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CNN NEWSROOM

Leicester City's Owner's Helicopter Crashes; Erdogan Calls on Saudi Arabia to Extradite Khashoggi Murder Suspects; Polls Open Soon in Brazil's Election. Aired 5:30-6a ET

Aired October 28, 2018 - 05:30   ET

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


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NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: You've been watching CNN's special coverage of the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting. We're following another developing story as well.

A helicopter used by the owner of the Leicester City Football Club has crashed just outside their stadium. Our covering continues here. I'm Natalie Allen.

GEORGE HOWELL, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm George Howell. We go live to the stadium after a short break. Stand by.

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ALLEN: We're following the crash of a helicopter belonging to the owner of British football club Leicester City in Birmingham, England. I'm Natalie Allen.

HOWELL: I'm George Howell. This happened outside the club's King Power Stadium in Leicester, England, near Birmingham. The aircraft crashed about an hour after the team played in a home match.

ALLEN: Witnesses say the helicopter was struggling in the air before it came down and erupted into a ball of flames in the stadium's parking lot.

HOWELL: The club owner, Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, no official word yet on whether he was on board when that helicopter went down. However, he's known to use the helicopter to take him to and from home games.

Leicester City spokesperson tweeted that they are assisting police and the emergency services there. They say they will issue a more detailed statement once they get more information in the case.

ALLEN: Let's go to sports journalist Mark Bolton, he's on the scene in Leicester. You've been there through the night, Mark.

Is there any more information being revealed this morning?

MARK BOLTON, SPORTS JOURNALIST: Officially, no. There isn't. That may be down to a variety of reasons. Sensitivity, first and foremost. We applaud that because the nature of the accident here, the fireball that came from the crashed helicopter, would suggest that anybody on board was tragically killed last night.

So family members are yet to be given the tragic news, then we wouldn't want to get it before they do, surely.

The other side to it also is I feel, from what I've gleaned this morning, talking to people, that actually the truth of the matter is that the police haven't anywhere near concluded even the preliminary parts of their investigation.

These investigations tend to go on long. They investigate what happened with the apparatus on the machine itself. We'll get to that later.

First and foremost, it's a case of identifying who was on board. And from what I understand this morning, what we've learned, the police have yet to contact the club and actually confirm who was on board officially and, therefore, no statement has been given.

What we do know is the helicopter belonged to the owner of the club. We know it took off at 8:30. We know shortly afterwards, through eyewitnesses and from the reports that we've had, that it crashed just over my shoulder, somewhat 40 meters away. Having taken off and cleared the actual roof, 25 meters high of the stadium, eyewitness reports suggest that the rotary at the top of the helicopter, the apparatus lost its power. There was a banging, whooping noise. Someone described it as a popping noise, then a silence and the vehicle crashed to the floor.

Then there was a fireball that exploded. Whether that was immediately or seconds later, we're not sure. There are reports that the police tried to open the doors of the helicopter to allow people to exit and the police had to evacuate quickly because of an explosion again. No clarification of that. We're expected to get absolute clarification in the course of the next hours in England.

ALLEN: All right, Mark Bolton for us there in Leicester, we thank you, Mark.

HOWELL: The team's owner is popular for turning around the club with his attention and his investments.

ALLEN: CNN's Patrick Snell takes a look at why the Thai billionaire is so beloved.

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PATRICK SNELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: He's the 60-year-old billionaire, self-made businessman that really transformed --

[05:35:00]

SNELL: -- the fortunes of Leicester City Football Club. Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha really having a huge impact on the English Midland- based team, best known for founding the duty-free giants King Power back in the late 1980s, one of the richest men in Thailand.

But it was what happened in 2010 that was highly significant in terms of the Foxes when he acquired the club for around the $70 million mark at the time when they were in the second tier of English football, namely the championship.

And within six years, he would take the club to the highest possible height, winning the English Premier League title against all the odds. Speaking of odds, they were 5,000:1 at the start of that 2015-2016 season under the management of the Italian.

Just look at these scenes from Leicester. Those are images that fans will never, ever forget.

When you win a Premier League title, you really do put yourself on the global map. The King Power company based in Thailand. And it's there the team traveled as well to continue the celebrations as well, sharing the moment with the fans there in Bangkok, in Thailand, a really special moment, really further developing the bond between the club and its fans there in Thailand.

Of course, reaction has been swift in coming in. At times like these, you know the global football community really does come together as one. We have been getting reaction from Leicester City, most notably Jamie Vardy, leading striker from the 2015-2016 campaign. He along with his teammate, Harry Maguire, the England International, very much the order of the day, the emoji, quite simply prayer at this time.

Another Premier League club as well, arguably the country's biggest, Manchester United taking to social media, quite simply with these words, "The thoughts of everyone at Manchester United are with Leicester City Football Club and those affected by tonight's incident at King Power Stadium."

With that, it's back to you.

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HOWELL: Patrick Snell, thank you.

Now to Turkey. That nation's president wants answers and the suspects in the case of the murdered journalist, Jamal Khashoggi. Recep Tayyip Erdogan is calling on Saudi Arabia to turn over 18 suspects in the case. He wants to know who sent them to Turkey and who they may have worked with.

ALLEN: The Saudis admit Khashoggi was murdered at their consulate in Istanbul earlier this month. Saudi Arabia says the 18 suspects will be prosecuted in their country. HOWELL: Our international diplomatic editor Nic Robertson has been in Turkey, live in Istanbul this hour.

Nic, is there any sense that the Turkish president will get what he wants, the answers to this mystery and the suspects that have been identified?

May be having some trouble with Nic Robertson. But again, we have Nic live in Istanbul, Turkey. He's been there for several days.

The biggest question at this point, Turkey has been putting pressure on the investigation, on Saudi Arabia to try to get answers about what is involved in this case. We'll get back to Nic as soon as we're able to.

ALLEN: We'll take a break. We'll be right back.

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HOWELL: Welcome back again. We're following the investigation around the murdered journalist, Jamal Khashoggi. The Turkish president putting pressure on Saudi Arabia for that nation to turn over the 18 suspects identified in this case.

Turkish president wants to know who worked with them in Turkey and wants to know exactly details around what happened. Let's go to our international diplomatic editor, Nic Robertson, following the story live in Istanbul.

Nic, again, this pressure being applied by the Turkish president, is there a sense he will get what he wants?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: He certainly seems to be approaching this from the point of view that his argument is a strong argument and one that can be won.

The argument he's using is, if Saudi Arabia wants to do what it says it wants to do, to be transparent and to fully cooperate with Turkey in this investigation, then it will respond positively. Saudi Arabia would respond positively to the chief prosecutors here.

Issuance over extradition notices for these 18 suspects, who are currently being held in detention in Saudi Arabia. So he's approaching it from that point of view. Indeed, in a few hours' time, Saudi Arabia's justice minister will arrive here in Istanbul and meet with his opposite number here, the Turkish chief prosecutor.

So these two chief prosecutors from both countries will have an opportunity to talk face to face about this. But the reality of the situation seems to be, despite how President

Erdogan is approaching it, the Saudi side has also decided their view on this and it's that they're not going to offer up these 18 individuals. They're saying they're Saudi nationals and were detained in Saudi Arabia.

And the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman, has said they can be brought to justice in Saudi Arabia, that Saudi Arabia is determined to bring them to justice and make sure that justice is done.

So President Erdogan may feel that he has a winning case here. But, at the moment, it's far from clear that he's going to win it, if at all.

HOWELL: Nic Robertson, live in Istanbul, Turkey. Nic, thank you.

ALLEN: Saudi officials insist their crown prince was not involved in Khashoggi's death but safe in Riyadh, he's still sparking controversy.

HOWELL: On Wednesday, he joked about the kidnapping of Lebanon's prime minister. CNN's Ben Wedeman reports, no one was laughing about that just a year ago.

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BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SR. INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Good line from crown prince Mohammed bin Salman brought laughter and applause from the audience at the investment conference in Riyadh.

"I just want to conclude with one thing," says crown prince Mohammed. "Prime minister Saad is going to be here for two days. So please, no ideas that he's been kidnapped."

But it was no laughing matter almost a year ago, when Lebanese prime minister Saad Hariri was, according to multiple sources, summoned to Riyadh and forced to read a letter of resignation on a Saudi-run television station.

Then journalist, now member of parliament Paula Yacoubian, interviewed Hariri in Riyadh after his resignation. At the time, she said he acted on his own.

A year later, her --

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WEDEMAN (voice-over): -- story has changed.

PAULA YACOUBIAN, FORMER JOURNALIST: I had this feeling inside that there is something wrong. It was obvious. And I knew that he did not want to resign. And this is --

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WEDEMAN: But he resigned. YACOUBIAN: -- started -- yes, he resigned. But it wasn't his will. So what happened after the resignation --

WEDEMAN: He was forced to resign.

YACOUBIAN: It was very obvious in the interview, he did not repeat what he said in his resignation.

WEDEMAN (voice-over): The same day Hariri announced his resignation, dozens of Saudi business men accused of corruption were locked up in Riyadh's Ritz-Carlton hotel. That and Hariri's resignation were seen as the work of crown prince Mohammed bin Salman, despite the kingdom's denials.

It's widely believed the crown prince was angry over Hariri's inclusion of Hezbollah ministers in his cabinet and unease over Iran's influence in this multisectarian country.

After French and American pressure on the Saudis, Hariri was allowed to return to Lebanon, where he rescinded his resignation. To this day, Hariri has declined to say exactly what happened last year in Saudi Arabia.

His presence at the Saudi investment conference underscores just how much his small, cash-strapped country must swallow its pride for the sake of Saudi political and financial clout. Analyst Omar Nachabe says power politics, regional rivalries and money trump the truth.

OMAR NACHABE, ANALYST: Because there's such a profound divide. So therefore, if you're against Iran and you're against Hezbollah and the influence of Iran and Lebanon, it will be very difficult for you and you will be really reluctant to actually recognize that Mr. Hariri was hijacked by the Saudis.

WEDEMAN (voice-over): Just as there's reluctance by the major powers involved to publicly recognize who may be ultimately behind the murder of Jamal Khashoggi -- Ben Wedeman, CNN, Istanbul.

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HOWELL: Thank you, Ben.

In Brazil, voters head to the polls in the coming hours to cast their ballots in one of the most heated presidential elections in recent history.

ALLEN: And the runoff election pits a far right candidate known for making racist comments against a leftist candidate whose party is embroiled in corruption, a corruption scandal. For more, here's Shasta Darlington in Sao Paulo.

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SHASTA DARLINGTON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): These days, Jair Bolsonaro really draws a crowd, a wave of green and yellow flags, patriotic jerseys, even Bolsonaro masks. They flood the streets a week before Election Day.

Even though the candidate himself isn't here. Bolsonaro talks to fans via video linkup.

"Brazil will no longer be mocked around the world," he says. "There won't be room for corruption any longer."

Last month Bolsonaro was stabbed in the gut at a campaign rally and spent weeks recovering in bed, posting defiant selfies. The incident only improved his standing in polls. Bolsonaro came close to an outright majority with 46 percent of the vote in a first-round election with 13 candidates earlier this month.

Now he faces off against his nearest rival, Fernando Haddad, from the left wing Workers Party, he's tried to appeal to Brazil's poorest by promising to expand the social programs introduced during his party's 13 years in power.

"I'm going to raise minimum wage above inflation," he says in this campaign ad.

Haddad was a last-minute entry in the race. In September he stepped in for jailed former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva after a court barred da Silva from running. Lula, as he's popularly known, is serving a 12-year sentence for corruption and money laundering.

With the country's political establishment engulfed in a corruption scandal and da Silva behind bars, Bolsonaro has positioned himself as Brazil's Donald Trump, a maverick who will drain the swamp and tackle endemic violence.

For years, Bolsonaro was a controversial figure in Congress, known for his misogynist and racist comments and for his support of the military dictatorship that ended in the '80s, here backing their brutal methods.

"I support torture. You know that," he says.

In a country with one of the highest murder rates in the world, his tough-on-crime message resonates. Nonetheless, many voters are still conflicted, with protesters organizing marches against Bolsonaro under the slogan "Ele Nao," or "not him." For others, he's sold himself as an agent of change.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): The population is tired of corruption.

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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): What is paralyzing us with fear is violence.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): I'm really afraid he'll want to go back to a dictatorship.

DARLINGTON (voice-over): But like many Brazilians, she's going to cast her vote for Bolsonaro because she considers him the least bad option.

DARLINGTON: With a Bolsonaro victory looking ever more likely, the question is, will he deliver the kind of change Brazilians want, eradicating corruption and crime, for example?

Or will he embark on a new era of strongman politics? -- I'm Shasta Darlington for CNN, Sao Paulo.

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HOWELL: Shasta, thank you.

Still ahead, we're following the shooting at a place of worship in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. We'll tell you how some are showing their support for the victims of the synagogue shooting. Stay with us.

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ALLEN: Recapping our two major stories for you.

First, a crash of a helicopter belonging to the owner of British football club Leicester City. It happened near Birmingham, England. Witnesses say the helicopter was struggling in the air before it came down and erupted into flames in the stadium's parking lot. We don't know who, if anyone, died.

[05:55:00]

HOWELL: We're also following the aftermath of the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting, 11 people killed there after a gunman went into a house of worship and opened fire.

The killing of innocent people sent shockwaves around the U.S. and around the world. Game 4 of baseball's World Series went on as usual. But it happened after this. Take a look.

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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Please join us now in a moment of silence.

ALLEN: An emotional moment there among baseball fans. The Pittsburgh Penguins; hockey team also called for a moment of silence.

HOWELL: Pittsburgh, of course, is the home of the Steelers of the National Football League. This is the image of the team's logo, altered with a Star of David. It's been widely shared on social media. It is not an official change by the team. But it has been embraced by all.

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HOWELL: Of course, you can go to a GoFundMe page set up to assist the victims and their families as well as to help repair the damage to the building there. In less than 24 hours it's raised about a quarter million dollars.

ALLEN: That is CNN NEWSROOM. Thank you for watching. I'm Natalie Allen.

HOWELL: I'm George Howell. Our coverage of the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting continues after the break with Christi Paul and Victor Blackwell. Stay with us.