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U.K. Ambassador Said Trump Left Iran Deal to Spite Obama; Power Restored in NYC after Major Outage; Fearful Immigrants Skipping Work, Hiding Out ahead of Raids; Dozens Killed in Somalia Terror Attack; Tropical Storm Barry Causing Widespread Flooding in Louisiana; Three Major Championships in England This Weekend; Pro-Democracy Protesters Gather at Mainland China Border; Sunken Soviet Nuclear Submarine Leaking Unusually High Levels of Radiation; Macron Showcasing European Defense for Bastille Day; Indian Water Train Brings Desperately Needed Relief. Aired 5-6a ET
Aired July 14, 2019 - 05:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): After hours without power, the Big Apple, well, it's back in business and lit up.
GEORGE HOWELL, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Plus, the U.S. president's decision to leave the Iran nuclear deal, this former diplomat says it was all about getting back at Barack Obama.
ALLEN (voice-over): Also this hour, it was downgraded from a hurricane but tropical storm Barry is raging on. Millions remain under threat.
HOWELL (voice-over): Live from CNN World Headquarters in Atlanta, welcome to our viewers around the world, I'm George Howell.
ALLEN (voice-over): I'm Natalie Allen and NEWSROOM starts right now.
ALLEN: Our top story: new leaked cables from Britain's former ambassador to the U.S. have revealed yet another bombshell revolving around President Trump.
HOWELL: That's right, Sir Kim Darroch reportedly accused the U.S. president of ditching the Iran nuclear deal just to spite the former president Barack Obama. This, again, according to a new report from "The Daily Mail. " Darroch allegedly called Mr. Trump's decision an act of "diplomatic vandalism." The White House has not commented on this latest report.
Let's go right to London. Hadas Gold is following this story.
The latest implications here, the leaks suggest Mr. Trump made this critical decision out of personal spite. HADAS GOLD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Right, George. These most recent leaks come published in "The Daily Mail" today on Sunday, one week after the most explosive of those leaks were published last week and obviously led to resignation of the U.K. ambassador to the U.S.
These most recent leaks are from a two-page memo that Kim Darroch allegedly sent back to London after Boris Johnson had visited Washington and was trying to convince officials in the White House not to pull out of the Iran deal.
The U.K. has been a big supporter of the Iran deal. In these leaked memos, Kim Darroch allegedly wrote that he couldn't get a good answer from the White House as to why they were pulling out, other than it was a campaign promise and that led him to allege that it was all because of personality and because Trump wanted to get at President Obama because President Obama was the one that got into the Iran deal.
Kim Darroch said it didn't seem like officials had a plan B or day after plan for what to do after they pulled out of the Iran deal. In a statement, the foreign office said that it was no secret that the U.K. and the U.S. differ on the Iran deal and that they even alluded to the fact that there was current tensions in the region right now, somehow connected perhaps to being -- to pulling out of the Iran deal.
These leaks are obviously still causing ramifications here days after they were first initially published. Not only has Kim Darroch, of course, resigned but there is the question of who leaked the documents. There is an investigation into that.
There is a row with the police over the right of publishers to publish the leaked memos then there is the race to be prime minister between Boris Johnson and someone who a lot of people blame for part of the reason why Kim Darroch resigned because Boris Johnson did not come out in support necessarily of Kim Darroch during a debate.
And Jeremy Hunt who did come out in full support of Kim Darroch. Kim Darroch resigned this week.
HOWELL: The broader question here, what are the implications on the relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom, given these leaks?
GOLD: Well, things definitely seemed rocky after those leaks came out. Donald Trump saying he didn't want to deal with Kim Darroch anymore, saying that he wasn't respected. Kim Darroch then resigned.
The question is who will replace Kim Darroch, what sort of ambassador will that be and how will that help or potentially hurt the special relationship?
It's not clear whether Theresa May will try to appoint somebody in her final days. She will be replaced within a week. Ambassadors from the United Kingdom, they are usually apolitical, these are longstanding civil servants.
So there is a question of whether this position will now become political, some sort of way to perhaps appease Washington and ensure the relationship stays intact. With the U.K. set to leave the European Union on October 31st, the U.K. is looking to the United States for a very good trade deal. That special relationship is incredibly important for them right now.
HOWELL: Hadas Gold, thank you for the report.
ALLEN: And we all know the situation right now with Iran, Iran's president is claiming that recent American efforts to subdue Tehran have failed and U.S. threats against his country are no longer effective.
HOWELL: Iran and its proxies have often lashed out against the United States and its allies. In the past --
HOWELL: -- month alone Iran has shot down an American drone, been accused of attacks on two tankers, breached the nuclear agreement by increasing uranium enrichment and allegedly tried to seize a British tanker.
ALLEN: Let's talk about it now with Natasha Lindstaedt, a professor of government at the University of Essex.
Good to see you, Natasha. I want to start right there with what we just highlighted, the issues that are going on with Iran and the instability in the region.
Does that say to you that this decision by President Trump for the reasons we are learning was a reckless one?
NATASHA LINDSTAEDT, UNIVERSITY OF ESSEX: From my standpoint, it has been a complete disaster. It wasn't very well planned out; they didn't have sort of a plan B as to what they were going to do.
It put Iran into a corner. And when Iran gets sort of cornered, it acts very, very boldly. And that's what Iran has been doing. They've been engaging in hybrid warfare, which is difficult for the U.S. to deal with, by sabotaging ships, by also amping up the proxy activities.
And it's basically put Iran in a position where it has absolutely nothing to lose. Iran had been adhering to the deal. There was no evidence that it wasn't adhering to the deal and even people in Trump's own administration had admitted that.
And then, as the U.K. ambassador had alleged, out of spite for Obama, it appears that Trump decided, well, I'm just going to pull out of it. But he didn't have a plan B as to what to do about it and then he put the U.S.' European allies in a really difficult position.
They had spent years and years negotiating with the moderates, with the softliners within the Iranian regime, to convince them to come together to make this deal in 2015. And then he threw it all away without really thinking about what the next steps would be and how this would affect the region.
ALLEN: Right. Because we are seeing the repercussions of that right now of his actions as you just highlighted and he had expected Iran to capitulate, to come around to his demands and they haven't, as you said, hardliners have dug in.
We know he has also tried this same approach with North Korea; nothing has happened there and to some extent with China on trade.
LINDSTAEDT: Right. He has been trying to take this very hardline approach, very tough rhetoric. He amps up the rhetoric on Twitter. He's had a little bit more success with North Korea because that particular leader, Kim Jong-un, is sort of a wild card, tends to like the attention, tends to like the big photo ops.
Less success with China but pretty much no success with Iran. I think he has absolutely no understanding of the way that this regime works. It is so ideologically committed to its goals, one of which has been to counter U.S. -- what it perceives to be U.S. aggression and U.S. arrogance and it doesn't waver very much. It hasn't wavered at all in the last several decades.
And it's not going to be excited about this idea of having some kind of photo op like the North Koreans were. And it's not going to cower to all of his angry tweets and threats. So I think he completely misunderstands how to deal with Iran.
You have to offer it some sort of carrot and then when it actually adheres to this, there would be no reason to decide to punish it again.
ALLEN: Right. And you can imagine the reaction across Europe with our allies, who are somehow figuring out how to do business with Iran once everyone has learned of this latest leak. All right. Natasha, we always appreciate your insights. Thanks so much.
LINDSTAEDT: Thanks for having me.
HOWELL: The lights are back on in New York City after a blackout left parts of the United States' biggest and busiest city in the dark. The outage knocked out power for many hours in some parts of Manhattan, the most popular tourist districts, including Times Square and Broadway.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALLEN (voice-over): I was waiting for that. Those are New Yorkers celebrating as the streets lit back up. The Con Ed utility company says at the peak of the blackout, some 73,000 customers had no electricity. Most power has now been restored. Con Ed's CEO explains how they're getting to the bottom of what happened.
JOHN MCAVOY, CONEDISON CEO: It does not appear related to excessive load, as sometimes has occurred in the past. When we have an incident like this, we focus first on isolation of the failed equipment or the most likely failed equipment and then restoration of the customers. And then when the customers are restored, when we really do the full
group investigation to identify what would've caused it, that will follow --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The lights just went on behind you.
How do you feel about that?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Good job. Good job.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ALLEN: Let's go to our Athena Jones, she is in New York for us, live on streets that are lit.
Athena, good to see you. What a night for a city that never sleeps. One would hope they're sleeping now after what they've been through, tourists included.
ATHENA JONES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Natalie. I can't hear you very well but I can tell you that things are back to normal. By around midnight, all six sectors, they call them networks, had their power back.
I want to show you, though, the reason we're standing here is that this was the dividing line. This intersection you can see behind me was the last functioning intersection for at least about 2 dozen blocks, a large section of the Upper West Side of Manhattan.
You mentioned about 73,000 customers were without power at their peak. But remember, this is New York City so 73,000 customers could mean who knows how many apartment buildings, very tall buildings, people were trapped in elevators. We know that people were trapped in subways, they had to be rescued by firefighters.
It was an eerie sense. I was coming back into town on an Amtrak train but at first they weren't allowing to pull into the station because of these power issues. They had us reversing back to New Jersey. Then we were finally able to pull in.
But the subways were rather chaotic. We had people getting out in darkened subways, walking on darkened streets with streetlights. Governor Cuomo, Andrew Cuomo, deployed a couple hundred troopers to help direct traffic after civilians were jumping in to direct traffic at these busy intersections, of which New York has a lot.
But yes, the power is now back to normal and you heard from the Con Ed CEO, John McAvoy, saying the company is working to understand the cause and will be doing a full engineering analysis.
I can also tell you that governor Andrew Cuomo and the mayor of New York City, Bill de Blasio, have both called for investigations. Lastly, from what we understand, this was not, as we heard there, a
load issue or too many air conditioners on in the heat of the summer. And that at least is a good thing. But they want to get to the bottom of this and make sure it doesn't happen again.
ALLEN: Absolutely. It remains a mystery. All right. Athena Jones for us. Thank you.
HOWELL: Major cities across the United States are bracing for raids by Immigration and Custom Enforcement, better known as ICE. Those raids will take place in nine cities, you see them here on the map. They're set to get underway in the coming hours.
Officials say the focus will be mainly on undocumented immigrants who already have court orders to be deported.
ALLEN: These planned raids have sparked fear in several communities. Many undocumented immigrants are skipping work and going into hiding to avoid being picked up. CNN's Sara Sidner sat down with one man, who fears he could be targeted.
SARA SIDNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This undocumented father says he's never felt this much stress and fear in his 15 years living and working in the United States.
SIDNER: What did you think when you heard the raids would be happening again?
"It's very stressful. It's like you have a disease that's killing you, like cancer, something that makes you feel desperation," he says.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Police. Open the door.
SIDNER (voice-over): Fear and desperation are exploding in immigrant communities across the country after the Trump Administration announced raids by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents are set to begin this weekend.
"Psychologically, you live in fear. You live thinking that any day, any moment, you will get a knock on the door."
SIDNER (voice-over): He lays out his documents to show he pays his taxes. He's worked hard as a repairman to achieve the American dream.
SIDNER: Do you think the president has achieved his goal of making people who are here undocumented want to leave?
"Yes, he's achieved that. There are many people who don't have a choice," he says.
He knows the life built with his wife together in California could be wiped away with a knock on the door from an ICE agent. He says he left El Salvador for economic reasons after his first wife died in childbirth and he could not make enough money to provide for his three children there.
He entered the U.S. illegally via the Rio Grande in 2005, missed a court date and the court ordered his deportation. He said that is his only crime. He's been trying to remedy it through the courts, which includes making scheduled visits with ICE, which leaves him even more vulnerable.
At his church...
ADA VAILENTE, PASTOR: I'm putting myself, my church at risk.
SIDNER (voice-over): -- his pastors made clear they're willing to face the consequences of helping the undocumented.
A. VALIENTE: This is what we need to do. We need to walk beside our vulnerable.
SIDNER (voice-over): Their church is a member of a network of churches preparing --
SIDNER (voice-over): -- this emergency shelter for people to go into hiding in the short term and if need be, indefinitely.
MELVIN VALIENTE, PASTOR: We have a higher law, the law of love, compassion and the law of God.
SIDNER: A Trump Administration official says that there are about a million people that have deportation orders similar to the gentleman that we spoke with and that thousands of people that have those orders will be targets of ICE.
But he's clear that he says those folks have gone through the judicial system here and that ICE agents are only following the law -- Sara Sidner, CNN, Los Angeles.
HOWELL: Sara, thank you.
ALLEN: And, again, these raids coming up on this day and we will, of course, be covering the story as we learn about what's happening.
Dangerous flooding along the U.S. Gulf Coast as tropical storm Barry hovers over Louisiana. State officials are warning it could be days before the threat subsides. We will have a live report from New Orleans ahead.
HOWELL: Plus France marks Bastille Day celebrations with a grand military parade. We take you live to Paris with the latest.
HOWELL: The United States says an American citizen was among the 26 people killed in a terror attack in Somalia. Also killed, a prominent Canadian Somali journalist.
ALLEN: This happened at a heavily fortified hotel where local officials were meeting. CNN's Farai Sevenzo has more about it from neighboring Kenya.
FARAI SEVENZO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The port city of Kismayo, in Somalia, lying 500 kilometers south of Mogadishu, was hit by a terror attack on Friday night. What happened is that a suicide bomber drove a car into the heavily fortified gates of the Asasey Hotel, where people had gathered to try and plan regional elections in Jubaland, where Kismayo sits.
And of course what then ensued was a full attack, as heavily armed, a modus operandi that they used before in other hotels in Mogadishu and here in Kenya at the Dusit Hotel on January 15th, they stormed in and began shooting indiscriminately at all those that were gathered there.
Even though these hotels are heavily fortified, it is where the politicians feel safest and of course it is where the attackers wish to attack. We now --
SEVENZO (voice-over): -- know that Al-Shabaab has claimed responsibility for this attack. And the dead include three Kenyans, three Tanzanians and the State Department has confirmed at least one American has been killed in this attack.
We also know that a very popular YouTube star, a Canadian Somali citizen who had been moved from Canada to try to live in this area because Al-Shabaab had been cleared from there back in 2012, lost her life on Saturday morning through her injuries. And her husband was also killed.
It remains to be seen how Al-Shabaab can really be cleared from what is a back and forth kind of effort to try and achieve permanent peace in this troubled region -- Farai Sevenzo, CNN, Nairobi.
HOWELL: The U.S. state of Louisiana is now in the grips of a widespread deal of flooding from tropical storm Barry. Those low lying areas along the coast, they've been getting swamped as the storm brings huge amounts of rain. The water came in so quickly in some places the Coast Guard had to be called in for rescues.
ALLEN: Barry has also brought high winds and the threat, we haven't talked about this that much, of tornadoes and a growing number of homes and businesses have lost power. About 132,000 of them have now been blacked out. Some levees could not handle the volume of water. Look at those poor
deer looking for drier land. Wildlife and livestock were forced to scramble for higher ground as dry land suddenly turned into massive lakes.
HOWELL: It's probably going to get worse in the days ahead. Here is what the state's governor had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN BEL EDWARDS (R-LA), GOVERNOR: This storm still has a long way to go before it leaves the state. It continues to move too slowly and some people may think that the threat is over.
Some people may be tempted to think that because it was a category 1 when it came ashore and has already been downgraded to a tropical storm that it does not present a threat. That is not the case.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HOWELL: Our Gary Tuchman is live in New Orleans with a look at what happened there.
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: George, everyone's eyes were on this city, New Orleans, Louisiana, because of what happened here 14 years ago when Hurricane Katrina came through, killing hundreds of people in this city, when levees failed, water crashed over.
It was devastation, it was tragic and that's why the focal point is New Orleans, when a storm comes through Louisiana. So far, though, so good here in New Orleans. Behind me the Mississippi River, the mighty Mississippi that runs from Minnesota in the north of the United States to here in Louisiana, this is the southern point.
This was the concern for the city of New Orleans, that this river would overrun its banks and then flood the city but the rains haven't come down as heavily as expected here in New Orleans and, therefore, there has been very little flooding here in the city of New Orleans.
Right now it's still raining very hard. The storm has passed to the north, this is the southern part of the storm that has come right now. But authorities are saying right now they're optimistic that they're not going to have much damage here in New Orleans.
There have been absolutely no casualties. What I want to show you, those of you that have been here, I want to show you the area that you come to when you come to New Orleans. These buildings here, this is the famous French Quarter. It's appropriate to talk about the French Quarter today because it's Bastille Day.
But between us and the French Quarter is the levee wall. The levee wall can contain up to 20 feet of water. If the Mississippi goes over 20 feet, the city is at danger. It's at 17 feet. That's why they are not concerned.
Where that truck is right there, there was a floodgate closed there. More than 200 floodgates in the New Orleans area were closed to protect the city. The fact that it's now been opened is good news for New Orleans, which may have escaped -- the storm is not over -- but may have escaped this meteorological bullet. George, back to you.
HOWELL: Gary, that is some good news at the very least but people certainly should be on guard as this storm, the soaker, certainly is not done. Gary Tuchman, thank you.
Let's get a sense of where this storm is going now.
ALLEN: Three major sport championships all taking place in the same country on the same weekend.
HOWELL: The very latest on Wimbledon, the British Grand Prix and the cricket World Cup. A lot happening. Stay with us.
HOWELL: Welcome back to our viewers around the world, you're watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Atlanta, I'm George Howell.
ALLEN: And I'm Natalie Allen. Here are the headlines this hour.
ALLEN: All right. Right near France, just across some water there, a trifecta of championships in the world of sport are converging in Britain this weekend.
The cricket World Cup is getting underway now between England and New Zealand. Then tennis stars Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic battle it out for the men's singles title at Wimbledon and then the British Grand Prix final kicks off at the Silverstone Circuit.
We have a team of reporters covering all three: Christina Macfarlane is at Wimbledon, Amanda Davies is at the Silverstone Circuit and Alex Thomas is covering the cricket World Cup at Lord's. He will be with us a bit later. I guess he's not up yet.
ALLEN: Christina and Amanda joining me now.
Ladies, good to see you. You have great sports stories to tell today.
Christina, Wimbledon finally comes to an end, Serena fell to Simona on Saturday and on to Sunday, Federer and Djokovic. This is quite the sporting day.
CHRISTINA MACFARLANE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It absolutely is, Natalie. That women's match yesterday really was a story of its own because it was over in just 56 minutes, Simona Halep defeating 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams in a way we have never seen before, denying her the chance to equal the all-time record of 24.
So if that game was over a little too quickly for tennis fans, we can expect a much tougher, longer epic battle on Centre Court today. For the 16th time in a Grand Slam final, Novak Djokovic is about to face Roger Federer.
As always, when the big three meet at the Grand Slam finals, there is history on the line. Roger Federer looking to extend his record with 21 Grand Slams while Djokovic going for a sweet 16 to add to his collection.
This is more than just a match, it goes without saying, because at this stage in their careers, these two are chasing to become the GOAT, the Greatest of All Time. And for Federer, of course, he's leading the pack on 20 but a win today for Novak would put him within four of reaching that target.
So there's a certain urgency for Federer to go out there and win it today. If he does, of course, he will be become the oldest Grand Slam champion in history but I have to say Djokovic is really the clear favorite today.
He's been called the human backboard because he lets nothing get past him, he is one of the greatest defenders in the game, he has won three of the last four Grand Slams and has defeated Federer four times in a row previous to this matchup today.
But I think all of Centre Court will be on Federer's side today.
ALLEN: The 37-year old. Thank you so much.
Now let's talk about the fact that if Wimbledon isn't your thing, you've got another choice. The British Grand Prix is rolling today and that's where we find Amanda Davies.
AMANDA DAVIES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi. Yes. Welcome to Silverstone, this is a former World War II airfield, where we will find, just a couple hours from now, 20 --
DAVIES: -- of the best drivers in the world competing for 10 teams on motor sport's biggest stage really.
This the British Grand Prix, is the race that so many people within motor sports talk of as their favorite because of its history, its heritage, because of the atmosphere and here we are inside what you have to say is the inner sanctum, it's called the Paddock, each of the teams has one of these bases, Red Bull's perhaps the most impressive here.
This is where the teams, the drivers, the engineers, all the key players are wandering around plotting their strategy, how they are going to approach this race, the race that will be Number 10 on the Formula 1 calendar.
We've seen a few of the drivers arrive here this morning, Red Bull's Max Verstappen, I've seen the Williams deputy principal, Claire Williams, walking around, heading into the garage to talk to her team.
But what I would give this morning to be a fly on the wall inside Mercedes. So many people, of course, this weekend supporting the home favorite, the defending world champion, Lewis Hamilton, here on home turf at the British Grand Prix.
But he is not the man starting from the front of the grid, from pole position; instead it's his teammate, Valtteri Bottas, who pipped him by the smallest of margins, just .006 seconds, in context that's 40 centimeters over a distance of 5.8 kilometers.
But Lewis still will fancy his chances here, he is looking for a record sixth victory at his home race. I got some fascinating insight from one of his former teammates, the 2016 Formula 1 world champion Nico Rosberg about how the dynamics will be playing out inside Mercedes.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NICO ROSBERG, 2016 F1 WORLD CHAMPION: It's a big fight internally because they are going to be fighting for the race win tomorrow and it's Lewis' home race and he's second, he's usually always on pole position for this race so he's not going to like that at all.
And it was .006 seconds of a difference, 41 centimeters, it's like that, across one whole lap where they're doing like 200 mph. So it's phenomenally close and Lewis is going to want to get that win tomorrow so he's going to try everything and it's going to be really exciting.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DAVIES: Here we are at the entrance of the Paddock. All eyes trained on the turnstiles as you can see, hundreds of fans outside, desperate to get an autograph from their favorite driver on the way.
And we haven't seen Lewis Hamilton or Valtteri Bottas as yet but plenty to look forward to over the next couple hours. The race getting under way in about three and a half hours time. We've got a Red Arrows air display. The stars are out in force as well. Will.i.am, Jose Mourinho, 007 James Bond himself, Daniel Craig is also expected.
So plenty to get excited about over the next couple of hours and that's even before the cars take to the track.
ALLEN: Absolutely. I'm just guessing no strawberries and cream served there at the track, we will save that for Wimbledon. Ladies, thanks so much, Amanda, Christina. Enjoy your day covering these cool events. Thanks.
Sunday is also -- we're not finished yet.
HOWELL: Not yet.
ALLEN: -- a huge day for cricket. England and New Zealand are facing off at the World Cup final, both teams looking for their first title ever.
HOWELL: The English are hosting the match in London and are considered the favorites there, coming off a strong semifinal performance against Australia, the defending champs. Their captain says winning the title would be special.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
EOIN MORGAN, ENGLAND CAPTAIN: I haven't allowed myself to think about lifting the trophy, cricket and sport in particular is very fickle. If you ever get ahead of it, it always seems to bite you in the backside. So I haven't done that.
And for us to win I think around the country it would be awesome, great for the game. I think quite iconic, in certainly young kids' memory particularly if they're watching it at home. And we manage to lift the trophy, it would be awesome.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ALLEN: Again, we have reporters at every event, our coverage of Sunday's events continue on CNN. We'll have another live report in the coming hours.
HOWELL: Still ahead, making their voices heard. More protesters and marches in Hong Kong. The very latest on the city's political unrest.
HOWELL: Another day of marches in Hong Kong. Protesters trying to spread their pro democracy message across several towns outside the city's main island.
ALLEN: For weeks, thousands have called on Hong Kong's government to completely kill an extradition bill that many viewed as a power grab by Beijing. Matt Rivers is in Hong Kong for us.
We know that Saturday's protests started peaceful, they didn't end peaceful but these protesters, they really are passionate about this issue. What keeps them coming out?
MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, so what's happening now, Natalie and George, is kind of a transition period that we see in a lot of these protests. So what we saw earlier today was tens of thousands of people, we would guess, what protest organizers are saying is a little bit north of 100,000 people came out to this area that is outside of the main -- you know, the main island of Hong Kong where a lot of the bigger protests have happened in the past.
They came out here and they marched peacefully, calmly, marched for a couple hours spreading their message, saying they don't want the extradition bill just suspended, they want it repealed. They want Beijing to stop encroaching, as they call it, on Hong Kong's democratic style freedoms. A number of different things that are the themes of these protests that we've seen over the past six weeks.
But now is when things have changed in the past, over the past six weeks what we've seen is peaceful protests during the day and then as the sun starts to go down if there will be violence it will start to happen within the next few hours.
We are not sure how this is going to go. There have been some reports of some scuffles between the police and protesters behind me there where that crowd is. Yes, we haven't really been able to confirm all that much about that at this point.
But that wouldn't be surprising. We have seen that happen before. But we should note here and we shouldn't let that take away from the fact that the vast, vast majority of the people that were out here today were marching very, very peacefully, just trying to spread their message. Where it goes over the next couple of hours --
RIVERS: -- we are going to have to watch very closely but for now this was a peaceful march as protesters intended. And it's yet another example of how this momentum generated, starting way back in early June, continues well over a month after these protests started. No protest fatigue, at least yet here in Hong Kong.
ALLEN: All right. We appreciate it, Matt Rivers. Watching it for us today. We will see what unfolds. Thank you.
Well, now to an alarming discovery deep underwater near Norway. Scientists say they have found very high levels of radiation on the ocean floor.
HOWELL: And they say the source is a Soviet-era submarine that sank in the 1980s. Our Lynda Kinkade has this story for you.
LYNDA KINKADE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Radiation levels 800,000 times higher than normal near the sunken wreck of a Soviet-era nuclear submarine are being reported by Norway's nuclear safety authority.
The Komsomolets sank off the Norwegian coast 30 years ago. It now lies at a depth of nearly 2,000 meters underneath an important fishing ground. Two of the three samples taken by a joint Norwegian-Russian research expedition were normal. But a third showed dangerously high levels, according to Norwegian media.
ELISE HELDAL, NORWEGIAN INSTITUTE OF MARINE RESEARCH (through translator): I think this is caused by ocean currents. Perhaps the variation and the direction of the currents, maybe the tides, makes something come out of the ventilation holes sometimes.
KINKADE (voice-over): Right now the research team says the potential radiation leak won't affect commercial fishing. They're emphasizing that these results are preliminary and that more tests will have to be conducted.
HELDAL (through translator): We will follow the conditions by the ventilation hole closely. We will use cameras to see if we see a cloud like this again and then we will take more tests.
KINKADE (voice-over): The Komsomolets was a one-of-a-kind experimental nuclear submarine, the crew was able to shut down its nuclear reactor before it sank in April 1989. Experts say that it's currently impossible to retrieve submarines lost at depths below 1,500 meters. So a recovery operation is not an option -- Lynda Kinkade, CNN.
ALLEN: Next here, France is showcasing European defense capabilities for Bastille Day. Live video here from Paris. We will take you to the French holiday next.
HOWELL: Live pictures from Paris, France. European leaders are on hand this hour for France's annual Bastille Day celebrations that are clearly under way. The German chancellor Angela Merkel is among those attending.
ALLEN: French president Emmanuel Macron, of course, presiding over the festivities with this year's event showcasing European defense capabilities.
HOWELL: And our Jim Bittermann also there in Paris, by phone with us. Jim, what's happening right now? JIM BITTERMANN, CNN SR. INTL. CORRESPONDENT: Well, this is a big display, this is about an hour and a half into the parade so far and there is still more equipment coming down the avenue here, the fire trucks coming along, the fire departments, of course, in France are to some extent militarized so they are part of this parade as well.
We've seen a flypast of almost 70 airplanes, 40 helicopters, we saw marching 4,200 marching units, 250 horses. The motorized units have included some tanks that actually have come down the Champs-Elysees.
Now the military is telling us that, in fact, one of the things that they wanted to emphasize this year was the high tech aspect, their innovation and that sort of thing. And they are -- they showed a couple things that they have on display, drones and whatnot, that they currently have deployed.
They also had a fly-by by an individual, wasn't really a soldier but a civilian who I guess they're contracting with, who has an independent rocket sort of belt that he can wear and fly in and he flew past the crowd. They were delighted with that.
Basically innovation and President Macron used this as an occasion to announce the fact that there's going to be a space command inaugurated a little bit later on this summer for space defense and offense, I guess, in the -- in an area where the French have not, up until now, been.
HOWELL: Jim, just quickly here, of all of the things, you know, guns and tanks, tech and satellites, which would you say the French president would be mainly focused on as the biggest threat to European defense?
BITTERMANN: Well, I think, you know, one of the things that the French have a different optic towards Russia than the Americans do and, as a consequence, I think they believe that European defense should be strong in order to for -- in order to protect against that threat.
But also the various force projection things that we have seen on display today, something to indicate that they want to be able to project their forces across the world. They have, as it stands right now, they have about 17,000 troops outside of France, including 1,000 in Syria, in Iraq and about 4,500 in Africa.
So those are places where I believe that they think that Europeans could band together and sort of maintain a posture against the various terrorism threats but also military threats around the world.
HOWELL: Our Jim Bittermann, live on the phone for us. These live images, again, for you, straight down the Champs-Elysees you see these celebrations taking place the Arc de Triomphe in the background as France recognizes Bastille Day celebrations.
ALLEN: Well, there's been some relief in the midst of India's severe water shortage from Friday, a shipment of water arrived in one of India's biggest cities. CNN's Ram Ramgopal has more for you on this story.
RAM RAMGOPAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A welcome sight in Chennai, a train pulls into the station loaded down with precious cargo, 2.5 million liters of water. Residents of the city look on with hope and relief after --
RAMGOPAL (voice-over): -- enduring months of water shortages, in which most of the city's reservoirs have run dry. Officials say the shipment is just the beginning of a plan to transport 10 million liters a day to the parched area, though some say the efforts are just a drop in the bucket.
As parts of the city are facing a daily water deficit that's many, many times greater than what's being delivered. Residents say they've been scrambling to get water, whatever way they can.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): Water supply is not regular. We take water from the tap there and fill water in our drums with pots, one by one. We have then attached an electric motor these drums to get the water upstairs.
RAMGOPAL (voice-over): To conserve water some schools in Chennai have been closed. Companies have asked employee to work from home and hotels have rationed water. Experts say poor management and a poor rainy season, followed by this current late monsoon season, contributed to the crisis.
Some residents are frustrated it took so long for the government to step in.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): The arrangement of water is surely a very welcome step. We are all happy that the government had done this. Having said that, I will also add that if this had been done earlier, we would not have faced such huge problems throughout the summer.
RAMGOPAL (voice-over): But even with the rains falling now, to fully replenish its taps and bring relief to the city, Chennai must look beyond nature to a more manmade solution -- Ram Ramgopal, CNN.
ALLEN: And that is CNN NEWSROOM. Thanks so much for watching. I'm Natalie Allen.
HOWELL: And I'm George Howell. Your world headlines right after the break.