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Streets Quiet as Hong Kong Government Closes Offices; India Braces for Tropical Cyclone Vayu; Stanley Cup Finals; Trump Denies Polling Showing Him Lagging in Key States; FBI Wants to Know about Foreign Election Influence; Six Men Arrested in David Ortiz Shooting; Israel PM's Wife to Plead Guilty to Illegal Food Orders; Mira Sorvino, Governor Urge New York Lawmakers to Drop Statue of Limitations for Rape; 25 Years Since Murders That Led to O.J. Simpson Trial. Aired 12-1a ET

Aired June 13, 2019 - 00:00   ET




ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Violence on the streets of Hong Kong, police fire tear gas and pepper spray, dozens of protesters injured.

A powerful tropical cyclone barreling down in northwest India, whipping up sand, dumping rain and potentially affecting 6 million people.

And a bombshell from President Trump. He says he has no problem taking dirt on his 2020 opponent from foreign adversaries, including Russia.

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


CHURCH: Things aren't exactly back to normal after those massive protests in Hong Kong but the streets are relatively quiet, after the government closed its central offices for the rest of the week.

Instead of firing tear gas, police today are cleaning up trash and barricades left over from Wednesday's demonstrations. At least 79 people were hurt in what Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam is calling planned and intentional riots. CNN's Andrew Stevens is live this hour, he joins us now from Hong Kong.

So Andrew, what is the latest from the streets of Hong Kong?

ANDREW STEVENS, CNN ASIA PACIFIC EDITOR: Well, it is much, much quieter today, Rosemary. But that doesn't mean that this protest is over, by any measure. This park I'm standing in, with the backdrop of the legislative council behind me, which was the scene of those very violent protests and those very violent reactions from the police. As you can, see it's a couple hundred meters away but the park is now

being seen as a place which is the center for protesters to return. Just down here, for example, we've had a few protesters gathering here in those banks, basically anti tear gas gear, so they're looking about masks and eyeglasses and protective clothing and buckets of water.

If I can bring you around here, this was quite busy with protesters but they have all come down to this part of the park because there have been police doing random searches of people's bags. They have been trying to take photos and figure out what has been going on.

But the protesters we have been speaking to, they are young, they say they are going to continue their movement. The ones I speak to say this is not going to be a violent movement but, nonetheless, it is going to continue.

After the scenes that we have seen on the media, internationally, including the vision that we have seen when we saw the riots first out yesterday, it's clear that it has been a shocking day for Hong Kong.

And this is a city which is in a somber mood now; 72 people injured, the youngest was just 15 years old. Two of those are in a serious condition, we don't know what their injuries are.

Certainly, there is at the moment, the shock that so much could happen here in Hong Kong in such a short time.

CHURCH: Totally understandable.

So what's been the reaction from Carrie Lam, Hong Kong chief executive?

STEVENS: The government have been united in their message. And the messages is this was a riot and they have to take this action to deal with the riot. Again, local media, local TV news reports showing there was an intensely confrontational standoff with protesters and police, very close to the legislative building. Police used pepper spray. We saw the tear gas yesterday.

But Carrie Lam is really sticking to her guns, the chief executive, about passing this bill. She says that she has listened to the people of Hong Kong but the people of Hong Kong say, no, she hasn't. So who is Carrie Lam?

Take a quick look.


CARRIE LAM, HONG KONG CHIEF EXECUTIVE (through translator): They say I sought out Hong Kong. How could I?

I am born here and I grew up here with everyone. The love I have for this place has led me to sacrifice a lot personally.

STEVENS (voice-over): Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam's reaction to this week's anti-extradition protests in Hong Kong. A career civil servant, Lam's decades of government experience eventually led her to become Hong Kong's fourth chief executive and the first woman to hold the job.

Prior to her election in 2017, she had worked toward getting everyone in the former colony a vote.


LAM: It remains our most important effort to achieve universal suffrage in this election of the chief executive in 2017. And we will work according to that objective.

STEVENS (voice-over): But that didn't happen. And most of Hong Kong's 7.4 million citizens had no say in Lam's election. Lam was chosen by an election committee made up of nearly 1,200 people stacked with pro-Beijing loyalists.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: As candidate number two, Ms. Lam or Carrie has obtained more than 600 solid votes in the election. I hereby declare Ms. Lam as the return of the election.

STEVENS (voice-over): Before becoming chief executive, Lam had a track record of reassuring Hong Kong citizens.

LAM (through translator): We respect citizens' freedom to express their opinions. We will carefully listen to their opinions and refer to these opinions for are policymaking later.

STEVENS (voice-over): However, critics point to how she dealt with the 2014 Umbrella Movement protests. Lam was Hong Kong's chief secretary at the time, essentially, the government stop civil servant.

LAM (through translator): In 20 days, citizens and the whole society have used a lot of tolerance toward the unlawful occupation of students. Students have been orderly and peaceful in their demonstration and we appreciate that but it is still an unlawful act.

STEVENS (voice-over): Lam told protesters that Hong Kong could not decide its own political fate and threatened them with arrest if they didn't get off the streets. The chief executive's job has been described as part representative for Hong Kong citizens and part enforcer for Beijing in the special administrative region.

Here's how Lam herself explained the role, speaking with CNN's Kristie Lu Stout in 2017.


LAM: The chief executive of the Hong Kong special ministry, the region, has what we described as a dual responsibility and dual accountability. He or she has to be accountable to the Hong Kong special ministry of the region and also the central people's government.

KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN ANCHOR: That's tough. You have to be accountable to both. LAM: That's unique.


STEVENS (voice-over): Ultimately, Carrie Lam might be forced to choose between the wishes of the Hong Kong public and those of the Communist government in Beijing.


STEVENS: Rosemary, Beijing has made it quite clear that it is 100 percent behind the plan that Carrie Lam says was her own plan to introduce this bill.

And she also has the support of the legislative council, some 43 of the 70 members, pro-Beijing loyalists. So she does have, that but right now that bill, which was due to have a second reading yesterday, second out of three readings before it's voted on, that second reading was canceled because of the violence and the protests yesterday. And at this stage there has been no official announcement as to when it will be ready for a second time.

CHURCH: We will, of course, continue to follow this. Andrew Stevens joining us live from Hong Kong, just after midday, there. Many thanks, as always.

Well, northwest India is bracing for what could be the strongest storm to hit the region in more than 20 years. Cyclone Vayu appears to have turned slightly away from land but it is still expected to battered the coast with heavy rain, strong winds and storm surges. About 300,000 people are being evacuated from low-lying areas.



CHURCH: Well, let's turn to Pankaj Anand, who is with Oxfam India, on the line from New Delhi with the latest on all of this.

Thank you for talking with us. What is Oxfam doing at this time, as the cyclone approaches the northwest of India?

And what do you see as the biggest challenges right now?

PANKAJ ANAND, OXFAM INDIA: So what Oxfam India is doing is that we have been making sure that we are in a state of preparedness and that our kits are positioned well, our people are deployed and we can work with government and the civil society in Gujarat to be able to reach people with big relief items in time.

That is something we have been doing and we are in a state of complete preparedness.

CHURCH: Right.

And what's happening to the 300,000 people being evacuated from that area?

What's your organization doing to help them?

Are you involved in that, at all?

ANAND: So our people reach out -- reach out to people in the temporary shelters and -- (INAUDIBLE) -- our partners are on the ground and --

CHURCH: All right, we are clearly having some communication issues there. We will end that, we were talking with Pankaj Anand with Oxfam in India, talking to us there on the line from New Delhi.

We will take a short break here but still to come, he came under investigation the first time but President Trump says he would do it all again. What he has to say about getting information on his opponents in the upcoming election.





CHURCH: For the first time in history, the St. Louis Blues are the National Hockey League champions. They beat the Boston Bruins 4-1 in game 7 at the Stanley Cup final Wednesday night, declaring the title.

The Blues' center Ryan O'Reilly was named most valuable player. Back home in St. Louis, fans packed the hockey arena and the Major League Baseball stadium to watch the game. We will have all the highlights and analysis with "WORLD SPORT's" Andy Scholes coming up in about 30 minutes from now.

Well, U.S. president Donald Trump says there is nothing wrong with taking incriminating information about an opponent from a foreign government. That is despite the intense scrutiny and the special counsel's investigation of the numerous contacts his 2016 campaign had with Russians.

In an interview with ABC, the president said if it happens again in the next election, he won't necessarily report it to the FBI. Take a listen.


GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, ABC NEWS HOST: This time around, if foreigners, if Russia, if China, if someone else offers you information on an opponent, should they accept it or should they call the FBI?

DONALD TRUMP, U.S. PRESIDENT: I think maybe you do both. I think you might want to listen. There's nothing wrong with listening. If somebody called from a country, Norway, we have information on your opponent, Oh, I think I'd want to hear it.

STEPHANOPOULOS: You want that kind of interference in our elections?

TRUMP: It's not an interference. They have information. I think I'd take it. If I thought there was something wrong, I'd go maybe to the FBI, if I thought there was something wrong.

But when somebody comes up with oppo research, right, they come up with oppo research, oh, let's call the FBI. The FBI doesn't have enough agents to take care of it. But you go and talk honestly to congressmen, they all do it, they always have. And that's the way it is. It's called oppo research.


CHURCH: In the meantime, President Trump is squaring off with Congress over a controversial census question. Kaitlan Collins has our report.


TRUMP: It's ridiculous.

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Tonight, the president is amping up his showdown with Congress, this time asserting executive privilege to keep census documents away from House Democrats.

TRUMP: I think it's totally ridiculous that we would have a census without asking.

COLLINS (voice-over): Trump standing by adding a citizenship question to the 2020 census, a move that has his administration in hot water and one that Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross has gone all the way to the Supreme Court to defend.

TRUMP: You have the right to ask whether or not somebody is a citizen of the United States.

COLLINS (voice-over): Critics say it was done with politics in mind and could suppress the number of undocumented immigrants who answer the survey, leading to a change in federal resources and congressional representation.

REP. ELIJAH CUMMINGS (D), MD.: The president is asserting executive privilege over all of these documents. This begs the question, what is being hidden?

COLLINS (voice-over): Congressman Elijah Cummings says asserting privilege is another effort by the Trump administration to stonewall Congress.

CUMMINGS: We must protect the integrity of the census and we must stand up for Congress' authority under the Constitution to conduct meaningful oversight. COLLINS (voice-over): The standoff coming during a flyover, as Trump welcomed the Polish president to the White House with a show by an F- 35.

TRUMP: It actually came to a pretty -- close to a halt over the White House.

COLLINS (voice-over): But it wasn't the roar of the fighter jet that caused the confusion in the Rose Garden when the president was asked to clarify a comment he made Tuesday about using CIA informants.

TRUMP: It's not what I meant, it's what I said. And that's, I think, it's different than maybe your interpretation.

COLLINS (voice-over): But critics say there wasn't much to interpret when the president delivered this message to Kim Jong-un about using the CIA to spy on the North Korean dictator.

TRUMP: I would tell him, that would not happen under my -- under my auspices.

COLLINS (voice-over): Trump remained vague on that front but he did confirm he'll sit down with Russian president Vladimir Putin in Japan later this month.

TRUMP: I'll be meeting with Putin at the G20.

COLLINS (voice-over): He wouldn't say if it'll be another one-on-one meeting.

TRUMP: It's probably easier if we have people in the room because you people don't trust anything.

COLLINS (voice-over): And the president sounded shocked that reporters got a glimpse of a letter he said was an agreement he reached with Mexico after a "Washington Post" reporter snapped a photo.

TRUMP: And it was closed and you were able to read it through the sunlight?

That was not anticipated.

COLLINS (voice-over): Today, Trump also denied reports --


COLLINS (voice-over): -- that polling from his own campaign is flashing warning signs.

TRUMP: We are winning in every single state that we have polled.

COLLINS (voice-over): That's not true and a recent poll they conducted a showed him lagging in states that will be critical to a 2020 victory.

TRUMP: There were fake polls that were released, somebody, it's ridiculous.

COLLINS (voice-over): Officials have downplayed the numbers, insisting it's too early to tell who's ahead, they did not deny them.

TRUMP: We do very little polling because I'm not a huge believer in polling.

COLLINS: We reached out to the White House asking for clarity of where the president stands on using CIA informants to spy on North Korea's regime. Instead they did not get back to us on the record -- Kaitlan Collins, CNN, the White House.


CHURCH: Political analyst Michael Genovese joins us now from Los Angeles.

Good to have you with us.


CHURCH: So let's just listen again to how the president responded to a question put to him in that ABC interview about whether he would accept information from another country about an opponent. Let's bring that up.


TRUMP: If somebody called from a country, Norway, we have information on your opponent, Oh, I think I'd want to hear it.

STEPHANOPOULOS: You want that kind of interference in our elections?

TRUMP: It's not an interference. They have information. I think I'd take it. If I thought there was something wrong, I'd go maybe to the FBI, if I thought there was something wrong.


CHURCH: Given all the scrutiny of the Mueller investigation over Russian interference in the 2016 campaign, why would the president think it's acceptable to take information about an opponent from a foreign source?

And why would he not understand that this amounts to interference in an election?

GENOVESE: You're right.

Have we learned nothing from the past two years?

This has been the headline for every day, he has faced scrutiny and yet he is still trying to defend himself. This time he is doing it with a real gut punch to democracy, saying that it is OK for foreign governments, adversarial governments, to interfere in the U.S. election. That devalues democracy, it undermines the integrity of our system.

And here's a president who, during the campaign, was inviting Russia to get involved, saying, Russia, if you have the emails of Hillary Clinton, release them. He said that was a joke.

Well, this was no joke today. This was very serious and he basically said it's OK for foreign countries to interfere in our elections. That's just wrong on so many levels and it devalues and undermines democracy in America.

CHURCH: This is what President Trump said in the same ABC interview while defending his son, Don Jr., for not calling the FBI about an email on Hillary Clinton. Let's bring that up.


TRUMP: This is somebody that said we have information on your opponent. Oh, let me call the FBI.

Give me a break. Life doesn't work that way.

STEPHANOPOULOS: The FBI director says that's what should happen.

TRUMP: The FBI director is wrong.


CHURCH: The FBI director is wrong -- have you ever heard a U.S. president use those words?

GENOVESE: Not in public. That's the FBI director that President Trump appointed, so he's disagreeing with his own administration, his own people.

So Donald Trump is kind of isolated on this one. None of what he said passes the smell test. Of course you would be concerned when you receive something like this and you would probably think, maybe there is something fishy, maybe I need to check with the lawyers, at least check with our attorneys in the campaign.

Instead, what does Don Jr. say?

He says, oh, if you've got dirt, that would be great. We would love it. And so, he is defending -- the president is defending the indefensible. I understand why you want to defend your son but, again, none of this passes the smell test, having gone from denying that there was Russian involvement to now saying, that's really OK, that is a 360 that is just amazing. It leaves your head spinning.

CHURCH: Right. And this is what FBI director Christopher Wray said when testifying on this very subject.


CHRISTOPHER WRAY, DIRECTOR, FBI: My view is that if any public official or member of any campaign is contacted by any nation-state or anybody acting on behalf of a nation-state about influencing or interfering with our election, then that's something that the FBI would want to know about.


CHURCH: So that's what the FBI director said and that's exactly what President Trump said was wrong.

Why do you think the president chose to dismiss Christopher Wray's directive on this and clearly call him out, what might that signal?

GENOVESE: Mr. Wray was right and anyone I think in his right mind would say he's right. I think the president is trying to be overly defensive at a point where the Mueller report says that there was a tremendous amount of Russian involvement, there is a lot of connection between the president and his people and the Russians. And now I think he is sort of trying to --


GENOVESE: -- make lemonade out of these lemons. It's not working, he is wrong on so many levels, both morally and legally. You can't defend democracy and let others interfere and undermine it and that's what he's been defending.

And you are devaluating democracy, you're tolerating interference and you can't have a fully functioning, robust democracy under those circumstances.

CHURCH: Now also on Wednesday, more mixed messages as the president seemed unable to clarify those comments he made the day before when he said he wouldn't allow the CIA to use Kim Jong-un's family members as informants. This is what he said about those comments.


TRUMP: No, it's not what I meant. It's what I said and that's -- I think it's different than maybe your interpretation.


CHURCH: What does that mean?

And how do you think that comment is being interpreted by the U.S. intelligence community, Japan and South Korea?

GENOVESE: First of, all it's quite convoluted. It's not what I mean, it's what I said, I meant what I said. And I think, obviously, you parse every single word the president says and I think what our adversaries are probably thinking is, this guy is confused, he's confusing and he doesn't know really what he's talking about.

The U.S. intelligence agencies are saying, wait a minute, are you throwing us under the bus?

Are you trying to give away all this information that you need not give away, that can only help our adversaries?

And how will this play out when we try to get other high-level people to turn on their governments and give us information?

The precedent has long been against what he calls the deep state, which is the intelligence agency, FBI, the government. So he's basically in charge of the government, he's now complaining about it. He's in charge of a government that he will no longer defend that he's assaulting.

I think Mr. Wray, the FBI director, has just made common sense. Anyone in his right mind would say something like that. And so I think the president is getting incredibly defensive. I think he's feeling the heat, I think he feels a little bit cornered and he's trying to squirm his way out. But this, as I said, does not in any way pass the smell test.

CHURCH: Michael Genovese, always good to get to your analysis. It always matters, I appreciate it.

GENOVESE: Thank you, Rosemary.

CHURCH: Well, six people have now been arrested in an alleged plot to shoot baseball legend David Ortiz and authorities say they were offered $8,000 to do it. More on this developing story when we come back.

Plus, with corruption cases hanging over Israel's prime minister, his wife is now pleading guilty in a scandal of her own. We will explain when we return.




CHURCH: Welcome back, everyone this is CNN NEWSROOM I'm Rosemary Church with the headlines for you this hour.


ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Welcome back, everyone. This is CNN NEWSROOM, and I'm Rosemary Church. Want to check the headlines for you this hour.

[00:30:13] Hong Kong has closed its central government offices for the rest of the week after days of protests against a controversial extradition bill. Chief Executive Carrie Lam condemned what she called "intentional riots." At least 79 people were injured Wednesday in clashes with police.

The powerful cyclone that's forcing about 300,000 people to evacuate parts of northwest India may be turning slightly away from land, but experts predict Cyclone Vayu could still be the worst storm to hit the region in decades and likely will batter the coast with heavy rain, strong winds and storm surges.

In an interview with ABC News, President Trump says he would take damaging information on his political opponents from foreign governments, and he says he wouldn't necessarily report the contact to the FBI, despite the FBI director saying the agency would want to know about it. Mr. Trump insisted there's nothing wrong with listening, and the FBI director is wrong.

Well, authorities in the Dominican Republic say six men are now under arrest in Sunday's ambush shooting of baseball legend David Ortiz, including the alleged gunman. Another suspect is still on the run.

Authorities are declining to comment on a possible motive for the shooting but say the suspects were offered about $8,000 to shoot the retired baseball player inside a crowded nightclub.

Our Patrick Oppmann has more now from Santa Domingo.

PATRICK OPPMANN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The alleged gunman is now in custody, and police say he has confessed. They say that they have another five of his compatriots in custody, and some of them, as well, are talking. Now they are looking for others. They say they are not done, but let's back up.

It all to place on Sunday night. David Ortiz was in a bar, in a nightclub where he frequented, and a man came up on a motorcycle, being carried as a passenger on a motorcycle, walked up to David Ortiz, shot him in the back.

And initially, police thought it might have been someone, kind of robber. But now, according to police it was actually a well- orchestrated hit. There were cars that were waiting in the wings. The alleged hitmen went into these cars ahead of time and apparently talked to some of the people who had planned this attack on David Ortiz. They drove in.

It was only because of the bystanders who turned around and attacked the gunman and the motorcycle driver that, really, David Ortiz was not injured more seriously.

They found a cellphone that would have belonged to one of these two individuals. The gunman, apparently, ran away. The motorcycle driver was beaten up by a crowd, hit with, quote, "blunt objects," police said; and that is when this plot began to unravel.

They've presented to us video from the scene that shows the motorcycle, the pair on the motorcycle meeting with the people in the car. The cars fleeing, the motorcycle trying to flee, and stall. And they said that they have gone around different parts of the country and begun arresting people, and they may not be done.


CHURCH: Patrick Oppmann reporting there.

And right now, the former Red Sox star is recovering in a Boston hospital. His wife says his condition is guarded, but he's making good progress towards recovery.

When Israeli voters go to the polls in September, they will have one more factor to consider. This time, it's the prime minister's wife. Sarah Netanyahu has agreed to plead guilty in one of several corruption cases facing the Netanyahu family.

Our Oren Liebermann explains.


OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The case against Sarah Netanyahu involves the illegal ordering of catered meals to the official prime ministers residence in Jerusalem.

Sarah Netanyahu, along with the manager of the residence, ordered nearly $50,000 of meals, according to an updated indictment filed in court Wednesday. That's illegal under Israeli law when there's already an official chef at the residence, and prosecutors say there was one at the time.

Sarah Netanyahu pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of unfairly taking advantage of a mistake. She'll have to pay some $15,000 in fines and restitution.

The bigger story here is the additional criminal investigations facing the Netanyahu family, specifically, of course, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The Israeli leader faces charges of bribery and breach of trust in three separate cases, with a pre-indictment hearing scheduled for early October. Those cases are far bigger in terms of their scope and the amount of money involved.

Netanyahu has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing, as his high-powered legal team has worked to delay and slow down the legal process he faces. Given enough time, Netanyahu may try to pass an immunity law after the next election to shield himself from prosecution, and that, perhaps, is the much bigger story of the legal cases facing the Netanyahu family.

[00:35:06] Oren Liebermann, CNN, Jerusalem.


CHURCH: The frontrunner to succeed British Prime Minister Theresa May says he will deliver Brexit, unite Britain and defeat opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn. Boris Johnson officially launched his campaign for prime minister Wednesday, warning his divided Conservative Party that Brexit delay means defeat. Johnson says he's prepared to leave the E.U. without a deal, but it's not what he's aiming for.


BORIS JOHNSON, U.K. PRIME MINISTER CANDIDATE: We can get Brexit done, and we can win. We can unite our country and our society, and that is why I'm standing to be leader of the Conservative Party and prime minister. Because this contest is not chiefly about any one person or even about the Conservative Party. It is the opening salvo in a battle to restore faith in our democracy.


CHURCH: Ten candidates are vying to succeed Theresa May. The first secret ballot to start whittling down the field will be held on Thursday. The process will leave two candidates still standing by June 28, and then Tory members will choose between them. The winner should take over 10 Downing Street by mid-July, and they will have to hit the ground running as the deadline for Brexit is October 31.

And still to come, they were the killings that captivated a nation. Who could forget the white Ford Bronco, the police chase across Southern California, and the sports star, O.J. Simpson, accused of murder? We look back 25 years since the events that led to the so- called trial of the century.


CHURCH: One of the most prominent voices of the #MeToo movement says she is a rape survivor. Actress Mira Sorvino made the revelation during a press conference with New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. They're urging state lawmakers to drop the statute of limitations for rape. Sorvino says survivors like her need to sort through the trauma and shame before making anything public.


MIRA SORVINO, ACTRESS: Not only was I a sexual harassment and battery victim at the hands of Mr. Weinstein, but sexual -- yes, harassment and battery, but I'm also a sexual assault victim and I'm also the -- a survivor of date rape. So -- and I've never said that in public, and I do not want to go into detail. But I have never said that last part ever in public, because it is impossible sometimes to share these sort of things, and I'm doing it here to try and help.


CHURCH: Sorvino was one of the first people to accuse movie producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual misconduct, saying he blacklisted her from roles because she resisted his advances. Weinstein denies those claims. He is scheduled to go on trial in September for alleged sexual assault involving two other women.

[00:40:12] Well, on June 12, 1994, Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman were killed at her California home. Police named American sports star O.J. Simpson as the prime suspect. Stephanie Elam takes us back to the court proceedings which became known as the trial of the century.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A witness discovered the body of Nicole Brown Simpson.

STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Twenty-five years ago, O.J. Simpsons ex-wife Nicole and her friend Ron Goldman were savagely killed in a knife attack. Simpson would become the prime suspect.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Simpson is a fugitive of justice right now.

ELAM: Days after the murder, Simpson, driven by friend Al Cowlings, led police on the slow-speed chase broadcast around the world.

AL COWLINGS, FRIEND OF O.J. SIMPSON: This is A.C. I have O.J. in the car.

ELAM: The white Bronco ride sparking reality television, some critics say.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think I just saw O.J. Simpson on the 5 Freeway. He's heading north.

ELAM: The country riveted by a manhunt for a national sports hero.

LARRY KING, FORMER HOST, CNN'S "LARRY KING LIVE": Police radio saying that Simpson, the passenger in the car, has a gun at his head.

ELAM: Simpson's ensuing arrest, his criminal and civil trials full of unforgettable moments.

O.J. SIMPSON, FORMER NFL STAR: Absolutely, 100 percent not guilty.

ELAM: Courtroom theatrics were constant. Pop culture stars emerged, including lawyer Johnnie Cochran.


ELAM: Known as the Dream Team, Simpson's lawyers persuaded the mostly black jury to acquit Simpson of all criminal charges in October 1995. The victims' families were crushed.

But one year later, Simpson was back in court facing civil charges for the deaths of Goldman and Nicole. She had repeatedly accused Simpson of abuse.

NICOLE BROWN SIMPSON, FORMER WIFE OF O.J. SIMPSON (via phone): I don't want to stay on the line. He's going to beat the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) out of me.

ELAM: A mostly white jury found Simpson liable, ordering him to pay 33 and a half million dollars to the families of the murder victims in 1997.

Simpson left the trials with huge debt, but free. He moved to Florida.

He would get arrested again in 2007 after allegedly leading a violent raid on memorabilia dealers in a Las Vegas hotel room. Ironically, 13 years to the day after being cleared of the murders, a jury convicted Simpson of armed robbery and kidnapping.

SIMPSON: So I'm sorry. I'm sorry for all of it. ELAM: The apology rejected, he served nine years in prison and now

lives in Las Vegas.

Stephanie Elam, CNN, Los Angeles.


CHURCH: Scientists have unearthed an amazing prehistoric find in eastern Siberia. This 40,000-year-old severed wolf head was found preserved by ice, complete with teeth, fur and tissue. Officials are now building a digital model of the skull and brain for further study.

Scientists say because of climate change, more discoveries are likely in the region as the planet warms and ice continues to thaw.

And thank you so much for watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Rosemary Church. Stay tuned now for WORLD SPORT. You are watching CNN.


[00:45:02] (WORLD SPORT)