Security Council to join me and urging the Myanmar
authorities to corporate with United Nations and to ensure immediate and embedded, and effective access for the agencies and partners. And we must
also continue to press for the release of journalists who have been arrested for reporting on this human tragedy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROTH: So there's the world's top diplomat urging Myanmar to cooperate. But that has fallen on deaf ears. Myanmar does not agree with the report's
findings and says there really hasn't been massacres and it's been the fault of terrorist groups there.
Hala, getting back to your original question, what could be done? You need the Security Council to refer legally the Myanmar issue to the
international criminal court. You need nine votes in favor. But if you get a veto from China or Russia, it's not going anywhere.
And the U.S. has not been particularly keen in recent years on the international criminal court, and the Trump administration along with
National Security Adviser Bolton have always looked down on any possibility of an American soldier or official being referred to that court. So that's
where we stand. If you're a Myanmar general, you're probably sleeping easy tonight.
GORANI: Richard Roth at the U.N.
A new study is dramatically raising the estimated death toll in Puerto Rico after last year's Hurricane Maria. Researchers now say the storm was
responsible for 2,975 deaths.
CNN's Layla Santiago is on the story. She joins me from Washington.
So for a long time the number, the estimated number was a lot lower. Why is that?
LAYLA SANTIAGO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Listen, the official death toll, 64, and then obviously this study came out, and it's 2,975. I do want to point
out to you right now, Hala, the governor of Puerto Rico is speaking for the first time about this study.
And so while we have people monitoring it, he's -- what I've heard from him so far speaking in Spanish seems to be accepting of this study. But the
big question that we have had all day long is, will the government of Puerto Rico accept this study and its finding and change the official death
toll related to Hurricane Maria nearly a year after Maria just destroyed and decimated that island?
Now, I want to be clear on what this study is, exactly. This is a statistical analysis of excess deaths. That means these researchers took a
look at multiple years, established what they believe should have been the average death count if Maria had never passed and then calculated the
excess. And that is this nearly 3,000 number that they believe is an accurate reflection of the lives that Hurricane Maria claimed.
[15:40:00] Now, this does not mean that they have a list of 2,975 names. In fact, they haven't talked to loved ones who believe lost someone due to
Hurricane Maria, be it directly because something happened during the hurricane, or be it indirectly, months later because a lack of power maybe
made. Health care hard or made it a challenge and it was a deadly challenge. So this is only one phase of the study, but it is a statistical
GORANI: So the methodology is -- I mean, it is unusual. Because as you said, there are no names necessarily connected to all of these deaths.
It's taking the average number of deaths in a certain period, comparing that period to the post-Maria period, and then there's this discrepancy of
almost 3,000 additional deaths? Is that how they did it?
SANTIAGO: Well, I want to be clear. This is a completely acceptable methodology. I mean, it's not exactly unusual, and Hurricane Katrina's
reports, many of those researchers use something very similar. So yes, that is accurate in how you described it, but it's not necessarily unusual.
The reason I bring it up is because there is still a desire for many in Puerto Rico as we have talked to them today, who, they do want that list.
They do want that acknowledgment. Almost a memorial of the people who died.
We spoke to the daughter of a man who died when the lack of electricity did not allow his machine which he uses to breathe at night to work.
And so this study is one more in the list of those who are looking at statistics. Harvard had a similar study in which they looked at
statistics. Their number was above -- was above 4,000.
But what the researchers here argue is the difference is that they, number one, had access that Harvard and other researchers did not because they had
the government's cooperation, the government of Puerto Rico commissioned this study.
And they also pointed out to me today when I spoke to them that they also took migration into account. Remember, a whole lot of Puerto Ricans left
that island after Maria because of the conditions that people were living in after that hurricane went through there.
GORANI: OK. And as you mentioned, Layla, the Puerto Rico governor, Ricardo Rossello, is speaking. He's speaking in Spanish, and the question
is whether or not the state will take this number and make it a more official death toll.
We'll continue to monitor that. Thanks very much, Layla Santiago.
Still to come, hundreds of fans showing up to pay their respects to Aretha Franklin. We'll go live to Detroit as people line up to say goodbye to the
queen of soul.
[15:45:05] GORANI: Well, Donald Trump has spent a year and a half in office. Many in the Middle East where this show is -- where some of this
show is normally based, some of our viewers are normally based, well, some of them are still torn about the U.S. leader.
Mr. Trump, of course, started his presidency with a controversial travel ban which initially targeted seven Muslim majority countries.
So, do people there primarily see Donald Trump as a friend or a foe?
CNN's Ben Wedeman went to find out.
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: President Donald Trump's first overseas trip was to Saudi Arabia, a signal that his stump speeches aside, he might
actually be reaching out to this troubled corner of the world.
His every word is followed closely here in Lebanon where regional and global rivalries run right through the minutia of local politics. A harsh
critic of U.S. Mid-East policy, commentator Marwa Osman was hoping Trump might live up to his promise of putting America first and pull out.
MARWA OSMAN, POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: When he visited the region and he changed his mind about leaving, because he said he wants to leave. He
wants to leave the Middle East. And this is what we all want to hear. We want to be left alone.
WEDEMAN: That was not to be. Since becoming President, he reversed decades of U.S. policy and recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital, nixed
the Iran nuclear deal and reapplied draconian sanctions. He's backed Saudi Arabia to the hilt in its Yemen war.
In the Palestinian refugee camp of Shatila, site of the 1982 massacre, maggid an official with the Fatah-al movement, scoffs at Arab rulers who
leaped on the Trump train.
"Trump," he says, "considers you cows to milk."
But mostly, the U.S. President leaves these third and fourth generation refugees baffled. "He is crazy," says (INAUDIBLE) shop owner Samir (ph).
Not everyone disses the Donald. Analyst Toufic Hindi gives him high marks for ditching the Iran deal.
TOUFIC HINDI, POLITICAL ANALYST: It is a beginning to say to the republic -- the Islamic republic of Iran, stop. And not only for the nuclear deal.
Stop going all around the region. Stop expanding your empire from Iraq to Syria, to Lebanon, to Palestine, to Yemen.
WEDEMAN: On Beirut's Hamra Street, I asked Diana (ph) and Miriam women what they think of President Trump.
"He's the world's worst," said Diana. "He's a mistake."
Back to Shatila, Hanadi, the baker, better known as Umbaker (ph), doubts the President of the United States of America cares what anyone here has to
"If I, Umbaker, say Trump, Trump, Trump, do you think he'll listen to me?"
Good question. Ben Wedeman, CNN, Beirut.
GORANI: And more to come. A farewell to Aretha Franklin. Hundreds of people waiting in line to pay respects and say goodbye to the queen of
soul, as promised. We'll take you live to Detroit next.
[15:50:06] GORANI: Right now in Detroit, hundreds of fans are showing up to pay their respects to the late Aretha Franklin. The city famous for
Motown is honoring Franklin, the queen of soul. Her body is lying in state for two days of public viewing starting today.
Some people began waiting in line as early as Monday afternoon to say goodbye. Franklin died earlier this month from pancreatic cancer at 76.
Ryan Young is outside with people waiting in line at the viewing memorial in Detroit. What are they telling you? Because I'm seeing these aerial
images, and the line is long.
RYAN YOUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Unbelievable line. You talked about people lining up since Monday afternoon. We talked to a woman who was the first
person in line. She got here around 3:30, 4:00. She was from Las Vegas and she wanted to be here.
When you talk about reaching a line stretched all the way around this building and go down a half mile down the street, you can see right now
there's a little bit of a low. But as you come back to this direction, this is where everyone was going inside, because the images on the inside
have just been astonishing.
When the gold casket arrived, you could hear the hush in the crowd. And then people have been going inside and then remarking about how beautiful
Aretha Franklin looks inside her casket. Her feet are actually crossed with red heels on.
There's been a lot of conversations about people coming together to show celebration for the queen of soul. Outside, contemporary music. You can
hear the radio being played in a distance there. On the inside, gospel music. Traditional gospel music. A lot of times sung by Aretha Franklin.
They said she started the church and they wanted her to end in the church. So you can understand the religious piece there. We bumped into a woman,
Angela Davis, who had a voice of her own, who actually performed for Aretha Franklin a few years ago. Listen to her voice and the tribute she paid to
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANGELA DAVIS, ARETHA FRANKLIN FAN: What you want, baby I got it, what you need, you know I got it, all I'm asking is for a little respect when you
come home, baby, when you get home.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
YOUNG: So as you can hear that voice just singing there brought the crowd here to tears. I want to show two things that sort of stand out. There's
a history in this city. She is linked to Detroit. Her father was actually brought to her funeral -- his funeral in that same hearse right there. And
so was Rosa Parks. So you see the history.
And then someone drove a pink Cadillac, of course, the song that's been made famous. So you can see that in the distance there. A lot of fans
wanting to take pictures. So this will continue for the next two days. We know inside there as people go up into the rotunda, they get to see Aretha
Then on Thursday, there will be a concert with Stevie Wonder, Jennifer Hudson. And then on Friday is the funeral where we know Bill Clinton,
Jesse Jackson will be talking.
A week of celebration for a woman who meant so much, not only this city and not only to this country, but now we're hearing from across the world a lot
of people paying their respects to Aretha Franklin.
GORANI: I just love that some of them are doing it in song. Thanks so much, Ryan Young.
Now, is it too soon? Comedian, Louis C.K. is attempting a comeback. He performed in New York over the weekend. It was his first standup act since
admitting to some sexual misconduct behavior almost a year ago.
CNN's Chloe Melas joins me with more on this.
I checked Twitter, and I thought I'd see a variety of opinion. But near unanimous from comics and comedians, they're saying wait, this is it? A
few months of just not appearing and now all is forgotten? They're not happy about this.
CHLOE MELAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A lot of people are not happy about it, Hala. So, you know, it's been about nine months since the New York Times
came out with their bombshell investigation alleging that Louis C.K., performed some lewd sex acts in front of some women and was accused of
misconduct. To which he came out and admitted it and released a statement apologizing and saying everything in the New York Times article is true.
Netflix dropped him, FX dropped him. And then now he shows up just nine months later to New York's Comedy Cellar and performed a 15-minute set.
Made no mention of the scandal or the Me Too movement at all.
GORANI: Yes. So is this -- it doesn't sound like this comeback is going as well as he would have hoped. I'm sure he's trying to ease himself back
in, right? I mean, the reaction has not been positive that I could see from his peers at all.
MELAS: So the owner of the Comedy Cellar spoke to CNN and said that they actually didn't even know that Louis C.K., believe it or not, was going to
show up. That he actually just showed up to the club and they agreed and then they let him take the stage.
Now, comedians, they're known for showing up to comedy clubs. I've been to one before where some famous names showed up and that's kind of what
happens in that world.
But the thing is there's been a lot of people feel like look, FX dropped Louis C.K. Netflix, zero tolerance and look what happened with Kevin
Spacey, they dropped him too. And they just -- a lot of people feel like look, he comes out. He doesn't do an interview. He doesn't really address
the fact that he' been MIA for the last nine months and then just expects everybody to just embrace him?
[15:55:21] What's interesting about this is he is the first man accused in this Me Too Hollywood movement to come back to his profession. So it'll be
interesting to see how this plays out long-term for him.
GORANI: Yes, I do. That was going to be my next question, because of all the other high profile men who have been accused, who have been, you know,
suffered as a result of revelations of bad behavior, thanks to this Me Too movement, he's the first one to attempt to come back, and really, I wonder
if that's going to discourage others from trying.
MELAS: Well, there have been rumblings that Charlie Rose, that Matt Lauer, that some of these men -- there's a wide spectrum of bad behavior here.
Not everybody is accused of some of the things that Harvey Weinstein has been accused of. That some of these men are contemplating how to do some
sort of a comeback.
But then you look at Kevin Spacey. He just had a movie come out called the "Billionaire Boys Club". It made basically no money at the box office.
Had some really big names like Emma Roberts, Ansel Elgort, also in the movie. But this was something that was shot before the scandal.
Morgan Freeman, we did an investigation on him at CNN. He's in Disney's "The Nutcracker" that comes out this fall. Again, that was something that
he shot before the scandal. So it'll be interesting to see if other men follow in Louis C.K.'s footsteps.
GORANI: Chloe Melas, thanks very much. I wonder what our viewers think.
Finally, the pages of Vogue Magazine are normally filled with supermodels, fashion icons and movie stars. But this month, the fashion magazine
features a porn star.
Stormy Daniels, the woman whose alleged affair with Donald Trump led to a guilty plea by Trump's former lawyer, Michael Cohen appears in Vogue
alongside her equally famous layer now, Michael Avenatti.
The picture of Daniels was taken by world's famous photographer, Annie Leibovitz. Daniels says her newfound fame has been difficult and she feels
like she is being constantly pursued by paparazzi. Most of the time, it doesn't seem to bother her that much. There you have it. Stormy Daniels
Thanks for watching tonight. I'm Hala Gorani. Stay with CNN, "QUEST MEAN BUSINESS" is next.
(CLOSING BELL RINGING)
[16:00:03] UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK. The Dow goes up a little bit. The S&P and NASDAQ, proving wrong by eking out a little bit of a gain. We'll
call it off flat on the markets and call it even.