Return to Transcripts main page

CNN NEWSROOM

North Korea Celebrates Its 70th Anniversary; Monitors 800- Detentions Amid Russian Tension Protests; Centrist Coalition In Dead- Heat As Far-Right Surges; CBS CEO Moonves Out Amid Allegations; Alibaba Co-Founder Jack Ma To Step Down. Aired 12-1a ET

Aired September 10, 2018 - 00:00   ET

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


[00:00:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CYRIL VANIER, CNN ANCHOR: No nukes and no long-range missiles in sight. North Korea's annual celebration focuses less on war and more on the economy. Plus Putin'a popularity takes a hit. There's thousands across Russia protest (ph) the president's reform plan. And the far right in Sweden falls shorts. The Sweden Democrats, as they call themselves, fail to secure second place in parliamentary elections, but they did gain seats.

Live from the CNN Center here in Atlanta, I'm Cyril Vanier. It's great to have you with us. A new message for a new era. North Korea's 70th anniversary celebration focused less on its nuclear status and more on future prosperity. The North celebrated its foundings with a massive military parade on Sunday. Noticeably missing, long-range missiles in a clear nod to the ongoing denuclearization talks with the U.S. And that message was received.

U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted, thank you to Chairman Kim. We will both prove everyone wrong. There is nothing like good dialogue from two people that like each other. Much better than before I took office. Will Ripley was in the middle of those festivities.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

WILL RIPLEY, INTERNTAIONAL CORRESPONDENT, CNN: The stands of Pyongyang's May Day Stadium transformed. Tens of thousands of North Koreans, like human pixels, flipping colorful cards, revealing the new agenda of their supreme leader, Kim Jong-un. This super-sized socialist propaganda blitz does more than dazzle, it reveals the new message North Korea wants to send to the world. The last time they did this five years ago, the focus was nuclear power. Now it's economic power and diplomacy.

With a history-making nod to South Korean President Moon Jae- in, due to visit Pyongyang for a summit with Kim Jong-un next week.

They call these mass games. This is actually is my first time seeing it in person and I've never seen anything like it. It's mind- blowing. Sort of like the opening ceremonies of the Olympics. They even have a huge torch. But it's all about North Korean history and their economy. They say around 100,000 people are participating, mostly students. Earlier Sunday, a military parade through Pyongyang's Kim Il-sung

square. It featured thousands of goose-stepping soldiers. But unlike past parades when the nuclear program was featured prominently, this time they didn't have a single intercontinental ballistic missile on display. Just because North Korea is not parading nuclear weapons doesn't mean it's getting rid of them.

Denuclearization talks with the U.S. have hit an impasse. The main sticking point, North Korea wants a peace treaty to formally end the Korean War, a war featured prominently in this parade celebrating North Korea's 70th founding anniversary.

Do you think that North Korea should give up nuclear weapons?

JU SONG JIN (through translator): Never ever. We built this powerful nation on the basis of our military strength. If we give up our nuclear weapons, we can't guarantee the existence of this nation.

RIPLEY: Pyongyang's display of military hardware comes just days after Kim reportedly sent a letter to Trump.

Have your feelings about America and President Trump changed at all?

SIN GWANG HUI: We don't worry much about president Trump or U.S. policy. We care about the policies of Marshal Kim Jong-un, who's working to improve our economy.

RIPLEY: It shows that whether the focus is on the nuclear program or on the economy, there is still one things that matters the most to the people in this country, and that is showing their admiration for their leader, Kim Jong-un. This may be the new image of North Korea but here, some things never change. Will Ripley, CNN Pyongyang.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VANIER: Paula Hancocks in South Korea with a perspective from Seoul. Paula, you were at the last mass games. They were back in 2013, five years ago. The 2018 edition obviously is different from what you witnessed. What do you read into that?

PAULA HANCOCKS, INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, CNN: It is extremely different, Cyril. I was there five years ago, 2013, and that mass games was as part of the 65th anniversary of the end of the Korean War, what they North Koreans call Victory Day. They tell their people that they won the Korean War against the United States. And then it was filled with military assets, it was filled with ICBMs. There were mushroom clouds, there was all sorts of nuclear and missile connotations within this -- this parade itself and within the mass games.

So certainly this is an incredibly different message that the North Koreans are sending not only to the world but also to their own people. It's worth always remembering that when they have these big events, it's not just to show the intentional community what they want to do or what they intend to do, it is also to -- to bring their own people along. So what we saw five years ago was very much military first, nuclear first and what we're seeing now is economy first

[00:05:00]

And an interesting point as well, the fact that there was that summit between the North Korean leader and the South Korean leader back in April. That was beamed (ph) on one of the projectors within the -- the stadium. And that's very significant, the fact that they were showing what happened when Kim Jong un met with Moon Jae-in. And we hear from our team on the ground, there was a roar of approval and applause when that was shown.

So that's certainly an interesting response to that. There wasn't any mention of the Trump summit in Singapore. It's -- but it's certainly still a show to the rest of the world and to their own people that the focus is on economy now. Cyril.

VANIER: Yes. And it comes about a week before the next summit between the North and South Korean leaders. Paula, thank you very much. We'll speak again next hour. Police are cracking down on protesters in Russia. This was the scene in St. Petersburg on Sunday, one of several dozen cities where demonstrators came out. Why? Because they're angry at the government's plan to reform their pensions. A monitoring group says at least 800 people were detained.

The rallies were supporters and opposition leader Alexei Navalny. But this turned out to be a mixed crowd. Not just Navalny's people, even supporters of President Vladimir Putin are furious and came out. CNN's Matthew Chance has more from Moscow.

MATTHEW CHANCE, SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Well these are part of the nationwide protests being held in Russia to oppose the reform of the pension system in this country. The key issue is the retirement age and the plans by the Russian government to push that back to 65 for men and to 60 for women. It is angering people, not just among (ph) ordinary Putin critics, but among the general population, ordinary Russian worker who normally support the government across this country.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

At 59, these should have been Evgeny Pankov's last few months of work after a lifetime of back-breaking labor, fetching and carrying in the construction industry.

I really feel my age, he complains, and my joints hurt, especially in the morning. But Evgeny's dream of taking it easy has now been shattered. The Russian government's decision to raise pension ages from 60 to 65 for men means his retirement has to be put back. Particularly galling in the country where average male life expectancy is just 67.

EVGENY PANKOV, TRACTOR OPERATOR (through translator): I'm not just upset, I'm outraged. Now I'll be forced to work even longer, depriving my loved ones and my grandchildren of my attention.

CHANCE: Evgeny here is just one of millions of Russians who have been adversely affected by this controversial pension reform. In fact, the issue has united young and old in opposition across the country, raising concerns in the Kremlin that the plight of ordinary workers could actually undermine the popularity of the country's president.

Amid nationwide protests and plunging approval ratings, Vladimir Putin made a televised address to soften the reforms, specifically for women but also to insist that they must go ahead.

VLADIMIR PUTIN, PRESIDENT, RUSSIA (through translator): In the long term, if we (inaudible) now, it could threaten stability in society and hence, national security.

CHANCE: It's not going down well with those affected most. If the government says and Putin says that they have no choice, they don't have enough money to pay the pensions unless they reform the system, do you understand that? Do you believe the government when they tell you that?

PANKOV (through translator): No, I do not believe it. Comparing the incomes of high ranked officials, they have simply unimaginable salaries. I do not believe that there is no money. It's a lie.

CHANCE: For many Russians, the pension issue has further undermined their trust in the Kremlin and its leader.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CHANCE: Well, there you have it. That's the -- the nub of the issue, a real breakdown in trust between the country's leadership and its people. The big question, of course, is whether this protest -- these protests across the country are going to gather momentum and pose a serious challenge to the Russian leadership and to Vladimir Putin himself. At this point, we're not at that stage but certainly we're watching it very closely as are the Russian authorities. Matthew Chance, CNN, Moscow.

VANIER: CNN Contributor Jill Dougherty is in Seattle Washington. She's our former Moscow Bureau Chief so she's looking at this carefully. Jill, how serious do you think these protests can get?

JILL DOUGHERTY, FORMER MOSCOW BUREAU CHIEF, CNN: I think they're quite serious, Cyril, because after all, you know, this is -- this touches, as Matthew pointed out, young, old and people in between, because it has to do with their understanding of what the government either does or doesn't do for them.

[00:10:00]

Not that Russians really believe the government does much of anything, but at this point when you see the government taking steps that actually they believed are hurting them, that's (inaudible) for their safe in the government, it's bad for President Putin, you know, his ratings have taken somewhat of a hit because of this.

And you know, nobody quite knows where this is going, but it really is - even in Western countries, when you take away benefits, social security or things like that, to the third rail. But in Russia, it has a lot of different aspects to it.

VANIER: And I remember being told by - years ago by Russia analysts that the day Vladimir Putin needs to worry is the day ordinary pensioners become dissatisfied with him and take to the streets.

DOUGHERTY: Well yes, and I think it was very notable that during this whole debate, because this has been going on for quite a while, President Putin actually came out and said you know, we were going to raise the retirement age for women for 63, but I don't think that's right, I'm going to make it 60.

So we're going to go from 55 to 60, but not 63. And he said that's because we want to treat our Russian women well. So in other words, he intervened in a very public way to show that he's really on the side of people that he doesn't want to have to do this, but you have to do it.

So I think he is inflating himself or trying to politically from (inaudible) on this, and he can put it on the government. After all, he's the president, he's not the prime minister.

VANIER: But you have to do it part is interesting to me, Vladimir Putin says this reform is a financial necessity. Is he - is he doing this because Russia is stealing the squeeze (ph) of international sanctions?

DOUGHERTY: I don't think that's the only issue here, I mean it really is true that the social services that Russia had traditionally, even under the old communist days, et cetera, were quite generous.

You know, you had women retiring at 55 and people are living longer, in fact women live much more - much longer than men, it's - they're up to about I think it's 77 for women and roughly 66, 67 for men.

So -

VANIER: And - and they haven't reformed this system in 90 years if I'm not mistaken.

DOUGHERTY: Exactly, but nobody had the guts to do it. And they knew in - in addition to the - you know, the mere issue of that, you'd have Putin's popularity, the concern that they had any time you had people on the streets in St. Petersburg or - or Moscow, you hearken back to 2012 when they had demonstrations and they really scared the Kremlin at that point, that people were turning out.

And the very same thing is happening, and then we're - we should mention Alexei Navalny, the opposition leader, you know he's in jail - or he's - he's been arrested and has been held for 30 days.

But he's the one who instigated these - these demonstrations against the pensions. So you have that political part of Navalny calling on people through YouTube, go out into the streets, so it gets very complicated politically and I think dangerous for the Kremlin.

VANIER: All right, Jill Dougherty joining us live from Seattle in Washington, thank you very much, appreciate your time.

DOUGHERTY: OK.

VANIER: And the White House witch hunt, President Trump wants to know who wrote that scathing anonymous editorial? What top administration officials say should happen next.

[00:15:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

The White House is still reeling from the anonymous op-ed that described an administration in chaos and a resistance to President Trump's actions. The top officials have denied writing it, some of them are calling for the author's resignation and possible prosecution.

Here's Ryan Nobles from the White House.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RYAN NOBLES, WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT, CNN: It's been a relatively quiet weekend here at the White House, but there's no doubt that the president and his staff are still furiously trying to determine who is the author of this op-ed that was in the New York Times that claimed that there was a person working within the administration that was part of the resistance.

The president himself has said to be obsessed with this search, and in addition to rooting out who exactly may be behind the op-ed, they're also working to destroy that person's credibility before their identify is ever even revealed.

Both Vice President Mike Pence and Kellyanne Conway, a senior advisor, are going on the Sunday morning talk shows claiming that this person is essentially a traitor, someone that is working to destroy this administration from within.

Kellyanne Conway taking it even a step further, suggesting that the media may be partially to blame. Listen to what she told Jake Tapper.

KELLYANNE CONWAY, COUNSELOR TO THE PRESIDENT, TRUMP ADMINISTRATION: What does concern me though, Jake, apart from everything the president and others have said is that for a media that is constantly talking about facts, accuracy, transparency, authority, the authoritativeness to this anonymous writer wasn't (ph) viewed automatically because of the content.

As long as the message is anti-Trump, it seems the messenger has credibility. That should concern everyone. I'm with the vice president on this, he has said that the person should resign if the person truly is an appointee who has taken an oath to the constitution.

NOBLES: And of course the big question going into this week is just what lengths will the White House go to to attempt to try and figure out who this person is, the vice president suggesting over the weekend that perhaps this person is guilty of some sort of a crime, so does that mean that the Department Justice gets involved, the president has suggested that Attorney General Jeff Sessions should look into this.

So far, the Department of Justice has said that it won't comment on this situation. Ryan Nobles, CNN, at the White House.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VANIER: Let's talk to some people who will comment. We are joined by Democratic Strategists Caroline Heldman and Republican Strategist Chris Faulkner. Thank you both for being with us.

[00:20:00] First of all, I'd like you to start by listening to this, and that is the Vice President on Fox News on Sunday.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHRIS WALLACE, FOX NEWS HOST: You said all top officials take a lie detector test, and would you agree to take one?

MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I would agree to take it in a heartbeat and would submit to any review of the administration wanted to do.

WALLANCE: Do you think that the administration should do that?

PENCE: Well, look. That'd be a decision for the president.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VANIER: Chris, do you think the White House should be administering lie detector tests?

CHRIS FAULKNER, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: I'm going to agree with the vice president on that one. I think he's going to defer to the president. I think at the end of the day, this really comes down to the solidarity of the president and the president's team, the people around him when you have such a breach like this. It's going to cause any president, regardless of party, to really take a look at the people around him and ask them if they're really going in the same direction.

VANIER: Yes, so there's somebody, clearly, who does not stand in solidarity with them, and how hard do you think they should push trying to find that person I guess is the question?

FAULKNER: I think that, you know, with over 30,000 political appointee jobs in any presidential administration across all the departments, you're bound to have more than the few people who may not show the president's agenda or may not have a personal like for him. Sadly, this is just somebody acting out. This is somebody trying to get attention, and in a 24-hour media news cycle where everybody wants to find the latest Republican who will bash the president, this is just another example of everybody getting super excited about a Republican beating up the president or at least someone who allegedly is Republican. We don't know because it's anonymous.

VANIER: In fairness, most Republicans stand by the president. Caroline -

CAROLINE HELDMAN, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Well, they certainly don't in the White House, and for Chris to characterize it as simply being one person is factually incorrect. Not only did anonymous say that these are views that are held by many people in the White House, Woodward's book confirms that, that this is the standard operating procedure that Trump has people pulling documents from him so that he won't bomb a country or assassinate a leader or stop a trade agreement.

I mean, we're talking about a group of people telling the same story, which is having to contain an unfit toddler in the White House and that's not just something that one person is saying. So they can root out anonymous all they want. They've got dozens of anonymouses in the White House who are saying the same thing about this incompetent president.

VANIER: But do you really think - and this is a question to both of you. Chris, you first. Do you really think the president has been undercut during his presidency? Because it appears to me that he has been able to do and say pretty much what he wanted.

FAULKNER: Well, the president has made it no bones about it, but he is going to pursue his agenda of America first, you know, basically dam the torpedoes full speed ahead. And whether you agree with that agenda, the results are really hard to argue with. Whether it's unemployment, whether it's trade, whether it's the stock market, rising wages, I mean, Americans are, quite frankly, in a better place.

Even, you know, the number if nations and if you ask, you know, foreigners whether or not hey have approval of the United States, you know, whether or not we should care about how much people really love us or hate us, at the end of the day people know that America is past, you know, a feckless eight years of trying to make everyone else happy. We're hear to make sure that Americans and the American economy are taken care of. That's -

VANIER: Caroline, I guess you'll have something to say about that.

HELDMAN: Well, I would say that Donald Trump has made us a global embarrassment as most polls indicate, but also that he is riding the wave of 95 months of unabated economic growth that are the product of how George W. Bush and Barak Obama responded to what was happening when the market crashed because of the liquidity crisis in 2007 and 2008.

And in fact, our economy has slowed as a result of having Donald Trump in office compare to the last years of the Obama presidency. So it is a myth to say that somehow Donald Trump produces. But what is fascinating about it is that he's liable to lose the House in the midterm elections even though the economy is still doing great. Almost 100 months of that.

VANIER: As are, in fairness, many president, they're often liable to lose the midterms and just -

FAULKNER: We should talk about that, though, Cyril. It's a great topic. We should talk about the thousand - over a thousand Democrats at every level from local to state to federal that lost during Barak Obama's presidency. The - his legacy of his presidency to his party, quite frankly, I'm shocked anyone still shows up to hear him speak.

VANIER: OK, thank you (ph). All right, we'll talk about Obama in just a second. I want to take you back to the editorial. Kellyanne Conway made an interesting point on Sunday. Essentially, her question was what was the purpose of doing this. Listen to her.

(BEGIN VIDEOCLIP)

KELLYANNE CONWAY, COUNSELOR TO THE PRESIDENT: What really was the motivation to? If the motivation is what they state it is in that ridiculous op-ed, they failed miserably. They miss the mark completely. I think the motivation was to so discord and create chaos, and I refuse to be apart of that.

(END VIDEOCLIP)

[00:25:00] VANIER: Caroline, what was the purpose of writing that? Because anybody who actually wants to thwart the government's agenda from within would not be will served by advertising the fact that there doing that.

HELDMAN: Cyril it is unclear why they would do this. But what is clear is that there are a number of people in the White House who know that this president is not fit for this office and they have failed in their constitutional duty to remove him using the 25th amendment. Just as the GOP and congress has failed to impeach Donald Trump for impeachable offenses.

So the only new thing we learned is that our constitution is in a much greater crisis than we realize. Simply because people in the White House know how bad it is better than we do and their still not doing anything about it.

VANIER: Chris, since you were longing to hear the 44th President of the United States...

FAULKNER: Every day.

VANIER: Here is Barack Obama stomping the democrats just a day ago.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, FORMER US PRESIDENT: Good news is in two months we have a chance to restore some sanity in our politics.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VANIER: OK, so one simple question to both of you on this. Does Barack Obama jumping back into the political fray help or hurt Donald Trump and the republicans ahead of the midterms? Caroline, you first. HELDMAN: I would say that it can't do anything but help. Barack Obama is a very popular president. In fact he's the most popular president in U.S. history right now.

VANIER: The reason I asked the question is just because Donald Trump is - tends to do better when he has enemies that he can take aim at. Chris?

FAULKNER: This is an off year election. Which means it's a base turn out election, which means it's about party intensity. And nothing excites republicans about going to vote faster than Barack Obama, except maybe Nancy Pelosi. But the two - the combo of the two of them is magic.

And quite frankly I'm ready to donate $25.00 for the president to get on the road and go to battle ground congressional districts and campaign because it's the best possible thing to turn out republicans.

VANIER: All right Chris Faulkner, Caroline Heldman thank you both for joining us. I appreciate it.

HELDMAN: Thank you.

FAULKNER: My pleasure.

VANIER: And the far right has made major gains in elections across Europe and now a party with neo-Nazi roots has gained significant support in one of the European Unions most liberal countries. We'll have the preliminary election results from Sweden when we come back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[00:30:00] VANIER: Welcome back. I'm Cyril Vanier. Here's what we're looking at this hour. North Korea sending a powerful message with its massive 70th anniversary celebration, less emphasis on nuclear might and more on economic strength. That focus was not lost on the U.S. president who thanked North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un in a tweet.

Meanwhile, September 18th, summit is scheduled for North and South Korea. More than 800 people were detained in Russia, Sunday, in that nation-wide protests against pension reform -- that's according to a monitoring group. Images appear to show a child and a pensioner being grabbed by police. Many Russians, even backers of President Vladimir Putin are upset about plans to raise the retirement age.

And Syrian officials says, Russia and the government are targeting al- Qaeda-linked fighters with surgical air strikes in Idlib province. The official also says a grand offensive against Idlib has not yet begun. The White House -- the White Helmets Rescue Groups says a toddler was among 27 people killed and shelling an airstrike since Tuesday.

Tennis star, Serena Williams, has been fined $17,000 by the U.S. Open for three code violations during the women's singles final on Saturday. She accused the umpire of sexism and making unfair calls during the match. Williams lost the title match to Japan's Naomi Osaka. We'll have more on this in "WORLD SPORTS."

Sweden is one of Europe's most liberal countries. A welfare state with a welcoming policy for refugees -- or at least that's how everyone thought of Sweden until recently. But now, a far-right party with neo-Nazi roots has made major gains in the country's general election. It didn't quite manage to become Sweden's second party -- that was its ambition but it could end up being the king maker as two main centrist coalitions are separated by less than half a percentage point. The anti-migrant Sweden Democrats are hoping to play a decisive role in the negotiations to form a government. Our Senior International Correspondent, Atika Shubert, reports from Stockholm.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the preliminary count is finally in, and we're at the watch party of the Social Democrats. This is the party that has dominated Swedish politics for decades. They managed to stay on top, but still had the worst result they've had in nearly a century. Here's how Prime Minister and Party Leader, Stefan Lofven, explained it.

STEFAN LOFVEN, PRIME MINISTER OF SWEDEN (through translator): We wanted to see a better result. There's no doubt about that. But despite this, the voters have made the social Democrats the biggest party.

SHUBERT: Now, the insurgent far-right party, the Sweden Democrats, came in third. They weren't quite able to oust the center-right moderates as the largest opposition party. But it is certainly enough as the Sweden Democrats leader (INAUDIBLE) and told supporters it is enough to drive their no more immigrant's agenda.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have nothing more to give but Sweden, friends. We are not satisfied. We are not satisfied. We see that we are this election's winner, but now we enter a new mandate period, and now, we are going to get influence over Swedish politics for real.

SHUBERT: Now, the Democrats campaigned hard on anti-immigrant issues, rising crime rates in immigrant neighborhoods and an over-burdened welfare system. That's how the Sweden Democrats painted it. Now, they were able to score a number of votes, however, the majority of voter still voted against Sweden Democrats anti-immigration policy. It did, however, polarize the country -- neither the left or right were able to form any sort of majority block in parliament. And that leaves voters wondering where the country is headed to next. Atika Shubert, CNN, Stockholm.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VANIER: With just over six months until Brexit, Britain's former Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, is giving some strong indications that he wants Prime Minister Theresa May's job. In the tabloid newspaper, The Mail, on Sunday, Johnson blasted Mrs. May's handling of Brexit negotiations. He writes the prime minister has "wrapped a suicide vest around the British constitution and handed the detonator to the European Union's Chief Brexit Negotiator, Michel Barnier." Some of Johnson's backers reportedly are working to trigger a no confidence vote against Mrs. May in parliament.

[00:35:28] The CEO of U.S. multimedia giant of CBS is stepping down amid new claims of sexual misconduct. With Sunday's announcement, Les Moonves, ended his 20-year tenure as head of one of the country's most important media companies. 12 women have now come forward with sexual harassment claims against the executive. Moonves denies the allegations against him and CBS says it will donate $20 million to women's organizations fighting for workplace equality and that money will come from any money owed to Moonves.

The co-founder and executive chairman of the Chinese e-commerce giant, Alibaba is stepping down. The company says, Jack Ma will depart one year from now and be replaced by the current CEO Daniel Zhang. Ma plans to stay on Alibaba's board of directors until its annual shareholders meeting in 2020. Ma is one of the wealthiest people in China with the net worth of about $40 billion.

A soon to be major hurricane is on its way to the U.S. and people along the East Coast won't let it catch them off guard. We'll have the forecast just ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VANIER: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe got a firsthand look at the earthquake damage on the northern island of Hokkaido. His visit comes just days after the area was hit by a strong 6.7 magnitude quake. The death toll is up to 39; more than 600 others were injured.

Right now, Guam is feeling the brunt force of a typhoon Mangkhut. The storm is battering the U.S. territory with 150-kilometer per hour winds and it's expected to dump up to 18 centimeters of rain. It's just about to pass over the island and then head for the Northern Philippines. People along the U.S. East Coast are stocking on emergency supplies ahead of Hurricane Florence. The powerful storm is on a collision course right now with North and South Carolina. Florence is growing stronger as it gets closer. The hurricane could reach Category 4 when it hits the U.S. If it stays on its current track, that would be on Thursday or Friday. Let's get more on all of this with our meteorologist, Pedram Javaheri. Pedram?

PERDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yes, Cyril, my goodness. You know, when you look at what's happening across both the Pacific and also the Atlantic, it's really remarkable. Take a look at this. You have a 30 percent now chance development across the Western Caribbean -- of course, (INAUDIBLE) Category 1 hurricanes at the (INAUDIBLE), and another 40 percent chance, just north of Florence in place. But of course, at this hour, all eyes on what Florence has in store, because it could be the first Category 4 or stronger system to impact the Eastern United States since 1992.

[00:40:17] It sits about 400-kilometers away from land, but when you take a look at what's ahead of it, essentially warmer than necessary waters here to strengthen the system. And then, right before landfall, it goes over the gulf stream or the warmest areas of water there in it path. So, we think, this will not only maintain its strength, but rapidly intensify in the next 24 hours or so. By this time tomorrow, we could be looking at a major hurricane, and then again, further strengthening possible as it approaches the Eastern United States.

And the water is, when you look at the water temperatures, not only it warms up the surface, it's warm several dozen meters down into the water itself. So, a very large depth of water. But the steering environment is a such that when you often see storms curb away from the United States, the area of high pressure is (INAUDIBLE) it will force it into a very tough corner there for the coast of Carolinas -- North Carolina to South Carolina. And in fact, the latest model runs put a high concentration of pushing into portions of Southern North Carolina -- still about four days, still have about a 300-kilometer margin of error, which you typically see four days out, the confidence gaining high across this region because of that high-pressure in.

You notice, once it makes landfall, the biggest concern then becomes the little progression it has over land. It could potentially stall, producing a life-threatening amount of water across that region of North Carolina and South Carolina going into later this weekend with the highest concentration potentially farther inland, as much as a half a meter of rainfall across some of these regions. Here are the forecast perspective, Helene, we know will want to move to the north, not threat to land. Isaac impacts the Leeward Island later into the weekend and pushes in toward the Western Caribbean, could impact portions of Puerto Rico with heavy rainfall.

So, certainly, a story for them but it's going to weaken, at least, by tropical storm, as it does so. Then, you look at what's happening across the central pacific. Guess what, the rarity of hurricanes in Hawaii, not so the case in the last, let's say, four or five weeks, right? We have Hurricane Olivia now sitting in an area where it's potentially possible there for to make landfall as a hurricane, if not weaken just before landfall. The big island becomes another area of concern with a tropical storm making landfall there as early as Tuesday afternoon.

This would only be the 15th time in the past five decades, we've had a tropical system move this close to the Hawaiian Islands. Of course, the 14th time was Lane, a couple of weeks ago. So, that kind of talks about the significance of what is happening there in Syria. Of course, (INAUDIBLE) not far from Saipan and Guam, producing tremendous rainfall at this hour. 150-kilometer per hour wind. So, it is a equivalent to Category 1. But when you take a look at what it's (INAUDIBLE) to do, in fact, the next five or six days, very similar what we see with what's happening with Florence.

The rapid intensification getting into super typhoon status, potentially retaining super typhoon status that will landfall later into this upcoming weekend across the northern areas of Luzon. So, a lot of big stories. Fortunately, a lot of these storms do have and do give us some time for preparation. But it looks like they're on course to impact millions of people across their respective regions.

[00:43:10] VANIER: Yes, absolutely. And you've got your work cut out for you as does the CNN Weather Center. Pedram Javaheri, thank you very much. And thank you for watching CNN NEWSROOM. You got "WORLD SPORT" up next with more on that Serena Williams incident. Then, I'll be back with another hour of news from around the world. You're watching CNN.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[00:45:00] (WORLD SPORT)