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Women Voters May Be Key to 2020 Victory; Amanda Knox Returning to Italy as Justice Conference Guest; Rising Seas Could Create U.K.'s First Climate Change Refugees. Aired 6-7p ET

Aired June 9, 2019 - 18:00   ET



ANA CABRERA, CNN HOST: You're live in the CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Ana Cabrera in New York. Thanks for being with us. Breaking news this hour in Texas, a crane collapse in Dallas turns deadly. We're learning at least one person was killed and another six injured, two critically, when this huge crane fell onto an apartment building. And now authorities have concerns about attempting any rescue missions for people who might still be trapped. Listen.


JASON EVANS, SPOKESMAN, DALLAS FIRE-RESCUE: There's a wall that has suffered significant damage. And at this point, no one is confident that sending anyone inside of that structure is going to help it maintain its stability. So that's one of the places that we're looking at, and that's actually where the primary point of concern is.


CABRERA: I want to bring in a witness who saw the crane collapse onto that building. Joining us now on the phone is Sammy Sandquist in Dallas. Sammy, first what was the first sign of trouble you saw today?

SAMMY SANDQUIST, LIVES IN BUILDING HIT BY CRANE: Well, when we were approaching the apartment -- we weren't actually there when it had happened, but when we walked up, nothing was roped off yet. There were six firefighters, fire trucks driving past us. We were approaching, seeing cars still getting there.

We could see that the crane had, from the east side of the building, crashed into the apartment complex that we live in. We know that it has had (ph) structural damage on -- for every single floor, hit some part of it. It's hit the parking garage. We don't quite know yet if our car is there. We haven't even been able to get into our apartment to see if it's OK or to see if we have any damage.

CABRERA: Wow. So you live in this building. Do you know of anybody who was actually injured?

SANDQUIST: We don't know anybody who is injured, no. At least we don't think we know anybody who was injured. CABRERA: And what are you hearing about what's next?

SANDQUIST: So right now, they have a list. We're across the street. We still can't get into the apartment. So the people at the Latino Cultural Center were there, and they have a list of every resident who lives in the apartment complex.

And they're having people go up to the list and check their name off of that, just to make sure they can account for everybody. We don't know if they have accounted for everybody here, or -- I know they are going in to check for people still and animals still, so we're watching people come out with animals all the time right now.

CABRERA: We're looking at images, and we see incredible destruction in these images. Talk to me about what was happening at the time this crane collapsed. I understand that this area had severe weather today and very heavy winds.

SANDQUIST: Yes. We don't know yet if a tornado hit or not. Right now, we don't know if it was just wind. We don't know if it was a tornado. We know that there was the thunderstorm that had hit. It was raining like crazy. And so, that was the weather that happened. It's lightened up right now. There's no rain, and blue skies on one side and clouds on the other still.

CABRERA: Wow. Sammy Sandquist, I appreciate you taking the time and sharing with us what you know, what you saw, and what you heard. I appreciate it. Now I want to bring in another eyewitness. Joining us on the phone, as well, is Abbey Kearney. And Abbey, we have some photos from you. Describe for me what you saw when this crane started to fall.

ABBEY KEARNEY, EYEWITNESS: It was just a normal sunny day, and there was people at the pool. We live over the pool. And my husband and I had just gotten back in town from a wedding the day before. And we noticed it got really dark really quickly, so we walked outside onto our patio, and the wind picked up incredibly quickly. And my husband made a comment, "They better get the umbrellas in or else they're going to go flying."

And no sooner did he say that then (ph) three of them shot straight up in the air. All the pool furniture went into the pool. And I happened to say, "What if the cranes fall, are they going to fall into the building?" And almost immediately after that, we saw one fall, and it just sliced through building. I mean not to be cliche but like a hot knife through butter, and it went from the fifth floor all the way through to, from what I can tell, at least the third floor.

So that was quite a shock. And then, of course, there's people running around the hallways, trying to figure out what to do. And I believe we found out that a second crane had fallen on the parking garage, and so, we walked out to the parking garage to check our vehicles. And we just saw cars everywhere. I don't even know how to describe it.

There was cars that were vertical. There was cars from maybe the eighth floor all the way down onto the third floor, where we park and where we saw -- where you see the pictures from. And it was just -- it was just insane. We saw fire rescue getting people out of the -- maybe the second or third story in the front of the building, which is not the part that I saw fall. But it was -- it was something that was (ph) unlike anything I have ever seen.

CABRERA: Wow. So just to clarify, you believe there may have been more than one crane that fell, or are you not sure?


KEARNEY: So from what I know, there are two cranes that were building a very large structure right across the street from us and not a very big street at all. But there were two cranes, and I'm not sure if both of them fell or if it was the same crane that fell on two parts of the building. I mean they were massive cranes. So I can't confirm or deny that there were two, but I know there were two at the construction site.

CABRERA: Abbey, how close were you to the building when the crane collapsed?

KEARNEY: I was in the building.

CABRERA: You were inside the building, but not the one the crane fell on?

KEARNEY: So the building is basically like a -- sorry, I'm in -- I'm in Downtown Dallas and there's party pubs (ph) going by.

CABRERA: That's OK. We can still hear you.

KEARNEY: But I was actually in the building, and our building has two different -- two different, basically, squares that are linked by one hallway, and I overlook the pool. An the crane actually fell on the opposite side of our building, which -- that's why we were able to see it fall.


KEARNEY: And it fell right over the pool. But there were still people at the pool when we walked out there. So I'm just glad that everybody got out okay.

CABRERA: Yes, no kidding. We understand one person is now confirmed dead and atl least six others are injured. Could you hear anything from any potential victims?

KEARNEY: No, and that was the scary part. I mean, clearly, anybody that was on the fifth floor in that apartment, I'm just praying that there was no one because there was no movement, even when we left. We evacuated probably about an hour after that. I don't know. It might have been sooner. It might have been later than an hour, but there was no movement in those apartments. I was able to see people to the left and right of the impact zone, and they were OK. But if anybody was in those apartments, I just pray for them. CABRERA: I understand that there was construction happening on the

building, that's why cranes were in the area. But at the time the crane collapsed, do you know if they were actually actively being operated?

KEARNEY: That I don't know. I'm pretty sure that they do work seven days a week. I do not know if there was anybody on the construction site at the time that it fell. But yes, I mean it's an ever going presence. Like, in our -- in our building, there's I can walk out on my balcony and I see two large cranes every day. And it was weird. When I walked out today, I didn't see them, and then, all of a sudden, they fell. So I don't know.

CABRERA: Wow. Wow. And what was the weather at that moment when that crane collapsed?

KEARNEY: Like I said earlier, it was, like, a sunny, beautiful day. and people at school. And then it just got dark very quickly, and the wind picked up something fierce. And it got dark, and it was over within a matter of seconds. And then like now, like the other girl said, it's pretty nice out here now, other than the breeze. It's a little bit cloudy, but it's not raining anymore. So Mother Nature is very powerful.

CABRERA: No kidding. It can be monstrous. Abbey Kearney, I'm glad you're OK. Thank you for sharing your photos with us and telling us more about what you know and what you saw. We'll keep following this story for you at home. We have much more on this breaking news just ahead. Stay with us.



CABRERA: If two is company and three is a crowd, then what do you call 19 democratic candidates all in one place? That's the scene in Iowa, as the 2020 White House hopefuls gather for the biggest event of the election cycle so far. The party's annual Hall of Fame Dinner in cedar Rapids. With just three days left to qualify for that first democratic debate at the end of the month, this is crunch time for these candidates when it comes to courting voters and donors.

And this Iowa campaign blitz come as a new CNN poll shows the lead shrinking in that state for the current front-runner, Joe Biden, who was notably absent from tonight's event, although he leads the field by eight points. Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Pete Buttigieg are virtually tied for second in the teens, and Kamala Harris rounds out top five with 7 percent.

Now this historically crowded field has nine candidates unable to even crack 3 percent in the state, and another nine struggling to even register in the poll. Let's go live to CNN's Jeff Zeleny in Iowa at the Democrats' Hall of Fame Dinner in Cedar Rapids. Jeff, what message from the candidates stands out today?

JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Well, one thing that clearly stands out is how they can respectively beat President Trump. That is a constant theme going from speech to speech to speech, as these candidates are introducing themselves. And that is really what they are doing.

Most of the democratic activists, even here in Iowa, which is going to open the road to the White House next year, they still do not know who most of these candidates are, what their backgrounds are. So they're giving a bit of a biography, if you will, but they're saying how they alone believe that they are best to defeat the president.

One thing is -- not being talked about here as much, which is sort of surprising, is specific arguments for how they can handle the trade dispute, the tariff dispute, the president clearly talking all weekend long about Mexico and trading. Not hearing as much from the democrats here on that, simply more generalities. But take a listen to what some of the specific messages are from democrats here today.


SEN. CORY BOOKER (D-NJ), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm running for president because we can't take four more years of Donald Trump.


I'm running for president to beat Donald Trump, and I'm running for president because beating Donald Trump is not enough.

REP. ERIC SWALWELL (D-CA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We need a president who lives like you live. We need a president who has the grit that you have. And we have a president right now that doesn't understand the dreams that you have. I will be that president.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: While we are all united in the need to defeat Trump, there are disagreements amongst us as to the best way to do that. In my view, we will not defeat Donald Trump unless we bring excitement and energy into this campaign.



ZELENY: So Bernie sanders, they're clearly making the case that he would energize and bring excitement. But I can tell you, he had a lot of competition here to that -- on that front. Senator Kamala Harris, Senator Elizabeth Warren, getting a lot of big applause and gaining attention here on the ground. Senator Harris, she called the president a fraudster.

She used those words, saying he essentially has committed fraud against the American people. I asked her why she's not talking about impeachment as much, because she does support that. And she said, look, she only had five minutes to make her case here. And Ana, I can tell you, this looked a bit like the political version of the Oscars. When that five minutes hit, the music went up, and these candidates had to stop speaking, but of course, that is a challenge when you have 19 on the stage. CABRERA: It's like the buzzer, you're done. Noticeably absent, of

course, front-runner Joe Biden. Will that hurt him? How's that going over with Iowans?

ZELENY: Well, there's no question thatt Joe Biden is the most recognized, well known democrat of anyone in the field. So I think people accept his reasoning. He was unable to attend because his granddaughter was graduating from high school today. So people certainly do accept that, but they are eager to hear from him. They are eager to have him mix it up and give his specific ideas and plans for the future.

He's definitely been running a front-runner strategy. He's not been engaging with the other candidates nearly as much, but there is a question here of how solid and stable his front-runner's position actually is. But Ana, we'll get a chance to see him here in Iowa on Tuesday, when he'll also be joined by the front-runner on the other side. That's Donald Trump, of course, also, a 2020 candidate. Both men will be in Iowa the same day on Tuesday.

CABRERA: Dueling events, we'll watch. Jeff Zeleny, thanks for that reporting. There is a major split in the Democratic Party over whether it should move to impeach President Trump. You see, the problem isn't whether democrats think the president's actions deserve impeachment. For the most part, they do think that.

The problem is a lot of democrats worry impeachment could hurt their chances of winning in 2020. They often cite the beating republicans took after impeaching President Clinton, you know, when republicans kept control of Congress and went on to win the White House in the following presidential election.

Wait. So was it really that much of a beating? I'm going to bring in Cnn senior political analyst and senior editor for "The Atlantic," Ron Brownstein. Ron, you have a new piece titled "Democrats Learn the Wrong Lesson from Clinton's Impeachment: It Didn't Actually Cost the GOP All That Much." You talked to strategists who were working in politics during Clinton's impeachment. They think democrats would be foolish not to impeach. Why?

RON BROWNSTEIN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, look. I mean if you look two years after the Republicans' House impeached Bill Clinton against the opposition of the majority of the country, in January 2001, republicans controlled the White House, the House and initially the Senate. They had unified control of government.

Part of the problem, in terms of understanding what happened, is that people kind of cut off their analysis in 1998. They don't look at the full frame. And the impeachment and the issues surrounding Bill Clinton personally radiated through both those elections. It's true that in 1998 democrats gained seats in the House elections. It was the first time since 1834 that a president's party had gained seats in the sixth of his presidency, Ana. So obviously, there was some cost, but it wasn't a huge cost.

The republicans lost five seats. They won the national popular vote. They won the vote among independents. There were 91 republicans, at that point, in districts that had voted for Bill Clinton two years earlier. Four of them lost their seats. That's it. And of course, republicans maintained control of the House. They lost two more seats in 2000. They maintained control of the House. They won the national popular vote again, and, of course, George W. Bush won the presidency that year.

CABRERA: OK, I want to read a quite from your piece. Let's dig a little deeper.


CABRERA: "Bush reaped another benefit from the impeachment, Dowd believes: high turnout among republicans frustrated that Clinton remained in office. The lack of success on impeachment created a greater hunger, a greater motivation among the base to exact punishment in some way."

Matthew Dowd, quoted there, was a strategist for the Bush campaign. So are democrats missing an opportunity to put republicans on the defensive, especially if they can make a credible case in the House and republicans in the Senate refuse to act?

BROWNSTEIN: Right. Look, I don't think anyone would say impeachment is a slam-dunk. It's never a slam-dunk to do something that a majority of the country say they oppose. But what -- two happened with Bill Clinton's impeachment. First, the entire process, both the Starr investigation and impeachment, focused the public on the areas of Bill Clinton's conduct as president that they liked the least.

So you know, his -- yes, his job approval went up, but his personal favorability went down. And George W. Bush was able to play off that with swing voters in 2000 by promising, as many people will recall, one of his core promises was I will restore honor and dignity to the Oval Office. And there was a big chunk of voters.

About one-fifth all the voters in 2000 said they approved of Clinton's job performance, but they disproved of him personally. And Bush won an usually high percentage of those voters. So that's the first side, the independents.


And then as Matt Dowd, who was a senior strategist for Bush at the time, said there was no question that there was a frustration among the republican base in 2000, that their -- in their view Clinton had gotten away with it. The House had voted to punish him, but the Senate, of course, acquitted him.

And the only way they could kind of express that frustration was to come out and vote against his vice president, Al Gore. I think there is a risk to Donald Trump, that both of those things would be relevant again in 2020, that an impeachment process would focus the attention of independent voters on the aspects of his presidency that they are least comfortable with. And it would also light a fire under democratic voters. Now certainly, he would use it to try to motivate his own base, but I think the idea that this is a clear political loser for democrats is something is just not supported by the evidence of '98 and 2000.

CABRERA: You also have another piece on, where you say Trump's base may not be as solid as so many believe.


CABRERA: This is based on some new research that found democrats wanted control of the House last years, thanks, not only to the high turnout by democrats, but also the large turnout from GOP defectors, right?

BROWNSTEIN: Right. Right. And this is -- there's a -- there's a democratic voter targeting firm, Catalyst, that does detailed analysis based on the actual voter files of who showed up. And what they tried to do was quantify how much improvement in the vote from 2016 to 2018 for democrats was as a result of the mix of the electorate changing.

And there's no question democrats got a benefit from an unusually large number of new voters in 2018, people who hadn't voted in 2016, who turned up and voted predominantly for democrats. But that was not the whole story. If that was the only story, they conclude democrats would not have won as nearly as many seats as they did. In fact, there were 99 million people, by their estimate, that voted in both 2016 and again in 2018.

And democrats improved their performance among those voters by five points over those two elections. And that might not sound like a lot, but if you're talking about Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, states that -- you know, where Donald Trump won them by a combined 80,000 votes, if you're talking four or five points of Donald Trump's voters shifting from 2016 to voting for him to voting for democrats in 2018, it kind of undermines the argument that all of his base is kind of locked in concrete and can't be moved.

CABRERA: What's a bigger risk for democrats, then? Moving too far to the left or staying too much in the middle?

BROWNSTEIN: You know, look, I think the evidence of 2018 is you got -- you have to do a little bit of two things. You obviously have to motivate your base to come out. Democrats are, you know, as we talked about many times, increasingly reliant on young people and non-white voters.

And their turnout rates are lower than, in particular, for college educated white voters. So they to -- they to have to find a way to motivate their base, but what this shows is that it's kind of a mistake to assume that there are no swing voters who you can reach, that there was -- there were voters who voted for Donald Trump in 2016 who moved to the democrats in 2018.

They largely resembled the electorate overall. There were a lot of blue-collar whites in that. There were a white collar whites in that, and there even some nonwhite voters who voted for Donald Trump in that, and so, finding that balance between a message that can motivate their irregular voters but doesn't go to a point that turns off the sway voters.

I think the real point of this research from the -- from the people who did it was it is a mistake to assume that everything is locked down and the only thing that matters in mobilization is mobilization, and therefore, you can go as far to the vanguard as you want. In fact, there are swing voters out there, and you have to keep an eye on them as well.

CABRERA: Ron Brownstein, very interesting. Thank you for coming on.

BROWNSTEIN: Thanks for having me.

CABRERA: More than 1 million people taking to the streets of Hong Kong today -- just look at these pictures -- all against a new effort by Chinese leaders to subdue the semi-autonomous city. Hong Kong, we'll take you there live, but first, the White House avoiding a trade war with Mexico, one of America's largest trading partners.

So what might all this mean for your money? Markets, Friday, ended on a high note. But will the momentum continue into the coming week? Watch for U.S. job openings, and keep an eye out for U.S.-China inflation data out on Wednesday. And finally, on Friday, we'll get a taste of U.S. and Chinese retail sales and see if the ongoing trade war with China is impacting consumers.



CABRERA: In Hong Kong today, an unbelievable scene of public anger and defiance. Look at this crowd. This is the center of Hong Kong earlier Sunday. The streets jammed with people, most of them dressed in white. They are furious that the government of mainland China over a proposed change in the extradition process with Hong Kong. You can see the massive size of this protest, a little bit better from the air.

Take a look at these aerials. Organizers say at one point more than 1 million people filled the streets of Hong Kong, demanding the Chinese government back off. The march was peaceful for most of the day, but then it spun out of control. Let's go live now to Hong Kong and CNN's Asia-Pacific editor, Andrew Stevens. Andrew, it looks like the streets are empty now. Tell us about what went down there today.

ANDREWS STEVENS, CNN ASIA-PACIFIC EDITOR: Well, as you say, Ana, it was a massive turnout by Hong Kong, who's angry at this extradition law. The organizers are saying more than a million, the police are saying about 240,000. I've been covering protests in Hong Kong for many, many years, and this was easily the biggest crowd I have seen here. And it was unusual, in that there was a real unity of purpose.

Often with these sort of demonstrations, you get lots of different sort of action groups, but this was one was all about this extradition bill. Peacefully, during the day; in the evening, there were scuffles involving protestors and police. The protesters gathered around the Hong Kong parliament, and a section of the protesters started pushing back against the police. Police claimed that they used the barricades to attack the police. A handful of police were injured.

We don't know at this stage how badly hurt they were. And seven protesters were arrested. Police used pepper spray. They used batons as well. But to put that in context, seven arrests, with perhaps more than a million people marching against this extradition order, does say that that, A, it was largely peaceful; and, B, it shows the depth of anger against here, Ana --



STEVENS: -- against this extradition plan by the Hong Kong government.

CABRERA: Tell me more about this extradition plan, and help our American viewers understand what it is, the root of the anger. I mean, this massive protest was a powerful statement. I'm wondering what the chances are it makes a difference.

STEVENS: Well, that's a great question. The government has already said that they're urging lawmakers to consider carefully when they vote next Wednesday on this bill. They're certainly not acknowledging in any shape or form that they're going to make any further amendments to this bill because of the protest.

What the protests are all about is a fundamental erosion of Hong Kong's rights. And when I say rights, when Hong Kong was handed back to China in 1997, there was a special agreement on a mini-constitution which protected Hong Kong from Chinese laws. Hong Kong had its own laws, essentially.

This extradition plan would mean that China is now -- would be allowed to extradite people from Hong Kong to face the criminal judiciary system. It is opaque, and it is, in many cases, unfair as we've seen. And there is something like a 99.3 percent conviction rate, Ana, when you are tried in a Chinese court.

The Hong Kong government says it's got to be a case-by-case basis. We put safeguards in. But it hasn't done anything to ease the real fundamental concerns that Hong Kong is slipping ever closer into China's not only political but now judicial sphere when, in theory, they've got another 20 or so years to enjoy this mini-constitution which guarantees Hong Kong's independence, in many ways, from China.

CABRERA: All right. Andrew Stevens in Hong Kong for us. Thank you.

As 19 Democrats descend this weekend on Iowa, the fight for the nomination and the White House could come down to one group -- women voters.


Trump in 2016?


MARQUEZ: Will you vote for him in 2020?

WALLACE: I don't think so.


[18:35:53] CABRERA: Nineteen of the 2020 candidates are campaigning in Iowa this weekend, but it won't be long before they turn their eyes elsewhere, including to a swing state of Pennsylvania. And as CNN's Miguel Marquez found when he traveled to Pennsylvania, women voters will be the electorate to watch in 2020.


MARQUEZ (voice-over): In the crucial Philly suburbs, female voters driving the agenda heading into 2020.

COLLEEN GUINEY, CHAIR, DELAWARE COUNTY DEMOCRATIC COMMITTEE: Lots and lots of women are acting one step further than what they did before. Whether it's vote or volunteer or donate or run, women are stepping it up.

MARQUEZ (voice-over): Stepping it up in anger over President Trump, his rhetoric, and policies.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Hey, didn't we surprise them with women during the election? Remember? Women won't like Donald Trump. We got 52 percent, right? Fifty-two.

MARQUEZ (voice-over): Exit polls from 2016 indicate 52 percent of White women voted for the President. The reality, only 41 percent of all women supported the President in that election. Trump's approval among women in the latest CNN poll? Thirty-three percent.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm going to vote, regardless, against Donald Trump.

MARQUEZ (voice-over): And she's a Republican turned Democrat. Of all the women we spoke to, electability of any eventual Democratic challenger was top priority.

MARQUEZ (on camera): You voted for Donald Trump in 2016?


MARQUEZ (on camera): Will you vote for him in 2020?

WALLACE: I don't think so.

MARQUEZ (on camera): Why?

WALLACE: Oh, he disappoint me.

MARQUEZ (voice-over): Svetlana Wallace became an American and Republican 14 years ago. She was solidly conservative. Not anymore.

WALLACE: I thought -- when I see Hillary and Trump, I thought man can do better job than woman. Now, I think maybe even Hillary can do better job.

MARQUEZ (on camera): Right.

WALLACE: Now, I think it's -- I make a mistake.

MARQUEZ (voice-over): Northampton County is one of three Pennsylvania counties that flipped from Obama in 2012 to Trump in 2016. Democrats flipped it back in the 2018 midterms. The President motivating many women here, too.

MARQUEZ (on camera): The last president you voted for was Ronald Reagan, correct?


MARQUEZ (on camera): And you're -- and you disliked Donald Trump so much you might vote for a Democrat in 2020?

HAMMELL: I would vote for anyone as long as they were a good person and as long as he left because he's an embarrassment to the American people.

MARQUEZ (voice-over): At Mainstream Salon in downtown Nazareth, salon owner and conservative Democrat Tammy Cuckers (ph) says she didn't vote for Trump, but he's been good for business and should be given a chance. Her 2020 vote still undecided.

TAMMY CUCKERS, DEMOCRATIC VOTER, NAZARETH, PENNSYLVANIA: I think he should be able to try to run the job the way he wanted to, make America great again.

MARQUEZ (voice-over): Her client, Anne Kristina Klinger, a Republican since the 1990s, when Donald Trump was sworn in, she became a Democrat.

MARQUEZ (on camera): What is so concerning about him?

ANNE KRISTINA KLINGER, DEMOCRATIC VOTER, NAZARETH, PENNSYLVANIA: The lies. I mean, and you cannot contradict yourself like that. You have it on the news what you just said, and then you say the next day you didn't say it. And I don't like how he treats people. I find that's very offensive.

MARQUEZ (voice-over): Female voters in the suburbs and beyond, an energized and powerful voting bloc gearing up for an election still 17 months away.

Miguel Marquez, CNN, Media and Nazareth, Pennsylvania. (END VIDEOTAPE)

CABRERA: The American woman who was acquitted after a long murder trial in Italy, Amanda Knox, once said she'd never go back there willingly. And that's about to change. Details next, live in the CNN NEWSROOM.


CABRERA: Amanda Knox is going back to, of all places, Italy. That is where she spent nearly four years in prison accused of and put on trial for murder in the gruesome death of her roommate, Meredith Kercher. That was back in 2007. Ultimately, Knox was acquitted and said afterward that she would never willingly go back to Italy.

Anne Bremner is a friend of the family and legal counsel for the organization, Friends of Amanda Knox.

Anne, thanks for being here. Amanda heads to a criminal justice conference in northern Italy this week. She'd be justified in never returning to Italy. I don't know if I'd go back if I were in her shoes.


CABRERA: Why does she feel it's so important to go there, again, in person?

BREMNER: Well, thanks for having me on. And, you know, never say never, I guess. It's like deja vu all over again. She was an innocent abroad when this started in 2007. And now she's an innocent abroad again, but it's a totally different circumstance.

She's coming back to speak on behalf of exonerees and wrongful prosecutions. And who better than Amanda Knox to address Italy Innocence Conference to talk about errors in their system?

CABRERA: How difficult is it for her to make this trip? Is she nervous?

BREMNER: You know, I heard from her last week. I think she's excited. She is thankful for the well wishes that she's gotten from people. But, remember, in Italy, they don't -- they don't have double jeopardy.

So we always said it was not just double jeopardy but triple jeopardy in this case. She was tied three times. Three times.

CABRERA: Oh my goodness.

BREMNER: When she was acquitted, remember, she was tried again.

[18:45:00] CABRERA: Yes.

BREMNER: So there's -- I think there would always be angst about the possibility of facing prosecution, but the final court of cassation, they call it, exonerated her and said that there were significant and pretty horrific errors in her case. She wasn't just found not guilty, she was fully exonerated.

CABRERA: So as you mentioned, at the conference, she's going to speak at an event called Trial by Media organized by Italy Innocence Project.


CABRERA: And one official there says Knox is the icon of trials carried out in the media. She was convicted, as you mentioned more than once, at least twice. Three times you say, in fact, because of the appeals process and a retrial.


CABRERA: As recently as 2014, her case made it all the way to Italy's Supreme Court. Do people in Italy still think she's guilty despite her acquittal?

BREMNER: I think you do hear that. At some point, she was more popular in the media than the first woman of France at the time. And, you know, there are people that say that, that they were saturated with such negative media about her.

You know, we tried out here to try and turn around that supertanker of false and malicious information about her starting locally and going globally. But in Italy, you know, there was just complete saturation, and she became an icon of wrongful prosecution, an icon of really malicious information in the press. And now, in some ways, she's like the Joan of Arc of wrongful prosecutions.

CABRERA: I want to read you something from Meredith Kercher's family lawyer reportedly calling Knox recently inappropriate and saying her decision to go speak at this conference was uncalled for.

He told the British newspaper, "The Telegraph," quote, this young woman should accept the verdict that she received, which was extremely positive for her, and stop embarking on initiatives which seemed designed to garner publicity and attention.

What do you say to that?

BREMNER: You know, I understand -- I mean, I'll never understand what a victim's family goes through. I was a prosecutor myself in homicide cases. But they are convinced of certain facts of this case, and I think the media didn't help in terms of their convictions.

But Amanda has dedicated herself to Innocence Projects all over this country, including in Seattle. And she's not out on the talk show circuit. She's not out trying to capitalize on this. She's very focused on these Innocence Projects. And I think it's like Mark Twain said, always do right, it will gratify some and astonish the rest. And that's really where she is.

CABRERA: Well, we wish her the best and we'll be sending her positive energy as she goes back to Italy.

BREMNER: Thank you.

CABRERA: Anne Bremner, thank you very much for taking the time.

BREMNER: My pleasure, thanks.

CABRERA: See what happens when victims and offenders of violent crimes meet face-to-face on the new "CNN ORIGINAL SERIES: THE REDEMPTION PROJECT" with Van Jones. That's tonight at 9:00 p.m. Eastern and followed by "UNITED SHADES OF AMERICA" with W. Kamau Bell at 10:00 p.m.

As scientists around the world sound the alarm on climate change, residents of one coastal village in Wales are being told to be prepared to lose their homes to rising sea levels.


HUW WILLIAMS, HEAD OF DEPARTMENT, YMGYNGHORIAETH GWYNEDD CONSULTANCY: Climate change is here. We saw something for the future.



[18:51:25] CABRERA: Welcome back. Besides severe storms that may have caused a deadly crane collapse in Dallas, people across Texas are also dealing with scorching heat indexes.

Advisories and excessive heat warnings are, right now, in effect for Austin, San Antonio, Corpus Christi, and Brownsville. Temperatures now in the upper 90s across the state, but when you factor in humidity, it will feel as hot as 116 in some places.

All this happening as crews battle wildfires erupting in parts of California and Arizona. Evacuations are underway right now in rural parts of California's Yolo County outside Sacramento due to a wildfire there. So far, no reports of injuries or damage.

Now, the climate change threat coming on strong in a small village in the U.K. Rising seawaters could possibly wipe this village off the map. CNN's Phil Black met with villagers there to see how they're preparing for possible historic floods.


PHIL BLACK, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In this corner of North Wales, green and misty mountains slope dramatically toward the sea. The village of Fairbourne grew here on a flat stretch of marshland where the earth is low and wet. So low much of it lies only just above sea level.

For a hundred or so years, this village has existed. People here have been fighting to hold back the sea. Now, even conservative sea level rise predictions suggest that battle will inevitably be lost perhaps in the coming decades. The people of Fairbourne could be Britain's first climate change refugees.

From the air, you see the village, hunkered down. Hiding behind a bank of stones. When the sea gets angry, that largely natural barrier is all that protects people and their homes.

WILLIAMS: As the sea level rises, the energy hitting the shingle bank becomes greater.

BLACK (voice-over): Huw Williams, an engineer with the local council, says all available evidence indicates the barrier will eventually fail.

WILLIAMS: In reality, sea level rise is going to be of such a magnitude that you cannot build your way out of it. Climate change is here. We saw something for the future.

BLACK (voice-over): Local authorities have reached an uncomfortable conclusion. All of this -- homes, shops, infrastructure, a community of around 1,000 people -- will one day be gone. Claimed by the sea.

LISA GOODIER, SENIOR PROJECT MANAGER, GWYNEDD COUNCIL: What we're doing now is planning for what we feel is realistically going to happen.

BLACK (voice-over): Lisa Goodier has the job of preparing Fairbourne and its people for what she describes as the village's decommissioning. She's working to a rough time frame. From around 2045, Welsh authorities believe it won't be possible to maintain sufficient sea defenses. And soon after, it will be too dangerous for people to stay.

The estimates based on data from local tidal gauges and the work of the U.N.'s climate change panel. They acknowledge it could all happen later or, as some scientists predict, much sooner.

GOODIER: By telling people as early on as we can, we're actually giving them the opportunity to plan. We're actually allowing them to still have choice in what they want to do to a large degree.

BLACK (voice-over): Not everyone here appreciates the well-intended advance warning because property prices have been hit hard. Mortgages almost impossible to get.

STUART EVES, CHAIRMAN, FAIRBOURNE COMMUNITY COUNCIL: To turn around now and say, we're going to destroy your village in 19 -- in 2045 or 2050 is wrong.

[18:55:00] BLACK (voice-over): Stuart Eves runs the local camping ground and believes the estimates are imprecise and irresponsible given the impact on people's lives.

BLACK (on camera): It's a long-term problem so they've got to start thinking about it now, don't they?

EVES: To a degree. But if all your information is based on supposition and theory, then -- BLACK (on camera): Or science.

EVES: Or science, but science has got to depend on facts. And if the facts aren't there, then they come up with supposition saying we believe.

BLACK (voice-over): On Fairbourne's climate change front line, we meet Philip Hill.

PHILIP HILL, RESIDENT OF FAIRBOURNE, WALES: It's going to happen sometime, I don't dispute that. Global warming's going to happen.

BLACK (voice-over): He and his family bought a seafront home from where you can't see the sea earlier this year. To him the stone barrier still feels impregnable, the rising water a distant threat.

HILL: If we are to move, then we do. But at the moment, I'd rather 20, 30 years at this lovely place and enjoy it.

BLACK (on camera): And it is a lovely place.

HILL: Yes.

BLACK (voice-over): Fairbourne is engaged in a difficult conversation with many awkward questions. What will happen to these people? Where will they go? Who pays for it all?

The scientific consensus says this community will not be alone in confronting these imminent consequences of climate change. Phil Black, CNN, Fairbourne, Wales.



[18:59:51] CABRERA: For a record 12th time, Spain's Rafael Nadal is celebrating a win at the French Open, solidifying his name as the king of clay. He clinched the Roland Garros crown by defeating Austrian Dominic Thiem. Nadal is now the first player, ever, to win 12 titles at the same grand slam event, making him the greatest.