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Trump Criticized for Covering Saudi Arabia; Kim Jong-un Invites Pope Francis to North Korea; Teenager Killed Dozens in Russia; Turkish Media, Audio Recordings Suggests Torture; Saudi Arabia Denies Knowledge Of Khashoggi's Fate; Business Leaders Withdrawing From Saudi Conference; Ebola Not An Emergency Of International Concern; CNN Obtains Rare Access Inside Myanmar; O Cannabis: Canada Celebrates Legal Weed. Aired 3-4a ET

Aired October 18, 2018 - 03:00   ET



[03:00:00] ROSEMARY CHURCH, HOST, CNN: A forensic team combs through the Saudi consul general's home in hopes of finding clues about what happened to missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Brexit negotiations come to a standstill in Brussels and one key issue seems to be holding everything up.

Plus, a letter for the pope. Why South Korea's president traveled to the Vatican to hand-deliver a note to Pope Francis.

Hello and welcome to our viewers joining us from all around the world. I'm Rosemary Church. And this is CNN Newsroom.

The investigation expands and grim new details emerge in the disappearance and apparent murder of Jamal Khashoggi. Turkish authorities wearing Hazmat suits search the Saudi consul general's home for about nine hours on Wednesday. They use drones and ultraviolet lights to look for evidence.

According to Turkish media an audio recording suggests the journalist was tortured then killed within minutes of entering the Saudi consulate in a Istanbul. Sources say a Saudi intelligence officer seen here on the left led the operation and that he has close ties to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

CNN's Ben Wedeman is in Istanbul, he joins us now live. Good to see you again, Ben. So, what more are you now learning about this investigation into the disappearance and apparent murder of Jamal Khashoggi?

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, as you mentioned, Rosemary, we know that Turkish investigators spent nine hours yesterday evening and into the night to searching the residence of Mohammed al-Otaibi, the Saudi consul general here in Istanbul, but we don't know exactly what they found out.

Surprisingly it's 10 o'clock in the morning here in Istanbul and nobody has leaked the details of what they might have dug up, but certainly given the pattern of leaks that has been going on since this drama began to unfold. I think we can expect some in the coming hours.

In addition to that nine-hour search of the residence of the Saudi consul general here at the consulate behind me Turkish investigators went back yesterday and were inside for three hours. We don't know where that what they were able to come up with but we do know that both in the consulate and in the residence, they are looking for DNA for of Jamal Khashoggi.

Now we have not heard whether they actually found any or not, but they are looking in, for instance, they're taking soil samples. They took dogs inside the residence. For instance, they are checking the cistern that provides water to the residents as well, looking for DNA samples so they are definitely looking for a body.

But certainly, if you go back over the last more than two weeks of reports and leaks and whatnot there's a very good question where that body is that probably, or rather, there very well could be splatters of blood in these properties, but we'll have to wait for the next group of leaks from Turkish sources never identify. Rosemary.

CHURCH: And Ben, as we mentioned, according to Turkish media and audio hoardings suggest that Khashoggi was tortured then buried within minutes of entering the consulate building. Why has this audio recording not being shared at this time with American authorities?

WEDEMAN: It's a very good question and one that everybody is asking. And what's interesting is that even the reports in the Turkish media they are not suggesting that the reporters behind those reports actually heard the audiotapes. They are speaking of people who spoke to people who heard the audio tape so we simply don't know.

And President Trump yesterday did come out and say give us the takes, or rather whatever in whatever form they are. We want to hear the audio involving this missing Washington Post columnist. And he said if, President Trump said if they exist, so he certainly is challenging the Turks that if they have this audio recording hand it over because certainly that would help clarify a situation that in point is rather foggy. Rosemary?

[03:05:10] CHURCH: Indeed. Our Ben Wedeman with the very latest there from Istanbul just after 10 in the morning. Many thanks.

Well, the Washington Post has published what could well be Jamal Khashoggi's last column., It was written shortly before he went missing and focuses on the lack of press freedom in the Middle East and the importance of free expression.

Khashoggi writes this. "The Arab world needs a modern version of the old transnational media so citizens can be informed about global events. More important, we need to provide a platform for our voices. We suffer from poverty, mismanagement and poor education for the creation of an independent international forum isolated from the influence of nationalist governments spreading hate through propaganda. Ordinary people in the Arab world will be able to address the structural problems their societies face." And as we are learning all of this President Trump continues to defend Saudi Arabia while he says he supports an investigation. His being coy about it.

CNN's Pamela Brown reports from Washington.

PAMELA BROWN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: President Trump today not giving details about the investigation surrounding the disappearance of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, playing coy with reporters in the Oval Office when pressed if he's asked for the FBI's involvement.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why not send the FBI to figure all this out?

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, he was a citizen of this country for one thing, and we're going to determine that and you don't know whether or not we have the -- no, but you know whether or not we've sent the FBI, I'm not going to tell you.


TRUMP: Why would I tell you.


BROWN: Trump indicating the U.S. ask the Turkish authorities to hand over audio recordings they claim proves Khashoggi was tortured, murdered and dismembered while inside the Saudi consulate in Turkey.


TRUMP: We have asked for it if it exists. We have asked for it. Yes? We've asked for it if it exists.


BROWN: The president once again casting doubt on the mounting evidence that Saudi Arabia was behind Khashoggi's disappearance and failing to point the finger at the kingdom, telling the Associated Press, "Here we go again with, you're guilty until proven innocent. I don't like that."

Comparing the investigation to the allegations now Justice Brett Kavanaugh face earlier this month.


TRUMP: We'll get down to the bottom of it.


BROWN: The president also telling Fox Business the U.S. needs Saudi Arabia both for the fight against terror and as a financial partner.


TRUMP: I hope we're going to be on the better side of the equation. You know, we need Saudi Arabia in terms of our fight against all of the terrorism.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, we're not going to walk away from Saudi Arabia?

TRUMP: I do not want to do that.


BROWN: Trump later insisting he's not providing cover for the Mideast ally, but rather he is waiting on the report from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo who's returning from the Middle East after meetings with the Saudis and the Turks.


TRUMP: I'm not giving cover at all but I want to find out what happened. Where is the fault and we will probably know that by the end of the week?


BROWN: President Trump says he believes he will know by the end of the week what happened and who is to blame. His Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is expected to be briefing him soon following his trip overseas to meet with the crown prince, as well as Turkish officials.

Mike Pompeo telling reporters that he believes the Saudis will conduct a transparent investigation that he says that is what they have pledge.

So, what remained to be seen how much time the Trump administration will put into this investigation as the Saudis face mounting evidence that they were involved in the disappearance and apparent killing of the Washington Post journalist.

Pamela Brown, CNN, the White House.

CHURCH: And for more on this, Robert Malley joins us on the line now from Brussels. He is the president of the International Crisis Group and was an advisor on ISIS to President Barack Obama. Thanks so much for being with us.


CHURCH: Sp President Trump says he's not giving cover to the Saudis but his actions suggest otherwise. And the Washington Post is suggesting that Mr. Trump and the Saudi royals are trying to settle a mutually agreeable explanation for the killing which doesn't implicate the Saudi Prince. Do you agree with that assessment?

MALLEY: Well, it's hard to conclude otherwise everything the president has said so far or at least after just two days that he wants to find a way to sleep under the rug, whether that's possible (Inaudible) but he's given every indication both from the parliament he presides, which has that the United States needs to protect its being given, probably some arms sales in Saudi Arabia, and also the notion the story that has been concocting about this maybe being a rogue group that engineered the killing.

[03:10:06] So, he's giving the impression trying to find a, as you mutually acceptable version. It doesn't seem to be flying among most other American.

CHURCH: Right. So why do you think the president of the U.S. is so eager to accept the denials from the Saudi royals of any knowledge of the fate of Jamal Khashoggi?

MALLEY: Well, I think he feels that the relationship with Saudi Arabia for both the financial reasons but also (Inaudible) this strategic reasons in terms of the alliance between the United States and Saudi Arabia against Iran, which is the administration part in the region.

For both those reasons I think he believes that preserving relationship not rocking the boat too much in essential and again, what seems to be taking place is Turks to find the most plausible way to which he would go.

CHURCH: So, if the evidence supports the theory that the Saudi prince authorize the killing of Khashoggi what should the president do about that?

MALLEY: Well, I think, I mean, what you're hearing from Congress certainly and by parties, not just Democrats but also republicans and not just members who have been known to be critical of Saudi Arabia but even those who have been allies for years are saying that there have to be consequences.

And the consequence that they are mostly focused on is in terms of provision of weapons that are being used in the war against Yemen in some ways trying to achieve two goals with one step both to send the message to Saudi Arabia that there can't be impunity if in fact (Inaudible) in this tragedy.

And second, send in the message that the war in Yemen, the catastrophic war in Yemen can't go on choose to deal with Congress where many members of Congress went ahead, it doesn't seem at this point that that's at all where President Trump wants to go but his hand maybe force.

CHURCH: Do you think there would be a situation there would be enough pressure brought to bear that the Saudi crown prince would have to step aside so relations between the United States and Saudi Arabia could continue without this problem.

MALLEY: I think that's really premature to say that. We don't really have a good sense of what's happening within the royal family. It stands to reason that there are members of the royal family who have been critical of Mohammed bin Salman, the crown prince for some time who would believe that if he in fact have mismanaged the kingdom's important bilateral relationship with the United States then he should be challenge in terms of his ability to succeed his father.

But we're not there yet. If he's proved, the crown prince, over time that he has the capacity the determination and certainly the ruthlessness (Ph) to get what he wants done, so I wouldn't be betting again from that point but certainly there must be more voices within the kingdom and within the royal family, in particular who are wondering whether he (Inaudible) the job.

CHURCH: Robert Malley, thank you so much for joining us and sharing your analysis and perspective on this issue. We do appreciate it.

Well, British Prime Minister Theresa May is set to address the media in the coming hours. This after her big pitch in Brussels about Brexit received a very cool reception Wednesday from European leaders. They are gathering now to talk to again.

Sources tell CNN E.U. leaders have dropped plans for a special summit next month over lack of progress in the current talks.

And the president of the European parliament made it clear he wasn't impressed with what Mrs. May had to say.


ANTONIO TAJANI, PRESIDENT, EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT (through translator): This message of goodwill there's a reason to reach an agreement but I do not perceive that anything substantially new in terms of content as I listen to Mrs. May.


CHURCH: So, let's go live to Brussels now where CNN's Erin McLaughlin is standing by with more on all of this. Good to see you again, Erin. So the Irish border that's the big sticking point here, where does all of this lead Brexit negotiations?

ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, Rosemary, the summit had been billed as a make or break summit for Theresa May and the Brexit process. Now it looks like it's all about keeping calm and treading water. The needle really has not moved in terms of these negotiations.

The president of the European Council Donald Tusk had asked for Theresa May to bring to the summit concrete proposals to break the impasse on the Northern Ireland situation. Now listening to Antonio Tajani there that simply did not happen. She did bring plenty of goodwill.

Now during last night summit one of the topics on a table for discussion was a possible implementation period extension or extension of the transition period.

[03:15:03] This is a period of time after Brexit in which the status quo would remain the same. The U.K. would continue paying into the budget following E.U. rules but critically would lose seat at the deciding table, something that is a nonstarter for Brexiteers.

They're willing to accept a limited transition period but this talk of extending that time period really not sitting well on the domestic political situation for Theresa May.

She just arrived here in the summit and she addressed some of those reports, saying that yes, they are talking about extending the implementation or transition period by a matter of months.

Also adding that this is the position of last resort. That the hope is that they will have enough time during the transition as it has been agreed to know to agree on that future relationship in order to avoid backstop situation.

The backstop of course being that Northern Ireland would remain inside the E.U.'s customs union and single market, something that the E.U. is insisting on, something that the U.K. says as yet another red line for them. But at this point it does not seem that the impasse has been broken on these negotiations.

And Michel Bernier, the chief Brexit negotiator for the E.U. yesterday saying much more she practically necessary for the accident and much more time is needed to break this impasse.

CHURCH: So, Erin, what can we expect to hear from Theresa May when she addresses the media in the short time from now in actual fact, after failing to make any progress on Brexit negotiations there in Brussels.

MCLAUGHLIN: Well, I think we can expect her to be pressed again about that implementation or transition period exactly outlining her plans for that. Also, I can expect that she would be pressed on how she plans on breaking this deadlock and the political situation there in the U.K. is really being seen here in Brussels as key to all of this.

There's no point in the eyes of E.U. leaders in agreeing on a Brexit record deal with Theresa May if the arithmetic isn't there for her to be able to push it through.

Westminster keep in mind that she has a minority government, she does not have a majority. So, any sort of plans to push that through parliament would rely on the votes of Democratic Unionist party, so the king maker in her government they hold around 10 seats. And keep in mind that they are not happy with the E.U.'s backstop proposal.

CHURCH: All right. Many thanks to our Erin McLaughlin joining us there live from Brussels where it is just after 9.15 in the morning. Thanks again.

We'll take a short break here, but coming up in just a moment we will take you to Rome where the president of South Korea was preparing to meet Pope Francis and he could deliver a letter from North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Plus, dozens of killed and wounded during an attack at a college in Crimea and authorities say the gunman was a teenage student. We're back in a moment.


CHURCH: Pope Francis has made his share of history since becoming spiritual leader of the Catholic Church. A few hours from now he could be on the cusp of another milestone. That's when South Korean President Moon Jae-in is expected to hand-deliver an invitation to the pope from North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

South Korean media report Mr. Kim is enthusiastic about having Pope Francis visit Pyongyang.

CNN Vatican correspondent Delia Gallagher joins us now from Rome to talk more about this. And let's -- Delia, let's look at this meeting between South Korea's leader and the pope. How might he respond to this letter this invitation from Kim Jong-un?

DELIA GALLAGHER, CNN VATICAN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Rosemary, the Vatican is not commenting yet obviously on whether or not the pope will accept the invitation. It's not the first time a pope has been invited to North Korea. Kim Jong-il, Kim Jong-un's father back in 2000 invited John Paul II, but that trip never materialized.

And of course, Pope Francis in 2014 visited South Korea, so it's not entirely out of the question that he might accept the invitation, but the situation in North Korea is that it's one of the countries according to the U.N. with the worst human rights abuses, including Christian persecution.

And the Catholic situation there, Rosemary is that they have a state- sponsored church which they say has about 3000 adherents. But there is no Catholic Church there with ties to the Vatican. So the Vatican would also obviously be interested in that aspect.

Here's what the South Korean Catholic archbishop said might be a potential benefit of a papal visit to North Korea.


KIM HEE-JONG, CATHOLIC ARCHBISHOP, GWANGJU, SOUTH KOREA (through translator): Through the pope's visit North Korea may become more open to the international community and its leader may become more flexible with regards to the freedom of religion.


GALLAGHER: And you know, Rosemary, we've seen just recently in the Vatican's deal with China that the pope is willing to dialogue with communist leaders, even in the face of human rights abuses in the hopes of making a better situation for Catholics and other Christians in the country. So it wouldn't entirely rule out the possibility of Francis accepting this invitation. Rosemary? CHURCH: And so, Delia, if he did accept this how difficult would it be for the Vatican to organize a papal visit to North Korea. What would be some of the challenges?

GALLAGHER: Well, in any papal trip, Rosemary, one of the biggest challenges is actually just trying to figure out when would be a good time to go. The pope already has a schedule of trips ready for next year. So you have to fit in a trip to North Korea somewhere around his already quite packed schedule, but obviously, if it's something that Francis wants to do, they will find a way to do it, Rosemary.

CHURCH: Indeed. Our Delia Gallagher joining us there live from Rome. Many thanks to you.

Well, the Taliban in Afghanistan have claimed responsibility for another deadly bombing ahead of this weekend's parliamentary elections. The blast in Helmand province killed a candidate and three others.

At least 10 candidates have been assassinated in the run up to Saturday's election, about 50,000 Afghan troops have been assigned to protect polling places on election day.

Russian authorities are investigating an attack at a college in Crimea. State run media say 20 people were killed, dozens wounded and the suspect, we're told was a student.

Our Matthew Chance has the details.

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This is the chaotic aftermath of the chocking attack that has left dozens dead or injured at a Crimean technical college. Russian emergency workers is seen in Kerch said the majority of victims are just teenagers. Initial reports spoke of an explosion on their college campus.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): According to preliminary information an unidentified explosive device packed with metal objects went off in the cafeteria of Kerch Polytechnic College. We're checking information about the victims.


[03:25:06] CHANCE: The exact moment of the explosion was captured on a car dash cam nearby. Investigators now say all those killed died of gunshot wounds inflicted by a lone attacker.

And this is the suspect caught on college security cameras and identified on Russian state television as an 18-year-old Vladislav Roslyakov. Investigators say he was carrying a second explosive device and large amount of ammunition he turned on his weapon himself they say after opening fire inside the college.

The coastal town of Kerch is on the Crimean side of the controversial bridge built by Russia after it annexed the territory from Ukraine in 2014. It was opened by Vladimir Putin himself earlier this year.

Russian lawmakers initially suggested Ukraine may have been behind what was first suspected to be a terrorist attack. It's now labeled a mass murder. And the Kremlin is focusing on support for the victims and their families.


VLADIMIR PUTIN, RUSSIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): I want to express condolences to the relatives of those who died and express hope that the victims will recover as soon as possible. We will do everything possible for this.


CHANCE: Meanwhile, Russia has declared three days of official mourning as it grapples with an appalling rampage.

Matthew Chance, CNN, Moscow.

CHURCH: We'll take a short break here but still to come, so far Saudi Arabia insist it knows nothing but pressure is growing for answers from the kingdom on what happened to Jamal Khashoggi. The latest from Riyadh ahead.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you want a big government gone grab and liberal, well, the Democrats are giving you one.


CHURCH: That's Ted Cruz, the Republican incumbent senator in Texas. When we return how his opponent Democrat Beto O'Rourke is fighting hard to flip his seat.


CHURCH: Welcome back, everyone. I'm Rosemary Church. I want to update you now on the main stores we're following his hour.

An E.U. source tells CNN European leaders have dropped plans for a special Brexit summit in November. They say there hasn't been enough progress during the current talks.

[03:29:58] British Prime Minister Theresa May joins her E.U. counterpart again this morning for more negotiations in Brussels. On Wednesday night, her big pitch for Brexit was met with a very cool reception.

Turkish authorities searched the Saudi consul general's home in Istanbul, Wednesday in the Jamal Khashoggi investigation, according to Turkish media an audio recordings suggest the journalist was tortured at the Saudi consulate and was killed within minutes of his arrival. Meantime, U.S. Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, will brief President

Trump in just a few hours on his meetings with both the Saudi and Turkish leaders on the Khashoggi investigation. As source says, despite the smiles for the cameras, Pompeo was blocked with the Saudi Crown Prince telling him he had to own the situation, because every fact is going to get out.

For now, Saudi Arabia is officially denying any knowledge of what happened to Khashoggi, but Sam Kiley reports that may be hard to maintain and the kingdom is saying more for fallout.


SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Saudi Arabia authorities had maintained all along and they still do in public. And we are seeing this reflected in the media. That's all in any of the suggestions coming out of Istanbul that Mr. Khashoggi died is nothing short of Qatari propaganda reinforced by the Muslim brotherhood connections to Turkey. There's no evidence whatsoever for that. What there is evidence of is that he was murdered or died during an interrogation that went wrong, a possibly a rendition the hands of what the Turks say are a number of Saudi officials, many of them with connections to the highest levels to the Saudi kingdom.

Now the Saudi's private leaders are saying and have been saying since the weekend that they are inching towards making a statement that would perhaps projects responsibility for the crime committed there to perhaps overenthusiastic unit of intelligence officers. Among the names of interest that the Turks had puts out is Mahar Matred, now he is a colonel in Saudi intelligence. He was a diplomat in London in 2007 and he has been seen all over the world in close proximity to the Saudi Crown Prince.

That is a problem for the Saudi's the extent to which the finger points in a very hierarchical nation to the top as opposed to what is likely to be the Saudi narrative when it finally emerges which is that this was a rogue element. And all of this against the background of a major international conference that they are hoping to hold in a few days called Davos in the desert, colloquially, from which people have been canceling invitations, senior CEOs massive organizations that would otherwise be here supporting Saudi Arabia's vision of a new and modernized nation by 2030, simply not wishing to be associated with the kingdom.

Now that is going to be a permanent stained on this nation. Whatever the outcome of the latest investigations. Sam Kiley, CNN, Riyadh.


CHURCH: We are back in the United States. The man overseeing the Russian investigations is publicly defending it in a rare interview with the Wall Street Journal, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is quoted as saying this, at the end of the day, the public will have confidence that the cases we brought were warranted by the evidence, and that it was an appropriate use of resources, I committed, I would ensure the investigation was appropriate and independent and reach the right result, whatever it may be. I believe I have been faithful to that.

We could be in store for a big development in the Russian investigations soon, possibly shortly after the U.S. midterm elections and next month. CNN's Sara Murray reports from Washington.


SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL REPORTER: It is basically a building about whether more indictments are soon to drop and exactly what special counsel Robert Mueller will wrap into his final report. The report expected after the November election and before the end of the year will be delivered to the Deputy Attorney General, Rod Rosenstein. But it is up to him to decide if it will ever be made public for the American people.

One outstanding question, just how much President Trump will cooperate? His lawyers are readying answers to Mueller's written question. But in a Tuesday interview, the president told the Associated Press, the whole process is a tremendous waste of time, adding we are looking at certain questions having to do with the word collusion. Of course, there was no collusion.

Trump offered up his strongest defense yet of his son, Donald Trump Jr. who participated in the June 2016 meeting in Trump Tower with a Russian lawyer who is tied to the Kremlin and promised dirt on Hillary Clinton. The meeting became about a different subject and they could not get out of the meeting fast enough. Trump told the A.P. while insisting his son is innocent. There is nobody harder on my son than I am. If he did something wrong, I would have been (inaudible).

[03:35:10] DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Phony witch hunt. Phony witch hunt.

MURRAY: Despite his anger over the investigation and Attorney General Jeff Sessions decision to recuse himself from it, Trump still won't say whether he wants Sessions out. I could fire him whenever I want to fire him, but I hadn't said that I was going to, Trump told the A.P., but if you ask me, am I thrilled? No, I am not thrilled. The other person the president isn't trilled with, his former personal attorney Michael Cohen, saying Cohen under oath comment that he arranged hush money scheme at Trump's discretion where totally false.

While downplaying Cohen's role, Trump said, oh, absolutely he's lying and Michael Cowan was the P.R. person who did small legal work, very small legal work. Cohen lawyer, Lanny Davis defended his client pleading Trump calling anyone a liar, is a compliment.

And when it comes to Michael Cohen cooperation, sources are also telling CNN that on Wednesday, Cohen and his legal team met with state and federal investigators to discuss information related to the Trump family business as well as the Trump charitable foundation. So, you can see why the president is not too happy with his former personal attorney. Sara Murray, CNN, Washington.

(END VIDEO) CHURCH: Donald Trump has a new White House counsel, Patrick

Cipollone, is replacing Don McGahn who served during the first year and a half of the administration. The changes viewed as a sign that Trump is gearing up for possible legal fight over the Russian investigation, once the midterm elections are over.

Well, now to next month's crucial midterm elections in the United States and the show down in Texas for a Senate seat. Democrats Beto O'Rourke is trying to unseat the incumbent Republican Ted Cruz. He laid in CNN's latest all by seven percentage points. The race has attracted nationwide attention, including tweets from President Trump who strongly endorses Cruz. Our Ed Lavandera reports.



ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Ted Cruz, has mastered the postcard sized political punch.

SEN. TED CRUZ, (R) TEXAS: if you want a big government gun grad and liberal, well the Democrats are giving you one.

LAVANDERA: The rapid fire jabs that Democrats Beto O'Rourke are designed to deflate the (inaudible) Congressman soaring campaigns.

CRUZ: On job killing regulations, he is for him, I am against him. Guns, I am for him, he is against him. On taxes, he is for him, I am against him.

LAVANDERA: In the last few Senator Cruz, has unleashed a wave of television ads criticizing O'Rourke tainting him as dangerous and radically liberal. O'Rourke has been hesitant to fire back directly saying he prefers to follow the positive path that has brought him to this point so far. Beto O'Rourke is no friend of Texas energy. The Cruz television campaign and laser focus message seemed to have halted O'Rourke's forward march in the polls.

A CNN poll shows O'Rourke, seven points behind.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Beto O'Rourke wants to be a senator.

LAVANDERA: Four weeks as O'Rourke has literally run and barnstorm through every corner of the state. We asked him how he would respond to the Cruz campaigns criticisms which seem to be working.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you worried with those (inaudible) and those messages are going to stick?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you fighting back?

O'ROURKE: I think people are sick of the pettiness and the partisanship and the smallness.

Then you take the gloves off and fight a little bit tougher.

We are fighting for a positive future for this country. We are not fighting against anyone. It is not against another party.

LAVANDERA: But with early voting starting next week, O'Rourke is shedding the nice guy approach.

O'ROURKE: Senator Cruz is not going to be honest with you. He is going to make up positions and votes that had never held or had ever taken. He is dishonest that is why the president called him lying Ted. And he had lied -- the nickname stuck, because it is true.

LAVANDERA: Democratic strategist Herald Cook, work for Ann Richard, one of the last Democrats to hold state wide office in Texas. Cooks says, O'Rourke must sharpen his attacks before it is too late.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You can be high minded while you are drawing a clear contrast between yourself and your opponent. He had not done it yet.

LAVANDERA: And anti-Ted Cruz pack has rolled out and add roasting Cruz for cozying up to President Trump who once said the Texas senator had done nothing protect.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If somebody call my wife a dog, is it my daddy was in a Kennedy assassination, I would not be kissing their ass.

[03:40:00] LAVANDERA: O'Rourke has rarely talked about Ted Cruz and President Trump in his campaign speeches, but in recent days that has changed.

O'ROURKE: We need a full time suburb.

LAVANDERA: He ripped in to Cruz for shutting down the federal government and rolling back health care protection and even unleashed his sharpest criticism yet of the Texas senator for campaigning with the president.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Senator Cruz will put his political ambition, his prospects in the next election ahead of anything else, including his family, including those he has sworn to represent here in Texas. Texas has lost its voice in the U.S. Senate in Senator Cruz.

LAVANDERA: The showdown will continue for another three weeks in a race that captivated the states are not used to this kind of political clashed. Cruz' campaign manager reacted to this new O'Rourke strategy by saying quote, while unconventional candidate goes conventional. That's when they get split open like cantaloupe. Now Ted Cruz is facing a potential pitfall of his own. Even though Donald Trump won the state of Texas by nine points in 2016, a new CNN poll shows that currently his approval and disapproval rate or about even in these state. Ed Lavandera, CNN, McAllen, Texas.


CHURCH: And later on Thursday CNN will host a town hall with Beto O'Rourke, the Democrats are seeking a senate seat in Texas. Republican Ted Cruz, declining to participate, well that is on at 7:00 p.m. Eastern Time right here on CNN.

Well, CNN's Matt Rivers got rare access to an area in Myanmar where ethnic cleansing is reported to have happen.


MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The only clue we have on the violent that took place here are trees like this one still year later bearings the scorch marks of the fires that brought this village to the ground.


CHURCH: When we return, more of mass chilling report about the Rohingya classes.


CHURCH: Welcome back everyone, with the World Health Organization is not yet describing the Ebola outbreak in Congo as an international public health emergency that is even though it has killed at least 139 people in the African nation since August and 216 cases have been confirmed. Despite that decision health workers in the DRC face major challenges.

[03:45:01] Some of them had to be pulled back from the worst impacted areas due to safety concerns. The outbreak began a little over two months ago. It's already lasted longer and being more deadly than expected with a spike in violence making things even worst.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Inaudible) hopefully we are anticipating the remarks, we have to extend that curfew and the (inaudible) is now to extend the time frame for the Ebola. Even though -- we anticipate the now we will be looking at least another two or three months. We have around 40 people that are really lost to fellow, they had not been found till days. An overwhelming majority of those 40 plus people are in (inaudible). More than 90 percent.


CHURCH: We turn now to the Rohingya crisis more than 700,000 Rohingya Muslims were force to leave Myanmar in the past year. They were escaping a military operation at the U.N. calls ethnic cleansing. CNN's Matt Rivers got rare access to the area, he found recent history had been erased with just a few clues left of the horror that force those, hundreds of thousands to flee. And Matt joins us now live from Beijing with more on his special report, good to see you again, Matt. So, what all did you see and how exactly has proof of this horror being erased?

MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I mean this is a government led campaign Rosemary, that change the narrative that is taken hold rightly so in the international community that atrocities of an order of magnitude. It's difficult to really understand were committed against the Rohingya. The government invited us in to Myanmar to a Rakhine State specifically to try and change that narrative, to say look, nothing bad happened here. There's hardly anything to see. So we accepted their offer, we went in and we listen to what they had to say we judged it on its merits. And we came to our own conclusion. Here's a story.


RIVERS: most people are Rohingya, Muslims. Some of those who fled from what the U.N. calls a genocide. Myanmar's government wants you to believe it never happened.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Our men and what it is like, We save our life.

RIVERS: To meet these people. It took several days and a rickety boat ride to get to this part of Rakhine state in remote Western Myanmar. The foreigners are not allowed in this part of Rakhine. The only way were here is on a government escort. We are only taking where authorities want us to go. Our first stop, the village of (inaudible), it used to be more than 6000 Rohingya living here. Their existence now all but erased.

So this is what's left of the Rohingya Village that was here. It's completely overgrown. It's hard to tell there are any structures here at any point. The only clues we have to the violence that took place here are trees like this one still a year later bearings scorch marks of the fires that barked this village to the ground. The government said their forces did response to Rohingya terror attacks here in 2017. But the Rohingya barked down their own houses.

Only local Rakhine Buddhist remains now, this man supports that story. The Rohingya started threatening the army, he says, the Muslims announced that they would have a celebration slaughtering and cooking the soldiers and Rakhine people. Though clear evidence shows it was the Rohingya who were the main victims of slaughter. 10 Rohingya men were hacked and shot to death by Myanmar soldiers, a massacre the military has admitted to and I met two Reuters journalist were jailed for investigating.

The U.N. says many more men, women and children were savagely killed here as well. The trip then continues to an empty landscape and it makes sense when you remember the U.N. says 720,000 Rohingya fled when violence broke out last year. A full U.N. report documents how the military and local groups engaged in rape, torture and the murder of at least 10,000 people to get rid of the Rohingya, a group many embroidery Myanmar regard as subhuman noncitizens.

So you continue to claim the genocide did not happen in Rakhine State?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (TRANSLATOR): During the incident there was some damage regarding the Army they did everything within the law. We cannot comment on whether it was right or wrong.

RIVERS: The question is very simple. Do you believe that genocide happened here or not? [03:50:00] UNIDENTIFIED MALE (TRANSLATOR): I would say genocide

didn't happen.

RIVERS: Myanmar's civilian leader, the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi also denies genocide, her government says it's ready to bring back Rohingya refugees like these stuck in no man's land forced out of Myanmar and are not allowed across the border into Bangladesh. They're staying put in part because security forces that would oversee their return are some of the same people accused of carrying out the killings in the first place.

The conditions inside the camp were obviously horrific. There is no access to education, no healthcare, no electricity. Food is scarce and yet still that rather be on that side of the fence than this one because they're too afraid to come back.

Myanmar might continue to deny ethnic cleansing, but the evidence gathered by the U.N. and others is overwhelming. The government- sponsored trip does nothing to change that fact.


RIVERS: Rosemary, aside from the fact that they're terrified to come back for fear of their lives. There's other issues that the Rohingya point to is why they're not going to accept Myanmar's offer of repatriation at this point, the first being citizenship issues. Despite having lived in Myanmar for decades and decades and decades, Myanmar's government still does not issue citizenship to Rohingya people in that country. Also they want to go back to their original land. The land that they were forced out of and you can imagine that of course you want to do that, but Myanmar's government says no, if you come back, you are not going to go back to where you are living.

So because of all three of those reasons security citizenship and property ownership. There really is no clear path forward when do these people come back to Myanmar if at all, just not sure.

CHURCH: Yes. They certainly have an unknown future. Matt Rivers bringing us that the special report. Many thanks. And in the hours ahead. You can learn more about why many refugees feel returning to camps in Myanmar.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are giving an armed escort by local police everywhere we go, they say it is for our protection and that is partly true, but it is also true that this guys are here to make sure that we don't go anywhere, they don't want us to.


CHURCH: Our Matt Rivers takes his insider Rohingya refugee camp in Rakhine State were thousands of people have been kept for six years, refugees, they say it's like an open air prison camp and they have a message for their fellow refugees in Bangladesh, that is the next report from Matt Rivers in his series inside Myanmar, witness to the Rohingya crisis coming up on news stream at 1:00 p.m. in London, 8:00 in the evening in Hong Kong only here on CNN.

Well, after a long waits and long lines. There was celebration in Canada we will show you why the country is making history and why that's making many people happy.


CHURCH: While the weather was cool and wet but the welcome was very warm. Crowds in (inaudible) could not get enough for Prince Harry and his pregnant wife, Meghan Markle. On their walk about on day three of their tour of Australia. They also attended a reception and government house and visited a restaurant that mentors indigenous chefs, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex returned to Sydney this week for the opening of the Invictus Games, Prince Harry found that the competition for wounded military personnel after his service in the British Army.

[03:55:08] Well, many Canadians are celebrating not by making a toast but by lighting a joint. Canada is now the second nation in the world after Uruguay to legalize marijuana. It's an election promise fulfilled by the Canadian Prime Minister who says he will not be taking a drag. CTV's Glen McGregor reports.

GLEN MCGREGOR, SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT, CTV: happy cannabis consumers came out and force on the first day of legalization.

And where met by long line ups outside licensed pot shops here in Montreal. In Calgary and in Winnipeg, a historic first legal sale was made moments after Ben night in Newton land.

The buyer plans to preserved his purchased for prosperity.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I am going to save it and hang it on my wall. I am not even going to smoke it, I am going to save it forever.

MCGREGOR: Consumers across the country now face retail rules that vary by province. In Nova Scotia buying at a liquor store. But in Ontario, pot is now available only through a (inaudible) run website. Still calls for celebration in (inaudible). Shop clerks today help new buyers navigate a bewildering array of products.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I got, I can't even remember, Mango Cush.

MCGREGOR: One Canadian with no plans to buy, the Prime Minister.

JUSTIN TRUDEAU, PRIME MINISTER, CANADA: I don't take much alcohol, I don't drink coffee, and I have no intention of using marijuana.

MCGREGOR: His government hopes that in this new era of Canadian drug and social policy, regulated cannabis will begin to squeeze out organize crime.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Today, for the first time there is competition in the marketplace.

MCGREGOR: The government also promised to begin the process of granting pardons to those with prior convictions for simple Cannabis possession.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Removing the stigma of a criminal record for people who have served their sentence and then shown themselves to be law-abiding citizens enhances public safety for all Canadians.

MCGREGOR: Both pardons made it easier for some Canadians with criminal convictions to apply for jobs or to work with children, but it may not help him get across the border into the United States. Even if Canadian records are expunged. The Americans may still have a record of past of offenses. Glen McGregor, CTV News, Ottawa.


CHURCH: Some very happy people there and thanks to your company this hour. I'm Rosemary Church. Remember to connect with me anytime on Twitter @rosemarycnn. I love to hear from you. And the news continues now with Max Foster in London. You are watching CNN. Have a great day.