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Raucous Start for Hearing on Trump's Supreme Court Pick; Trump Warns Russia, Iran, Syria Over Idlib Push; Nearly 14,000 People Evacuated as Typhoon Jebi Hits Japan; Dems Tried to Delay Kavanaugh Hearing Over Withheld Documents; World Leaders Urge Myanmar to Release Jailed Journalists; Nike Puts Controversial NFL Star in New Campaign; Critics Say Trump Taking "Right of Return" Off the Table for Palestinians; 87 Elephant Carcasses Found in Botswana in Two Months;

Aired September 4, 2018 - 11:00   ET


[11:00:00] HANNAH VAUGHAN JONES, CNN HOST: Hello, and welcome to CONNECT THE WORLD. I'm Hannah Vaughan Jones live for you in London.

We begin the program with high drama on Capitol Hill as a Senate committee kicks off a hearing on President Donald Trump Supreme Court nominee, Brett

Kavanaugh. It got off to a raucous start right from the very beginning. The Democrats on the committee are demanding that the hearing is adjourned

to give them time to go over some 42,000 documents on Kavanaugh delivered just last night. Well, there also accusing the White House of using

executive privilege to withhold important documents.


SEN. KAMALA HARRIS (D), CALIFORNIA: We cannot possibly move forward, Mr. Chairman, with this hearing --

SEN. CHUCK GRASSLEY (R), IOWA, COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN: I extend a very warm welcome to Judge Kavanaugh.

HARRIS: We have not been given the opportunity.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE senator: We believe this hearing should be postponed.

SEN. CORY BOOKER (D), NEW JERSEY: Why we in such a rush? What are we hiding by not letting those documents come out?


JONES: Well, the Republican chairman rejected all of those demands and refused to hold a vote on the motion. And then things got personal.


GRASSLEY: You spoke about my decency --


GRASSLEY: You spoke about my decency and integrity and I think you are taking advantage of my decency and integrity.


JONES: Well, you can hear one protester in the background there. One of several to yell out during the proceeding so far today.


GRASSLEY: -- facts and opinions upon which the effective discharge --


GRASSLEY: -- of his duties depends, end of quote.


JONES: Well, the reason we're seeing passionate arguments and flaring tempers because of this hearing are that high. Supreme Court justices

serve for life, so the decisions they make can have huge policy implications for generations to come. Not only that, Brett Kavanaugh was

nominated to replace a justice who served as a crucial swing vote on the Supreme Court.

Republicans say he is inexperienced, reasoned arbiter of the law. But Democrats fear he could cement a conservative majority on the court and

help overturn key decisions on issues such as abortion and same-sex marriage. Let's get an update now from our CNN White House reporter,

Stephen Collinson, who is standing by and watching all of the events on Capitol Hill playing out today. Stephen, we saw the Democrats doing their

very best to try and get this hearing adjourned. It doesn't look like they've had much success for it so far. But what are their grounds for

wanting an adjournment?

STEPHEN COLLINSON, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Basically, they're saying, Hannah, that the White House has hidden a lot of the material that they

want to see from Kavanaugh's time as a top legal official in the White House of George W. Bush. They're also complaining about this release of

documents overnight, saying they've not had the time to properly review 42,000 emails, letters and other documents that could give insight into the

way that Brett Kavanaugh could rule as a Supreme Court Justice.

I think what this is, as you say, is political theatrics. The huge stakes of this nomination mean that if Kavanaugh is seated, he will drag the court

to the right. It could have very grave implications as Democrats see it, for key issues like the right to have an abortion, gun rights, gay rights,

campaign finance. All the big questions that the Supreme Court weighs into. And potentially, if the Russia probe into the President and his

campaign in 2016 includes a subpoena to force him to testify that could go all the way to the Supreme Court, too. So, this is an intense political


JONES: I heard Democratic Senator Cory Booker speaking earlier saying, they've only been able to have access to 10 percent of Judge Kavanaugh's

records so far, 90 percent is being withheld under what's being called executive privilege. What is the White House's view on this? Why have

they withheld these records?

COLLINSON: The White House's argument is basically that there's certain communications between legal officials and a President that need to be kept

secret. Because it interferes with the administration of the presidency itself. And Republicans are backing them up in this view. I mean what

really is going on here, you saw two potential Democratic Presidential candidates in those clips, Cory Booker of New Jersey and Kamala Harris of


[11:05:01] They are making a stand. They are under intense pressure from Democrats to try to do something to either delay or slow this nomination of

course. We're only 63 days away from the midterm elections, in which you know, the House and the Senate are up for grabs, a very contentious

election. And we're just at the cusp of a new presidential election. And the Kavanaugh nomination is something that really exercises the Democratic

grassroots liberals in the United States.

And so, whatever the merits of all these issues, and the wrangling over documents, at the root of this is politics and the coming presidential

campaign. And the fact that Democrats have no choice, but to make this hue and cry at the start of this hearing. Notwithstanding the fact, Hannah,

that they don't have the votes in the Senate to stop this nomination.

JONES: Yes, but is the feeling, though this is very much a coordinated effort then from the Democrats on this committee, to try and if they can't

get it adjourned, at least delay things?

COLLINSON: Certainly, Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois, one of the top Democrats in the Senate actually admitted that reports that they were

meetings over the weekend among Democrats, about how to disrupt this nomination, did in fact take place. And it's clear that this is

choreographed from a party that has to show it has got some sort of guts if you like. That Democrats are just emerging from a prolonged period of

almost political mourning over the defeat of Hillary Clinton. They're mustering for the midterm elections and the 2020 campaign.

It's all about getting your voters energized. There is a great deal of dissent among Democrats towards the Trump administration. Part of this is

to sort of show voters that it's really worth coming out to vote for Democrats in November. Because they're actually going to change something

if they get power. Notwithstanding the fact as I said, that Democrats actually are struggling to hold their whole coalition together. You've got

a number of Democratic Senators in states that were won by Donald Trump, who are under real pressure in their re-election races, to vote for

Kavanaugh. Because they're in much more conservative territory. So, you're seeing the dynamics of this Supreme Court race where the Democratic

Party is right now. Sort of playing out in this hearing and it's really very interesting.

JONES: Certainly is, and we're looking at live pictures at the moment of that hearing, the Senate Judiciary Committee. We just saw Senator Diane

Feinstein, who is putting some questions to Judge Kavanaugh at the moment. Stephen, thanks very much indeed. We appreciate it.

And just a reminder to our viewers, you can get more of Stephen's analysis on our website. He says, President Trump has come out swinging ahead of

the big political week with critical midterm elections, of course, just around the corner. That's in November. You can find that article and much

more at Just a reminder, of course, to our viewers we will be staying across that Senate hearing as soon as we get any further details or

interesting insight from it.

Now to a fight that both sides see as the final showdown, the Syrian government is gearing up to retake the last rebel-held province of Idlib.

Opposition groups reported dozens of airstrikes there this Tuesday. And mentioning that they killed at least five children.

When it comes as Mr. Trump warned Syria and its allies against recklessly attacking the province. And said hundreds of thousands of people could die

in the offensive.

Damascus says it has a right to fight Al Qaeda affiliates and other militant groups that have a foothold in the area. Well the United Nations

for its part says it believes nothing dramatic will happen before talks in Geneva next week.

CNN's Clarissa Ward has reported from Syria many, many times. She's following events for us from London. Also, Jeremy Diamond is at the White

House with more on Mr. Trump's warning for Syria and its allies. Clarissa, to you first, talk us through the scale of this likely offensive on Idlib

and the tactics that might be used.

CLARISSA WARD, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I think what we're seeing this morning is really just sort of nibbling around the edges. It's

just a taste of what might be to come. So why does this matter? Well for the regime this matters. Because, as you said, this is the final piece in

the puzzle for them. This shows that they have effectively won the civil war. That they have quashed the rebellion. That they are back in control.

Fourth the rebels, it's also an existential fight. This is what will determine whether the rebellion has any future. Whether it goes

underground to become an insurgency. But it's the civilian component in this, Hannah, that is so important. And that is why the President is

tweeting about this. It's why Staffan de Mistura is talking about this.

There are 3 million estimated civilians living in Idlib province, one million of them are children. What happens to them if we see the regime

deploy the same tactics along with its Russian partners in the sky, that we have seen in Aleppo that we have seen in Daraa and talking about the use of

crudely improvised barrel bombs.

[11:10:04] I'm talking about devastating air strikes that are often targeting civilian infrastructure, schools, courthouses, hospitals. What

happens to those people if that's the case? Where do they go? Turkey simply can't take them anymore.

JONES: Ok, so on that question then, let's go to Jeremy Diamond who is standing by for us at the White House with more on this story. Clarissa

asking though what happens to these people? In the past we know a red line was crossed for President Trump. He's been tweeting about it. Talking

about it. Is the White House at the moment gearing up for any eventuality? And any response that might be necessary?

JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: They certainly seem to be preparing. And what we've seen from the President here is issuing a pretty

stark warning to the Syrian regime. And not only the Syrian regime but its allies, Russia and Iran. Warning them of how they plan to go forward with

their assault on Idlib and the ways in which they're going to do that.

The President tweeting that Bashar al-Assad must not recklessly attack Idlib province and he's also warning that the Russians and Iranians would

be making a quote, grave humanitarian mistake to take part in this potential human tragedy. Warning that hundreds of thousands of people

could be killed in such an attack.

And it's not just the President making that warning. It's his Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, his ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley,

issuing similar missives. And we also know from our reporting from our colleague Barbara Starr at the Pentagon that U.S. officials have drawn up

lists of potential targets should the Syrian regime once again turn to using chemical weapons as part of its offensive to take this last rebel


But it is notable, to see the President mention specifically Iran and Russia. It's similar language to what we saw the President do after he

responded to the last chemical weapons attack in Syria that the U.S. responded to. When he implicated Russia and Iran directly as responsible

parties for those chemical weapons attacks, which were carried out by the Syrian regime.

JONES: And Jeremy, one wonders with all of the domestic woes that Donald Trump has at the moment -- we've just been watching the Supreme Court

hearings on Capitol Hill at the moment. Whether a foreign policy crisis might be quite a welcome diversion for this President.

DIAMOND: Well we know that foreign policy issues, particularly matters of war, can sometimes boost the President's popularity. We've seen it happen

when the President launched those strikes into Syria twice over the course of his presidency. This, though, seems a little bit different. If only

because it is not something that is manufactured by the President himself. You know, we are seeing the Syrian regime preparing this assault on Idlib,

the last rebel stronghold. And it will be a significant battle in this year's-long civil war in Syria.

And so certainly the President here with this message trying to warn the Syrian regime to rethink its tactics here. And certainly, to not once

again resort to the use of chemical weapons, something that U.S. officials are eyeing with a good bit of caution now. And so hopefully the President

is hoping here that by making this signal early on, that perhaps he can cause the Syrian regime to rethink its tactics here.

JONES: Yes, and Clarissa, back to you, then. All eyes on Geneva and what happens there. So far, the muttering seemed to be that there won't be an

offensive before Geneva.

WARD: Yes, they're sort of optimistic statement I would say from Staffan de Mistura today. Saying that essentially, he doesn't expect anything to

dramatically escalate before these meetings take place next week. This weekend, first of all you have Iran and Russia and Turkey sitting down in

Iran to discuss the normalization of Syria. What they call the normalization of Syria.

Then next week we so a series of meetings going on at the U.N. both between Turkey, Russia, Iran and also the U.S. and the U.S.'s allies in the war on

Syria. But I think the key word that you heard Jeremy mention there, which is really what a lot of this comes down to from President Trump's

perspective is Iran. It is no coincidence, Hannah, that right now the two special envoys from the U.S. to Syria are in Israel. Israel has made it

very clear that it sees it as a priority to try to mitigate if not all-out remove Iran's significant influence from Syria right now. This could well

explain why we're seeing this ratcheting up of rhetoric from President Trump. He wants to make it very clear that the U.S. will not allow for

Iran to continue to have such a huge presence as it does right now in Syria.

JONES: I guess the other key word is Russia then as well and what President Trump does with Russia, given the fact that it's one of Bashar

al-Assad's closest allies.

WARD: Absolutely, and I think on Russia we've seen obviously President Trump has been a little tougher to pin down or predict. But certainly, on

Iran we have seen a much more consistent streamlined message coming from his administration. Which is they see it as a major threat. And they will

do whatever they can to tackle that threat.

[11:15:00] JONES: OK, well my thanks to both Clarissa Ward, also to Jeremy Diamond. Thank you.

At least one person killed, thousands displaced and countless damage with one of the strongest typhoons to hit Japan to blame. Typhoon Jebi hit the

coast with heavy rains and strong winds clocked at more than 200 kilometers per hour. Some are injured, thousands are stranded, as the storm flooded a

major international airport forcing the cancellations of hundreds of flights. The storm even sent this fuel tanker crashing into a bridge.

Well Japan's meteorological agency says it's the strongest typhoon to make landfall in Japan in some 25 years. Chad Myers is with us live. Chad,

talk us through the course of this typhoon and just how much longer it might last.

CHAD MYERS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: We're down to tropical storm force now. Down to only 100 kilometers per hour. So yes, that can make some damage,

but really a 60-mile-per-hour wind doesn't do that much. Most of the buildings can take that. This is not what we were talking about earlier in

the day. When this was a super typhoon three days ago, it was building storm surge, it was building water under it and all the storm surge went

right into Osaka Bay. And that's where the Kansai Airport really got flooded. And that bridge that you saw with the tanker banging up against

it, that is the bridge to the airport itself. Which really sticks out into the bay all by itself. Water over the top.

There hasn't been that much water in Osaka Bay in 50 years. So, this was a big storm and even the wind speeds were expected to be 140, 150. There

were wind gusts over 200, over 250. Yanase got 316 millimeters of rain and it's still raining in some spots. You can imagine that that's going to run

off. We're going to get some flooding here.

But it was the wind that really surprised so many people at 209 kilometers per hour. That's right at the airport. There you go, 100 -- 206

kilometers per hour all of a sudden. Now these aren't sustainable, these are gusts, but it doesn't matter. If you get that much force on a

building, a roof or if you put it through Osaka and then all of a sudden you make a wind tunnel from those tall buildings, you could be greater than

206. No question, you could be 250. We don't know yet. We don't have those measurements. But it's certainly possible. This was a very damaging

storm for that area there.

Now it's moving up to the north and to the northwest. We'll get 45 kilometers per hour here in 24 hours, it's just about done. But there's a

cold front coming in that will bring more rainfall to places that have already seen all that. So, there will still be another 100 to 150

millimeters of rain before it finally stops right around Kochi. So, we'll see that now for the next couple days. We will see heavy rainfall, but the

rest of the weather is moving by, for Tokyo, it's settled down.

This has been an ugly summer. This has been heatwave after heatwave. This has been tropical cyclone, typhoon after another and this has just been one

thing after another. There goes one, there goes another. It's been just one hit right after another and so we will see hopefully fall calm down for

the people of Japan. It has been brutal.

JONES: It certainly has. Thanks for updating us on the course of Jebi at the moment. And we will stay across this, of course, Chad. We appreciate


Still ahead on CONNECT THE WORLD, as world leaders urge Myanmar authorities to review the conviction of two "Reuters" journalists, their devastated

families are speaking out and hoping for mercy. That's coming up after this short break.


JONES: You are watching CNN and this is CONNECT THE WORLD. I am Hannah Vaughn Jones in London filling in for Becky Anderson. Welcome back.

An update now on our top story. The U.S. Senate hearing on President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh. The Senators are

right now making their opening statements. These are live pictures from Capitol Hill right now. This is after the judiciary chairman refused to

hold a vote to delay the hearings. Scolding Democrats for trying to interrupt the session over missing documents. It doesn't look like the

Democrats have had any success in delaying or indeed having this hearing adjourned so it continues.

Now in other news, we are hearing from the families of the two "Reuters" journalists jailed for their reporting on violence in Myanmar's Rakhine

State. On Monday the reporters were sentenced to seven years in prison for investigating the massacre of Rohingya Muslims. In an emotional press

conference, the wife of one of the men defended her husband's innocence.


CHIT SU WIN, KYAW SOE OO'S WIFE (through translator): I will also teach them and teach my daughter to be proud of her father. I hope the state

will have mercy on them. I want to have a happy family.


JONES: Emotional scenes there. CNN's Alexandra Field following the story from Hong Kong. Alexandra, with appeals like that from family members and

so much international pressure and condemnation, which has come in the last 24 hours or so, what is the likely impact on Myanmar's leaders, both

political and judicial?

ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, look, the reaction has been coming quickly in the last 24 hours since this verdict came down and there

has been international outcry. But you can feel that heartbreak at home. The wives of both of them journalists were tearful talking about how their

husbands are innocent men. How these are reporters, not criminals. They are keeping hope alive. Both of the families of the journalists say that

they have petitioned authorities in Myanmar prior to that verdict being delivered. Looking for help.

They've petitioned the de facto leader of Myanmar, Aung San Suu Kyi and the President himself. So, they are hoping that authorities will intervene.

But they're devastated by the verdict, which is a seven-year sentence. Both journalists were found guilty of violating a colonial-era law, a state

secrets act. They say that they were set up by police while investigating this Rohingya massacre. The editor-in-chief of "Reuters" has come out once

again, of course, in support of his journalists. He is calling for help from authorities in Myanmar and slamming what unfolded in the courtroom.

Listen to this.


STEPHEN ADLER, PRESIDENT AND EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, REUTERS: There's absolutely no evidence that they committed a crime or they did anything wrong. In

fact, they were handed documents by a policeman who they were asked to meet and they were documents rolled up in a local newspaper. And they were told

not to open it until they left the restaurant. They left the restaurant and they were arrested immediately for possessing -- illegally possessing

documents. So, it was clearly a set-up.

And why do we know it was a set-up? Because a police captain testified in open court that they were instructed to set them up. That they, that their

job was to set them up and to get them into jail. So, there's absolutely no evidence of a crime and the only evidence is that they were reporting a

really important story.


FIELD: Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo have been held in prison for nearly nine months.

[11:25:00] Hannah, we did say there's been international outrage. We've heard from the U.N. officials, including the Secretary General of the U.N.,

Antonio Guterres, who has called for the immediate release of both of the journalists. The sentiment also echoed by the U.S. ambassador to the U.N.,

Nikki Haley, who also called this a stain on the Burmese government -- Hannah.

JONES: Yes, also, appeals to Aung San Suu Kyi, who is of course, the de facto leader in Myanmar, a Nobel Peace Prize winner in the past. She's

been incarcerated for so many years as well. Appeals to her directly to step in and pardon them. Might she do that?

FIELD: Look, the whole world is watching to see if she would come to the defense of either of these journalist. And that is because you've

certainly had the glare of the international spotlight on her and pressure has intensified from around the world on Myanmar's leaders. Hannah, it was

a week ago when so many Myanmar were implicated by a U.N. fact-finding mission. It was that mission that was investigating crimes against

Rohingya Muslims, that ethnic minority group in Myanmar who were dying by the thousands about a year ago. Right now, who are leaving the country by

the hundreds of thousands.

The U.N. mission released its report saying that Myanmar's top military leaders should be investigated and prosecuted for genocide. And they did

name the de facto leader of Myanmar, Aung San Suu Kyi, that Nobel Peace Prize winner, that noted human rights icon, in saying that she failed to

use her moral authority to stop the violence. But the response from Myanmar government since the release of that report has been very little.

They have effectively said that they are doing their own investigation.

So, yes, much of the world waiting to see if Aung San Suu Kyi or the President of Miramar or any officials there will speak in defense of these

journalists. But the international pressure continues to multiply. There's been a pile-on really in the last day. You've also had the U.S.

embassy in Myanmar calling this case and this conviction a major setback for the expansion of democratic freedoms in Myanmar -- Hannah.

JONES: All right, Alexandra Field, thank you so much for staying across this story. Reporting the very latest on this court case. The sentencing

and of course the appeal now for the freedom hopefully of these two journalists. Alex is there in Hong Kong for us.

Can always follow the latest on this story as well. Go to There you can you learn more about the "Reuters" journalists involved. These two

individuals now sentenced to seven years -- as Alex was just telling us -- seven years in Myanmar prison and their investigation that led to their

incarceration. Their investigation into the mass killings of Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine State. You can find it all on

You are watching CNN's CONNECT THE WORLD.

Up next on the program you're looking or you're about to look at Nike's latest ad campaign. It looks pretty normal, right. A sports star, the

classic swoosh, the "just do it" line. So why exactly is it making some fans burn their sneakers?





JONES: Welcome back. Bringing you straight up to date with our top story. These are live pictures from Capitol Hill, in Washington, the Senate

Judiciary Committee at the moment. They are holding a hearing on Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee. And that hearing is going ahead despite

Democrats' best efforts to delay it. They demanded, this is Democrats, they demanded the hearing be adjourned until they have time to review

42,000 documents released on Judge Brett Kavanaugh just last night. They said it would be super human to get through that many documents in just

seven hours.

Now Republicans though accuse of Democrats of trying to obstruct all the proceedings. Kavanaugh is expected to give his opening statement just a

few hours from now. At the moment we're getting the opening statements from senators, you've got Patrick Leahy, at the moment. The Democrat, you

could see in vision there, who is making his opening remarks right now. Why is this so important? Well, because the stakes are high. The nominee

for the Supreme Court is appointed then for life. Once they get through the Senate hearing. And that could then determine the policy direction the

United States for generations to come. So, stakes extremely high on both sides of the aisle. Protesters have been making their voices heard.

They've already tried to disrupt the hearing several times. Take a listen to this.


GRASSLEY: -- facts and opinions upon which the effective discharge --


GRASSLEY: -- of his duties depends, end of quote.


And plenty of other protesters have also been getting into that Senate hearing as well. It continues, we've just shown you live pictures just

then and we'll update you as soon as we have further details from that hearing for Judge Brett Kavanaugh.

Now, to other news. We often see American politics becoming ever more split in two. Dividing into teams red and blue who see the world in a

black-and-white way. We are right, you're wrong, that tends to be the argument. While that arena spilling over now into this one. Right now,

that world is colliding with the country's favorite sport -- American football.

The sportswear giant, Nike, taking a very public stand, thrusting them together with this ad. It's again, black and white. And that's how many

people see it. Here's why. You are looking at Colin Kaepernick. He's a really important kind of player, a quarterback. Just signing a new deal to

be splashed on TV and billboards, and inn a new campaign. It sounds pretty normal, right. But here's why it's turning heads, you can see Kaepernick

kneeling during the national anthem. Raising awareness about racial prejudice and police brutality in the United States. Take a listen to him



COLIN KAEPERNICK, FORMER NFL QUARTERBACK: You know, that's a very ignorant statement that if you don't agree with what's going on here and that if you

want justice and liberty and freedom for all, that you should leave the country. No. He always says make America great again. Well, America has

never been great for people of color. And that's something that needs to be addressed. Let's make America great for the first time.


JONES: Make America great for the first time. No prizes for guessing who he was referring to there. Let's listen then to what the American

President had to say about him in return.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We are disrespecting our flag and you're disrespecting our country.

Get the son of a [ bleep ] off the field right now. Out, he's fired.


[11:35:00] JONES: That's not just about sports, it's not just about politics, it's about how you see the world. To discuss, let's bring in CNN

sports analyst Christine Brennan, with more. Christine, good to see you, great to have you on the program. So, bring is up to speed here. Colin

Kaepernick is currently suing the NFL for thwarting his playing career. But he's now being backed by Nike, which is the official -- or one of the

official sponsors for the NFL. It seems the saga is coming full circle.

CHRISTINE BRENNAN, CNN SPORTS ANALYST: Absolutely, Hannah. You know, Nike has been known for pushing the envelope and for dealing with issues and

athletes who have done that over the decades. But this may well be the Nike-est Nike thing ever. No one saw this coming. You said it -- I mean

all the NFL uniforms for all the 32 teams as well as all the sideline apparel for the coaches, et cetera, they all have that swoosh that everyone

knows, Nike is the supplier. Nike has a deal that goes all the way through 2028. So, NFL uniforms, Nike, the business side, the NFL and Nike are

absolutely joined at the hip.

And yet, Nike makes this move to have this ad campaign, with the man who is, of course, suing the NFL. And that that suit goes on. A man who has

been very critical of the NFL and obviously, the person who has driven national conversations about social injustice, how we treat African-

American men in our cities. And on and on it goes. This is quite the development. And I think it will only spur more conversation and more

animosity from those on all sides of the issue.

JONES: If you're going to put bets on this, player versus President, NFL versus White House. Who is likely to come up trump's do you think?

BRENNAN: I do think that because it's Nike with its billions, and with its great force within the NFL. I think this certainly could give cover for

players who do want to protest. And we've already seen that the players are winning that, anyway. Because the owners tried to suppress it in May

and changed the rules. And that was a PR nightmare. It was a disaster for the owners and the league.

So, I do think that we will see protests on Thursday when the league kicks off. Think we'll see it on Sunday and I think Nike is giving those players

who want to do that the opportunity to do it and giving them quote-unquote cover because Nike is such a big player with the NFL. And obviously on

social issues over the years. So, it's -- I think, I think we'll see the story continue and I'm guessing we'll see the tweets pretty soon from the

White House.

JONES: Almost certainly, of course. And Nike, also, on the receiving end of some criticism. A lot of criticism at the moment. One man -- we teased

this before coming to you, Christine. One man is quite literally being fired into action by Nike. Take a look at what one chap did with his



UNIDENTIFIED MALE, PROTESTING BY BURNING HIS NIKE SNEAKERS: I just bought these three days ago. Five pairs of shoes in there, going to let them



JONES: Five pairs of shoes, that's a lot of money, if nothing else. And the guy is now shoeless, of course, as well. It's kind of a bizarre over-

reaction? Or is there some reason behind this?

BRENNAN: Well, that's sports fans for you. You know, they were burning LeBron James's jersey a few years ago in Cleveland when he left. Listen,

we're talking about this, lots of people around the country and the world are talking about this today, Hannah. I think Nike, we can rest assured

that the executives had in Nike spent a lot of time discussing this. And while there may be many who do that. I think there's also, especially

young people, there's a sense of social activism in our country that we're seeing with especially younger people. That isn't happening with their

parents or grandparents' generation. And those people of course buy sneakers too and buy the products.

And I think also, as we move forward, looking at our nation demographically and how diverse it will be say, in 20 or 30 years, my sense is looking

back, people will see it and be very positive towards some of these comments about social justice, injustice and some of the issues that Colin

Kaepernick has brought up. I think history will judge him and Nike probably pretty well just because the nation will be more demographically

diverse at that time.

JONES: Yes, the share price though, Nike took an early hit on the share price. Which is a bit of a surprise to some. I guess investors not liking

any kind of controversy at all. But is Nike big enough, a big enough brand to be able to withstand any kind of attacks potentially coming from the

White House?

BRENNAN: Yes, absolutely. There's no doubt about it. They are the big, broad-shouldered behemoth who can take on anyone and certainly Donald

Trump. And I think again, that was part of their calculation. Nike didn't wake up yesterday and go, let's do this. I mean, they've been spending a

lot of time on this campaign and there's no doubt that they calculated all of this. And wanted to take on the fight. I think that's the important

thing here. Nike is saying bring it on. With all their slogans, just do it, bring it on, you know, here you go. I think we will be watching. But

it's certainly an unexpected development. This was not how people thought this conversation about Kaepernick would go. But here we are.

JONES: Bring it on. Got a new slogan from there. Christine, thanks so much, we appreciate your analysis on this.

BRENNAN: Thank you, Hannah, take care.

JONES: All right, let's get you up to speed on some of the stories that on our radar right now. It is the first day of the British Parliament after

the summer break and the Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit strategy, the so-called Chequers plan is under attack from all sides. That's with

crucial deadlines for negotiations with the EU just weeks away.

[11:40:00] The family of Aretha Franklin is condemning a eulogy given by Reverend Jasper Williams at the "Queen of Soul's" funeral, as offensive and

distasteful. The late singer's nephew says he spoke for 50 minutes and at no time did he properly eulogize her. Adding the minister used the

platform to push his negative agenda, which the family itself does not agree with.

Other news, almost two million people are under hurricane warning as tropical storm Gordon heads for the U.S. Gulf Coast. It's expected to

strengthen into a hurricane before making landfall later today. States of emergency have been declared in Mississippi, Louisiana, and parts of


Now police and protesters clashed in Rio de Janeiro in the wake of a fire that devastated Brazil's national museum. Hundreds of people took to the

streets to voice their anger. And protesters are linking the fire to government spending cuts and inadequate maintenance of the building. The

200-year-old museum previously a royal palace was completely gusted. It held an estimated 20 million artifacts. And the fear is, nearly all of

them have been destroyed. Including the oldest human remains ever found in Brazil and mummies discovered in the Andes.

Marcia Reverdosa joins me now on the line from Rio de Janeiro. Marcia, him thanks for joining us. You know, a devastated nation, of course, over this

fire. Now a divided nation over whether there is someone to blame. Who's the finger of blame being pointed at right now?

MARCIA REVERDOSA, JOURNALIST, RIO DE JANEIRO (via phone): Well, at the moment that is definitely a (INAUDIBLE) within the population, Hannah, has

a whole. At the moment the government is saying that the problem was either an electrical short-circuit or a home-made hot air balloon that may

have landed on the roof. Launching such balloons is a long-held tradition in Brazil. And they routinely cause fires, but that doesn't really --

consequence with the lack of investment of the museum was suffering, but that's the case. So, there is those treasures and the population is

criticizing also the response of the firemen. Who were accused of to be lacking enough good response to the fire. Which made it burn quickly. So,

yes, all the treasures -- for the decisions.

JONES: We've been looking at the sort of burnt-out remains of the museum. In fact, once-beautiful building, with many millions of artifacts held

inside, of course. Now that they're digging through the debris how much, if anything, has been salvaged from this fire.

REVERDOSA: Well, news is reporting that they found a bowl recently. It's probably from "Luzia", the oldest mummy that was found in Brazil. They

also very few items. It's believed that 90 percent of the entire museum was caught in the fire. We're talking about paleontology materials that

was gathered throughout the last 100 years.

JONES: It's just a devastating story. We don't normally get emotional, of course, when we're talking about objects and artifacts and the like, but

just to know how much of Brazil's history has been wiped out is truly, truly devastating. Marcia, thank you so much for joining us on the line

and updating us on the latest from there, from Rio.

REVERDOSA: Thank you so much.

JONES: Live from London this is CONNECT THE WORLD. We have lots more ahead in the show. Do stay with us. After a very short break we'll be



JONES: This is CONNECT THE WORLD, I'm Hannah Vaughan Jones in for Becky Anderson.

Breaking news that we can bring you now. Amazon has just topped $1 trillion in stock market value. It is the second company to reach that

milestone after Apple did it early last month. According to an analyst, Amazon and Apple together now make up more than 8 percent of the total

value of THE S&P 500. We will bring you much more on this as soon as we get further details.

Other news and our top story that we've been following for all of you. The hearing on U.S. President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee, Brett

Kavanaugh, is under way. Senators have been making their opening statements, these are live pictures from Capitol Hill at the moment, the

Senate judicial committee. We've been hearing Senators, some them shouting in order to be heard above the protesters who have also been at the back of

that building, making their voices heard. One woman was in a wheelchair and she was talking about her concerns about health care. And whether

Brett Kavanaugh's nomination would impact Obamacare as many of the Republicans in the Senate would indeed like.

About 10 people we understand so far have been escorted out of the room. Protesters as I say, shouting things out as all the Senators are trying to

make their opening remarks and the chairman is trying to keep things calm. The Senate Judiciary Committee chairman, as I just said, refused to hold a

vote to delay the hearing. That's something that the Democrats had requested.

Almost all of them, all the Democrats on that committee had seemingly in unison decided to come together to try to adjourn the hearing altogether.

Saying that they hadn't had access to some 40,000 documents related to Brett Kavanaugh's record. His voting history and his past working under

the Bush administration as White House counsel. They said they needed more time. They didn't understand why there had to be a delay. But

nevertheless, that has been overruled and the hearing is going ahead. Still getting the opening statements at the moment. We'll keep following


Now to other news, less than a week ago schools in Gaza and the West Bank run by the U.N. agency that supports Palestinian refugees opened their

doors. But now those very same schools could close within weeks following the Trump administration's decision to cut all funding to the UNRWA. It's

a decision that some fear could not only reignite violence in the region, but one that strikes at the very heart of the Palestinian struggle. CNN's

Oren Liebermann explains.


OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Inside the Dbayeh refugee camp, Abul Qader al-Lahham makes his way it daily prayers. The 100-year-

old Palestinian refugee has difficulty hearings and is short of strength, but the memory of fleeing his home in the 1948 Arab/Israeli war remains


ABUL QADER AL-LAHHAM, PALESTINIAN REFUGEE (through translator): I was not at home. I was outside in the shade. When I came back I realized into my

wife and daughter had fled to other villages. So, I took sheep and fled to towards Bethlehem where I found them three days later.

LIEBERMANN: The memories are seven decades old. But some scars never heal. Pain and principle carried down through the generations.

AL-LAHHAM: I'm living in a 10 meters prison for 70 years, while once I had 100 dumdums of land. A bit of soil for my lambs with more than my cell to

me. And I'm not worried. Injustice never lasts.

LIEBERMANN (on camera): This is what's left of his Al-Lahham's village. Ruins he says he has not visited since 1975. The idea that this is still

their land, still their family's home is one that's central to Palestinian national identity. Two generations later, his grandson says there is no

room for compromise when it comes to the right of return.

(voice-over): Mohammed Al-Lahham is 22 years old. Spent his whole life in Dbayeh refugee camp. The camp services are run by UNRWA, the United

Nations agency in charge of Palestinian refugees.

[11:50:00] The U.S. cut funding to UNRWA in a move widely seen as trying to undercut the status of Palestinian refugees.

MOHAMMD AL-LAHHAM, PALESTINIAN REFUGEE: Impossible I can never compromise in my right of return. Everything I see in the refugee camp reminds me of

my right. People, flags, pictures, the way we live. I have a right and I will never give it up.

LIEBERMANN: The key is the symbol here. The ability to unlock your own door once again. Images of the key are prevalent in Palestinian refugee

camps in a way that makes it clear that the Palestinians will not simply give up the right of return. It is this intransigence that makes it

perhaps the most sensitive and difficult issue in the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. Even more so than Jerusalem.

DAN SHAPIRO, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO ISRAEL: The truth is that every American proposal since the Oslo Accord, under the Clinton and the Bush

administration and the Obama administration in different ways has made clear that there's no American intention to facilitate a right of return.

LIEBERMANN: The Dbayeh refugee camp is home to roughly 15,000 Palestinian refugees, a small fraction of the 5 million refugees in the Middle East and

beyond. The idea that these refugees can return to their homes in modern- day Israel has always been a nonstarter for the Israelis. As it would dramatically change the character of Israel as the Jewish state.

SHAPIRO: It may be the hardest issue and it may be an issue that ultimately this whole effort crashes upon.

LIEBERMANN: Even if Palestinian leaders understand the difficulties of the right of return, it will take a major concession in a peace process for

them it to be able to make that compromise. Like a commitment to a two- state solution from the Americans and Israelis. And that's something Palestinians haven't heard in years. Oren Liebermann, CNN, Dbayeh refugee



JONES: Oren, thanks very much. Live from London this is CONNECT THE WORLD, we'll be back after this short break.


JONES: Tragedy in Botswana where conservationists discovered 87 dead elephants killed it seems for their tusks. The images we're about to show

you are indeed graphic. The nonprofit Elephants Without Borders say they've found dozens of mutilated elephant carcasses just in two months'

time. Botswana is usually a safe haven for elephants, but the nonprofit tells us they haven't seen this many dead elephants anywhere else. Our

David McKenzie joins us live from Johannesburg. David, just the most traumatic pictures, awful pictures. How was this allowed to happen?

DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well it was allowed to happen it seems because poachers have made deep forays into northern Botswana, Hannah, and

Elephants Without Borders say that those 87 carcasses they spotted on that aerial survey compares to 2014 when they only spotted nine of them. So,

it's very disturbing for those people who track the fate of elephant populations in Africa, which is a crucial keystone species. Both for

tourism and just for the ecology of a region.

[11:55:00] We had been in that region a few years ago with, the scientist, Mike Chase, who's a specialist in these kind of surveys. There were issues

on the border. But these this is deep in tourist areas, conservation areas where the elephants should be safe. In May, Hannah, the Botswana

government removed arms from quite a few it seems poaching, anti-poaching groups, which might have opened a door somewhat for new poachers to come

in. But also, just from our reporting over the last few years, every time there seems to be a decimation of elephants, they move into areas where the

population is more healthy. Despite a ban in China on the trading of ivory -- Hannah.

JONES: David, thanks very much for that update.

Let's bring our viewers now a reminder of breaking news, Amazon has now topped $1 trillion in stock market value. It is the second U.S. company to

reach such a milestone after Apple did it just last month. According to an analyst Amazon and Apple together now make up more than 8 percent of the

total value of the S&P 500. Stay with us here on CNN. Next hour "QUEST EXPRESS" will have a live report on this very story.

Thanks so much for watching. I'm Hannah Vaughn Jones. That was CONNECT THE WORLD.