Return to Transcripts main page
U.K.'s Conservative Candidates Take Part in Televised Debate; Jews at Risk of Racist Violence in Germany; Power Being Restored To Millions After Massive Outage; Severe Storms Hit The U.S.; Trump White House; Koreas Tensions; A Dangerous Precedent; Concerns on Repatriation; Myanmar Violence; Rohingya Crisis Plan. Aired 2-3a ET
Aired June 17, 2019 - 02:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[02:00:01] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: Protesters packed the streets of Hong Kong. Another long day of demonstrations demanding the government scrap a controversial Extradition Bill. Plus, they're all fighting for a chance at number 10, but the top Tory candidate was missing from the very first debates. We will tell you why Boris Johnson skipped out on a chance to face his rivals.
Plus, a major power failure across multiple countries, but still no word how such a massive outage left parts of South America in the dark. Live from CNN world headquarters in Atlanta, we want to welcome our viewers joining us here in the United States and from all around the world. I am Rosemary Church, and this is CNN Newsroom.
Well, it is relatively calm in Hong Kong now just hours after a second record breaking protest in a week. This was the scene Sunday. Organizers say 2 million people flooded into the streets to call for the withdrawal of a controversial Extradition Bill. Police say it was just over 300,000. Opponents fear the bill will lead to dissidents being sent to mainland China for trial.
Protesters are also demanding Chief Executive Carrie Lam resign. Pro- democracy activist Joshua Wong was released from prison Monday. He was the face of 2014's Occupy Movement. He immediately joined this protest.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOSHUA WONG, PRO-DEMOCRACY ACTIVIST: Hong Kong people, we will not keep silent under the suppression of President Xi and the Chief Executive Carrie Lam. Carrie Lam must step down. Otherwise, I believe in the next few weeks, before the 22nd anniversary of Hong Kong transfer of sovereignty. More and more Hong Kong people, not only 1 million or 2 million people, will come and join our fight until they -- we get back our basic human rights and freedom.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: And our Anna Coren joins us now live from Hong Kong. Anna, it is 2:00 in the afternoon there. What does the day look like as far as these protests go?
ANNA COREN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, other than being a little bit rainy, Rosemary, it is quiet here in Hong Kong, which is a stark difference to what we witnessed yesterday. It was absolutely historic, a sea of people making their way through the heart of Hong Kong. For hours and hours, they came from Victoria Park to where we are here at Tamar, outside the Legislative Council Building and they stayed well into the night.
Hundreds of protesters then camped out overnight into the early morning. There was a brief confrontation with police, Rosemary. And police surprisingly backed off. Protesters also said they weren't going to block any more roads. Those protesters have now moved to the Legislative Council behind us. There is an area there where they are allowed to demonstrate, so that is where they are at the moment.
But, Rosemary, joining me now is a very special guest, Joshua Wong. He is, of course, the face of the Pro-Democracy Movement here in Hong Kong, certainly, the face of the Occupy Movement in 2014. He has just got out of prison 3 1/2 hours ago. Joshua, how does it feel to be free?
JOSHUA WONG, PRO-DEMOCRACY ACTIVIST: It's really my pleasure. It's really a good time to come and join our fight to fight for freedom and democracy and let the Emperor Xi, President Xi Jinping to know that Hong Kong people will not be kept silent.
COREN: You must be so incredibly proud of your fellow Hong Kongers. The scenes yesterday and also last Sunday, but yesterday, it was absolutely extraordinary. They just kept on coming.
WONG: Five years ago after the end of Umbrella Movement, we claimed that we would be back. Yesterday, 2 million of Hong Kong's people came to the streets to show that no extradition law and no extradition to China. It showed how the Hong Kong people realize that it's a longtime battle. And it's time to join our fight and let people around the world to realize that we will continue to fight for freedom and democracy.
COREN: Do you wish you had been there yesterday?
WONG: Unfortunately, in the past few weeks I was in prison and can't join any demonstration. When I saw how police physically assault on activists, on the youngsters, even students younger than me, or how the police -- those police just pepper sprayed or tear gassed within the city of Hong Kong. It just shows the around the world the one country two system in Hong Kong is just a failure.
[02:04:58] COREN: The violence you were talking about, referencing the ugly clashes between police last Wednesday. That is something we have not seen here in Hong Kong. It took it to another level. It also made LegCo realize and Carrie Lam, the City's Chief Executive realize that they can't continue with this bill. Hence, they have shelved it. Are you saddened to learn that it was the violence that forced Carrie Lam to shelf this very controversial Extradition Bill? WONG: Hong Kong people sacrifice, pay the price. Some protesters
have been sent to hospital. And I just hope Carrie Lam realizes that we are not only asking for suspension of that bill. We are asking for withdrawal of the evil bill. Unfortunately, Carrie Lam, the one just elected by 1,200 pro-Beijing elites just ignored our words.
It's time for her to step down. And it's now the best timing to let the world know that Hong Kong is still far away from democracy, but we will continue our battle.
COREN: Yeah, she is an embattled leader. There is no denying. And the consensus is she has lost credibility. She's certainly lost the faith of the people. You are calling on her to step down. There were thousands of people standing outside her offices last night chanting exactly that for hours on end. Will she listen? She made that apology last night. Was that good enough?
WONG: I am really curious when President Xi from China faced the chaos of the trade war and the G20 Summit in the next week. So when Carrie Lam just creates certain political burdens for President Xi, I believe Beijing might have a certain perspective or opinion on how Carrie Lam just created the mass chaos for the Chinese government.
And one point I would like to emphasize is in this battle, Hong Kong people showed that we will not keep silence. And we just try our best to let the world to know that in this fight, it will never end.
COREN: Will you be satisfied when Carrie Lam steps down?
WONG: Carrie Lam's step down is the first step. But what we ask for is freely elected the leader of our city. Why Carrie Lam suspended the bill, need to wait until more than 1 million people come to the street? It's because Carrie Lam is never elected by the citizens of Hong Kong. We asked for democracy more than years and years, decades by decades.
Unfortunately, they just ignore our words. However, in this battle, I believe mass -- large scale or massive mobilization will happen in the next few weeks, especially first of July. It's the 22nd anniversary of the transfer of sovereignty of Hong Kong.
COREN: Yes, of course. That is the anniversary of when Hong Kong was made a special administrative region under the one-country two systems. And under this policy, Hong Kong has enjoyed freedoms. Freedoms that these people have taken to the streets in the millions are fighting for.
WONG: Freedom exists in name only, under the suppression of Beijing. And we realize that in the future we might need to pay more of a price and sacrifice more. But we're ready for it. And even I was in prison. When I watched the TV news reports of how thousands or 100,000 people come to the street or even more, a million people, it showed the dignity and the spirit of the Hong Kong people. I am proud of being a Hong Kong citizen.
COREN: Joshua, are you willing to die for this cause? When you say you're willing to sacrifice so much more, how far are you prepared to go?
WONG: The question is how far Carrie Lam prepared to sacrifice her political career. I think that's the significant question that we ask. Carrie Lam stepping down, already become kind of majority consensus. What I mean is Hong Kong is just a small international city with 7 million citizens, but 2 million people come to the street already.
It shows that we have the consensus, and we just wait for Carrie Lam. It's time for her not only apology or suspend, she needs to end her political career.
COREN: Joshua, finally, what is the next step? Are you feeling emboldened? Are there going to be more demonstrations, more marches over the coming weekend?
WONG: Suspension of the evil bill is not enough. We're asking for withdrawing the proposal. In the next few weeks, massive mobilization, marches, and demonstration will happen again. Yesterday, 2 million of Hong Kong's citizens came to the street. I believe there will be more and more citizens that join our fight in the future. It shows the Hong Kong people deserve democracy, and we are not afraid to uprising the China model.
COREN: Joshua Wong, great to speak to you.
WONG: Thank you.
COREN: I will let you go. I know there are so many more people who want to talk to you, including your family. You haven't spoken to your family yet. You've been in jail for the last month, so we'll let you get back to it. But many thanks for joining us here on CNN.
WONG: Thank you.
[02:10:03] COREN: Wishing you the very best. So that was Joshua Wong, the face of the Pro-Democracy Movement here in Hong Kong, who has been in jail for the past month for his involvement in the Umbrella Movement. Well, joining us now is a pro-Beijing lawmaker here in Hong Kong. His name is Felix Chung, and he joins us from our Hong Kong studio.
Felix, you just heard from Joshua Wong. He is not going to back down. They feel they have momentum. They're feeling emboldened. Are you concerned?
FELIX CHUNG, HONG KONG LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL: Of course, I understand his concerns. And I think a lot of Hong Kong people also are concerned about the latest situations. Otherwise, they won't have that much of people come out from the street in the last two Sundays. I actually I do pay a very high respect to the demonstrators that were coming for the demonstration in the last two -- last Sunday.
Because, I mean, with the heat, the pack of people, they still come out for -- for showing they're concerned. So the government has to respond to that. And it is historical. COREN: And how is the government going to respond? These protesters
are not just calling. They are not just calling for this bill to be postponed. They want it completely withdrawn. Will that happen?
CHUNG: Well, in theory, it just happened, because even though the government is saying that they're delaying the bill. But actually, it will never come back. It will be just like it's been withdrawn. So it's just the terms, but the actual situation...
COREN: So you think this will just be like the -- sorry, Felix. So you feel like this is history repeating itself? That the National Security Bill of 2003, which called -- caused mass protesters to come onto the streets, those massive demonstrations, that bill was shelved. That was 2003. It is now 2019. So you're saying the similar thing will happen with this Extradition Bill. That it will be shelved and it will just go away?
CHUNG: Well, for the other one, the Article 23 is another story. It's a totally different story. Article 23 is written down in the basic law, and it's our constitutional duty to do it. For the Extradition Bill, we don't have anything that needs to be done. That's the problem of the government. I really don't know why initially they put it to the LegCo.
But, of course, I mean the reason why from the government is because there is a murder case from Taiwan, and there are some loopholes that we should do it. We don't want Hong Kong have any international criminal there. It's actually just a case. There is an Indian person who came to Hong Kong, but he is actually an international wanted criminal.
So I mean, now he's being detained because he committed crimes in Hong Kong, but after he finished his sentence, I mean he still can live in Hong Kong...
CHUNG: And not have -- I mean...
CHUNG: That sort of example is...
COREN: I understand. I understand the arguments. But if you speak to legal experts, they will say that case by case extradition agreements can be made. So they don't necessarily buy the government's argument. But let me ask you now about the city's Chief Executive Carrie Lam. Is she on borrowed time? Has she lost the credibility and the faith of the people?
CHUNG: Well, certainly she lost quite a lot of her political power to the -- to the whole society. She paid a very high price for this. Of course, nobody expect and definitely she didn't expect that was the result of this information of the Extradition Bill. What to do next I really don't know. Of course, some people have asked for her resignations.
To stay or leave, I think to stay is not -- is even a tougher job for her. But the problem is created by her...
COREN: So you think that she should go? You think Carrie Lam has to go?
CHUNG: Well, that -- well, I do not have the answer for you, because this is not a simple question that she can leave or not. Definitely, need to have the consensus from the central government.
[02:15:04] COREN: Yes. OK, Felix Chung, I am afraid we're going to have to leave it there. But thank you very much for joining us. So Rosemary, as we know, the government is feeling embattled. Certainly, the Chief Executive Carrie Lam feeling extremely embattled. She is under a great deal of pressure to step down.
And by all accounts from these protesters, they are not going anywhere until she backs down and until they withdraw her Extradition Bill. Rosemary?
CHURCH: Yeah. They're making that very clear. Anna, thank you so very much. We'll come back to you with more on this story. Many thanks. Well, the U.S. and Iran now blame each other for Thursday's tankers attacks in the gulf of Oman. Iran's parliamentary speaker says Washington resorted to the attacks because U.S. sanctions did not work.
America's top diplomat says the Trump administration has intelligence that shows Iran carried out the attacks. Our Fred Pleitgen reports on the escalating tensions between the two countries.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FRED PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The Iranians now throwing some allegations back at the United States, this time in the form of the Speaker of Iran's parliament, Ali Larijani, who on Sunday came out and said that he believes that the U.S. is behind the attacks on those two tankers in the gulf of Oman. He said that he believes that it's part of America's campaign of maximum pressure against the Iranian government.
And also that he thinks that the U.S. did this, in his words, because that campaign of maximum pressure isn't working, and because the sanctions have not brought Iran to its knees yet. Now, there wasn't any evidence provided with all of this. And at the same time, you had Secretary of state Mike Pompeo come out and once again say that the U.S. believes that Iran was behind the attacks.
One of the other things that Mike Pompeo also said is that he believes that the Trump administration is trying all diplomatic means to prevent an escalation of the conflict in the Middle East. The Iranians, for their part, again in the form of the parliament speaker, are saying that they believe that the campaign of maximum pressure from the Trump administration is not a diplomatic tool but rather economic warfare.
And the Iranians now also announcing that they are going to go one step further, they've already said that on Monday they are going to come up with and make public new ways that they are going to scale back their commitments, according to abiding by the nuclear agreement, even though the Iranians are saying that by and large they want that nuclear agreement to stay in place. Fred Pleitgen, CNN, Tehran.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: You're fired. That's what Donald Trump told his campaign's pollsters. And we will explain the reason behind the U.S. president's surprising purge. We're back in a moment.
[02:20:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
CHURCH: Welcome back, everyone. Well, U.S. President Donald Trump is apparently angry with one of his favorite targets, the New York Times, for its latest reporting. The Times reported the U.S. is escalating attacks on Russia's power grid with potentially crippling malware. That's not the only thing angering Mr. Trump. CNN's Boris Sanchez has the details now from Washington.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: President Donald Trump lashing out at the New York Times this weekend over report that indicates that the United States has attempted to infiltrate Russia's power grid digitally, implanting malicious software. The president clearly made unhappy. He sent out a series of fiery tweets suggesting that The Times may have committed treason.
Important to point out in this reporting officials essentially sidestepped the president, not requiring his authority to go ahead with these activities. Since 2015, American officials have pointed out that Russia has been trying to infiltrate the American power grid. So administration officials simply feel that the United States is responding in kind to Russia.
Why that would make the president angry? Well, he's repeatedly said that he wants a good relationship with Vladimir Putin for the United States and Russia. This clearly made him unhappy. The president also making news for the way he's rationalizing his decision to not fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller during the Russia investigation. Listen to what he told ABC news.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Robert Mueller had a total conflict of interest -- I never said. Look, Article II, I would be allowed to fire Robert Mueller. There was not -- assuming, assuming I did all of the things I said I want to fire him. Number one, I didn't. He wasn't fired, OK? Number one, very importantly. But more importantly, Article II allows me to do whatever I want. Article II would have allowed me to fire him.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So it sounds like you...
TRUMP: But I wasn't going to fire him, you know why? Because I watched Richard Nixon going around firing everybody and that didn't work out too well. So very simply, Article II would allow me to do it.
SANCHEZ: Important to point out that in the Mueller report there are at least 10 instances of President Trump trying to interfere or intervene in the Russia investigation. Perhaps most glaringly, when he told former White House Counsel Don McGahn to fire Robert Mueller, McGahn declined. He essentially threatened to resign, the president ultimately relented.
So in this accounting of the president's story, he's clearly indulging in some revisionist history. Boris Sanchez, CNN, at the White House.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: And President Trump's campaign fired several pollsters after unflattering internal poll numbers were leaked to the media. The data showed Mr. Trump lagging behind Democratic presidential candidates in key states. Continued press coverage of the numbers in recent days is said to have angered the president and led to the firings.
So joining me now to talk more about all of this is Steven Erlanger, Chief Diplomatic Correspondent with the New York Times, good to have you with us.
STEVEN ERLANGER, NEW YORK TIMES CHIEF DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENT: Thanks, Rosemary.
CHURCH: So as we just reported, President Trump fired his pollsters after internal data showed him lagging behind Democratic presidential candidates in those key states that he won in 2016. What does that reveal about a leader when can't handle bad news coming from his own pollsters and consequently fires them?
[02:24:58] ERLANGER: Well, I think it tells you that Trump likes to live in his own world, which we know. We just heard that from your own correspondent. We also know that right now at the beginning of the next campaign, because he starts it on Tuesday, perception is everything. Trump needs to show his base, which is so far been relatively solid, that he is an inevitable re-election.
Clearly, it's very early days. But the last thing he needs right now is bad news. And it is worth saying that polls are a snapshot in time. We're very early days. The Democrats haven't sorted themselves out. Trump's negative ratings are high, which they've always been. But he still, you know, we're a long way away, and lots of things can happen.
And we don't know who the Democratic candidate's really going to be. So I wouldn't take it too seriously, except as you suggest, as an indication of Mr. Trump's mood and character at the moment.
CHURCH: Right. And, of course, as you point out, it is early yet, but it is about perception. It is about optics. And potentially is -- excuse me, a win for the Democrats if Mr. Trump fires his own internal pollsters, because he doesn't like what they're saying. And he doesn't like the way that what they're saying is being reported.
ERLANGER: Well, that's right. I mean, he doesn't like reality that doesn't suit him. I mean, he's very angry at the New York Times and Washington Post. He always says we're reporting fake things when they're not fake things. Because he just doesn't want to believe that they're true or he wants to spin them in his own way. I think it was a very good example with the piece about the Americans putting malware into the Russian electricity grid.
Now, that's a story clearly American officials wanted the Russians to know about it. Otherwise, it wouldn't have been leaked and someone would have denied it. But so far, the only person to deny it is the president, which makes you wonder, one, whether he even knows about it, or two, you know, what benefit he feels he's going to get with Putin by pretending that it's not true.
CHURCH: Yeah. That is bewildering, isn't it? Of course, new poll numbers, this time from Fox, the president's favorite. They don't look good, though, for President Trump, showing him behind the top five Democratic presidential candidates. How significant is that? And can much be read into those numbers at this juncture? As you point out, it's early. And after the 2016 polling errors, can we ever trust any of these polls?
ERLANGER: Oh, I think, you know, polls are difficult, particularly in a close race. And the last election was very close. And, of course, the polls nationally were pretty accurate. State by state, things were difficult. For Trump to win again, you know, he starts off much better than he did last time. He still needs to run the table. It's a very difficult job for him.
He still will need to win these so-called battleground states that are often traditionally Democratic. You know Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan, blah, blah, blah. Now, he won them all last time, sometimes very, very narrowly. To pull that off again is going to be difficult for him. But again, it depends on who the Democrats put up. And it depends on his ability to counterattack.
And as we know, President Trump is an extremely good politician. He has a very good antenna about other people's weaknesses, and he plays on those very, very strongly. So I think there is a long way to go. I don't rule anything out. But certainly for the Democrats, these polls are encouraging, to be sure. There is a path to victory if they can ever figure out who it is they want to carry the banner.
CHURCH: Yes, and so many to choose from. We shall see how that all pans out. Steven Erlanger, thank you so much for your analysis. We always appreciate it.
ERLANGER: Thanks, Rosemary.
CHURCH: Well, the race for the next British prime minister takes a surprising turn. Why there was an empty podium when the Tory's got together to debate, plus.
[02:32:46] ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Welcome back everyone, I'm Rosemary Church. I want to update you now on the main stories we are following this hour. Demonstrators in Hong Kong are vowing to keep the protest up until the government withdraws a controversial extradition bill. Organizers say, two million people jammed the streets Sunday while police estimated over 300,000 people.
Pro-democracy activist judge Joshua Wong was released from prison Monday and immediately joined the protest.
Iranian state media reports in the coming hours. Officials will release significantly information about plans to scale back commitments to the nuclear deal. Back in May, Iran stopped complying with some commitments after the U.S. unilaterally withdrew from the deal. The U.S. then levered new sanctions against Iran.
In Sudan, prosecutors charged ex-president Omar al-Bashir with corruption on Sunday. These latest charges include illegally possessing foreign currency and accepting gifts. In April, he was overthrown after months of mass protests against his 30 year rule.
Well, the conservative candidates vying to become the next British prime minister faced off for the first time in a televised debate, but there was one notable absence. Former London mayor and frontrunner Boris Johnson failed to show up. Organizers left an empty podium on stage where he would have stood. The absence became an issue for the candidates.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KRISHNAN GURU-MURTHY, HOST, CHANNEL 4: One of our lecterns turns empty and that's because Boris Johnson has declined to take part in this debate. But the invitation still stands.
JEREMY HUNT, BRITISH FOREIGN SECRETARY: We have been talking about Brexit for 25 minutes now, and where is Boris? If his team won't allow him out to debate with five pretty friendly colleagues, how is he going to fare with 27 European countries? He should be here to answer that very question.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: Some interesting questions there. So joining us now from London is John Rentoul, he is the chief political commentator at The Independent and a visiting professor at Kings College London. Thank you so much for being with us.
JOHN RENTOUL, CHIEF POLITICAL COMMENTATOR, THE INDEPENDENT: Good morning.
CHURCH: So why did frontrunner Boris Johnson declined an opportunity to not only faces rivals but explain himself and be part of this televised debate, and will that work for him or against him, do you think?
[02:35:13] RENTOUL: Well, because he's the frontrunner. It's never in the frontrunner's interest to take part in T.V. debates, because they risk is all on the downside. And I think he just about got away with it. I mean, there were -- as we saw Jeremy Hunt had that sarcastic reference to his absence, and other candidates address that empty lectern. But he got away with not being the big issue of the debate.
The candidates did actually spend all their time proclaiming their own virtues and explaining how they would solve Brexit. And Boris Johnson is going to do it again this morning. He's not going to turn out to be grilled by Westminster journalists who've arranged their own on the record Hastings. Once again, all five candidates will be there but not Boris Johnson.
CHURCH: Right. Of course at the start of that televised debate of U.K. conservative candidates, the answer drew attention to the empty lectern after Boris Johnson declined to take part in that debate, but the announcer insisted the invitation still stands, and we now know that Johnson will take part in a debate on Tuesday. Why is that debate more important to him than the others?
RENTOUL: Yes, because it's happening later, and therefore has less capacity to derail his campaign. I mean, as every hour passes, his grip on the -- on the contest grows tighter and more and more conservative M.P.s are coming out declaring their support for him. We saw yesterday Matt Hancocks, the Health Secretary who pulled out of the race over the weekend came out in support of Boris Johnson, as to the next leader and prime minister.
So by Tuesday night, it will be as good as all over, and the risks of appear -- of taking part in a T.V. debate are much lower. It's completely cynical politic but you could see why Boris Johnson is doing it.
CHURCH: So your sense is that this is a fait accompli, that Boris Johnson has this in the bag from the sounds of it?
RENTOUL: Pretty much, I mean, you know, you can't -- you can't get much money in the bookies betting on Boris Johnson to win now. There's still a remote job of course. This is politics, anything can happen, but this is a very different Boris Johnson from three years ago, when he stunned Westminster and the world by pulling out of that contest at the actual launch of his campaign.
He concluded it -- he concluded his speech by saying he decided that the candidate could not be him, and that was because Michael Gove, his ally, had withdrawn his support for him, and declared as a candidate himself. CHURCH: What are the British voters think of this? I mean, they're
really not going to get much to say on this, but watching this, I mean, it is very opportunistic, isn't it? You've got Boris Johnson, he feels he's got this in the bag, he doesn't need to stand up for the people of Britain and explain to them why he's chosen a no deal Brexit. He doesn't have to explain who he is, he feels he's already done that. The other possible candidates did get that opportunity, but how do British people feel about that?
RENTOUL: Well, I mean, obviously, I think, you know, there's a fairly divided opinion, people who don't like Boris Johnson just don't always think his behavior is contemptible and cowardly. But on the -- on the other hand, he is popular with many of the people who voted to leave the E.U., and they probably don't care too much whether he -- whether he appears on a T.V. debate, that they probably won't going to watch anyway. I mean, they know what they think about Boris Johnson. (INAUDIBLE) British politics.
CHURCH: All right, I guess, we should just see who ends up being the next prime minister. What is this, the third prime minister since 2016? What they a numbers --
RENTOUL: Well, exactly, and Boris Johnson, if he gets to be prime minister, he's going to face exactly the same problem as Theresa May and he may not last very long.
CHURCH: Still, the Brexit challenges before him, and we'll see what happens. John Rentoul, thank you so much for your analysis, appreciate it.
RENTOUL: My pleasure.
CHURCH: Well, a major investigation by CNN revealed that overt anti- Semitism is on the rise in Europe. CNN's Clarissa Ward reports, the problem is not getting any better in Germany, where lack of outcry is disturbing to those trying to fight it.
CLARISSA WARD, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: On the streets of Berlin, Germans gather to support the country's Jewish community. Most of the marchers are not Jewish but some wear the kippa. A sign of protest against the country's growing anti-Semitism problem.
[02:40:05] In 2018, the number of anti-Semitic attacks in Germany increased by 20 percent. Last month, the country's anti-Semitism star Felix Klein made headlines when he said that it is not safe for Jewish people to wear the kippa in certain areas.
FELIX KLEIN, GERMAN ANTI-SEMITISM COMMISSIONER: I wanted to have it and as sort of a wakeup call, that we should act as a society before it's too late.
WARD: Was it a shock to you to see 20 percent increase in anti- Semitic attacks last year?
KLEIN: What shocked me more was that there wasn't a public debate about it immediately. There wasn't an outcry, how can that be?
WARD: Last year, CNN launched a major investigation into anti- Semitism in Europe. We found that 50 percent of Germans agree that Jews are at risk of racist violence.
Then, restaurant owner Yorai Feinberg told us he gets harassed all the time.
YORAI FEINBERG, JEWISH RESTAURANT OWNER: From murder to I will break your knees, I will break your arms, I will break your teeth, they're very creative in everything. You know, all the options that they want to break.
WARD: Seven months later, he says the German government needs to do more.
FEINBERG: I feel that the process that the German -- the Germans did since the Second World War, they made a big progress, they fight it against what was here before, and now all the good work is going backwards.
WARD: These bollards have been built to protect this synagogue from a potential terrorist attack, and this is now the reality of life for the Jewish community here in Germany. Every single synagogue, every Jewish school has to be protected by police 24 hours a day.
Anti-Semitism here has many sources, the far-right, the far left, and elements of the Muslim community. Client says it must be tackled from an early age.
KLEIN: Jew is once again an insult in German schools and this is absolutely unacceptable. And once again, the teachers and the -- and also parents, families, have to be confronted with it. And it has to be made clear that you do not accept any form of anti-Semitism.
WARD: No small task but Germany hopes that by having the conversation now, it can prevent a crisis in the future. Clarissa Ward, CNN, Berlin.
CHURCH: A major blackout strikes South America, leaving entire cities pitch black. Details on efforts to restore power when we come back.
[02:45:54] CHURCH: Facing international pressure, Saudi Arabia has apparently decided to spare a condemned teenager. A source told CNN that instead of execution, 18-year-old Murtaja Qureiris has been sentenced to 12 years in prison.
He was just 10 years old when he allegedly committed his first crime riding on the back of his brother's motorbike when his brother threw a Molotov cocktail at a police station. Amnesty International's team in the Arabian Gulf says it's relieved to learn the teenager will not be sentenced to death. The organization is calling for an end to the death penalty in Saudi Arabia.
Well, power is being restored to millions of people in South America after a massive blackout left several countries in total darkness. Argentina says the lights are back on in its capital. And Uruguay says it's also restoring services. Officials are still investigating the cause, but don't suspect a cyber attack at this point. CNN's Amara Walker has more.
AMARA WALKER, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Street lights off. Cars stopped in traffic. Silence and confusion. This is a scene in Argentina Sunday after a massive power failure in the country's coastal grid.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): At home, you really can't see anything. I don't know where to go really. I don't know. And I was reading that it's going to take hours to come back on.
WALKER: Tens of millions of people were left in the dark for several hours. And because the grid is attached to power lines in neighboring Uruguay and Paraguay, residents in those countries, as well as parts of Chile and southern Brazil, were also affected.
Several hours after the power failure, Argentinean authorities have not been able to identify the cause.
GUSTAVO LOPETEGUI, GOVERNMENT SECRETARY OF ENERGY, ARGENTINA (through translator): Well, we know now at this moment is that at 7:00 or 7:00 a.m., a power failure hit the coastal energy transport system. A failure that occurs frequently.
WALKER: Although a power failure might be normal, a total disconnection of the system is not. Let alone a failure capable affecting cities past Argentina's borders.
LOPETEGUI: What's abnormal, extraordinary, and should not happen is the chain of events following the failure that caused a total disconnection.
WALKER: Argentina's president Mauricio Macri labeled the blackout as unprecedented and announced a formal investigation to determine the causes. An initial report, however, might take up to 10 days.
Meanwhile, social media users have taken to Instagram and Twitter to publish videos of their cities submerged in darkness. While others complained about interruptions to their everyday lives.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): We were just with my 84- year-old grandmother, and we had to help her down the stairs because the elevator wasn't working. Everything is closed and there is no movement in the street. But, oh, well, you have to keep going.
WALKER: The power outage disrupted local elections being held in Argentina. And according to Twitter users, also ruined Father's Day celebrations across the countries. Amara Walker, CNN, Atlanta. (END VIDEOTAPE)
CHURCH: Extreme weather is threatening regions across America. We will take a look at the worst hit areas, and see where the storms might strike next. Our forecast after this short break.
[02:53:03] CHURCH: Severe storms are moving across a number of areas in the United States. The U.S. National Weather Service confirms that, at least, four tornadoes touched down in the state of Indiana.
Texas, the Ohio River Valley, and the mid-Atlantic region are also all under threat. So, let's get more on this. We'll turn to our meteorologist, Pedram Javaheri. All this extreme weather Pedram, is there any end in sight at any time soon?
PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN INTERNATIONAL METEOROLOGIST: You know, the next couple of days, Rosemary, we'll see the thunderstorm activity still in the forecast but the -- when it comes to severe weather counts as far as tornadoes, of course, all of that going to diminish just a little bit, at least, inside the next couple of days.
But look at this, the threat across the United States just in the past 24 hours, thunderstorms spawning some 19,000 plus lightning strikes in a 24-hour period. So, you do the math, nearly a thousand strikes every single hour from Sunday through the early morning hours of Monday and still thunderstorms abound across portions of Texas, San Antonio, at this hour, on into parts of Houston, seeing quite a bit of activity across the region.
And then work your way farther towards the north and east, eventually, into the Ohio Valley and onto the Northeast here. Some thunderstorms to be had into the morning hours and that's where we expect a severe weather concern to be prevalent going into Monday afternoon.
In fact, to Washington inline here for the risk of severe weather. And generally, that's for damaging winds and large hail. And then, back towards the eastern portion thereof Colorado on into parts of Nebraska into New Mexico and also Texas, some severe weather to be had as well.
But, take a look, finally, going to see conditions quiet down Sunday only had two reports of tornadoes compared to about 16 on Saturday. So, the numbers gradually going to diminish and you take a look. We know how active of a season it's been so far.
In fact, the first six months of the year coming in with over a thousand reports of a tornadoes across the U.S. That is more than 30 percent above average for the year-to-date period we're 760 or so is what is average.
And then, the broader perspective shows us the forecast moving forward. Notice the concern for severe weather generally going to be into portions the eastern third of the country with the exception of portions of Texas and Oklahoma. And that is about it. Above average temperatures still placed across parts of the western U.S. And then, thunderstorms will develop within the afternoon hours, of course, from Louisville on it to Washington, looking at some rain showers well over this region. And some of the heaviest rain lined in right around eastern portions of the Northeastern to parts of Pennsylvania.
Some heavy rainfall as much as one to two inches into the forecast. And the broader perspective brings heat right back into the picture across the central United States, the next couple of days.
Of course, we had tremendous heat in recent weeks, seeing a little bit of a cool-down. But notice in parts of Texas, we climb back up from the 80s, eventually into the middle 90s which is above average for this time of year. Rosemary?
[02:55:43] CHURCH: Pedram, always great to get an update from you on all things weather. Thank you. And we're going to leave you with the Father's Day greeting that couldn't be any cuter.
A new image of Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, a little baby with a big name has been released on the official Instagram account of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. Look at that. The baby appears to be clutching Prince Harry's hand. The caption reads Happy Father's Day and wishing a very special first Father's Day to the Duke of Sussex. Gorgeous.
And thank you so much for your accompany this hour. I'm Rosemary Church. I'll be back with another hour of news in just a moment. Don't go anywhere.