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Report Slams Oxfam Response to Haiti Abuse Allegations; Former Pakistani President Arrested on Corruption Charges; Millions in India Face Tropical Cyclone Threat; Canada Passes "Free Willy" Bill. Aired 2-3a ET

Aired June 12, 2019 - 02:00   ET




ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): The protest shaking Hong Kong. Tens of thousands of demonstrators taking to the streets for another day as lawmakers delayed their debate on the controversial extradition law sparking the outrage.

Plus trading insults at campaign rallies. The U.S. election is more than a year away but President Trump seems to think former Vice President Joe Biden is his biggest competition.

And the British charity Oxfam apologizes for failing to prevent sexual abuse by its former staff members who were in Haiti to help with earthquake recovery.

Welcome to our viewers joining us from all around the world. I'm Rosemary Church and this is CNN NEWSROOM.


CHURCH: We are tracking developments out of Hong Kong, where the city lawmakers have backed down for now at least on a controversial extradition bill. That was supposed to be debating it in the coming hours but right now that's postponed after thousands of protesters have flooded the streets.

They're denouncing the bill which would let Hong Kong extradite criminal suspects to mainland China. Supporters of the bill say it's needed to stop the city from being a criminal refuge.

But critics see it as a power grab from Beijing that could be used to crack down on dissidents or journalists. They saw a sequel of sorts on Sunday, the bill may have sparked Hong Kong's biggest protests in decades. Organizes say the turnout topped 1 million people.

Let's get more on this and turn to Andrew Stevens, who joins us live from the streets of Hong Kong.

Bring us up to date on the latest on this. ANDREW STEVENS, CNN ASIA PACIFIC EDITOR: Certainly not 1 million people here as on Sunday but tens of thousands have come to this site this morning, Rosemary, to register their anger and disappointment at the Hong Kong government refusing to budge on pushing this legislation through.

The protesters behind me have put up barricades behind me and there are the pro democracy legislators talking to the crowd. The reading of the bill has been postponed and that's because there are so many protesters here the legislators couldn't get through to do their job.

It seems like a small victory here but only a small victory. They want nothing less than a full scrapping of the bill. The traffic behind me is predominantly young Hong Kongers. As we saw in the Sunday protests, there were many older Hong Kongers and there's also a lot of unions now encouraging their people to come join the students of the student age people.

I'm joined now by Cheuk Yan Lee, the general secretary of the Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions.

Mr. Lee, thank you so much for joining us. You called on your union of 200,000 to come and join the demonstrators here.

What's reaction are you expecting?

CHEUK YAN LEE, HONG KONG CONFEDERATION OF TRADE UNIONS: After 1 million people came out to march, this government is not doing anything to respond and there are now 100,000 people surrounding the hall.

I think what we are worried about is that there will be a conflict situation and we need more people to protect all the demonstrators. So more people are coming out that will protect each one of the demonstrators.

So we are calling upon our members to come out but we need time to organize and so we believe that next Monday will be the time where we can call upon all the people and all our workers on the general strike. But we are new in this --


STEVENS: -- you're also calling for a general strike in Hong Kong?


LEE: Hundreds of years ago, it happened. But hundred years ago so we've always been economic struggle or strike but never general strike. But now it's a very critical moment for Hong Kong, because we don't want this bill to deprive the Hong Kong people of our freedom.

And we become part of China. Their judicial system coming (INAUDIBLE). So this is critical. So we call for all the people of Hong Kong, our members, to come out next Monday but today they can come, they come. If tomorrow they can come, they come. (CROSSTALK)

STEVENS: Some people now are saying that this is very reminiscent of the Occupy Hong Kong Movement in 2014. It were very much led by the students. The confederation I don't think came out and there were not calls for a general strike.


STEVENS: So is it different for you this time?

Why do you feel more strongly this time?

LEE: At that time we had also some of our members to go on strike. But this time is different because I think we have 1 million people coming out to march. So we are calling upon those who come out to march to do one -- take one more step, to stop work, strike and come to this meeting to surround the hall and ask the government to withdraw bill.

But we now already have stopped the bill from -- the second reading of the bill being stopped. So we hope we can be at more success, after the way more people will come out.

STEVENS: The chief executive, Carrie Lam, is in a difficult position because she has Beijing backing her to push this extradition bill. She has 1 million people telling her that they don't want it.

What is your advice to her?

LEE: She's representing the people of Hong Kong and so instead of saying no to Beijing she is a Hong Konger and we believe everyone that loves Hong Kong do not want to see the situation like this and get it under control. There will be a crash. We don't want to see that.

So my advice would be to withdraw the bill, talk to the people and understand the sentiment of people and that they are really angry and worried about the future of Hong Kong because this extradition bill is destroying Hong Kong as one country, destroying our judicial system, destroying our rule of law and our high economy and our economic foundation and the business confidence.

Everything is now being destroyed by this bill. So she should do something to withdraw the bill.

STEVENS: Thank you so much for joining us.

Lee is the general secretary of the Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions.

Some pretty strong words there and saying he is going to see his 200,000 members and many more coming out on the streets in the next few days.

CHURCH: We'll continue to monitor the situation there, Andrew Stevens live from the streets of Hong Kong, just after 2:00 in the afternoon, many thanks.

CHURCH: Now to the race for the White House and a level of discourse you might expect from schoolyard bullies. Democratic front-runner Joe Biden in the state of Iowa, attacking Donald Trump as an existential threat to the country.

The president called Biden a dummy that is mentally weak. A new poll from Quinnipiac University shows Biden with a commanding lead in the 2020 race, 53 percent to 40 percent over the president. We have more now from CNN's Pamela Brown.


PAMELA BROWN, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Tonight, President Trump slamming his top political rival before sharing the Iowa spotlight with him.

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: No, I would rather run against I think Biden than anybody. I think he's the weakest mentally. And I like running against people that are weak mentally.

BROWN (voice-over): The president taking direct aim at front-runner Joe Biden's mental and physical health, as both men are making several stops across the key early voting state today.

TRUMP: When a man has to mention my name 76 times in his speech, that means he's in trouble. Now I have to tell you, he's a different guy. He looks different than he used to. He acts different than he used to. He's even slower than he used to be.

BROWN (voice-over): Trump easily won Iowa in 2016, beating Hillary Clinton by 10 points, a big change after president Barack Obama won the state twice.

TRUMP: Joe never got more than 1 percent, except Obama took him off the trash heap. And now it looks like he's failing.

BROWN (voice-over): But sources say Trump believes Biden poses a more serious threat to his blue collar appeal than helped him win in 2016. And he regularly phones aides and allies in the early morning hours, asking them about Biden.

Trump even lashing out after an internal poll showed him lagging behind Biden in states such as Michigan and even told some he doubted the numbers.

SARAH SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I think the polling got it completely wrong in 2016. I don't think it's right now. I'm not going to get into a lot of details but we feel incredibly good about what the president has been able to accomplish.

BROWN (voice-over): And while some aides have advised the president to refrain from attacking Biden by name...

TRUMP: Look but I don't bring him up.

BROWN (voice-over): -- in reality, Trump rarely holds back and focuses much more on Biden than any other Democratic candidate.

TRUMP: Sleepy Joe.

Yes, Joe Biden is a low-IQ individual. He probably is.

Biden deserted you.

But I heard, his whole campaign is to hit Trump.

BROWN (voice-over): Trump also recently sided with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un over his criticism of Biden. And today Trump showered praise on the murderous dictator...

TRUMP: I think North Korea has tremendous potential. And the one that feels that more than anybody is Kim Jong-un. He gets it.

BROWN (voice-over): -- telling reporters he has received another letter from the North Korean leader.

TRUMP: I just received a --


TRUMP: -- beautiful letter from Kim Jong-un. I can't show you the letter, obviously but it was a very personal, very warm, very nice letter. I appreciate it.

BROWN (voice-over): And again, the president pushed back on Democratic criticism of his deal with Mexico.

REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): If they were agreed to, they were agreed to long before the president made the announcement, A, but they were designed to take your attention away from the Mueller report. Look at the timing.

BROWN (voice-over): Today waving a folded piece of paper around...

TRUMP: That's the agreement that everybody says I don't have.

BROWN (voice-over): -- claiming it was the signed agreement with Mexico but refusing to show its contents. Instead, defending his decision to threaten tariffs.

TRUMP: This will go into effect -- and it's my option, not Mexico's -- but it will into effect when Mexico tells me it's OK to release it.

BROWN (voice-over): Pamela Brown, CNN the White House.


CHURCH: And I spoke earlier with CNN senior political analyst Ron Brownstein about Biden's strategy oof focusing on Donald Trump rather than his rival Democrats.


RON BROWNSTEIN, CNN SR. POLITICAL ANALYST: Didn't today have you checking your calendar?

It seemed like June 2020, not June 2019. It's just how extraordinary the level of engagement is, not only from the primaries but the general election. And also we have in President Trump, someone that's going to set a new precedent for how involved an incumbent gets in trying to shape the primary of the other party.

Just extraordinary what we are seeing. Look, I think the president taking on Joe Biden plays into Joe Biden's strategy. Joe Biden doesn't want to engage directly with the other Democrats. He wants to focus voters on the choice between him and President Trump.

He realizes that his trump card in this crowded Democratic primary field is the belief among many Democratic voters that he is in the best position to beat Donald Trump and that argument is centered, the foundation of the argument is on whether Biden can win back some blue collar voters in states like Iowa that stampeded for Trump in 2016.


CHURCH: And our thanks to Ron Brownstein there.

Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe (sic) is hoping to ease tensions between the United States and Iran. And he's traveling to Tehran for talks with president Hassan Rouhani and supreme leader Ali Khamenei. Stability in the region is important for Japan which imports most of its oil from the Middle East. But it's stopped buying Iranian oil because of the U.S. sanctions.

Let's go live now to Tehran and "L.A. Times" journalist Ramin Mostaghim.

Good to see you, Ramin, so what are the expectations here?

What all can the Japanese prime minister achieve?

RAMIN MOSTAGHIM, "L.A. TIMES": We should not expect too much because, as a nation, post the Second World War has never been a mediator country. So at maximum we can expect we him to be the conveyor of the message from Trump to the Iranian officials.

But as far as we know, their agenda of the negotiations of the nuclear armies resuming to consider the oil of Iran by Japan and also unfreezing the Iranian assets in America and also make sure that the war is avoided and any miscalculation is avoided, too.

So this is the agenda and we put the expectations to be high because this mission is the first time the Japanese high-ranking officials here and also, given the situations, (INAUDIBLE) America and Iran, the expectations should be very modest and very low because everything is very complicated.

And the history of these two countries, Iran and America, is so complicated that cannot to be expected to have just one mission and one talk to Iran and everything can be solved and settled down. CHURCH: All right, low expectations but we will follow this, nonetheless. Ramin Mostaghim, thank you so much for bringing us up to date on the situation from Tehran. We appreciate it.

Still to come on CNN NEWSROOM, David Ortiz begins his recovery as a man now faces charges in the shooting of the former baseball star.

And an unusual reversal from Russian police charges against a prominent journalist dropped. We'll take a look at that when we come back.





CHURCH: Retired baseball star David Ortiz has taken his first steps in a Boston hospital since being shot in the Dominican Republic. Ortiz and a friend were shot Sunday night at a nightclub in Santo Domingo. The suspect in connection has now appeared in court. Patrick Oppmann is in the Dominican Republic and covering the investigation.


PATRICK OPPMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The Dominican prosecutor said the one suspect they have in custody in the shooting of David Ortiz will face a charge. His name is Eddy Feliz Garcia and police said he acted as the driver of a motorcycle that deliver a gunman to the bar a nightclub Ortiz was partying with friends.

The gunman gone off of Garcia's motorcycle approach the group and then shot Ortiz in the back before fleeing on foot. Garcia was tackled and beaten by the crowd and eventually turned over to police.

We've talked to Garcia's attorney and his mother. The attorney says that Garcia probably didn't know that he was delivering essentially a hit man to try and kill Ortiz. And his mother says that Garcia is actually a big fan of so many people in this country are of David Ortiz and that he and his family wish Ortiz a speedy recovery and they are very sorry for this incident.

But that essentially, he is blameless and he did not know what he was involved. And she said it was a trap all the same. Though police say they are chasing down the second suspect. There could be other suspects. What they don't know yet is the motive why anybody would have tried to killed one of the Dominican Republic's most beloved baseball heroes -- Patrick Oppmann, CNN, Santo Domingo.


CHURCH: The U.S. State Department is pushing back on comments by the U.S. ambassador to Israel who suggests that Israel has a right to annex part of the West Bank. The State Department says the administration's position on the West Bank has not changed, despite the ambassador's comments.

Israeli settlement activity in the Palestinian territories is illegal under international law, though Israel seeks to dispute that.

In an abrupt turnaround, Russian authorities dropped drug charges against a prominent investigative journalist. Ivan Golunov is free after a unified show of support by the Russian media the threat of a massive protest march. Matthew Chance has that.




CHANCE (voice-over): -- emerged from his house arrest to the applause of supporters and fellow journalists, who gathered outside to greet him. It is this rare show of public unity and support that seems to have forced the Russian authorities to set him free. He gave thanks, wiping tears of relief from his eyes.


IVAN GOLUNOV, RUSSIAN INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER (through translator): I'm glad that justice had triumphed and that the criminal case is dropped. I hope the investigation will continue and that no one will ever find themselves in the same situation as me.


CHANCE (voice-over): One of Russia's most prominent investigative reporters, Golunov faced up to 20 years in prison after police alleged they found him with illegal drugs, a charge he categorically denied.

But there was broad suspicion that charges were fabricated to silence him; his expose to official corruption in Moscow had made him powerful enemies. There were also concerns that he'd been beaten in police custody, the outpouring of (INAUDIBLE) seems to have caught the Russian authorities off-guard.

These were the identical front pages of Russia's three most prominent business dailies on Monday.

"We are, I am Ivan Golunov" they read, an unprecedented show of solidarity from organizations who rarely veer from the Kremlin life.

And in a country where organized assembly is tightly controlled, sympathizers stage these single person protests to circumvent restrictions as Ivan Golunov's case it seems to obstruct a sensitive chord.

Even Russia's most prominent state TV anchor, often dubbed the Kremlin's propaganda in chief, faced questions about the arrest and (INAUDIBLE) blameless as (INAUDIBLE) suggested and had actually had it quite rough. Russia's compliant state television, a sense the authorities had gone too far.

It's why they appeared to have acted unusually quickly. The interior minister himself appearing on national television, announcing police suspensions and interior ministry firings. He also offered reassurance.

"Regardless of the professional affiliation of any Russian citizen," he said, "their rights should always be protected."

That comes as an enormous relief to the many Russians alarmed at how corrupt and unaccountable their country had become. But the question for the Kremlin, is whether this climbdown will dissipate public anger or merely encourage anti-corruption campaigners here to press on -- Matthew Chance, CNN, Moscow.


CHURCH: The Ebola outbreak is spreading beyond the Democratic Republic of Congo. The World Health Organization says a 5 year old Congolese boy has been diagnosed with the virus in Uganda. He is now at an Ebola treatment center, Uganda have been preparing in case the virus spread there.

Thousands of health care workers received an experimental vaccine, this Ebola outbreak is both the second largest and second deadliest in history. More than 1,300 people have died since August.

A Lebanese businessman is free after being held in Iran for more than four years. Nizar Zakka is an information technology specialist who has U.S. permanent residency, he was arrested while attending a conference in 2015 and sentenced to 10 years in jail on espionage charges. Nick Paton Walsh has the details.


NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: When Nizar Zakka was arrested in 2015 in September attending a conference in Tehran, the exact nature of the espionage charges was never fully elucidated. Some media reports suggested he was accused of spying for the United States and his lawyer is clear, only uses the word espionage in reference to this.

But his release comes at a very sensitive time geopolitically within the Persian Gulf region. The focus, of course, on Zakka comes because of the fact that is also a U.S. resident as well as a Lebanese citizen.

Lebanon was the regional nation that got involved in trying to insist his exit from jail. Earlier, Iranian officials said it had nothing to do with political reason, it was a purely judicial procedure, media reports suggesting perhaps it was good behavior and time served that let him out.

But Ambassador Ibrahim, the powerful security chief of Lebanon, flew to the country and was pictured flying back on what seems like on a private jet with him. There is also a suggestion from the Lebanese foreign minister --


WALSH (voice-over): -- that a letter was written to his Iranian counterpart in a bid to try during the holy month of Ramadan to secure his release. And that's frankly what has happened, some media reports suggesting that the powerful Lebanese military and political faction, Hezbollah, are trying to instigate this although they declined to comment further themselves.

The focus, of course, is that this is some sort of bid by Tehran because Mr. Zakka is in fact a U.S. resident, to suggest they would like to improve relations with Washington.

The Trump administration has been hell-bent in the past weeks on increasing military pressure on Iran and economic pressure, too, because they believe its influence in the region is extraordinarily negative and a threat.

It's not entirely clear if Zakka's release plays into the narrative it all, it's entirely possible that as reports suggest, that this is in fact Lebanon's benefit here that is being served. But still, all the same, great focus on Zakka now, who has gone back to Lebanon, been to the presidential palace and now appears to be a free man after well over three and a half years inside Iranian custody -- Nick Paton Walsh, CNN, London.


CHURCH: We'll take a short break here. Still to come, a disaster and response and a sex scandal. What a new report says about the charity Oxfam, Haiti and allegations of shocking abuse. We'll have that in a moment.




CHURCH: Welcome back everyone, this is CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Rosemary Church. We'll update you now on the main stories we're following.



Well, a new report paints a damning picture of the charity Oxfam and its response to a sex scandal in Haiti. A British charity regulator says Oxfam had a culture of tolerating poor behavior. Abuse allegations emerged in 2011, a year after a devastating Haiti earthquake that prompted an internal investigation. But Oxfam didn't make the allegations public until last year. Some Oxfam employees were accused of exploiting women and children. And they have been allegations that Oxfam's country director for Haiti hired prostitutes.

Joining me now to talk more about this is Larry Lieberman he is the former chief operating officer for Charity Navigator and is now CEO of Coolest Charity. Good have you with us

LARRY LIEBERMAN, CEO, COOLEST CHARITY: Good to be here. It's a busy day.

CHURCH: So, the U.K. Commission said in its findings that Oxfam failed to meet promises made and start failed to heed warnings and Oxfam just played a culture of poor behavior. What was your overall response to the report? And doesn't go far enough?

LIEBERMAN: The report certainly seems accurate and fair, the Charity Commission talks about having gone through over 7,000 piece of the evidence. They've done an investigation in this situation that Oxfam could never have done on their own. And I think all in all, given the size of Oxfam and the work they done -- they do, the report's well balanced.

CHURCH: Now, according to the findings, Oxfam abuse a victims were sent back to warzone. So after raising complains against (AUDIO GAP) because that's very (AUDIO GAP) What should be the consequence of such actions? We know at this point Oxfam is going to investigate a little bit more. They apparently don't know anything about this, what's your response to that?

LIEBERMAN: Well, first, it's far worse than just disturbing. I mean, this is truly horrendous. These -- what we -- what we had a year ago were allegations of impropriety, misuse, abuse, assault and what we now know conclusively is that this is a fact. This abuse occurred, it occurred on Oxfam's watch. And what we have -- and I think the powerful language in the report is that this is a concern to the entire aid sector. And it's not just Oxfam, I think the work done by Oxfam is extraordinary. They do work that no government could do, they do work that the private sector couldn't do, they save lives and certainly they are the last line of defense for way too many of our world's population.

CHURCH: Indeed. But there are many levels of these complaints and that's what's really horrifying here. Because the report also accuses Oxfam of underplaying the scale of allegations made by victims in Haiti in the U.K. in an attempt to protect the charities reputation and keep donations flowing in, what should happen to a charity that behaves like that? I mean, given what you say, they do a lot but this is unforgivable what is happening to children and to women in various parts of the world. This is specifically looks at Haiti and the United Kingdom. And that is a real worry, it's actually that the problem here is watching over some of these people in positions of power, over those who are vulnerable.

LIEBERMAN: Yes, absolutely. I mean, and what I think what worries hearing now from Oxfam in response that they're investing three million Euros and then another 550,000 Euros to hire new staff and train renew staff and steamy to change their culture really isn't likely going to be enough, right. These are enormous problems of supervision and accountability and new structure need to be put in place. And organizations far smaller than Oxfam don't even have those kinds of resources to supervisor staff and retrain their staff.

So what we're going to see God willing is a widespread change within the eighth sector and within other organ -- other portions of the nonprofit world. Where far more is being investigated in the supervision and training their staff, so that something like this never occurs again.

CHURCH: And as you say, I mean, Oxfam is such a huge charity, and presumably these sorts of problems could occur and maybe occurring in other charities. So this is a wakeup call is it not to those charities to put in place some of these procedures to ensure that this does not happen again? But how can you be sure that it won't particularly in these larger charities?

[02:35:00] LIEBERMAN: You know, we're not looking for a situation where an organization is not able to do the work that they've set out to do and do so well, right. An organization like Oxfam may just be too big to support all the different operations that it's got going on. It may need to be reorganized in a way so that any one country's version of the organization doesn't have such a widespread authority over staff all over the world.

CHURCH: Yes, perhaps, that is the key, finding a way to keep these charity groups manageable, let it manageable sizes. Larry Lieberman, thank you so much for joining us. We do appreciate it.

LIEBERMAN: Thank you.

CHURCH: Another Pakistani politician has been arrested. Media in Pakistan report that Altaf Hussain, the founder of a political party that ruled Karachi for decades was arrested in London in connection with speeches he gave. Karachi police and his opponents have accused him of urging his supporters to violence. He has denied those charges.

And this is just the latest high profile arrest of a Pakistani politician, former President Asif Ali Zardari was also arrested this week on corruption charges. When Prime Minister Imran Khan came to power last year, he promised to stand bout political corruption.


FIRDOUS ASHIQ AWAN, ADVISER TO PRIME MINISTER (through translator): For the past 70 years, a few strong personalities and renowned politicians had made the law their hostage. I congratulate Imran Khan on ensuring that the law is applied evenly to all. He had promised the nation that I Pakistan, the law would no longer be different for different people. The law will be applied equally to the powerful and the weak.


CHURCH: And protest erupted across Pakistan after Zardari was arrested. He had previously spent time in jail on corruption and murder charges. He was never convicted and denies any wrongdoing.

Still to come, a cyclone heading toward the west coast of India could become the strongest to strike the region in decades and already hundreds of thousands of people are being evacuated.


[02:39:54] CHURCH: India is evacuating almost 300,000 people as tropical cyclone Vayu makes its way toward the northwestern part of the country. Officials fear about six million people could be impacted overall. The storm could become the strongest to strike this region in decades.

So, let's turn to our meteorologist, Pedram Javaheri joins us with more on the timing of this cyclone. So what have you found, Pedram?

PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN INTERNATIONAL METEOROLOGIST: Rosemary, we're coming up to the final 24 hours before the storm system approaches and makes landfall across western Gujarat. Unfortunately it has everything going for it here to not only maintain its intensity, potentially strengthen just a little bit more.

Currently 160 kilometers per hour forecast, take this up to 175 kilometers per hour which would be borderline category two pushing into category three equivalent system. And you see very organized symmetry on satellite imagery and water temperature is now in this particular region whereby is located sitting at 32 degrees Celsius, that is among the warmest waters on our planet right now. And you've got to be around 28 degrees Celsius to maintain a storm.

So, when you increased that by about four degrees above that threshold, you know it's a storm that is going to maintain and potentially strengthen here and that is precisely what we think will happen within the next 24 hours.

Landfall somewhere on the southwestern tier there of the state of Gujarat. We know as you said, several million people are going to be impacted by the storm system but storm of this magnitude do not make their way this far north into the Arabian Sea very often. Back -- go back 21 years to this week, that's the last time we had a category equivalent system work its way into western Gujarat, made landfall, took with it 10,000 lives back in June of 1998.

And a lot of that had to do with very little communication that was made to the costal workers and the salt mine across this region of India that do not know a storm was on approach. And with it of course, significant storm surge left to the at last -- the life across that region. This storm has similar potential. Two meter storm surge. You notice, this particular bay here will see water that want to funnel into this region and also rainfall amount as much as a quarter meter of rainfall coming down.

And we know it's been very dry in this region so it's certainly going to come in and bring in quite a bit of flooding in the area of impact so the story will fall over for the next couple of days. And you noticed, the rainfall very much on the heaviest side here right on the immediate coastal community. So, we'll follow this over the next several day, Rosemary.

CHURCH: We know you shall. Thank you so much, Pedram, appreciate it.

JAVAHERI: Thank you for having me.

CHURCH: Well, animal rights activists are celebrating a victory in Canada with a passage of what is known as the Free Willy bill. It bans the captivity of whales, dolphins and porpoises with fines of up to $150,000 for those who violate the legislation. Marine Life advocates are cheering the decision on social media, Humane Society International posted, incredible and applaud that the move by the Canadian Parliament.

PETA called it a gigantic step forward for animals and said it's a precedent that every country should follow. The new law will let aquariums and water parks keep the marine life they currently have and allow rescue organizations to help injured creatures. But all others should remain in the wild.

And thank you so much for watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Rosemary Church. Stay tuned now for "WORLD SPORT" coming up next. You're watching CNN, have yourselves a wonderful day.