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Renewed U.S. Sanctions Against Iran Take Effect; French Prime Minister Visits New Caledonia After Independence Election; Death Toll From Italy Storms Climbs to 29; Obama Hit Campaign Trail in Midwestern U.S.; Renewed U.S. Sanctions against Iran Going into Effect; Jamal Khashoggi's Sons Speak Out about Father's Murder. Aired 12-1a ET

Aired November 5, 2018 - 00:00   ET




ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): The U.S. midterm elections that matter more than ever. We are just a day away from a vote that could affect the future of Donald Trump's time in the White House.

Plus renewed U.S. sanctions against Iran and its oil exports are going into effect right now. And they have already sent hundreds of protesters like these into the streets in defiance.

Plus this:


ABDULLAH KHASHOGGI, JAMAL KHASHOGGI'S SON: He was amazing like sort of, he was a good dad. Like motivational, understanding, challenging sometimes.


CHURCH (voice-over): CNN sits down for an exclusive interview with the sons of murdered Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. How they are remembering their father.

Hello, everyone, thank you so much for joining us. I am Rosemary Church in Atlanta. CNN NEWSROOM starts right now.


CHURCH: Just one day left of campaigning until Tuesday's critical midterm elections in the United States. Donald Trump is not on the ballot but many are casting their votes as a referendum on his presidency.

He's back on the campaign trail Monday, headlining rallies in three pivotal states, Ohio, Indiana and Missouri. Mr. Trump is brushing aside Democratic hopes for a blue wave sweep over Republicans.

His predecessor, former president Barack Obama, campaigned for Democratic candidates in Illinois and Indiana. On Sunday, he said Republicans promised to take on corruption but instead have racked up indictments. CNN's Boris Sanchez is traveling with President Trump and has more from Tennessee.


BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: President Trump continued his full court press throughout the weeks before the midterm elections, crisscrossing the country and stumping for Republican candidates. Just this weekend, he stopped at six different campaign rallies.

He has three more scheduled for Monday, the day before Tuesday's election. Here in Chattanooga, Tennessee, the president was stumping for Representative Marsha Blackburn.

She's trying to capitalize on the president's popularity in the Volunteer State. His approval rating here has hovered over 50 percent for quite sometime. Blackburn is close to the president when it comes to certain key issues, including immigration. She's maintaining a hard line stance on that issue. The president spoke about it here on Saturday night.

Talking about the caravan of Central American migrants headed to the U.S. border. Listen to some of what the president said.


TRUMP: They want to impose socialism on our country. And they want to erase America's borders. Democrats want to invite caravan after caravan after caravan after illegal aliens to pour into our country. I don't think so. I don't think so. No nation can allow its borders to be overrun. And that's an invasion. I don't care what they say. I don't care what the fake media says. That's an invasion of our country.


SANCHEZ: The president there defiant amid criticism that he is mischaracterizing those migrants as invaders. Now, in this race to replace outgoing Senator Bob Corker who is retiring, Blackburn is in a dead heat with her opponent, former Governor Phil Bredesen. Bredesen has tried to cast himself as a moderate in this race, someone who would actually work with President Trump on a number of issues.

The two of them, again, in a dead heat, though, Blackburn does maintain a small advantage. It is still well within the margin of error -- Boris Sanchez, CNN, travelling with the president in Chattanooga, Tennessee.



CHURCH: Let's get more on the elections with Larry Sabato. He is the director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia. Always great to have you on the show.

LARRY SABATO, UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA: Thank you so much, Rosemary.

CHURCH: So we are just over a day away from the midterm elections and we are seeing the big guns out on the campaign trail indicating just how important this vote will be. President Trump and former president Obama on a final sprint to the finish line.

What are early voting patterns telling you right now?

SABATO: The most important thing they are telling all of us is that this is a really important midterm. It's so important --


SABATO: -- that we are seeing record turnouts in a lot of races with key states.

And probably, probably -- you never know for sure until after Election Day -- we are going to have one of the biggest turnout midterms in modern American history.

That's all to the good. And it's an encouraging sign, I suppose, for both parties in different states and different districts.

CHURCH: And the Democrats, of course, want to win the House.

What are the numbers telling you?

How likely is that going to happen?

SABATO: I would say it's a clear probability. It's far from a certainty. The Democrats have a pretty good lead in the polls, the generic ballot; that is they're ahead of Republicans generically.

But what about when you apply it to individual races?

The Democrats are very, very likely to get more votes than the Republicans, probably quite a few more votes for the House of Representatives. But they have done that before and lost the House. They had more votes than the Republicans in 2012 and they lost the House of Representatives. It all depends on how the vote is distributed.

But I think they have a good chance to gain control of the House. The margin is very much up for debate.

CHURCH: All right. Let's look at some specific races here. What about the political landscape across Texas where Democrat Beto O'Rourke is trying to force out Republican Senator Ted Cruz in a final campaign push statewide. How is that likely to look on Election Day, do you think?

SABATO: Texas has been promising to turn blue, at least Democrats have promoted it that way for the last four, five election cycles. It's still not blue. But it is becoming more competitive overtime.

Sure enough, if you look at the polling averages, you'll see that Ted Cruz, the incumbent Republican senator is leading Beto O'Rourke the Democratic nominee by about five percentage points -- somewhere in that vicinity. Well, five points is five points. That's a lot of votes in big Texas.

On the other hand, it's a lot easier to score an upset when you are only five points behind than it is when you are 15 or 20 points behind and that's what Democrats in Texas used to be all the time -- 15 or 20 points behind.

CHURCH: Right. That is significant.

And of course, instead of pushing a positive message on the economy, because the President says well, it's not exciting enough -- he's on the attack, stoking fears on gun control, claiming Georgia Democratic gubernatorial nominee Stacey Abrams will get rid of the Second Amendment when she plans to do no such thing and continuing his message about immigrants invading America.

Are these fear tactics working for the President or backfiring?

SABATO: They're working with his ever-loving base, because that base will follow him anywhere and believe him no matter what he says.

At this point, we are all about turnout and so Trump is stoking his Republican base by telling them things that will frighten them, that will cause them to be angry, because that does increase the possibility or probability they will actually vote.

But Democrats have a lot of ammunition too. Donald Trump is actually -- the number one piece of ammunition for Democrat. And they have been using it all over the country; sometimes quietly, sometimes overtly.

CHURCH: Now, the other big race to watch is the governor's election in Florida. Democrat Andrew Gillum responded to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, who described the stakes as being so "cotton-picking" important, what many call a racist dog whistle because Gillum, of course, would be Florida's first black governor if he wins.

Now, Gillum suggested Perdue go back to Georgia and the South.

Why are we seeing an effort to win at any cost?

Even using this sort of racist language like this?

Again, does it work or does it backfire?

And how do you expect this race will turnout?

SABATO: Well, currently, Gillum is up in the polling averages. He's up two or three points, which again, in Florida is significant because most of the closely-contested races in Florida are decided by a point or less. So Gillum is up three. Let's be honest. He's African American. And I have seen in some, though not all races involving African Americans, that people will tell pollsters one thing that they are going to be supportive of the African American candidate and then when they actually go into the polls they are not quite as supportive.

So he needs the buffer of a few points in polls to be able to win on Election Day. And in Florida, they have already banked millions of votes incredibly. Millions have already voted in Florida and cross the nation. But Florida has had a particularly good turnout.

CHURCH: Yes. And we'll see what that means, of course, come Tuesday when we start counting the votes and analyzing what it all means.

Larry Sabato --


CHURCH: -- thank you so much for being with us. We appreciate it.

SABATO: Thanks so much, Rosemary.


CHURCH: Well, the United States has now reimposed sanctions against Iran. In a show of defiance, thousands of Iranians marched on Sunday at a government organized rally in Tehran.

The sanctions had been lifted under the 2015 nuclear deal but President Trump pulled out of the agreement earlier this year. The measures aim to cripple Iran's energy, shipping and banking sectors.

The protests also coincided with the anniversary of another contentious showdown between the U.S. and Iran.

Senior international correspondent Fred Pleitgen filed this report from the rally.


FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Hardline protesters unleashing their anger at the U.S. and Israel as new sanctions against Tehran are set to go into effect.

(on camera): These people say they have a clear message for President Trump. No matter how tough America gets, no matter how strong the sanctions are, they are about to stand up and fight back.

(voice over): Signs denouncing President Trump in abundance. After Trump's tough talk on Iran, tough words in return.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Every person all over the world hate this man.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And coming here to say down with USA, down with Israel and all of your friends.

PLEITGEN (voice over): The demo comes on the anniversary of the Iran hostage crisis when protesters stormed the U.S. embassy here in 1979.

And just hours before the Trump administration will launch new sanctions targeting Iran's vital oil and gas sector, a move many Iranians already struggling to get by, fear could send the economy into a tail spin. Experts saying Tehran is working to try and offset the sanction's hit.

HAMED MOUSAVI, PROFESSOR, TEHRAN UNIVERSITY: We're seeing a sort of Iran's version of pivot to the east since a few years ago. And this is not only been in the economic realm, but also in the political and military realm, where Iran has become closer both to Russia and to China.

PLEITGEN (voice over): Iran once again bracing for new sanctions and new hardship, a situation its people know all too well and hoped they'd left behind -- Fred Pleitgen, CNN, Tehran.


CHURCH: Let get more on this with Trita Parsi. He is the author of "Losing an Enemy: Obama, Iran and the Triumph of Diplomacy."

Good to have you with us.

TRITA PARSI, AUTHOR: Thank you for having me.

CHURCH: We have been seeing thousands of Iranians out on the streets, protesting the renewed U.S. sanctions that have now gone in to effect.

What impact will they likely have on people right across the country?

PARSI: Like all major sanctions regimes that are broad based and not targeted, the major impact will be on the population and not on the government itself. We clearly saw that with the Obama sanctions that came into effect in 2010 and 2011.

And the population is really going to suffer because this is going to be very, very tough on them. But here is the thing: imposing pain through sanctions is one thing. But to actually enable the pain to translate into a policy shift on the Iranian side is a completely different proposition.

And the Obama administration realized quite deep into their sanctions regime that sanctions alone simply would not work. They needed to actually offer the Iranians incentives.

And the Trump administration thus far has not been thinking along the lines of incentives whatsoever. It seems actually as if they are really imposing the sanctions precisely because they are only looking to achieve pain; nothing else.

CHURCH: And so when you say the leadership of the country won't be impacted, just the people, so, in other words, you are saying that will not pressure the leadership in any way, because it doesn't matter to them that the people of Iran will be feeling the pain. PARSI: No, I think it does matter to them. And they will be feeling some pain as well. But the brunt of the sanctions will really be hitting the population. The governments always find ways to be able to find routes around the sanctions.

It's the population that doesn't have that capacity. And, in many cases, we actually see the governments also making some money off of the sanctions, because they can control the smuggling of goods into the country. That, again, has been seen in the case of Iran and in many other sanctions cases.

CHURCH: How likely is it that these sanctions will force Iran back to the negotiating table to come up with a new type of deal with the United States?

PARSI: Iran is at the negotiating table, together with Russia, China and the Europeans. It's the Trump administration that isn't at the negotiating table. They are the ones that walked out of this deal. They are the ones that are violating and cheating on this deal.

Everyone else has been honoring this deal, including the Iranians. I don't see much incentives whatsoever for --


PARSI: -- the Iranians to do anything different from what they have. They have been living up to the deal.

The main risk is that the Iranians will start concluding that perhaps they should, too, should walk out of this deal and then we'll have a really bad scenario, because then the drumbeats of war will get very, very high again.

CHURCH: The whole idea of these sanctions on the part of the U.S. is to push Iran, the leadership, to the negotiating table with the United States. And you are saying that isn't going to work.

PARSI: I don't believe that's objective. That's what they are saying. But everything they are doing indicates actually that that negotiations is really not the objective there. If you wanted negotiations, first of all, the easiest ways of doing so would be to actually honor the existing deal and ask for additional negotiations on top of the existing deal.

That's not what this administration has done; they have gone and destroyed a fully functioning deal and now they are trying to punish countries that are actually abiding by a U.N. Security Council resolution.

Secondly, even if you were looking to pressure the Iranians in order to get to a deal, you would still work to create diplomatic exit ramps, channels of communications. And there again, the Trump administration has really not paid any attention to that except for Trump claiming publicly that he wants negotiations.

But by now you really cannot expect Europeans or anyone else to really take Trump at his word.

CHURCH: So why do you think the U.S. is applying these sanctions and what is its incentive?

PARSI: I think the real objective here is to cause massive instability inside of Iran, potentially followed by military strikes. I think the objective here is just truly try to shift the balance of power away from Iran in the region in favor of Saudi Arabia, UAE and Israel, three countries that have been very aggressive in pushing the administration in this direction and who have a long track record prior to this administration of pushing the United States to go to war with Iran.

CHURCH: Trita Parsi, thank you so much for talking with us, we appreciate it.

PARSI: Thank you for having me.

CHURCH: We'll take a short break here. Still to come, the family of a murdered journalist putting their faith in the man accused of ordering his killing.


SALAH KHASHOGGI, JAMAL KHASHOGGI'S SON: The king has stressed that everybody involved will be brought to justice. And I have faith in that this will happen.


CHURCH (voice-over): An exclusive interview with Jamal Khashoggi's sons and what they are seeking as the investigation unfolds. We are back in just a moment.





CHURCH: For more than a month after journalist Jamal Khashoggi was murdered, his sons are speaking out for the first time in an exclusive interview with CNN's Nic Robertson.

The Saudi Arabian government now admits "The Washington Post" columnist was killed after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. But his sons say all the information they are hearing is confusing and there's only one thing they really want now.

Here is an exclusive interview with Salah and Abdullah Khashoggi.


S. KHASHOGGI: It is a mystery. This is putting a lot of burden on us, all of us, that everybody is seeking for information just as we do. And they think that we have answers. Unfortunately, we don't.

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Abdullah, we've heard from the Turkish government that have said that they believe that he, your father walked into the consulate, that he was choked, that he was then killed. From the Saudi government we understand that he was killed.

A. KHASHOGGI: Until now it's vague, like it's the story like the details what exactly happened inside. As we know how is the media, Twitter, TV stations, everybody is telling a different story. For me, I'm trying to simplify it as much as possible that he died and as simple as that.

ROBERTSON: And you were the last one of your father's children to see him you said in two months ago in Turkey. How was he then?

A. KHASHOGGI: He was happy. It was a very, like it was a very good

opportunity for me to see him. We went head out around Istanbul, had fun and I think I was really lucky to have that last moment with him.

ROBERTSON: How has all this been on your family on your mother and your sisters?

A. KHASHOGGI: It's difficult, like it's not easy, especially when the story gets this big, it's not an easy test, it's confusing. Even the way we grieve, it's a bit confusing. Because we're grieving, at the same time we're looking at the media and the misinformation. Like, there's a lot of ups and down. It's not a normal situation, like it's not a normal death at all.

S. KHASHOGGI: All that we want right now is to bury him and back here within Medina with the rest of his family.

ROBERTSON: In Saudi Arabia.

S. KHASHOGGI: In Saudi Arabia, yes. I talked to that, I talked about that with the Saudi authorities and I just hope that it happens soon.

ROBERTSON: But you need to find somebody needs to find his body.

S. KHASHOGGI: Yes. I believe that decisions are going and I'm really hopeful about that.

ROBERTSON: But what do you place your hope in?

S. KHASHOGGI: It's an Islamic tradition. It's not only Islamic, it's basic humanitarian issue. We just need to make sure that he rests in peace. Until now, I still can't believe that he's dead.


S. KHASHOGGI: I know -- I mean it's not sinking in with me emotionally. He has deceased, for sure. But the emotional burden that is coming with the puzzle is really, is really big. ROBERTSON: When you went into your father's apartment here in the United States, you discovered something that made you realize just how important you, his grandchildren, were to him. What was, can you tell us about that?

A. KHASHOGGI: I think going to apartment that was maybe the most emotional moment I had like, in these past days. This picture, especially, it was next to his bed stand, next to his bed. His grandchildren and that's the last thing he looked at before he goes to bed. It's -- that thing shocked me. Not shocked, but it showed a side, not a new -- but it put an emphasis on his gentle, tender side of loving his family, his grand kids.

ROBERTSON: The last thing he was--


ROBERTSON: -- here doing was his grandchildren and he put that there so he would see it.

A. KHASHOGGI: Yes. It was something huge and it touched me personal, like and all the family didn't go about it.

ROBERTSON: What are you proudest of?

A. KHASHOGGI: He always say the truth, like a basic human, just a good person, as simple as that. He was very brave. He was always out there. Like for me it was like rock star and as a journalist.

ROBERTSON: Because he was sort of pushing the system a bit.

A. KHASHOGGI: Yes and he's always pushing, he was always, yes. He is brave.

ROBERTSON: There have been people who have been trying to sort of create a different impression about him, a different legacy, allegations that he was sort of supported the Muslim brotherhood.

S. KHASHOGGI: I don't believe so. He can shed a light on that.

A. KHASHOGGI: I used to tease him also, the last time I went to Turkey, I used to tease him like I read this from Twitter like they're saying your Muslim brotherhood, where is your beard? Where is your -- and then he laughs and he tried to -- he goes in details I'm not Muslim brotherhood because of this, this, this. And like--


ROBERTSON: It mean so much to you.


ROBERTSON: You're breaking.

A. KHASHOGGI: And it just labels or just people not doing their homework properly, reading his article and going in depths, so that's easier for them to just stick a label on him, like, you're something, you're that, you're that, you're that.

ROBERTSON: Can you tell us about that meeting with the crown prince and the king?

S. KHASHOGGI: Yes, in that meeting with the king and the crown prince, when I went there with my Uncle Sal, the king has stressed that everybody involved will be brought to justice. I have faith in that this will happen.

ROBERTSON: You're placing your faith in the king?


ROBERTSON: In your heart of hearts, what do you think happened?

A. KHASHOGGI: Something bad happened. Something might be, but I really hope that whatever happened, it was -- it was -- it wasn't painful for him or something like that or at least it was quick, or he had a peacefulness that's what I wish for.

S. KHASHOGGI: I'm not sure. I'm just waiting for the facts to come out. It's, for me it's just death. I know that he is dead. All I'm waiting for is for the investigation to be over so the facts can turn up.

ROBERTSON: How do you think your father would want to be remembered?

S. KHASHOGGI: As a moderate man who has common values with everyone. Genuine. And honest. A man who loved his country, who believed so much in it and its potential. Jamal was never a dissident. He believed in the monarchy that it is the thing that is keeping the country together. And he believed in the transformation that it is going through. That's how he should be remembered.


CHURCH: And we'll have more news for you after this short break. Do stay with us.


[00:30:00] CHURCH: Hello, everyone, welcome back to CNN NEWSROOM, I'm Rosemary Church. I want to check the headlines for you this hour. The U.S. has renewed sanctions against Iran, hours, before they went in to effect.

Thousands of Iranians marched in protest, in the nation's capital. The sanctions had been lifted under the 2015 Iran nuclear deal but, President Donald Trump abandoned that pact, earlier this year.

The search for wreckage from last week's Lion Air crash has been extended through Wednesday. The cockpit voice recorder is still missing. Divers checked the area where a ping was heard Saturday, but could not find anything, and it did not hear any pings on Sunday.

The French prime minister was in New Caledonia, a day, after the territory voted to remain a part of France, nearly 80 percent of voters turned out for the independence referendum on Sunday. The result was close, just 57 percent voted to stay, giving the independence camp hope for a future referendum.

So, why do the U.S. midterm elections matter so much? After all, voters are not selecting a president and most of the races are for state and local offices. But we asked CNN's Tom Foreman to explain why Tuesday's vote is so important.


TOM FOREMAN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Presidents are elected every four years and halfway through their term, come the midterm elections. What that means in Congress is all 435 seats are up for grabs in the U.S. House of Representatives, and about a third of the seats over in the U.S. Senate, as well.

Right now, Republicans are ruling both chambers with majorities. And there are a lot of complicated equations about how the Democrats could win control back. But this is all you really need to know. On the House side, if the Democrats can pick up 23 seats, they would be in charge there. And on the Senate side, if they could net two seats from the Republicans, then they would have control.

[00:35:13] Now, bear in mind, that's a lot harder because they have many more seats to defend there. And remember, a 50/50 tie here is a loss for the Democrats, because in the event of a tie vote, the tiebreaker is Vice President Mike Pence, who is Republican.

Midterms are seen as referendums on the President, and this one has been particularly polarizing, so watch for potential flips in areas where Democrats are up in arms, where Republicans don't have strong majorities and importantly, where independents are frustrated with the White House, because if enough seats flip in Congress, big changes could follow, and it all starts with the midterm elections.


CHURCH: Thank you so much, Tom. And, to say this set of midterm elections is close, would be an understatement, and the stakes couldn't be higher. You can see that by the big names both parties have sent out on the campaign trail and the unprecedented push for votes in the races.

Kyung Lah, takes a look at two states where the outcome is anything but predictable.


KYUNG LAH, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Only hours left in the battle for Southern California's 45th district.

KATIE PORTER (D), CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE, CALIFORNIA: Are you ready for a representative who fights for you?

LAH: Democratic challenger, Katie Porter, is rallying her troops. PORTER: Senator Kamala Harris.

LAH: With some senatorial star power, in a U.S. House race, too close to call.

SEN. KAMALA HARRIS (D), CALIFORNIA: We need our strongest soldiers on the field.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Listen to all of them.

LAH: With just one last weekend, volunteers are grabbing clipboards, pounding the pavement, hitting houses, like Democratic volunteer, Jennifer Ko, and her 7-year-old son, Quincy.

Do you feel that this last push by you is going to make a difference?

JENNIFER KO, VOLUNTEER: I mean, I am going to do what I can. You know, I don't want to have any regrets. I don't want to see the election go the other way, and see the other candidate win and think that I could have done a little bit of something this weekend to make that difference.

REP. MIMI WALTERS (R), CALIFORNIA: Thank you. Tell all of your friends, thanks a lot.

LAH: Republican Congresswoman Mimi Walter is not just on defense, but offense, to save her job and keep this district, red.

Is it a fast and furious fight to try to convince those last hold outs?

WALTERS: You have to work really hard for every single vote. Every vote counts. And so what we are doing is, we are making contact with every single voter and making sure that those people who support me turn out to the polls.

DAKOTA EVANS: My name is Dakota Evans here with the Congressional Leadership Fund. We're just calling voters --

LAH: Republican volunteers arrive early. The number of people we're looking at here is pretty surprising, given that it's 10:00 a.m.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: 10:00 a.m. on a --

LAH: 10:00 a.m. on a Saturday, and you have young people.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, yes. There is a lot of enthusiasm and we've seen that in our offices across the country, and that's what's leading to these 30 million voter contacts in an election cycle.

LAH: In this last weekend, get out the vote means, get to the people, especially in toss-up races. Arizona Senate Candidate, Martha McSally.

MARTHA MCSALLY (R), SENATORIAL CANDIDATE, ARIZONA: Get your carbo and protein load here. LAH: Is serving her closing message with pancakes. She's locked in a tight race with Democrat Kirsten Cinema, one of the states in the battle for control of the Senate.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This is a very important election.

LAH: Both parties are sending out their heavy hitters, crisscrossing the country. The President hit Georgia today, for Republican Gubernatorial Candidate Brian Kemp.

BARACK OBAMA, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: There has to be consequences when people don't tell the truth.

LAH: In Indiana, Former President Obama campaigned with Democrat Joe Donnelly, a marathon midterm season, finishing with one final sprint.

There are so many races that are too close to call. What is it going to take to push it over the finish line?

HARRIS: It's going to take people getting out, to vote. This election cycle, what I'm experiencing is that people realize that they actually have to vote if they want to influence the outcome.


CHURCH: And that was Kyung Lah, reporting. And don't forget to join us Tuesday night, right here, on CNN for extensive coverage of the U.S. midterm elections.

And still to come on CNN NEWSROOM, the Prime Minister calls Italy's deadly flooding, dramatic, we will tell you how the country's government is responding to all the devastation.


[00:40:00] CHURCH: Historic rainfall and flooding continue to ravage Italy. Officials said Sunday that another 12 people died in Sicily, over the weekend, bringing the death to toll 29. CNN's Amara Walker has more on the destruction.


AMARA WALKER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: All week, rivers overflowed, causing damage throughout the country. High winds, snapped trees like toothpicks. In Sicily, nine people from two families, died, as flood waters from a nearby river suddenly swept in to the home, where they were having dinner. Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte was in Sicily, Sunday.

GIUSEPPE CONTE, PRIME MINISTER OF ITALY (through translator): It's an enormous tragedy. Being in your house, and from one moment to the next, being submerged by the water.

WALKER: Among the dead were two children, 1 and 3 years old. Earlier in the week, flooding in Venice put historic buildings at risk. Tourists adjusted to the high waters. Some Venetians dealt with the flooding in their own way.

In Rome, cars were damaged by falling trees. This week's extreme weather was caused by a seasonal high tide and a strong low pressure system in southern Europe. And Italy is preparing for more. Meteorologists say climate change is making flooding more common.

CONTE (through translator): The government has already allocated to the environment ministry, 1 billion Euros, for interventions on the hydrogeological safety.

WALKER: The full economic impact of the extreme-weather will take a while to calculate. Amara Walker, CNN.


CHURCH: And thanks for watching CNN NEWSROOM this hour. I'm Rosemary Church. "WORLD SPORT" is coming up next, and I'll be back at the top of the hour, with more news from all around the world. You're watching CNN.


[00:45:00] (WORLD SPORT)