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Rain or Shine Protesters in Hong Kong Not Giving Up; Bad News Pissed of President Trump; Iran to Announce New Plans on the Nuclear Agreement; World Headlines; Sudan's Ex-President Charged with Corruption; UK's Conservative Candidates Take Part in Televised Debate; Police Arrest Family at Gunpoint; Extreme Weather; A New Golf Champion; Cricket World Cup. Aired 3-4a ET
Aired June 17, 2019 - 03:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[03:00:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: Demonstrations shake up Hong Kong. Protesters took to the streets for another day of massive rallies, all demanding the government get rid of a controversial extradition bill.
Plus, another step away from reconciliation. Iran is expected to announce that it's scaling back even more of its commitments to the nuclear deal the U.S. scrapped.
And as the former president of Sudan faces corruption charges, the general who took over is vowing harsh punishments for whoever was behind the murders of more than 100 protesters.
Live from CNN world headquarters in Atlanta, we want to welcome our viewers joining us in the United States and from all around the world. I'm Rosemary Church, and this is CNN Newsroom.
It is calm in Hong Kong, but protesters there are refusing to back down. They filled the streets Sunday in the week's second record- breaking protest. Organizers say there were two million people there, though the police put the number at just over 300,000.
The demonstrators are demanding the full withdrawal of an extradition bill they fear could mean dissidents going on trial in mainland China. And they want chief executive Carrie Lam to resign.
Anna Coren joins us live now from Hong Kong. So, Anna, it is calmer now. But what are the plans for the hours ahead?
ANNA COREN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Rosemary, we are currently outside the legislative council where the demonstrators have gathered. And as you can see, it is raining. Yesterday, glorious sunshine. Today, the rain has arrived.
So, everybody has come to gather outside this legislative council undercover area. There's probably hundreds of people and some of them have been here since last night. Others have arrived -- we just saw some students who have just knocked off school and have come down. So, this is still moving ahead. Momentum isn't dying. it's not the
hundreds of thousands of people that we saw yesterday. Organizers believe almost two million people turned out, and it was a river of people walking the streets of Hong Kong protesting against that very controversial extradition bill that has now been shelved. But that is not good enough for these protesters. They want it withdrawn.
Well, last hour we spoke to Joshua Wong. He is the 22-year-old pro- democracy leader who has been in jail. He got out of jail just over four hours ago. He came and spoke to us last hour. Take a listen to what he had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOSHUA WONG, PRO DEMOCRACY ACTIVIST: Suspension the evil bill is not enough. We're asking for withdrawing the proposal. In the next few weeks, massive mobilization, march and demonstration will happen again. Yesterday two 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 that Hong Kong people deserve democracy and we are not afraid to up rise the China model.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COREN: And, you know, it's been quite fascinating in that these protests over the last couple of weeks, they have not had a leader, they have been led by the people. But with the return of Joshua Wong, there is a real sense that this is just going to further invigorate people to turn out to the streets, further demonstrations that will be called in the coming weeks.
A short time ago after our interview with Joshua, he came down here and addressed the protesters, and they were very happy to see him. He got a rock star welcome. It really was quite something to witness.
So, his return to the pro-democracy movement, to the protest movement, it has been certainly embraced.
But obviously Beijing, they are central to everything that is going on here in Hong Kong. They're watching this very closely. Although they are not broadcasting any of these demonstrations on mainland China.
Our Steven Jiang he joins us from the Beijing bureau. Stephen, have we heard from Beijing any response to the turnout yesterday?
STEVEN JIANG, CNN PRODUCER: Well, Anna, the government here has not really responded to the latest round of protests on Sunday, and we may be hearing something fairly soon, though, because the daily press briefing by the Chinese foreign ministry is about to start.
But, you know, previously -- in their previous statement the government here had fully been backing Carrie Lam, the Hong Kong chief executive, as late as Saturday when she announced the suspension of the bill. Beijing said they were fully supporting, understanding and respecting her decisions.
[03:05:02] Now, it's really striking, Anna, as you mentioned, all foreign news broadcasters' coverage of these protests have been blacked out here in China, including CNN's signal, including right now as I speak to you.
But also, you know, there is no mention of the latest round of protests on Sunday by the strictly controlled state media at all. Not even commentaries or editorials. And online, on social media, this topic is heavily censored.
So, a lot of Chinese internet users are really resorting to very creative means to evade the censorship by posting images or text messages upside down, for example, to spread the word.
But really, this latest protest, this latest round of protests couldn't have come at a worse time for Chinese President Xi Jinping as he is facing tremendous pressure amid a slowing economy, but also when U.S.-China relations, U.S.-China trade tensions are at an all-time high.
Now, this also, of course, comes at a very sensitive year for the ruling communist party here as they are about to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the founding of the people's republic.
So, all of this is really adding a lot of pressure and becoming a test for the power of Mr. Xi who, of course, is now the undoubtedly the most powerful leader in this country for a long time.
And that's the problem, Anna, with autocratic leaders, that is the buck stops with them. So, Mr. Xi will find himself, you know, will find nobody else to blame but himself. That's when the decision was announced on Saturday to suspend the bill and then Carrie Lam apologized public on Saturday, these were seen as concessions by Mr. Xi as well because she wouldn't have made these moves without a green light, without a nod from him.
And so, these rare moves, really, are now being very closely watched here but also around the world as in terms of what it means for Mr. Xi's leadership and his policies down the road.
And also, of course, the whole U.S.-China relations, the U.S.-China tensions are adding complications to his decisions, especially as now we know U.S. officials have mentioned that Mr. Trump would very likely raise the issue of Hong Kong with Mr. Xi if and when the two leaders meet at the upcoming G20 summit. Anna?
COREN: Yes, Steven, you make a really interesting point. Analysts are saying that this is the first time that Xi Jinping has backed down on an issue. So, it is interesting as to what is taking place here.
Now, joining us from the Hong Kong bureau is a pro-Beijing lawmaker, Regina Ip. She obviously has backed this extradition bill. Regina, from the enormous turnout yesterday, these people are telling you loudly, very clearly they do not want this controversial extradition bill. Will the government withdraw it? REGINA IP, HONG KONG LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL: The government -- the chief
executive already said that she has no plan to revive this bill. No timetable for it and she is postponing it indefinitely.
As a member of her cabinet, I have no objection at all to Carrie Lam saying categorically that she will formally withdraw it.
COREN: OK. So, you would like to hear her say that?
COREN: You would like her to withdraw the bill.
IP: Yes, and I have no objection whatsoever. In fact, I encourage her --
COREN: You would like her to withdraw -- OK.
IP: Yes. To formally say she will withdraw it and also apologize personally for the unease that has been caused in our society in the past four months.
COREN: Well, she made an apology late last night through a press release, which protesters believed to be a very insincere apologizing for the -- the discrepancies of the government and also for disappointing the people.
It didn't go far enough. It hasn't placated the people. If anything, they are more angry and they want her to step aside. Should Carrie Lam resign?
IP: Well, the advice we gave her is that she needs to apologize in person. Because she's a lifelong bureaucrat she's not used to apologizing. But we do think she ought to, but I don't think she should resign, you know? Because we need her to hold the fort at this critical time --
COREN: Why don't you think she should resign?
IP: I don't think so. You know, because --
COREN: Why don't you think she has to resign, considering she has lost the credibility -- she's lost credibility. She's lost the confidence of the people.
I mean, these protesters that we are with, they say they're not going anywhere until she steps down. So you will continue to see this civil unrest until Carrie Lam listens to the people.
[03:10:00] IP: Well, it's actually not too difficult to submit the resignation letter. I have done that myself when I was a senior official. But this is more difficult to stay behind, to, you know, clear up the mess, you know, to take care of the aftermath, and to make sure that Hong Kong remains in good order while helping to work out the right policies and responses to make sure that the mass demonstration will eventually taper -- taper out. Because she still has --
COREN: Regina, do you think that Carrie Lam still has the support of Beijing? Do you think that she still has the support of Beijing?
IP: I think so. I think so. And she has the support of all members of the executive council. Including myself. So, we would like her to continue to hold the fort.
COREN: So, you don't want her job? You don't think you could do a better job?
IP: Well, this is a very challenging job, you know? But I think Carrie should -- it's easy to submit a letter of resignation, but it's not that easy to clear up the mess, you know, to take care of all the fallout of the unrest in the past few months. I think she ought to do her duty.
COREN: Regina Ip joining us here in Hong Kong, a pro-Beijing lawmaker of the Hong Kong legislative council. Many thanks for joining us.
So, Rosemary, as you can hear, her cabinet members, they support her at this stage, at least publicly, but the people here will not be satisfied until Carrie Lam steps down, and more importantly, until she withdraws her very controversial extradition bill. Rosemary?
CHURCH: Our Anna Coren joining us live from Hong Kong, just after three o'clock in the afternoon. And we will, of course, come back to you as soon as there is any more on this story. We appreciate it.
Well, Iranian media reports the country will further scale back its commitments to the 2009 nuclear deal. Last month Iran stopped complying with some commitments after the U.S. unilaterally withdrew from the deal. The U.S. then hit Tehran with new sanctions. Details of the U.S. plan are expected in the coming hours.
And this comes as the U.S. and Iran are trading blame for Thursday's tanker attacks in the Gulf of Oman. Iran's parliamentary speaker says the U.S. resorted to the attacks because sanctions are not working. He is not providing any evidence to back up the claims.
So, two issues there. And CNN has two correspondents working these developing stories. Our Fred Pleitgen joins us from Tehran and Sam Kiley is with us from Dubai. Good to see you both.
So, Fred, let's start with you. What might Iran's plans be for scaling back commitments to this nuclear deal?
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, well, I think they're going to be fairly significant, Rosemary. And the Iranians have sort of already hinted at some of the things that they're going to do.
First of all, the place where they're going to announce this is quite significant, it's the Arak Heavy Water Reactor, which of course is also part of the Iran nuclear agreement and a source of concern for the international community over the years before the nuclear agreement was put in place.
Now, there's two essential things that the Iranians say that they are going to announce today. On the one hand, they're going to say that they're going to start stockpiling an unlimited amount of low-enriched uranium.
You recall that a couple of weeks, a couple of months ago the Iranians already said the first time they announced scaling back some of their commitments under the nuclear agreement that they would increase the amount of low-enriched uranium that they will stockpile. Now they say they are going to up that to an unlimited amount. Unclear how much exactly that is going to be.
And one of the reasons why the Iranians are going to announce this at Arak at that heavy water reactor facility in Arak is because the other thing that they say they are going to announce is going to be that they are going to start manufacturing more heavy water, which in a different sort of fishing process for nuclear energy is also a very important product, and also, of course, something that the international community has been talking about as well.
They're also apparently going to announce a few new design elements of redesigning that heavy water reactor.
So, in general, Rosemary, the Iranians are saying they're scaling back some of their commitments under the JCPOA, under the nuclear agreement, however, the Iranians making absolutely clear that they say they are still going to remain within the nuclear agreement. They say that this all fits within the framework.
All they're doing is scaling back and they say they're going to continue to do that until they are able to reap some of the benefits from the nuclear agreement.
Of course, it's what we've been talking about over the past couple of weeks. The Iranians extremely angry at these very heavy sanctions from the United States and then also very angry at the Europeans because the Iranians believe the Europeans need to do more to give Iran the benefits of the nuclear agreement.
[03:14:56] And certainly this is a clear message today not just to the U.S. but to the European countries as well. Rosemary?
CHURCH: Many thanks to our Fred Pleitgen, bringing us the very latest there from Tehran. Let's go to Sam now, who as we mentioned is joining us from Dubai.
And there is this other story we're following. What is the latest you have on the truth behind these increasing tensions between the U.S. and Iran over the trading of blame for Thursday's tanker attacks in the Gulf of Oman?
SAM KILEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the Iranians flatly deny that they were involved in an attack that they say is suspicious. A term they used for the attacks on four tankers a few weeks ago in May in Emirati waters.
Now, that cuts no ice with their opponents in the region, notably the Saudis have now joined the Israelis, the British and the Americans in assigning blame for this attack to the Iranians.
The Iranians have summoned the British ambassador, no doubt to dress him down for joining the Americans, they say without sufficient evidence to point the finger at Iran, at Tehran as being behind these attacks.
Interestingly, the Emiratis have reiterated their position that they believe a state actor was involved, Rosemary, but they are stopping short of pointing the finger. If they even knew to do it at the Iranians. Because of the deeply problematic diplomatic issues at the moment that relate directly to the future economic capacity of this region to export oil through the Strait of Hormuz.
Whoever was behind those attacks has indicated that with relatively small investment they can move the oil price. They can, whoever they are, strangle off the ability of particularly the Emirates and the Saudis to export their oil through that location. That is very troubling, both economically and strategically for this region, Rosemary.
CHURCH: Certainly. Sam Kiley bringing us the latest on that story. We appreciate it.
We'll take a short break here. Still to come, several of Donald Trump's pollsters are looking for new jobs. Find out what made the U.S. president tell them you're fired.
[03:20:00] (WORLD SPORTS)
CHURCH: U.S. President Donald Trump is apparently furious at 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, and that's not the only thing angering Mr. Trump.
CNN's Boris Sanchez has the details now from Washington.
BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: President Donald Trump lashing out at the New York Times this weekend over reporting 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 sidestep 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 America 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 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 ANC News.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: Robert Mueller had a total conflict of interest.
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, CHIEF ANCHOR, ABC NEWS: And has to go.
TRUMP: I never -- I didn't say that. 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.
STEPHANOPOULOS: 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.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
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. McgGahn 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.
CHURCH: Well, 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 reportedly angered the president and led to the firings.
So, joining me now is Natasha Lindstaedt, professor of government at the University of Essex. Thank you so much for being with us.
NATASHA LINDSTAEDT, PROFESSOR OF GOVERNMENT, UNIVERSITY OF ESSEX: Thanks for having me.
CHURCH: President Trump, as we just reported, fired his pollsters after that internal data showed him lagging behind Democratic presidential candidates in those key seats that he won back in 2016.
What does that tell us about her leadership style when he can't handle the truth about where things stand with his campaign? Was he angry with the internal data or was he angry because it leaked and he didn't look good?
LINDSTAEDT: I think the answer is both. He was angry about both things. He's angry about the leaks and he has been very angry in the past about all of these leaks that have taken place. And leaks don't happen just sort of at random. There is a real reason for the leaks to happen.
I think the people who are leaking the information wanted to try to communicate to Trump that this is very serious, that this is not going to be just a walk in the park for him, that he's going to have to really work to win this 2020 election.
[03:25:01] But the other issue, of course, is what you already mentioned. He doesn't like the information -- the leaking -- the information that had been leaked was positive, maybe that wouldn't have bothered him so much, but it didn't look particularly good.
And in this instance, it is very reminiscent of dictatorships, that when they don't like the information, they don't like what they are hearing, they get rid of people, they purge people.
And that's what he seems to be doing in this particular instance. He just doesn't want to hear it. And he's also upset that people are not being very loyal to him. And that's the problem he has with the leaks as well.
CHURCH: Right. And of course, new poll numbers as well. This time from one of his favorites, from Fox, but they don't look good for President Trump showing him behind the top five presidential Democratic candidates.
Is it too early, though, in the game for this to have much significance or is, I mean, is it a wake-up call perhaps for the campaign?
LINDSTAEDT: It's definitely too early. A lot can change and we, you know, what we found out in the 2016 election is that the polls that were taken in October weren't accurate in revealing what was going to actually happen on election day in November.
And so, we are way, way ahead of ourselves here, but it is important. It should be a wake-up call for the president that he's not doing well in some of these key states that he is going to have to win, and in terms of the way he does in head-to-head contests with six of the Democratic candidates, including Biden, of course, and Warren, Buttigieg and Sanders, Cory Booker and Kamala Harris, he would lose, and so that doesn't really look particularly good. That he isn't able to beat any of these candidates.
And so, I think for his campaign and maybe possibly as I mentioned this is why they leaked the information. They feel that they really, really need to take it up a notch and he might need to pivot a little bit because he only tries to appeal to his base. He only tries appeal to the far-right and he's going to need to have a unifying message that appeals to more people if he has any chance of winning in 2020.
CHURCH: One sure way, though, to get the boss pretty angry, right, leak this information. So, President Trump launches his campaign Tuesday. What are the expectations and how will his plans for the future, how will they match up against what we've already seen from the Democrats so far?
LINDSTAEDT: In terms of what I expect is going to take place, I think he's not going to have a very clear plan in terms of policy. He might talk about -- try to use fear tactics. Talk about immigration and the crisis, and then also try to talk about the fact that there is very low unemployment.
For the most part, I think he's going to stick to very personal attacks. Mostly going after Joe Biden. He really likes to personalize everything, and that's because that appeals to his base and it's also because personalizing things is his comfort zone.
So, he's going to really ramp up the personal attacks, and then for the Democrats as we see, you know, in the next couple of days, there's going to be these big debates. We have such a wide field here and it will be really important for someone like Joe Biden to just not make any huge mistakes and for all the other candidates to try and carve out their own lane and really stand out in some way.
CHURCH: Natasha Lindstaedt, always great to chat with you and get your analysis on all things political. Many thanks.
LINDSTAEDT: Thanks for having me.
CHURCH: Well, Sudan's former president makes his first public appearance since he was overthrown. Coming up, we will have details on the charges being brought against Omar al-Bashir.
Also, ahead, the question on everyone's mind at the first Tory leadership debate, where's Boris? We'll talk about that.
[03:30:00] ROSEMARY CHURCH, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back, everyone. I'm Rosemary Church. I want to update you now on the main stories we're following this hour. Protesters in Hong Kong say they will continue to jam the streets until a controversial extradition bill is withdrawn completely and Chief Executive Carrie Lam steps down. Separately, pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong was released from prison Monday and immediately added his voice to the current protest. He was of course the face of 2014's pro-democracy Umbrella Movement.
The U.S. and Iran now blame each other for Thursday's tanker 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 those attacks.
Electricity is being restored to Argentina and several neighboring countries after a huge blackout hit millions of people in South America. Officials still don't know how the blackout occurred, but they don't believe it was caused by a cyberattack.
Well, Sudanese prosecutors have charged ex-president Omar al-Bashir with corruption. They accuse him of illegally possessing foreign currency and accepting gifts. Sunday's hearing was Bashir's first public appearance since the military forced him out of office in April. He was overthrown after months of mass protests against his 30- year rule.
The general who helped topple Omar al-Bashir promises to hang whoever is responsible for killing more than 100 pro-democracy protesters during a recent demonstration. Despite that, witnesses say it was the general's troops who carried it out. Ben Wedeman has more now on the commander's long history of violence.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Sudan's de facto ruler, General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, better known as Hemeti, acts an awful lot like the ousted leader, Omar al-Bashir. The transitional military council is the ultimate power in Sudan now, though Hemeti is stressing the transitional.
"Sudan is now safe and stable and we will keep going in the same direction," he told a crowd in Khartoum. "As the military council, we're not holding on to power. We don't want power."
His actions, however, betray his words. The general commands the rapid support forces, who on June 3rd, violently broke up a long-running pro-democracy sit-in outside the military headquarters in the capital. On that day, his troops killed more than 100 protesters with live ammunition and, according to multiple accounts, raped and abused dozens of women.
[03:35:05] Since then, Sudan has been under a virtual internet blackout. The Sudanese public prosecutor is investigating the events of June 3rd, and the men in uniform promised they'll come clean.
"If the investigation finds that any members of the army or the Rapid Support Forces or the police are guilty," says General Yasitharta (ph), "we in the military council will be responsible."
Their record is spotty at best. Hemeti's Rapid Support Forces were once known as the Janjaweed, a regime-supported militia accused by the International Criminal Court and the United States of carrying out genocide against the people of Darfur more than a decade ago. Today, they patrol the streets of Khartoum.
The Sudanese uprising, which began last December and led to the ouster of Bashir, has arrived at a cross roads. Worried of dictatorship, the pro-democracy leaders are demanding a rapid transition to civilian rule. But men who have ruled by the sword for decades rarely give up power without a fight.
Ben Wedeman, CNN, Abu Dhabi.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: 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 front-runner 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)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One of our lecterns stands 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've been talking about B0rexit 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 fair with 27 European countries? He should be here to answer that very question.
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 King's College London. Thank you so much for being with us.
JOHN RENTOUL, CHIEF POLITICAL COMMENTATOR AT THE INDEPENDENT, VISITING PROFESSOR AT KING'S COLLEGE LONDON: Good morning.
CHURCH: So why did front-runner Boris Johnson declined an opportunity to not only face his rivals but explain himself and be part of this televised debate, and will that work for him or against him, do you think?
RENTOUL: Well, because he's the front-runner. It's never in the front-runner's interest to take part in TV debates because the 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 addressed that empty lectern. But, he, you know, 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 up to be grilled by Westminster journalists, who have arranged their own on- the-record hustings. And 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 announcer 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 --
CHURCH: -- that Johnson will take part in a debate on Tuesday. Why is that debate --
CHURCH: -- more important to him than the others?
RENTOUL: 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. More and more conservative MPs are coming out declaring their support for him. We saw yesterday Matt Hancock, the health secretary who pulled out of the race over the weekend, came out in support of Boris Johnson as the next leader and prime minister.
So by Tuesday night, it will be as good as all over and the risks of taking part in a TV debate are much lower. It's completely cynical politics, but you can 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 get much money at the bookies (ph) betting on Boris Johnson to win now. There is still a remote chance, of course. This is politics. Anything can happen.
[03:40:02] 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 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 do the British voters think of this? I mean, they're not really going to get much say in 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 before 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 to start off with think his behavior is contemptible and cowardly. But 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 appears on a TV debate that they probably weren't going to watch anyway. I mean, they know what they think about Boris Johnson. He's a known quantity in 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? Right there, the numbers --
RENTOUL: Well, exactly. Boris Johnson, if he gets to be prime minister, is going to face exactly the same problems as Theresa May, and he may not last very long.
CHURCH: Still the Brexit challenges before him. We'll see what happens. John Rentoul, thank you so much for your analysis. I appreciate it.
RENTOUL: My pleasure.
CHURCH (voice-over): And still ahead here on "CNN Newsroom," accusations of excessive use of force. We will tell you why the mayor of Phoenix is apologizing for this terrifying police behavior. We'll be back with that in just a moment.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): You recording it?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): Yeah, I'm recording it.
[03:45:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
CHURCH: A harrowing police encounter in Arizona. Officers pointed their guns at a family after they were accused of shoplifting. The family was terrified and now they want $10 million in damages from the city. Stephanie Elam explains what happened.
STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: What is shocking about this video coming out of Phoenix is just how young the family is, with police officers pulling their guns out on this family. Now, what you can see is that the man in the car, this young couple in their 20s and their two young children, the man pulled out, handcuffed on the ground, and then forced up against the police vehicle.
You can see that an officer sweeps his legs from underneath him after that. At the same time, you can see that his fiance is standing there getting out the car with one baby on her hip and the other young child walking next to her, and the officer trying to yank the baby away.
Finally the woman giving her children over to a stranger because she says she was afraid of what the police officers were going to do. She's told CNN, "I really thought he was going to shoot me in front of the kids." All of this transpiring because of a shoplifting call at a store that was already in progress, then the store manager alerted the police officers that this family, the store manager claimed, had also shoplifted.
The family saying they didn't know their daughter had walked out of the store with a doll. That is what they're saying. And then later, if you go through the police report, they say that the man admitted that he had shoplifted some underwear and then threw it out of a window.
Regardless, many are saying that this was just too heavy of a response for a shoplifting call. The family saying that their daughters are traumatized, that the older daughter is having nightmares and is wetting the bed because of all of this that happened.
The mayor of Phoenix, Mayor Kate Gallego, also coming out with a statement saying that she was deeply sorry, that she is going to make sure that every precinct within the Phoenix Police Department gets body worn cameras by August, so speeding up that timeline, and also saying that there will be a community meeting Tuesday evening so that people can come together and talk about this.
We've also heard from the police chief, Jeri Williams, saying that there will be an immediate internal investigation, and she also said that she was disturbed by the language and the actions that she saw from the officers in that video.
But a lot of people are very much questioning the use of force by these officers in this case. Right now, all of those officers, though, are on desk duty. In Los Angeles, I'm Stephanie Elam.
CHURCH: We turn to the weather now. 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 under threat.
So let's get more on all of this with our meteorologist Pedram Javaheri, who joins us again. So what are you seeing?
PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yeah, Rosemary, we're kind of approaching the tail end of the severe weather season over the next couple of weeks and certainly the couple of months ahead of us. So, at least we are going to see conditions want to quiet down.
But the next couple of hours, we'll expect some thunderstorms across Eastern New Mexico, Western Texas and in particular right there into parts of the mid-Atlantic state. That's the concern, of course, with the high density of population across that region.
But notice this, the winds, the hail, that's the primary threat as we move forward, not as much as the tornadoes. We saw a few of them there, as you mentioned, on Saturday, and a couple more to be had on Sunday across the U.S. Even at this hour, thunderstorms across this region of Texas, Eastern Texas from San Antonio approaching Houston here.
In fact, some 20,000 reports of lightning strikes in a 24-hour period across the Lone Star State and portions of the Midwest. You work your way towards the north and east. We do have some showers beginning to taper off. But as we get daytime heating afternoon instability in this region, we'll expect some thunderstorms to begin to blossom.
Look at Sunday's reports. Only two reports of tornadoes. The reason I want to kind of bring light to that is because you take a look at the month of May compared to, say, the month of June, we know 500 reports of tornadoes into the month of May. That puts our yearly numbers so far above 1,000, and that's 30 percent above normal for this time of year.
So certainly a spike in tornado activity in May but really a quieter trend so far, fortunately, in the month of June. But notice whether severe weather is prompted or not, we do have a risk here for a lot of rainfall across portions of the United States and a lot of these areas, of course, very densely populated, so we'll see some flooding concerns as a result of the heavy rainfall.
But one piece of good news that comes out of this, with the rainfall comes cooler temperatures, at least in the way you'll have the temps drop. It's certainly not the way it feels when you factor in the humidity but 83 degrees in places such as Washington after a high of 90 in store earlier into the week.
[03:50:04] And we'll watch that area and watch the cooler air at least come in the next couple of days. Rosemary?
CHURCH: All right. Thanks for keeping an eye on all of that for us, Pedram. I appreciate it. Two of cricket's fiercest rivals took to the pitch on Sunday. We will find out if India was able to hold on to their perfect record. That's when we get back. Stay with us.
CHURCH: There's a new golf champion, American Gary Woodland bagged the U.S. Open Championship on Sunday after finishing the tournament 13 under par. He beat the world's top ranked player and defending champion in the final round of the open. This is Woodland's first ever major title.
And at the Cricket World Cup, another dominant performance from India against longtime rival Pakistan. India extended its perfect World Cup record against its adversary as it won Sunday's highly anticipated match by 89 runs. CNN's Alex Thomas has more now from Manchester.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) ALEX THOMAS, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Bad weather and uncompetitiveness led to an anti-climactic end to this World Cup (INAUDIBLE) anticipated a real (INAUDIBLE) atmosphere inside the Old Trafford cricket ground.
[03:55:01] But India is batting, strong as we always expect it to be. Rohit Sharma's century is a real highlight. And then an unexpected strength and depth as far as India's bowling is concerned, and it means Pakistan's world cup hopes are now hanging by a thread and the tens of thousands of India fans that were inside leave absolutely delighted.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Forty-seven years, I wanted to come with my wife and watch India beat Pakistan. And yes, man, we did it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Very exciting, very nice atmosphere, so many public as well, so fully-booked.
THOMAS: India seemed to be making slightly more noise than the Pakistan fans.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, yes.
THOMAS: Why was that?
THOMAS: Some estimates suggest that there was a global TV audience for this game of as many as a billion people. You may be skeptical about that, but there is no doubt this is a sporting occasion that transcends cricket and many other sports as well. There were more India fans than Pakistan fans inside, but a real festive atmosphere.
Forgot the geopolitical relationship between these two countries, this was about two passionate set of cricket supporters enjoying their day despite the rainy Manchester weather.
Alex Thomas, CNN, Old Trafford, Manchester.
CHURCH: And thanks so much for your company this hour. I'm Rosemary Church. Remember to connect with me any time on Twitter @RosemaryCNN. We would love to hear from you. "Early Start" is next for our viewers here in the United States. For everyone else, I'll be back with more news in just a moment. You're watching CNN. Do stick around.