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CNN NEWSROOM

Storm Cleanup Underway in Hong Kong; Florence Flooding; Family and Friends of Botham Jean Demand Answers; Many Russians Upset about Hike in Retirement Age; Typhoon Mangkhut Battering Southeast Asia; Worst Flooding Just Beginning Amid Deluge; Kavanaugh Accuser Comes Forward Reveals New Details; British Police: Novichok Not Suspected For Sicknesses At Salisbury Restaurant On Sunday; Pussy Riot Activist Flown To Berlin For Treatment; Civilians Fear Worst Ahead of Likely Idlib Assault. Aired 1-2a ET

Aired September 17, 2018 - 01:00   ET

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


[01:00:11] ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Intense winds knocking down trees and heavy rain inundating neighborhoods. Typhoon Mangkhut is devastating parts of Southeast Asia, and the Southeastern U.S. dealing with its on severe weather. Hurricane Florence has already caused severe flooding. And officials warned the worst is yet to come. Plus, is -- may gasmasks and darkened underground shelter, a father is doing everything he can to protect his family as the City of Italy braces for what could be the bloodiest battle of Syria's civil war.

Hello, everyone, and thanks so much for joining us, I'm Rosemary Church at CNN headquarters here in Atlanta. CNN NEWSROOM starts right now.

The threat from two massive storms remains very real, even as they lose some of their power. Rescue efforts are underway in the Philippines, where Typhoon Mangkhut has triggered dozens of landslides. At least 54 people are confirmed dead there. The storm is now on mainland China after uprooting trees and smashing windows in Hong Kong. Financial markets and offices are operating as usual on this Monday despite damage and sewers flooding.

In the U.S., though Florence has now weakened to a tropical depression, authorities warn the worst of the flooding is yet to come. Crews in Lumberton, North Carolina are racing to shore up the levy system before the Lumber River there crests. So, let's get more now on these storms. We turn to our meteorologist Pedram Javaheri again. And Pedram, of course, the problem with these two massive storms is the worst is still to come. What are you seeing?

PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN METEOROLOGIST: I believe so, especially across the Eastern United States, Rosemary, you know, we often talk about the water aspect of it being really the most prevalent, the most dangerous side of the storm. Still producing tremendous rainfall, and really, the satellite presentation almost a shell of its former self, but the threat very high, in fact, the water levels will continue to rise and the system moves hundreds of kilometers to the north. Notice back behind it's still tapping the tropical moisture. We can have the gulf stream right off shore here of the Eastern United States as well. So, the river gauges are expected to continue to rise, and in fact, some 36 gauges still reporting at least some flooding at this hour. The vast majority of them reaching major flood stage.

And again, we continue to see these levels rise over the next couple of days, and the rainfall continues. Here's the radar perspective. Again, storm well to the north, moisture still being drawn over this exact region. The system made landfall and essentially has been going at walking pace over the last several days. So, needless to say, we have over 10 million people underneath flood alerts, flood watches in place. The areas indicated in red, that's where flooding is imminent or already occurring. In fact, over 600 roadways across the State of North Carolina have been closed. So, travel across really much of the state here, officials are urging to stay out of their path at this point. There's very little in the way of dry roadways to be able to navigate through this region.

And when you take a look at the historic perspective over this particular storm, the rainfall amounts were absolutely remarkable. We're talking about upwards of 800 millimeters coming down which makes it the wettest single tropical system in North Carolina history, beating Hurricane Floyd which occurred two decades ago. But again, the forecast going into Monday, the rainfall still returns here. We get the convection and thunderstorms. You see the spin, that's still what is left of system, but the moisture continues to be pulled up from the Atlantic side right over the Carolinas over the next couple of days. And we'll continue to see this heavy rainfall come down in this region. And again, notice the flood stage want to rise through at least the middle of the week where record values are expected.

Here's what left, though, what's happening in Mangkhut, of course, this particular system, the strongest one we've had on our planet this year. 200-plus-kilometer-per-hour winds observed across portions of Hong Kong, significant damage. (INAUDIBLE) 2-1/2 million people were evacuated from the city. Unfortunately, no fatalities to be had across the city, but the damage as extensive as it gets. (INAUDIBLE) airport had canceled all flights and (INAUDIBLE) also are canceling all flights across that region when the system was coming in, and the wind gust as impressive as they come.

And the rainfall, of course, tremendous as well. In fact, September, it is the tail end of the wet season, about 300 millimeters are what is expected in the entire month for Hong Kong. Look at this, almost 200 millimeters coming down with just one storm. So, essentially, three-plus weeks or two-plus weeks, I should say, of rainfall coming down in one day. Here in the wet season, that's saying a lot for that region along with all the wind they've experienced there, Rosemary.

CHURCH: That is unbelievable, Pedram. Thank you so much for bringing all those details to us, we appreciate it. And for more on the typhoon, we go now to Matt Rivers who joins us live from Beijing. And Matt, what more are you learning about the casualties and damage caused so far in the wake of Typhoon Mangkhut and what do you know about what's happening now on its current path?

[01:05:08] MATT RIVERS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, we know across several areas that this typhoon traveled. That there are rescue operations ongoing. Let's start where it is now, though. This is Southern China where the storm is right now. It's still dumping a ton of rain down there. There's been a lot of damage and we know the latest numbers from Chinese authorities that at least four people have been killed directly as a result of these storms, three of which were killed by toppled trees, and the fourth person was killed when that person was inside of a building that collapsed.

The death toll, though, unfortunately, far higher in the Philippines, where we actually have live pictures that we could show you of rescues that are still underway. According to Philippine officials, 54 people confirmed dead so far as a result of this storm. 33 injured, 42 remain missing. All of that largely because of landslides. Where this typhoon hit, Rosemary, was on the northern island of Luzon in the Philippines. It's one of the largest islands in the Philippines, and it's a very mountainous region where this storm hit. It's also a region with very little infrastructure and people just didn't have places to go, generally, that were safe. Landslides were the big reason that these people lost their lives.

Basically, a ton of rain triggering those landslides along those slopes, coming down onto villages below. That's where the rescue operations are really focusing right now, trying to find people who might still be alive that were buried as a result of this landslides and those are the scenes you're going to see continuing to play out over the coming days. Rescuers doing whatever they can to try and get those people out. But overall, this was a massive storm. It made three separate landfalls, Rosemary. Though, the best place in terms of how it fared was Hong Kong. No deaths reported there as of yet. But still, a deadly storm both in China and the Philippines, and it's not over yet.

CHURCH: Yes, definitely. And as you mentioned, the highest casualties and the worst damage occurred in the Philippines. How are authorities dealing with the aftermath of this? And what's happening to those who have survived this massive storm, but they don't have anywhere to go, they don't have any homes?

RIVERS: Yes. No, you're exactly right. And unfortunately, this is the kind of thing that we see play out in the Philippines, almost on an annual basis. This is a country that just does not have the kind of infrastructure that can withstand these kinds of typhoons. And so, unfortunately, people whose homes have been destroyed, you know, they don't have anything to go back to. We know the government has set up shelters and that's where they'll be temporarily, but they will have to find other places to live. This is something that we see play out time and again.

If there's one silver lining to all of this, is that those rescue operations that are going on, the people who are involved in those operations, the Philippine officials, they're used to this, they've done this before. And so, hopefully, they can rely on that expertise to try and get some of those people buried out alive. But, you know, this is the kind of thing that we talk about almost on an annual basis, and the Philippine government for a number of different reasons is just not able to get those people out safely as these typhoons hit. CHURCH: Yes, they're going to need some outside help with this, for sure. Matt Rivers joining us live from Beijing. Many thanks for bringing those details to us.

Well, the other major storm we're following, Hurricane Florence, it has been downgraded to a tropical depression in the southeastern U.S., but the worst flooding is just beginning. At least 18 people are dead in North and South Carolina, hundreds are still trapped, and the relentless rain is not expected to let up until at least Tuesday evening. CNN's Scott McLean is (INAUDIBLE) conditions near Myrtle Beach in South Carolina.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SCOTT MCLEAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The flooding is not yet widespread here in Conway, South Carolina, but we are starting to see glimpses of what the future likely holds for this area. You can see this house over here already has water in the yard, perhaps in the house as well, and over here, their garage has taken on some water and it's the similar scene all through this area. There are two houses just down this street that are either flooded already or near flooded and soon to be. That's because this area has already gotten well over a foot of rain. There could still be more in store.

And all of that water in this area and in parts of South and North Carolina, it has to go somewhere. And so, it's finding its way into streams and creeks and rivers. In this area, it's the Waccamaw River. It is already well above where it should be for this time of year. And it still has about six, maybe seven feet left to go before it finally crests. But that crests won't come until late this week, perhaps Thursday or even Friday, so that means that people -- yes, they survived the initial bout with Hurricane Florence, but now comes a second danger, and that is flooding. Keep in mind as well that a lot of these people saw flooding two years ago when Hurricane Matthew came through this area. The flooding crest is expected to be around the same level. So, these people are seeing catastrophic flooding perhaps twice in just two years. Scott McLean, CNN Conway, South Carolina.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

[01:10:12] CHURCH: The confirmation of a U.S. Supreme Court nominee could be derailed after a woman publicly accused him of sexual assault. Brett Kavanaugh denied the allegations. The White House has not commented on these new details but Democrats and some Republicans have. They want to postpone the vote on Kavanaugh's nomination. U.S. Supreme Court reporter Ariane de Vogue has more now on these new revelations.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ARIANE DE VOGUE, CNN U.S. SUPREME COURT REPORTER: Christine Blasey Ford has publicly come forward in the Washington Post and alleged that Brett Kavanaugh assaulted her at a party more than 30 years ago when they were both in high school. Kavanaugh categorically denies her allegations. She said she attended a party in a suburban Maryland home in 1982, Kavanaugh and a friend were drunk, she was allegedly corralled into a bedroom. At one point, she said he tried to take off her clothes and he put his hand over her mouth. "I thought he might inadvertently kill me." She told the Washington Post. She only showed the details years later in 2012 with a therapist and her husband.

According to the article, the husband recalls his wife using Kavanaugh's name but the therapists notes which were reviewed by The Washington Post do not mention him. The other man who she alleged was in the room back then, told The Weekly Standard last week that he never saw Kavanaugh act that way. Senator Chuck Grassley, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee has scheduled a vote on Kavanaugh for Thursday. Ariane de Vogue, CNN Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CHURCH: Joining me now to talk more about this is Bill Schneider, Professor at George Mason University, he's also the author of "Standoff: How America Became Ungovernable." Always great to have you on the show.

BILL SCHNEIDER, PROFESSOR, GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY: Sure, Rosemary, good to be here.

CHURCH: So, U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh denied the sexual assault accusation last week before the accuser revealed who she was Sunday. The Democrats and Republican Jeff Flake want to postpone the vote, but the Senate Judiciary Committee still set to vote on his nomination Thursday, although, Kavanaugh will be questioned along with his accuser, Christine Blasey Ford. What needs to happen next, do you think? And what impact could this potentially have on the outcome?

SCHNEIDER: Well, my goodness, this is an explosive issue. It's very much like the Anita Hill-Clarence Thomas confrontation in 1991, only this time, we're just a few weeks ahead of the election. That confrontation in 1991 was a year ahead of the midterm election. And also, of course, we have President Donald Trump who's unlikely to keep his distance from the confirmation process, unlike the first President Bush who nominated Clarence Thomas but played very little role in the confirmation hearings.

CHURCH: Right. So, the Republicans have questioned the timing of this. Why do you think Senator Feinstein waited so long to go public with the details of this accusation?

SCHNEIDER: Well, the woman did not want her name made public. And it was not clear that she would be willing to testify because she didn't want her name to be made public. So, I think Senator Feinstein indicated she would respect the woman's wishes. If she had released the letter earlier then the woman would have had to come forward publicly as she has done now that the letter has been released. Well, that creates a problem because she will be -- it will be a question of her credibility versus Mr. Kavanaugh's credibility, just like it was between Thomas and Hill in 1991. It's a test of credibility.

CHURCH: And you keep mentioning that, I mean, these parallels have been drawn, haven't they, between Kavanaugh's nomination and the one for Clarence Thomas, who of course, went on to become a Supreme Court Justice. Would you expect the same outcome?

SCHNEIDER: It's hard to say, because it's a matter of who is more credible. Now, I covered the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings for CNN. And I remember that we kept polling during those hearings. And what we discovered is that he had a lot more sympathy than she did, although she got a lot of support from women, he had more sympathy, really, especially after he played the race card, and called it a high-tech lynching for an uppity black. That created a huge amount of support for him in the African-American community. Here, we just don't know which of these two will be more credible, but it will clearly be his word versus her word.

CHURCH: And let's go back to the accuser. You mentioned Anita Hill in the Clarence Thomas situation, and of course, many years have passed since then, but sadly, for a lot of women, there's a reason why they wouldn't have done -- come out and reveal themselves publicly because this new accuser now, Blasey Ford, there's going to be a lot of attention on her, the spotlight would be on her, on her private life. Life will be very different for her no matter what the outcome of this.

[01:15:05] SCHNEIDER: Yes.

CHURCH: So, I mean, this is a very brave move on her part, and of course, this does have to be investigated. What is likely to happen to her, the accuser?

SCHNEIDER: Well, she'll be under attack from conservatives. Her credibility will be under attack. Her morality will be under attack, just as Anita Hill was. It will be a very difficult process which is why she was reluctant to come forward. But once she wrote that letter, she had to put her name behind it. And now, she has to testify because really, what's this take here is her credibility.

There is one important difference between the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings and the Kavanaugh hearings, and that is Donald Trump is president. Donald Trump won't keep his distance from an event like this. He will be tweeting throughout the whole thing, and he will -- he wants to dominate every news cycle.

So, he's likely to get involved in this process in a way that could be very harmful for his nominee because President Trump is not a very popular figure. And could have repercussions on the midterm election because there could be a huge backlash among women voters.

CHURCH: Bill Schneider, just very, very quickly. Because, of course, this vote is still going ahead on Thursday. How much investigation can occur between now and Thursday with this vote?

SCHNEIDER: Very little. And if it does go forward, I think that -- I don't think it'll go forward because Jeff Flake, a Republican of the committee has already indicated he won't vote to confirm Judge Kavanagh. So, I think it's unlikely that it'll go forward and there will be a process just to be fair of hearing this woman out. She will have to testify. After all, she wrote the letter.

CHURCH: But be interesting to see if that is the case, indeed, this gets delayed. We'll watch very closely, of course. Bill Schneider, always a pleasure to have you with us. Thank you.

SCHNEIDER: OK.

CHURCH: Now, we'll take a short break here. Still to come, a nerve agent scare in Salisbury, England sets residents on edge again months after two run-ins with the deadly poison.

Plus, the family of a man who was fatally shot by an off-duty police officer in his own apartment say someone's trying to smear his legacy. The latest on the death of Botham John, that's ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

PATRICK SNELL, CNN INTERNATIONAL SPORTS ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT: Hi, there. I'm Patrick Snell with your CNN "WORLD SPORT" Headlines. We begin with boxing, the Canelo Alvarez and Triple G sequel, taking center stage in Las Vegas for boxing's most anticipated fight of the year.

And in the end, Canelo topping Golovkin by a decision in a thrilling bout between the two sluggers. Canelo handing Triple G his first career loss. Canelo, now holding WBC and WBA World Middleweight titles after the fight. Both boxers hinting that they could be in for third fight in store in the future.

Seriously, steady hour, Cristiano Ronaldo has finally got on the scoreboard for his new side, Juventus. It's been a long time in coming but after 27 attempts on goalie, finally has won. In the back of event having broken the seal, he got another one quickly Juve beating Sassuolo 2-1 to maintain their perfect start to the new season the top 30 are.

Finally, to F1 news where Lewis Hamilton is going to be really hard to stop after Sunday's Singapore Grand Prix. A dramatic night race through the streets of the city-state, and after an electrifying qualifying lap, Hamilton had the advantage of starting from pole.

He made the most of it to calmly racing towards his fourth victory in Singapore wasn't always easy though on the hot and humid conditions making this a very punishing race. But Hamilton's victory giving him a 40 point lead over German rival, Seb Vettel.

That is the look at your "WORLD SPORT" Headlines, I'm Patrick Snell.

[01:21:07] CHURCH: Welcome back, everyone. Well, police in Salisbury, England say there's nothing to suggest that Novichok is what made two restaurant diners mysteriously sick. Investigators cordoned off the area for several hours, Sunday evening. It shows just how the city is still on edge after a former Russian spy and his daughter were poisoned by Novichok, a deadly nerve agent back in March.

Months later, two other people also became sick and one of them died when they accidentally handled the perfume bottle that contained the poison. CNN's Nic Robertson is in Salisbury, England. He joins us now live. And good to see you, Nick, but Novichock is no longer suspected.

It does indicate though just how the city is on a knife's edge, isn't it over this? But what was it that made authorities jump so quickly at first to the possibility of Novichok being involved?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Well, a highly precaution we approach, that's how police described the way that this situation was tackled. It's interesting because the first call from the restaurant was to the ambulance service because two people fell ill, a man and a woman. And they -- it was the ambulance service that saw indications that gave them cause for concern they there then they called the police.

And so, this city is now very well practiced and versed in the -- in the dealing with the possibility of Novichok, the two people were taken to hospital but police say, cording off the restaurant, cording off the nearby streets to allow their investigation.

Within six-hour, so, as you say, saying that there was no Novichok. And that it is that idea that there is still the possibility that Novichok could be on the streets here, somewhere. That was how the second incident took place that a couple of local residents discovered some discarded Navichok.

And the police at that time said they cannot rule out the possibility that more of this substance isn't out there. So, I think it all that's the background. And, of course, somebody died in the last incident. So, of course, the authorities here, very, very cautious, aware that people would also to be concerned.

CHURCH: So, when might authorities be able to determine the reason for these latest illnesses? To at least, put people at ease.

ROBERTSON: Sure. Well, there was two police officers outside the restaurant here. Those streets all in the neighborhood have all been opened. The area is open but the restaurant remains cordoned off. And that's because the police say they're still investigating to see if a crime was committed.

With yet to learn more details about the man and the woman, the police say, the man was 40, the woman was 30. So, it's clear that there are more details to emerge. What caused them to fall ill? What crime is it that the police believe never been committed at this restaurant?

So, all of that, we may learn about later today. But, of course, the police will be very cautious in what type of information they release and how. What they will very likely want to do and they did last night was to say very quickly, no Novichok. Because, of course, that is the big worry. [01:24:18] CHURCH: Yes, most definitely. And Nic Robertson bringing us the very latest on that situation out of Salisbury, England. And we will bring more details as they come into us. Many thanks, Nic.

Well, a member of the Russian activist, punk rock group, Pussy Riot is hospitalized after possibly being poisoned. was being treated in Moscow, but his family pushed for him to get care in Berlin. That is according to the German non-profit that organized the flight.

He had reportedly lost his sight, speech, and ability to walk. But a band member now says he is doing better. Verzilov and the group are outspoken critics of the Kremlin. He was one of the protesters who rushed the pitch at the World Cup final in July. We'll take a break here, but still, to come, 100-year old three

snapped like twigs in Hong Kong. Look at the destruction Typhoon Mangkhut left behind as it roars to mainland China.

And Florence is no longer a Hurricane but it could still cause major damage as the worst of the flooding is just beginning. We're back in just a moment

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CHURCH: Welcome back to CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Rosemary Church. I want to check the headlines for you this hour. Top U.S. Senate Democrats want to delay a planned vote on Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh after a woman publicly accused him of sexual assault dating back to the1980s. Kavanaugh denied the accusation. The Senate Judiciary Committee is still set to vote on his nomination, Thursday.

Some surfers in the northeast of U.S. are on edge. This 26-year-old engineering student is the first person to die in an apparent shark attack in the U.S. state of Massachusetts in more than eight decades. He was 30 meters offshore on a boogie board when he was bitten.

[01:29:43] CHURCH: Pope Francis has expelled a Chilean priest accused of sexually abusing children. Cristian Precht Banados is among the many clergymen under investigation in Chile but has not yet been criminally charged. The defrocking comes as the church faces public outcry for its handling of abuse scandals dating back decades.

Rescue efforts are on the way in the Philippines where landslides are the major danger in the aftermath of Typhoon Mangkhut. At least 54 people were killed in the storm there. The typhoon is now moving inland across Mainland China after pummeling Hong Kong. More than two million people have been evacuated from China's Guangdong Province.

Well, in the storm's aftermath the financial markets and offices are operating as usual on this Monday in Hong Kong. And the clean-up on the streets is underway. Will Ripley describes scene there right now.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (on camera): Even though the worst of the win and the rain has passed through Hong Kong, you can see we're still feeling it here and there's a bit of dangerous situation around town because you have a lot of tree branches like this basically snapped, dangling precariously over sidewalks that people are going to be walk on as they head to work this morning.

Just to give you a sense of the force of the wind here, a lot of trees in Victoria Park had been standing upwards of a century. Pan up and you can see that giant tree just snapped in half. Another tree over there, huge tree just uprooted, pulled from the sidewalks in some cases. There are trees that continue to block roads here in Hong Kong.

And while this is a large clean-up that's been happening throughout the overnight hours, it will continue into Monday there were no fatalities reported here in Hong Kong. There were more than 200 injuries.

There were power outages. There was flooding. There was storm surge. There was a couch (ph) that was seen blowing through the streets on social media. You have a light pole snapped in half there.

But this is not a devastating event. This is an even where people can leave their homes after riding out the storm. Some of the skyscrapers in the city were actually swaying back and forth people saying that they almost felt sea sick. But they survived.

And that was not the case in Philippines -- devastated, 54 people at least are reported dead there.

At least two people reported dead in Mainland China where the storm made landfall yesterday early evening; massive evacuation efforts in southern China. Some 2.5 million people evacuated, nearly 19,000 people staying in emergency shelters. Almost 50,000 fishing boats sent back to shore.

Think about all of the people, literally millions of people, affected by this monster storm -- a storm that had the power to basically topple trees in Victoria Park that had survived so many typhoons, so many storms over the years. And yet this particular storm came in. It really does go to show just what an intense 12 hours we had on the ground here as this typhoon moved through.

Will Ripley, CNN -- Hong Kong.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CHURCH: Well, it is the storm that keeps on going. Soon North and South Carolina could face even more devastation caused by the remnants of Hurricane Florence, now a tropical depression. At least 18 people are dead and the worst flooding is yet to come.

Our Polo Sandoval reports from Lumberton, North Carolina where officials are afraid a levee may not hold a river that is rising very quickly.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (on camera): For the residents of Lumberton, North Carolina very familiar with the damaging potential of flood waters that come after these tropical systems, it's been only two years since Hurricane Matthew swept through the region sending flood waters into the neighborhood and here it is again. Many of the residents here told me they feel like history is repeating itself.

This time however they tried to get ahead of the storm. Last week they came together, strangers with city officials to create a man-made -- a makeshift levee, if you will, in a certain part of town that they say is where the water swept in after Hurricane Matthew. In an effort to try to keep that from happening again they created that levee.

However, on Sunday it was compromised. We were there with the U.S. Coast Guard as we noticed the water began seeping in, breaking part of that barrier. It did buy them time however, an opportunity to evacuate some of these neighborhoods that were hardest hit by Matthew, get people to higher ground.

However officials fear that there are still many people who decided to stay in their homes, even though this water, the water level continues to rise. Authorities say that they expect the Lumber River to crest Sunday night into Monday, possibly even reaching record heights.

In the meantime authorities say that there's still one main levy that runs along that Lumber River that is still holding up and still doing ok, doing the job that it's supposed to do. That official say and they fear that if that gives out, all bets are off.

Polo Sandoval, CNN -- Lumberton, North Carolina.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CHURCH: Joining me on the phone to talk more about what's happening on the ground is Ralph Evangelous, chief of police for Wilmington, North Carolina. Thank you so much for talking with us at this very difficult time for your city as you deal with the remnants of Hurricane Florence now, of course, a tropical depression.

So what is your biggest challenge right now?

[01:34:57] RALPH EVANGELOUS, CHIEF OF POLICE, WILMINGTON, NORTH CAROLINA (via telephone): Well, presently we're under flash flood warning as we speak. We still have rain coming in off and on, rivers going to crest here mid-week.

We still have 100,000 outages -- 100,000 people without power throughout the entire county here. We have trees that are down, power lines are still down. Some roadways still flooded and we're finally responding to all calls for service now. We're prioritizing them obviously.

We have the entire department on 12-hour shifts. Most of them are actually embedded throughout the community so they don't go home. We're calling in assistance from other agencies to be here. They started arriving tonight. And during the week we'll have -- we'll have other police state, local and federal agencies here to help us patrol, to control any potential looting. So we're -- we're -- out straight have been since Thursday.

CHURCH: Wow. That is really difficult. I wanted to ask how first responders will deal with the flash flooding. It is expected, as you mentioned, to worsen with each passing hour as rivers rise and levees give way. They've been working nonstop. They're going to be exhausted.

EVANGELOUS: Yes. They are. They haven't had a day's day-off -- won't have for several more until we could get other crews in here to relieve them. But they've been -- they haven't complained. They've been here. They've been really doing an enormous (ph) job and I'm proud of them all.

CHURCH: Yes. Understandably so -- and the rest of us across the United States are as well.

So how are people coping in shelters and how many more people do you think are still trapped and in need of rescuing in your local area?

EVANGELOUS: Well, that's difficult. We're still going out and getting people. And we're using the deep water vehicles to get them and bring them to shelters. The shelters are mostly full right now. I believe there's one that still has some room in it.

One of the problems we're having is logistics for all the other crews coming in to assist us. Where we're putting them, where they're going to sleep, how we're going to feed them. So we're putting all that together right now. And it is a work in progress but one of which we planned for. And it's coming all together.

CHURCH: And you know, as you're speaking with us on the phone, we're looking at these pictures coming in. The damage is extensive. It is extraordinary. How long do you think it would take to get the city back to no normal?

EVANGELOUS: Well, it's going to be -- it's going to take some time but I have to say that the response from local, regional, state and federal has been pretty impressive so far.

The electric companies here, I understand, have a thousand crews on stand by. They actually started working today when the rain would let up. And we think we'll get power back here hopefully with in, you know a week. You know, a week, two weeks. But that's to be seen.

CHURCH: That is extraordinary. Well, we hope the power will be returned soon. That the water will eventually dispense (ph) there although that will take some time and we hope that people's lives will get back normal as soon as possible.

Ralph Evangelous -- thank you so much, the chief of police for Wilmington, for talking to us on the phone when you have so much more to do. We do appreciate it. Thank you.

EVANGELOUS: Thank you.

CHURCH: Well, now to a haunting scene near Dallas, Texas. Protesters carried two coffins Sunday for two men recently shot by police -- O'Shae Terry and Botham Jean. The demonstrators marched outside AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys football team to demand justice.

Friends and family of the two men are also demanding answers. Botham Jean was shot earlier this month in his own apartment by a police officer who claims she entered by mistake thinking it was her own.

CNN's Ryan Young has more now from Dallas.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

RYAN YOUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT (on camera): Unit 1478 was Botham Jean's apartment. It is where the 26-year-old's young life was cut short when he was shot by a police officer in his living room. A small memorial, flowers and a photo with his mother adorn his front door.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: At 26 years old, he had done so much.

YOUNG: With permission from the family, we are getting a look inside Botham's apartment. It's a typical single man's apartment except for the bullet hole in the wall indicated by an evidence marking more than six feet high. There's also a pool of blood on the floor which we will not show you.

There's laundry powder (ph) on the couch and Botham's half-eaten bowl of cereal still had milk in it. He may have been reading one of the many books littering the apartment before he was shot and killed by Officer Amber Geiger.

[01:40:03] This is video, a witness says, of Amber Geiger (INAUDIBLE) around upset moments after the shooting. Officer Geiger tells investigators she shot Jean after mistaking his apartment for her own. Geiger tells investigators that after work, she parked her car on the wrong floor, walked to the wrong apartment and that Jean's door was slightly open. In her statement to police Geiger says she gave verbal commands before firing two shots.

Lee Merritt says witnesses tell a different story.

LEE MERRITT, JEAN FAMILY ATTORNEY: They both heard a knock or a pounding on the door followed by a female's voice saying "Open up. Let me in." She said the voice didn't sound like an officer command, it sounds like someone who wanted to be let into the apartment.

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

YOUNG: The Jean family's attorney and the family are now upset by the leak of a search warrant that indicates officers went inside Jean's apartment looking for drugs. Officers say they did find and removed several items including a small amount of marijuana. The warrant does not indicate who the items belong to. It is unknown if the search warrant was executed at the officer's apartment.

MERRITT: Twenty-six years on this earth. He lived his life virtually without blemish. And it took being murdered by a Dallas police officer for Botham Jean to suddenly become a criminal. There is a clear intent here to smear the name of Botham Jean.

YOUNG: During a moving funeral service, we learned much more about Jean and his accomplishments. Family and friends talked openly about his love for people, for singing and the fact that he was a high achieving employee on a partnership track at the accounting firm PWC.

TIM RYAN, SENIOR PARTNER AND CHAIRMAN, PWC: PWC is hurting. Not just in Dallas but all across our country.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He was so joyful and we know how much he loved to sing. You know, he was the biggest extroverted accountant you'd ever find.

YOUNG: Amber Geiger is on administrative leave during the investigation. The DA's office will take the case before a grand jury to determine the next course of action.

CNN has reached out to the Officer Geiger's attorney, they have not returned our calls for a heartbroken mother who wants answers.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So I'm calling on the Dallas officials, please come clean and give me justice for my son because he does not deserve what he got.

Ryan Young, CNN -- Dallas.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CHURCH: And still to come here on CNN NEWSROOM.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): We have moved some supplies, food and water in case of an emergency, God forbid.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHURCH: Fearing for the worst -- residents of Idlib, Syria try to safeguard their love ones against the horrors of war.

[01:43:05] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CHURCH: In Russia new protests this weekend over the Kremlin's controversial plan to raise the retirement age. This time the demonstrations erupting in the Russian's president's own hometown of St. Petersburg. Vladimir Putin says the system must be reformed or there won't be enough money to pay pensions.

But as Matthew Chance tells us, even some of Mr. Putin's supporters are outraged.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The government said it's going to increase the retirement age from 55 to 60 for women and from 60 to 65 for men. The reason -- one of the reasons that's such an alarming figure for many men in this country is that the average life expectancy in Russia for a man is just 66 years old or just over that.

And so there is a danger, and this has been expressed by many people including the trigenians (ph) here, a danger that many men won't even reach the pension age and so will receive nothing. And that's why it is such an explosive political issue for the Kremlin and from Vladimir Putin.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CHURCH: Matthew went on to say that according to some estimates President Putin's approval rating has now fallen 15 percent.

Idlib Province remains a nightmare for civilians caught in Syria's vicious civil war. The U.N. says more than 30,000 people have tried to flee in the past week, this as they face threats from multiple sides. Idlib is Syria's last major rebel stronghold and it's increasingly dominated by extremists.

There are reports militants are detaining people who try to negotiate with pro-government troops. At the same time, Syrian and Russian forces have been pounding the area. Amnesty International accuses the government of using cluster weapons and barrel bombs. All this comes ahead of a likely Russian and government ground offensive.

CNN's Jomana Karadsheh has this story of one man doing all he can to protect his family.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): There are so many ways to die in Idlib but only the most primitive methods for survival.

Hathafa al-Shahhad (ph) is preparing for a regime onslaught on Idlib. This makeshift shelter maybe the difference between life or death for his family.

HATHAFA AL-SHAHHAD, IDLIB RESIDENT (through translator): We have moved some supplies, food and water in case of an emergency, God forbid, because Russia is tracking with highly explosive bombs that houses cannot withstand. God willing, the cave will protect us from that.

KARADSHEH: The regime's offensive to recapture the last major rebel stronghold hasn't officially started yet but bombs have already been raining down on southern Idlib.

Al-Shahhad hopes the cave would shelter his family from the worst conventional weapon. But in Syria even a breath of fresh air is an uncertainty. AL-SHAHHAD: We made the gas masks to protect our children, God

forbid, if a chemical attack happens, to protect their eyes and ears. It is the least we can do.

KARADSHEH: Upstairs in their living room, preparing for the worst is all they can do. Residents here fear the possibility of another chemical attack.

Following instructions he found online, Al-Shahhad uses what he can find. Colorful paper cups, (INAUDIBLE), bandages, charcoal and plastic bags to create his family's survival the survival kit. These improvised gas masks.

As Shahhad walks his children down into the darkness to inspect their underground hideaway, with nowhere left to run when the battle begins this could be their only sanctuary.

[01:50:04] JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN -- Istanbul.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

And that family is not the only one struggling to survive inside Syria. Many desperately need food, water and medicine.

To learn more about how you could help, just head over to our Web site at cnn.com/impact.

And despite high winds and high water, true love endures. Coming up, meet a couple that started a new chapter of their life in a hurricane.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Meteorologist Pedram Javaheri with you for CNN Weather Watch.

We're following what is left of what was essentially a historic storm system and one of the wettest across the south eastern United States in recorded history, Florence beginning to exit the picture of the tropical moisture far from exiting the picture as a very slow moving system gradually kind of grinds up towards portions of the Ohio Valley.

You notice the spin is still there, the thunderstorms are still there and look at that southern pull of moisture into the Carolinas over the past several days and also the next several days across this region.

Myrtle Beach out towards Raleigh, that's where the heaviest rainfall is expected. Of course, needless to say across this region the soil is entirely saturated if there is any soil that doesn't have water on top of it. So certainly anything leads to additional flooding.

New York will keep you dry 24; Chicago big time warmth here as we push on through September but those changes are going to be felt here. But this week kind of hang on to warmth for quite a while but I'll tell you Friday and Saturday we'll notice a little bit of cooler air try to filter in so certainly summer is still hanging on as tight as it can across the northern tier of the U.S.

Havana, Cuba -- how about 31, a few thunderstorms. Kingston, Jamaica also with afternoon (ph) showers about 29 degrees there. Further south we go about the lower 30s from Manaus, of course Paranam. Quito (ph) maybe a few isolated storms come back into your forecast but generally speaking, should be a nice day. And Rio Gallegos a cool spot, highs around 5 degrees.

CHURCH: Time for a heartwarming story for a change. A couple in North Carolina did not let Hurricane Florence cancel their wedding. They had planned to celebrate their big day at a farm house but instead a hotel hosted their wedding in its breakfast room.

The staff stepped in as wedding planners and the bride made her own bouquet and even frosted her own wedding cake. The hotel's manager said the wedding brought them some brightness during that gloomy storm. Great story there.

[01:54:53] Well, there's a new world record holder in one of the world's most ancient competitions and you were looking at him there on the right. Kenyan Olympian Eliud Kipchoge didn't just run the fastest marathon of all time in Berlin; he absolutely decimated it, shaving a whopping 78 seconds off the record. The Berlin Marathon calling him the greatest of all time.

And finally let's talk about a dramatic exit. American football player, Vontae Davis stunned the fans and teammates when he abruptly retired from the sport in the middle of Sunday's game. His team, the Buffalo Bills were playing the Los Angeles Chargers and during halftime Davis reportedly pulled himself out of the game telling his coach he was done.

In a statement released after the game Davis said this, "Today on the field reality hit me fast and hard, I shouldn't be out there anymore. I meant no disrespect to my teammates and coaches." The Bills, by the way, ended up losing 31 to 20.

And thanks so much for your company this hour on CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Rosemary Church.

Another hour of news is coming up next with our Natalie Allen.

Stick around. You're watching CNN.

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[02:00:09] NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: A woman publicly accuses Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual --