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Hurricane Florence Charges toward Carolinas with 'Potential for Unbelievable Damage'; Indian Nuns Demand Arrest Of Bishop Accused Of Rape; Demands For Answers Grow In Texas Police Shooting; Film Icon Says It's Time To Call It Quits. Aired 2-3a ET

Aired September 12, 2018 - 02:00   ET




ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Millions are in the path of a powerful hurricane targeting the American East Coast and officials are issuing sobering warnings.

Russia launches its largest war games since the Cold War with China's help and the message to Washington seems clear.

Plus, Hungary's far right president gets an earful from European lawmakers.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): You personally are the head of the most corrupt system currently in power in the European Union. And this must end.


CHURCH: Welcome to our viewers joining us from all around the world. I'm Rosemary Church and this is CNN NEWSROOM.


CHURCH: Two dangerous storms, one in the Atlantic, one in the Pacific, are threatening tens of millions of people. Supertyphoon Mangkhut is expected to intensify as it moves toward heavily populated areas in the Philippines, Southern China and Hong Kong. We'll have more on that shortly.

But first, Hurricane Florence could be the most destructive storm to hit the U.S. East Coast in decades. More than 20 million people could be impacted by Florence which is now a massive category 4 storm. About 1.5 million people are under mandatory evacuation orders along the coast of the Carolinas and Virginia.

Hundreds of thousands are heading to safer ground. Others have decided to ride out the hurricane despite the advice of officials. Martin Savidge reports from Carolina Beach in North Carolina.


MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's the question everyone asks, are you staying or going?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I am definitely leaving. It's going to be bad, no doubt.

SAVIDGE (voice-over): Dana Villagiano (ph) has also made up her mind.

DANA VILLAGIANO (PH), FLORENCE EVACUEE: Oh, I'm going. I'm definitely going. I was here through Bertha and Fran and several others but this is not the same kind of storm.

SAVIDGE (voice-over): She owns the Silver Dollar Bar and Grill where the last of the boards are going up on the windows and the last of the food is coming out of the fridge.

VILLAGIANO (PH): If it comes ashore as a 4, the whole island could be decimated.

SAVIDGE (voice-over): Carolina Beach is under a mandatory evacuation order and the order is simple: leave. If you're here after 8:00 pm Wednesday, you're on your own. At the local gas station, you find folks who are definitely out of here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you don't get off, you're going to be a casualty, plain and simple.

SAVIDGE (voice-over): And you find some who still seem undecided.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I may change my mind. But right now I'm planning on riding it out.

SAVIDGE: So I got a tip in town. As cliche as it sounds, that, on this particular street, there is a whole group of neighbors that have banded together and apparently they're going to stay.

Are you staying or going?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, we're headed out.

SAVIDGE: Nice man, especially with the little one there.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, exactly. Sitting here without power for about five days doesn't seem like a great idea.

SAVIDGE (voice-over): But in a nearby garage I find friends Bill and Stan and they're staying and they won't be alone.

SAVIDGE: How many people do you think are going to be staying?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let's see, we have one, two, three, four, five. We have about five to six right in the cul-de-sac.

SAVIDGE (voice-over): The guys laugh about it but both say they're getting calls and texts from friends begging them to leave. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People are calling me, saying, don't stay, don't stay. This is going to be a killer.

SAVIDGE (voice-over): The pair have a brand-new generator and joke about a fridge full of beer but there is a seriousness as to why they want to ride it out.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want to stay here and protect what I have and stay at my neighbors and help out if I can on the island.

SAVIDGE (voice-over): Back on the beach, I find Danielle Moody, sitting all by herself at the water's edge. She moved here just 20 days ago.

SAVIDGE: What are you going to do?

DANIELLE MOODY, FLORIDA EVACUEE: We're going to seek shelter. We're going to go and stay with some family inland.

SAVIDGE (voice-over): She and her fiance just finished building their dream home and now have to leave it behind. She is here for a few last moments of peace.

MOODY: I just wanted to get one more -- one more glimpse of it.

SAVIDGE (voice-over): She is going and worries a lot of what she's looking at may soon be gone.

SAVIDGE: The decision of whether to stay or go is finally going to be made for a lot of people at 8 o'clock Eastern time because that's officially when the curfew goes into place and it's expected, at the same time, the bridge to the mainland will shut down. After that, they're on their own -- Martin Savidge, CNN, Carolina Beach, North Carolina.




CHURCH: With storm preparations underway, president Donald Trump is reassuring people who live in the hurricane zone that the government is ready to help. Kaitlan Collins reports, he's pointing to a previous relief effort many criticized as a deadly failure.



KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Tonight, President Trump says the White House is prepared for Hurricane Florence, citing the way his administration handled Hurricane Maria, which devastated Puerto Rico one year ago.

TRUMP: The safety of American people is my absolute highest priority. We are sparing no expense. We are totally prepared.

COLLINS: In a briefing with the FEMA administrator, Brock Long, late today, the president called his management of that storm an unsung success.

TRUMP: I think in a certain way, the best job we did was Puerto Rico. I think that Puerto Rico was an incredible, unsung success.

COLLINS: That, despite estimates that nearly 3,000 people died in the storm and millions were left without power for months.

The president's comments coming after a morning spent marking the 17th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, paying tribute with these solemn words as he remembered the Americans who perished on board Flight 93 when it crashed in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.



TRUMP: They boarded the plane as strangers and they entered eternity linked forever as true heroes.

COLLINS: Trump started the day not with a tweet of remembrance, but with a message about the special counsel, quoting an ally saying there was no collusion. The president's son telling ABC in an interview that he's not worried about the outcome of the Mueller investigation.

DONALD TRUMP JR., DONALD TRUMP'S SON: I'm not, because I know what I did and I'm not worried about any of that. You know? That doesn't mean they won't try to create something.

COLLINS: Trump Jr. also speaking out about the anonymous op-ed in "The New York Times," saying he believes it was authored by a low- level staffer, while acknowledging that the president's inner circle is shrinking.

TRUMP JR.: I think there are people in there that he can trust. It's just -- it's a much smaller group than I would like it to be.

COLLINS: And on the day of the official release of Bob Woodward's book, two of the president's former top aides, chief economic adviser Gary Cohn and staff secretary Rob Porter, issuing carefully worded denials after Trump told allies he believed they cooperated the most.

Cohn writing, "This book does not accurately portray my experience in the White House. I continue to support the president."

Porter adding he thought it was selective and misleading.

But neither statement denied specific instances from the book, including one of the most explosive, that Cohn stole the draft of a letter terminating a critical trade agreement with South Korea off the president's desk to prevent him from signing it.

Woodward warning today that sources often try to save face with public denials.

BOB WOODWARD, "THE WASHINGTON POST": One key person who's in office called me and said, "everyone knows what you've said here is true. It's 1,000 percent correct." And then this person has said some public things that contradict that.

COLLINS: Now when President Trump was asked about those denials he said that he appreciated them, he thought they were excellent and thought those denials from Rob Porter and Gary Cohn proved that Bob Woodward's book was fiction, making it pretty clear why those two former top aides of the president issued them in the first place -- Kaitlan Collins, CNN, the White House.


CHURCH: And a source says that the White House put a lot of pressure on Cohn and Porter to issue statements in support of the president. And another person said it was Cohn's decision alone to release a statement.

The U.S. ambassador to the U.N. has warned Russia and Iran of, quote, "dire consequences" if the airstrikes against the last major rebel- held stronghold in Syria continue. Nikki Haley told the U.N. Security Council the world has seen a military escalation by Syria and Russia on Idlib. But her Russian counterpart blames what he calls terrorists for the assault on Idlib.


NIKKI HALEY, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE U.N.: The United States is long past taking Russia and Iran at their word, that they're interested in protecting civilians in Idlib from further violence.

No matter what type of weapons or methods are used, the United States strongly opposes any escalation of violence in Idlib. Every member of the Security Council should feel the same. It is time for Russia to stop wasting our time when it comes to peace in Syria.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): While the incantations we hear about Idlib, they are a result not only of concern for the citizens there -- and we are concerned about them as much as you are -- but they're explained rather by an attempt in any way possible to keep a major terrorist enclave in Syria and thus prevent restoring the full control by the Syrian government over its territory.


CHURCH: The U.N. secretary general has appealed to all sides to prevent a bloodbath. An estimated 3 million people are in the region right now, including close to a million children. CNN's Fred Pleitgen has more on the situation unfolding there.


FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The situation in and around Idlib province in the north of Syria continues to intensify. You look at where most of these areas' airstrikes had been taking place. They take place in a lot of places, but specifically in the south of Idlib province.

That is where the casualties happen and that is also a lot of the air and also the artillery strikes happen as well.

The Syrian government provided us with some video showing some of their planes and some of their rocket launchers firing toward the Idlib province. They also said from the other side, from the rebel side, there's cross mortar firing in the other direction. And some people were killed on the other side as well.

The message that we are getting right here in Damascus, is they say that the offensive could be imminent and it could happen at any time and they also say as long as the wheels haven't been set in motion, there could still be some room for diplomacy.

Of course, we know we got meeting today at the United Nations, the U.S. and Russia going at it once again.

And also, there was another meeting with the U.N. and the Russians and Iranians and the Turks to try to find some sort of compromise, but of course with every moment that goes by. And with these airstrikes continuing in Idlib --


PLEITGEN: -- the chance of stave off an offensive growing dimmer by the minute.


CHURCH: CNN's Fred Pleitgen reporting there from Damascus.

According to the U.S., more than 30,000 people have left their homes in Idlib province since the intensive airstrikes resumed last week. Many are heading to villages near the Turkish border. But even so, some say they still feel trapped.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): What happened was destruction all over, burning, something you can't describe. It was strange, military planes, rocket propellers, everything. They did not differentiate between civilians and others. There are no bases, nothing. They want to target civilians.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): What will we do every time it follows us?

We escape to the north and leave it up to God. Now we will stay here.

Where will we go?

There was nowhere left in the north for us to go. We're stuck here.

What can we do?


CHURCH: Syria's neighbor, Turkey, has taken in more than 3 million refugees but says it can't take in any more.

Well, Hungary stands accused of eroding democracy. In a few hours, the European parliament will decide whether to take action. A look at the fierce debate.

And once they were rivals, now they're joining forces in Russia's biggest war games since the Cold War.

Should the West be worried about the deepening bonds between Beijing and Moscow?

We'll have a live report, do stay with us.




CHURCH: In just a few hours, the European parliament could vote to take the unprecedented action of punishing Hungary for undermining democracy. If the parliament's motion passes, it could lead to suspending Hungary's voting rights in the bloc.

In a fiery debate Tuesday, many members took aim at Hungary's prime minister for his hardline immigration policies and for clamping down on the media, the courts and nongovernmental groups. There was one exception.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let's be honest between each other. The inconvenient truth is that, under these circumstances, it will be impossible today, Mr. Orban, that Hungary can join the European Union. That is the reality of today.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): You personally are the head of the most corrupt system currently in power in the European Union. And this must end.



FARAGE: -- you keep saying you want to stay a member of this European Union. But it is not just your country that has been insulted today. You've been insulted today. It's time to be more logical. Come and join the Brexit club. You'll love it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): With respect, I inform you that whatever decision you will make, Hungary will not accede to the blackmailing. Hungary will protect its borders, stop the legal migration and Hungary will defend its rights, if needed even against you.


CHURCH: It is unclear whether the 751-member parliament will get the two-thirds majority to pass the censure motion.

They were rivals just decades ago but now Russia and China are quickly becoming allies and they are showing off their deeper bonds in Russia's biggest war games since the Soviet era.

So should the West be worried?

Here is Brian Todd.


BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Soldiers rappel from helicopters, combat jets take flight, tanks roll through the eastern Russian countryside. This is Vostok 2018, which Russia calls its biggest war games since the fall of the Soviet Union, more than 300,000 troops, 36,000 vehicles, 1,000 aircraft, warships cruising off shore.

The militaries from Russia, China and Mongolia in a high-tech, heavily-armored muscle flex, a massive, ambitious exercise staged by Vladimir Putin and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping, who've come to Vladivostok to witness the event and send a signal to their joint rival.

MATTHEW ROJANSKY, THE WOODROW WILSON CENTER: Instead of letting this image of Russian-Chinese, you know, endless rivalry prevail, this is the Russians and Chinese signaling, no, we're working together, stay out of our turf, America, Japan, South Korea, the West, right. We can handle things, we can defend ourselves.

TODD (voice-over): Putin and Xi are enjoying this so much they staged an event to make pancakes together, sprinkle them with caviar and have a vodka toast.

Asked today if he's worried about a future military alliance between Russia and China against the United States, Defense Secretary James Mattis said, quote, "I see little in the long term that aligns Russia and China." But experts do see ominous possibilities.

TODD: For an American, what kind of a security concern would you take from this?

JEFFREY EDMONDS, FORMER NSC OFFICIAL: So both militaries are definitely benefitting from working together. They're learning how to share intelligence, they're learning how to operate together. They are basically understanding each other better militarily and that could definitely benefit either country, whether together or separately in any potential conflict with the United States.

TODD: This show of might also benefits Vladimir Putin at home. Putin's dealing with some of the loudest, most embittered protest against his rule that he's ever experienced.

Millions of Russians upset with his plan to raise the minimum age when Russians can start collecting their pensions. Analysts say Putin knows Russians will likely view him more favorably if he emphasizes his presence at these war games.

ROJANSKY: For the Russian domestic audience, the idea that Putin reminds them of the stuff he's good at, defending us and our territory, you know, protecting the interests of Russian citizens and of businesses and Russians around the world, that's the stuff that he does well.

TODD: But analysts say it could be that same tough guy projection and the propping up of his tough guy friends which could eventually be Vladimir Putin's undoing. Russians are already hurting financially.

And if more of them get collectively fed up, with Putin siphoning off Russians' money to prop up and help his corrupt friends, more Russians could then take to the streets, which experts say Putin fears the most -- Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.


CHURCH: As Brian mentioned, Russian president Vladimir Putin is hosting China's Xi Jinping at the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok, addressing the forum a short time ago, he praised the closer economic ties with Beijing.

But significantly this comes as relations between Russia and China and the United States have become strained. So CNN's Ivan Watson joins us now from Hong Kong to look at this a little closer.

So, Ivan, it is an important question.

How concerned should the West be about this strengthening relationship between Russia and China, both militarily and economically?

And maybe even more obvious with this pancake diplomacy and the symbolism that relays to the world.

IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: First, let me point out that the Japanese prime minister, who is also attending the Eastern Economic Forum,, is speaking now, I believe, and we could show images of him there, where he has been urging the East Asian leaders to work together to help resolve the tension and the conflict on the Korean Peninsula.

So that is relevant there, also highlighting the fact that Japan and Russia, to this day, have not signed a peace treaty since World War II and remain in a territorial dispute -- [02:25:00]

WATSON: -- over a string of islands, the coral islands. That said, the Chinese leader is attending the forum for the first time since it began some four years ago. Xi Jinping, though it is the third time he's meeting face-to-face with Vladimir Putin.

And in some of his remarks Xi Jinping called for Russia and China to, quote, stand firm against unilateralism and protectionism" and to construct a new type of international relations.

So that's pretty unvarnished, a pretty unvarnished warning against the Trump administration and the U.S., which has imposed sanctions against Russia since its invasion and annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 and more recently with allegations that Russian agents poisoned a target in the United Kingdom and also an ongoing trade war with China.

So here you have Russia and China, their leaders talking about more economic cooperation. They're calling for, not just at the national level but for regional governments, provincial governments to work closer together and also a display of military cooperation, with China joining in what Russia has described as its largest military exercises, really since the fall of the Soviet Union, taking place in Eastern Russia with more than 300,000 service men participating as well as thousands of aircraft and armored vehicles.

China is sending some 3,200 troops to participate. So a display of cooperation there from these two leaders, when they are at odds and tensions have been growing with Washington.

They're not equal partners here, Rosemary; Russia is more experienced at exercising military might beyond its borders. Look at the operations in Syria right now. But China dwarfs Russia economically and population wise, they share a long border. They fought a war against each other in 1969 and they can be seen as competitors in Central Asian former Soviet republics that Russia views as its own sphere of influence.

That said, they seem to be willing to put aside some of those traditional tensions to show they're standing shoulder to shoulder in the face of ongoing pressure from the Trump administration.

CHURCH: It is an incredible geopolitical shift there. We're watching it very closely and Ivan Watson bringing us a live report from Hong Kong. Many thanks.

We turn to Barcelona, where a million people took to the streets Tuesday to call for Catalan independence. The images are stunning. Polls show Catalans are almost evenly divided on whether to secede from Spain. But Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez is firmly against a vote to reconsider Catalonia's independence.

We'll take a short break here. Still to come, the U.S. East Coast bracing for a rare direct hit from a monster hurricane. Why the devastation from Florence could be historic. Plus outsider candidates changing the face of the Democratic Party in the United States. How these new progressive candidates say they are ready to lead. We'll take a look at that. Back in just a moment.


[02:30:50] ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Welcome back, everyone. I'm Rosemary Church and this is CNN NEWSROOM. Let's update you on the top stories we've been following this hour. More than 20 million people could be impacted by Hurricane Florence which is heading towards the U.S. East Coast. The Category Four storm is expected to move slowly inland after making landfall in the Carolinas Friday morning.

Days of torrential rains, storm surges, and severe flooding are expected. During a briefing on the approaching storm, President Trump called his administration's response to Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico last year, an incredible unsung success. Nearly 3,000 people died many in the extreme heat after the storm and much of the island was without power for weeks. The U.N. Secretary General is urging the Syrian government and its backers to avoid a full-scale battle in rebel-held Idlib Province saying that would unleash a humanitarian nightmare.

The ground offensive could begin any day now. The U.N. says in the past week some 30,000 people became internally displaced in Idlib Province. Hurricane Florence could be a storm unlike anything the U.S. East Coast has ever seen. This is how it looks from space. Florence is currently a Category Four and it's very rare for a storm of that size to make landfall in this part of the United States. If the forecast holds, Florence may be the strongest hurricane to make landfall anywhere on the East Coast since 1992.

Florence is also on track to land farther north on the East Coast than any other Category Four hurricane. Right now, the storm's powerful winds cover an area more than 137,000 square kilometers in size. Well, officials are ordering about one and a half million people to evacuate in South and North Carolina, and in Virginia. Our Tom Foreman explains why Florence could be a hurricane of historic proportions.

TOM FOREMAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: A smaller storm of a hundred mile an hour winds or so will definitely destroy some mobile homes, some shreds, and produce some local damage out there. But when you start talking about a hundred and thirty to hundred and sixty mile an hour winds as we might expect from this storm that hit shore. Look at the difference. Now, you're talking about winds strong enough to knock over big trees to tear the roofs off of houses, to destroy some places entirely, and look at the storm surge.

We got big numbers, 13 to 18 feet of water especially big in this area. Take a look at the map and I'll explain why. On this part of the eastern seaboard, an awful lot of the land is so low that even nine to ten feet of water would put everything in red under water. And many, many more people have been moving to this area in recent years, so there are a lot more homes and businesses than would have been here say a decade ago.

On top of which, we've talked about the storm possibly stalling there and dumping a lot of rain. If you have that, you could have a pincer effect where basically water is rushing into the shore from the ocean and flowing back from all the flooding inland and then who knows how much water piles up? We just know the storm surge can be devastating. How do we know? If you look at Hurricane Ike back in 2008, storm surge of 15 to 20 feet, 103 deaths, $30 billion of damage.

We look at Hurricane Katrina in 2005, storm surge 20 to 28 feet, more than 1800 deaths, $128 billion in damage. And on the East Coast, we could look back to the late '80s, Hurricane Hugo, storm surge of 20 feet, 50 deaths, $9 billion in damage. And once again remember, that was back then when a whole lot fewer people were in the bull's eye.

CHURCH: To U.S. politics now and we are seeing a grassroots hunger for change in the Democratic Party. Several progressive candidates have won big races this primary season some against long-term incumbents.

[02:35:04] New York's Andrew Cuomo is hoping he won't be the latest casualty when he faces activist and actress Cynthia Nixon Thursday in the governor's race. His campaign has spent millions of dollars in an effort to beat the popular Sex and the City T.V. star. Keep an eye on that. One of those big political upsets in the Democratic Party happened in Massachusetts. Ayanna Pressley just beat a 10-term congressman whose liberal policies are very similar to her own.

But voters are looking for new leaders candidates willing to challenge the Republican Party and the establishment. Our Miguel Marquez reports.


AYANNA PRESSLEY (D), CONGRESSIONAL NOMINEE, MASSACHUSETTS: We have arrived, change is coming, and the future belongs to all of us.

MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Ayanna Pressley, The 44-year-old Boston City Councilor thrust into the national spotlight after defeating another equally progressive Democrat, 10-term Congressman Mike Capuano.

REP. MIKE CAPUANO (D), MASSACHUSETTS: The validity of the district justice very upset with a lot of things that are going on. I don't blame them. I'm just as upset as they are.

MARQUEZ: Pressley campaigned on her personal story, raised by a single mother, the survivor of sexual assault. Her slogan change can't wait captured liberal anger and a desire for a more aggressive stance against President Trump and the Republican Party.

PRESSLEY: That with our rights under assault, with our freedoms under siege, it is not just good enough to see the Democrats back in power, but it matters who those Democrats are.

MARQUEZ: The district is deep blue, liberal. An area once represented by John F. Kennedy. Pressley's stunning primary win follows several similar progressive outsider victories. Political newcomer and Democratic socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez pulled off a major upset in defeating more moderate and New York power broker Joe Crowley.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want to be their governor too.

MARQUEZ: Andrew Gillum, the first African-American major party nominee for Florida governor embraced progressivism to full off his surprise upset in a competitive Democratic primary.


MARQUEZ: And Stacey Abrams, a rising star in the Democratic Party could become the first African-American female Governor of Georgia. Is there something bigger going on in Democratic politics?

PRESSLEY: There is. I do believe that there is a paradigm shift that is occurring and there are winds of change that are afoot.

MARQUEZ: Pressley's district like others that have produced upsets this year is racially diverse nearly 60 percent minorities. Still Capuano was like double digits in polls leading up to Election Day.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Overall, the population is majority minority in the district but when you get down to, first, who is registered to vote and who actually votes, and then who votes in a Democratic primary, historically that's been actually majority white.

MARQUEZ: Voters torn between an incumbent they trust and a challenger representing a new voice.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm leaning towards Pressley.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I do -- I really like her story. Capuano is great, but I like -- I think I resonate with her story.

MARQUEZ: Pressley's story a shocker even to her. A friend took cell phone video when Pressley got word that she had done the unthinkable.

PRESSLEY: It seems change is on the way.

MARQUEZ: With no Republican challenger in the general election, she will represent Massachusetts 7th district next year when she'll be expected to turn the slogan into action. Miguel Marquez, CNN, Boston3.


CHURCH: CNN's Don Lemon spoke to Ayanna Pressley just a short time ago about how her campaign beat the congressman who served 10 terms. He's a part of their conversation.


PRESSLEY: Every constituency that conventional wisdom would tell you was unreliable and would not turn out -- turned out and that is because we met people in community where they were. I believe that every single person deserves a seat at the table of democracy. We engage people as an equal partner. People who had been in the fetal position since 2016 came out and we restored their hope and for many people who had none, we gave it to them for the first time, so --

DON LEMON, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Listen, I think people, obviously, the voters there appreciated your candor because you've been direct about what your mission is, how you would vote, and what have you because during the campaign you had been -- and this -- that fetal position since 2016, not a lot of people would say that. But you admitted that you would likely vote the same way that your opponent Congressman Capuano did or would.

But you argue that it takes more than voting the right way to battle the overwhelming hate coming from the White House. You have no Republican opponent in November, so it looks like you're going to get your chance. What did you mean by that?

[02:40:06] PRESSLEY: Well, I do believe ultimately our electoral victory was the last a referendum against hate and more a mandate for hope. We ran a campaign not only talking about the need to resist Donald Trump and Draconian policies coming out of this White House every day where it does seem as if we are drinking from a fire hose of insult and assault by the hour. But that it was important that we advance the Massachusetts 7th, the most diverse and unequal district in our delegation and perhaps in the country.

And the systematic inequalities and disparities that were worsening under this administration existed long before Donald Trump was in that White House. And so I don't think that because we're in the minority as Democrats that we have to put our hope, our aspiration, and our vision on a shelf and that hope and that extension of partnership is what resonated with people throughout the Massachusetts 7th.

LEMON: Can we talk a little bit more broadly about the midterms and about our, you know, the landscape? There are at least 68 women of color running in House, in Senate, in governors' races this fall. What do you think is behind this trend?

PRESSLEY: Well, I think we are defying and challenging conventional wisdom and assumptions about who has a right to run and when and how they can run and win. All the data supports that when women run and they are well-resourced, they are successful. And so in that sense, I don't see our race as an outlier or that much of an anomaly.


CHURCH: And next hour, you can catch my interview with political analyst Peter Matthews. We will get his take on why there's been a shift in how Democrats are voting this election cycle. Another story we're keeping a close eye on the editors of the Australian newspaper that portrayed Serena Williams in a racist cartoon are doubling down. Here's Wednesday's edition of the Herald Sun. It is targeting the many critics who condemned the drawing of the American tennis star.

The front page reads, welcome to P.C. world, satire free-zone. And joining us live from Canberra, it is Ben Hansen, a reporter with Sky News Australia. Good to see you, Ben. So the cartoonist Mark Knight has indicated that he and his family are very nervous about the threats that they've received in the wake of his cartoon. But his own paper is pushing back. Why did they decide to do this against all the global outbreaks that they're receiving?

BEN HANSEN, REPORTER, SKY NEWS AUSTRALIA: Well, Rosemary, this is an ongoing issue here. We've seen the newspapers at the Herald Sun as you mentioned put on this from page today saying, welcome to P.C. world. They're essentially standing up for freedom of speech and politically -- political correctness or standing up against political correctness in that they released these front page images of cuttings that they've ran over the years on the -- throughout the Herald Sun and other news core papers.

Now, as you mentioned, Mark Knight, the cartoonist, he's receiving multiple death threats in regards to this cartoon. He shut down his Twitter page today which was response to that and no longer receiving those death threats. Now, we saw the paper come out. They have come out and said that this cartoon to them wasn't racist or sexist in any way. Now, there has been a lot of backlash into whether that was the case.

CHURCH: But let's talk about that. I mean how are other papers across Australia and other media outlets responding to this cartoon and the global reaction? I mean, you know, they saw the paper sees Mark Knight's paper sees this as a freedom of speech. Most other people see this as racist, what about the voices across Australia, what do they think?

HANSEN: Well, I think quite divisive issue as you mentioned. Some people are seeing this as racist and sexist towards Serena Williams who is an incredible sportswoman and others are seeing this as a fight for freedom of speech and the fight against political correctness. Now, (INAUDIBLE) the publisher of the Herald Sun is the largest newspaper publisher in the country. Now, of course, we've seen those papers standing up beside the Herald Sun, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, or the ABC that has taken a very neutral stand on this just reporting the issue.

The people more generally though, they're multi-sided. They're either for it or against it as you've mentioned.

CHURCH: All right. Ben Hansen reporting there from Canberra, many thanks. And we'll take a short break here. But coming up a bizarre police shooting.


[02:44:59] ALLISON JEAN, MOTHER OF BOTHAM JEAN: The number one answer that I want is, what happened? I have asked too many questions and I've been told that there are no answers yet.


CHURCH: An off-duty officer kills her neighbor in his apartment, claiming she thought it was hers.


CHURCH: We turn now to a disturbing case out of India that's getting international attention. Several nuns are urging authorities to arrest a bishop accused of rape. But he insists, he's innocent. We get more now from CNN's Nikhil Kumar.

NIKHIL KUMAR, CNN INTERNATIONAL NEW DELHI BUREAU CHIEF: A group of nuns in one of India's oldest Catholic communities is calling for the arrest of a bishop accused of raping a nun multiple times over a two- year period.

The case in southern Kerala state has attracted international attention. It's extremely rare for nuns to publicly accuse a superior of wrongdoing let alone sexual assault. Five nuns are protesting outside the Kerala High Court calling for Bishop Franco Mulakkal from northern Punjab state to be arrested and for the investigation to be sped up.

They've been joined by more than 100 people in what they say is a fight for justice. Now, the bishop in question through his attorney denies the allegations. Leveled by a 44-year-old nun who says she was attacked 13 times between 2014 and 2016 when he visited Kerala.

His attorney told CNN that the bishop believes the nun made up the story because she's been accused of having an affair with another man. A spokesman for the bishop's diocese told us the accusations were quote, fake. Claiming that there was an anti-Christian conspiracy at work.

Now, the police has not moved to either charge or arrest the bishop. The local police chief told us, the bishop would only be arrested if there was enough evidence. The nun's supporters though, claim otherwise. In August, a local advocacy group asked the Kerala High Court to order the bishop's arrest.

Saying, the police were moving slowly on purpose because of pressure from church leaders and politicians in Kerala, which is home to more than 6 million Christians. The police deny those claims. The court turned them down, but the judge is saying the investigation was on the right track.

The advocacy group has now gone back to court asking the judges to revisit that decision and direct the police to detain the bishop. Then, argue to announce their ruling on Thursday. Nikhil Kumar, CNN, New Delhi.

CHURCH: Well, many questions around the shooting death of a man in Texas by his neighbor who was an off-duty police officer. The circumstances are bizarre and there may be much more to the story than anyone saying. CNN's Ryan Young, reports from Dallas.


[02:50:12] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I know we have a power problem within justice in the streets. But damn, can we get justice in our living room?


RYAN YOUNG, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Demands for answers in Dallas are growing louder as contradicting stories emerge over the death of 26-year-old Botham Jean.

A witness who captured this video said it shows off-duty policewoman Amber Guyger, distraught and facing on the balcony of her Dallas apartment complex, Thursday night, still in uniform after finishing her shift.

Guyger had opened fire around 10:00 p.m., killing John after saying she mistook his fourth-floor apartment for her own third-floor residence.

According to the affidavit, "The room was nearly completely dark, believing she had encountered a burglar across the room in her apartment, Guyger drew her firearm and gave verbal commands that were ignored.

ULYSHA RENEE HALL, POLICE CHIEF, DALLAS POLICE DEPARTMENT: We hope to bring understanding and clarity to the family.

YOUNG: But John's family attorney says witnesses add more to the story.

LEE MERRITT, ATTORNEY TO JEAN FAMILY: They both heard a knock or a pounding on the door. The one who was closer to the scene in her bedroom reading a book, she heard pounding followed by a female's voice saying, "Open up. Let me in."

She said, that was shortly followed by the sound of gunshots and the sound of a man's voice saying what she believes to be, "Oh my God, why did you do that?"

YOUNG: Guyger was arrested Sunday evening and was charged with manslaughter. She posted bail was released just hours later. Now, prosecutors say more serious charges won't be ruled out.

FAITH JOHNSON, DISTRICT ATTORNEY, DALLAS COUNTY: The grand jury will be that entity that will make the final decision in terms of a charges.

YOUNG: Guyger has been placed on administrative leave as her case is investigated. But protesters aren't waiting, crowds took to the streets outside the Dallas Police Department, Monday.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They don't come to us and ask us about what happened.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're right. YOUNG: And continued marching into the night, Jean's red doormat is adorned with flowers, and his mother is still begging for truth.

JEAN: The number one answer that I want, is what happened? I have asked too many questions and I've been told that there are no answers yet.


CHURCH: Ryan Young with that report. We'll take a short break here. But still to come, Robert Redford's acting career has endured for decades. Now is the time he says to hang it up.


CHURCH: Robert Redford has had quite a career. He was the go-to-guy as a romantic lead opposite, Barbra Streisand, Jane Fonda, and Meryl Streep. He and Paul Newman joined forces on two huge films. But now the movie icon says he's retiring from performing at the age of 82. CNN's Lynda Kinkade has more now on a living legend calling it quits.


ROBERT REDFORD, FOUNDER, SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL: I'm Bob Woodward in The Washington Post. Two hamburgers, two cheeseburgers, and four cokes.


REDFORD: Yes, in the cokes.

LYNDA KINKADE, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: An 82-year-old, Robert Redford, says he's bowing out as an actor. Redford was at the Toronto International Film Festival this week, promoting The Old Man and the Gun.

[02:55:00] REDFORD: Excuse me, I'd like to open up an account.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, great. What type of account do you have in mind?

REDFORD: This kind. This kind.

KINKADE: Appropriately, Redford's character is based on the true story of an aging career bank robber, addicted to the adrenaline rush of the heist.

REDFORD: It's an updated film, it's fun, it's true.


REDFORD: It's a wonderful (INAUDIBLE) to other.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What do you say you do?

REDFORD: Well, that's a secret. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: After five is that?

REDFORD: Well, because if I told you, you probably wouldn't want to see me.

KINKADE: Actress Sissy Spacek who stars alongside Redford, tries to capture his legacy.

SISSY SPACEK, AMERICAN ACTRESS: Oh, it's all those fabulous films that he has made for the years that he's acted and produced, directed, and we all have favorite. Handfuls of favorite Robert Redford film, All the President's Men.

KINKADE: The director of The Old Man and & the Gun, took a shot at summarizing Redford's on-screen magic.

DAVID LOWERY, DIRECTOR, OLD MAN AND THE GUN: It's an ineffable quality that certain people have that when you put a camera on them and listen to their voice, they just can captivate you like nothing else. And I don't know what the ingredients are for that but he has it.

KINKADE: For Robert Redford stands, like me, there's still hope. When asked if this really is his last acting role, Redford told one reporter, never say never.

REDFORD: You know what I do when the door closes, I jump out the window.

KINKADE: Lynda Kinkade, CNN.


CHURCH: Check out his movie. And here's an all for new fact, sometimes seething snakes jacked up on testosterone can lurk in your ceiling. And sometimes they can crash right through it.

These coastal carpet pythons fell into a bedroom. Where? Australia, obviously. The snakes just shy of two meters long were apparently fighting in the homes air ducts. The snake catcher call to the scene says they likely caught the scent of a nearby female and were vying for her affections.

Which leads to the next question, where is she? The male pythons were reportedly released a safe distance away. Not sure how far that was.

Thanks for joining us this hour. I'm Rosemary Church. I'll be back with another hour of news in just a moment. You're watching CNN. Don't go anyway.