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Florida Republican Scott Asks That Ballots Be Guarded In Senate Race Recount; Voter Ballots Being Recounted In Key Florida Races; Israeli Soldier, 7 Palestinians Killed In Gaza; Remembering A Hero Of The Great War; Emmanuel Macron Sent a Warning Across the World; Deadly Fires Still Raging in California; A Race to Tally Every Single Vote; The Philippine Government is Facing Accusations that it is Attacking Freedom of the Press; Myanmar Says it's Ready to Receive More Than 2,000 Rohingyans. Aired 2-3a ET

Aired November 12, 2018 - 02:00   ET


[02:00:07] GEORGE HOWELL, NEWSROOM ANCHOR, CNN: As the world remembered the tragedy of World War I, the French President sent a warning across the world. The U.S. President standing by, saying his America first policies won't work in the world we live in today. We will explain. Deadly fires still raging in northern and southern California, hundreds of thousands of people forced to evacuate these flames as they continue to the flames as they continue to spread.

And a race to tally every single vote, you're looking at it there, the scene in Florida as several key elections remain undecided after people cast their ballots. Live from CNN world headquarters in Atlanta, we want to welcome our viewers all around the world. I'm George Howell. The CNN Newsroom starts right now.

Around the world today, good day to you, with the world looking on, the President of France took another bold stand against nationalism. Emmanuel Macron warned nationalism can erase what a nation holds dearest, its moral values. The President Macron made his comments on Armistice Day, posting a wide array of world leaders there in Paris, marking 100 years since the end of World War I.

Among them the U.S. President, as you see there, Donald Trump, who has fuelled the recent rise of nationalism, describing himself as a nationalist and proudly pushing his America first agenda. It was all in stark contrast in the shadow of the (Inaudible). Our Nic Robertson is covering the story, live, from the French Capital.


NIC ROBERTSON, INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Really at the core of the commemoration today, President Macron's speech. It was multi- layered, part requiem for fallen generation part reminder for this generation of leaders, their responsibilities to future generations. He touched on one of the key subjects for him, multilateralism that he thought the European Union and United Nations, these global institutions are important, important for the world.

He was critical obliquely of President Trump and President Putin as well, with references to the selfishness of some nations that they would put nationalism first, he said, which was a corruption of patriotism.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Patriotism is the exact opposite of nationalism. Nationalism is a betrayal of patriotism. By saying (Inaudible) who cares about the others, we erase what a nation holds dearest, what gives it life, dearest, what gives it life, what makes it great, and what is essential. It is moral values.

ROBERTSON: Well, that wasn't the only criticism that seemed to be heading President Trump's way. He was criticized for not attending a commemoration at an American World War I cemetery on Saturday at (Inaudible), an important battle lasted more than three weeks that helped turn the tide of World War, June 1918, the deadliest battle in the history of war fare for the United States.

President Trump on Sunday, however, did attend another commemoration at another cemetery for American World War I dead. This is how he paid tribute to those dead.

PRES. DONALD TRUMP (R), UNITED STATES PRESIDENT: Here on the revered grounds of (Inaudible) Americans territory lie more than 1,500 U.S. service members who made the ultimate sacrifice in the First World War. Among those buried here are legendry marines who fought in the battle of Belleau Wood. In that treacherous forest and the surrounding fields, American marines, soldiers, and allied forces fought.

And they fought through hell to turn the tide of the war. That's what they did. They turned the tide of the war. It was in that battle that our marines earned the nickname devil dogs, arising from the German description of their ferocious fighting spirit.

ROBERTSON: And in fairly swift order after that commemoration, President Trump headed back to Washington, leaving Emmanuel Macron, the French President hosting the Paris Peace Forum. Three days of talks with leaders and other officials dignitaries here in Paris about the President Macron's ideas about multi-lateralism, about how better to govern the world, about how to leave a better world for future generations.

That's really key to what President Macron believes, key to what he was trying to what he was trying to deliver, for all the dignitaries and all the people that were watching this World War I commemoration today. President Trump on his way back to the White House undoubtedly facing domestic challenges of his own there. Nic Robertson, CNN, Paris.


[02:05:06] HOWELL: Nic Robertson, thank you. And let's talk more about this with CNN European Affair Commentator, Dominic Thomas. Dominic shares the Department of French and Francophone Studies at UCLA joining us now from Los Angeles, a pleasure to have you on the show, Dominic. Look, the context of history on full display. And we saw two things, patriotism and nationalism being discussed. We know that the U.S. President embraces that word, nationalism. The

French President didn't mince any words, rebuking nationalism, describing it as a danger. What are your take aways from that?

DOMINIC THOMAS, EUROPEAN AFFAIR COMMENTATOR, CNN: Yes. Well, from the moment Emmanuel Macron came on the state visit to the United States back in April, one of the main gifts that he gave President Donald Trump, which was planted on the south lawn of the White House, was precisely an sapling from Belleau Woods to remind him of that important historical relationship, to the very least, 1918, and to commemorate the First World War.

This, of course, was the site this that Donald Trump did not travel to, claiming a bad weather. But the whole purpose of this visit, as far an bringing these dignitaries together, for Emmanuel Macron was precisely to remind these international leaders of the absolute devastation that this conflict caused in mainland Europe, and also to remind them how -- since that particular period, it was precisely international organizations, and multilateralism that has provided for peace in that area.

And the use of the word nationalism, the echoes about particular world in this bloody and complicated European history are extremely disquieting to people. And it was absolutely impossible for him to not take a shot across the bow at that particular word. And of course, it was -- everybody understood that this was referring specifically to President Trump.

HOWELL: And Mr. Macron, even making the point, saying that nationalism and patriotism sometimes get confused. But now the two very different words, and clearly he made that very plain and simple, straightforward when he spoke. Let's talk about the overall spirit of Mr. Trump's interaction with his counterparts in Europe.

He has had less than warm relations with many of them. And we even saw the bro-mance, Dominic, the bro-mance between him and Emmanuel Macron, seemed to simmer a bit in this particular instance. How did Donald Trump come out of this trip to Europe in your view?

THOMAS: As many of the previous trips have gone, whether it's visiting NATO and the United Kingdom and so on, they have not gone well. On this particular occasion, the tensions rose the moment he exited Air Force One, and tweeted his dislikes of comments that President Macron had made earlier about the importance of developing, in this particular global atmosphere, a stronger and more consolidated and articulated European troops.

He then did not walk down the (Inaudible) along with the other leaders and he left immediately after having attended a small ceremony in (Inaudible) just outside Paris, and did not attend the peace forum. He was very much an outsider. I think he felt an outsider, having just left the United States, where he's been embroiled in all kinds of controversies and issues and surrounding the recent elections.

And his outsider status was sort of reinforced outsider at this particular gathering. He stood out as somebody whose protectionist, kind of nationalist, and unilateral policies are at odds with the beliefs of many of the leaders who were there. And that was the purpose of this gathering and of the peace forum.

HOWELL: Given some of some of Mr. Macron's comments before, the commemoration this weekend, you will remember Mr. Trump described on Twitter that he saw it an as insult that Europe should consider beefing up its own military to protect against China, Russia, and the United States. The French President seemed to clear that all up as a misunderstanding that his words were taken in the wrong context. But how does Europe view its transatlantic relation with the United States?

Is it a matter of short-term temporary adjustments, tailored to this current presidency, or is there a longer view here that they must look ahead to do things differently?

THOMAS: Well, the responsible position is to engage with both, is to realize that beyond the statements of President Trump, there is a longstanding relationship that continues at various levels of cooperation on a whole range of issues. But the fact is that the relationship has changed dramatically and has changed and that the European Union, or that Europe in a more general fashion, finds itself in a very complicated position.

[02:09:52] It can no longer rely on the United States and therefore, Atlantic relationship, the relationship across the channel, with the United Kingdom, and with Brexit has changed thing. And of course, looking over to the other side, there is concern about a rising Russian federation. The European Union finds itself between these two particular spaces.

In different parts of Europe, we have witnessed for a long time now, the gradual rise of these far right, radical, and populist political parties. And it is clear that the President, as well as Vladimir Putin, sees a weaker Europe as somehow benefitting the geopolitical plans that they have. And Donald Trump has provided oxygen to some of these political groups and parties, particularly in areas like Poland and Hungary.

This has been incredibly disruptive. And as the European Union heads in May of next year, into elections, we will essentially be dealing with two particular views of Europe. On the one hand, that of Macron and Merkel, seeking greater integration and cooperation, fighting against those that are disrupting the European Union in some of those countries that I have just mentioned.

And to that extent, the relationship with the United States is not one that we can rely on for the time being. And so obviously, they have got to think about how they're going to act and behave, and without being able to rely on this unpredictable President.

HOWELL: And to your point, it does seem that one view, as you describe it, does seem to be on defense, the other view seemingly on the rise. Dominic Thomas, we appreciate your time and perspective. We will stay in touch with you.

THOMAS: Thank you, George.

HOWELL: Again, the U.S. President back here in the United States. And tragedy continues to unfold in the state of California. The death toll continues to rise there. And the high winds are not helping. These fires burning on both the northern and southern parts of the state, as you see in our map. At least 31 people have died so far, 29 of the deaths from northern California's camp fire.

The camp fire, the most destructive fire in California history, and it is now tied for the deadliest fire in the state's history as well, some of the worst damage seen in the northern town of Paradise, California, nearly destroyed from this fire. It sparked up on Thursday with very little warning and forced residents to evacuate. The flames over took.

Many of the areas around them, you can see on this video, people trying to escape through the main passageway out of Paradise. More than 200 people are in the county are still unaccounted for. Our Nick Valencia has the very latest from what's left of Paradise, California.


NICK VALENCIA, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: This is already the most destructive fire in California state history. And looking at the scenes behind me, you can certainly tell why. These homes absolutely stood no chance against the ferocity of these flames. On Thursday morning, when the fire started, by the time most residents realized what was happening, they were already in trouble.

Right here, this is Skyway, the main thoroughfare through Paradise, California, one of the three main evacuation routes out of this town. On Thursday morning, this was absolutely jam-packed with cars, just grid locked. And these cars here behind me abandoned on the side of the road are the aftermath of that grid lock. And it is just absolutely stunning to see inside these vehicles, the make and model of them is just unclear, indecipherable here.

And you look at pieces like this, aluminum, melted glass, windshields melted on top of the steering wheel. Behind me, you can still see some of these structures here are smoldering. More than 109,000 acres have already burned in this community, 50,000 plus residences have evacuated. And it's still a very situation. Downed power lines, downed trees makes things especially dangerous, the mayor telling me it could be weeks before they allow residents back in here, Nick Valencia, CNN, Paradise, California.


HOWELL: Nick, thank you so much. And on the phone with us this hour, we have a man who escaped with his family from their home in Paradise, California. Forrest Woodcox is now safe in Gridley, California for us. Thank you again for being with us. First of all, we're so thankful that you and your family are safe. Tell us how you're doing, and if you could tell us about what you're hearing given the situation in Paradise. FORREST WOODCOX, EVACUATED FROM PARADISE, CALIFORNIA: Well, right

now, George, we're doing the best that we can for what the situation is. Everything I have heard is the death toll of about 29 so far that they've accounted for.

HOWELL: Right.

WOODCOX: I am -- from what I have also heard, there are a lot of people missing. I am not entirely sure if they're dead or if everything is OK. I am hoping and praying that everything is OK with everybody that's missing. And I am hoping that all these families can be able to hold -- people again because it is unfortunate to see all the devastation that's happened around us. It is not easy and it's not going to be easy for the community of Paradise for a while.

There's been a lot of beautiful support and a lot of great things have been done throughout the rest of the other communities. And I mean for what it's worth, it's not going to be easy. That's all I can say.

[02:14:58] HOWELL: Forrest, while you're talking, we're looking at these pictures. We're what it must have been like, the drive through that main road getting out of Paradise. Would you just tell our viewers in the U.S. and around the world what it was like for you, what it was like for your family getting on that road, seeing all those flames on either side of the highway? How did you get out of there?

WOODCOX: George, the easiest way to explain is I mean there is no easy way to explain, but it was terrifying. We honestly weren't thinking we were going to make it out of there alive. We had cars on the left and the right of us, trying to pass -- people turning around, freaking out, panicking. The car behind us, which was driving behind us, their tire popped and they swerved. We had hot embers, and the fire was cracking and just burning everything in its path.

We could hear the trees around us, the crackling of the trees burning. Everything around us was surrounded in flames and smoke and hot ash was blowing into our car. You could literally the heat that was outside of our vehicle, inside of our car. And even with our AC on, you could still feel how hot it was. And we were honestly all hysterical at the end.

We were crying. You know that was a moment in my life that I know that we will never forget. We honestly didn't think we were going to make it out of that alive.

HOWELL: Forrest, we're so thankful that you and your family did make it out safely. And one can only imagine what it was like for you to be on the road in that right there. Look, I ask you with respect, if it's too far to ask. Just let me know. But, you know, people wonder what is what is it like for you in a situation like this where you don't know what is left over.

You're trying to figure out your next steps. Have you started thinking about the next steps? What is next for you? Where do you go from here? WOODCOX: Honestly, the first step that we can have is just keeping

each other, you know, trying to keep each other together. Our family and I are -- we've been very close throughout all these years. We've helped each other through the hardest times. We've been through a lot together already. Our grandparents' house has been on the brink of being burnt down multiple times.

We knew, you know, that the day would probably come. We just did not take that it was going to be Thursday. We all hoped and prayed things were OK. Recently, we found out from a family friend that our house was completely burnt down. My grandparents lost their property and their business, over 47 years of hard work that my grandpa had put into his house (Inaudible) business was completely destroyed.

And I am not worried about us so much. I am worried about my community. I want everybody to know that if they need anybody to talk to or they need anybody to direct them in any direction to get help that they can always come to me. And I am there for them, and we're all in this together.

HOWELL: Forrest, thank you again for being with us. And, you know, just to put it out there so people know. We are glad that you are safe with these fires. They continue to spread and, you know, firefighters are getting some traction on them. We will talk about that just a little later in our newscast with our meteorologist. But again, this is certainly not a threat that is over, far from over.

So we are hoping the best for everyone there in California. You're watching CNN Newsroom. Still ahead in the Philippines, a news website now being accused of tax evasion and the indictment is sparking concerns of press intimidation. We will explain that ahead. Plus, election officials, working day and night to recount key ballots in Florida, but one candidate is filing lawsuits against them. We will have the latest developments on that heated race as CNN Newsroom continues.


[02:20:00] HOWELL: The Philippine government is facing accusations that it is attacking freedom of the press. This is after the nation's Justice Department announced it is charging an investigative news website with tax evasion. Rappler is one of the few media outlets that has openly criticized the Philippine government and the President, Rodrigo Duterte.

Its CEO, a former CNN Bureau Chief, Maria Ressa, also faces tax evasion charges. She condemns the government's move.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is a ludicrous charge with no legal basis except a classified (Inaudible) our news group a dealer in securities. We're not, right? I am a journalist. I have been a journalist for my entire career. And it looks like because I am a journalist, I could face all these two criminal cases that carry penalties of up to 15 years in prison. (END VIDEO CLIP)

HOWELL: Our former colleague there. Now our Alexandra Field is following the story, live in Hong Kong. Alexandra, first, for viewers not with Rappler, tell us more about what that organization does, the work they focused on.

ALEXANDRA FIELD, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Well, look, George. Maria Ressa is a renowned journalist. You certainly know that. Rappler is an organization that has been doing reporting that is highly critical of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte's administration. Specifically, they've done a lot of reporting on Rodrigo Duterte's drug war, which has led to the extra judicial killing of thousands of people.

This is exactly the kind of work that has received international acclaim. It was last week that Ressa was in Washington D.C., being honored for the intrepid and fearless reporting of Rappler at the same time news was breaking about at an indictment, allegations of tax evasion. These are allegations that Rappler and Ressa are firmly denying.

You heard Ressa calling these latest allegations ludicrous. She and others activists who support the rights and freedoms of the press see this as an effort to curtail the press, to limit those freedoms within the Philippines, part of a campaign that they believe extends beyond the Rappler. But this isn't the first time that Rappler has been a target they say.

It was just back in January that Rappler's license was temporarily revoked. There was an SCC investigation at the time. There were allegations of allegations of violations of a foreign ownership law. Rappler denied those charges, but they said that they believed that that investigation was getting motivated by an intentional effort to limit kind of reporting that Rappler was doing.

[02:25:15] Now, they're facing these allegations of tax evasion. Again, it is something that Rappler denies. It has to do with a foreign investment that was made in 2015. The allegation is that returns from that investment were not reported. Rappler, again, saying it is ridiculous, saying it is ludicrous, saying that this is a clear indication of an effort to suppress and stifle the press, and something that they were not surprised by. George?

HOWELL: Alexandra Field following the story. Thank you so much. We're also following plight of the Rohingya Muslims. Myanmar says it's ready to receive more than 2,000 Rohingya Muslims, the first group to return home from Bangladesh. Myanmar's social welfare ministries will repatriate 150 refugees per day for two weeks starting on Thursday. The Rohingya refugees have been staying in camps since fleeing violence last year.

But the U.N. is warning that conditions are still not conducive to their safe return. President Donald Trump now back in the United States after his visit to Paris. But did controversy overshadow the purpose of that trip? Plus, real-life nightmares in the state of California, wildfires there raging on, and powerful winds threaten to make it worse, (Inaudible) more on that ahead.


[02:30:14] HOWELL: Welcoming our viewers here in the United States. Good morning to you and through our viewers around the world. Good day. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Atlanta. I'm George Howell with the headlines we're following for you. Our top story, the history of war and peace in the background of the French President Emanuel Macron shared a warning to the world that nationalism will eat away at a country's moral values.

His comments came during a speech that he gave during Sunday's World War I centennial ceremony. Dozens of world leaders were there including the U.S. President Donald Trump. Mr. Macron says nationalism as touted by Mr. Trump and others who would send the world down a sinister course. Listen.


EMANUEL MACRON, PRESIDENT OF FRANCE (via translator): Patriotism is the exact opposite of nationalism. Nationalism is a betrayal of patriotism. I know there are old demons which are coming back to the surface. They are ready to wreak chaos and death. History sometimes threatens to take its sinister course once again.


HOWELL: Donald Trump did not respond to Mr. Macron's comments on Sunday at a ceremony at an American cemetery. He honored the Americans who died in World War I. Let's talk about it all with Scott Lucas. Scott is a professor of international politics at the University of Birmingham in England live this hour from Birmingham. It's a pleasure to have you, Scott.


HOWELL: Let's start with the French president's rebuke of nationalism with his U.S. counterpart looking on, how significant a moment was that for Europe for multilateralism and what are your thoughts about how the U.S. president may have receive it?

LUCAS: Well, some marker for a very significant moment here in Europe about the future of the continent and indeed future of the global community. Now, there are specific interests here. Emanuel Macron amidst various political questions across Europe lost a position himself as a leader of the continent alongside for example Germany's Angela Merkel. Both of them had very, very (INAUDIBLE) by Donald Trump because Trump has rejected that U.S. message since World War II that we're all in this together that the U.S. has linked up with Europe on all sorts of issues whether it was challenging the Soviet Union dealing with Russia now or questions from climate change to the economy.

Trump instead said America has its interests. France has its interests. Japan has its interests and they don't necessarily meet. So, yes, are they get the key moment where European leaders are trying to find a way forward and not counting on American leadership and to be honest with you as Donald Trump was very uncomfortable yesterday except when Vladimir Putin walked into the ceremony. Trump really doesn't bode even that message. He wouldn't -- he didn't even want to be in France, George, except to try to have that marker where he at some point would step into a U.S. cemetery.

HOWELL: The president is taking a great deal of criticism for not attending a military cemetery moment memorial outside Paris in honor of the war dead due to the bad weather. Though, he did attend another ceremony the next day. The White House Chief of Staff John Kelly was there. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph F. Dunford also there at that first memorial in place of the president. But what do you make of what happened here the sharp criticism that's coming President Trump's way?

LUCAS: Well, it is what it is. Trump having flown thousands of miles not really to be there with other leaders. I mean he showed up late at Saturday night's dinner. He came separately to the ceremony yesterday as they march together along the (INAUDIBLE) he was coming in his car (INAUDIBLE) you know, Trump was there to appear presidential. But on Saturday whether it's because the helicopter was grounded, whether it's because the White House terminally fear the traffic jab as an alternative to get to that cemetery, Donald Trump didn't show up.

Now, John Kelly as Chief of Staff showed up, Angela Merkel, Emanuel Macron, Justin Trudeau showed up at other cemeteries. But Trump was absent. And, again, let's sling cut to what happened yesterday. Emanuel Macron was saying at this key moment in history, we can't trust America to be there. Donald Trump was there on Sunday at the American cemetery, but he wasn't there the day before.

HOWELL: And let's talk about the situation with the transatlantic relationship between Europe and the United States' previous visits with this U.S. president have been rocky to say the least. But with these traditional allies, we know that Mr. Trump had various conversations with those leaders there, was this a boon or bust for those delicate relationships?

LUCAS: Those relationships are gone while Trump is in office, George. I mean let's just be honest.

[02:35:03] Look, we had rocky periods in U.S.-European relationship before. In 1980s, Ronald Reagan unsettled a lot of people here with his very forthright stance against the Soviet Union. We had to deal with the (INAUDIBLE) in 2003 over Iran where there was great opposition for the American-led operation. But compared to John Kennedy in the 1960s standing in Germany and saying we are alongside you, compare that going back to the formation of NATO in the 1940s with the idea that the U.S. and Europe having come out of the Second Word War could not afford a third.

Compare that with the fact that Europe doesn't believe in America as a leader right now, it might happen again. We might be able to deal with economic political military issues together as a unit but it cannot happen with Donald Trump directly because that's not the type of president Donald Trump is. It's not the type of America he wants in the world today.

HOWELL: Scott Lucas with perspective live for us in Birmingham. Scott, thank you.

LUCAS: Thank you, George.

HOWELL: Emanuel Macron says his good relationship with Donald Trump is important to both countries and he's proving his friendship supporting Mr. Trump over an issue that has proved thorny. Here's what the French president told our Fareed Zakaria in this exclusive interview to CNN.


FAREED ZAKARIA, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Were you disappointed that President Trump choose not to go to the cemetery and memorial at -- in (INAUDIBLE) I know it was his decision, but this is a place that French and American soldiers died together fighting for freedom and is very important in the history of the U.S. Marine Corp? Were you disappointed?

MACRON: No. I think it was just because of the weather and for security reasons, so I do respect that. I'm not part of the security team of President Trump. He did want to go there and we had a discussion. We had a very, a very pleasant and friendly lunch and he wanted to go there (INAUDIBLE) it was not in a situation to go there because the helicopter was blocked in Paris due to the weather.

But anyway, I appreciated he has the intention to go to (INAUDIBLE) remember we -- together at the White House Garden precisely we put an oak welcoming from (INAUDIBLE) together as a symbol of the (INAUDIBLE) so I'm sure that next time we'll be in a situation to go there that still have the tree in the certain way representing this alliance and the persons of (INAUDIBLE) this young American people came to France. They were 18, 19, 20 and they died there in a place they didn't know and no one of from families -- I have the in my office normally I have (INAUDIBLE) to Washington.

I mean it's so strong that we are (INAUDIBLE) altogether.


HOWELL: And viewers outside the United States can watch the rest of Emanuel Macron's exclusive interview Fareed Zakaria in a few from now. That's 10:00 a.m. in London, 6:00 p.m. on -- in Hong Kong here on CNN. Here in the United States, the devastation from the wildfires in California, it is much worst. At least 31 people have now died in these two massive fires across the states in both the north and south there. Twenty-nine of the deaths from Northern California's Camp Fire.

That fire now tied for the deadliest fire in California history. It's also the states most destructive. When the Camp Fire sparked up on Thursday, thousands of people tried to escape as the flames close in on them. Take a look at just how frightening it was for a mother and her daughter tried to get out of there.




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's OK, mama. It's OK. Please drive. Just please drive.



HOWELL: Goodness. Just not knowing, you know, what's around the corner. More fire, will they be able to get out? We do understand that they did make it out safely thankfully. Let's talk more about what's happening in California with our meteorologist Pedram Javaheri in the International Weather Center. Pedram, the winds are not helping here.

PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN INTERNATIONAL METEOROLOGIST: Yes. That's not been the case the last couple of days at least, George, and you know, when you watch what's been happening here for a period of six, seven, eight months, we've really seeing this buildup of course with the dry situation. And in fact going into Monday now, we have an extreme risks, that's across Southern California to the north there critical resting place for the strong winds, low humidity.

[02:40:02] Would you believe it down to three or four percent now even into the early morning hours when you expect some recovery and plenty of fuel to go around and of course if you live across Southern California if you're tune into across this region, you know very well when you get to the autumn months here, the Santa Ana is beginning picking up here as the winds dive down the mountains. They warm by compression. They go right towards the canyons and pick up tremendous speeds.

And unfortunately, we factor that in with the dry fuel in place and makes fire weather behavior erratic to say the least and look at this. Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Sacramento, I looked into some of these numbers here, the last time these cities picked up more than a half an inch of rainfall in a day was seven to eight months ago and about three or three times respectively across these cities hasn't rain in that period.

So really it puts in perspective of what we're talking about here with high pressure being firmly in control. We're getting that offshore component here. But again, it warms by compression and about 25 (INAUDIBLE) this region underneath red tide warnings as we go in towards Monday afternoon. Look at this wind speed. This is going in towards the afternoon hours as we get the winds picking up across the canyons, across the mountains, gust up to 70 miles per hour.

That's right up there with equivalent to almost a category one hurricane how strong some of these winds could be wildfires are raging out of this region of course and the firefighters are trying to keep up with them and notice in places in like Calabasas temps they actually want to warm up the next couple of days. The probability of rainfall sits right at zero percent. I looked at the long range models and it looks like the next aspect for rainfall comes in sometime around Thanksgiving.

So we're talking about 10 days or more out and this is the (INAUDIBLE) index with all of that said very easy to see what's happening here when you're pushing it up into the 150 to 200 range in fact the air quality in San Francisco is comparable to what's happening right now in Beijing in Northeast China. So it really shows you how significant of a threat this has become and for the Camp Fire there, George, when you take a look at the forecast, we do expect a little window here for temps to drop off just a bit comes Tuesday afternoon.

The winds could die down potentially going into Wednesday. But again, it's going to be a long haul when it comes to finally see everything improve with containment numbers just about 15 to 20 percent across these areas, George.

HOWELL: Pedram, thank you so much. We'll stay in touch with you. We just heard a family that escaped. We've seen people risking their lives to get out of those dangerous areas. We've seen families thankful to have survived though we know that many did not survive. The U.S. president responded to what's happening in California over the weekend in a series of tweets. One of them blaming the wildfires on mismanagement and threatened to cut federal aid.

Here's one of the tweets, "With proper forest management, we can stop the devastation constantly going on in California. Get smart." California's governor responded saying forest management is only part of the overall cost. Listen.


GOV. JERRY BROWN (D), CALIFORNIA: Managing all the forests in everywhere we can does not stop climate change and those who deny that are definitely contributing to the tragedies that we're now witnessing and will continue to witness in the coming years. So the chickens who come on the roost, this is real here and it's not a question of pointing this way or that way but tooling together in this tragic circumstances and thinking wisely and collaboratively and that's the spirit in which I'm approaching all that we need to do in response to this fires.


HOWELL: All right. Switching now to the midterm elections they've certainly passed. But the results of two key midterm races in the U.S. State of Florida have yet to be determined. More than eight million votes are being recounted right now. Take a look at this live image. It's happening as you see it, 2:43 in the morning there in Florida and they're still trying to figure out of how many votes they have yet to count. Officials in Broward County working day and night to tally up those votes. In the meantime, the Republican candidate for Senate has filed

lawsuits against election officials and is crying foul on his Democratic opponent with an unsubstantiated charge several of them in fact. Listen.


GOV. RICK SCOTT (R), SENATORIAL CANDIDATE, FLORIDA: Senator Nelson is clearly trying to find -- to try to commit fraud to try to win this election. That's all this is.


HOWELL: All right. CNN's Ryan Nobles has been following the story in Florida and has this for you.

RYAN NOBLES, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The recount is well underway here in Florida. Sixty-seven counties going through the methodical process of a machine recount of eight and a half million ballots. This won't be easy. It needs to be done by Thursday and already one key county says that they're not going to be able to complete the recount in time. Palm Beach County, a Democratic stronghold perhaps a spot where Democrats could gain some ground and recount and said that they're not going to be able to complete the process in time.

If they can't get it in time, that means the number that they will submit to the supervisor and the secretary of state will the Saturday count that we already have in place. Now, another thing that happened over the weekend here, a trio of lawsuits filed by the Republican candidate for Senate, the current Governor Rick Scott.

[02:45:10] One of those lawsuits accuses the supervisor of elections in Broward County of counting ballots after the deadline on Saturday. Rick Scott's also asking that the sheriff's departments involved Broward and Palm Beach County be responsible for the machines and the ballots in those counties. Impounding them when the county is not taking place, and when the recount is over.

Now, as I said before, this is all supposed to be done on Thursday. After that, they'll take another look at the numbers. If any of these races are within a quarter of a percent, they'll start a hand recount. That needs to be finished up by the 18th. This election supposed to be certified by the 20th. But there's always the possibility that lawsuits could derail that process and make it go even longer. Ryan Nobles, CNN, Tallahassee, Florida.

HOWELL: All right, Ryan, we'll keep in touch with you there.

Ahead, a short period of relative calm shattered. Coming up, the latest eruption of violence at Israel's border with Gaza.

Also, 100 years ago, the fighting ended for World War I on the 11th day of the 11th month. Just ahead, we'll remember one of the heroes of the Great War.


JAVAHERI: And good Monday too. I'm meteorologist Pedram Javaheri, CNN "WEATHER WATCH". And we're about five weeks officially away from the start of winter across the northern hemisphere. But wintery weather, well enforced there across the northern and Midwestern portions of the state.

And also down towards areas of south-central United States seeing some heavy snowfall, and notice as you transition off towards the east, the front begins pushing off towards the east and with some cold air comes in across the Gulf Coast states of the southern United States.

And again, back towards the west, some wintry weather going to slow down, not like some travel around this region, potentially, some schools being disrupted as a result as well. Well, it's this tremendous rainfall over the next several days from Atlanta points to the east.

And also, to the north, Atlanta will take an eight-degree high temp. Well, below the average of this time of year around 17 to 18 degrees, while Dallas sits at seven back towards the West though, it is all about the warmer weather, of course. The fire weather concern across that region remains very high. And, of course, the cooler air filters in towards the eastern United States.

Look at this, highs in places like New York City dropping down into the low single digits even some snow showers introduced Thursday into New York City, and then warms up a little going in towards that Friday afternoon. Watching what's happening into the Caribbean here.

In Nassau, around 29 degrees with partly cloudy skies also watching an area of topical interest. 70 percent chances will form over the next week or so, headed towards the Turks and Caicos.


[02:50:07] HOWELL: Another round of fighting between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, leaves seven Palestinians and one Israeli soldier dead.

Among the dead, a senior military leader for Hamas. It had been a brief period of restraint over the past two weeks is following months of border violence. Our Oren Liebermann has details.

OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: In a sudden spike in violence between Israeli forces and Gaza militants, an Israeli soldier and Hamas military commander were killed Sunday evening during Israeli Special Forces operation inside Gaza.

Israeli military said, its officer had been shot and killed during what it described simply as operational activity in Gaza. Seven Palestinians were killed by Israeli fire in the exchange.

According to the Palestinian Ministry of Health, among them, 37-year- old Nour Baraka, a leader of the Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas. Reports of the deaths were followed by sirens in Israel warning of incoming rocket fire on the Gaza periphery. Israeli military said the Iron Dome aerial defense system had intercepted, at least, two rockets.

So, what happened here? According to a statement issued by the Qassam Brigades, Israeli Special Forces entered Southern Gaza in a civilian car and assassinated Baraka, the Qassam, brigade's leader. When the Israelis were discovered and engaged by Qassam militants, the statement said Israeli warplanes carried out airstrikes to provide cover while the Special Forces escape.

Israel provides no further information about the Special Forces activity. Only saying that it had concluded. The sharp escalation comes just days after Qatar, seen as close to Hamas sent $15 million into Gaza to relieve the humanitarian crisis and to reduce tensions there.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who was criticized for allowing that transfer of money defended the initiative. Saying, it was the right decision and that he was looking into every direction to restore calm to the Gaza periphery, and to prevent a humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

Netanyahu also said it was impossible to reach a long-term arrangement with Hamas since they vowed to destroy Israel. Netanyahu who was in Paris had ended his trip early because of the escalation.

Meanwhile, Hamas and Islamic Jihad, the two men Palestinian factions in Gaza are on high alert. Oren Lieberman, CNN, Jerusalem.

HOWELL: Oren, thank you. Returning now to the Armistice commemorations in London. Big Ben tolled as part of the solemn remembrance of 100 years since the end of World War I. Listen.

The British Royal family led the U.K. in remembering the millions of people killed and wounded in that war. Prince Charles laid a wreath to mark the occasion. He was joined by the German President in one of the many ceremonies around the world to commemorate the anniversary.

Among the heroes of the French Resistance against the Germans in World War I, the story of one young woman who paid the ultimate sacrifice for her bravery. Our Melissa Bell, tells us more.


MELISSA BELL, CNN PARIS CORRESPONDENT: Louise de Bettignies was just a young French girl from an upper-class family until the outbreak of World War I. A war that would make her a hero.

HENRI-CLAUDE DE BETTIGNIES, GREAT-NEPHEW OF LOUISE DE BETTIGNIES: There was a sense that this war was a disaster for everyone and she needed to fight to try to contribute and to use a personality, and experience in different countries, and language, and so forth. And to service against the German. BELL: At just 34, Louise posing as a peddler and using the name Alice Dubois, began working for the British, spying on German positions and troop movements in Northern France and passing crucial knowledge onto the allies. Sometimes in the form of messages hidden inside toys and chocolate bars.

Louise de Bettignies became known as the Joan of Arc of the north, and it is in the northern French city of Lille that she is best remembered, with street signs, plaques, schools, and memorials like this one.

It was afternoon, Lille fell that Louise began running her network of spies.

Pausing the messages onto the British. One of her very last communications just before her capture by the Germans warned of a massive offensive that was being planned at Verdun. The French military refused to believe it and just 16 months after taking Lille, the Germans kicked off one of the bloodiest battles of World War I.

DE BETTIGNIES: The capacity to cope with danger, and the willingness to risk your life because she knew that if she would be caught, so hard time she got into very sticky situation and managed to escape.

[02:54:51] BELL: But Louise was caught. According to her biographers, swallowing her final message before being locked away. Louise died in a German prison just before the end of the war, although she was never forgotten.

Marshal Foch, the Supreme Allied Commander visited her memorial several years later to remember the heroism that had made such a difference. And more recently --

Veterans marking the centenary at the end of the Great War did the same.

DE BETTIGNIES: The family is proud, and we'd like the children to remember that if you are committed to an idea or committed to a direction, and you ferocious, you can achieve great things. And it is thanks to people like her that maybe which did happen at the end and we had this armistice.

BELL: An armistice now being remembered 100 years on. Along with the sacrifices made by people like Louise de Bettignies for the allied cause, and in the name of peace. Melissa Bell, CNN, Paris.


HOWELL: The lessons of history back on full display. Thank you for being with us for this hour of NEWSROOM. I'm George Howell at the CNN center in Atlanta. Remember to connect anytime on Twitter at George Howell, CNN. Let's do it again, more news after the break. Stay with us.