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Officials Warn Of More Flooding As Florence Drenches U.S.; U.S. Revokes Visa For PLO Envoy, Freezes Bank Accounts; Star Actress Fan Bingbing Vanishes Without A Trace; Coca-Cola Considering Cannabis-Infused Drinks. Aired 2-3p ET

Aired September 17, 2018 - 14:00   ET


[14:00:00] HALA GORANI, CNN HOST: Hello, everyone. Live from CNN London, I'm Hala Gorani. Tonight, on this Monday, a bitter battle over one of the

most powerful positions in the U.S. collides with the me-too movement. Supreme Court Nominee Brett Kavanaugh calls sexual assault allegations

against him completely false. What this means for his nomination.

Also, news just in in the last hour. Russia and Turkey are announcing an agreement to create a buffer zone in Idlib. We are live in Moscow for the


Incredible video of one of the world's strongest storms smashing into Hong Kong.

The White House is in a scramble today as it weighs how to respond to the physical and sexual assault allegations against Brett Kavanaugh. The

supreme court nominee was seen arriving earlier at the White House. There is the video. It has stood by Kavanaugh so far. His once assured

confirmation process is now in turmoil after the accuser went public with accusations of the 1980s when he was a teenager. Now she is today a

university professor from California and her lawyers says she is willing to testify publicly on Capitol Hill. Kavanaugh says none of what she alleges

ever happened and he, too, is willing to address the Senate. We're covering this from every angle. Sarah Westwood joining us from the White

House. Phil Mattingly on Capitol Hill. First of all, let's start with you, Sarah. Is the White House still standing behind judge Kavanaugh?

SARAH WESTWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: So far, Hala, the White House not wavering in the support of Kavanaugh. White House aides and allies are

careful not to question the accuser's motives and not say much about the accusation except Kavanaugh's denial. Aides are saying Conway, senior

adviser to President Trump, said this morning she believes that Kavanaugh should testify before the Senate judiciary committee and the White House is

largely watching to see what Senate Republicans will do before they decide on a game plan and key, the few moderate Republican senators, still sort of

weighing whether to vote for Kavanaugh, what they want to see happen is really determinative.

GORANI: Susan Collins tweeting essentially Ford and Kavanaugh should both testify. What does this do for the confirmation process at this stage?

Will we see a delay in the vote?

PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Everything is frozen. I think Sarah lays it out really well as real and serious as the allegations are and the

scramble behind the scenes at the White House and up here on Capitol Hill. Everybody's waiting and watching. Susan Collins with the tweet not just to

testify, testify under oath and keeping an eye on Senator Murkowski, senator flake on the committee calling for everything to up until they hear

from the accuser and Brett Kavanaugh again. The question is what will venue will the testimony come? A public hearing or a private setting? The

question, though, will be answered almost entirely by Susan Collins or Lisa Murkowski. How it's read out to me is they will dictate how this moves

forward. If Collins said a phone call behind the scenes where this is explained to me is enough then that will likely be what happens. If she

demands a public hearing, if other Republicans demand a public hearing, as the only way to vote yes for Brett Kavanaugh, that is what you will see.

Right now, everybody's just waiting and seeing what the next steps will be, Hala.

GORANI: And, Sarah, we know that Brett Kavanaugh visited the White House today. Who did he speak with? Do we know what was said?

WESTWOOD: Kavanaugh was visiting the White House today in order to prepare for potential interviews or a potential hearing. In advance of what may

happen on Capitol Hill and not scheduled to meet with the President today and presumably he's still in meetings inside the White House and again the

administration is really right now keeping their cards close to the vest.

[14:05:00] They don't want to get out and offer more than what will satisfy Senator Collins and Senator Murkowski as Phil mentioned so they're in a

holding pattern and preparing Kavanaugh for all options, getting him ready for whatever may come next and hoping to keep to that confirmation vote

scheduled on Thursday but again that's up in the air right now. Depending on how much testimony those moderate Republicans require to vote yes for


GORANI: All right. Sarah, Phil, thanks to both of you. Let's take a deeper look into all of this. Legal analyst Joey Jackson joins me from New

York. For the international viewers wondering, the allegations made by the woman now a university professor in California against Brett Kavanaugh,

there is no prosecutorial or legal avenue here, right?

JOEY JACKSON, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, just to be clear, always good to see you, Hala, there could be. Let me explain. As to the underlying

allegations, they're far too old, occurring apparently 36 years ago or so. To be prosecuted on their merit or lack thereof. So, there will not be any

criminal prosecution stemming from any alleged ill sexual behavior back in the 1980s. Now, when I say there could be, remember, in the event that the

FBI starts questioning people about this, it is a lie, right, or it is a crime to lie to the FBI. And so, to that extent, you could be hit with a

felony in the event people who have knowledge of this interviewed and make misrepresentations. In addition to that, Hala, in the event there's a

public forum and testimony's provided, whether under oath or not to congress, that also could result in criminal charges if someone's lying

about it and clearly there are two narratives here. One it did not happen. And the other narrative from the doctor and that is that it did. So that's

the basis upon which we may see criminal charges if this is investigated.

GORANI: Why would senators want to distance themselves from this nominee if there is no -- I mean, not a clear path forward in terms of anything

criminal, no way to prove it, no evidence to look over -- why would that be the case?

JACKSON: Well, you know, there could be evidence. So, let's just be clear about something, Hala. Maybe something is not criminally prosecuted

looking at the time line of the accuser's story, it doesn't mean there's not evidence to buttress that story. Apparently, she told to the therapist

information about this some six years ago in a therapy session. That's evidence. The fact that there was someone else present at the time, a

gentleman by the name of Mark Judge. He says it didn't happen. She says it does. That's evidence. To the extent she took a polygraph evidence,

not admissible in court. She passed that polygraph test. And her husband apparently has knowledge of this, too. So, all of that is evidence.

Whether that results in an actual case is another question. And so, notwithstanding the fact that you can have actual proof because of statute

of limitation issues and not a forum to present that proof for there to be a prosecution of decades all allegations.

GORANI: Also, I wanted to tell our viewers that is the judge's supporters launched their defense even before the accuser came out publicly. A group

of women saying they knew Kavanaugh in high school vouched for his character. One of the former law clerks is speaking out. I want our

viewers to listen to this.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He always treated us with -- girls, with respect. Always. And it was simple to find 65 women to sign that letter from five

different high schools, everybody jumped on board and was happy to sign it on his behalf.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He is unfailingly kind and respectful and a man of the highest character, unassailable integrity and the allegations are

inconsistent with the man I have known well over a decade.


GORANI: What happens now? Now that you have two sides here.

[14:10:00] JACKSON: So, Hala, let's break this down. Right? What ends up happening from a political perspective is that we know that the nomination

is pending in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee. 21 members on the committee. 11 Republican, 10 Democrat. Where it stalled now is we looked

at the last clip is this. You can have a person who has the highest of moral character, doesn't mean that they stepped off of the straight line

that they were going. Doesn't mean they did. And I'm not saying that it happened. It didn't happen. I have no knowledge either way. But what I'm

saying to you is that notwithstanding the information and you just showed it. People saying he's the greatest person, wonderful, his character is

unassailable. Doesn't mean it didn't happen. You could have the fact that it did.

And so, from a political perspective, remember now, in the United States we are in the midst of me too. Me-too is zero tolerance. As it relates to

sexual assault, abuse, accepting it and otherwise. Women pushing back and saying doesn't mean it didn't happen. You could have the fact that it did.

And so, from a political perspective, remember now, in the United States we are in the midst of me too. Me too is zero tolerance. As it relates to

sexual assault, abuse, accepting it and otherwise. Women pushing back and saying no, no more. So, we're in a climate that at the very least pushing

to have the allegations aired and factor into the calculus of who Brett Kavanaugh is as an individual, as a jurist and just in general and so I

think that's what the source of the debate is at this point.

GORANI: Sure. And some of these senators might be getting pressure of constituents, as well, to suspend this process. Joey, back soon, pleasure.

JACKSON: Pleasure's mine.

GORANI: Almost 3 million people, we have been covering this story for weeks now, in anticipation of all an all-out assault in Idlib bracing for

the worst but appears that the offense may not happen at least for now. Russia and Turkey have just announced an agreement of buffer zone between

rebels on one and forces on the other. The deal involves the removal of the heavy weaponry of the area from December 15th and crucially according

to Russian state media, they ruled out new military operations in the region. So, this all-out offense we were expecting, it doesn't look like

it's happening right now. So, if you thought the situation in Idlib was complex, this is another layer. Don't forget the province is the scene of

heavy bombing by Russian and pro-government forces over the past few minutes. Matthew Chance is live in Moscow here. What is going on? We

were all expecting this offensive with the green light at the help even of the Russian military. Now we have this agreement of Erdogan and Putin for

a buffer zone. What is happening?

MATHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I mean, hopefully what's happening is that that all-out military onslaught has been

averted or at the very least postponed for a diplomatic solution to stop what would have been -- the UN calls a catastrophe. There's 3 million

people inside Idlib. And, you know, in the past Russian forces backing their Syrian government allies ruthless in seizing territory and all the

signs indicating that exactly the same kind of tactics for instance in Aleppo with widespread casualties were going to be deployed again and

capture Idlib, the last remaining province in Syria controlled by the rebels. The Turks on the other side of that equation have been e resisting

a military assault and they're deeply concerned that on the one hand if there is a military assault on the province to lead to more refugees

pouring across their border from Syria. Something they don't want the countenance and then they could be complicit in again that humanitarian

catastrophe that an assault would involve. And so, Presidents Erdogan of Turkey and Putin of Russia have sat down, three times in the past three

weeks, to try to hammer out a solution, a compromise. They seem to have reached something on this occasion and it involves a military exclusion

zone that would be policed by the Russians and Turks. Take a listen to what Vladimir Putin described it as.


VLADIMIR PUTIN, PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA (through translator): During our meeting, we examined in detail the situation and decided to create along

the line of contact by the 15th of October a demilitarized zone of 15 to 20 kilometers long and to make sure that the militants removed. By the 15th

of October, on the proposal of the Turkish president, all heavy equipment, tanks and ground to air missiles and mortars of all opposition groups

removed and the demilitarized zone will be patrolled by mobile Turkish units and Russian military police.


[14:15:00] CHANCE: Now, it is not clear how the heavy military equipment is extracted from Idlib. Obviously, all sorts of problems to foresee with

this situation. And of course, the biggest problem is may just kick the problem down the road and not avert that but delay it for days or weeks.

GORANI: Right. That was going to be my question. Why would any rebel forces give up their heavy weaponry? You know? To anybody. I mean, then

they see themselves as sitting ducks for any future military offense. And who will forcibly take that from them? Who will then police the area if

conflict erupts again?

CHANCE: Yes, no. There are all sorts of problems that we can point out with this agreement. It may just be, you know, a diplomatic facade for

Putin and Erdogan who have a close personal relationship to save face. Maintain friendship when the Syrian army eventually goes in. But, you

know, this tactic worked in the past. I mean, we have seen in other rebel strongholds, deals being done with rebels inside to give up the arms,

shipped out to other areas, the problem, of course, with Idlib is that it is the last area of any significant size that is controlled by the rebels

so there are few areas left to be shipped out to. There are some, though.

GORANI: Yes. Last one. Why would Russia be comfortable at this stage with not supporting the government of Bashar Al Assad in this planned

offensive on Idlib? What is in it for them here?

CHANCE: Well, it's not clear, as a matter of fact. Of course, the Russians have spoken in very negative terms about Idlib, about the people

inside and a hotbed of terrorism is what the foreign minister said a few days ago, a festering abscess that needs to be liquidated. That's the kind

of terminology that the Russians have used and they have been along with their Syrian government allies chomping at the bit to unleash their massive

firepower on this province. At the same time, you know, this is the end game in the Syrian conflict. May have been a calculation made that now's

the time to bring in the international community. To try to, you know, talk the lack wage peace and not all out for a military assault to

rehabilitate the Syrian government personals or themselves in the guys of the international community. Who knows? If this will work and how long

this line of control, this buffer zone, will hold off a military assault, Hala.

GORANI: Of course, there are millions of civilians caught in the middle of all of this. Thanks very much, Matthew Chance, in Moscow. I'm sorry. I

said that the deal from the area is -- has a December 15th deadline, it's actually October 15th. It's a few weeks ago. Apologies for misspeaking.

Right now, in Hong Kong, people are recovering after a super typhoon battered the island city and it was the world most powerful storm of the

year. Rain and storm surges flooded streets. Wind ripped roofs off buildings and sent furniture flying. In the storm's wake residents say the

damage is devastating. Kristie Lu Stout surveys the aftermath/

KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: In the aftermath of the storm here in Hong Kong, this major metropolis of over 7 billion people is slowly

returning to people. Schools are closed. Some businesses, as well. The cleanup is well under way. Nature's turn to defy gravity in high-rise Hong

Kong. Four-story waves licked the sides of skyscrapers here on Sunday. Fresh water cut off but residents of this tower emerged on Monday unscathed

after the most intense storm on earth this year.

GORANI: We imagined that the people are there and certainly going back to the sea and not going to survive that.

STOUT: Hong Kong steel and concrete skyline stood up to typhoon Mangkhut. A different reality outside big city. Here at beachside villages which

bore the brute of typhoon Mangkhut. Buildings turned to rubble. The first indication that the cleanup is long and arduous and seaside communities may

have lost the most. Betty Tang has lived at the beach for 65 years. Nowhere to go in the storm. She watched as it destroyed the only home

she's ever known. She says she cannot begin to consider the future.

[14:20:00] Many from Hong Kong's fishing communities emptied into typhoon shelters unsure of whether seaside shacks and cottages could survive as

Mangkhut moved west of Hong Kong, the weakening storm remains deadly. At least four killed on the Chinese mainland. As the streets empty of

floodwaters, the lights of casino town are beginning to blink back on. And an entire region begins to count its losses. After the strongest storm of

the year, there are additional challenges as people across the region pick up the pieces and come to terms with devastating loss. CNN, Hong Kong.

GORANI: Typhoon left Hong Kong in tatters and Philippines felt the brunt of it. Rescue teams are searching for survivors still. Some of those

missing are miners who might be trapped from landslides in very remote areas. Difficult to access.

Still to come tonight, the IMF gives a stark warning. Theresa May says my deal or no deal and the mayor of London backs a second vote. Another

couple of days in Brexit world.

Forget yachts and sports cars. Media outlets are the latest must have item for billionaires. We have the details of the takeover of "Time" magazine.

We'll be right back.


GORANI: The road to Brexit has been far from an easy one with twists, turns and many bumps along the way. In the two years since the crucial

vote we have seen no shortage of drama with negotiations, resignations and with in-fighting in the May party. One thing at the heart of the in-

fighting. The Chequers deal. In many ways the plan satisfies those who call for a hard Brexit. It proposes an end to free movement of people, an

end to the UK's annual payments to the EU, Brussels and it would allow the UK to strike trade deals with other countries. But here is the sticking

point. One of the main and most controversial ideas in the plan is the so- called common rulebook mea mean UK producers have to abide by the rules on goods. In exchange, less need for a hard border in Ireland and goods

traded across the region just like in the single market.

[14:25:00] This common rulebook idea is a main reason cabinet members quit the government saying it kept the UK still way too much under Europe's

influence. The plan keeps financial services out of the common rulebook a point likely to cause issue with Brussels. And this plan also proposes the

UK and EU would stay in a combined customs area. Meaning the UK would collect customs tariffs for EU bound goods and still setting its own. You

followed all of that? Bring in the Bianca Nobilo. Basically, if I'm going to draw the broad lines of this, it's a little bit of this and a little bit

of that. Right? Common area for goods. Not for services. No free movement of people and many of the advantages of membership basically.

BIANCA NOBILO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's a good way to summarize it. She has the two wings in the party. Those that want to see as much autonomy as

possible. They wanted more of a Canada-style deal so that's a comprehensive free trade deal and nothing else of the EU and UK and then

members of the party to remain in the European Union to back a second referendum and certainly would like nothing other than the softest of

Brexits and why you said it's a little of this and that.

GORANI: What is the -- they said all along these freedoms all go together. If you want freedom of movement for goods, you can't then say I don't want

freedom of movements for people. You know? It has to be capital goods, services and people. You can't cherry pick.

NOBILO: Yes, that's the refrain. No cherry picking and the EU telling the UK for many, many months now and maintaining the four freedoms are

indivisible and in this video, May said that the EU offered Norway a close partnership with the UK --

GORANI: Freedom of movement.

NOBILO: It has to accept the freedoms or Canada and just discussed which would be too divergent from what they're looking for in order to avoid that

hard border in North Ireland. That's the biggest issue and that's what everybody's most concerned with.

GORANI: You just spoke of a video. May's government released a 7-minute Facebook video to help sell her plan. Here's a part of it.


THERESA MAY, UK PRIME MINISTER: The white paper represents a significant shift in our position. It is now for the EU to respond. Not simply to

fall back on to previous positions which have already been proven unworkable but to evolve their position as we have. Key elements of our

proposals are nonnegotiable. For example, ending free movement, leaving the customs union, ending the jurisdiction of the European court of justice

and ending vast annual contributions to the EU budget and on that basis, I look forward to agreeing a good deal for the UK.


GORANI: Something tells me that someone unconvinced by the May plan will not be necessarily be convinced by the video. You have a large portion of

the electorate in this country that wants even a second referendum. Why state non-negotiable freedom of movement?

NOBILO: May knows she can't give too much slack because of the voracity of the debate. She has to set out some red lines. But she thinks that the

plan is the only available option. In fact, she maintained that this weekend and in a dramatic piece of cinema, either her deal or no deal at

all. She says that that's partly because she is sure that the EU won't be willing to renegotiate if she was to not be able to get the deal through.

The British parliament and have to return to the EU saying Britain doesn't want this. Can we discuss something else? It's this or nothing.

GORANI: All right. We'll see how that develops. Thanks very much.

Time flies as in changing hands again. "Time" magazine sold for a second time in one year snatched up by a billionaire. The CEO of salesforce and

his wife paid $190 million for "time." others like Jeff Bezos owns "The Washington Post" and Steve Jobs' wife Lauren Powell Jobs with a majority

stake in "The Atlantic." Let's bring in Brian Stelter from New York. How does this change the magazine?

BRIAN STELTER: It's a solid foundation for the first time in years. Because look, if you're part of a public company, expected to show a

certain amount of growth every quarter, it's a hard time to be a print magazine. But now, "Time" magazine will benefit from a financial backing

from a tech billionaire and Mark and his wife Lynn might not have the same expectations for growth, realistically many print magazines in a declining

business and he might be able to bring some interest in product and technology to the magazine and he says he wants the magazine to think long

term about what it will be in 10 or 20 years soy think folks there are relieved. We are seeing lots of other print publications in the U.S. and

other countries start to fade away and go out of business. This might give them a firmer foundation.

GORANI: What will it do to journalism now that the tech titans, already all so dominating in their industry and around the world.


GORANI: Now they own the media outlets. What happens?

STELTER: I think we all need to be on the lookout for signs of editorial interference and so far, I can say thankfully we haven't seen that at "The

Washington Post" which is owned by Jeff Bezos for past five years but the same sort of thing to look for at "Time" magazine. covering the

salesforce for years, dozens and dozens of times. She said he won't be involved in the newsroom and wants to be a caretaker of the magazine and

going forward seeing more of the billionaires investing in the news business, owning the news, it's going to continue to be a concern and I

think it calls for a lot of folks on the outside to be watchful in these situations.

HALA GORANI, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Brian Stelter, thanks so much.

STELTER: Thanks.

GORANI: Still to come tonight, the terrifying aftermath of the Hurricane Florence. Roads washed away and one a city completely cut off from help.

A live report from inside that city when we come back.


GORANI: The remnants of Hurricane Florence continue to dump rain on the already soaked Southeastern United States. Now, much of north and South

Carolina are under water today and officials say the situation will get worse, unfortunately, before it gets better. Roads have turned into rivers

in some communities and even highways that look safe often are not because, there you have it. A picture of it. Erosion.

Florence has killed at least 20 people in the Carolinas and there have been more than 1,000 rescues by boat and helicopter. North Carolina's governor

is begging residents to stay indoors where it is a lot safer.


GOV. ROY COOPER (D), NORTH CAROLINA: My most important message is first. For many parts of North Carolina, the danger is still immediate.

Floodwaters are rising as rivers crest. Please don't make yourself someone who needs to be rescued. Again, stay off the roads in much of the state.


GORANI: One of the more dramatic stories is happening right now in the coastal city of Wilmington, North Carolina. Our Kaylee Hartung is in

Wilmington and joins me now live. What's going on where you are, Kaylee?

KAYLEE HARTUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Hala, the need for rescues in this area has subsided. More than 600 rescues made over the last two

nights. But now the problem now is that Wilmington was just typically a peninsula is now essentially an island. From a 30 to 40-kilometer, you

can't get in or out of the city.

These roads impassable, as you mentioned. So my high floodwaters rising and washing out these roads. And so for anybody who was left in this area

and is trying to get back in, they'll be stopped by highway patrolmen. And so this is creating a problem on several levels. One of them being the

supplies they're able to get to the people who are still inside of this city.

We've just learned of a convoy of about 20 trucks, those military grade high water trucks with that capability who have come from Fort Bragg, a

military base in this state, they have brought with them 60,000 -- or I should y, food, and water for 60,000 people to feed them over the course of

four days.

[14:35:13] And we also just learned from the mayor of Wilmington the first shipment has come by air of more food and water, medical supplies and cots.

City officials trying to do everything they can to ensure that the people here have what they need. But among the hottest commodities, there is no

doubt, it is gas. And for some, the need is more dire than others.

VALERIE HALL, MOTHER NEEDS MEDICAL HELP: It's very serious. It's very serious. I have a mama at the hospital now and she need dialysis and

they're trying to tell me they can't transport her from the hospitals to here. We don't have no gas. We're sitting here. We've been sitting here

since 7:00 this morning trying to get gas to transport her across the street. I mean, you've got ambulance going over that. Put them in the

ambulance and taking them across the street so they can get medical needs.

They're telling her that they can't even admit her in the hospital. That's medical. She hasn't had dialysis since Wednesday. Today is Monday. It's

Monday. It's sad.

ALFREDA BELLAMY, STRUGGLE TO FIND FUEL TO POWER HER HOME: And they said they have some here and some gas there but we all waiting. Willing to

wait. Because a lot of them just waiting at the gas tank thinking a gas truck going to come.

HARTUNG: Hala, as it turns out, this gas station had gas, but the pumps weren't working. It took a technician about six hours to restore that

service and now, this line keeps building but people are, Hala, getting gas.

GORANI: All right. Kaylee Hartung. At least they're able to get gas for their cars. Thanks very much in Wilmington, North Carolina.

Rescue teams in the Philippines are having trouble reaching survivors of the typhoon that hit over the weekend. They are working in very remote

terrain to find a group of miners who were caught in a landslide. One aid group tells CNN it's a very difficult process. Alexandra Field has more on

that search and rescue effort.


ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: They swarm the hills by hundreds doing what they can for as long as they can hoping that maybe they'll find

someone alive.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is the first time that I've seen this kind of landslide. This is massive and almost everyone is affected and even the

miners are helping the rescuers, the police, everyone is giving their best.

FIELD: Nearby, families of those trapped wait nervously for news. Their anxiety mounting as rescuers retrieve a few dead bodies from the ground.

More could be on the way. Authorities don't know exactly how many but say dozens are still beneath the rubble. They've been there since Saturday

when Itogon, a few hours north of the capital Manila, was hit by the full force of super typhoon Mangkhut.

The gale force winds and endless rain brought down part of the mountain. The landslide trapping mostly miners and their families in one place they

hoped they'd be safe.

WILJAL OLINA, HELPING WITH RESCUE EFFORTS: Philippine National Police warned the people but they thought that it's safe here in the bunkhouse.

So the people came by here and stayed for safety reasons.

FIELD: Wiljal Olina (ph) works in the mines and is now helping with the rescue efforts. He was staying just above the bunk houses but some of his

family weren't as lucky.

OLINA: Some of my families live there. Some of my families are there. We don't know. So we continue to recover them.

FIELD: In this race against time, this mining town is not ready to give up. But as hours, days go by, hope is fading.

Alexandra Field, CNN, San Jose City, the Philippines.


GORANI: Still to come, an actress who starred in blockbusters alongside Robert Downey, Jr. and Hugh Jackman is now missing. Ahead, what we know

about her vanishing without a trace.


[14:40:06] GORANI: One side calls it prodding, the other says that it's blackmail, and the U.S. is continuing to turn up the pressure on

Palestinians. Washington has revoked the visa for the Palestinian ambassador to the United States, the representative for the PLO kicking him

out and his entire family out of the country and freezing their bank accounts.

Let's bring in CNN senior diplomatic correspondent, Michelle Kosinski. This is unusual, right? The State Department doesn't usually do this type

of thing with diplomats.

MICHELLE KOSINSKI, CNN SENIOR DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENT: Right. It's a surprising move. It doesn't appear to be a reason that it would be

necessary. Palestinians are reacting angrily to this, as expected. But this is just the latest in a string of moves that the U.S. has made to try

to put more pressure on Palestinians who they believe are not engaging in any movements towards peace.

The U.S. hasn't unveiled its peace plan yet between Israelis and Palestinians. We expect that to come out soon, but Palestinians have been

enraged over these moves over the last several months. First, moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem. The disputed capital. Both the Israelis and

the Palestinians. Redirecting hundreds of millions of dollars away from programs that benefit Palestinians, including things like schools and


I mean, just this week, they've redirected another $10 million away. They're supposed to be used generally for programs to prevent conflict. So

Palestinians now are saying this is petty, it's vindictive. It's the U.S. that is not helping the peace process, whereas the U.S. feels that it's the

Palestinians who are not.

Where this ends up, we don't know. I mean, the state department isn't saying anything about this move to revoke the residencies of the PLO

representative and his family.

But when we're asked about these things, especially the redirection of money that was also pretty surprising to many, the State Department says

it's trying new methods to try to jumpstart an ultimate agreement between Israelis and Palestinians and they're waiting to see how this works and

when they're asked, well, how is it working, it seems like the Palestinians have been angered enough, from the start, with the move of the U.S.

embassy, that's why they're not engaging.

The State Department really doesn't have an answer for that. They say that, you know, this is the route that they're taking for now.

GORANI: But what is it that they should be engaging with? There is no peace proposal. I guess, I don't quite understand what this is achieving

at this stage.

KOSINSKI: Well, that's the question. You know, when the Palestinians pulled its representative from the U.S. So Husam Zomlot, the one who is

now had his residency revoked and his bank accounts frozen. The Palestinians pulled him out of the U.S. when the U.S. moved its embassy

several months ago.

So the U.S. felt like that was a move showing that they're not engaging fairly. The reaction that Palestinians have had to some of these U.S.

moves has caused them to not speak anymore to the U.S. and Israelis because they feel like the U.S. has polluted the process.

So it's kind of this stalemate now where the Palestinians have been angered at what the U.S. has done so they have not been engaging the way the U.S.

wants. The U.S. is angered by that and that brings us to where we are right now.

It seems to be getting worse, not better. But the U.S. is holding out and it feels like these kinds of pressure moves are ultimately going to bring

Palestinians back to the table and we'll see once the U.S. does unveil this much talked about but not yet seen peace proposal, Hala.

GORANI: Yeah. Because the Palestinians could be arguing there's no table right now, so many thanks, Michelle Kosinski at the State Department.

[14:45:00] A big mystery now. One of china's biggest movie stars has vanished without a trace apparently. Fan Bingbing hasn't been seen in

public nor posted in social media since June and that is raising some major concerns.

The popularity skyrocketed in recent years as she started Hollywood blockbusters, a household name in China on the level of Jennifer Lawrence

or Meryl Streep elsewhere. And the mystery surrounding her disappearance is fueling speculation among her supporters. Matt Rivers investigates.


MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: She not a household name worldwide, but in China, you don't get more famous than actress Fan Bingbing. She's not A-

list, she's A plus-list. Think Jennifer Lawrence or Meryl Streep, which is why the fact that she hasn't been seen in public since June is a big deal.

Back in May, Fan was accused of getting paid on so-called Yin-Yang contracts. Essentially, you sign a smaller contract and report that income

to the government, but you also sign a bigger contract and get paid the additional amount tax free.

One of Fan's alleged Yin-Yang contracts was leaked on social media in late May. She immediately denied the allegations, but the country's tax

authority urged investigators to look into the practice more broadly. One industry source told CNN the tax avoidance scheme is universal in China's

entertainment world.

As for Fan, she hasn't been heard from or seen since posting these photos of a children's hospital in Tibet back in June. CNN asked both China's tax

authorities and media regulators for comment on the case, but hasn't heard back.

China's ministry of foreign affairs is the only department to take media questions every day, asked about the actress. Here's a spokesman.

"Does that sound like a foreign affairs issue to you?" He said sarcastically. In other words, no comment.

CNN tried to reach Fan herself to no avail. Our only clue to her status comes from this. An article posted on September 6th on a state-run media

website that said Fan has been brought, quote, "under control and is about to receive legal judgment." That article was quickly deleted though and

state media has been virtually silent about the actress since. Certain social media post about Fan on Chinese internet have also been censored by


So for now, the mysterious case of China's highest paid actress continues. We know she is missing. We just don't know why.

RIVERS: And we should note that people disappear inside China's murky legal system all the time. We have reported extensively on the dozens of

human rights lawyers, for example, who have been arrested since 2015. In many cases, their families have no idea where they are. High profile

business leaders have also disappeared only to remerge months later. We can't confirm that Fan Bingbing has been disappeared by the government or

that she is in custody, but despite her fame in China, it's certainly a possibility.

Matt Rivers, CNN, Beijing.


GORANI: Quite the mystery there. Now, if you like to eat strawberries, this next story may send shivers down your spine. An investigation has

been launched in Australia after people in several states reported finding sewing needles inside the strawberries. This is so weird.

The Australian health secretary describes it as a vicious crime designed to hurt people. At least one big retailer in New Zealand is halting the sale

of Australian strawberries because of the scare. That is just horrible.

More to come including, do you like your diet or sugar free? How about infused with pot? Coca-Cola sizes up the cannabis business, next.


[14:50:07] GORANI: Obviously all vacations should relax you but there's actually a trend called wellness tourism and India is a big destination for

people. Certainly for people who like to eat their way across the country. Amara walker reports.



AMARA WALKER, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: It's organized chaos for lunch service inside the kitchen of the Atmantan Resort in Pune.

Vegetables are prepped. And orders start to come in from the guests of this luxury wellness retreat located about 3.5 hours from Mumbai.

Here, even during the rainy monsoon season, the landscape maybe calming. But it's the spa cuisine, prepared by executive chef Ishika Konar (ph),

that is healing.

ISHITA KONAR, EXECUTIVE CHEF, ATMANTAN RESORT: Today, I feel that it's all about here that we understand what is food is all about.

WALKER: When gusts first arrive at Atmantan, they meet with the wellness director, Dr. Manoj Kutteri.

DR. MANOJ KUTTERI, WELLNESS DIRECTOR, ATMANTAN RESORT: When it comes to wellness, the gut health has been highly regarded. It goes to top.

Everyone talks about, like, girth is considered as your second brain. SO anything that girth can have an influence on your entire body.

Walker: Dr. Kutteri evaluates each guests to help determine their body type.

According to the ancient art of Indian medicine known as Ayurveda, there are three. Vata, which is air and ether. Kapa, which is earth and water.

And Peta which is fire and water.

At Atmantan, they believe eating to compliment your body type known as Doshas, could have positive wellness effects. That's why meals at the

report are individually designed for each guest.

KUTTERI: The food that you consume would be something that actually favors your own constitution and which actually helps you reach a balance of your


WALKER: The goal is not to just improve diet while you are at the resort, but to also take the concept of spa cuisine home.

KUTTERI: What you do here is something that is educational for you. You will be able to go back to your home and cook the same food and without

having a regret that you're missing something because we give everything.

WALKER: A sacrifice-free way to wellness. One spoonful at a time.


GORANI: Coca-Cola is considering putting marijuana in its drinks. Look, we have the two pictures here. Well, at least one ingredient It's CBD,

it's the non-psychoactive ingredient in cannabis and it's largely used for medical purposes. So people won't getting high from drinking a Coke

anytime soon.

Now, cannabis is certainly a growing industry. But how would they even develop these drinks? CNN's Paula Newton is in Ottawa for us and has more

on this. I presume Coca-Cola doesn't have stashes of marijuana ingredients in its factories and bottling plants.

So, how would they pull this off?

PAULA NEWTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, not this week but the main thing that happened in North American market was that Canada will legalize

cannabis. It'll go on retail sales here earlier in October and that has opened up a tremendous opportunity in terms of this being an inflection

point, Hala.

What does your Coke mean to you? What is your soft drink, what is your alcoholic drink mean to you? And what they're doing is they're

experimenting agriculturally with a lot of different strands of the cannabis. We can follow up on the Amara story, right? The doctor there

just told us your second brain is in your gut. Does that kind of wellness concept really that they're thinking about here?

And the point here is that if you and I have a Coke infused with this, the claim is that it can help prevent inflammation, ease your pain and help in

any kind of recovery. This is totally experimental at this point.

But as you can imagine, that hasn't stopped the stocks from going into the absolute stratosphere. And when you get an iconic brand like Coke, Hala,

think about it, if you think about the branding and the marketing opportunities, this is still way in the future. But it is definitely

something that Coke doesn't think they can afford to miss out on.

GORANI: But I wonder, I mean, Coca-Cola is a soft drinks company. I mean, they have all sorts of drinks. If you add an ingredient like the non-

psychoactive ingredient CBD in your drink, you're becoming sort of a pharmaceutical company, right?

NEWTON: It's such a great point, Hala. And this is what is going on in this industry right now, is that it is all merging. The point about this

experimentation with cannabis is the fact that you're going to have three sectors, soft drinks, alcoholic drinks, and yes, big pharma. All of them

competing to see who can deliver the best product to make you feel good and other times, to give you that high the way maybe a glass of wine or a glass

of beer might, but also key and in the wellness and recovery.

[14:55:27] Hala, I have to point out. Look. Cannabis, marijuana, remains a schedule one drug in the United States. What does that mean? That means

that even some cannabis investors here in Canada have bene told they've been barred entry into the United States because they're no better than a

drug dealer.

And so for that reason, this isn't coming any time soon, but yes. You will see over the next decade likely a huge transformation in what you and I

consider both be recreational in terms of a beverage or other intake or what we consider to be therapeutic.

GORANI: What would Coca-Cola get out of this? I know it's not nor next week or even any time soon. But what is it that Coco-Cola is trying to

address by branching out like this, in its own business model?

NEWTON: Well, I think -- yeah. You and I apparently, Hala, are not drinking as much Coke as we used to and also all the other beverages that

Coke is bringing to the market and that's true for all beverage companies. They want to be in the space to compete. The point is their revenue is

down dramatically over the last couple of years and they want to make sure that they're in that market.

But also, it is the branding opportunity, right? In terms of you think about all the celebrities that they could have join into this, especially

when you start talking about it, not as a head buzz but as something for wellness.

GORANI: All right. Paula Newton, thanks very much.

Speaking of ingredients, in your food, it is her first solo project as a royal. The Duchess of Sussex is supporting a charity cookbook to help

families impacted by the Grenfell Tower fire in West London.

This is video from Kensington Palace. In it, she talks about the bond she said she has formed with survivors.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Together is a cookbook. But it's also the story of a West London community who gathered together in a kitchen and discovered the

healing power of sharing food.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Cooking for me is everything. I love to see people - -

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I love to cook. I love to feed people.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: In January 2018, as I was peddling into my new home of London, I met a group of women whose community have been affected by the

Grenfell fire. They had decided to get together to cook fresh food for their families and their neighbors.

(END VIDEO CLIP) GORANI: All right. This video, well produced video, released by Kensington Palace there to promote this cookbook.

Thank you for watching. I'm Hala Gorani. Stay with CNN. "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" is coming your way next.