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Trump Hails New Trade Deal With Mexico And Canada; Indonesia Struggles To Get Aid To Disaster Zone; Iran Fires Ballistic Missiles At Militants In Syria; Tributes To French Singer Charles Aznavour. Aired 12-1 a ET

Aired October 2, 2018 - 00:00   ET




ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Hundreds of bodies buried in mass graves as thousands more beg for help after that devastating earthquake and tsunami in Indonesia.

President Trump defending his Supreme Court nominee saying he has been through trauma. This as a new witness comes forward to the FBI, claiming Brett Kavanaugh lied under oath.

And remembering the unforgettable, the Las Vegas massacre one year on, when many victims continue to struggle with memories of the nightmare.

Hello and welcome to our viewers all around the world. I'm Rosemary Church and this is CNN NEWSROOM.


CHURCH: Thank you so much for being with us, everyone.

The more rescuers search, the more destruction and the more bodies they are finding in Indonesia. Drone footage of the devastating city of Palu shows the stark aftermath of Friday's 7.5 earthquake and 3- meter tsunami.

To the north, Red Cross workers have finally reached the city nearest the quake's epicenter, Donggala, where many buildings are now just piles of debris. First responders are still struggling to reach survivors in some remote areas and to get food, water and medical supplies where they are needed.

The confirm death toll now stands at 844 and it's expected to rise. Many victims are being buried in mass graves; more than 600 people are injured and almost 50,000 are homeless.

The E.U. and South Korea are among those offering millions of dollars in aid. CNN's Matt Rivers has reached the hard-hit city of Palu on Sulawesi Island. He has more on the challenges and the trauma survivors and rescuers are facing.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Rescuers think there's a body in here and believed it should be found. They don't mind crashing through the rubble to search because the House was already gone.

Around the corner, another search, a tarp they laid in case they find someone. They don't. But these guys did to add to a climbing death toll after a massive earthquake followed by a tsunami flattened this part of Sulawesi.

If you lived here you'd be lucky if you weren't hurt, even if you lost everything you own. That's what happened to many of these people. Airport refugees awaiting a government evacuation, most tried to leave because they've got nothing left. Even some with homes, in fact, get out.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: People are trying to get stuff from my house so I need to get the kids out of here.

RIVERS: People are looting.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: People are stealing things, they are trying to rob us.


RIVERS: For those that remain behind, the conditions are horrific. We visited a hospital that set up an outdoor ward because post quake patients were scared to go back inside. The injured still in beds, soaked in sweat, covered in flies, is where we meet Putari Putiwi (ph).

She was riding a motorbike with her cousin, her best friend, when the tsunami hit. She lived. Her cousin didn't.

"At first I shouted," she says, "Eta, Eta, where are you?

She didn't respond. In the beginning I thought she would survive but then my family found out she was dead."

The stories of trauma are as common as they are awful. We meet this bandaged 7-year old a few minutes later. He was with his mom and little brother when the wave hit. They were swept away and haven't been seen since.

He says he sees a black shadow, that's what he said. I think it's him remembering his mother and brother. Officially, they're missing; in all likelihood, they're gone.

So what does a poor town do when the bodies keep piling up and there's nowhere to put them?

This town is so inundated with death that the morgue is completely overwhelmed. The only space left for many of the bodies is here in the parking lot outside the emergency room. Some of these have been outside exposed for three days now; 130 remain.

The only solution to prevent the spread of disease is to strip the dignity of a proper goodbye. Mass burial started Monday, a thankless task performed by a military already spread too thin. They'll continue Tuesday and maybe after that as long as people keep searching and finding. But nobody wants to find -- Matt Rivers, CNN, Palu, Indonesia.



CHURCH: And joining us now by phone from Jakarta, Indonesia, Fajar Jasmin, a representative with Save the Children.

Thank you so much for talking with us.



CHURCH: And now what are the biggest challenges at this moment for aid groups like yours trying to get help to those most in need including, of course, the children?

JASMIN: Yes. To begin with we need to understand that Sulawesi is not an island like Java or Bali in Indonesia. This is an island that has some major cities where they're mostly geographically widely separated with only some main roads connecting between them. And then there are a lot -- a lot of forested area. So this is closer to Borneo.

And the reason why I'm telling you this is because when an island of this kind is hit by a disaster of this scale it is easy to understand that the biggest challenge for us and other agencies is now access. The airport is damaged. Everything shut for commercial traffic. And the road, they are also heavily damaged.

I'm talking about infrastructure being broken. Bridges being broken into and roads being not connected anymore because of the seismic shift and so on and so forth.

Our initial response teams were in fact -- or were only able to get there by hitchhiking on the navy ship. And this ship needs to land in Makassar because the port in the affected area is, of course, damaged by the tsunami.

But Makassar is still 800 kilometers away from the affected area. Now with this all kinds of damaged roads that would mean another 30 hours' journey to get to the affected area.

Now, we were only talking about the response teams which only carry, you know, themselves. Now when we're talking about relief efforts, the truck and containers, that would really complicate the matter.

CHURCH: Right. So the biggest challenge is that these roads are damaged. It's really difficult to get through. And you're having to use these navy ships to actually get to some of the -- the aid to those most in need.

How long do you think it would take to get all of this aid to the disaster zone given those problems? You're talking about 30 hours just for one trip there.

JASMIN: Correct. I need to tell you the truth that I cannot give you a good estimation on how long do I think that it will be restored. But I have reports coming in that the government along with the army are already deploying some excavators, you know, from the plantations that were existing on the island before and, you know, deploying all these earth movers to help -- to help the efforts of this foreign access (ph).

So I would like to think that it should be restored in a day or two, to some extent. Not fully, but to some extent that would enable all these relief efforts to move forward more, sadly (ph).

CHURCH: Right. Fajar Jasmin, thank you so much for talking with us, talking about the challenges there.

And, of course, as you were speaking with us, looking at this drone footage certainly puts it in perspective, just the extent of this damage and devastation and how long it will take for people's lives to return to normal. We're talking a very long time.

Thank you for so much for speaking with us.


CHURCH: And if you would like to help those affected by the earthquake and tsunami in Indonesia, just go to There you will find links to organizations working to bring relief to the disaster zone.

We now turn to Washington and the battle over U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. A new Quinnipiac poll shows a growing number of Americans -- 48 percent -- oppose his confirmation; 42 percent support him. President Trump is standing by his nominee; at a campaign rally Monday night in Tennessee, he blamed Democrats for trying to bring down Judge Kavanaugh. Take a listen.


TRUMP: They've been trying to destroy him since the very first second he was announced because they know that Judge Kavanaugh will follow the Constitution as written. That's been his system (ph).

And he's a good man, great student, great intellect, never had a problem. All of a sudden, oh, let's go back to high school. They maybe should go before high school.


CHURCH: Now earlier Monday in the White House Rose Garden the president announced a new trade agreement with Canada but the discussion quickly turned to his Supreme Court pick. CNN's Jim Acosta reports.



JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: With the fate of Judge Brett Kavanaugh hanging in the balance, President Trump is ordering the FBI to conduct a thorough background check of his embattled Supreme Court nominee. But the president adds, "just make it snappy."

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I want them to do that. I wanted to be comprehensive. I actually think it's a good thing for Judge Kavanaugh. I think it's actually a good thing. Not a bad thing. I think it's a good thing.

Now with that being said, I'd like you to go quickly. The one I want to speed.

ACOSTA: Unlike another investigation like the Russia probe that the president could do without.

TRUMP: We don't want to go on a witch hunt.


ACOSTA: Mr. Trump appeared to concede Kavanaugh has not always been judicious in his consumption of alcohol.

KAVANAUGH: I drink beer with my friends, almost everyone did. Sometimes I have too many beers. Sometimes others did. I liked beer. I still like beer. But I do not drink beer to the point of blacking out.

ACOSTA: Taking note of the judge's comments of his beer drinking habits that even former classmates and says weren't exactly truthful.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you think that bars him from being your Supreme Court nominee?

TRUMP: Well, I've watch -- I watch him. I was surprised at how vocal he was about the fact that he liked beer and he's had a little bit of difficulty. Well, I've never had alcohol. You know, for whatever reason. Can you imagine if I had?

What a mess I'd be, well, I'd be the world's worst.

ACOSTA: Then out of nowhere the president went on to make an unsubstantiated claim that he knows of a Democratic lawmaker who drinks too much.

TRUMP: I'll tell you what, I happen to know some United States senators, one who is on the other side who was pretty aggressive. I've seen that person in very bad situations. OK? I've seen that person in very, very bad situations, somewhat compromising.

ACOSTA: The White House is pushing back on accusations that aides to the president have tried to limit the FBI's probe of Kavanaugh's background, an investigation Mr. Trump could have authorized at least a week ago.

SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The White House is not micromanaging this process. This is the Senate is dictating the terms.

ACOSTA: Democrats point to constraints on last week's hearing where the Senate Judiciary Committee listen to the testimony of Kavanaugh's accuser, Christine Blasey Ford but didn't hear from Mark Judge. That's the man who Ford claims was in the room when she was assaulted by Kavanaugh.

JOHN KERRY, FORMER UNITED STATES SECRETARY OF STATE: You know, if that person disappear to the beach where their clothes stuck in the car and hide from the process. You have to talk to everybody.

ACOSTA: The battle over Kavanaugh's overshadowing the president's attempts to focus on his agenda like today's news conference that was supposed to be about a new trade deal with Mexico and Canada. Mr. Trump seem to delight and taking on his GOP critics who have blasted his policy of imposing tariffs on U.S. allies.

TRUMP: Just for those babies out there they keep talking about tariffs, that includes Congress, please don't charge tariffs. Without tariffs you wouldn't be -- we wouldn't be standing here.

ACOSTA: And the president has continued to defend his Supreme Court nominee, telling this rally in Tennessee that Democrats have been out to destroy Brett Kavanaugh, quote, he says, "the very first second he was announced" -- Jim Acosta, CNN, Johnson City, Tennessee.



CHURCH: And Michael Genovese is President of the Global Policy Institute at Loyola Marymount University. He joins me now live from Los Angeles.

Thank you so much for being with us.


CHURCH: Now, of course, all the attention we're seeing now is on Brett Kavanaugh's drinking habits at high school and college.

Some of his classmates remember him as aggressive and belligerent when he got drunk, some of them don't think he told the truth about the extent of his drinking when he testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Republicans say his drinking should have nothing to do with this.

Why does it matter what Kavanaugh said to the committee about his drinking habits?

Is this political or is it an effort to determine if he's telling the truth?

GENOVESE: It's combination of both. Clearly there's a political agenda at stake. The Democrats don't want Kavanaugh. They want to find fault with him and so they go into the process looking for something. Mr. Kavanaugh has given them something.

His testimony seems to have been a bit off the truth at times. He seems to have said some things that might involve perjury. And so his word is the important thing.

Is he trustworthy?

Is he honest?

And once you get into a discussion of personal character then -- and it's going beyond that he said/she said argument about whether or not he has -- was sexually aggressive with a woman when he was in high school, this goes to the very central nature of what it is to have the judicial temperament and what it is to be able to make decisions that are based on facts, especially when your word is in question.

CHURCH: Yes. And of course, now, the focus is also on this FBI investigation. It's --


CHURCH: -- concentrating on four key witnesses. Mark Judge seen, of course, as the most important because Christine Blasey Ford says he was in the room at the time of the alleged sexual assault.

And there's the two other key witnesses who were allegedly at that same party and the fourth witness, who is the second accuser, Deborah Ramirez.

How will focusing on just these four key witnesses get to the truth of the matter?

Is it too limited perhaps?

GENOVESE: Well, it's far too limited. If what you want is a quick decision, that's fine. Then you just rush through it and you take the vote. The Republicans right now have the votes.

If what you want is to find out the truth, if you want to figure out whether or not Kavanaugh really deserves to be on the highest court the land, then you'll need more time because you'll question people they will say, well, go see this person, go talk to that person.

And so you don't want to have an artificial timeframe it says, you must finish at this time. You won't either do it right or do it fast. Right now it looks like they want to do it fast.

CHURCH: How do you take the politics out of this?

Is it even possible and will this FBI investigation be viewed as a fast in the end because of the limitations even though the White House says there are no limitations here?

GENOVESE: Well, you know, Rosemary, we all enter this with baggage and that baggage sometimes puts blinders on us. Right now, it's become a very tribal conflict in -- amidst uncertainty and fluidity and where there's, you know, he said/she said.

And all that uncertainty leads people to revert back to their tribal loyalties since the information is unclear, since we don't really know the facts, we can't get it what the truth is. What we're relying on our political instincts and our tribal loyalties and I think that's what you're saying now.

If you look at the polls that you introduced this segment with a 48 percent are against Kavanaugh, 42 percent for, that's pretty much the makeup of the political popularity of the president. And so right now, it's tribal and it's very political and we're not going to get to the bottom of it. I doubt very much that we'll find out the truth.

CHURCH: Right.

And if it can be shown that Kavanaugh lied to the Senate Judiciary Committee about the extent of his drinking and therefore is not an honest person, should he still get confirmed?

GENOVESE: Several senators said, no, Democrats and Republicans. But I think it's not just the drinking; there's also the question of perjury about his yearbook, where he may have said some things that aren't true, where he was asked specific questions about entries in his yearbook, which referred to what he called drinking games.

But what if you Google those things, they return as sex games?

And so, you know, there is question about whether or not he was going to -- he was honest about that. Now, remember, Bill Clinton was impeached by Republicans for lying under oath about sex. And then, chief accuser within Ken Starr's office was Brett Kavanaugh.

And so, maybe this is a little bit of karma. But, if lying about sex under oath is impeachable, it certainly would disqualify you for the Supreme Court, if that's what happened.

CHURCH: Right, exactly. Looking for trust and honesty here, Michael Genovese, thank you so much for joining us. We do appreciate it.

GENOVESE: Thank you.


CHURCH: It has been one year since the worst mass shooting in modern American history. But as more time passes since the Las Vegas massacre, hope seems to have faded for any resulting widespread changes to U.S. gun laws. We'll take a look at that when we come back.





CHURCH: People in the United States are pausing to remember the unforgettable. It has been one year since the worst shooting in modern American history; 58 people killed and 500 others injured after a gunman opened fire on a concert audience in Las Vegas.

In the next hour, lights will go down on the Vegas Strip to honor the victims of that tragic night. But as survivors reflect on the moment their lives changed forever, it's worth pointing out there has been little change to U.S. gun laws since that massacre. Here's CNN's Erica Hill


ERICA HILL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: On October 1st, 2017, Rosemary was soaking up the music and the moment at the Route 91 Harvest Festival with her daughters in an instant, everything changed.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: At first I thought it was firecrackers and then I saw bullets and I realized, oh, my God, those are not fireworks, those are bullets. And immediately I was shocked.

HILL: A year and 12 surgeries later, she's still recovering.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You can still see the joy in her face, the happiness in her face of wanting to come home. She is tired, she is tired of being in the hospital and she live in the hospital for over a year. I've been in hospital almost a year with her every day.

HILL: Since the shooting, Rosemary has spent just five weeks at home.

It's an emotional roller coaster for all of you.

Are there ever moments when you're angry?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is not angry but it's more disappointment. The second roller coaster that doesn't have any brakes and comes back to the landing. It just keeps going up and down and up and down.

HILL: Across the city resilience is on display. And over the weekend moments of reflection for the 58 lives cut short, the final investigation report issued in August did not determine a motive with the sheriff calling the shooter and unremarkable man with mental health issues.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We just see this sadly, this repetitive sickness that is out there.

HILL: Early bipartisan calls for stricter regulations, including a federal ban on bump stocks have quieted, despite bills in the House and Senate and promises from President Trump in the wake of the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, four months later.

TRUMP: We can do that with an executive order, I am going to write the bump stock essentially out.

HILL: Ten states had passed the bump stocks ban and, in some cases, additional measures aimed at preventing future tragedies. A public comment period to reclassify bump stocks as machine guns brought in more than 180,000 responses. The DOJ hasn't yet issued a decision.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It is a very difficult time. I've never seen a more divisive political structure in my life and all these years and so it really starts with each one of us and what can we do.

HILL: In Las Vegas it is a focus on community and on moving forward. At the Clark County Museum, a new exhibit, "How We Mourned," opened on Friday, a collection of the items left behind at memorials and vigils around the city.

Was it hard for any of your staff to work on this?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, it is hard for everyone. It is a very heavy exhibits. This is something were dealing with daily. You know, everybody has to walk away from it at a times.

HILL: Some 18,000 items are preserved, each one a powerful reminder.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is going to be important for us to look back and say how did we deal with this?

HILL: Learning from the past, focusing on the future.

What do you hope the story next year at this time?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I hope that it is a celebration of life, every year. It happens to us before.

HILL: Vegas, strong and growing stronger.


CHURCH: Our next guest is a survivor of the Las Vegas shooting and, as an attorney, represents several other survivors. Brian Claypool joins us from a benefit concert for survivors in Los Angeles.

Brian, thank you so much for being with us.

BRIAN CLAYPOOL, ATTORNEY: Sure, thank you, Rosemary.

CHURCH: Now of course this deadly shooting changed your life forever and did the same for all the other survivors.

A year later, how are you coping and where do things stand for all of you?

CLAYPOOL: Well, what we did is we formed a non-profit called So basically when I was in the middle of the shooting --


CLAYPOOL: -- and those shots were like bang, bang, bang, I was covering my head, I thought I was going to die.

So during the first round of shots, I'm thinking I'm going to die and then when I survived I said to myself, if I get through these next rounds of shots, I'm going to have to do something to change things, to make sure this doesn't happen again.

And within a couple days, I was interviewed by your colleague, Chris Cuomo, over at CNN. And he connected with me with a woman named Lisa Fine. We formed Route 91 Strong a couple days after the shooting.

We now have raised nearly $600,000 to help victims of the Route 91 shooting. That's our method of coping. That's our therapy, to help these victims, to make a difference in the world, make this a better place and not forget about those who, like myself, are suffering from PTSD.

CHURCH: Yes, and that stays with you forever. We just ran a story of a woman who has just come out of the hospital a year later.

So what changes?

Were you hoping to witness a year later in terms of U.S. gun control?

CLAYPOOL: Well, I was demoralized this morning when I woke up and the first thing I see is 58 doves being released in Las Vegas for those precious lives that were lost. We love the lives that were lost in that. We will forever be bonded to them.

But then later in the morning, I'm watching clips like you just played of our president who said he could take care of this with an executive order. I met with a U.S. senator out here in California a month after the shooting to author the bump stock legislation.

And let's face it, here we are, a year later, and absolutely zero has changed in the United States. And that is sobering and demoralizing for people like myself and others in the Las Vegas shooting.

Nothing has changed.

CHURCH: Why do you think nothing has changed?

CLAYPOOL: I think nothing's changed because of the power of the lobbying groups in the United States. Make no mistake about it, the National Rifle Association, the NRA, is the most powerful lobbying group in the country.

And political officials in the United States, they don't vote with their hearts. They vote based on what the consequences will be for them in the political arena. And when they're being influenced by a powerful lobbying group, they really don't care, let's face it, about how I'm doing, how other victims in the Vegas shooting are doing.

They're more worried about their political future.

CHURCH: And you don't think that the Las Vegas shooting and the various school shootings, particularly the one in Florida, has made any difference at all?

CLAYPOOL: I got to be honest with you. I think it's pathetic what we've been facing as victims of gun violence.

How many more shootings is it going to take before political officials do something to enforce what I call responsible gun ownership?

We're not saying eliminate guns across the United States. What we're saying is people have to be responsible to own guns in the United States. We need to increase, for example, communication about the mental unfitness of people with the background checks, for example, that are done to issue guns.

And really, all we hear after a mass shooting is our president is saying, gee, I'm really sorry. He goes and he meets with the victims and then, guess what?

It's back to work as usual in Washington (INAUDIBLE).

I'll tell you, a year later, all I feel is we live in a really, really dangerous world here in the United States, where you walk down the street and you're looking over your shoulder, thinking you're going to get shot and killed.

And there is no safe place left in the United States because we have political officials and leadership that could simply care less about public safety and all they care about is their political well-being. It's tragic but the truth.

CHURCH: Brian Claypool, thank you so much talking with us. Appreciate it.

CLAYPOOL: Thank you for having me.

CHURCH: We'll take a very short break here. Still to come, days after the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Indonesia, rescuers are finally getting to some of the more remote, hardest-hit areas. What they are finding. We'll have that next for you.

Plus Iran launches ballistic missiles into Syria, hitting close to American troops.

But what message is Iran trying to send and to whom?

[00:30:00] We will explain, next.


CHURCH: A very warm welcome back. I'm Rosemary Church, I want to update you now on the main stories we've been watching this hour. Donald Trump say, Democrats have been trying to destroy his Supreme Court Nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, since he was first announced. The U.S. president says he wants a thorough but swift investigation of sexual assault allegations against Kavanaugh.

And President Trump is celebrating a trade victory after Canada signed onto a new pact with the U.S. and Mexico that will replace NAFTA. He says, the U.S.-Mexico-Canada agreement or USMCA will with be a boon for the American economy and that it wouldn't have happened without tariffs.

Rescuers in Indonesia are struggling to get to remote areas that have been cut off since Friday's catastrophic earthquake and tsunami. More than 840 people were killed and that toll will likely rise even further, hundreds more are injured. Thousands of buildings have been destroyed and food and other supplies are running low.

CNN's Alexandra Field joins us now for the latest on the situation in Indonesia. So, Alex, what is the latest information you have on how the search and rescue effort is progressing, and how likely is it that -- that they will find more survivors under the rubble at this stage?

ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, Rosemary, they certainly have not given up. You've got rescuers who are continuing to try to pressing into areas that they haven't reached, and they're continuing to do work in the areas that they've been focused on for days now. Take the (INAUDIBLE) hotel where they think 50 people may be trapped beneath the rubble. Rescuers continue to dig through that, hoping days later, that they will find survivors.

This continues to be incredibly difficult work. We've seen a tremendous effort in the last few days to get more rescue crews into the region, also to get more supplies in the region. The government is saying that they have been able to move some of the necessary supplies in. We know that they've been flying in fuel and now working to distribute that fuel.

It's critical in places where like hospitals, for instance, that are running on generators where they desperately need this fuel. We also know that they're now bringing in large cargo ships full of humanitarian supplies. Those things also need to be distributed, things like food, diapers, other essentials for survivors. You've got some 50,000 people, Rosemary, who have been forced out of their homes because of the tsunami, because of the earthquake. They're desperate to get their hands on these lifesaving supplies that are beginning to come in.

In some cases, survivors have simply taking matters into their own hands, going into gas stations or supermarkets trying to load up. We understand from Indonesian official that some supermarkets have, in fact, been encouraged to open their doors and promised that there will be government paybacks. The focus has really been on getting these essential supplies out to the people who need them while the rescuers continue to do this very difficult work.

Reality here, though, Rosemary, mass burials continuing with some now 844 killed as consequence of these twin disasters. And officials still anticipating that the death toll could rise.

[00:35:30] CHURCH: Yes. Of course, as you've been talking to us, we are look at these extraordinary images coming from the area just showing how bad this has been in the aftermath. What are the biggest challenges right now as the effort continues to get this aid to those most in need?

FIELD: Well, I think the key here is you've got to keep hope alive, that you're going to find survivors. And that's why rescuers have still been working day and night as much as they can, and it's also about just distributing those essential supplies, even if they've arrived -- you got to get them in the hands of the people who need them without creating more chaos or more safety concerns for the survivors who are essentially living outside.

You got thousands of people who are in outdoor areas where they're trying to be treated, if they need medical care or they're trying to get some food or water. We know the government has been moving in water purification tablets, that they can serve right now preventing the spread of disease, of course. There's also been, of course, a huge effort to trying and bury the dead at this point. Really, though, the clean-up effort is something that will take weeks, months, possibly years to get this region back on its feet, Rosemary.

CHURCH: It is simply horrendous for those people who have lost everything. They have nowhere to go. And we will keep an eye on this story. Alexandra Field joining us there from Hong Kong with the very latest. Many thanks.

Well, Iran has five ballistic missiles across Iraq and into Syria, targeting Sunni militants it blamed for a deadly attack on a military parade last month. U.S. says the missiles came within five millimeters of American troops which are fighting ISIS militants. And as our Sam Kiley reports, the missiles were also meant to carry a message and not just the one written on them.


SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The Iranian government has said that it's launched an unspecified number of missiles emblazoned with the slogans: Death to America, death to the house of South, and of course, death to Israel. But they've not fired them against any of those targets, they fired them against the so- called Islamic state, a small enclave or territory, still in the hands of those extremist on the northern edge of the lower Euphrates River, close to the border with Iraq. A very complex battle spacing which American, British and French special forces alongside the Kurdish-led SDF, fighting to rid that same area of those very same people, the so- called Islamic State.

And then, to the south, you have the Syrian government forces also trying to achieve that same aim. So, in terms of targeting, this was not a controversial launch of missiles. But it is controversial in this region because it indicates once again, particularly, to the Saudis and the United Arab Emirates, the gulf states in general.

That's these Iranians have a capability to deliver with pinpoint accuracy, it would seem, a heavy payload using a ballistic missile. So, gulf countries, such as this one, where I'm located, in Abu Dhabi, are anxious, not least, because it is Tehran that has pointed the finger at gulf countries and particularly Saudi Arabia and, of course, the United States for having been behind the recent terrorist attack in which 29 people were killed in the south of Southern Iran. Sam Kiley, CNN, Abu Dhabi.


CHURCH: And we'll take a very short break right here. But when we come back, he is literally the poster boy of his country. What some Russians think as President Vladimir Putin strikes a pose. Back in just a moment.


[00:41:17] CHURCH: The Eiffel Tower bathed in lights -- just one of the tributes being paid around the world. The legendary French singer, Charles Aznavour. The 94-year-old sometimes described as France's Frank Sinatra died at his home near Marseille. Fans left flowers and candles at his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Aznavour was famous for his haunting love songs, selling more than 100 million records in a career that spanned eight decades.

Well, the presidential pinup is Putin every month of the year. CNN Fred Pleitgen shows us the new calendar that's hitting the stands in Russia.


FRED PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The Kremlin cover man is back. Brand new 2019 Vladimir Putin calendars fresh on the stands in Russia, and many Russians proud of their president's posture.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think not many countries have a president as strong as ours. And I think many people would like to have such a president in their countries. It's always good to see and hear from our president. His statements and appearances are always so well done.

PLEITGEN: There's Putin with a pub, Putin with a cub, Putin on a horse in winter, and even colder, Putin taking the Epiphany dip in ice water.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If a foreigner buys this calendar, they will have a good impression of our president, and they'll see that he can do it all. He loves animals, he can shoot, he looks good, and loves sport.

PLEITGEN: A nearly omnipotent president -- that is how Putin is portrayed, whether it's at international summits like earlier this year with President Donald Trump or taking his top officials for a tour of the hills and rivers in the Siberian outback. Putin is the one running the show leading the pack.

The calendars are designed to show Russians that they have a strong leader who is in control. But also, that Putin is a compassionate man and man of the people. But usually, a pretty well-selling item. Shopping kiosk owners we spoke to say they think this batch will sell out fairly quickly as well. But there's always a strong supply of Putin calendars for those who miss out now. Once again giving Russians and many tourists a glossary reminder of the brains, the Braun, the bravado, and of course, the beef of President Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin. Fred Pleitgen, CNN, Moscow.


CHURCH: And thank you so much for watching CNN NEWSROOM this hour. I'm Rosemary Church. Stay tuned now for "WORLD SPORT". You're watching CNN. See you at the top of the hour.


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