Return to Transcripts main page

CNN NEWSROOM

Saudi Journalist Feared Dead; Missing Chinese Politician Now Under Custody; Reckless Driving Killed 20 in New York; Planet Faces Possible Catastrophe; Palestinian Suspect Killed Two Co-workers; U.S. Secretary of State Arrives in Beijing; Kavanaugh Sure to be a Factor on the Campaign Trail; Taylor Swift Breaks Silence, Endorses Tennessee Democrats; Far-right Presidential Candidate Wins Broad Lean in First Round; Boko Haram Threatens to Kill Kidnapped Girl; Tokyo's Iconic Fish Market Closes. Aired 3-4a ET

Aired October 8, 2018 - 03:00   ET

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


[03:00:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

GEORGE HOWELL, CNN HOST: It has been several days now since the famous Saudi journalist has been seen, and now, some fear that he was murdered inside a Saudi consulate.

Plus, a chilling warning to prevent a catastrophic crisis. Experts fear time is running out for millions of people all over the globe.

And people in upstate New York mourn after the deadliest car crash in the U.S. in almost a decade.

Live from CNN world headquarters in Atlanta we want to welcome our viewers here in the United States and all around the world. I'm George Howell. The CNN Newsroom starts right now.

At 3 a.m. here on the East Coast, a prominent journalist disappeared after entering Saudi consulate in Istanbul. And there are growing concerns that he may have been killed inside the building.

The journalist in question and a critic of Saudi Arabia, Jamal Khashoggi was last seen on Tuesday after entering the Saudi consulate, what happened to him after that is still unclear? But here's what we know.

A political advisor to the Turkish president tells CNN there is a strong possibility that Khashoggi was killed inside the Saudi consulate. Saudi Arabia strongly denies any involvement.

U.S. officials say they cannot confirm what happened to him but two senior administration officials tell CNN the U.S. is quietly trying to figure out what happened to Khashoggi.

Our international diplomatic editor Nic Robertson has more on this mystery.

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Last Tuesday, Jamal Khashoggi walked through these doors into the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. A simple visit to collect marriage papers for his wedding in a few days. It was the last time he was seen.

According to Turkish officials, Khashoggi's fiance waiting for him outside raised the alarm nearly four hours later. The Saudis insist he left the building. My understanding is he entered and got out after a few minutes, or one hour. I'm not sure.

But despite all the cameras around the consulate, there is no video footage of him. On Saturday, Saudi diplomats allowed journalists into the consulate to show he wasn't there. But as the same time unnamed Turkish officials were claiming Khashoggi had been killed at the consulate and his body removed.

Official Turkish media also report at the very same day that Khashoggi vanished some 15 Saudis arrived in Turkey and had gone to the consulate. Turkish prosecutors have opened a criminal investigation.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Everything including entries and exits to the consulate are being investigated. And departures and arrivals to airports are also under investigation.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROBERTSON: But Turkish president who knows Khashoggi well, says he Khashoggi will resurface. But friends of the Saudi journalist in Istanbul say they are making funeral preparations.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TURAN KISLAKCI, HEAD, TURKISH-ARAB MEDIA ASSOCIATION (through translator): Today we were meant to meet. It should have been today that he had his papers, this week, either today or next Sunday he was planning to get married. But this never happened.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROBERTSON: Jamal Khashoggi was not a Saudi dissident but a powerful critic, an insider who fallen out with the all powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman over the war in Yemen, the crisis in Qatar and the way he thought debate home was being suffocated. It always pushed the envelope, religious conservatives loathed him.

Last year he moved to Washington, a self-imposed exile telling CNN that reformist in the kingdom will be stifled. He said, he, too was under pressure. Khashoggi's colleagues at the Washington Post say they won't let this drop, raising the specter of increased scrutiny of Saudi's already closely-watched leader in waiting.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KAREN ATTIAH, EDITOR, THE WASHINGTON POST: We're not going to shut up. We're going to keep his name out there and we're going to again, if anything, anybody who would want to silence him, they have only made us want to present who he is, who was -- to the world even more strongly.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROBERTSON: As the mystery deepens and Saudi Arabia vehemently denies knowing anything about Khashoggi's disappearance, some in Saudi even suggest that Turkey which sided with Qatar in its dispute with the kingdom is exploiting the situation.

[03:05:00] But if, as some Turkish officials insist, evidence emerges that Khashoggi was killed inside the consulate the repercussions will be profound and the vision that Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman wants to project for Saudi Arabia will be severely tarnished.

Nic Robertson, CNN, London.

HOWELL: It is a mystery, what's important that geopolitical ramifications should it be proven true. To talk more about this with context is Fawaz Gerges. Fawaz, the chair of contemporary Middle East studies at the London School of Economics and the author of Making the Arab World. Live this hour in our London bureau. Always a pleasure to have you on the show, Fawaz.

Clearly, the Turkish president indicated he is chasing this investigation personally. He describes Khashoggi as a friend. But Turkey has been accused of exploiting the situation. What are your thoughts around the questions of this disappearance and how those questions are being pursued?

FAWAZ GERGES, PROFESSOR OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, LONDON SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS: You know, I think one small piece of news, if I may call it a good news, what President Erdogan said yesterday, he said he hopes for a positive outcome. He hopes for a positive outcome for the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi.

And this, probably, I hope it implies that Jamal is still alive because most of the leaks coming out of Turkey suggest that Jamal has been either killed or eliminated. We have to wait and see because obviously as President Erdogan has said, he is following the case personally.

The Turkish authorities are trying to piece together what happened to Jamal from the moment he entered the consulate in Istanbul. But the reality is if Jamal, if Jamal disappears, if he does not really appear and resurface, I think this would have major consequences on Turkish/Saudi relations which have come under tremendous strains in the past year.

So, what you're going to see, George, is that the geostrategic rivalism, not just between Saudi Arabia and Iran. Already you have rivalry between Turkey and Saudi Arabia. And if basically Jamal -- if the evidence emerges that he either was killed or disappeared, this could push Turkish-Saudi relations to the breaking point.

HOWELL: All right. Look, there is also a concern among U.S. officials about Khashoggi's disappearance. Like this tweet from Senator Marco Rubio. I want to read this to you. He says, "I pray Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi is alive, but if this deeply disturbing report, news report is confirmed, the United States and the civilized world must respond strongly and I will review all options in Senate."

So what are some of the ramifications for Saudi Arabia? Should this be confirmed, the sinister details around the disappearance?

GERGES: You know, George, the difficulty of really laying out the case is that we still at the early stages. My fear is that the longer the mystery deepens about the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi, the less likelihood that he will emerge alive. I mean, at this particular moment our thoughts and hopes are with Jamal and his family and friends and beloved ones.

Point two, I hope that the Saudi authorities -- and I really say it with humility -- appreciate the gravity of the crisis. The gravity of the disappearance of a Saudi journalist. Few people realize, George, that Jamal Khashoggi was a very mild and mainstream critic. He was not a radical critic of the Saudi leadership.

Also the context is very important. Many people don't realize, for most of his life, he was basically part, an integral part of the elite in Saudi Arabia. He was the editor of the Al-Watan newspaper, the major newspaper of the government. He just left in the past year. He was not a radical one.

And the burden lies -- and I say it again, because we don't know all the evidence. We should not indict the Saudis because the evidence isn't there. The burden lies on the Saudi authorities to show that basically he left the consulate after he had entered at one o'clock p.m.

And this, yes, would not only have major ramification on Turkish/Saudi relations. It would basically tarnish the vision of the crown prince at both politically and ethically and morally and would have major consequence on Saudi western relation, not only on Saudi-U.S. relation.

So all in all, this is really terrible news. The most important part is basically the well-being of Jamal. And everything else is really bad news that will come out of it, sadly and tragically.

[03:10:03] HOWELL: Fawaz Gerges with perspective and context. Thank you again for your time and perspective.

A prominent figure who is no longer missing, the former president of Interpol, that's been a mystery quite honestly. His disappearance in China, but now we are hearing from Chinese authorities who say Meng Hongwei has been detained for alleged corruption and accepting bribes.

Interpol says that he resigned as president just days after he was reported missing by his wife. And also this, Meng's wife says that she received two very unsettling text messages from her husband shortly after he arrived in China. One of them with the words, quote, "wait for my call." Then you see there, that emoji of a knife. She said that's the last contact that she had with her husband. CNN senior producer Steven Jiang is following the story live for us in

Beijing this hour. And Steven, this cryptic text messages is scary quite honestly. Now this from Chinese officials. What more are you learning?

STEVEN JIANG, CNN PRODUCER: Well, George, at least finally we have some clarity on this once mysterious international incident. I think all the international attention and pressure probably have something to do with how fast the authorities here have been releasing information.

Now, as you said, the government has now acknowledged Mr. Meng is being held and under investigation for alleged corruption, but there is also something interesting in their statement. That is the mention of Mr. Meng's former patron who was the country's domestic security czar. He is now serving a life time -- life sentence in prison for corruption.

So, that mention made a lot of people think Mr. Meng's detention may have something to do with internal politics or political infighting as well in addition to corruption. Also, the role of the wife as I mentioned, she revealed these unsettling message and image in France.

Now, she has also said she's been receiving threats online and via telephone. So, she is now under French police protection. But Mr. Meng is obviously now on his own.

Things are not looking good because if anything, we know anything about this very secretive Chinese investigative process targeting senior officials, that is investigators tend to use over the top tactics, including torture, sometimes to extract confessions.

But, George, this international incident, that there is one thing that has never been in doubt. That is no matter who you are, nobody is really immune from the clutches of the communist authorities here if you cross the leadership. Nobody is safe in President Xi Jinping's China. George?

HOWELL: All right. A big picture question here. What impact does a situation like this have on this nation focused on its ambitions for global outreach, seeing figures like Mr. Meng placed in top global positions?

JIANG: That's right. It's really going to reinforce a lot of critics' notion about what China really is. You know, the murkiness, the non- transparency of this legal and political system here.

Now you mentioned the actress Fan Bingbing who also similarly disappeared suddenly back in June, then only reappeared three months later when authorities announced she had been investigated for massive tax evasion and ordered to pay a massive fine of $130 million in total.

So that kind of incident, that kind of episode really give critics of the government a lot more evidence to say, look, this is Xi Jinping's China. Nobody is safe. Nobody is immune from the clutches of the authorities here.

HOWELL: Steven Jiang, following the questions around what we now know from Chinese officials. Thank you very much for your time.

Now to a dire warning about climate change. According to a new report, experts say that we have until 2030 to avoid catastrophe. It also says that if unprecedented changes are not made and made soon, there will be irreversible damage to the planet that we all share.

The report focuses on what could happen if global temperatures rise by more than 1.5 degrees Celsius, that's 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit.

CNN meteorologist Ivan Cabrera is in the international weather center following the details of this dire report. Ivan.

IVAN CABRERA, CNN METEOROLOGIST: It is dire. They're always dire. I mean, when we talk about climate change here, it's really not going to be any good news. George, I think we passed the event horizon in that if we were to stop emissions today, we went to zero, we would still be in a heap of trouble. We're not going to do that and we're not going to do that for quite some time.

In fact, the goal is to get our temperatures to at least stay below 1.5 Celsius overall planet-wide. We'll talk about why that's important. We'll take a look.

In 2030, we've got to get CO2 emissions to get to that 1.5 by 45 percent and then we have to go carbon neutral by 2050. Zero emissions to get us to not go above 1.5 Celsius.

That number is significant and that's what the researchers were honing in on here as far as what can happen when we go above 1.5, by the way, we're currently sitting at 1 and climbing at about .2 every decade here. So that's a problem here.

[03:15:13] Sourcing 70 to 85 percent of electricity has to be from renewable by 2050. We have to put a price we've done that before on greenhouse emissions. And then technology, we have to get the CO2 that we've already pumped into the atmosphere out of here to help us out.

This is what happens. Even with 1.5 which was the Paris agreement accord here, more heat waves, we're still going to get those, more floods, more droughts, up to 70 to 90 percent. This is dramatic stuff here.

Coral Reefs, we're going to be losing them. We've already lost half across Australia. Damage to crops of course and the economic growth will be stunted big time as a result this. So we have a lot of work to do and each of these reports just continues to drive the point home.

All right, I want to talk about this situation here. We have a tropical storm in the Caribbean. This is Michael. It will eventually be a hurricane. It has 60 mile an hour winds right now. Where is it headed? The United States.

If you haven't heard about this, prepare yourself because we only really have two days to get ourselves ready for the potential of a land falling category two across the Panhandle of Florida. A very vulnerable area for storm surge. That water is going to get pushed in.

Watch the clock. Wednesday 3 p.m., that's an estimate. But that's what we're looking at, a category two hitting anywhere near Panama City and then continuing on to the north and east.

By the way, we had one in October last year and that one also caused significant damage with the storm surge. Still a couple of the models that we used here, you're familiar with the European and the American, the timing is a little off. So we still have to fine tune that, George, but it is going to be headed, it looks like, to the Big Bend of Florida by Wednesday afternoon. That's a cat two.

HOWELL: Ivan Cabrera, thank you very much. We'll keep an eye on that storm coming this way.

Still ahead, a deadly car accident in New York. We'll tell you about how that community is dealing with great pain there.

Plus, the so-called Trump of the tropics could become Brazil's next president. And women's rights activists are disturbed and alarmed. We'll explain. Stay with us.

[03:20:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HOWELL: In the U.S. State of New York, investigators are trying to figure out why a limousine crashed into a parked vehicle. The accident killing 20 people. People in Schoharie, New York have been bringing flowers to the apple berry country store and cafe at the scene of the crash there.

Among victims of the limo, Erin Vertucci and Shane McGowan, a young couple who were just married in June. Family member tells CNN the limo was headed to a friend's birthday party. That friend also died in the crash.

We get more now from CNN correspondent Polo Sandoval.

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, a makeshift memorial continues to grow at the site of one of the nation's deadliest transportation disasters. At least the deadliest in the last nine years here in upstate New York.

Authorities say a limousine basically failed to stop at a T- intersection, colliding with a vehicle and two people in a parking lot of a country store, and then eventually crashing into a ditch, resulting in the deaths of 18 people on board. The driver and 17 passengers.

Investigators have not revealed any information regarding the victims. Only saying that they believe that that was the cause at this point, that the vehicle, again, failed to stop at that intersection, but they don't know exactly why. Was speed a factor? Of course, the condition of the vehicle? That is what investigators with the National Transportation Safety

Board and also the New York State Police are trying to find out. Speaking with members of the community here and even some journalist, including Peter R Barber, staff photojournalist with the Daily Gazette telling me it certainly is a horrific scene, something that was emotional even for the first responders who were working the scene.

Though this community is home to only about 3500 people, they are mourning and also searching for answers.

Polo Sandoval, CNN, Schoharie County, New York.

HOWELL: Polo, thank you.

Israeli security forces are looking for a man they say killed two Israelis at a factory in the West Bank on Sunday. Soldiers searched the village where the suspect a 23-year-old Palestinian lives. Officials say that he uses a homemade automatic weapon in the attack.

A 29-year-old woman and a 35-year-old man both employees of the factory both were killed. A third person was seriously wounded.

CNN correspondent Oren Liebermann is following the story live this hour in Jerusalem. And, Oren, Israeli authorities, security forces there looking for the suspect. What more are we learning about the attacker as of this hour?

OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: George, there is still right now a very large-scale manhunt going on to try to find the suspect here. Twenty-three-year-old Palestinian, Ashraf Naalwa, to find him and to arrest him and bring him to justice here after authorities say he went into a factory, his place of work, in fact, shot and killed two Israelis and wounded one more.

Authorities have gone to his village, to his town near the Palestinian city of Tulkarem in the northern West Bank. They have marked off his home for demolition, they've also arrested a number of those who knew him and brought them in for questioning to try to figure out if Naawla acted alone or if he was working as some sort of larger group.

But the key is now more than 24 hours after the attack, where is he? And that's why we're seeing this manhunt conducted not only by the Israeli military but also with the assistance of police and the Israel security agency.

All of this started around 7.30, local time on Sunday morning when authorities say Naawla approached a factory in the West Bank where he worked in the Balkan Industrial Park in the northern West Bank, went inside, approached two people he knew, shot and killed them and wounded one more.

Then he fled the scene and ran away and that is where we come to this manhunt that continues at this point. One of those victims, 29-year- old, Kim Yehezkel was laid to rest last night. The funeral for the second victim, 35-year-old Ziv Hajbi is scheduled to take place in just a few hours. [03:24:55] Meanwhile, as this manhunt happens and the country prepares

for this funeral, the investigation continues. One of the questions, how was the suspect able to bring a loaded automatic weapon onto a secure industrial park? That's part of what investigators have to answer.

Meanwhile, the investigation continues as to why this happened. Investigators are looking at terror and they say part of the indication there is the social media posts as well as other indications they say they have that lead them to believe that this was a terror attack.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in commenting on this called it a very severe terrorist attack and promised to bring the suspect to justice. George, that's where we stand at this point. Authorities are looking for the suspected gunman in this case to bring him to justice.

HOWELL: We'll stay in touch with you for the details. Oren Liebermann live in Jerusalem. Thank you for the reporting.

In China, the U.S. secretary of state is dropping some hints about a new U.S.-North Korean summit and when we might hear an announcement about it. We're following that story. We'll have the latest for you.

And the fight to get Brett Kavanaugh on the U.S. Supreme court. Well, that's over. But Kavanaugh will still be an issue in the election season between two very divided political parties.

Live in the U.S. and around the world, Newsroom pushes on right after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HOWELL: From coast to coast across the United States, good morning to you and around the world to our viewers. Good day. Welcome back to CNN Newsroom. I'm George Howell with the headlines we're following for you this hour.

A political advisor to Turkey's president tells CNN he believes there is a strong possibility that the journalist you see here, Jamal Khashoggi, a critic of Saudi Arabia, was killed inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul where he was last seen on Tuesday.

The Turkish President Reccep Tayyip Erdogan says he is personally chasing this investigation. Saudi Arabia denies any involvement.

[03:30:03] Chinese authorities say the former head of Interpol, Meng Hongwei, has been detained in China for alleged corruption and accepting bribes. Interpol says Meng had resigned just days after his wife had reported him missing. She says that he sent her cryptic, even scary texts messages after traveling to China suggesting that he might be in danger.

Investigators in the U.S. state of New York are trying to figure out why a limousine plowed into a parked SUV that crashed killing 20 people including two bystanders. Investigators say it is the deadliest transportation incident in nine years. The limo was headed to a birthday party when that accident happened.

America's top diplomat has touched down in Beijing. The Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with China's foreign minister just a short time ago. He arrived in Beijing after wrapping up a trip to the Korean Peninsula. While there, he met with South Korea's president, Moon Jae- in, but most of the focus has been on what you see right there, meeting with the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un.

He told reporters an announcement about a new summit between Mr. Kim and the U.S. President Trump is "pretty close." Let's talk about all of this with Sam Kiley. Sam, following the secretary of state's visit to China live from Hong Kong this hour and, look, Sam, given some recent comments by the U.S. vice president about China and current trade disputes, things are off to a rough start, it seems.

SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: They certainly are, George. I had anticipated a degree of public warmth and public photo between the foreign minister of China and United States at this meeting, but they got off to an openly almost hostile start with -- with Mr. Wang, the Chinese foreign minister, saying that -- that United States had made some wrong remarks and actions, clearly a reference to Vice President Pence's statements a week ago, suggesting that China was not was not a military rival but an economic threat and indeed was meddling in the November midterm elections.

Mr. Pompeo was not going to take this on the chin and again very publicly he said that there were fundamental disagreements between the United States and China and that the U.S. has great concerns about actions that China has taken.

I think they are probably referencing in detail locally the efforts by China to take possession of a number of islands in the South China Sea but perhaps also he is likely to raise -- present some evidence which the Americans have not done yet for this alleged interference in the election. And of course, China is a growing military power, is locked in a trade war with the United States, George.

HOWELL: Sam Kiley live for us in Hong Hong, thank you. We will of course continue to follow the secretary of state's visit there.

The U.S. president, Donald Trump, is taking victory lap after getting his second Supreme Court justice confirmed. Justice Brett Kavanaugh was sworn in on Saturday after contentious confirmation process. Both political parties are likely to use this fight to rally support in their bases ahead of the midterm elections in November.

That includes differences over issues like gun control and Roe versus Wade, the decision that legalize abortion. The president's top advisor says much of the criticism l of Kavanaugh is overblown.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KELLYANNE CONWAY, COUNSELOR TO PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: There are many people in this country who are thrilled that it's President Trump and not president -- the person who lost the election last time putting these justices on the United States Supreme Court so we can get back to the constitution and its four corners. Having said that -- and Senator Collins again echoed this in her speech, Justice Kavanaugh -- Justice Kavanaugh, I love that, said during his testimony that he believes Roe versus Wade is settled law.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HOWELL: Let's talk more about this with Scott Lucas. Scott, a professor of international politics at the University of Birmingham in England, live for us there in Birmingham, England, thank you so much for your time today.

Scott, look, Brett Kavanaugh is now Justice Kavanaugh and it is clearly a big win for President Trump and his party. The question for you, who is more energized heading into the midterms? Is it Republicans who may be very pleased with how last week played out? It is Democrats who have been energized since the U.S. president took office and got kicked in the teeth by the Democrats just last week?

SCOTT LUCAS, PROFESSOR OF INTERNATIONAL POLITICS, UNIVERSITY OF BIRMINGHAM: I don't think we find out until November the 6th, George. We can speculate on Republicans rallying around Trump and the party as they kept pushing the idea that Kavanaugh was a must-win. We could talk about a vote for Democrats being mobilized especially over the issues of women's rights and social issues.

Remember, this comes on top of other issues such as immigration, such as discrimination of people of color. But you don't actually know.

[03:35:01] People make that decision to get in to the voting booths. What I think concerns me at this point, however, are the tactics leading up to this, in specific during the last few days, this so called victory lap which of course comes as Trump is still facing the Russia investigation, is now facing allegations, that much of his wealth came through tax manipulation and even fraud.

This victory lap is built on the idea that those who demonstrated, who rallied in support of women's rights and even sexual assault survivors are part of a mob, even going so far in Donald Trump's words to say that they're a mob financed by the Jewish billionaire George Soros.

Mitch McConnell repeated that yesterday in an obvious election tactic which is to say, you know, this idea of mob rule that would come in or that was being fostered by the Democrats. And I find that really concerning, George, because if Republicans are mobilized to vote, that's great, every|e should vote. And people who support Brett Kavanaugh, that's their right and they should not be cast as an enemy because of it.

But on the other side, those who happen to oppose Donald Trump or happen to challenge the Senate leadership should not be portrayed a as an enemy within, simply because they said that this issue generally of sexual violence and specifically over a need for investigation of Brett Kavanaugh, they should be dismissed as an enemy either.

HOWELL: You talk about this word mob. It does seem to be a word that many Republican operatives have latched on to as a campaign strategy. That goes really to the process. I want to talk about process, the process that brought Brett Kavanaugh to becoming Justice Kavanaugh. This 50-48 vote was very narrow and it was very indicative of the divide within the United States.

Some Republicans and Democrats are looking back at the process with a great deal of disappointment, including the Republican governor of the U.S. state of Ohio, Scott. Let's listen here.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. JOHN KASICH (R), OHIO: Our leaders need to stop playing a zero- sum game, like flipping a coin. You know, I win, you lose. Leaders need to figure out a way to bring people together. They can have a victory but they can't leave the person who loses vanquished and that's so much of what we're seeing. In a zero-sum game, we get to a point where any tactic is acceptable and then we use our tongues and we say things that we ultimately can deeply regret.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HOWELL: The Republican governor of the state of Ohio, John Kasich, there. He ran for president. He didn't quite make it there, but he was a person seen as a politician who would bring people together in the middle. What are your thoughts about his assessment of U.S. politics as it stands now?

LUCAS: John Kasich is also positioning himself possibly for presidential run in 2020. Let's put that to the side. He made a very important point. If you are concerned about the process and hear him speaking to those up on Capitol Hill, do something about it.

This process which initially focused on just getting Brett Kavanaugh through before November elections, whatever it took, that's not a proper way in considering someone who has won (INAUDIBLE) Supreme Court justices for life. If you are concerned about the process, when there are issues raised, investigate them and not what we saw last week which was not an investigation but a political cover note. Investigate it.

And if you are really concerned either way about the issue of sexual violence and women's rights, actually address that and don't go into your camps and simply try to portray Brett Kavanaugh, for example, is a victim and dismiss Christine Ford, or on the other hand simply say that Brett Kavanaugh is guilty.

You know, I was tired of hearing people after the vote talk about the need to respect process from quite clearly the process should have been respected before the vote. And I am worried about the process, the way this is being framed in the victory lap as being an us versus them moment. It's not. This right concerns all of us. And I know how important elections are. To simply try to divide Americans, that's going to have lasting damage if we don't stand up against it.

HOWELL: Scott Lucas live with perspective and context in Birmingham, England. Thank you very much for your time, Scott.

LUCAS: Thank you.

HOWELL: The pop star and megastar Taylor Swift is making news. She has long been criticized for not using her platform as a powerful celebrity to talk about politics but -- well, things changed. Now, she is. She has broken her silence -- a political silence, revealing on Instagram that she will vote for two Democratic candidates running the the state of Tennessee.

She also slammed the Republican candidate backed by President Trump writing, "I cannot vote for someone who will not be willing to fight for dignity for all Americans, no matter their skin color, their gender or who they love." Taylor Swift also encouraged her fans to register to vote in the upcoming mid term elections.

[03:40:01] Following the elections in Brazil, a far-right candidate there is getting closer to becoming the next president of that nation. Jair Bolsonaro has been called the "Trump of the Tropics." The anti- establishment candidate secured a stunning lead in the first round of Brazil's presidential election. Shasta Darlington has more now from Sao Paulo.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SHASTA DARLINGTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The message from Brazilian voters was loud and clear. They're fed up with the endemic political corruption and the rising crime and violence.

Jair Bolsonaro, a former army captain far-right candidate, may not have won in absolute majority in Sunday's election, but he is riding a wave of conservatism as he heads towards the runoff later this month. He beat pollsters' projections.

He had supporters celebrating in front of his house. But the candidate himself gave a fairly sobering speech on social media, saying the next three weeks aren't going to be easy.

JAIR BOLSONARO, BRAZILIAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE (through translator): We indeed are able change the destiny of Brazil. We cannot continue flirting with socialism or communism.

DARLINGTON: Bolsonaro's standing just went up in the polls when he was stabbed during a campaign rally and forced to recover first in the hospital and then at home. In the end, he is going to face off against Fernando Haddad.

He is the candidate for the left-wing Workers' Party who really only joined the race a month ago when former president, Luiz Inacio "Lula" da Silva, was jailed on corruption charges and forced to pull out of the race. After voting himself, Haddad told his supporters that he's going to try and unite other parties behind his candidacy.

Now, what's interesting here is that these are the two most popular candidates but also the two most unpopular candidates with very high rejection rates. In fact, just a week before Sunday's election, tens of thousands of Brazilians took to the streets in marches organized by women, encouraging Brazilians to vote for anybody but Bolsonaro using the slogan "ele nao" or "not him." Of course, they had three weeks to try and unite Brazilians around them.

I'm Shasta Darlington for CNN in Sao Paulo.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HOWELL: Thank you. We're following the story of a Nigerian girl abducted by terror group Boko Haram and now threatened with execution. We'll have a rough court (ph) from Nairobi on efforts to save her life.

[03:45:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HOWELL: The parents of a kidnapped Nigerian schoolgirl tell CNN that terror group Boko Haram has issued an execution deadline for their daughter. Leah Sharibu's father says that Boko Haram militants threatened to kill Leah this month if their demands are not met. The 15-year-old was abducted with more than 100 school girls in February. Most were released after four weeks but Leah was held back after reportedly refusing to denounce her Christian faith.

Farai Sevenzo is following the story for us in Nairobi, Kenya. And Farai, the deadline has certainly been issued. What more are you hearing from authorities about their efforts to try to save this young girl?

FARAI SEVENZO, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: You know, George, the Nigerian authorities, the federal government of Nigeria, has had this war, this battle with the Islamic insurgency of Boko Haram for a very long time. And indeed, it is such an insidious fight that no matter how much firepower they have, no matter how many fighter jets for the United States even going as far as accidentally bombing a camp, displaced people in the northeast Nigeria, this is an enemy that is very,very difficult to crash down.

At the moment, we know that the Nigerian president, Muhammadu Buhari, issued a tweet about five days ago in which he said he spoke to Rebecca Sharibu, Leah's mom, and reiterated the government's determination to bring Leah back home safely. He said he will do everything to bring her back.

Now, of course, it's election year, campaigning time in Nigeria for election in February 2019. The issue of security in the northeast is usually important to President Buhari and is very important that they bring Leah back. We hear from the local press in Nigeria that Leah actually turned 15 in captivity. She was 14 when she was abducted, the only one of the 110 girls still in Boko Haram's hands.

She issued a desperate plea back in August in an audio tape that we heard from a local journalist in Nigeria where she said she is begging for people to treat her with compassion, calling on the government particularly the president to pity her and get her out of the serious situation. Its a story that is going to be gripping Nigeria.

And even over the weekend, we heard that an international football player posted on his Facebook that Boko Haram should take him. He's 51-year-old guy who used to play for the Super Eagles and he said, please, it is important that Leah be released.

HOWELL: You mentioned elections. This was an election issue before the president focused on cracking down on Boko Haram in the north part of the country. So the question, given another incident, one that the world is certainly watching, does this undermine -- does this show that the government is not effective enough at cracking down this terrible group?

SEVENZO: You know, George, the government of Nigeria will say, yes, they are effective. They will point to the fact that 104 girls were released and only Leah was taken back, only four weeks after they have been taken. But they are behind the scenes, George, all kinds of negotiations going on with these militants.

We know, for example, that money exchanged hands. We know that the demands include the release of some of their fighters that have been captured by the Nigerian government. But the most important thing, Nigerians are saying that Leah Sharibu must not be used as some kind of political football in this campaign. Her release is different to what the political campaigns are going on now. It is very important now to see what the government can do, whether this month of October, as been promised to be her death month, will pass with her being released, George.

HOWELL: All hopes are that she's able to be returned to her family safely, of course. Farai Sevenzo following the story for us. Farai, thank you for the reporting.

A famous landmark in Tokyo, shutting its doors forever. We'll tell you what its closure means for the city and why it is already being missed by so many.

[03:50:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

IVAN CABRERA, CNN METEOROLOGIST: I'm Ivan Cabrera with an update on our new tropical cyclone. This is called Michael. It will eventually be a hurricane. That's what they're called in this part of world. I want to pay very close attention to this one.

It will bring torrential rains to portions of Central America but particularly now -- moisture now impacting Western Cuba. The winds at 95 kilometers per hour. That still holds a tropical storm, the way it's going to stay.

Look at the forecast here as it crosses into the Gulf of Mexico, intensification likely end up potentially even for rapid intensification. We are looking at a Category Two hurricane as we get to Tuesday, 160 kilometer per hour winds. It will be between 160, I'm thinking, perhaps even 180 before it makes landfall. Once its inland, we will begin to see those winds die down and then it goes off to the north and east.

So this will be the big player if you are traveling across North America particularly across Eastern United States. Behind the storm, it will certainly be wet and out ahead it has been pretty warm here. Floods continue across the mid-section. This is the time of year. It is October, we get hurricanes. We'll have one in the Gulf of Mexico. We get snow. And we are making plenty of it here across the the Northern Rockies as well. It is very cold there, continue to move in, and that continues into the Canadian Rockies through the middle part of the week.

HOWELL: In Japan, the world's largest fish market is shutting down after 83 years, and now Tokyo is finding it hard to say good-bye. Our Alexandra Field has more.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It is 5:30 a.m. at Tokyo's Tsukiji fish market. A thousand colossal tuna fish have come off the boats. The prize catch is inspected. Then a flurry. The bell rings. The auctioneer begins his rhythmic chant. Deals are done by the flash of a hand. The best fish sells for nearly 40,000 U.S. dollars.

YUKATAKA YAMAGUCHI (ph) (through translator): I wake up 2:30 a.m. every day. I come to the market at 3:30 a.m. When I walk through the market this morning, all of my memories came up to me.

FIELD: Yukataka Yamaguchi (ph) joined his father's business here 35 years ago. He buys seven fish on Saturday. They will be the last he'll take away from Tsukiji. The catch of the day has come into the biggest fish market on earth for the last time.

YAMAGUCHI (ph) (through translator): I entered the auction for the first time in my 20s and sold tuna for the first time. All of those memories and emotion now overwhelmingly fall into my heart.

FIELD: The methodological (ph) bang of Tsukiji auctioneer's gavel has long been the beating heart of the Tokyo food scene. Forty thousand people come here every day, buying a total of over 400,000 tons of seafood each year.

[03:55:03] For many of them, Tsukiji feels like the (INAUDIBLE) to Tokyo's unrelenting modernity.

SONOMI ONOZATO (ph), SHOPPER (through translator): I love this chaotic atmosphere. This is the will market. I will miss it tremendously.

FIELD: In Tsukiji's place will be Toyosu Market, a modernized venue not far from here. This week, Toyosu will become a provider for restaurants from nearby Ginsa (ph) and Shinjuku and all across Japan. The news has been controversial. The discovery pleated (ph) soil at the new site still fierce over public safety.

City planners say chemicals at Toyosu have been sealed up and that Tsukiji's aging facilities mean the market has to move. But many people don't want to give up their piece of history. Yukataka (ph) is proud of the city's icon that he has helped to make.

YAMAGUCHI (ph) (through translator): My work is tough, but I want to be a tuna man even if I was to be born for the next life. I think this market is wonderful. I want to work here.

FIELD: One city government idea is to pave this over for a parking lot as Tokyo plans to host the Olympics in 2020. In a city that is forever looking forward, Tsukiji will be remembered by many as part of Tokyo's old soul.

Alexandra Field, CNN.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HOWELL: Thank you for being with us for your news around the world. I'm George Howell at the CNN Center in Atlanta. For our viewers in the United States, "Early Start" is next from New York. For our viewers around the world, my colleague Max Foster is on deck next with "CNN Newsroom" live from London. As always, we thank you for watching the Cable News Network, CNN, the world's news leader.

[04:00:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)