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CNN Indonesia: Flight Recorders Believed Recovered Lion Air Crash; Turkish Official: Khashoggi Strangled And Dismembered; Trump Focusing On Immigration On Campaign Trail; DNC CHAIR: Trump's New Ad Is The President "At His Worst"; U.S. President Calls For End To Birthright Citizenship. Aired 1-2a ET

Aired November 1, 2018 - 01:00   ET

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


[01:00:00] ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Istanbul's chief prosecutor goes public with new gruesome details about the killing of Journalist Jamal Khashoggi. And just days before the U.S. Midterm Elections President Donald Trump tweets out an ad that portrays immigrants as heinous criminals only the Democrats would let into the country.

Hello and welcome everyone. Thank you so much for joining us I'm Rosemary Church in Atlanta. CNN NEWSROOM starts right now.

ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

CHURCH: And we are following this breaking news out of Indonesia. Search and rescue officials believe they have found one of the flight recorders of Lion Air flight 610. That is according to CNN Indonesia. A diver in the Indonesian Navy says he has found one of them. Now, Ivan Watson joins us on the line from Jakarta. Ivan, what more are you learning about this possible retrieval of one of the black boxes?

IVAN WATSON, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I mean we've heard one of these Navy divers Sergeant Hendra on Indonesia's Kompass T.V. in an on-camera interviews saying that yes, he believed he'd found one of the black boxes that they had followed as we had heard from the head of search and rescue, the search and rescue agency last night that the divers followed the submersible remote operated vehicle which was homing in on the beacon that they've heard for hours and hours coming from what they believe is the underwater location beacon and that they honed in on it and found this what they believe is this device buried in the mud at a depth of about 30, 35 meters.

So all of this kind of fits what the authorities have been telling us really over the course of the past 24 hours that they were hearing the beacon but that actually locating the black box until now had been delayed by fast-moving underwater currents. The diver Sergeant Hendra also told journalists that the device had been moved to the Baruna Jaya one of the fleet of ships that have been involved in this massive salvage operation and is now headed back to the port.

So this is something that was predicted by the head of the search and rescue agency on Wednesday night and it does sound from the claims of this diver and from the images we're seeing from the journalists who've been taken out to sea on these ships that certainly they've discovered something that they believe might unlock some of this mystery behind this terrible air disaster.

CHURCH: So Ivan, when might we get official confirmation of the retrieval of this black box?

WATSON: Not entirely clear. I mean, the authorities have been giving regular press conferences. They've been responding to our calls so it has felt like there's a fair amount of transparency here. And in fact the Transportation Ministry put out a new press release today saying it's part of their investigation into this crash on Monday that of a plane that had 189 passengers and crew on board that they have now issued an order to the Indonesian low-cost airline Lion Air who is operating this plane to temporarily fire some members of its board of directors, some managers that include its director of maintenance and engineering, its quality control manager, fleet maintenance management and manager and that suspending some of these employees licenses for a period of 120 days. That's as part of this investigation.

We've also heard the authorities say that they've ruled out that the tarmac, the runway or that weather was contributing factors to this terrible crash and that they're focusing on the company itself Lion Air. The plane, a Boeing Air -- Boeing 737 MAX 8 that was built less than a year ago and only had several hundred hours of flight time and on the crew themselves which we've heard had thousands of hours of flight time. So we're hearing a lot about this investigation. Big questions, Rosemary, about what happened the night before this final doomed flight. The same aircraft was flown from Bali to Jakarta and authorities confirmed to us that at least one of the instruments was malfunctioning during that final flight.

Three passengers are told CNN that there was a sharp very frightening drop in the early minutes of that flight that had been confirmed on flight radar 24 where that flame plunged nearly a thousand feet in just 30 seconds so that's another element that the investigators will be looking at and it'll take some time if this is in fact the black box that were possibly looking at on television right now to digest some of the information and the data gathered there that will hopefully help further explain the mystery behind this terrible disaster.

[01:05:17] CHURCH: Yes. That is definitely a critical piece of this puzzle. Our Ivan Watson on the line from Jakarta as we follow this story, the authorities there, the diver certainly believes that he has found one of these black boxes. We're still awaiting official confirmation of that being the case. Many thanks again to our Ivan Watson from Jakarta. For more on this we're joined now by Geoffrey Thomas, Editor-in-Chief and Managing Director at AirlineRatings.Com. He joins us from Perth, Australia. Good to have you with us.

So of courses, as we've mentioned Indonesian authorities still not ready to officially confirm that they have found one of the black boxes, but one of the Navy divers on the search team says that's exactly what he found. You saw the images there, what do you make of what you saw and why are we saying this reluctance at this point on the part of authorities to go public with this right now?

GEOFFREY THOMAS, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF AND MANAGING DIRECTOR, AIRLINERATINGS.COM: Look, it is a bit strange. It certainly does appear to be from what I saw, one other one of the flight -- one of the flight recorders. There are two as you suggest, the cockpit voice recorder and the flight data recorder. The cockpit voice recorder as its name suggests records all the conversations in the cockpit. That's going to be very, very important to understand what these pilots were dealing with and how they reacted to the problem. The other one, the flight data recorder measures about 88 parameters. It's the heartbeat of the airplane, all the systems, all the major systems of the aircraft. But certainly they should be acknowledging that it is one of the black boxes as quickly as possible and then more importantly get this black box into the hands of authorities to have the data read as quickly as possible.

CHURCH: Well, one would think so certainly since so we're seeing all of these images and what we're seeing there in that plastic container is a round orange object. Which black box would you say that might be? Can you tell by looking at it externally?

THOMAS: It's a little bit hard to tell they accept the fact that it's orange, means it has to be one of the black boxes which is one of those crazy things. They're called black boxes but they're actually nice and bright and orange so you can find them. So yes, it's a bit perplexing. I mean, a lot of the things happening in this are a bit perplexing. I'm really quite disturbed, Rosemarie, as to why they have sacked or suspended so many officials, so many people because we're a long way from finding out what happened to this airplane and it's a little bit strange that the government is acted the way they have so far. It's a bit perplexing.

CHURCH: And interesting. I do want to go to that point that our Ivan Watson raised. He was talking about the flight that this very same doomed Flight 610 took the night before from Bali to Jakarta. There were instruments malfunctioning. But then they went ahead and it flew the very next day and it's on the basis of that that we're hearing about these sackings taking place. Presumably, the Indonesian authorities know a whole lot more about this than we do.

THOMAS: Well, possibly. I mean, let's go back to the flight that Ivan mentioned. It was from (INAUDIBLE) Bali to Jakarta, the last flight of the day for this airplane. About -- at about 2,000 feet after takeoff there was certainly a radius speed and altitude data. The plane did go into a bit of a roller coaster ride for about eight seconds and then stabilized. Once it stabilized, that proved elected to continue the flights to Jakarta. They wrote it up, we understand you know, in the technical log of the aircraft. It was looked at by mechanics, engineers from Lion Air. They tested it on the grounds the systems and they tested OK.

But interestingly enough, when the plane took off again the next morning at 6:20 on its fateful flight, at 2,000 feet again, the aircraft start to play up again. And one wonders if in fact this problem only occurred once the plane gained that altitude and the same instance that we're talking about here that given us this erroneous data but we understand are pressure-related. So it may well be that the fault whatever it happens to be only occurred once it got to 2,000 feet of altitude and on the ground it tested fine. But -- so again, it's --this is a very, very mysterious crash, a terrible tragedy, but I think they've acted possibly a little bit too much in haste unless of course they know something we don't.

[01:10:18] CHURCH: Yes. And perhaps that is the case. Jeffrey Thomas, thank you so much joining us there from Perth, Australia with some analysis on what is happening here as we do wait for official confirmation on the retrieval of one of those black boxes, we don't know which one at this point, many thanks to you.

Well, gruesome new details have emerged about exactly when and how Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed. Istanbul's chief prosecutor says Khashoggi was strangled immediately upon entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. His body was then dismembered. CNN's Jomana Karadsheh has the disturbing details.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JOMANA KARADSHEH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This is the first official statement from Turkey on their investigation into the killing of Jamal Khashoggi. The statement coming from the chief prosecutor for Istanbul who has been overseeing the criminal investigation. According to the statement they say, on October the 2nd Jamal Khashoggi entered the building behind me, the Saudi Consulate here in Istanbul and that he was immediately strangled to death, his body dismembered and destroyed, unclear what they mean by destroyed.

They say it was a premeditated act, something that we have heard from Turkish officials before even Saudi Arabia after its changing narrative coming out a few days ago and also saying that it was premeditated murder. Now, there are still some key questions that remain unanswered that Turkey is seeking the answers to and that is where is the body of Jamal Khashoggi and who issued the orders to the hit squad that killed Jamal Khashoggi.

Now, they were hoping to get these answers from the Saudi chief prosecutor who is here for a visit. He met with Istanbul chief prosecutor but it doesn't seem like that visit went as Turkey would have liked it to. They say that according to one senior Turkish official we spoke to he says it seemed the Saudi side was more interested in finding out what evidence Turkey had than real genuine cooperation in this case.

And one key thing Turkey really wants is the extradition they say and they're continuing to call for the extradition of the 18 individuals who are arrested in Saudi Arabia for their links to the killing of Jamal Khashoggi. They want them extradited to face justice here in Turkey, something that's been dismissed by the Saudi foreign minister saying that they are Saudi nationals and that they will be facing justice in Saudi Arabia.

But according to the statement from the chief prosecutor here in Istanbul, he says the Saudis have invited the Turkish prosecutor to Saudi Arabia asking him to bring along the evidence that Turkey has and that they can have a joint interrogation of those suspects. Jomana Karadsheh, CNN Istanbul.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CHURCH: Well, there's no question Jamal Khashoggi's killing has tarnished Saudi Arabia's image, and now U.S. officials believe they are in a unique position where they can leverage the Saudis weakness to finally push for an end to Yemen's brutal civil war. President Trump was asked Wednesday whether he felt betrayed by the Saudis and this was his response.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I just hope that it all works out. We have a lot of facts, we have things that we've been looking at. They haven't betrayed me. I mean, maybe they've betrayed themselves. We'll have to see how it all turns out.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHURCH: Well, top U.S. officials are demanding a ceasefire by all sides in the Yemen war and they have set a deadline for that to happen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JAMES MATTIS, UNITED STATES SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: Improved accuracy of bombs is still a war so we've got to move toward a peace effort here and we can't say we're going to do it sometime in the future. We need to be doing this in the next 30 days. We've admired this problem for long enough down there. And I believe that the Saudis and the Emirates are ready and in fact, the Houthies not walked out of the last effort that (INAUDIBLE) had going, we would probably be on our way there right now.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHURCH: But a Houthi leader in Yemen says the Americans are the ones backing the Saudis in this conflict and if they want the war to stop, it's up to them. Saudi Arabia's Coalition has been fighting the Houthi rebels backed by Iran for almost four years now ever since the Houthis overthrew the government. In that time thousands have been killed, more than 2 million people are displaced and millions more are on the brink of starvation.

[01:15:08] I'm going to take a very short break here. When we come back in the run-up to the Midterms, President Donald Trump is hitting the campaign trail hard, making promises and threats along the way. We'll check in with his supporters, see what they think. That's coming up.

And protesters hit the streets after Pakistan's high court overturns a woman's death sentence for blasphemy. We will go live to Islamabad to see if tempers have caught.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CHURCH: President Trump, sending mixed signals in the final days before the midterm elections is been calling for unity across the United States, but he's also sending messages of fear and division.

Just hours ago, he posted this political ad on his Twitter account. It highlights on Hispanic man bragging about killing police officers during a courtroom appearance. That ad says Democrats want to allow more people like him into the country. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LUIS BRACAMONTES, ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT, COP KILLER: I don't -- regret that -- The only thing that I -- regret is that -- killed two. I wish I -- killed more of those --

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHURCH: That ad, part of the president's overall strategy to focus on immigration in the final days before the U.S. midterm elections. It's an issue that's riling up his base but upsetting his political opponents.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TOM PEREZ, CHAIRMAN, DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE: This is distracting, divisive, Donald at his worst. This is fear-mongering. They have to distract, they have to fear monger. And his dog whistle of all dog whistles is immigration. This has been Donald Trump's playbook for so long. And you know what, when they go low, we go vote.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHURCH: Meantime, President Trump wrapped up a campaign rally in Florida hours ago, where he continued to push his divisive immigration message. He reminded supporters, he wants to sign an executive order that would remove the right to citizenship for children of non- citizens born in the United States.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: Even if they've been on our soil for only a matter of seconds, hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrant children are made automatic citizens every year because of this crazy policy, and they are all made instantly eligible for every privilege and benefit of American citizenship at a cost of billions of dollars a year. That's what it costs, billions.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

[01:20:21] CHURCH: And we sent CNN's Randi Kaye out to meet with the president's supporters ahead of his rally in Florida. She asked them why they're supporting his immigration stance. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: In Fort Myers, Florida thousands lined up for Donald Trump's rally. And for so many here, immigration is their top issue. REBA FISHER, SUPPORTER OF PRESIDENT TRUMP: When you watch that caravan and you see them carrying the flag from their country that is called an invasion.

KAYE: That so-called invasion isn't one at all. In fact, the caravan of migrants is nearly a thousand miles away from the U.S. border. And Mexican officials say, they expect many of them to stay in Mexico. So, the president's announcement of sending troops has been met with deep skepticism. But not here.

FISHER: Hey, why wait until the last minute?

KAYE: So, not a campaign stunt, in your opinion?

FISHER: Oh, God, no.

KAYE: If they're weeks away from arriving, why announce this troop deployment now just before the midterm election?

PAUL BLUST, SUPPORTER OF PRESIDENT TRUMP: Would you rather be safe than sorry? Would you not rather have warning to get out of hurricanes way if they know it's coming?

KAYE: So, you don't think the timing is suspect at all?

BLUST: No, no.

KAYE: You don't think it's a campaign stunt?

BLUST: Not at all. Not at all.

KAYE: Adding another 5,200 troops to protect the border when the caravan is like 800 miles away, why now?

DENISE RASZKA, SUPPORTER OF PRESIDENT TRUMP: Why not now?

KAYE: We're just days away from the election, you don't think it has anything to do with that?

RASZKA: I don't think so.

KAYE: And it's not just the caravan of migrants that has these supporters fired up, it's also the president's false claim that he can end birthright citizenship, the 14th amendment through executive order.

Do you believe Donald Trump when he says that he can change the 14th Amendment with just an executive order?

GARLAND HARRIS, SUPPORTER OF PRESIDENT TRUMP: I think he can. I think it will go to the Supreme Court, though. But I think he has the right to make it.

KAYE: Even, even though he -- even though his own Speaker of the House, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, says that you can't do it with just executive order, it has to be a constitutional amendment, be voted on by Congress in the States?

HARRIS: I think Ryan is absolutely wrong.

KAYE: Neither he or anyone else we interviewed thought the president's play on birth rights was a campaign ploy.

He is making it sound like he alone can just get rid of it, and doesn't that sound like a stunt to you just so close to the election?

STEVE GRUD, SUPPORTER OF PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, I am not going to say it's a stunt. I mean this whole thing -- the whole politics today is what it is. So, the rules have changed and I think he's read the rulebook.

CLAUDETTE AZAR, SUPPORTER OF PRESIDENT TRUMP: There are legal authorities on both sides of this question who are researching this in depth before the President does this. While this idea has been floated by the President, and I think it's a wonderful idea. I do think that he's not going to go off and do something on his own. He is going to have legal authorities on both sides --

(CROSSTALK)

KAYE: But the authorities stated it as fact that he can get rid of it with a -- with the executive order.

AZAR: Has he signed it yet? No.

KAYE: I didn't say it signed it.

AZAR: He had not signed it yet. He has floated the idea, which is well supported in Middle America.

KAYE: Randi Kaye, CNN, Fort Myers, Florida.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CHURCH: Joining me now to talk more about all of this is White House correspondent for The New York Times and CNN political analyst Michael Shear. Thank you so much for being with us.

MICHAEL SHEAR, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Sure always happy to do it.

CHURCH: So, let's start with President Trump's plan to end birthright citizenship in the United States. He says he may very well do this by executive order most legal experts say, that's unconstitutional, and can't be done. What are the politics behind Mr. Trump's suggestion to end birthright citizenship, and do you think he has any intention of following through with this beyond the midterms?

SHEAR: Well, I think there is -- there is really two ways that you have to look at this. And if you only look at it in one way, you're really coming up short. It is very true that this is a political gambit by this White House, and by this president.

He understands or he believes in any event that a really hard line on immigration and -- you know, stoking the fear among people about others coming from the outside and threatening their way of life. He thinks that's a good political issue ahead of the election.

He wants to do everything that he can to stoke those fears. And the birthright citizenship piece is a way to do that to basically say, you know, what you should be afraid of this people who are coming here and having babies, and then staying here and kind of affecting your way of life.

But I -- but I think it's important that people not lose sight of the fact that this is a president that wants to change -- fundamentally change the way this country deals with people outside of its borders. It really this is a president and a group of people around this president who want to shut down immigration to the greatest extent possible.

Not just illegal immigration, but also to reduce the number of legal immigrants that are coming into United States. And so, while I think that it's mostly a political ploy, I don't think he really thinks that he can do this despite what he says. The legal weight of legal opinion is just vastly on the other side. But don't underestimate the fact that he may actually try it because this is a president that has wanted to radically alter immigration policy in the United States regardless of the political impact.

[01:25:42] CHURCH: Right.

SHEAR: So I think there's -- I think you got to look at it in both ways.

CHURCH: Right. So, let's look at the exact wording of the 14th -- the 14th Amendment of the United States Constitution. Here's what it says in part." All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States."

Legal experts say it's very clear when you look at that wording. That all people born in the United States are citizens of the United States, and the Speaker of the House Paul Ryan agrees.

But President Trump and his legal advisors argue that a person who is in the U.S. illegally is not subject to the jurisdiction of the U.S. And therefore, the 14th Amendment does not apply to them or protect them in any way. Is that legal argument likely to gain any traction at all?

SHEAR: Well, look, I think you can never say, never, you know, because ultimately that's what the Supreme Court does. Is it tests legal theories like that and until the Supreme Court has specifically ruled on that in a very fundamental way, you can't say 100 percent that it -- that it can't happen.

That said that the vast majority of the legal scholars on the left, on the right, sort of everybody out there that has looked at this not just in the last -- you know, a couple of days since the president brought it up but for years and decades have come to the conclusion that, that phrase, the subject to the jurisdiction phrase, really only was meant to apply to a very small group of people, the children of, for example, diplomats who are living here in the United States, from other countries.

That's the kind of thing that, that was meant to carve out a very small exception for not -- for anybody who is coming here -- you know, and living here -- you know, temporarily or on a visa of some kind.

So, I think, you know, I'm certainly not a lawyer but when you talk to the legal community, they think that the president does not have a leg to stand on.

CHURCH: And while this plays out, President Trump is also focusing on the caravan of migrants, though weeks away from the United States. But Mr. Trump now says, he will send up to 15,000 troops to the U.S.- Mexico border to deal with people he calls invaders. What are the politics behind Mr. Trump's use of the word, "invaders" and "invasion", and what cost will it be to the U.S. to send these troops to the border weeks before these migrants even arrive?

SHEAR: I mean, look, I think from the cost aspect, there's a there is definitely some cost to moving the resources of the United States military from one place to the other.

Obviously, you're already paying them, you own the equipment. It's not -- it's not an overwhelming cost probably. I think the bigger cost is the political one, which is that -- you know, he is -- he is as I said before, stoking these fears and appealing to a very narrow segment of the American population.

Most of the people in the country aren't -- are probably swayed very much by the idea that the president uses this really inflammatory language, "invasion", he has in the past used described people coming across the southern border as "vomit".

I mean, he uses this very sort of intense language but it's designed to appeal to his core supporters and to make sure that his core supporters are riled up and come to the voting booth. And that's really what he's trying to do, not to kind of broaden a message for the entire country. And so, it's a very niche kind of political attempt to use an issue to scare a certain segment of the population.

CHURCH: Well, the midterm elections are less than a week away. We will see what impact all these issues have on the outcome. Michael Shear, thank you so much for joining us. We appreciate it.

SHEAR: Absolutely.

CHURCH: It is one of the most dangerous borders on the planet. But tensions could soon come down along the Korean DMZ. So, why is the United States not celebrating this step toward peace? We'll take a look at that.

Meanwhile, North Korea seems willing to give inspectors access to its nuclear sites, but some worry Kim Jong-un isn't really ready to open up, and that his arsenal could be even bigger than we thought. We'll back to that in just a moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[01:30:00]

CHURCH: Korea seems willing to give inspectors access to it's nuclear sites, but some worry Kim Jung Un isn't really ready to open up and that is arsenal, could be even bigger than we thought. We're back with that in just a moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

CHURCH: Welcome back, everyone, to CNN Newsroom. I'm Rosemary Church. Wanted to check the headlines for you this hour.

Search and rescue officials believe they have found one of the flight recorders of Lion Air Flight 610, that is according to CNN Indonesia. A diver in the Indonesian Navy says he has retrieved one of the. The recorder could help explain what caused the plane to crash on Monday, killing all 189 people on board.

Istanbul's Chief Prosecutor says Saudi journalist, Jamal Khashoggi was strangled immediately after entering the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul. Still unknown is what happened to his body. The statement from the prosecutor's office says it was dismember and destroyed as part of a premeditated plan.

U.S. officials believe the Saudi's are in a position of weakness after Khashoggi's killing and the think they can possible leverage that to push Saudi Arabia to end the war in Yemen.

Senior U.S. officials have called for a cease-fire within 30 days, but a Houthi leader in Yemen says, only the Americans who have backed the Saudi coalition can stop that war.

Well, the Korean demilitarized zone, the place former U.S. President Bill Clinton once called the scariest on earth, is now becoming a little less scary. A no-fly zone is to take affect there just days after North and South Korea removed their weapons from the DMZ's joint security area.

CNN's Paula Hancock is with us now from Seoul in South Korea. So, Paula, where is this all going? Is it one step closer to the signing of a formal peace declaration between the two Koreas or just an easing of tensions, no more?

PAULA HANCOCK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well Rosemary, that's certainly both North and South Korea want. They want to be able to declare the end of the Korean War, but at this point they're waiting on the United States, who does not seem keen to give that kind of large concession without some more clear cuts, proof that North Korea is denuclearizing.

But what we're seeing today is sort of the implementation of something that North and South Korea have already agreed to last month in Pyongyang when Moon Jae had met with Kim Jong Un. So, what this means, is as of today, as of November 1, all hostilities between North and South Korea will cease. They're saying that they're extending the no-fly zone of the DMZ so it will be up to 40 kilometers in some parts on either side of the MDL, the military demarcation line, which is the border right in the middle between North and South Korea.

They're also putting covers on some of the artillery that they have on coastal areas. North and South Korea have tremendous amount of artillery pointing towards each other, but that is now being covered up. They're closing gun ports. They've also said there's not going to be any kind of live fire training or any other kind of field training within five kilometers of the MDL as well.

So, really what this is, is an attempt by the North and South Korean leaders to make sure that tensions can't spark once again in the near future. To make sure there are no miscalculations, which when tensions were very high last year that was the main concern of many people who knew North and South Korea well, that there could be some kind of miscalculation which could escalate quickly.

So, by taking away ammunition and arms from the joint security area in the DMZ as well, they're really trying to make sure that they can lower tensions and keep them low. Rosemary.

CHURCH: So, Paula, how does the United States feel about these moves to ease tensions on the Korean border?

HANCOCK: Well publically they're not opposing them. We did hear from the South Korean Foreign Minister a couple of weeks ago, and she had a phone call with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Kang said that he did express discontent, was the word she used. Now that is a very rare disclosure of the fact that all is not well between the allies, but publically they still say that they agree with what each side is doing.

And of course, publically, we're still hearing, or at least we have until recently, the U.S. President Donald Trump saying that he's still willing to have a second summit with the North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Now clearly, that doesn't look like it's going to happen until potentially early next year now as the midterm elections are taking the focus away in the United States. So obviously, the focus is not on North Korea, but publically, the U.S. and Seoul are still trying to say that they do agree on the steps they're doing together and there is no light between their two positions.

CHURCH: All right, many thanks to our Paula Hancock, joining us there from Seoul and South Korea, where it is nearly 2:40 in the afternoon.

Well, the changes at the DMZ, the latest in a series of steps that Kim Jong Un appears to be taking to convince the world he's serious about getting rid of North Korea's weapons.

As Brian Todd reports, the North Korean leader might be about to take another major step. Allowing nuclear inspectors into the country. BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Kim Jong Un could be on the verge of giving Donald Trump the diplomatic cover he may need to justify another summit. South Korea's Intelligence Service says Kim's regime is preparing to allow foreign inspectors to visit its vaunted nuclear test site, Punggye-ri.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOSHUA POLLACK, NUCLEAR WEAPONS EXPERT, MIDDLEBURY INSTITUTE: It's a good will gesture, but I don't think that anything necessarily can be learned. It really depends on who's going, what equipment they have, what access they have.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TODD: What the inspectors see or don't see there will be crucial. Punggye-ri is where Kim's regime conducted at least six nuclear bomb tests, including it's most powerful blast ever, last year. A test of hydrogen bomb, many times stronger than the one the U.S. dropped on Hiroshima.

In May of this year, the North Koreans put on a show for reporters at the site, appearing to destroy at least three tunnels at Punggye-ri. Days later, U.S. Intelligence officials told CNN, this seemed to be nothing more than a show.

Intelligence and arms control officials said those blasts may have been too small to really collapse any tunnels. No inspectors were allowed there at the time and experts say, the North Koreans could have built back the capability at Punggye-ri since that display.

POLLACK: They could reopen the tunnels, certainly. They could also replace them with tunnels elsewhere or with shafts dug straight down in some other location, even a less mountainous location.

TODD: Still, Defense Secretary James Mattis expressed optimism regarding the overall threat from Kim.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JAMES MATTIS, SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: Cleary the threat from North Korea, at least as expressed by Chairman Kim, have been significantly reduced.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TODD: But in recent weeks, South Korean officials gave a jarring assessment of Kim's nuclear arsenal, saying they believe he's got between 20 and 60 nuclear war heads. We asked a prominent former U.N. Weapons Inspector about that.

What is your own estimate based on the plans you think they have?

DAVID ALBRIGHT, FORMER U.N. WEAPONS INSPECTOR: Yes, our conservative estimate, based on that they may or may not have a second enrichment plan in addition to Yongbyon, is they have, North Korea has about 15 to 35 nuclear weapons.

TODD: And other experts doubt that Kim has a really sincere commitment to get rid of all of his nuclear weapons in the future.

[01:40:00]

POLLACK: I think they are interested in getting to zero at the same time that the rest of the world gets to zero.

TODD: One nuclear weapons inspection expert says that while all of this dialogue is going on between the Trump administration and Kim Jong-un's regime, that Kim and his nuclear team, at their current pace, can still produce three to five nuclear bombs a year in secret. Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.

CHURCH: Pakistan's Prime Minister says he is disgusted by the protests that followed a decision by the country's top court to spare a Christian woman's life. Muslim extremists took to the streets after the court overturned Asia Bibi's conviction and death sentence.

She had been on death row for almost eight years on blasphemy charges. CNN's Sophia Saifi is with us now from Islamabad with more on this very issue. So Sophia, what is the situation on the streets right now? Have those protests calmed down?

SOPHIA SAIFI, CNN PRODUCER: Well Rosemary, as of last night the capital city of Islamabad, where we are located, it was in complete lockdown. People were afraid to even go out and get their groceries. Traffic was almost at a standstill. But there was a lot of panic. Perhaps it wasn't as bad as what was expected before the verdict actually came out.

But there was a sense of unease and panic across Islamabad and other major cities in the country. Now, that panic has dispersed just a little bit after Imran Khan's speech yesterday which was very forthright. It was an attempt by the Prime Minister and by state, telling these French elements to back off otherwise the state will engage with them.

Now, we have seen some of those protesters disperse, traffic has cleared. Although, schools however - not government schools. Private schools are shut in Karachi. They're shut in Islamabad, as well as traffic being slower. But the main interchange between the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad are now current - is currently at a standstill because it's still completely full to the brim with protestors out in the streets at the moment.

So tensions are still running high. And there is that sense of unease. So we haven't seen a complete dispersal, but it hasn't come down to violence just yet here in Islamabad, Rosemary.

CHURCH: And - And, Sophia, what is the latest on what will happen now to Asia Bibi, and where she might go to ensure her safety? Because that can't be ensured right now can it?

SAIFI: No it cannot. And I spoke to her lawyer yesterday. We got information that the jail where she's still being kept is currently on high security. There's extra security that's been ramped up outside that jail.

And according to her lawyer, it's going to take about two to six days for her - for the processes to be in place for her actually to walk of her jail cell. We're being told that there might have been some asylum offers from western countries. We don't know which ones for sure.

But it's just something that's completely fluid and ongoing at the moment. So Asia is still very much in jail. She's not very safe here in her land of birth. Her family isn't safe. Her lawyer isn't safe. Her lawyer's family isn't safe either. We're seeing these protestors threaten the army, threaten the judges. And it's quite important that the Prime Minster, surprisingly to some quarters, actually came out and took them head on.

So we're just going to have to see whether the state will, you know, move forward with that threat, whether those protesters will disperse, and what actually will happen with regards to Asia Bibi's future here in Pakistan.

CHURCH: All right, many thanks to our Sophia Saifi bringing us that live update on the situation from Islamabad. We'll take a short break here, but still to come, a pair of bodies found tied together on the banks of New York's Hudson River. When police revealed their identity it led to even more questions. Details of a strange international mystery, that is next.

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[01:45:00]

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CHURCH: More funerals will be held in the coming day for the victims of Saturday's shooting at a synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Mourners lined up on Wednesday to pay their respects to three of the victims who were gunned down as they worshiped at the Tree of Life Synagogue. Eleven people were killed in that attack.

The man accused of carrying it out faces 44 federal charges, many of them death penalty offenses. That is according to a grand jury filing. He's expected back in court for a preliminary hearing on Thursday.

In New York City, new revelations about two young women whose bodies were found dumped near the Hudson River. The Saudi Consulate says the sisters were Saudi citizens. Their remains were found bound together by duct tape last week. Our Athena Jones has more on the investigation.

THENA JONES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A disturbing and bizarre mystery. How did two Saudi sisters who had been living 250 miles away in Fairfax Virginia end up bound together with tape on the banks of the Hudson River in New York? (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It seems odd. It seems like an odd way. I'm stunned - I'm stunned.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JONES: New York police detectives say they have made significant progress in investigating the deaths of 16 year old Tala Farea, and her 22 year old sister Rotana Farea. But so far won't say whether they are treating this as a homicide.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DERMOT SHEA, NYPD CHIEF OF DETECTIVES: Detectives have been down in Virginia and they've conducted a number of interviews in Virginia, including members of the immediate family, as well as others. And - and those - those interviews are really unraveling, in some way, a piece of the puzzle of, behind the scenes, what was going on in - in the two young lady's lives.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JONES: The Saudi consulate in New York confirming Tuesday the sisters were Saudi citizens, saying in a statement that the young women were students accompanying their brother in Washington. Tala Farea was reported missing from Fairfax, just outside D.C., on August 24th, two full months before the sisters' bodies were found.

And the New York Times, citing police, reports that the sisters' mother received a call from this Saudi Embassy in Washington informing her that her daughters had applied for asylum.

This investigation comes just weeks after another Saudi citizen, Washington Post Journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who had also been living in Virginia, and was a critic of the Saudi regime, was killed in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. Athena Jones, CNN, New York.

CHURCH: And just days before the apparent murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a former British foreign secretary, Boris Johnson, was on an all expenses paid trip to Saudi Arabia, courtesy of the Saudi government. Johnson declared the almost $18,000 gift about a month later. We get more now from CNN's Bianca Nobilo.

BIANCA NOBILO, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT: Britain's former foreign secretary is in familiar hot water again. Just over a week before the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi inside the Saudi consulate in Turkey, Boris Johnson went on a $17,900 trip to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia paid for by the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Johnson declared the trip to the parliamentary register for member's financial interest. It was for three days, and its stated purpose was to advocate female education.

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NOBILO: And it's stated purpose was to advocate female education.

News of the trip by one of the future leadership contenders here in the U.K. feeds into a debate in Brittan over it's dealings with Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia is a key strategic ally for Brittan and the U.K. is the second biggest arms exporter to Saudi Arabia after the U.S.

Saudi Arabia's role in the conflict in Yemen has stoked this debate further. With labor members arguing that the U.K. should stop arm sales to Riyad. The British government has maintained that the best way to tackle the U.K.'s human rights concerns with Saudi Arabia is to engage with them and maintain their dialogue.

Since his trip, Johnson has openly condemned the murder of Khashoggi, saying that it was a state censored plot, which Brittan cannot turn a blind eye to. Bianca Nobilo, CNN, London.

CHURCH: Well strong winds, heavy snow and record setting rain with more on the way. A check of the severe weather forecast for Europe is just ahead.

And she works for President Trump, but her husband, he's not a fan. See what happens when politics turns into a family feud. We have the next, that's next on CNN Newsroom.

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CHURCH: Well, a wild week of weather continues across parts of Europe. Millions are bracing for more heavy rain and storms.

We turn to our Pedram Javaheri to bring us up to date on who's in trouble here. How's it looking?

PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN METEROLOGIST: Yes Rosemary, you know the pattern here that we're stuck in essentially, really going to be one that looks to persist potentially for another week and that's the concern.

You see the images and as you said Rosey, when you take a look at what's happened here in recent days, this is out of Rapallo in Northern Italy, we've had upwards of 200 yachts that were damaged, millions of dollars in damage across this region from a tremendous storm that produce significant gusts in excess of 100 kilometers per hour.

And the pattern is essentially one that has been parked in place and we have a dip in the jet stream, the steering environment, the steering currents in the atmospheres. They're guiding one storm after another, and in fact, we counted four storms in each of the last four days that have moved across this region. So, you think they've seen enough, that absolutely been the case.

Of course, this has translated to significant snows into the higher elevations for the last several days, we've touched on the acqua alta, the significant flooding across Venice, 77 percent of the city was underwater on Monday afternoon because of the flooding there. And in places such as Slovenia, we've had also an incredible amount of rainfall in place as well. Look at Corsica, the damage widespread. Anyplace you pick across the north portion of Italy, work your way down into the island, into the Mediterranean, a lot of similar damage left behind with these storms and unfortunately you can clearly pick out that dip in the jet stream back toward the Iberian Peninsula and that's what is driving these storms across this region, and in fact, the severe weather across this area is expected to remain rather high over the next 24 or so hours.

In fact, Rome down towards Catania, into Tunis, these regions have a probability here for strong storms yet again. Could see a few isolate tornados, we've had four of them so far, across Western Europe.

And keep in mind, this time of year, Rome, October into November, it is the wettest time of the year in this region of the world. And in fact, when you look at the meteorological setup, the pattern expects to bring additional rainfall, potentially another round of, say, 50 to 100 millimeters across this region, and in fact, the pattern is being driven by the local winds.

The libeccio winds and also the sirocco winds that are coming in from the south, put them together, they drive moisture right into Italy and that is unfortunately a pattern we expect to see for at least across this region. Rosemary.

CHURCH: All right, a lot to keep an eye on there. Thanks so much Pedram. Appreciate it.

[01:55:00]

White House Counselor, Kellyanne Conway is one of U.S. President Donald Trump's most loyal defenders, and lately it seems she might have to defend him from someone very close to home. Her husband, George. Jeanne Moos takes a look at an intriguing family feud.

JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Some families feud against other families.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STEVE HARVEY, COMEDIAN: Welcome back to "Celebrity Family Feud."

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MOOS: But this is an internal family feud. She is the president's pitbull.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KELLYANN CONWAY, COUNSELOR TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: How dare you?

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST: It's how day you and how dare the president?

CONWAY: No, how dare you that ...

(END VIDEO CLIP) MOOS: While her husband, the guy holding her coat, is also holding President Trump's feet to the fire, writing critical op eds and essays and especially tweets, describing the President's positions, using words like absurd, flabbergasting, ceaseless, shameless and witless prevarication on virtually all topics.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What is up with your husband's tweets?

CONWAY: It's fascinating to me that CNN would go there. It's now fair game what people's -- how people's spouses and significant others may differ. It was meant to harass and embarrass, but let me just tell you something. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Absolutely not.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MOOS: In a "Washington Post" article, headlined, "She Works for Trump, He Can't Stand Him," Kellyanne said of her husband's anti-Trump tweeting, I think it's disrespectful, I think it disrespects his wife.

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DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I see my Kellyanne. Oh, Kellyanne.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MOOS: No disrespect from her boss, who sends her out to fight the lions.

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TRUMP: There is no den she will not go into.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MOOS: Imagine the den at home when she gets back from work? George Conway is a respected lawyer and conservative who once represented Paula Jones.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PAULA JONES, PUBLIC OFFICER: All right girls.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MOOS: In her case against Bill Clinton.

Sometimes George's tweets inspire uninvited relationship advice. Suggestions like, divorce here George. And you and Melania should start a chat room for useless spouses.

Maybe someday the Conway's can do what Mary Matalin and James Carville did, this political odd couple turned their marriage into a cottage industry of commentary and books.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MARY MATALIN, POLITICAL CONSULTANT: James and I needed space, mostly from each other.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MOOS: At least George probably hasn't stopped holding Kellyanne's coat, even if the fur is flying. Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.

CHURCH: And thank you so much for watching CNN Newsroom. I'm Rosemary Church. More of CNN Newsroom after this short break. Stick with us.

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