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Indonesian Village "Obliterated"; Saudi Critic Enters Consulate and Goes Missing; British PM Theresa May Calls For Unity On Brexit; Conservative Party Is Divided On Brexit Strategy; A Taste of Laotian Cuisine. Aired 1-2a ET

Aired October 4, 2018 - 1:00   ET



[01:00:00] ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: A global cyber- attack campaign targeting politics, business, media, and sports. The U.K., Australia, and New Zealand released a damning statement pointing the finger squarely at Russia. U.S. senators will begin reading the FBI report into Judge Kavanaugh Thursday morning and have already scheduled a final vote on his nomination by week's end.

Plus a journalist and critic of Saudi Arabia's government walks into his country's consulate in Turkey and vanishes. His Washington Post colleague joins us as the mystery deepens. Hello and welcome to our viewers joining us from all around the world, I'm Rosemary Church and this is CNN NEWSROOM.

Britain, Australia, and New Zealand say Russian military intelligence is behind a worldwide campaign of indiscriminate and reckless cyberattacks. And the targets are wide-ranging everything from businesses, to media, sports, and politics. Among them the U.S. Democratic National Committee in the lead-up to the 2016 presidential election and athletes who had their confidential information stolen from the world anti-doping agency.

CNN's Nina dos Santos is following these developments from London. She joins us now live. Good to see you again Nina. So what all are you learning about this and what proof to Australia, New Zealand, and the U.K. have that Russia was behind all of these global cyberattacks?

NINA DOS SANTOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, different agencies are giving different levels of proof and to be honest with you, a lot of it is rather tight-lipped. In particular, the New Zealand government is saying that they have found some material evidence and also worked with some of their partners in their sector to determine just like the United Kingdom and also Australia but not just Russia but specifically the GRU, the intelligence operations that the Russian military were behind four of these really high-profile cyberattacks that they've also selected if you like to try and give people a flavor of how democratic institutions and day-to-day life could be materially affected by these type of cyberattacks.

Obviously, you mentioned the hacking of the DNC servers back in 2016 ahead of the U.S. elections. They've also pinpointed a hack that took place only as yet unknown U.K. media outlet as well as the world anti- doping agency of sport. That obviously caused a number of celebrity sports people to have their private and medical records to be disseminated out into the public sphere. And they mentioned a hack on the transport network in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev. So basically the idea here is the cyberattacks have material effects.

Now, obviously, the U.K. is very aware of the material effects of the GRU's activities in this country because they have come out and publicly blamed the GRU agents for the poisoning of Sergei Skripal in Salisbury earlier this year. So the point here is essentially is that there is pointed activity here specifically pointed towards a GRU. The other point I should point out, Rosemary, is that this is the collective set of statements that are coming out spearheaded by the U.K. first but then followed up by Australia and New Zealand that are key information sharing partners with them and it's likely that we may hear more statements from other countries later on today.

CHURCH: All right, so Nina where's this all going? What are the U.K., Australia, and New Zealand now hope to achieve by going public with these accusations?

DOS SANTOS: Well, I think according to sources of mine who I've been canvassing opinion from overnight, Rosemary, the key thing about these statements is the fact that they are pointing the finger specifically at this particular body, the GRU. Now, security sources have been saying for some time that the GRU since the annexation of Crimea by Russia has become the -- if you like go-to agency by the Kremlin to get certain operations done and they have very multifaceted ability to affect the cyberspace, information warfare, and also tactics on the ground. So this is your sort of idea of hybrid warfare.

And the idea here that they're pointing the thing that the GRU again is interesting for that particular reason because I can tell you anecdotally having dealt with some of the bodies that have issued these statements in the past very often what they will do is instead of pointing the finger at a state actor when it comes to cybercrime and hacking, they sometimes prefer the private sector takes the lead on that.

But the fact that they've actually named a number of these particular accounts, I should point out, 12 specific accounts including the famous accounts like Fancy Bear, Advanced Persistent Threat 28, AP -- APT28, they have named these comprehensively in one list for the first time. That in itself this is significant because having dealt with some of these agencies in the past very often they're very reluctant to talk about specifics and specific things. Rosemary?

[01:05:32] CHURCH: All right, many thanks to Nina dos Santos joining us live from London just after 6:00 in the morning. Well, the drama over Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee will be coming to a head this weekend. Senators are expected to start reading the FBI's updated background report on Brett Kavanaugh on Thursday morning, that's in just a few hours from now. The full Senate could vote on his confirmation as early as Saturday. Meanwhile, the White House is defending President Trump after he

mocked Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who accuses Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her when they were in high school.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: How did you get home? I don't remember. How did you get there? I don't remember. Where is the place? I don't remember. How many years ago was that? I don't know.


CHURCH: Now that sparked outrage even among key Republican Senators who call the display appalling, inappropriate, and wrong. On Wednesday, Press Secretary Sarah Sanders was on the defensive.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Isn't there something wrong with the President of the United States mocking somebody who says she was sexually assaulted?

SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: It seemed to me that he was stating fact that Dr. Ford herself laid out in her testimony. Once again, every single word that Judge Kavanaugh has said has been looked at, examined, picked apart by most of you in this room, but not -- no one is looking at whether or not the accusations made are corroborated, whether or not there's evidence to support them.

Every person that she named has come out and said either they didn't recall it, or didn't happen, or they weren't there. Every single bit of evidence and facts that we've seen in this moment have supported Judge Kavanaugh's case. And the President simply pointed out the facts of the matter and that is what the Senate will have to use to determine whether or not they vote to support him or not.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you saying Judge Kavanaugh -- are you saying Judge Kavanaugh is the victim in all of this?

SANDERS: I think both Dr. Ford and Judge Kavanaugh are victims at the hands of the Democrats.


CHURCH: Well, two sources tell CNN the FBI has interviewed around ten people as part of its supplemental investigation. The last of those completed on Wednesday. CNN's Jessica Schneider reports that's more than first expected.


JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Tonight as senators wait for word from the FBI, the Bureau's background investigation has expanded beyond the interviews the FBI was initially directed to conduct. Special agents are talking to additional people about a July 1st, 1982 party that was listed on Kavanaugh high school calendar, already interviewed two people allegedly at that party. Tim Gaudette who's referred to as Timmy and who hosted the get-together plus Chris Garrett another Georgetown Prep student who Ford says she went out with for a few months.



SCHNEIDER: Democrats have pointed to the July first get-together as possibly the same party where Ford says she was sexually assaulted even though Ford has not been able to provide a date of the alleged assault.

SEN. SHELDON WHITEHOUSE (D), RHODE ISLAND: Here are all those three named boys and others at a house together just as she said. She said Kavanaugh and Judge were drunk and that she had a beer.

SCHNEIDER: At least two others listed on Kavanaugh's calendar for that date have already been interviewed. Mark Judge and P.J. Smith plus Leland Keyser who Ford said was at the party where she alleges she was assaulted. All have previously denied any recollection of the party or any incident but what they told the FBI is unknown.

Kavanaugh's second accuser Deborah Ramirez has also been interviewed by the FBI concerning her claim that Kavanaugh exposed himself to her at a Yale dorm room party. The FBI may also be interviewing Yale classmates who could corroborate portions of Ramirez's story. Ramirez's attorney says the FBI has the names of more than 20 witnesses who could provide information but only a small number of them may actually have witnessed the alleged incident. '

KAVANAUGH: Mark Judge --

SCHNEIDER: At a hearing last month, Kavanaugh deflected questions about a character in Mark Judge's memoir named Bart O'Kavanaugh who got sick in someone's car after a night of drinking.

SEN. PATRICK LEAHY (D), VERMONT: Are you Bart O'Kavanaugh that he's referring to. Yes or no.

KAVANAUGH: You'd have to ask him.

SCHNEIDER: But the New York Times obtained a 1983 letter Kavanaugh wrote to fellow classmates about a beach week trip in Ocean City, Maryland Kavanaugh signed off as Bart after writing warn the neighbors that were loud obnoxious drunks with prolific pukers among us. Meanwhile, a longtime friend of Christine Blasey Ford is disputing a statement from Ford's ex-boyfriend that claims Ford coached that friend on how to pass a polygraph test.

Monica McLean is a retired FBI agent who says the allegations are completely false and is furious that her reputation has been called into question. Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley sent a letter to Ford's attorneys Tuesday demanding more information about Ford's own polygraph saying the full details of Dr. Ford's polygraph examination are particularly important because the Senate Judiciary Committee has received a sworn statement from a longtime boyfriend of Dr. Ford's stating that he personally witnessed Dr. Ford coaching a friend on polygraph examinations. Ford's legal team says she stands by her testimony.

MITCHELL: Have you ever given tips or advice to somebody who is looking to take a polygraph test?

FORD: Never.


SCHNEIDER: It is still uncertain if any of this report will be publicly released. But even with that extra FBI investigation and more people now being interviewed the question does remain. Will it be enough for the senators who are crucial to a yes vote here? Like Lisa Murkowski, and Susan Collins, and Jeff Flake especially given these outstanding questions about Kavanaugh's candor. Jessica Schneider, CNN Washington.

CHURCH: Joining me now from Los Angeles Peter Mathews is a Professor of Political Science at Cypress College. Good to have you with us.


CHURCH: So Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has set the first vote for Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation on Friday in just a few hours from now. Of course, all U.S. senators by then will have read the FBI report and all eyes will be on Jeff Lake, Lisa Murkowski, and Susan Collins. How are they likely to vote on this? What signals are they're giving and how surprised are you that the vote is set for Friday regardless of what's in that report?

MATHEWS: Well, we don't know how they're going to vote yet because it depends on what's on the report when they read it. However, this goes far beyond the specific vote. It has to do with the disrespect for women in general at the Supreme Court justice that the Republicans are pushing like this man Kavanaugh who has set the country backed by 40 or 50 years if he gets to be there for his lifetime. And this is a problem when they don't even allow a proper FBI investigation that would clear up and get the bottom of what happened possibly to Ms. -- Dr. Ford and the other two women who were also there, Debra Ramirez and Julie Swetnick.

That was -- Julie wasn't even interviewed -- allowed to be interviewed by the White House in their stipulation and this is just incredibly -- this not only is a dissing women, it's not respecting them in any way at all as human -- full human beings to be heard. These accusations that -- the rest of -- Dr. Ford is made which is very serious and we know the psychology and sociology of it that when women who have been sexually assaulted, it takes them for a long time to be able to recover to even think of speaking of it. So to say that why didn't she come out 36 years ago was still disingenuous by President Trump when he made a sense of mockery yesterday, that he mocked her at a rally. To mock her testimony was just unacceptable.

CHURCH: Yes, indeed. And of course, Brett Kavanaugh's roommate in his freshman year at Yale James Roche was on CNN Wednesday evening. He said Kavanaugh lied under oath when he testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee and he says he knows this because he frequently saw Kavanaugh returned to his room stumbling drunk, incoherent after a night out to the point of throwing up. But that's not what Kavanaugh said in his testimony.

Roche also said he believes the second accuser Deborah Ramirez but the FBI has not interviewed Roche, why is that do you think and should Kavanaugh's drinking habits be part of this investigation given other classmates saying similar things about his drinking?

MATHEWS: Absolutely, it should be part of the investigation because this is a Supreme Court Justice we're talking about. The highest court of the land that gets judicial review, it gets to rule on the rulings of other branches of government, and to say that they're unconstitutional or constitutional. This is a very supreme power as the name suggests. And to put a man like this on for the next 30, 40, 50 years is very serious. And if he's not a man of integrity or some integrity who we can be -- who can be trusted to go about his principles in voting on these issues, you can't have him on the Supreme Court. You should not have them on there.

And so, of course, you should bring as much testimony as need be and these people should been put under oath by the Senate committee. For example, Mark Judge was not brought in to speak under oath by the Senators themselves. I think it's a big cover-up in a camouflage in a sense and they're ramming this thing through because they know that if this was investigated fully, more than likely Kavanaugh will not pass the mustard.

CHURCH: Right. Mark judge, of course, has been investigated by the FBI. He has spoken to them and we're yet to hear what he had to say. But it's not only classmates who were speaking out right now, a letter just published in the New York Times says the Senate should not confirm Kavanaugh and it is signed by more than 650 law professors. I do want to read part of it to you and to our viewers. Judicial temperament is one of the most important qualities of a judge as the Congressional Research Service explains a judge requires a personality that is even-handed, unbiased impartial, courteous yet firm, and dedicated to a process, not a result. The concern for judicial temperament dates back to our founding."

It goes on to say, "We are law professors who teach, research, and write about the judicial institutions of this country. Many of us appear in state and federal court. And our work means that we will continue to do so, including before the United States Supreme Court.

We regret that we feel compelled to write to you, our Senators, to provide our views that at the Senate hearings on September 27th Judge Brett Kavanaugh displayed a lack of judicial temperament that will be disqualifying for any court, and certainly for elevation to the highest court of this land."

So, Peter Mathews, this letter will be presented to the Senate in the morning in just a few hours from now. Will it make any difference?

[01:16:05] MATHEWS, PROFESSOR OF POLITICAL SCIENCE, CYPRESS COLLEGE: Probably, not with the Republican Senators. We're going to ramrod this thing through, and what that statement said was very important and very true.

I watched the Kavanaugh's testimony and it was exactly what these law professor is saying. The exhibited the characters does completely against what a judicial temperament would be, and that's that going to have a major impact on his rulings in the court. And that's why I think they should take note that Supreme Court justices can be impeached even if they're on at the bench.

In fact, I think one was impeached, but not removed. But they can be really impeached and ruled by the -- by the House and the Senate. So, this is not over yet. And if I were Judge Kavanaugh, I would want to have a thorough investigation of my past, what I had done to clear my name. And to not have any kind of cloud hanging over me what that could bring about possible process of impeachment once I'm in office.

I'll be very traumatic for the country and also for Kavanaugh himself. So, why don't have a complete investigation and it looks like Mitch McConnell and the Republican leadership in the Senate is adamant to get this man through? So, you can have the kinds of votes that President Trump wants to turn this country back, the clock back by many, many years.

CHURCH: Peter Mathews, thank you so much for joining us. Bringing us your perspective and analysis. We do appreciate it.

MATHEWS: Thank you.

CHURCH: Well, U.S. defense officials say the Navy wants to send a powerful message to China with the military show of force. The proposal comes as relations between the two countries are strained over trade, technology, and security. More details now from CNN's Barbara Starr.

BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: CNN has learned that the U.S. Navy's Pacific Fleet, headquartered in Hawaii has a classified proposal to engage in a number of operations during the month of November possibly all within one week. Essentially, show of force operations, sailing the warships, flying planes near China, and actually doing these kinds of activities all the way from China to South America where China also has investments.

The whole idea, a show of force to try and show the Chinese that the U.S. military can operate very quickly, muster force, and try and push back the Chinese sense of what the U.S. sees as Chinese adventurism.

The South China Sea Islands, other areas where the Chinese military is out there, and perhaps getting ready to challenge the U.S. or other Navies in those areas.

So, all of this is a U.S. show of force that the Navy would like to do in November. But make no mistake. It's controversial because nobody knows how the Chinese might react. It could be construed as a provocation.

So, this proposal will, in fact, require approval from the highest levels of the Pentagon. And so far, the proposal hasn't made it that far. Barbara Starr, CNN, The Pentagon.

CHURCH: And CNN's Stevens Young joins us now from Beijing with more on this. Good to see you again, Stephen. Where is all of this going? How concerned should the region be at this time?

STEVEN JIANG, CNN BEIJING BUREAU'S SENIOR PRODUCER: Well, Rosemary, as Barbara was saying, this kind of tactics in terms of sending ships and airplanes to the region by the U.S. military, that's not new. What's different in this plan, of course, is the scale and intensity of the congregation of U.S. military assets within such a short period of time close to China as she mentioned.

So, this would be a very alarming message, a very clear warning to the Beijing authorities. And they certainly would not like it, they probably are going to respond. And if they respond quickly and furiously, then, here's a potential worry. If there is a miscalculation or misjudgement on either side, then this could really lead to something much worse, or even disastrous.

Even though right now, the Pentagon insists they do not want to engage the Chinese military in combat during this show of force. Rosemary.

CHURCH: Yes, that's always the risk in these sorts of situations. Steven Jiang are joining us there live from Beijing, many thanks to you.

Let's take a short break here. Still, to come, Theresa May has a message for her critics. But first, the warm up. There it is, the few dance moves how the British Prime Minister plans to bring unity to a party that split on Brexit. Back in a moment.


[01:22:48] CHURCH: Welcome back, everyone. Well, British Prime Minister Theresa May has received praise for her speech at the Conservative Party conference. It started with some dance moves, some self-deprecating jokes and ended with a message to her Brexit critics. Our Bianca Nobilo has the details.

BIANCA NOBILO, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT: The Prime Minister Theresa May, dance her way to a successful end of a conference that got off to a bumpy start. Theresa May, gave her keynote address to close the Conservative Party conference today, and she entered in a surprising way.

After showcasing her sense of humor, the Prime Minister addressed Brexit. She said that the party needed to unify or risk no Brexit at all. She also addressed the people's vote campaign for a second referendum, saying the people have voted and they voted to leave.

Here's what she said about the possibility of walking away without the deal.


THERESA MAY, PRIME MINISTER OF THE UNITED KINGDOM: Some people asked me to rule out, no deal. But if I did that, I would weaken our negotiating position and have to agree to whatever the E.U. offers. And at the moment that would mean accepting one of two things, either a deal that keeps us in the E.U. in orbit name, keeps free movement, keeps vast annual payments, and stops the signing trade deals with other countries or a deal that carves off Northern Ireland, a part of this country, effectively leaving it in the E.U.'s customs union.

NOBILO: For politician, not known for her ability to command a room or be charismatic, Theresa May's conference speech today will be seen as a success. And it comes off the back of a rocky conference beginning.

There was an embarrassing data breach on the first day of conference exposing contact details and personal information of key members of government. And then, Boris Johnson, despite only arriving yesterday, dominated the headlines of the early part of conference.

He then arrived on Tuesday and gave a rousing address where he encouraged his audience to Chuck Theresa May's Chequers plan.

[01:25:04] BORIS JOHNSON, SECRETARY OF STATE, BRITISH FOREIGN AFFAIRS: Do not believe them finally, when they say there is no other plan and no alternative. This is the moment to Chuck Chequers.


NOBILO: May's speech received an overwhelmingly positive reception inside the hall. Some of her own MPs called it her best speech yet. But how far that speech resonated outside of the Conservative Party conference remains to be seen?

It does seem likely though that for a premiership so surrounded in constant speculation about how long May will survive as a leader? The speech today has bought her a little breathing space. Bianca Nobilo, CNN, Birmingham.

CHURCH: Let's get more on all this from our European Affairs Commentator Dominic Thomas. Good to see you, Dominic. Hi, Rosemary.


CHURCH: So, Theresa May took to the stage, moving to the beat of Abba's Dancing Queen. Did she successfully turn things around for herself and for her Brexit plan, do you think?

THOMAS: Right. Well, last year's Conservative Party conference went so bad with the coughing and all the interruptions that she had to find some kind of new prop that would sort of -- you know, detract from, from that particular thing.

So, she came out and tried to take this Abba song to sound an upbeat after what had been a fairly and relatively depressing Conservative Party conference.

She outlined a number of domestic issues that had to do with housing, health care, the future of the economy. But ultimately, none of those questions will mean anything to anybody until the Brexit issue is solved, then we have a better idea as to what the United Kingdom will look like going forward.

So, then the rest of the speech concentrated on -- partly on Brexit where she reiterated her fondness not for Boris Johnson's plan, although, she didn't mention him. But for the Checkers plan which allows for some kind of common alignment and common rules work with the European Union.

And therefore, solves the problem with the Irish border and will keep the desperate support that she needs from the DUP in Northern Ireland. What was then interesting about that his speech is the whole question of unity and in and of itself just calling for unity would not have work?

What she had to resort to was really a degree of fear-mongering. Because if there's anything that unites the Conservative Party, it is the fear of a Labour government. And that was what the bulk of the speech was designed to do was to highlight the deep divisions in the opposition in the Labour Party and with Jeremy Corbyn's policies as a way to bring together that opposition. And as Bianca Nobilo pointed out, to give her a little bit more breathing space as we move forward.

CHURCH: Right. So, as you mentioned, Prime Minister May, call for unity on the Brexit issue. Any sign that will happen for her?

THOMAS: Well, a days are essentially numbered. We've got here until March where she needs to come up with some kind of solution. Now, everybody is talking about her days that are being numbered. It is not inconceivable that Theresa May will wake up one morning and essentially realize that there's absolutely no way she's going to get a deal from the European Union that will satisfy the British Parliament and at the same time the hardcore Brexiteers.

And it major speed that walking away from the party would be the best thing for her. If unlikely that she will do that, but having said that. When we get to that divulge crucial moment in March of 2019, it's going to be an interesting moment to determine just when is it that the Conservative Party is going to initiate a leadership transition as they look towards at the latest point, the 2022 elections.

And whether or not, they will want to pursue it with her leading up to that which is, of course, nobody believes that she will be their candidate moving forward. So, she's got six months to really try and turn this around and come up with some kind of deal with the European Union.

CHURCH: So, where does all this leave Boris Johnson's plans, his ambitions as well?

THOMAS: Right. Well, his ambitions as they are right now, I don't think there's a single person. And I said this repeatedly in the Conservative Party that realistically would want to be Prime Minister at this particular moment of the crucial talks with Brexit.

So, he's been very good at pushing and needling her and provoking her and making things difficult. Ultimately, what you could argue is that this could backfire because he could push so far that Theresa May actually steps down and calls a snap election. The outcome of which would be highly unpredictable.

But ultimately, what Boris Johnson is waiting is to see what happens over the next six months so that they can prepare the period after Theresa May's prime ministership. And you can really see them kind of gearing up. And for that particular outcome. But I don't think anybody wants to take a position right now and be there negotiating over the next six months with the European Union.

CHURCH: It is the poison chalice, apparently. Dominic Thomas, always a pleasure to have you on and have your perspective on this matter.

THOMAS: Thanks, Rosemary.

CHURCH: And still to come, the ground turned to liquid and unimaginable consequence of the earthquake and Tsunami in Indonesia. And as a result, an entire village is now wiped off the map.


[01:29:56] CHURCH: And still to come, the ground turned to liquid -- an unimaginable consequence of the earthquake and tsunami in Indonesia and as a result, an entire village is now wiped off the map.

Plus a critic of Saudi Arabia's government walks into his country's consulate in Turkey and never walks out. The latest on his mysterious disappearance -- ahead.


CHURCH: Welcome back, everyone. I'm Rosemary Church.

Want to update you now on the top stories we've been following.

The U.K., Australia and New Zealand say Russia's military intelligence service orchestrated a series of cyber attacks around the world targeting businesses, media, sports and politics and that includes the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Britain's foreign secretary says the attacks were reckless and served no national security interest.

U.S. senators are expected to start reading the FBI's updated background investigation of Brett Kavanaugh in the coming day. Republican leader Mitch McConnell says the Senate will vote on the Supreme Court nominee this week regardless of what is in that report.

U.S. Defense officials say the Navy is drawing up plans for a major show of force as a warning to China. The proposal is to sail ships and fly aircraft near China's territorial waters in the South China Sea in Taiwan Strait. Neither the Pentagon nor the Navy's Pacific Fleet are acknowledging or commenting on this proposal.

In Indonesia, hopes of finding anyone alive in the rubble are fading fast. Nearly a week after the earthquake and tsunami more than 1,400 people are confirmed dead but all along, warnings that many bodies may still be buried under collapsed buildings.

The Indonesian Red Cross was the first to reach the village of Petobo, home to nearly 500 people. Rescuers say that village was obliterated; it simply no longer exist.

More now from CNN's Matt Rivers.


MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): The village of Petobo is dying. Earthquakes destroy a lot of places, but not many end up that way by being sucked in to the ground. When this one struck, the land acted more like a lake, called liquefaction.

[01:34:47] So what happened during this natural phenomenon was that the ground that was solid underneath these houses and the people and the cars of this village essentially became like a liquid, which meant all the things on top got subsumed into the ground below while mud rose up and the result is this. This hellscape that rescuers have really no chance of digging through quickly which means that we know there are still people buried inside this ground that have no chance of being rescued.

The destruction here is utterly complete. Seven hundred and forty- four houses were buried, many with people inside. The searchers looking for them are exhausted and outmatched. All of that is the reality facing those who made it out.

In this makeshift tent across town we find an extended family all from Petobo sharing one tent. To a person, it's story after story of just surviving.

MURYATIM GALANU (ph), EARTHQUAKE SURVIVOR (through translator): I saw houses rolling and the ground breaking open. A lot of people fell inside. It is thanks to God I'm live now with my children.

RIVERS: Muryatim Galanu knew the only way to escape was to take her family and run.

GALANU: We fell down in to the mud and look like the mud was sucking us in. The mud was alive.

RIVERS: They pulled their way out. Her parents didn't. She believes they're among the dead.

Prisi Putari (ph) got stuck in the mud as well, holding her three- month-old daughter. The mud got up to her chest before she was saved.

PRISI PUTARI, EARTHQUAKE SURVIVOR (through translator): I lifted up my baby. I was so lucky because there were people who helped me.

RIVERS: She made it out but her mother was stuck too. Her mom told her to leave.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I said my daughter, please just leave me. Let me die here. The most important thing is to save your baby. Your baby is much more important. But she said, no, no I want you to live. I surrendered.

RIVERS: And three generations of family made it out safely. It was against the odds for all of the people in the tent to make it out. Their cuts and bruises and bandages show that. They call themselves "the fortunate ones". Here on Sulawesi calling yourself lucky has a low bar these days.

Matt Rivers, CNN -- Palu, Indonesia.


CHURCH: Incredible stories there.

Well, a critic of Saudi Arabia's leadership walks into his country's consulate in Turkey and goes missing. Jamal Khashoggi's fiancee said she hasn't seen him since he entered the building to get marriage papers on Tuesday.

CNN's Jomana Karadsheh is following the story in Istanbul.


JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We met the fiancee of Jamal Khashoggi outside the Saudi consulate here in Istanbul. She'd been out there for more than 24 hours. She appeared really emotional, exhausted and she was asking where is Jamal? Has he been detained? Has he been kidnapped?

He's a journalist. He's an analyst. She said he is not a terrorist. She was desperate to find out where he was. And she broke down into tears at one point saying she blamed herself. She felt really guilty saying that she was the only reason he went into that consulate.

This is a man who left Saudi Arabia last year because he did feel comfortable staying there during the crackdown that was taking place on critics in the country. And she says he was quite reluctant about visiting the consulate be he had to do it.

So that is when they decided he was going in, went in on Tuesday afternoon to pick up the papers they needed to get married here in Turkey. And she did not hear from him since.

And so many of his friends and his colleagues are really concerned about him but at the same time this has much bigger implications of course when it comes to relations between Turkey and Saudi Arabia.

We've heard from the Turkish government, a senior advisor for President Erdogan saying that they -- what they know is that Jamal Khashoggi is still inside the consulate, that they are monitoring the situation.

Saudi Arabia for its part, we've heard from a senior official telling CNN that they dispute this story, saying that it is false. They say that Jamal Khashoggi did not disappear from inside the consulate. He did go into the consulate. He did apply for this paperwork but that he left shortly afterwards.

So we have these two different versions of events making this a very mysterious case. What is, of course, very concerning for many is the fear that this could part of this trend that we've been seeing, this crackdown by Saudi authorities on critics and jailing of human rights activists and clerics and others in the country.

Now, we don't know if this is the case here. But the question on the minds of so many right now is where is Jamal Khashoggi?

Jomana Karadsheh, CNN -- Istanbul.


[01:39:59] CHURCH: Joining me now from Washington, D.C. is Karen Attiah. She is the global opinions editor for the "Washington Post". Thank you so much for being with us.

KAREN ATTIAH, GLOBAL OPINIONS EDITOR, "WASHINGTON POST": Thank you so much for having me here.

CHURCH: Now, the end of your op-ed piece entitled, "The Silencing Jamal Khashoggi", you write that you are actively seeking to ensure his safety and freedom. And you hope that he has a chance to read your message.

How are you seeking to ensure his release and where do you think he might be right now?

ATTIAH: Sure. So, you know, as I said in the op-ed we have proposed -- we have been -- we've contacted both the Saudi and the Turkish officials to try to get any sort of information regarding his whereabouts. As you said, you know, we are -- he's a very valued member of our team, one of the first writers for this global opinions section which is relatively new.

And so from our perspective, we're just trying to do as much as we can to raise awareness that this situation is going on to keep his name in the news, to keep writing but yes, indeed, you know, we have reached out to Saudi and Turkish officials to try to -- to get any sort of clarity or information what has happened with him.

CHURCH: And of course Khashoggi has been a critic of Saudi Arabia's leadership for some time now. How far might the Saudi Kingdom go to silence him, do you think?

ATTIAH: You know, one thing about Khashoggi, about Jamal -- who I've had the pleasure of working with over the past year, he would always tell me, he doesn't want to be labeled as a dissident. He doesn't want to labeled as an opposition figure in exile. He has been known -- he was close with the Saudi royal family in prior years. He was even an advisor. But it wasn't until last year when he wrote his first op-ed for us in which he detailed why he felt the pressure was building so much that he had to leave Saudi Arabia and basically put himself in self-imposed exile.

And it's true, he has been critic of the Crown Prince and of the Saudi regime but I think if you read his pieces and you read his work, a lot of his work is coming from a real deep place of wanting people to know the truth from his perspective about what is happening in the Saudi Kingdom and how the history of the Saudi Kingdom is affecting its present and its future. So anybody who knows him or anybody who's talked to him, he's -- honestly, he just want to be a journalist. He just wants to write.

CHURCH: So would you expect Saudi Arabia under Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman to release Khashoggi anytime on?

ATTIAH: Again, at this point, you know, we don't have any information that the Saudis are necessarily holding him. Again right now, all we know is that we don't know where he is. And we're hoping -- we're hoping that he can be released soon.

Of course, you know, we can't ignore that this is happening against a backdrop of crackdowns on -- on journalists, on activists, women activists who campaigned for the right to drive. So obviously this makes us extremely concerned considering Jamal's criticisms, you know, of the government.

However, at this time we really have no information as to again, what is happening with him or who may or may not have him.

CHURCH: And that's the thing, isn't it? Because Khashoggi went into the embassy, the Saudi embassy in Turkey and the Saudi government claims he left the building. But Turkish authorities have looked at the security cameras -- there's no proof that he left the building. What does that all signal to you?

ATTIAH: Sure, you know, it signals that we're hearing a lot of mixed signals from both the Saudis and the Turks. And again, we're doing all that we can to try to get information, straight answers. But again, it just -- it points to -- it is all -- it is all very worrying and particularly this could create a -- a very difficult situation for the Turks, especially.

But again, you know, we're just hoping that we can have him back soon. Like I said in the op-ed, I honestly yesterday was thinking that I needed to watch (ph) out and to talk about his piece and to talk about the next Arabic pieces that we can do.

And so I'm just really hoping that we can get back to work and that he's safe. And that he's healthy and that this can be resolved very swiftly.

CHURCH: Let's hope that is certainly the outcome.

Karen Attiah -- thank you so much for joining us.

ATTIAH: Thank you.

CHURCH: And we will have more of CNN NEWSROOM after this break. Do stay with us.


CHURCH: In Indonesia hopes of finding anyone alive in the rubble are fading fast. Survivors have had to deal with no food or plain water and now some are being evacuated.

So let's go to Matt Rivers who joins us, live from Palu. Matt -- what's happening there?

RIVERS: Hey -- Rosemary. So right now we're aboard an Indonesian Navy Ship. I'll show you what's going on here.

This naval officer behind me is briefing people that have been taken aboard this ship. These are people from the area, this earthquake- stricken area, tsunami-stricken area.

These are essentially the people who have been made homeless as a result of what happened here. All of these people have been taken a free ride with the Navy about 500 miles south. All of these people -- look at all these faces we're going to show you now -- all of these faces are people who have lost everything. Family members killed, houses destroyed.

And they're doing anything they can to get out of this area because there's a complete lack of basic services and at this point there's a lack of electricity, water, food, health care, hygiene -- the list goes on.

So six days, Rosemary -- a full six days after the earthquake and the subsequent tsunami, (INAUDIBLE) people trying to get back into their homes which is how it would work in lots of other places in the world.

You've got people like this -- 250 in total who are saying it is worth it for me to leave to go to a city that I'm not from where I don't have resources because it is better than (INAUDIBLE) on the ground over there on the land because there is nothing.

This is a desperate situation here. The Indonesian Navy doing what they can to get these people out of here. These people are all trying to just be safe and get back to some sort of normalcy.

[01:49:56] CHURCH: Our Matt Rivers joining us live there, talking about the evacuation and the sense of desperation for so many of those people. Hopefully things will start to look a little better for them.

Matt Rivers again there in Palu, Indonesia -- many thanks.

Well, after the U.N. told the U.S. to scale back sanctions on Iran because they violated decades of treaty, the U.S. announced it was pulling out of the agreement. It happened just hours after a ruling by the International Court of Justice. And now the 1955 Treaty of Amity is no longer in effect.


MIKE POMPEO, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: This is a decision frankly that is 39 years overdue. In July, Iran brought a meritless case in the International Court of Justice alleging violations of the Treaty of Amity.

Iran seeks to challenge the United States' decision to cease participation in the Iran nuclear deal and to re-impose the sanctions that were lifted as a part of that deal.

Iran is attempting to interfere with the sovereign rights of the United States to take lawful actions necessary to protect our national security. And Iran is abusing the ICJ for political and propaganda purposes.


CHURCH: That treaty established trade, investment and consular relations. Iran's foreign minister criticized the U.S. decision calling Washington an outlaw regime.

Just ahead here on CNN NEWSROOM, the fiery and fresh food of Laos. We will sample its cuisine after a short break.


CHURCH: Welcome back everyone.

Well, Asian cuisine is enormously popular across the globe but many aren't familiar with the food from Laos. The Southeast Asian country's has been overshadowed by its more famous neighbors. The world's missing out though.

CNN's Amara Walker takes us to one of the top restaurants in the Laotian capital to give it a try.


AMARA WALKER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Situated between culinary juggernauts Vietnam and Thailand, the landlocked country of Laos is ready to debut its relatively unknown cuisine.

In the early morning hours, the sleepy Laotian capital, Vientiane comes to life at the open air market -- an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables as well as rows upon rows of meat. This is where Ponpailin Kaewduangdy, known to most as "Noi" comes every morning to shop for seasonal ingredients.

With a repertoire of Lao dishes in her head, Noi inspects the days offerings to decide what she'll cook.

"Lao food is not easily recognized. Sometimes my customers think it is similar to Thai food but actually Lao food uses more vegetables and herbs." Noi is the chef and owner of local restaurant Doi Ka Noi with a menu

that changes daily based on available ingredients. Noi says she doesn't compromise when it comes to cooking authentic Lao food.

"We only serve Lao food with no modifications. Customers should know that Lao Food uses a lot of flavorful ingredients, like chili herbs and fermented fish sauce (ph).

[01:55:05] The 39-year-old started cooking with her grandmother when she was ten years old. Today she's making laab, a meat-based salad considered the national dish of Laos. For her laab (INAUDIBLE), Noi uses duck comfit.

"I add salt, garlic and black pepper to duck fat. And I soak it for one night to make the duck meat softer and tastier. When I make the laab, I add fish sauce and herbs".

Bountiful heaps of banana blossoms and mint, chili and lime lend the dish its striking bold flavor.

"And this is the crispy duck skin. I'll slice it into small piece and add it to the top of the laab."

The cuisine of Laos is fiery and fresh, simple and savory drawing heavily on fresh greens and pungent fish sauce and often paired with sticky rice.

"We want to preserve the culture of Lao food. It's in danger of disappearing because young people are less interested in it."

From sticky rice reddened with the pulp of jackfruit to grilled black tilapia dressed with sauce and vermicelli and wrapped in lettuce. Noi says she hopes that at least in this corner of Vientiane tourists and locals alike can savor the distinct home-cooked taste from her childhood in Laos.


CHURCH: Making me hungry.

You're watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Rosemary Church. I'll be back with more news from all around the world after this short break.

You're watching CNN.


CHURCH: Multiple countries accuse Russia of worldwide state-sponsored cyber attacks. The details on the allegation and the targets straight ahead.

The FBI finalizes its investigation into Brett Kavanaugh in less than a week and Senate Republicans are pushing ahead with the nomination despite concerns about the judge's candor during his testimony.

And the British Prime Minister delivers a message and some moves at the Conservative Party's annual conference.

[01:59:59] Hello and welcome to our viewers joining us from all around the world. I'm Rosemary Church and this is CNN NEWSROOM.

Well, Britain, Australia and New Zealand are accusing --