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North Korea Launches Multiple Projectiles; Flight from Guantanamo Bay Skids off Florida Runway; Trump Unhappy with Aides' Teases of Venezuelan Military Option; Thailand's King Vajiralongkorn Crowned; Venezuelan Senior Homes Provide Shelter for the Most Vulnerable; Biden Brings His Folksy Style to Presidential Race. Aired 3-4a ET

Aired May 4, 2019 - 03:00   ET




CYRIL VANIER, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): North Korea launches multiple projectiles in a move likely to raise tensions between Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump.

A Boeing 737 plane goes off the runway and into a river. And amazingly, everyone is OK.

Also Thailand officially crowning their new king in an elaborate coronation ceremony. We'll have all of the pictures for you in just a moment.

Live from the CNN Center in Atlanta, I'm Cyril Vanier. It's great to have you with us.


VANIER: We want to start with the breaking news we've been following. North Korea launching multiple projectiles from its east coast just a few hours ago. That's according to the South Korean defense ministry. There's no word if the launch included a missile or if it was something else.

Whatever it was, they flew for about 70 to 200 kilometers before crashing into the sea. The Japanese officials say it did not reach their waters. The U.S. and South Korea are working together to get more details. Paula Hancocks is tracking those.

Do we have any details at this hour?

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Nothing has been confirmed at this point from the Joint Chiefs of Staff or the defense ministry. There's been a flurry of meetings and phone calls. The secretary of state in the U.S. talking to the foreign minister of both Japan and South Korea, saying they're going to work together to further determine what was launched this morning.

Between 9:26 and 9:27 Korea time Saturday morning, there was several projectiles, several short-range projectiles launched. But no indication at this point of what it is.

It will make a difference. It makes a difference as to what the response from Washington is. We've heard from the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, that he put a unilateral, self-imposed moratorium on the intercontinental ballistic missiles which potentially could hit mainland United States. He wasn't going to test those anymore.

That had been welcomed, it was said, by President Trump, that that was enough. He was happy with the missile and testing moratorium.

The fact is, these are short-range. Whatever it was, is short-range. That is not something that Kim Jong-un had restricted himself not to test.

What it does it shows the displeasure, the frustration from North Korea. Kim Jong-un has made no secret that he was disappointed and annoyed by the Hanoi summit. There was no agreement after he met with President Trump.

Last month, when he met with Vladimir Putin, he said he believed the U.S. acted in bad faith at the Hanoi summit. And we've heard public pronouncements from Kim Jong-un at the Supreme People's Assembly, saying that he gave the U.S. until the end of the year to change its attitude. Otherwise, he would not continue to try to have talks.

But there are no talks at this point, between the U.S. and North Korea. This could well be and is being seen as a message to Washington, to remind them what they could go back to if they don't go back to talks.

VANIER: North Korea, as you pointed out, warned the U.S. that they needed to change the attitude.

What is it that North Korea wants from the United States?

HANCOCKS: North Korea wants sanctions to be lifted. They believe they have done enough to warrant sanctions to be lifted.

According to President Trump, he said North Korea wants all sanctions to be lifted. We heard later from North Korean officials that they only asked for some of the sanctions to be lifted. We believe they were the most recent and the most heavy heavy-hitting ones, when it comes to affecting North Korea's economy.

Kim Jong-un said he wants to focus on the economy, that he felt that he had done enough nuclear and missile testing. So he was going to focus on the economy. What North Korea wants is an easing in the financial sanctions, something that China and Russia have called for, something that South Korea potentially would sign onto although they say they are still supporting the U.S., that they want to have full denuclearization and look at whether the sanctions can be lifted.

The U.S. has given --

[03:05:00] HANCOCKS: -- some wiggle room in that recently, if things were going well, sanctions could be lifted. But clearly, at this point, Washington is not willing to lift sanctions unless they get more from North Korea.

VANIER: Paula, good to talk to you. It's 4:00 in the afternoon, where you are. The U.S. and South Korea are both still working to determine what it was that North Korea launched. We'll see if we get details in the coming hours. Paula, thanks.

Rescue crews say all 136 passengers and seven crew members onboard a flight landing in Florida made it off the plane in one piece after it slid off a runway Friday night at the Jacksonville Naval Air Station. The Boeing 737, which was coming from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, ended up in the St. John's River. Passenger Cheryl Bormann told CNN that she has nothing but praise for the flight crew who handled a very scary situation.


CHERYL BORMANN, PASSENGER: As we went down, we had a really hard landing. And then the plane bounced and screeched and bounced some more. And it listed to the right and then it listed to the left. And then it sort of swerved and then it came to a complete -- like a crash stop.

And my head moved forward. And I hit my head on the plastic tray that is in front of you. I'm not injured, thankfully. It's just a little bump on the head. But at any rate, at that point, the flight attendants did a great job. They got everybody into life vests and we climbed onto the wing. We were in water. We couldn't tell where we were, whether it was a river or an ocean.


VANIER: It turned out to be the St. John's River, luckily, and it was shallow water. Rescuers say 21 people were taken to the hospital in good condition. A team from America's National Transportation Safety Board will investigate what happened.

Right now I want to go to Geoffrey Thomas, the editor-in-chief of He joins me via Skype from Perth, Australia.

What might explain this accident, based on the information that we have at the moment?

GEOFFREY THOMAS, AIRLINERATINGS.COM: Based on the information we have for the moment, there was a significant thunderstorm that just moved through the area, very heavy rain. We also believe there was a downburst from the thunderstorm that actually impacted the airplane. And possibly it had a tailwind component.


VANIER: Can I interrupt and get you to repeat that?

What impacted the airplane, you said?

THOMAS: The tailwind. So it did have a headwind and then all of a sudden it had a tailwind. It's called a microburst, from a thunderstorm. You do get them from time to time --

VANIER: What is that, exactly?

THOMAS: -- and so -- well, sort of a -- when the plane comes in to land, they land into the wind. Well, they take off into the wind. But all of a sudden, instead of having, say, like a 20-mile-per-hour headwind, you have a 20-mile-per-hour tailwind. And that really impacts the performance of the plane when it comes to landing.

And it landed on the 9,000-foot runway. There's a 1,000-foot overrun before you get to the St. John's River. So this tailwind, we understand, had a significant impact on the performance of the plane and the power, the ability to land the aircraft. And that's what caused the overrun.

VANIER: But 9,000-foot runway, 1,000-foot overrun. In terms of dimensions, I'm not familiar with the numbers.

Is that a lot?


THOMAS: That's a very, very comfortable distance for a 737, absolutely. It just gives you a sense of the impact of the wet runway and the tailwind component where, if the pilots were expecting a headwind, and some even (ph) a tailwind on landing, this would have had a major impact on the performance of the airplane.

VANIER: I'm no expert here but it seems to me that you're always going to have many instances of winds, whether they're tailwinds or headwinds, that hit you at just the wrong moment, at just the wrong place. And still, the plane should not skid off the runway.

THOMAS: Well, typically not. But if the tailwind is as reported, which was 16 knots, which is about 20-25 miles per hour, a tailwind of that component has a major impact on the performance of the airplane. In fact it, in most countries, it's illegal to land with that sort of tailwind component on a typical --


THOMAS: -- runway situation.

VANIER: All right, well, that's really interesting to know.

What do you make of how the pilots actually handled the moment of the landing, once they were in trouble?

THOMAS: I think they did a fantastic job. As the passenger was saying in the intro package, the crew handled it beautifully. Everybody got out safe and sound. The airplane is basically intact, which is testament to the strength of the 737, that it can suffer that sort of an impact and damage and still be intact. So it's a good news story all around although a very sorry airplane.


VANIER: And a very sorry 136 passengers. Obviously we're not talking about anything more tragic and that's the silver lining, that's the good news.

What's the protocol when you're rescuing people from a plane in the water?

THOMAS: There's no real protocol as such. It's a matter of ingenuity, assessing the situation. I know the fire crews were concerned about leaking fuel from the wing, that that didn't ignite. So you had a situation there.

And the whole thing is to get those passengers into the life jackets, off the wing, into lifeboats as quickly as possible, using whatever resources are available at the time. And really, it's a lot of common sense and a lot of ingenuity.

VANIER: Geoffrey Thomas, thank you for joining us. It's always really scary and impressive when you see the pictures of what we have on screen, of the planes sitting in the water. Geoffrey, thanks.

THOMAS: Pleasure.

VANIER: U.S. president Trump says he has spoken with Vladimir Putin about Robert Mueller's report on Russian election interference. Mr. Trump says they dismissed the investigation during the wide-ranging phone call. Earlier in a tweet, the president had referred to it as the Russian hoax. And as CNN's Kaitlan Collins reports, Trump didn't tell his Russian counterpart not to meddle in the U.S. election.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I had a very good talk with President Putin, probably over an hour.

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): President Trump was in high spirits after his first phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin since the release of the Mueller report.

TRUMP: We discussed it. He actually sort of smiled when he said something to the effect that it started off as a mountain and it ended up being a mouse. But he knew that, because he knew there was no collusion whatsoever.

COLLINS: But his good mood was quickly dashed after a reporter asked if he had told Putin to stay out of American elections, which the special counsel said happened in sweeping and systematic fashion in 2016.

TRUMP: Excuse me. I'm talking. I'm answering this question. You are very rude.

COLLINS: Asked again if he warned Putin not to attack or interfere in the next election, the president said it didn't come up.

TRUMP: We didn't discuss that. Really we didn't discuss it. We discussed five or six things.

COLLINS: It's a question his press secretary also refused to directly answer earlier in the day.

SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The conversation on that part was very quick, but what I can tell you is that this administration, unlike the previous one, takes election meddling seriously.

COLLINS: The phone call coming amid growing tensions between the United States and Russia over Venezuela.

Several senior administration officials have accused the Kremlin of intervening to prop up Nicolas Maduro, who the Trump administration is working to remove from power. But, today, the president downplayed Putin's involvement.

TRUMP: He is not looking at all to get involved in Venezuela, other than he'd like to see something positive happen for Venezuela.

COLLINS: That statement directly contradicting what his secretary of state told Wolf three days ago.

MIKE POMPEO, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: He had an airplane on the tarmac. He was ready to leave this morning, as we understand it and the Russians indicated he should stay.

COLLINS: Russia has also acknowledged it has military personnel on the ground in Venezuela. Tonight, new CNN reporting reveals that, in recent days, Trump has been at odds with his senior advisers, who have been teasing military action there.

POMPEO: The president has been crystal clear and incredibly consistent. Military action is possible. If that's what's required, that's what the United States will do.

COLLINS: Sources say has instead Trump cautioned his advisers to stick to the line that all options are on the table.

TRUMP: We have lots of options and some of them are very tough options.

COLLINS: The president's skepticism after Juan Guaido's military uprising failed to gain traction this week, the botched operation raising questions about the reliability of U.S. intelligence that members of Maduro's inner circle were --


COLLINS (voice-over): -- ready to defect.

One thing the president is feeling confident about, the economy.

QUESTION: Are you going to run on the economy?

TRUMP: Yes. Yes. I will be running on the economy, sure.

COLLINS: Jobs report revealing the U.S. economy added 263,000 jobs in April. And the unemployment rate fell to 3.6 percent, the lowest in 50 years.

Now in response to our reporting that the president has advised people like John Bolton to back off teasing the military option in Venezuela as much as they have been this week, a National Security Council spokesman told CNN in a statement, quote, "Bolton is executing the president's strategy of maximum pressure to achieve a peaceful transition to democracy in Venezuela."

As President Trump himself has made clear, all options are on the table -- Kaitlan Collins, CNN, the White House.


VANIER: And Thailand's royal family makes history with the first coronation of a king in many decades. We'll take you live to Bangkok in just a moment. Stay with us.





VANIER: Thailand's King Vajiralongkorn has officially ascended to the throne once occupied by his father. The 66-year-old heir to the throne became Thailand's constitutional monarch following the death of his father in 2016. This is Thailand's first coronation since 1950. CNN's Will Ripley joins us from Bangkok.

Will, you've been following this for several hours now. I want to put up for you and your guest to analyze the highlights of this ceremony and just walk us through them.

WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. It's obviously something that we're seeing, in many ways, that goes back centuries. I will bring in Dominic Faulder of "Nikkei Asian Review" to talk us through the pictures.

You see the umbrella. It's the nine-tiered umbrella. Once the king receives that silk and gold umbrella, that's the sign he had ascended to the noble throne.

DOMINIC FAULDER "NIKKEI ASIAN REVIEW": He received this nine-tiered umbrella and a backless throne in the same room. It's rather different from a Western coronation in which the coronation is actually the crown going on the head. But when he received the seven- tiered umbrella, he went up a level. He acquire a new title. He was confirmed as (INAUDIBLE), which implies divinity. RIPLEY: A living god --


FAULDER: -- semi-divine --


RIPLEY: -- in countries where the monarch is often considered a semi- divine figure, which is why we saw these elaborate purification rituals with water that had been brought from all different provinces of the country, blessed by monks and then poured over --

FAULDER: Yes, the ablution ceremony, cleansing himself in advance of the ceremony.

RIPLEY: And he's putting on now a fantastic crown, seven kilos, it's quite a headful.

FAULDER: The great crown of victory, which is seven kilos, very classical Buddhist shape.

RIPLEY: So 26 inches high, more than 2 feet tall. You have the king in a gown of silk threat, a very heavy gold gown, a heavy crown. And now, the cannons are being fired to mark the moment of his ascension.

FAULDER: And the thread of the gown is actually gold. So the gown itself is extremely heavy.

RIPLEY: In addition to the crown, he had a royal scepter. He had the sword of victory. He had the royal slippers, all of these gold accoutrements --


FAULDER: -- five key pieces of regalia and then lots of other utensils, as they call them, that are offered to him as he touches --

RIPLEY: The royal fan and fly whisk as well.

OK. So you see all of this. And you see the new queen standing there. And yet the Thai people still have to be behind this king. The military has to be behind this king. And these ceremonies are part of the strategy to get to know a king that has been unknown for years.

FAULDER: They're very arcane. They're placing him in a historical context. The ceremony dates back to the 13th century. So they're showing the monarchy is deeply entrenched as part of the culture, the society. In fact, if you look at Thai society, the monarchy is on top and everything comes from (INAUDIBLE).

It's nominally a constitutional democracy. At the moment that's in suspension. We have a military government. The military plays an interdependent game with the monarchy and they have to defend it. So in a way there's a mutual, self-serving element to this. (CROSSTALK)

RIPLEY: We have to cut it there for now. We'll be back with Dominic and much more.

Interesting question; to a lot of people asking, why an umbrella?

The moment of ascension with the nine-tiered umbrella, the reason for that is that the umbrella symbolizes metaphysically the king's protection, both physically and spiritually over the people. With a nine-tier umbrella, the king is putting himself in the position to care for the Thai people.

In his first royal order, that was basically what he promised to do.

VANIER: Before I let you go, we watch these pictures. It's fascinating hearing your input and Dominic's analysis of them.

This is going to last three days. But it's by no means over.

What are you expecting for the rest of the day and moving forward?

RIPLEY: He will be wearing that great crown of victory. There's a point of the day when he's revealed from behind a gold curtain. It's very dramatic, part of this very ornate, opulent ceremony. He will spend hours meeting with senior officials and other people. He will be receiving members of the royal family, who are there to support him.


RIPLEY: And tomorrow, we expect to see him out on the streets here in Bangkok in a scene very reminiscent of coronations that we saw back in 1950. If you look at the old archival footage, you look at the king being carried through the streets by his royal guard in this ornate, golden throne. He will be going through the streets of Bangkok. You saw that scene also carried out in 1929. You will see in 2019 something that most Thai people have never seen in their lifetime.

They're saying the crowds can be up to 200,000 people witnessing that event. The crowds that we have observed here today on the southwest corner of the grand palace have been fairly sparse. Also, the fact is, there isn't a lot to see outside of the palace today. The real show is inside. You can see on livestream from an air-conditioned, comfortable home, unlike being out here in the sweltering heat.


VANIER: Nothing beats that. We are watching the real show, as you say, watching those pictures. They really are unique. Will Ripley, thank you so much, you will pace our coverage on that, thank you.

The U.S. and North Korean relationship was on the mend for a while in a flurry of celebration. But now, it looks like it's back to launches and reactions. We'll look at the effect of North Korea's latest move.

Plus a grieving mother is talking tough on North Korea. Why Cindy Warmbier is speaking out now.




VANIER: Welcome back to the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Cyril Vanier with your headlines this hour.



VANIER: We're now starting to get some reaction from Washington to the North Korean projectiles, the White House press secretary says they are aware of North Korea's actions and they will monitor as necessary.

This comes as U.S. officials tell CNN that intelligence analysts are still sifting through the data to see if projectiles, missiles or both were fired.

CNN political analyst and White House correspondent for "The New York Times" Michael Shear joins us.

Michael, there has been a launch by the North Koreans of one or more projectiles. That is being analyzed.

What is Trump's strategy on North Korea now that diplomacy appears to have stalled?

MICHAEL SHEAR, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: I think that's an unanswered question. The White House issued a statement, saying we're monitoring the situation. But I think what everyone is waiting to see is if we go back to plan A.

Before this era of detente when President Trump said he loved the North Korean leader and there was all smiles, there was a really aggressive period where both leaders were denouncing each other and bringing the world to the precipice of some kind of a conflict.

I think what the launch of the missiles suggests, depending what President Trump wants to do, we could be headed back to a more dangerous time. We don't know the answer to that. The president hasn't tweeted yet. I suspect when everybody wakes up in the morning, that might change.

VANIER: There was a projectile launch last month. And the U.S. was at pains not to make too much of it.

SHEAR: Yes. I think there's people inside the Trump presidency and inside government, whether or not Mr. Trump believes this, who are hopeful not to return to a time before there was some negotiation going on. Everybody recognizes that the current negotiation talks aren't

working. They stalled. But there's people like Secretary Pompeo and other that don't want to return to a period where all talk has been cut off and the leaders are hurling insults at each other.

So I think you may see, if that strategy holds, the government in the United States may be trying to play down what North Korea has done. But especially if these are multiple launches and not just a single one, I think you might see a return to President Trump's tough language because, ultimately, it's his decision to make, what kind of response he wants to have.

VANIER: So far, the president has kept open the door to having a good personal relationship with Kim Jong-un. He seems to value that.

SHEAR: In that way -- and there's not a lot of ways Trump is like his predecessors -- but in that way, many presidents in the past have, you know, put a lot of weight on personal relationships. Presidents come into office, thinking if they can form good relationships with these adversarial leaders, that can take them a long way.

I think what many conclude, is there's deep fundamental interests that countries either share or don't share. And personal relationships only take you so far.

And that's what President Trump is learning with Chairman Kim, is that, there may be all of the hugs and the handshakes and the grinning for the cameras that you want. But at the end of the day, North Korea and the United States have interests that diverge --


SHEAR: -- dramatically. And a handshake and a smile isn't going to cover that. That's where we are now. We'll see if the strength of a relationship can repair this for a moment. But I have my doubts.

VANIER: Michael Shear, always a pleasure to have you on the show.

SHEAR: Happy to do it.

VANIER: The mother of American Otto Warmbier, Cindy Warmbier, is slamming North Korea as a, quote, "cancer on the Earth," and is demanding more pressure be put on the Kim regime. Her 22-year-old son died shortly after he was brought back to the U.S. from the nation in a coma, where he had been held for 17 months. She is skeptical of U.S. diplomacy with Pyongyang. Brian Todd brings us this story from Washington.


BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): When Otto Warmbier was brought home from a North Korean labor camp in a coma, his mother says he looked like a monster.

CINDY WARMBIER, MOTHER OF OTTO WARMBIER: The look in his eyes, which I didn't know he was blind at the time, was absolute horror. Horror. Like he'd seen the devil. And he had. He was with the devil.

TODD (voice-over): Cindy Warmbier says if she had known North Korea would demand the U.S. agree to pay $2 million for the release of her son, she would have sprung into action.

WARMBIER: If I had to, I would have raised the money and I wish they would have asked for the money from day one because it was all about hostage taking. But instead, they had a much bigger use for Otto.

TODD (voice-over): President Trump says that money was never paid, although U.S. officials did sign a bill in order to have Warmbier released. He died six days after his return in 2017.

Cindy Warmbier spoke during a panel in Washington today about North Korean kidnappings. Just a mile away, former North Korean soldiers were on Capitol Hill, detailing what they called the brutality of Kim Jong-un's regime.

Former members of Kim's vaunted million-man army, often seen in lockstep on the parade route, said, behind the scenes, those choreographed routines were a facade, hiding rampant abuse and starvation.

JO YOUNG-HWA, FORMER SOLDIER IN NORTH KOREA (through translator): I was really hungry all the time. I was starving. My height is short because of the malnutrition I experienced in the military. From the first day, we were forced to go to villages and steal food from civilians.

TODD (voice-over): Some soldiers were even more desperate. Former North Korean artillery officer Kang Ri-hyuk told us of one young soldier in his unit. During a training exercise, he says, the soldier was so hungry, he ate a frog alive.

KANG RI-HYUK, FORMER SOLDIER IN NORTH KOREA (through translator): He didn't know that this frog was poisonous. He became unconscious and he died within a couple of hours.

TODD (voice-over): These accounts come a year and a half after a young North Korean staff sergeant made this dramatic dash across his country's border with South Korea, surveillance video showing him being pursued and shot several times by his North Korean comrades. He was rescued and almost died of his wounds. In the hospital, he too was treated for severe malnutrition.

For female North Korean soldiers, mistreatment of a different kind. Choi Yu-jin is a former nurse in the people's army. She says a female colleague of hers was forced to have an affair with a superior officer. The woman became pregnant, Choi says, and almost died when she suffered a miscarriage.

CHOI YU-JIN, FORMER ARMY NURSE IN NORTH KOREA (through translator): She said, when they asked her to have an affair with him, there was no way she could refuse. She had to do it in order to get party membership, so she could have a better life. The only thing she could sacrifice was her body. TODD (voice-over): These horrific stories come as President Trump remains determined to pursue his personal diplomacy with Kim Jong-un. Diplomacy which Otto Warmbier's mother calls a charade.

WARMBIER: How can you have diplomacy with someone that never tells the truth?

He lies, he lies, he lies all for himself.

TODD: President Trump has said Kim Jong-un told him he never knew about Otto Warmbier's condition while Warmbier was in his regime's custody. And Trump said he believes Kim.

We reached out North Korea's mission at the U.N. for their response to the accounts from those soldiers of starvation and abuse. They didn't get back to us. But Kim Jong-un has previously said publicly that his soldiers should be spared no amount of nutrition so that they could feel the, quote, "loving care of his regime" -- Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.


VANIER: And the economic crisis in Venezuela rages on but it's hurting the country's most vulnerable. Ahead, the troubling conditions of Venezuela's elderly.





VANIER: Venezuela's embattled president, Nicolas Maduro, is clinging to power in the face of ongoing protests. But his political rival is trying to oust him once again. Juan Guaido, the president of the national assembly, is urging supporters to march on military bases across the country on Saturday.

He says he wants the armed forces to listen to their demands. So far, most of the military has continued to back President Maduro.

Hyperinflation, the shortage of fuel, food and medicine in Venezuela are taking a toll on almost everyone, especially the elderly. The crisis has forced many of them to take refuge in senior citizen's homes because their families can no longer afford to help them. CNN's Michael Holmes has their story.


MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Dominoes in the courtyard of the Mother Teresa Senior Home in Caracas. There's not much else to do here. If life for Venezuelans is tough -- and undeniably it is -- it's even worse for the elderly. This is not a good country in which to grow old. BAUDILIO VEGA, MOTHER TERESA SENIOR HOME (through translator): If we didn't have this place, how many of these people would be on the streets or dead?

Thank God, here they are alive. It's not five-star but at least they survive.

HOLMES (voice-over): Baudilio Vega and his volunteer staff do their best to feed and house nearly 80 people here, the oldest 84-year-old Carmen Cecilia. It's a heartbreaking fact that, here in Venezuela, many of the elderly are simply given up by their families, not unwanted; far from it.

But victims of the brutal choice by the family: do you feed the children or do you feed the grandparents?

VEGA (through translator): There are many people here who are sad. If their hearts are sad it's because they've given everything in their life and their families, for one reason or another, sent them here.

HOLMES (voice-over): Everything here is donated and donations are drying up. Pensions, if you get one, almost worthless in this crumbling economy at $7 a month. There's no basking in retirement golden years in Venezuela.

"I had a lot of expectations of a nice retirement because I had a good job and income," Ochoa (ph) tells me.

"What do you think about the government and what it does?" I ask him.

Nada, nothing, nothing. he says. Life is spartan, austere, but it is life. Alternatives --


HOLMES (voice-over): -- unthinkable or unavoidable. The stories here are so similar, the pain and disappointment so individual.

We meet Victoria Madriz, 74 years old. She has family in Caracas. But there was simply no room or money to support her.

VICTORIA MADRIZ, SENIOR HOME RESIDENT (through translator): There were a lot of people in the house, my brother's children and their children. It was too much.

HOLMES (voice-over): A familiar refrain: families who couldn't cope or who simply left. An estimated 3 million Venezuelans have fled their country and its wretched economy in recent years. Many didn't take their parents or grandparents. They couldn't afford to.

Baudilio Vega says he won't let these people down even if, he says, his government has. What he wants is change, help.

VEGA (voice-over): I urge Venezuela, let the humanitarian aid in. We need the food and the medicine. Instead of buying weapons, we need medicines and food. HOLMES (voice-over): The residents of the Mother Teresa home say in the meantime they'll survive. They have to.

BRIGIDA ZULAY, SENIOR HOME RESIDENT (through translator): All of us, we have hope.

HOLMES (voice-over): -- Michael Holmes, CNN, Caracas, Venezuela.


VANIER: And tropical depression Fani is weakening as it closes in on Bangladesh but it's still threatening to bring heavy rain that could cause floods and mudslides. Coming up, we will track where it's headed next.





VANIER: The remnants of tropical depression Fani are moving into Bangladesh. Even though the storm has weakened, it has the potential to cause a lot of damage. Bangladesh officials ordered more than 2 million people to leave. On Friday, the storm made landfall on India's east coast as a cyclone, the strongest to hit the country in 20 years. Police say seven people were killed by falling trees or collapsed walls.


VANIER: And devastating flooding in the U.S. state of Iowa. Large parts of its third biggest city are underwater after the Mississippi River reached record levels near the city of Davenport. CNN's Ryan Young is there and he sends us this report.


RYAN YOUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We're here in Davenport, Iowa, where the impact has been quite tremendous. In fact, as you look around, that's River Drive right there and the water has really crushed the banks.

You can see the cars that are submerged. This has had a lot of impact on the businesses throughout the area. They've been underwater for more than 30 days at this point in some parts of the area. And this is really having an impact on them trying to get businesses back open, trying to get streets open.

And they're worried about what can happen next because, on Thursday, there could be more rain. In fact, they're thinking between Sunday and Thursday next week, you could be talking about anywhere from 2 to 3 more inches of rain.

Steven (ph), as you guide this boat, have you ever seen anything like this in the area?

STEVEN (PH), BOAT GUIDE: In '93, that's when me and my family moved here from Florida and it was this bad. We actually lived on the river in Muscatine and we were out of our house for almost a month.

YOUNG: He is actually telling me, the business that he works at had the generator on for more than 24 hours. So you can understand this impact as the river's just right there, people using kayaks to get around. It will be a tough few hours as emergency management continues to try to help businesses along the area. They say right now they have enough sandbags -- Ryan Young, CNN, Davenport, Iowa.


VANIER: Former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden entered the race for the White House just one week ago. He already has a reputation for using --


VANIER: -- an F-word. Jeanne Moos explains.


JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Joe Biden is known for his folksy image and, boy, did he live up to it.


MOOS (voice-over): From the first words out of his mouth...

BIDEN: Folks, folks.

Look, folks.

But, folks...

MOOS (voice-over): -- get used to it, folks.

BIDEN: Look, folks.

Look, folks.

Folks, look.

MOOS (voice-over): Donald Trump may be famous for saying...

TRUMP: I know words and the best words.

MOOS (voice-over): -- but even President Trump doesn't spew the same word...

BIDEN: Folks...

MOOS (voice-over): -- at this rate in a single speech. BIDEN: Folks...

MOOS (voice-over): Biden's first speech as a 2020 presidential candidate in Iowa...

BIDEN: Folks, look.

Folks --

MOOS (voice-over): As Trevor Noah put it...

TREVOR NOAH, COMEDY CENTRAL HOST: Some people don't just love Joe Biden because he's a down-to-Earth, everyday man. No, people love him because he's an adorable goofball.

MOOS (voice-over): Joe blew a few words...

BIDEN: To wage war on Tritter -- on Twitter. I think of it that first way.

MOOS (voice-over): The day before, he created his own word...

BIDEN: The UAW took extredible cuts in their future.

MOOS (voice-over): -- a cross between incredible and extraordinary.

While President Trump prefers an earthy cuss word...

TRUMP: With ridiculous bullshit...

MOOS (voice-over): -- Biden makes B.S. sound quaint.

BIDEN: That's so much malarkey.

MOOS (voice-over): He even gets folksy about foreigners, in this case, the Chinese.

BIDEN: They're not bad folks, folks.

MOOS (voice-over): In a single half-hour speech...

BIDEN: Folks, look --

MOOS (voice-over): -- we didn't look, we counted.

BIDEN: Folks.



And folks, we got to stop it.

MOOS (voice-over): We thought he stopped at 32. But, later, he stopped for a chocolate and vanilla ice cream cone and folksy Joe had one more to go. BIDEN: Any of these folks want ice cream, it's on me.

MOOS (voice-over): Joe left 40 bucks. You're welcome, folks -- Jeanne Moos, CNN.

PORKY PIG, CARTOON: That's all, folks.

MOOS (voice-over): -- New York.


VANIER: That is indeed all for this hour. I'm Cyril Vanier. The news continues next with George Howell right after the break. Have a great day.