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Earthquake Hits California; Trump Avoids Politics in Speech; Border Patrol Accused of Shaming a Migrant; Prince Harry to Christen Son. Aired 6:30-7a ET

Aired July 5, 2019 - 06:30   ET



[06:34:03] JOHN AVLON, CNN ANCHOR: This morning, millions in southern California are on edge. The strongest earthquake to rock the region in nearly two decades has triggered more than 100 aftershocks. Seismologists warn that even more powerful tremors could happen soon.

CNN's Nick Watt, live in Ridgecrest, California, near the epicenter of this big quake.

Nick, tell using what going on, on the ground.

NICK WATT, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: John, millions on edge because millions felt this 6.4 quake. But this little desert town bore the brunt. And as you mentioned, the aftershocks are still coming. Four of them big enough during the night to wake me up anyway.

Now, they are still assessing the damage here in Ridgecrest.


WATT (voice over): This 6.4-magnitude earthquake rocking southern California, rattling people as far away as Las Vegas.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We were actually asleep in our bed, and it -- we woke up to like seeing things flying off the walls and just like being like tilted like this, back and forth. It was nuts.

[06:35:08] WATT: The moment the earthquake hit captured on video as it interrupts this children's Fourth of July play.

This restaurant beginning to shake, workers running to safety as they realize what's happening.

It's the strongest earthquake to hit this area in two decades, prompting the city of Ridgecrest to declare a state of emergency.

LUCY JONES, USGS SEISMOLOGIST: There is about a one in 20 chance that this location will be having an even bigger earthquake within the next few days that we have not yet seen the biggest earthquake of the sequence.

WATT: The quake damaging gas lines and causing some house fires, like this garage fire, scorching these classic cars.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I heard something crackling a little bit and went to that door and opened it. And it was all fire in the garage, in the front end of the garage. So I immediately slammed the door.

WATT: Library books strewn across the floor in its wake. The earthquake emptying shelves at this Walmart near the epicenter, and a local supermarket and liquor stores.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It destroyed literally everything that we had. Flat screens, my dressers are knocked over, all my neighbors, I was talking to them, all of their stuff is gone. Like it was just -- it's really devastating.

WATT: Ridgecrest's Mayor Peggy Breeden interrupted by an aftershock in the middle of an interview with CNN yesterday afternoon.

MAYOR PEGGY BREEDEN, RIDGECREST, CALIFORNIA: This would either be our seventh or eighth one we've had -- oh, my goodness, there's another one right now. Oh my goodness.

BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: Oh my goodness. Are you OK?

BREEDEN: Oh my goodness. Yes, it's just (INAUDIBLE).

BALDWIN: Breathe. Just breathe.

WATT: More than 150 aftershocks have been recorded since. Thankfully, damage has been minimal, and no fatalities have been reported.

JED MCLAUGHLIN, POLICE CHIEF, RIDGECREST, CALIFORNIA: I was worried we were going to have collapsed buildings or -- or something to that effect and we were going to be -- you know, I was fearing for the worst and I'm glad that that didn't happen.


WATT: And it could have been so much worse. Ridgecrest, population about 30,000. Los Angeles, only 150 miles away, and millions of people obviously living there. So this could have been so much worse.

Authorities are trying to use it as a teaching moment, saying, listen, we should all be prepared. Stock up. Listen, everybody who lives in southern California, we are all still bracing for the big one.


ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: Oh, understood. And we will try to get you some information about that right now, Nick.

Joining us now is Robert-Michael De Groot. He's a scientist at the USGS Earthquake Science Center. He helps manage the earthquake early warning system for the West Coast.

Mr. De Groot, thanks so much for being with us early on this morning. So after a 6.4-magnitude earthquake, as you had, are you on higher

alert for another one? We just heard one of those officials say that they fear they have not seen the biggest earthquake in this sequence.

ROBERT-MICHAEL DE GROOT, PHD, SCIENTIST, USGS EARTHQUAKE SCIENCE CENTER: California is earthquake country, and so is actually the entire West Coast. So we are constantly on alert for earthquakes to happen. And these particular events are a wake-up call for us to -- to be aware and to -- to be prepared.

CAMEROTA: But, I guess I mean that after an earthquake like this, does it sort of cause shifting in the plates or somehow create more seismic activity?

DE GROOT: Yes. Well, this particular event has -- has been said, there have been over 100 aftershocks. And earthquakes cause other earthquakes. So the idea here is, is that this event has -- is continuing to occur. There are events happening after the big event. But the chances for a bigger event after the magnitude 6.4 decrease considerably over time. So -- so now that we're about a day out or so, that -- that possibility gets smaller every day.

KEILAR: Oh, OK, that's good to know. So folks in L.A. County say they did not get an early alert about this earthquake. So did the system -- is that a flawed system somehow?

DE GROOT: No, the Shake Alert L.A. App performed exactly as designed. And the city of Los Angeles extends alerts to the entire county of Los Angeles. And the way the system is set up is that it sends out alerts -- the USGS issues the alerts, and then we hand them off to the city of Los Angeles to distribute on our behalf. And the way they set it up is that they need to have a magnitude five earthquake somewhere, it doesn't have to be in Los Angeles County, but that magnitude five or above earthquake has to -- the shaking from that earthquake has to be at a certain level to actually send out the alert. So the county of Los Angeles did not receive the alert because the estimated shaking in Los Angeles County was below the minimum amount of shaking. So it did exactly what it was supposed to do.

CAMEROTA: I understand, but, I mean, the fact that they didn't get the alert, will you adjust it down? I mean will you adjust for the fact that they wished they had had an early alert?

[06:40:02] DE GROOT: That's the great thing about the city of Los Angeles is they're engaging us all the time and we're working with them to troubleshoot these issues. And so we're looking at -- at reducing the minimum magnitude for them to begin sending out alerts and -- and that actually down to a magnitude 4.5. So, yes, we're making great progress with them.

CAMEROTA: Mr. de Groot, I only have ten seconds left. You know the big fear, of course, is "the big one," when there will be something much more catastrophic than a 6.4 magnitude.


CAMEROTA: What's your outlook on that?

DE GROOT: It's going to happen. We don't know exactly when, but we know that it is in our future.

CAMEROTA: OK. On that unsettling note, Robert-Michael de Groot, thank you very much for explaining what's happening there in the past 24 hours.

DE GROOT: My pleasure. Thank you.


AVLON: Well, President Trump's July 4th event sidestepped politics, but the crowds on the National Mall were definitely divided. The president's holiday message to the country, that's up next.


AVON: President Trump sticking to the script last night, focusing on patriotism, history, and national pride instead of partisan politics. As rain poured down on the crowd, the president honored the military and tried to highlight what unites us, not what divides us.

[06:45:05] CNN's Joe Johns live at the White House with much more.

Joe, how did it go?

JOE JOHNS, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Well, it was not a typical Fourth of July in Washington, D.C. We had the protests down at one end of the National Mall. The president, though, as you said, defy expectations, giving a speech that was not political, as many people suggested it would be. He gave that speech at the Lincoln Memorial, which was on the other end of the National Mall, where the president gave his inaugural speech, a much different tone, of course, than the speech. This speech very uplifting and patriotic. Listen.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: New we must go forward as a nation with that same unity of purpose. As long as we stay true to our cause, as long as we remember our great history, as long as we never, ever stop fighting for a better future, then there will be nothing that America cannot do.


JOHNS: And, of course, we had the pillars of democracy, free expression, which is something you would expect on a Fourth of July. Demonstrations out on the National Mall featuring the Trump baby blimp, as well as a flag burning.

Another Fourth of July in Washington, D.C.

Alisyn, back to you.

CAMEROTA: You've seen it all, Joe, is what I'm getting from this. Thank you very much.

So there are new questions for the Border Patrol this morning after agents are accused of trying to humiliate a migrant at a detention center. We have new CNN reporting to share with you, next.


[06:50:37] CAMEROTA: New this morning, evidence of a second secret FaceBook group connected with border agent that includes more vulgar and sexually explicit posts. CNN has also obtained e-mails that show border agents allegedly tried to humiliate a Honduran migrant in their custody and their senior agent in charge took no action.

CNN's Nick Valencia is live in El Paso, Texas, with more.

What is this about, Nick?

NICK VALENCIA, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Alisyn, it is yet another disturbing allegation. According to a Customs and Border Protection agent, this incident happened here in El Paso in March. And what they say they witnessed was a border patrol agent forced a Honduran migrant to hold a sign that read (SPEAKING IN SPANISH), which translates directly to, "I like men." This migrant was then paraded through a processing center in an effort to humiliate him, an effort to embarrass him. And according to this witness, there was two senior Border Patrol agents there that witnessed this as well and did nothing to step in.

CNN has also obtained a seniors of e-mails which shows that this incident was raised to supervisors. According to this source, nothing was done.

Now, we took these allegations to Customs and Border Protection. They say that they've handed him over to the Office of Professional Responsibility.

We're learning this as also new this morning we're learning of a second closed FaceBook group with an apparent nexus to Customs and Border Protection. This FaceBook group is also closed, just like the one we reported on earlier this week, 1015 (ph). This one is called "The Real CBP Nation." It has about 1,000 members and it is similar to the FaceBook group, the 1015, because it features vulgar and inappropriate content. Things like mocking separations of families. There's multiple demeaning memes as well of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio- Cortez.

We also took this allegation to Customs and Border Protection. They said the information obtained by CNN has also been passed on to the Office of Professional Responsibility.


AVLON: That's terrible stuff, Nick. Thank you very much for staying on the story.

And we've got much more of CNN's exclusive interview with Joe Biden coming up. What the vice president reveals about his health care plan and what he's looking for in a running mate, that's next.


[06:56:43] CAMEROTA: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's baby boy, named Archie, will be christened tomorrow. The event is being kept very private. And many in England are not happy about that.

CNN's Max Foster is live at Windsor Castle with more.

What's the feeling, Max?

MAX FOSTER, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT: Well, the feeling is one of frustration. If you look at the U.K. media, for example, today, actually all of this week, this is just the latest commentary, Alisyn, in "The Telegraph," Harry and Meghan, we welcomed you with open arms, so don't shut us out now.

Who knew such a small, private christening could turn into such a big, public row (ph)?


FOSTER (voice over): So far we've had limited sightings of baby Archie. So royal fans are holding out for a clear shot of his face this weekend.

EMILY NASH, ROYAL EDITOR, "HELLO! MAGAZINE": We have had a few little glimpses of him, but everyone wants to see how he's developing, how he's growing, and it's such a happy occasion.

FOSTER: The couple have organized a small, private ceremony at a chapel inside Windsor Castle. No media allowed, though they will have a personal photographer there and will release pictures after the event.

This lack of media access has sparked criticism among some British newspapers and politicians, calling out the couple for refusing to allow public access to the christening when $3 million of taxpayer money is being used to renovate their private family home.

LUKE POLLARD, LABOUR PARTY MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT: But when you're still taking millions of pounds worth of public money, money that could be spent on schools and hospitals, to upgrade and refurbish what is, you know, luxury palaces, you've got to ask yourself, what are the public getting in return?

FOSTER: But there's been a counter backlash from the army of Meghan and Harry fans on social media, known as the Sussex Squad.

GOLDBURN P. MAYNARD JR., LAW PROF. AND SELF-DESCRIBED "ALLY" OF #SUSSEXSQUAD: I don't see any kind of contradiction between there being taxpayer funding or public funding and the royals asking for some privacy.

FOSTER: Professor Goldburn Maynard, who describes himself as an ally of the Sussex Squad, claims Meghan faces unfair scrutiny because of her background.

MAYNARD: The default when it comes to Meghan, because she is a foreigner and she's not royal from this society, et cetera, is that when she does something, she's doing something that's wrong.


FOSTER: So if you go back in tradition, actually christenings were always private. But it was the Cambridges that changed that, inviting cameras in to capture the arrivals for the christenings of their children. But it's pretty clear that the Sussexs want to do things differently and actually a very clear message here that they're going to bring up Archie as a private citizen.


CAMEROTA: I don't accept that. I don't accept that conclusion, Max.

AVLON: I'm sorry, they -- these folks -- I mean they play a public role, but this is their baby's christening. It makes sense to keep it private.

CAMEROTA: No, he's everybody's baby. I want --

AVLON: He's everybody's baby?

CAMEROTA: Yes, he's the British baby, the royal family baby, and I want to see that baby. Mostly I just want to see the baby.

AVLON: Well, you -- oh, you will, just not in real-time.

CAMEROTA: Are you sure because we haven't seen him yet?

AVLON: They're going to -- they're going to put some photos.

CAMEROTA: All right, if you say so, John. If you say so.

AVLON: Let the folks have their christening.

Meanwhile, in non-monarchy news, CNN has an exclusive interview with Joe Biden. NEW DAY continues right now.


JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: There should be health care for everyone. I have a plan how to do that.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The American people support a Medicare for all single-payer program.

[07:00:03] CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: What do you say to the people who say, I think that his ideas are the old ideas?

BIDEN: Look, it's center left.