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CONNECT THE WORLD
Trump Warns of Violence if Republicans Lose Midterms; Pope Calls on Bishops to Remedy the Failures of the Past; Huge Opposition to Hike in Russia's Retirement Age; French and British Fishermen Clash in the English Channel; Puerto Rican Officials Revise Maria Death Toll Two 2,975; Merkel Condemns "Hate in the Streets" in Germany; Elon Musk Again Tweets About British Diver. Aired 11-12p ET
Aired August 29, 2018 - 11:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[11:00:00] LYNDA KINKADE, CNN HOST: Hello and welcome to CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Lynda Kinkade at CNN's world headquarters, filling in for Becky
Anderson. Good to have you with us.
We begin with a dire warning from U.S. President Donald Trump as the midterm elections are fast approaching. Behind closed doors he warned a
group of evangelical leaders that there will be violence from the left if Republicans lose in November. Mr. Trump urged the preachers to use their
pulpit to push the Republican agenda. And he suggested Democrats will overturn his policies quickly and violently if he doesn't win.
Just don't hear this kind of talk from an American President. Peaceful transition of power is a fundamental bedrock of U.S. democracy. Let's
bring in White House reporter Jeremy Diamond. Jeremy, a lot to discuss today but before we get to that, we're just hearing that White House
Counsel Don McGahn could be leaving pretty soon. What can you tell us?
JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: That's right. Well, our sources have been telling us for some time now that the White House Counsel Don
McGahn was likely to leave the White House after justice -- Judge Brett Kavanaugh is confirmed -- if he is confirmed as the next Supreme Court
Justice of the United States.
And now the President confirming that reporting saying on Twitter this morning, White House Counsel Don McGahn will be leaving his position in the
fall shortly after the confirmation hopefully of Judge Brett Kavanaugh of the United States Supreme Court. I have worked with Don for a long time
and truly appreciate his service.
We know that the relationship between the President and his White House counsel has been strained for some months now. Don McGahn has stood up to
the President on occasion, particularly as it comes to the President's attempts to interfere in the Mueller investigation. McGahn particularly
stood up when the President moved to try and fire his Attorney General, Jeff Sessions. And that has led to some significant strain between the two
We also know that McGahn has been a witness in the Mueller investigation. He testified in an interview with the Mueller team for over 30 hours. And
that was also something that the President was not fully aware of. He knew that McGahn was going to be testifying but McGahn and his attorneys did not
offer a full debriefing to the President and his attorneys about everything that he discussed. And he's particularly testifying as it relates to these
episodes concerning questions of obstruction of justice.
But Don McGahn, the White House counsel, will be leaving the White House likely sometime later this fall after Brett Kavanaugh is expected to be
KINKADE: Right. OK. Well, certainly, news just seems to get across. But I want to go back to that warning we heard from Donald Trump about
violence. If the Republicans don't win in the midterm elections. Let's just listen to what the U.S. President and his personal attorney have said
in the past.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I'll tell you what. If I ever got impeached I think the market would crash. I think everybody would
be very poor.
RUDY GIULIANI, DONALD TRUMP'S PERSONAL LAWYER: You'd only impeach him for political reasons and the American people would revolt against that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KINKADE: So, Jeremy, certainly not a new thing to hear the President warn of dire consequences.
DIAMOND: Yes. That's right. We have heard the President kind of ramping up these questions of what will happen if Democrats take over. And he has
been raising those fears amongst some Republicans that the President could be impeached if Democrats take back control of the House. And now it seems
he's taking this a step further to warn of possible violence if Democrats are swept into power in November. Equating it seems the Democratic Party
with Antifa, the far-left group that's been the cause of some violence during some protests. They are known as anti-fascists, the shorthand there
But the President equating these two groups, the Antifa and the Democratic Party as if they're one. This raises a number of questions, of course,
about how the President views Democrats coming into power. But really it does seem to be part of the tactics that the President is using overall to
increase Republican enthusiasm and motivate Republican voters, his supporters, to get out to the polls in November and vote to prevent
Democrats from taking back control of the House. Both those warnings of impeachment and also now also, these warnings -- although unsubstantiated -
- of violence if Democrats take control of Congress.
KINKADE: And before we get to those midterms we certainly saw several primaries yesterday. Setting the stage for those midterms in November. In
Florida, Tuesday, Democratic voters made history.
[11:05:00] Andrew Gillum, of course, winning this stunning upset. Could become the state's first black governor. He of course, represents the
parties progressive wing. And he's going to face off with a Republican congressman closely allied with President Trump. And, Jeremy, when
President Trump was talking about his wins, those that came through were certainly very nationalist in the way they style themselves after Trump.
DIAMOND: Yes. And what we've seen is several of these Republican candidates who've been successful in the primaries really tie themselves to
this President. And the President has been fairly successful recently in terms of endorsing the candidate who ultimately goes on to win the primary.
Ron DeSantis, the Republican gubernatorial candidate, he in particular, really tied himself to the President as much as possible.
He released this ad in which he went through different parts of the life in which he was kind of modeling himself after the President, even reading
"The Art of the Deal" to his infant child. And that strategy seems to have paid off here because Ron DeSantis defeated a pretty traditional
establishment Republican, Adam Putnam, who has been in Florida politics for a long time. Long respected by the Republicans in the state there but when
the President came through with his endorsement of Ron DeSantis that really seemed to have helped put him over the edge.
KINKADE: It certainly has helped. All right, Jeremy, a lot to stay up on at the White House. Thank you so much.
U.S. Senator John McCain is being honored today in the home state of Arizona on what would have been his 82nd birthday. The ceremony in the
state capital will begin in just about two hours from now. First private with speeches by prominent state politicians and then the public will be
invited to pay their respects to the longtime Republican who passed away on Saturday. On Friday his body will lie in state at the U.S. Capitol in
Washington ahead of his funeral this coming weekend.
Well, Pope Francis, who is facing calls to resign from a prominent former Vatican official, who used his weekly address to the Vatican to address
Ireland child sex abuse scandal. He called on the church to remedy failures of the past. It comes after meeting with eight survivors whom he
said left a profound mark on him. Adding that on many occasions I begged the Lord for forgiveness for these sins, the scandal and this sense of
Let's bring in CNN's senior Vatican analyst, John Allen, for more on this, joining us from Rome. John, certainly, the Pope calling for forgiveness,
begging for forgiveness, but what is -- what is the Vatican doing about this problem, not just in Ireland but right across the world? What
solutions are being offered?
JOHN ALLEN, CNN SENIOR VATICAN ANALYST: Hi there, Lynda. Well, first of all let's talk about what the Vatican is not doing. Which is engaging the
charge leveled by Italian archbishop, Carlo Maria Vigano, the Pope's former ambassador in the United States from 2011 to 2016. That Pope Francis was
briefed about misconduct allegations against former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick in 2013 and didn't take action. They're basically trying to ride
out the storm. We'll see if that works.
Because just yesterday the seventh American bishop came forward saying that he's finds Archbishop Vigano to be a credible figure and calling for a
thorough investigation of the affair.
The broader question you ask is what is the Vatican doing to try to get the hands around the abuse crisis? And to this point, the answer would be they
have not yet unveiled a new plan of action. There are a lot of critics out there who would suggest what that plan of action ought to be. Which are
strong accountability measures, not just for clergy who sexually abused children, but also, for bishops and other superiors who cover up that
abuse. That was a central bone of contention when Pope Francis was in Ireland over the weekend. It remains something that many critics say is a
serious piece of unfinished business -- Lynda.
KINKADE: And so, do you think we need to see reform in the church? Critics, you know -- as you point out -- critics seem to suggest that the
church has this culture of -- where priests and bishops protect each other and some accused of going on to serve penance rather than jail time.
ALLEN: Yes. Well, I mean, in fairness, over the last decade or so since the scandals erupted in full public view, I mean, the Catholic Church has
taken significant steps. They've adopted a fairly robust system of abuse prevention, detection and response, reporting, that many secular experts,
people who have no investment in the church admire as a kind of pace setting policy. The difficulty is that that accountability system is not
matched for -- with similar accountability for the cover-up.
[11:10:00] And I think many critics would say exactly what you just did, that this is about bishops and senior officials in the church part of an
old boy's club taking care of themselves and having one another's backs. And until that piece of the puzzle falls into place I think many people
would say it is going to be very difficult for Pope Francis or anybody else in power in the church to really sell the case that the church has gotten
its hands around this crisis -- Lynda.
KINKADE: All right. John Allen, we'll leave it there for now joining us from Rome. Good to have you with us.
Now to Russia where the President who usually boasts popularity ratings most Western leaders can only dream of has been forced to defend some very
unpopular pension reforms that he is personally pushing through. Vladimir Putin made his plea to the nation on live TV asking Russians to accept him
raising the age of retirement. Warning that it was the only way to stave off economic collapse. But of course, there's been widespread opposition
in part because many fear they won't see their pensions. Men will now retire at 65 in a country where the average life expectancy is just 66.
Frederik Pleitgen is in Moscow. Fred, this is extremely important for Russia and Putin. Just explain why it's so controversial and why we have
seen a little bit of back pedaling from Putin when it comes to the female retirement age.
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. One of the reasons, one of the things you mentioned, Lynda, it's because many
Russians feel that they won't have much of their retirement if the retirement age goes up. As you mentioned, especially for men in the
country, the life expectancy about 66, for women it is a little bit higher. And according to this pension reform for men at least, it was going to be
raised by five years and originally for women, it was going to be raised by eight years.
Now, the main big concession that Vladimir Putin made today when he addressed the nation -- which in itself is something that rarely happens.
It really shows how important this is to Vladimir Putin, to the Russian government but then also to the Russian people. There were many Russians
who of course were watching this on TV. It's very important for them.
But one of the things that he toned down is he said, look, women's retirement age shouldn't be raised by eight years in one go. So, he shaved
three years off of that and said they should be able to retire at 60. Still, of course, this is something that is a big concession to a lot of
Russian people. One of the reasons we have just mentioned is the life expectancy. So, people very unhappy about that.
But then we also have to keep in mind that the pensions here in this country are really a mainstay of Russia and of the Soviet Union before
that, as well. The law on pensions, the retirement age, it's something that's been basically untouched since the 1930s in this country.
But of course, one of the things that Russia is suffering from on top of a difficult economic situation is demographics. The population of this
country is getting older and it's getting smaller. So, it's getting more and more difficult for the working population here in Russia to pay the
pensions of the increasing number of people who are going into retirement. And that's something where Vladimir Putin in his address basically asked
for sympathy from the Russian electorate from and said this is something that is simply unavoidable.
Very interesting to see how all of this has been playing out, Lynda. The pension reform was announced at the beginning of the World Cup. Where some
people thought it might be a ploy to try to get people not to pay too much attention to it. But that's not what has happened. It's one of the few
cases -- well, first of all, most of the vast majority of Russians, I would even say, is against it. And it's also something where President Vladimir
Putin has not been able to isolate himself from an unpopular policy which is something he has been able to do in the past. So, very important for
him, the government and the Russian people, of course, as well.
KINKADE: Of course. And there's no doubt one of the reasons they're running out of money is because they spend so much on military and their
military role in Syria. There are reports, of course, Russia is building up its forces in the Mediterranean for a looming assault on rebel-held
Idlib province in Syria. You, of course, Fred, have reported extensively on Russia's involvement in that war. You're even on one of the warships
reported to be part of that build-up. Just explain the sort of fire power that Russia has when it comes to the Syrian government taking back Idlib.
PLEITGEN: Well it certainly has a great deal of fire power. And you're absolutely right, one of the things that appears to have been happening
over the past ten days, maybe two weeks or so, is that more and more Russian warships have been going into the Mediterranean. The Russians have
said that this is something that's happening in almost all the ships that are there now, which is apparently about 13 warships and two submarines.
Almost all of them are able to launch cruise missiles.
And if you're talking about a looming offensive, for instance, in Idlib, which is of course, the last place in Syria that is essentially held by
opposition forces, then that is something that could be very significant. Now, at the same time, the Russians are saying, look, this is also a hot
bed of what they call terrorism. They saying that there is a lot of Islamist groups that are out there that needs to be eliminated. So, it's a
very interesting thing. Because they've come to a standoff between the Russians and Americans. Where the Americans have warned the Russians to
take care of civilians in the area. And the Russians accusing the U.S. of trying to protect Islamists groups.
[11:15:00] I want to listen into one thing that Sergei Lavrov, the Russian Foreign Minister, said earlier today in a press conference with the foreign
minister of Saudi Arabia. Let's listen in.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SERGEI LAVROV, RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTER (through translator): It is the last major hot bed of terrorists who are trying to speculate on the status
of the design of de-escalation. Who are trying to keep the civilian population hostage, use them as human shields and who are trying to trample
down the armed groups that are ready for negotiations with the government. So, from all points of view, this hot bed must be eliminated.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PLEITGEN: Of course, some very strong language there, Lynda, saying what he calls that hotbed needs to be eliminated. Again, this comes against the
warnings of the United States forces -- of other nations, as well, who are saying, look, if there is going to be an offensive there -- first of all,
it's something that many nations want to prevent -- but if there is going to be an offensive there the civilian population really needs to be
protected. Of course, that's something that the Russians in the past have been accused of not really doing -- Lynda.
KINKADE: Yes, absolutely. And Fred, just finally, on the horizon, major Russian war games. The biggest since the end of the cold war. That's
according to Russia's defense minister. Moscow, of course, frequently flexes its military muscles for PR purposes. It's not alone doing that but
the beefed-up games happening in a very particular political context right now. What is the message from Moscow to the world here, Fred?
PLEITGEN: Well, you're right. I mean, they happen at a deteriorating situation between Russia and West, particularly Russia and the United
States. One of the reasons why the Russians are saying these games are justified, Lynda, is they say that there's a hostile situation between
themselves and foreign countries. A hostile feeling toward Russia. That was one of the things that the spokesman for the Kremlin has said.
These games, of course, very, very important. They happen in the east and center of the country. Because they're so big around 300,000 troops to
take part. The Russians are saying 36,000 tanks, armed vehicles and other military vehicles involved, as well. But one of the things that the
Russians are trying to showcase is not just the size but also the cooperation in these military exercises. The Chinese and the Mongolians,
also taking part, but the Chinese, of course, the very important ones there.
The Russians trying to demonstrate that they have very good relations with China as the U.S.'s relations both with China and with Russia appear to be
deteriorating at the moment. One of the things that the Russians said before the games kicked off is that they show participation of the Chinese
in these games show that there's good relations between Russia and China in all fields, not just, of course, in the field of economic cooperation. But
clearly sending a message to the U.S. and to Western allies about how Russia is but also that it has this cooperation that's strengthening
between themselves and the Chinese, as well.
KINKADE: Certainly, a lot of news to stay across from Moscow. Frederik Pleitgen Good do have you with us. Thank you.
Well, up next, the French call them coquille and the English calls them scallops. But they're both calling them ours, and they are ready the fight
about it. We'll explain next.
[11:20:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
KINKADE: Well, crash, bang, wallop. All over a scallop. You are watching many -- of some 40 French boats clashing with 5 British ones. Ramming and
hurling smoke bombs, rocks, insults to stave them off from fishing in international waters. Well British boats were fishing for scallops around
here where they're allowed to. More than 12 miles off the French coast. But here's the thing, for the French, it's not so much about where but when
the British dive in. French law keeps their boats nets tied up for much of the year. Whereas for the Brits, well, it's an open bar all year around.
And across the channel they're fed up.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FISHERMAN: (through translator): It's seven days a week for them. They fill up. They come. They dredge. They fill up the hold and
then they go home. There you go. They just leave us the scraps.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KINKADE: Diplomatic waves on the high seas. And CNN's Nic Robertson can help us float through the international food fight. And this of course is
a food fight that's been dragging on for 15 years building up to this.
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: It has. And it's not the first time there have been clashes. Some of the fishermen involved --
the British fishermen say that this is the worst that they've seen. These are EU waters where the British are allowed to fish. You know, the French
fishing organizations have said very clearly and the British were not doing anything illegal.
But at the core of this for the French fishermen is frustration. They say -- and these Normandy fishermen of which there were several hundred fishing
boats in Normandy that are involved in fishing scallops and provides 60 percent of the income for Normandy fishermen. These are the figures we
understand at least, so it's hugely important. They say that what's happening here really is not smart fishing. That it's ecologically
unsound. That this will over time diminish the stocks of scallops that are available to both French and British.
So, in previous years over the past couple of years the French and the British have come to an agreement on quotas and timing and such like. This
time, however, the French were pressing the British for changes. And didn't go into talks because the British weren't forthcoming they say. And
that's why they took this offensive action targeting 35 boats. Targeting these British fishermen. However, listen to what this French captain had
to say. He thought it was worthwhile.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FRENCH FISHERMAN: (through translator): It was worth it in the end because they've gone. Gone further than 20 nautical miles. As my
colleague said, we've won the battle but we haven't won the war.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERTSON: So, they're in EU administered waters and into all of this, of course, no pun intended, the EU is wading into it. And what is the EU say?
The EU is trying to tamp things down. And this is what they're saying. They're saying, so it is in the interest first and foremost of the
fishermen that this agreement is in place. And we invite the national authorities to resolve any dispute in an amicable way as it's been done in
So that's the EU's position on, this. But tempers are clearly raised. The French appear to think that this went as they hoped, that they've driven
the British off. But these British fishermen are asking British authorities for some sort of protection or guarantees now.
KINKADE: Yes. We'll see if any resolution comes about. Nic Robertson in London, thank you so much. We are staying on this story. Because one
French fishermen, of course, accuses the British of quote, pillaging the area. The head of the U.K.'s National Federation of Fishermen's
Organizations, Barrie Deas, could not disagree more. He says they're asking the British government to look after them because they're, quote,
[11:25:00] Well, Barrie with us now from London. And look, you may have the legal rights here under the U.K. law, but is that only because your
government isn't prioritizing perhaps sustainable fishing here like the French?
BARRIE DEAS, CHIEF EXECUTIVE, U.K. FEDERATION OF FISHERMEN'S ORGANIZATIONS: I think our principle concern in this matter is the jeopardy that the crews
were placed in. There have been disputes of a fishing rights in the past and I'm sure there will be in the future. The place to resolve them is
around the table by talking, not by firing flares, throwing shackles, engaging in dangerous maneuvers that jeopardize safety at sea.
So, what we have seen here is a step change that is really concerning. And we very much hope it doesn't lay a pattern for the future. In terms of
conservation, your question, wherever you have a commercial stock needs to be protected from overexploitation. There are different ways of doing
that. The French have a closed season there. That is permitted under European law. A member state can apply more stringent rules on its own
nationals than applies to the other people. So, the U.K.'s not subject to this agreement.
Whether we would want to engage with the French and discuss conservation of scallops in the channel I think the answer to that is yes. And I think my
colleagues have put out feelers to the French and have had some positive feedback. So, we're hoping that we'll put this incident behind us. This
can't be a basis of future relations between the industries and between the governments. We can't have this type of irrational, dangerous behavior
jeopardizing our crews.
KINKADE: It certainly does look dangerous from the vision we have seen coming into us. But in terms of a solution, like we know this has been
dragging on, this dispute for 15 years. There have been flare-ups before but often there's been annual agreements during the past 15 years. Can you
see that happening any time soon?
DEAS: There have been annual agreements and a lot of hot words are spoken. That's not unusual in the fishing industry. But usually it's possible to
come to some kind of resolution and agreement. And I don't see that this one would be any different. We've had agreements in the Baie de Seine in
the past over scallops. I'm sure we can have it again but what we have to do is put behind us these tactics which really amount to intimidation and
threatening behavior. That's why we think we called for protection of the British government, French government has a responsibility in this, as
KINKADE: All right. Barrie Deas, we'll see how this all plays out. Thanks so much for joining us today.
DEAS: Thank you.
KINKADE: We have some new just in to us. Sources telling CNN that a second employee of the Trump organization discussed a potential immunity
deal with federal prosecutors. Those are the same prosecutors who charged President Trump's former personal attorney Michael Cohen. Now, the sources
say the prosecutors ultimately decided against granting that immunity. You'll remember last week, of course, we learned that Trump organization
chief financial officer, Allen Weisselberg had been granted immunity for providing information about Cohen. We'll bring you more details on that
story as they come to hand.
Well, still ahead, on CONNECT THE WORLD, emotional and angry words from the mayor of a city devastated by a storm. Why she is hitting out at President
Trump as we learn more about the deadly death toll from hurricane Maria.
KINKADE: You're watching CNN. And this is CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Lynda Kinkade. Welcome back.
The Trump administration is under fire today for something that happened almost a year ago. There's been a shocking revision in the number of
people who died when hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico last September. Officials now say almost 3,000 people died in that storm. That's nearly 50
times more than the 64 people initially reported dead. Well, the White House says it is proud of how its agencies dealt with the storm. But the
mayor of San Juan blasted the administration in an emotional interview with CNN a short time ago. Take a listen.
CARMEN YULIN CRUZ, SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO MAYOR: Shame on President Trump. Shame on President Trump for not even once, not even yesterday just saying,
look, I grieve with the people of Puerto Rico. Shame on him. First of all, he doesn't even take a time of the day to say, look, I'm sorry that
you people are grieving. I'm sorry that your people died. And secondly, what is there to be proud of? 2,975 dead? Is that what he's proud of. Is
he proud of that may be this is over now and he thinks it's going to go away? Well, it's not going to go away. We going to remember this forever.
This will be a stain in his presidency for as long as he lives.
Because rather than coming here to support us he came here to throw paper towels at us. And we will never forget and we will always remember.
What I'm hearing today this is ridiculous. People from the administration, the Puerto Rican government saying, well nobody's is ever very prepared for
a hurricane 5. Well, that may be true, but the one thing that we were prepared for was to tell the truth. And just as I saw it, just as I know
that this wasn't a good news story, that people were dying and that the bureaucracy and inefficiency were killing us. Everybody should have had
the presence of mind to just go out and tell the truth. But they didn't want to tell the truth because they wanted to sing to the tune of Donald
Trump and the spin of the good news story.
Well, now it's proven. This is a people died story. This is not a number. It's 2,975 people. And they're still calling it an estimate. 2,975 people
that will never see the light of day. And many of them died because of neglect.
[11:35:00] Neglect that was done by the Trump administration and that was silently approved by most of the political class in Puerto Rico.
KINKADE: Certainly, strong words there from the San Juan Mayor against the Trump administration. Let's get more on this from CNN's Leyla Santiago.
Good to have you with us. This is now deadlier than hurricane Katrina. The deadliest hurricane in the U.S. in about a century. Explain this
discrepancy between the official death toll that we were given and the revised figure that's almost 50 times as many.
LEYLA SANTIAGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Right. Just yesterday morning we all woke up to a death toll of hurricane Maria that was all 64. Then the study
out of George Washington University was published and that's the number that you hear the mayor talking about right there, the 2,975. And the
government of Puerto Rico is accepting this and then it revised the death toll because of this.
Now, important to mention that that study was paid for, was commissioned by the government of Puerto Rico. And they have all along said once they
announced that they were taking part -- or that they were commissioning this study that they were not going to touch the death toll until this
study was complete. Now it's complete. Now it's out. Now the death toll has changed and now it reflected the devastation that I and many of my
colleagues from CNN saw in the days, the weeks and the months after hurricane Maria.
KINKADE: And it was months and months and months that you and the team were down there trying to get to the bottom of this. Trying to understand
this official death toll that we're been given out. Digging through death certificates trying to find out who had died in the aftermath of this
storm. We heard from the White House today saying they're proud of the response. Even though we're learning that doctors didn't know how to fill
out death certificates in the wake of a natural disaster. What's the feeling in Puerto Rico?
SANTIAGO: Well, listen, you know, this has been months in the making and in the meantime other estimates and other studies have been released.
Harvard released a study not long actually after that Puerto Rico announced that they were commissioning this study, that said number was something
like 4,000. Earlier this month, the government of Puerto Rico in a report to Congress also said that they believed better estimate would be over
So, I spoke to the daughter of Natalia Rodriguez, he is a gentleman that I have gotten to know his family, unfortunately, after his death in January.
He died in January because they still didn't have power. The generator that he used to run the machine he needs to -- he needs, excuse me, to
breathe at night cut out in the middle of the night and he died as a result. And one of the things that his daughter mentioned was there have
been so many numbers that have come out it's hard to understand what to believe.
And from the family's perspective, you know, this study in particular that the government of Puerto Rico is now using as the death toll is an
estimate. It is a statistical analysis of excess deaths. So, it doesn't have a list of 2,975 names which is I think what a lot of people were
craving, that acknowledgment for closure. And so, you know, the families are still waiting for that. Now, this study does want to move forward and
trying to get that in a phase two of the study but that part doesn't have enough funding. Or doesn't have the funding yet I should say.
And more importantly, in moving forward, this study brought up recommendations, issues like you mentioned. Issues with training on how to
fill out that death certificate which can be complicated. Issues with communications. The government was prepared for a category one hurricane.
The protocols in place were for a category one hurricane. Which obviously Maria was much more than that. All of that is in this study and there are
now recommendations. The big question is, there's no funding for the second part of this study. We all know Puerto Rico is very much in debt,
billions of dollars in debt. How will it also pay to move forward on the action for these recommendations in this study?
KINKADE: And I want to ask you a bit more about that economic crisis. Because next month will be one year since hurricane Maria hit and listening
to the Mayor this morning she was saying that they don't even have enough generators in hospital to cope if another hurricane hits. Let alone the
billions needed to rebuild there.
SANTIAGO: Right. And we are really at a critical time because historically the big hurricanes that come into Puerto Rico are typically in
September. So right now, there's a lot of sort of fear and anxiety brewing at this time of the hurricane season.
[11:40:04] Lynda, I can tell you right now there are still communities, not just hospitals, there are communities that are still dependent on
generators for power. And this as we're almost a year after hurricane Maria. They have come a long way. I believe in give credit where credit
is due. They have really done a lot to lift themselves up but there's a long way to go.
KINKADE: And they certainly need that funding, that support from the federal government. Leyla Santiago, thanks so much. Great reporting.
KINKADE: We'll take a quick break now. We'll be right back. Stay with us right here on CNN.
KINKADE: You're watching CNN and this is CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Lynda Kinkade. Welcome back.
To Germany now where Chancellor Angela Merkel is condemning the violent anti-migrant protest saying hate has no place in the country. Far-right
demonstrators took to the streets after the fatal stabbing of a German man in a brawl. Two men, one from Iraq and the other from Syria, have been
arrested in connection with that attack. Our Atika Shubert has more.
ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A mob of thousands in the streets of Chemnitz shouting Nazi era slogans 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 2 police officers.
Police now admit they underestimated the crowds and the anger. Temporarily losing control of the streets in this violent revolt against Germany's
refugee and immigration policy. Chancellor 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 tried to explain what happened.
HEIKO MAAS, GERMAN FOREIGN MINISTER (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.
SHUBERT (on camera): Now this is where it all started in the east German town of Chemnitz. This is the spot where, according to police, a fight
broke out between five individuals at around 3 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.
[11:45:00] (voice-over): 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 Chemnitz 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 now
hear people saying we must defend our city. I found it really frightening when I saw the videos chasing down foreigners. It sent shivers down my
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): In Chemnitz we stand for humanity, for solidarity, for togetherness and against agitation, against a
raging mob which portraying Chemnitz as a racist city.
SHUBERT: East Germany has long been at the heart of the country's simmering anti-immigration movement chafing under the refugee policies of
the federal government. But the chaos in Chemnitz has been the most serious manifestation of the public anger so far. Atika Shubert, CNN,
KINKADE: Let's get you up to speed on some other stories on our radar right now. Brazil sending troops to a northern state to keep order in a
region where many Venezuelans have entered the country fleeing the economic crisis. Brazilian President signed a decree on Tuesday deploying armed
forces. The move comes after recent talks with Colombia, Ecuador and Peru on how to respond to the crisis.
In Myanmar,50,000 people had to be evacuated from their homes after a dam burst. You can see here the power of the water as it rushes under a
bridge. Myanmar's military says rescue efforts are under way. This water surges as high as 2 meters reportedly in one village.
The U.S. and Canada are racing to rework NAFTA before a Friday deadline after being sidelined for months. Canada rejoined NAFTA talks on Tuesday.
Canada's foreign minister headed to Washington one day after the U.S. and Mexico announced their own trade deal earlier this week.
Live from Atlanta, this is CONNECT THE WORLD. Coming up, Elon Musk and Twitter, how social media has the CEO of Tesla in hot water yet again.
[11:50:05] KINKADE: You are watching CNN and this is CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Lynda Kinkade. Welcome back.
Well, what is Elon Musk doing? That is the question some are asking today as the Tesla CEO is again getting into trouble on Twitter. Musk who has
had a number of Twitter faux pas has now reignited a spat with one of the British divers who help save those trapped boys in Thailand. You may
recall that Musk had to apologize after accusing a diver, Vernon Unsworth, of being a pedophile. Well, Musk is now questioning why Unsworth is not
sued for that claim calling it strange.
Well, let's bring in CNN Money correspondent Clare Sebastian for more on all of this. He's involved in one controversy after another. Often on
twitter. Clear, Elon Musk is certainly involved in one controversy after another, often on Twitter. Many are saying he should just leave the
CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNNMONEY CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Lynda, I think it's becoming increasingly clear that his Twitter use may be more trouble than it's worth
for the company. I want to pull up that tweet that he made just in the last couple of days about Vernon Unsworth. It was a response to a tweet.
He said, you don't think it's strange that he hasn't sued me? He was offered free legal services.
Well, on the question of whether or not he sued him, he hasn't yet. But Lynda, we have just confirmed that Vernon Unsworth has retained a law firm,
an Atlanta-based law firm. This is a letter that they sent to Elon Musk. It's dated August 6th. And it says that they are in the process of
preparing a civil complaint for libel and invite Tesla and Elon Musk to have their counsel contact them to try and avoid this getting to the court.
So, this is one of several lawsuits that Musk is now potentially facing.
There is a potential reported SEC investigation into his August 7th tweet on whether or not to take the company private. There are potential
investor lawsuits around that as well, and now this. I think it's fair to say all due to the tweets, the calls for him to take a break from tweeter
it's certainly going to be getting louder.
KINKADE: All right. Clare Sebastian, we'll have to leave it there for now but something much more to discuss about Elon Musk. Thanks so much.
Now to our parting shots. He is a reality TV veteran, well accustomed to being poised under pressure as the cameras roll. But even Donald Trump
can't always script the perfect photo op. Our Jeanne Moos looks at several recent awkward moments that spawn Internet mems.
JEANNE MOOS, CNN NATIONAL NEWS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It was a speakerphone that refused to speak.
MOOS: When President Trump called the President of Mexico.
TRUMP: You know, you can hook him up.
MOOS: In front of a horde --
TRUMP: You tell me when.
MOOS: -- of press. Awkward.
TRUMP: A lot of people are waiting.
MOOS: But the President wasn't the only one pressing buttons. Internet me makers edited in music.
MOOS: From the credits on "Veep" to the theme of "Curb Your Enthusiasm."
MOOS: Critics offered technical suggestions. For instance, a phone featuring buttons for Russia, nuclear launch, diet coke, cheeseburgers and
chicken. "The Daily Show" left a message.
INSTAGRAM "THE DAILY SHOW": We are calling you from investigation team of IRS. We have just received a notification regarding your tax filings.
MOOS: President Trump is a mean machine. The other day he inspired two mean, stirring one visit with kids. Kids offered to draw red and white
stripes but someone noticed the President has colored his flag wrong. Creating a blue stripe.
(on camera): Now we're pretty sure the President knows what color the stripes really are.
(voice-over): And someone noted he literally has it pinned to the suit coat. Plus, he likes to wrap himself in it. Someone suggested he might be
drawing a blue lives matter flag in support of police. Another taunted, it's the Russian flag. As for the other moment that was flagged, call it
the glare. It's not so intense in the video but the photograph was irresistible to captioners. Don't you [bleeping] flip on me. Another day,
another mean. And by the way, once you get the speakerphone to speak, make sure it doesn't keep listening after you hang up.
TRUMP: Good-bye, Enrique.
MOOS: Twice. Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.
[11:55:00] KINKADE: Well, we are almost out of time for today. But you can follow the stories our team is working on any time day or night. Just
go to our Facebook page. That is at Facebook.com/CNNConnect. Do check it out and get in touch with us.
Before we go, a reminder U.S. Senator John McCain is being honored today in the home state of Arizona on what would have been his 82nd birthday. The
ceremony in the state capitol will begin in just over an hour. First private with speeches by prominent state politicians and then the public
will be invited to pay their respects to the long-time Republican who passed away on Saturday. We'll bring you that coverage on the ceremony
when it starts.
I'm Lynda Kinkade. That was CONNECT THE WORLD. Thanks so much for joining us.