Return to Transcripts main page


Cyclone Vayu Approaches India; Pressure On Hong Kong Rises Over China Extradition Bill; Japan's Shinzo Abe In Tehran For Talks Amid U.S.-Iran Tensions. Aired 2-3a ET

Aired June 13, 2019 - 02:00   ET




ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Well, 24 hours after chaos in the streets of Hong Kong, government offices are shut, dozens of protesters are hurt and the fight over a controversial bill is far from over.

India braces for tropical cyclone Vayu in what could be the strongest storm to hit the region in more than 20 years.

Her case gripped the world 12 years ago, now Amanda Knox sets foot on Italian soil for the first time since being released from prison there.

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


CHURCH: We begin in Hong Kong where the battle may be over but the war is still on against a controversial extradition bill. A small group of protesters has gathered in a city park but it's a far cry from the tens of thousands of people who turned out Wednesday. At least 79 people were hurt in what Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam is calling planned and intentional riots.

Police fired tear gas, pepper spray and rubber bullets after demonstrators tried to enter a government building. CNN's Andrew Stevens is live this hour in Hong Kong, he joins us now.

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

ANDREW STEVENS, CNN ASIA PACIFIC EDITOR: Well, it's a vastly different scene right now than it was this time yesterday, Rosemary. We are still outside the Hong Kong parliament, the legislative council.

But are there are scores of protesters, here mostly young and there is a much reduced police presence, as well. Behind me, there has been a small crowd gathering for 15 or 20 minutes now, basically directing their anger at the police who you see behind, them. None of these police are dressed in any serious riot equipment.

And they are really just shouting shame on the police for what they did yesterday, the extreme clearing out operations that we saw yesterday, late afternoon going into early evening that claimed 79 people with injuries. Two of those were seriously injured and the youngest person to be injured yesterday was just 15 years old, Rosemary.

So there is a lot of anger in Hong Kong still, in the actions of the police. Human Rights Watch and amnesty have both chimes into say that the police response to the protesters was excessive. The bar association here in Hong Kong says the police force overstepped their legal duties to protect Hong Kong citizens.

But the government remains defiant. It says, as you just said, that Carrie Lam says this was a planned and organized riot and they responded in kind. But there was pepper spray used. There was rubber billets used, tear gas and clouds and clouds of tear gas used, water cannon.

So there was an extremely strong response from the police which has left a lot of people in Hong Kong, particularly those we have been speaking to today, very angry and saying they are determined to stay with this campaign that they want to see, eventually, will overturn a controversial extradition bill.

CHURCH: Do they feel, these protesters, that they have a large amount of people still behind them, that wouldn't be turned off by what occurred 24 hours ago?

And also what more responses have you received from the government to this?

STEVENS: This well, the government has been other than what we have heard from about describing this as a right. But the protesters who are predominantly young from Hong Kong say that they are hoping to get the support across the board Hong Kong.

And certainly, we saw last Sunday, 1 million people demonstrated, at least that's according to the numbers from the protest organizers but the people that I saw in that match were definitely across the board. And the Hong Kong news says that they do have the support of a much broader cross-section, if you, like of the Hong Kong community.

The government has been quietly so CNN has been trying to get an interview with Carrie Lam and senior members of the government. We spoke to Ronny Tong recently, Kristie Lu Stout sat down with Mr. Tong. He's a member of the executive council, a small body which helps the chief executive, Carrie Lam, with policymaking. This is what he had to tell Kristie.


RONNY TONG, EXECUTIVE COUNCIL: At the heart of this dispute, I think lies a fact which is that a lot of --


TONG: -- young people are not trusting Beijing. And by not trusting Beijing, basically they are not trusting the one country, two systems and that doesn't go well for the continuation of the one country, two systems.

So I think everybody would need to do something. And I have to say, today's events affect my heart. To see young people taking to violence in the street, over a bill which effectively, in my, view doesn't affect the people of Hong Kong at all. We are talking about a bill which deals with serious crimes committed, not in Hong Kong but overseas.

KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN ANCHOR: But as you said, there is a lack of trust. There is a lack of trust in Beijing, a lack of trust in one country and the one country, two systems governing principle; a lack of trust in Beijing, the Chinese legal system which is why there is the sphere.


TONG: -- misunderstanding, under the extradition regime, in the U.N. resolution in 1919 and the model treaty on extradition the focus is on the judiciary, it is for our own judiciary to ensure that the human rights of the prisoner would be respected. That we would get a fair trial, that he is not mistreated, he would not be executed.

So it's a question addressing the judiciary and I'm sure that people around the world would understand a Hong Kong judiciary is famous for its integrity and its independence. We have judges from the U.A. (ph), from Australia, from Canada.

STOUT: The concern about the extradition bill and Hong Kong government, Carrie Lam, supporters of the bill say it's necessary to cover a legal loophole. Critics say it's not a loophole. The reason why China is excluded from the current legislation is because that's a protection it was necessary to have.

How do you answer?

TONG: I think that is normal there (ph), there is no evidence that that is so. If you look at the legislation which is in place which was passed in 1997, April, 1997, in it was passed by the British colonial government, if you look at the record of the legislative council, you will see that the reason why there was a cross there, which says the bill doesn't apply to China is because, when you view the bill as something they have to do to enable the handover.

And they would rather leave the job to the oncoming government to deal with how it would deal with its relationship with China. So it's not a firewall at all. In any event, we are part of China. We have been part of China for the last 22 years and we have the most intimate relationship with China.

A lot of people across the board say --


TONG -- why is it that we can't have an extradition arrangement with our own country?


STEVENS: Certainly, Beijing, Rosemary, has made it very clear that it wants to see this bill enacted. In fact, two of the politburo standing committee, which is the highest committee under the president of China, two of its members have spoken out in support of this bill, which is the first time they have actually -- anyone from this committee has spoken out any issue in Hong Kong since the handover, which gives you an idea of just how focused Beijing is and just how closely it's watching what is happening in Hong Kong.

CHURCH: Understood. Our Andrew Stevens reporting from the streets of Hong Kong just after 2:00 in the afternoon, there. We will continue to monitor the situation, of course. Many thanks, as always.

Well, tropical cyclone Vayu is no longer expected to make landfall in northwest India but it's still forecast to batter the coast with heavy rain, strong winds and storm surges. Now 300,000 people are being evacuated from low lying areas. So let's turn now to News18 anchor Zakka Jacob, he joins us from New Delhi.

Good to see you. Thanks for talking with us.

So what's the latest information that you have on the cyclone?

ZAKKA JACOB, NEWS18 ANCHOR: So what's happened overnight is that cyclone Vayu has changed course. It will now not make landfall in the western India state of Gujarat which also happens to be the home state of the prime minister.

It will now move in a north northwesterly direction. Nonetheless, it will still batter the coast, as you say, already we are experiencing wind speeds in excess of hundred kilometers and 300,000 people as a precautionary measure have been evacuated from those low-lying areas.

Fisherman have been advised not to venture out at sea, all schools and universities have been temporarily shut down. Travel plans have been hit pretty badly, five airports in that one province alone have been temporarily shut down --


JACOB: -- most train and bus services have also been suspended. Normal life has come to a halt as we know it in the state of Gujarat. It's not just that one state but also India's financial capital, Mumbai, where again normal life has been affected because of cyclone Vayu.

The only good news, like you said, is that it's changed course a little bit. It's moving now in a north, northwesterly direction so large spots of the coast will still experience high wind speeds as well as sporadic rain but the severity of the impact will not be as much as it was initially assessed.

CHURCH: Yes, that is important, of course. As we have been reporting, some 300,000 people are being evacuated.

Where are they going for shelter and food?

JACOB: So those 300,000 people have currently been moved to temporary structures. About 700 of them have come up from that one state alone. Just last month we had another cyclone which hit the other coast, the eastern coast and there close to 1 million people have been evacuated.

One of the good things that's happened in the last 20 years in India is that both the weather department, the centralized weather department as well as local authorities have figured out ways to move people who are in harm's way. And we saw evidence of that last month. We saw further evidence of that with cyclone Vayu with large masses of people who have been evacuated.

Notice it sounds like this is in contrast to what used to happen in India which you look at the cyclone's that battered Indian in the 1990s, tens of thousands of people died in those cyclones. In the case of the cyclone last month, it was just a handful. And in the case of cyclone Vayu, I suspect there would be no deaths, whatsoever.

So that's one of the good things that happened in India over the last few decades, where weather authorities are able to predict cyclones very much in advance and are really able to bring that to local district administrations across the country in a way that they can move large masses of people.

CHURCH: Yes, indeed. Those evacuations critical in the situation. Zakka Jacob, thank you so much for bringing us up to date on the situation on the ground in the northwestern part of your country. Many thanks.


CHURCH: Well, six people have now been arrested in an alleged plot to shoot David Ortiz. How much money --


CHURCH: -- the men were allegedly paid for the brazen attack that nearly killed the baseball legend. The details, coming up. Plus --


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


CHURCH: The shockwaves triggered by the president's latest comments on campaign tactics. Back in a moment with that and more.




CHURCH: Even though the special counsel spent two years investigating his 2016 campaign for Russian influence, Donald, Trump says he'd be willing to listen to information from foreign governments about his political opponents. In an ABC interview, President Trump said that he would not necessarily report such content to the FBI. That defies advice from his own FBI director.


GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, ABC NEWS HOST: Your campaign, 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: Mr. Trump's remarks sparked swift responses from Democratic presidential candidates.

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand called on "Congress to begin impeachment hearings."

Senator Elizabeth Warren echoed the call, saying Mr. Trump welcomed Russian help in 2016 then obstructed the investigation and now wants to do it all over again.

Senator Kamala Harris said Russia and China are listening. She called the president a national security threat.


SEN. KAMALA HARRIS, (D-CA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: He's the commander in chief and has a duty and a responsibility to the American people to be a defender, if not the greatest defender, of our democracy. And -- but, to quite the contrary, what we hear tonight is that he is yet again open to the idea of working with foreign governments to --


HARRIS: -- undermine the integrity of our election system. It's outrageous. And it tells me the guy just doesn't understand the job and can't do it very well.


CHURCH: 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 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: Earlier I spoke with political analyst Michael Genovese about the impact of the president's stated willingness to take information on opponents from foreign governments.


MICHAEL GENOVESE, POLITICAL ANALYST: 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.

(END VIDEO CLIP) 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: Political analyst Michael Genovese speaking to me a little earlier.

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 offer about $8,000 to shoot the retired baseball player in a crowded nightclub.

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.

Bad news for Golden State Warriors fans, forward Kevin Durant is out for the rest of the NBA finals. He underwent surgery on Wednesday and posted this picture on Instagram from his hospital bed. He suffered a ruptured Achilles tendon in Monday's win against the Toronto Raptors. The Raptors lead the best of seven series three to two and will face the Warriors in game six later Thursday. For the first time in history, the St. Louis Blues are National Hockey

League champions. They beat the Boston Bruins 4-1 in game 7 to take the Stanley Cup title Wednesday night. 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 just about 20 minutes from now.

Still to come on CNN NEWSROOM, Amanda Knox left Italy in 2011 and vowed never to return. But she is back to address a criminal justice conference and we are live in Italy with an update.


[02:31:38] CHURCH: Welcome back to CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Rosemary Church. I want to check the headlines for you this hour. The powerful that's forcing about 300,000 people to evacuate parts of Northwest India maybe turning slightly away from land. But experts predict Cyclone Vayu could still be the worst storm to hit the region in decades and will battle the coast with heavy rain, strong winds and storm surges.

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.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is in Iran looking to ease tensions between the United States and Tehran. He met Wednesday with Iranian president Hassan Rouhani. Mr. Abe praised Tehran for its continuing cooperation with the Iran Nuclear Deal.

A criminal justice conference in Italy is making headlines because of high-profile guest Amanda Knox. She is returning for the first time since being released from an Italian prison in 2011. Remember, Knox was the American exchange student who was convicted then exonerated for the 2007 murder of her roommate, Meredith Kercher. CNN'S Melissa Bell joins us now from Milan. And of course, Melissa, Amanda Knox had vowed never to return to Italy.

So she clearly struggled with this decision. Talk to us about that and of course what she will be doing well in Italy.

MELISSA BELL, CNN PARIS CORRESPONDENT: Well, we know that she is feeling pretty nervous about it. Freight was the word that she used, Rosemary, in a social media post. But beyond that, we don't know much about exactly what she is going to say. She coming to address this conference, a criminal justice conference and she will be speaking on Saturday on the specific question of trial by media.

Now, we haven't heard from her so far, she has said she won't be giving interviews ahead of that because she wants to save her words, the full impact of her words from the conference. And now, she did however before she left Seattle pen an article about what happens when your life becomes someone else's content. So this is one woman, whatever you think of the fairness of her trial or not, who knows more about that than most.


BELL: It was a case that gripped the world back in 2007 and continues to divide, today. It began with a sexual assault and murder of 21- year-old British student Meredith Kercher. Within days, the suspicions of Italian investigators turn to one of her roommates, 20 - year-old Amanda Knox, then her boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito who she claimed to have spent the evening was, change is story.

Knox then blamed her boss, Patrick Lumumba for Kercher's murder while under questioning. She was later found not guilty. But another Rudy Guedeman who was arrested and convicted of Kercher's murder is currently serving a 16-year prison sentence. Yet prosecutors continue to insist on Knox and Sollecito's involvement and in 2009, the two were found guilty and sentenced to prison. Media interests, both Italian and international was intense throughout the trial.

[02:35:00] Fed by headlines that labeled Miss Knox, Foxy Knoxy, focusing on her character and the alleged sexual nature of the crime. One Italian commentator described as having the face of an angel but the eyes of a killer. After four years in jail, Knox and Sollecito were freed when an appeals court (INAUDIBLE) their convictions.

AMANDA KNOX, ACCUSED OF MURDER: What's important for me to say is just thank you.

BELL: She returned to Seattle and was exonerated by the Italian Judiciary in 2015. All along, she maintained her innocence.

KNOX: It means that everyone is vulnerable, and that's everyone's nightmare. Either I'm a psychopath in sheep's clothing or I am you.

MATTEO GHISALBERTI, ITALIAN JOURNALIST: Actually, I think that Amanda Knox was unlucky. She was judged by the media before, and then her rights and defense were not respected. A lot of people was interested in this history because there was a sex crime. There were young people, students, foreigner students and so there was a lot of elements for good plot for a good crime plot. But it was -- this was reality.

BELL: It is that question of her trial by media that Amanda Knox will address at a justice reform conference in Italy this week. A first return to the country that she vowed never to revisit again that is likely to place her once again firmly in the media spotlight.


BELL: And already, Rosemary, here at the airport in Milan, Italian photographers have begun gathering to get that first shot of Amanda Knox on Italian soil for the first time in eight years. Rosemary?

CHURCH: Yes, indeed. Melissa Bell reporting there from Milan, Italy. Many thanks to you. Well, 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 delight means defeat.

Johnson says he is prepared to leave the E.U. without a deal but it's not what he's aiming for.


BORIS JOHNSON, BRITISH CONSERVATIVE PARTY LEADER 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 the 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 20th. 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 31st.

Well, still to come, they were the killings that transfixed 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.


[02:40:58] CHURCH: On June 4th, 1994, Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman were killed at her California home. Police named American sports star O.J. Simpsons 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 Nicole Brown Simpson.

STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Twenty-five years ago, O.J. Simpson's 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.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 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 man hunt for a national sports hero.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Police radio is saying that Simpson, the passenger in the car has a gun at his head.

ELAM: Since his ensuing arrest, his criminal and civil trials full of unforgivable moments. Courtroom theatrics were constant. Pop culture starts emerged, including lawyer Johnnie Cochran.

JOHNNIE COCHRAN, LAWYER: If it doesn't fit, you must acquit.

ELAM: Known as the dream team, Simpsons 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, AMERICAN-GERMAN ACTRESS: I don't want to stay on the line. He's going to beat the (bleep) out of me.

ELAM: A mostly white jury found Simpson liable ordering him to pay 33-1/2 million 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 rate 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.

O. J. SIMPSON, AMERICAN FOOTBALL RUNNING BACK: 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: And thank you so much for watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Rosemary Church. Stay tuned now for "WORLD SPORT." Have a great day.


[02:45:00] (WORLD SPORT)