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Iran Fires Ballistic Missiles At Syria As Revenge For Ahvaz Attack; James Mattis could leave the White House; Disaster in the U.S. State of Georgia; South Korean Climber Killed In Accident; Saudi Arabia Gave A Warning. Aired 2-3a ET

Aired October 2, 2018 - 02:00   ET

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


[02:00:03] BECKY ANDERSON, NEWSROOM ANCHOR, CNN: A diplomatic nightmare that Saudi Arabia just can't seem to escape over the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Hello and welcome to our viewers in the United States and across the world. I am Becky Anderson live from CNN center. I've got mystery for you in Istanbul in Turkey.

ROSEMARY CHURCH, NEWSROOM ANCHOR, CNN: And I am Rosemary Church here at CNN center, where we are also following a defiant President Trump who says he doesn't trust everyone in the White House. That and more coming up. You are watching CNN Newsroom.

ANDERSON: As we see mixed messaging from inside the Kingdom itself, international pressure mounting on Saudi Arabia for answers in the disappearance of a prominent Saudi journalist. Saudi Arabia's king spoke with Turkey's President by phone Sunday about Jamal Khashoggi. The two reportedly agreed to create a working group to investigate the case.

Now, Khashoggi has been missing for nearly two weeks. He hasn't been seen since he entered the Saudi consulate here in Istanbul on October 2nd. Turkish authorities say Khashoggi was murdered inside the building, a charge the Saudis have vehemently denied. A senior official says the U.S. expects to get more information from Turkey this week.

And President Donald Trump has threatened severe punishment if it turns out the Saudis were involved in his disappearance and responsible for his death. Nic Robertson has more on the deepening diplomatic crisis.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NIC ROBERTSON, INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Amid escalating diplomatic tension, Saudi officials shuttle between the consul general's house and the nearby consulate where Turkey says Washington Post Journalist, Jamal Khashoggi, was killed, President Trump weighing his options.

PRES. DONALD TRUMP (R), UNITED STATES PRESIDENT: There's something really terrible and disgusting about that, if that were the case. So we're going to have to see. We're going to get to the bottom of it, and there will be severe punishment.

ROBERTSON: Turkish officials bullied by Trump's bullishness.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Saudi Arabia must cooperate for allowing to access to our key prosecutors office and experts to enter the Saudi consulate.

ROBERTSON: Where did he disappear? After two weeks, the most basic question still remains unanswered. How did Jamal Khashoggi disappear? His fiance was waiting outside the consulate. She saw him go in, but she didn't see him leave. Until now, Saudi Arabia denies access to Turkish investigators, rejects allegations of murder, and in a new statement, threatens retaliation for any move against its interest.

The Kingdom affirms that if any action is taken, it will respond with greater action. It also appeared to be an apparent put down of President Trump. A few hours after their first statement, Riyadh rolling back their rhetoric, to help clarify recently issued Saudi statement, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia extends its appreciation to all, including the U.S. administration, for refraining from jumping to conclusions on the ongoing investigation.

Khashoggi's disappearance is exposing possible rifts in Riyadh. It is putting the whole region at a potentially dangerous inflection point with more revelations expected. His fiance, in a New York Times op- ed, describes his last hours implicate Saudi malfeasance. He was cheerful when we were going to the Saudi consulate. He had no foreboding of what was to come.

Because, she says, he'd been given an appointment, implying he was unwittingly walking into a trap. A pro government Turkish newspaper claims Khashoggi's Apple watch recorded his own death, but it doesn't pass the sniff test. Even so, a CNN source says some of Turkey's western allies have been briefed on recordings from the consulate.

Germany, France, the U.K., the U.N., and the E.U. putting pressure on Saudi, calling for a credible investigation to establish the truth about what happened, and expect the Saudi government to provide a complete and detailed response. But pressure is also mounting on Turkey, too, to back up its claims that Khashoggi was murdered soon after going in the consulate here, and show whatever evidence it has. Nick Robertson, Istanbul, Turkey.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

[02:04:54] ANDERSON: Well, faced with the possibility of sanctions, Riyadh responded with a threat of its own to take greater action, and I quote. But later, the Saudi embassy in Washington softened the tone and expressed appreciation to all, including the U.S., for not jumping to conclusions in this investigation.

An op-ed on the Saudi and Arab channel, the general manager wrote, and I quote, if U.S. sanctions are imposed on Saudi Arabia, we will be facing an economic disaster that would rock the entire world. Riyadh is the capital of its oil, and touching this would affect oil production before any other (Inaudible) commodity. All of this will throw the Middle East, the entire Muslim world into

the arms of Iran which will become closer to Riyadh than Washington. Well, later on his Twitter account, (Inaudible) said the op-ed was his personal opinion and not the Saudi government's official position. We are joined now from Riyadh by Sam Kiley, our correspondent there, and Jomana Karadsheh is outside the Saudi consulate here in Istanbul.

And Sam, let me start with you, some confusion in the messaging from Saudi Arabia. Is it clear, why?

SAM KILEY, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: It's not clear why entirely, Becky. And I think you go right to the hub of the issue domestically here in Saudi Arabia. You've got two schools emerging, I think, a hard line taken particularly associated privately sources are telling me, with Muhammad bin Salman, the Crown Prince, and then a more conciliatory line that some experts tell me may be reflecting the King's position.

But nonetheless, I think if we kind of take a look at the sort of statements that are coming out or that came out in the last 24 hours that you alluded to, we can see the stark contrast. So, as you say, after the suggestion from Donald Trump that there could be some unspecified punishment, if there was malice or forethought and any kind of criminal act committed against the Washington Post columnist.

Then very rapidly an unnamed official was quoted on the Saudi news agency, Becky, saying the following. The Kingdom affirms its total rejection of any threats and attempts to undermine it, whether by threatening to impose economic sanctions, using political pressures, or repeating false accusations that will not undermine the Kingdom and its staunch positions and Arab Islamic and international status.

The outcome of these weak endeavors like their predecessor is a demise. Now, you really don't get that much more hard line take. And then there were other suggestions that there would be pushback or punishment -- punishment also alluded to in that same statement. Then we heard from the embassy in Saudi Arabia that really moved very quickly to try to undermine the statement that was coming out of Riyadh.

So one of the statements tweeted out of the United States' embassy in Washington, the Saudi embassy, of course, it said to help clarify recently issued Saudi statements, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia extends its appreciation to all, including the U.S. administration, for refraining from jumping to conclusions on the ongoing investigation.

Now since then, there was then a flurry of activity back and forth, and the king came out with a statement through the Saudi news agency, saying that he'd had a very positive discussion with President Erdogan. And while that was coming out, Becky, there was a flurry of statements from across the Arab world. The Arab League, Jordan, normally a country that likes to stay out of these sorts of controversies, Egypt, Djibouti, even the embattled Yemeni government, all putting out statements saying that they stood by Saudi Arabia 100 percent.

They were absolutely adamant that Saudi Arabia's key to the future stability, a real kind of verbal rhetorical show of force, if you like, from many in the Arab/Sunni world. A sort of silence from Qatar, which of course is blockaded by gulf countries led by Saudi Arabia and Qatar is much closer, as you know, to Turkey.

So we've seen this sort of tension evolving in Riyadh, really displaying, I think, still, and this is something else that people tell me privately, a sense that the Saudis are still figuring out quite how to approach this crisis. And there is clearly a debate going on within the Saudi government as to which line to take. But the king stepping in there late last night with a statement, a very conciliatory brotherly statement, I think shows an effort by the king to get control of the situation, Becky.

[02:09:56] ANDERSON: Fascinating. Thank you, Sam. Jomana, any further news, then, as we continue to sort of workout what's going on behind the scenes from the Kingdom? Any further news on what the Turkish authorities actually know about Jamal's disappearance at this point?

JOMANA KARADSHEH, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Well, Becky, as we have been saying for the past few days is they have been saying very little about what is going on with their investigation that they launched 10 days ago, this criminal investigation into his disappearance. And much of what we've been hearing is coming out through these leaks, through these anonymous sources, but not much has come out from the Turkish government.

And I think right now they are under a lot of pressure as we've heard there in mixed report earlier, to provide the evidence of what they believe took place or the evidence that they have of what happened inside the consulate, as we've heard all these allegations. And if you look at the events of yesterday, you had those strong statements from Saudi Arabia.

You had those -- what seemed to be that coordinated efforts, this move with all the statements coming out from the countries in the region, Arab countries that Turkey has a good relationship as well, siding with Saudi Arabia. So I think, you know -- and of course, we had that call between President Erdogan and King Salman. All indications are, Becky, is that the pressure is growing on Turkey right now to provide more evidence, to be a bit more transparent about what they do have, indeed.

But we also are seeing what we have been saying all along is that indications are Turkey is trying to resolve this to an extent diplomatically, that they don't want to escalate this current situation into a full-blown diplomatic crisis. And as we heard from the read-outs of the call between the two leaders yesterday as they talked about this joint working group, and there are a lot of people who have been voicing their concern in the region and beyond about this working group, and if it's going to be a way to resolve this crisis.

And they've been concerned about how credible the investigation is going to be with both parties involved. But we've heard from the Turkish foreign minister over the weekend saying that this joint working group in no way will impact their criminal investigation, back to you.

ANDERSON: Jomana is outside the Saudi consulate, and of course, Sam in Riyadh. Rosemary, what we know is that this Saudi citizen, the Washington Post columnist has disappeared. And we do know that the fallout from this mystery revealing the very deep rifts in this region, that is the extent of what we know at this point, quite frankly, with nearly two weeks now since Jamal Khashoggi went into that Saudi consulate and didn't come out, worrying times.

CHURCH: Very much the case, Becky. And we will be back with you in just a moment. Many thanks. Let's take a very short break here. But still to come, the Trump administration has seen a lot of people coming and going. Now in a new interview, Donald Trump hints that more people could be on their way out. Plus, struggling to survive in Florida, people who lost everything in Hurricane Michael are just trying to get by until life returns to normal. We'll have more on that when we return.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[02:15:00] CHURCH: Welcome back, everyone. Well, U.S. President Donald Trump sat down for a wide-ranging interview with the CBS show 60 Minutes. He touched on his relationship with North Korea, Russia, and even his own West Wing staffers.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The first lady...

TRUMP: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Melania. She said that there are still people in the White House that she doesn't trust and that you shouldn't trust.

TRUMP: I feel the same way. I don't trust everybody in the White House. I'll be honest with you.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You go to a meeting. Do you have to wonder, is he wearing a wire?

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: Not so much a wire. I am usually guarded. And I think I am guarded anyway. But I am not saying I trust everybody in the White House. I am not a baby. It's a tough business. This is a vicious place. Washington, D.C. is a vicious, vicious place.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHURCH: Mr. Trump also weighed in on the future of his Defense Secretary, James Mattis. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What about General Mattis, is he going to leave? TRUMP: Well, I don't know. He hasn't told me that. I have a very

good relationship with him. I had lunch with him two days ago. I have a very good relationship with him. It could be that he is. I think he's sort of a Democrat, if you want it know the truth. But General Mattis is a good guy. We get along very well.

He may leave. I mean, at some point, everybody leaves. Everybody -- people leave. That's Washington.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHURCH: Well, joining me now from Hong Kong is Glenn Shive, Executive Director of the Hong Kong America Center. Good to have you with us.

GLENN SHIVE, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, HONG KONG AMERICA CENTER: Pleasure.

CHURCH: So let's start with those comments from the President, where he says he doesn't trust everyone in the White House. Who do you think he's referring to? And is this how previous U.S. presidents have felt about their White House advisors and staff?

SHIVE: The question was about his White House. And he took it really to talk about Washington. So he went from the inner White House issue to the outer environment in which the White House operates and says it's a vicious place. And so he says, I am not a baby -- and he's really, he's conveying a sense of he's tough and he's guarded, but he doesn't trust everybody even in his own White House. He has to acknowledge that.

(CROSSTALK)

CHURCH: How unusual is that, though, that a President wouldn't trust those within his own White House, people he selected to work within his inner circle?

SHIVE: Well, there's been a record-high turnover of staff in the White House in the first two years. And, you know, as I say, he doesn't talk about them working together as a team. He talked about loyalty upward to him, and that's the key for him.

[02:19:58] CHURCH: And what did you make of what President Trump said about Defense Secretary Mattis in that 60 Minutes interview, saying that Mattis may leave, but everyone eventually leaves? What was your reading of his choice of words? Most Presidents, of course, would say, absolutely not. He's on the tape.

SHIVE: Of course.

CHURCH: Did you find that strange?

SHIVE: I did. I mean it is -- he called him sort of a Democrat, but I like him. He's a good man. We have good rapport. Rapport, of course, with him being the key issue, it didn't talk about, you know, what he believes in and where we agree and disagree. Exactly, there wasn't a sense of we as a team, dealing with these issues. So it's just a sense of do we get along and, you know, all people leave, and so, you know, no big deal.

CHURCH: Right. And let's just listen to what President Trump said again in that 60 Minutes interview about President Putin and Russia. Let's bring that up.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you agree that Vladimir Putin is involved in assassinations, in poisonings?

TRUMP: Probably he is, yeah, probably. I mean...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Probably?

TRUMP: Probably, but I rely on them. It's not in our country.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why not -- they shouldn't do it, because it's a terrible thing.

TRUMP: Of course they shouldn't do it.

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you believe that the Russians interfered in the 2016 campaign, election?

TRUMP: Well, they meddled, but I think China meddled, too.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But why do you say China meddled, too? Why don't you just say the Russians meddled?

TRUMP: Because I think China meddled also.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHURCH: All right, so two significant statements there. We hear President Trump say Vladimir Putin was probably involved in assassinations. Let's deal with that. That part first.

SHIVE: Right, right.

CHURCH: Because that's really incredible, isn't it? And he was really having to be pushed by Leslie Stahl to say that's not a good thing.

SHIVE: I mean the President must know it's not a probable thing, but he just wants to cover it for himself to say, well, we really don't know. Do you know? I mean so he sows doubt in the questioner rather than speak clearly to the point of we know this. And we know that he does know this, so why does he say probably? That is a kind of -- always he gives himself wiggle room with regard to Putin. Why is that so?

CHURCH: I mean that is the big question, isn't it? Because then, of course, they went on to talk about the meddling in the 2016 elections. He admitted there that Russia had meddled, but China meddled as well, he said. So again, what did you read into that? Why bring China into the equation there? Again, it seems that he's not prepared to say it's just Russia alone.

SHIVE: That's right. It's change the subject. If he's awkward and uncomfortable at some point, move on to something else and it's a moral equivalent. So if Russia did it, well, China did it. Well, then it's not so bad that Russia did it. And besides, you know, we think China's worse at this. And so where do we go with that?

I mean he doesn't have evidence that he's showing about China. It's making the China relationship more difficult. But he's still in a sense protecting with this notion of moral equivalence that it's not just Russia. Everybody does it. And now everybody is doing it to everybody, and that's the new world we're in. And I think that there is something -- he doesn't think in terms of moral issues.

He thinks in terms of power. And he thinks in terms of American power, American economic power. And wherever there's issues like in this question of Skripal and England and the issue of Putin, he's saying, well, that's terrible, but it didn't happen to us.

CHURCH: Right.

SHIVE: So it's out there. It's somebody else's business. It's not America's role to deal with this directly.

CHURCH: Glenn Shive, thank you so much for joining us. We appreciate t.

SHIVE: My pleasure.

CHURCH: Well, another topic we are watching very closely, clearing up operations underway in the Florida panhandle. But authorities say it could take months before life returns to normal after Hurricane Michael ravaged the area. The storm killed at least 18 people and wiped out entire towns along the gulf coast. Many people were living in dire conditions there, having to wait in long lines for food and water.

Florida Governor, Rick Scott, saw the devastation firsthand in Mexico Beach. The small coastal community was decimated by a direct hit from the monster storm. The Governor says it is time to take the most dangerous paths of the storm seriously.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think a lot of people just don't realize how life-threatening storm surge is, 14 foot of storm surge, 10 foot, 9 foot, 6 foot can even kill you. But you can see right here, homes just picked up. If they weren't demolished like most of them here, if you're on the beach, they were demolished. Storm surges are so dangerous for people.

And I hope, you know, if anything, people learn from this is take storm surge way more seriously than people have in the past.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

[02:25:11] CHURCH: Thousands of rescue crews are in the area to help people who lost everything. Well, President Trump has declared a major disaster in the U.S. state of Georgia and has ordered federal aid to counties that were slammed by Hurricane Michael. The storm destroyed some 84 chicken houses holding 2 million chickens, and ruined pecan, cotton, and peanut crops, a quadruple blow to Georgia's major industries. At least 27,000 customers in the state have no power at this time.

Well, a renowned South Korean climber among those killed in the worst mountaineering accident in the Himalayas in two years. The bodies of nine hikers have now been transported to Camp Mandu. Five South Korean climbers, including team leader Kim Chang Ho, and the four Nepali guides who were killed in a violent snowstorm Friday on Nepal's Mount Gurja. Rescuers say their camp was destroyed.

We'll take a short break here. Still to come, Saudi Arabia has a warning for the world. If there are sanctions, oil prices will go up. We will look at the economic fallout from the disappearance of a Saudi journalist. And we're back in Istanbul in just a few minutes. Do stay with us here on CNN.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[02:30:25] CHURCH: Welcome back, everyone. I'm Rosemary Church. I want to update you now on the main stories we've been watching this hour. Donald Trump says 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.

Iran has fired ballistic missiles across Iraq and into Syria targeting Sunni militants. It blames for a deadly attack on a military parade last month. Iran has also blamed Israel and the U.S., but both countries deny any involvement. The U.S. says Iran's missiles came within five kilometers over American troops. Rescuers in Indonesia are struggling to get to remote areas that has 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. Well, hundreds of aftershocks are making many survivors too scared to go indoors. But outside, they are facing fierce tropical heat and the threat of thunderstorms. We turn to meteorologist Pedram Javaheri who has the latest on the condition on Sulawesi. So Pedram, this is a big problem, isn't it not only for those people who are outside with no shelter at all but of course for the search and rescue teams too?

PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN INTERNATIONAL METEOROLOGIST: Yes. You know, and just as you said very well here they're dealing with extreme heat and also the chance for rainfall is kind of wrapping up detail end of the wet season across this region. So here we go, temperatures generally to the lower and middle 30s over the next couple of days and just about every single afternoon a decent chance here of some thunderstorms to begin to pop up.

Lastly, you want to see when you're in full force here you're trying to get a recovery efforts underway and of course (INAUDIBLE) you know, August, September, and October kind of coming in among the wettest times of the year into the summer season in the latter portion of the season as well. But here we go, 250 aftershocks so far since Friday. We have 25 of which have come in as a 4.5 magnitude or greater. And take a look, about five now coming in at 5.5 or greater and most recently a 6.0 magnitude coming in as well and when you look at the historical numbers of such earthquakes or generally expecting one to be in the 6.5 range.

This has not happened yet. But you notice again, we've had five so far. We expect 10 to be in the 5.5 or greater and 25 so far as we mentioned and 100 is what we expect in the 4.5, so certainly many more aftershocks to go. But when you take a look at progression of how things with aftershocks of such quakes work, typically, the magnitude will decrease over time but the number of aftershocks still continue potentially several dozen to maybe 50 to 100 per day times across this region.

So here's what we're looking at of course when you talk about 7.0 or greater, only 15 of which are typically observed on our planet, so certainly an unusual set up too but this part of the world not as unusual. And a quick glance here, Rosemary. We do have a tropical system to tell you about (INAUDIBLE) very much similar to what we saw with Trami this time last week. This system also poised to work his way to the north and what has been a very busy season across this region with the Western Pacific, Rosemary.

CHURCH: Certainly has, Pedram, thank you so much for that. Appreciate it.

JAVAHERI: OK.

CHURCH: Well, U.S. President Donald Trump is celebrating a victory with a new trade deal with Canada and Mexico. The U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement or USMCA rewrites NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement. Richard Quest looks at what each country won in that deal.

RICHARD QUEST, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: The new deal, the USMCA was signed just hours before the deadline. So now the ramifications everybody working out who got what, who won, and who paid the price. So far there are clear benefits. For example, to the United States which got greater access to Canada's dairy market, a strategically important victory for the U.S. It's been trying to get that for many years. Canada itself got a victory.

It got to keep the dispute resolution mechanism. That's something that Trump from NAFTA wanted to ensure in any new agreement. And when it comes to Mexico, well, that's all about automobiles and managing to preserve the factories and the auto making capacity in Mexico. But at the same time accepting new restrictions. For example, a higher rate of pay for workers and new limits on the amount of transfers of vehicles and car parts between the countries. [02:35:03] All in all, this has been a victory for all three that they

even manage to do the deal and it's good evidence of Donald Trump's administration ability to put together complicated controversial trade agreements. The issue here will be how they nearly had to go over the cliff to get this. For the time being, the markets seemed to be ignoring it. Right out of the gate, the Dow was higher. It stayed up for the entire session. No records but clearly giving a boost of confidence in the market. Richard Quest, CNN, New York.

CHURCH: Well, at a time when President Trump might consider avoiding the appearance of condescension towards women. He couldn't help but mock Cecilia Vega of ABC News when he called on her at Monday's news conference. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Question me up. Go ahead. Sure. She's shocked that I picked her. It's like she's in a state of shock.

CECILIA VEGA, ABC NEWS: I'm --

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: That's OK. I know you're not thinking. You never do.

VEGA: I'm sorry.

TRUMP: No. Go ahead. Go ahead.

VEGA: In a tweet this weekend, Mr. President, you said that it's incorrect to say you're limiting the scope of the FBI investigation.

TRUMP: What does that have to do with trade? I don't mind answering the question. But, you know, I'd like to do the trade question.

VEGA: It has to do with the other headline in the news which is the --

(CROSSTALK)

TRUMP: No. But -- I know. But how about we talking about trade and then we'll get to that?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHURCH: OK. So later, the resident admonished CNN's Kaitlan Collins for asking questions about the Brett Kavanaugh investigation as well. Well, a child of Armenian immigrants, a French legend, a global superstar tributes pour in for Charles Aznavour. The singer some called France's Frank Sinatra. A report from Paris. That's next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CHURCH: Much of the Las Vegas strip went dark Monday evening to honor the 58 people who were gunned down at a country music concert exactly one year ago.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Austin Davis, 29, Riverside, California.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Jennifer Irvine, 22, San Diego, California.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHURCH: Last year's shooting is the deadliest in modern American history. Well, tributes are pouring in from around the world for legendary French singer, Charles Aznavour.

[02:40:05] The Eiffel Tower was bathed in light in honor of Aznavour who died at his home near Marseille at age 94. Throughout his life, Aznavour remained close to his Armenian roots. Fans in the Armenian capital turned out with candles and flowers to mourn his passing and celebrate his life. Aznavour was famous for his haunting love songs. We'll have more now from CNN's Jim Bittermann.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JIM BITTERMANN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: His fame stretched around the word from an onstage career that stretched over more than seven decades. Yet, Charles Aznavour never forgot his heritage and humble beginnings.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BITTERMANN: The (INAUDIBLE) who was to become known as Francis Frank Sinatra was born on this Paris street to impoverished Turkish-Armenian parents. His father used to sing in restaurants to make ends meet something that may have inspired the young man to leave school at age nine and take up singing himself.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BITTERMANN: His big break came just after World War II when he became a protegee of legendary French singer Edith Piaf composing music for her and sometimes appearing with her on stage. Singer-composer Andre Manoukian, a fellow Armenian who performed with Aznavour says Piaf found the late singer self-taught style and voice unusual.

ANDRE MANOUKIAN, SINGER AND COMPOSER: In those days, it was quite a problem for him. He was -- he was -- assistant and she was saying to him, OK, you write good songs, but please don't sing it yourself. Please.

BITTERMANN: In the end, he did both, writing more than 800 compositions and recording more than 1200 songs which sold close to 200 million records. The French considered Aznavour one of their especially because he composed and sang songs which addressed their daily lives, loves, and concerns.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He invented the sway of being romantic of saying beautiful things about the ugly life of everyone and that's why at the same time some kind of a -- other Sinatra and a punk record at the same time.

BITTERMANN: He was so popular internationally that CNN named him Entertainer of the Century in 1998 and later he was honored with his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Yet, for Armenians, Aznavour was more than just a star. He never forgot his heritage and was constantly involved in humanitarian efforts which raised millions to help Armenian disaster victims and those like himself who were part of the Armenian diaspora.

MANOUKIAN: I'm giving the hope to this legal country which sometimes can be hopeless. He's like a god yet.

BITTERMANN: In a 2016 interview with CNN's Becky Anderson, he said the key to his success was to try to learn something new every day.

CHARLES AZNAVOUR, SINGER: I read a book ever night one hour and I learned something in different languages every night one hour before I go to sleep.

BITTERMANN: It was that discipline formula which kept this school dropout working and learning far longer than most anyone else in the entertainment business and endeared Charles Aznavour to generations of music lovers.

(END VIDEO TAPE)

CHURCH: That's the key. Keep reading. Thanks for your company this hour on CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Rosemary Church. Stay tuned now for "WORLD SPORT."

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[02:45:00] (WORLD SPORT)