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Trump's Racist Tweets; Iranian Foreign Minister Arrives in New York for U.N. Meeting; England Defeats New Zealand in Nail-Biting Match; Hong Kong Police Scuffle with Demonstrators; U.K. International Development Secretary Talks Politics, Future; China Posts Slow Quarterly GDP Growth Rate; Barry Brings 'Life-Threatening' Floods to Southern U.S. Aired 12-1a ET
Aired July 15, 2019 - 00:00 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): The U.S. president is accused of racism as he aims an attacked on four minority congresswomen, telling them to leave the U.S. and go back to the countries from where they came.
CYRIL VANIER, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): The Iranian president says he's ready to talk to the U.S. if sanctions are lifted as European nations warn the nuclear deal is on the brink of collapse.
ALLEN (voice-over): And what a thrilling day in sports, Novak Djokovic claims his fifth Wimbledon title after a five-hour match and England scores its first ever cricket World Cup win.
We'll have that, we've got news, we got sports, we have it all, thank you for joining us I'm Natalie Allen at CNN Center.
VANIER (voice-over): And I'm Cyril Vanier. CNN NEWSROOM starts now.
VANIER: So U.S. president Donald Trump is taking aim at four minority congresswomen with racist language. This on the same day that his administration says it has begun raids targeting thousands of undocumented immigrants.
The president attacked the congresswoman in a series of tweets writing, quote, "So interesting to see progressive Democrat congresswomen, who originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe."
He added that they should leave to "go back from where they came from."
But three of the four women he targeted were actually born in the United States and the fourth came to the states as a child and became a U.S. citizen in 2000. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez responded, "Mr. President, the country I
'come from' and the country we all swear to is the United States," she tweeted, adding that, "you rely on a frightened America for your plunder. But given how you've destroyed our border with inhumane camps, all at a benefit to you and the corps who profit off them, you are absolutely right about the corruption laid at your feet."
And Ilhan Omar tweeted this, "You are stoking white nationalism because you are angry that people like us are serving in Congress and fighting against your hate-filled agenda. 'America's answer to the intolerant man is diversity, the very diversity which our heritage of religious freedom has inspired.'"
Let's talk about all of this with Larry Sabato, he is the director of the University of Virginia's Center for Politics.
Larry, is there any other way to describe these tweets, other than racist?
LARRY SABATO, UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA: Not in my mind. And I think that's been the consensus, except, of course, with the true believers, the Trump true believers.
But how can you interpret it any other way?
And he knows exactly what he is doing. People say, well, he doesn't really believe that. I don't care whether he believes it or not, he said it and he's President of the United States and it is racist. It is aimed at four women of color, the implication being that they weren't even American citizens.
And in fact, three of them were born in America and the fourth became an American citizen when she was quite young. So it is outrageous and, Cyril, he knows that works, that's why he does it.
VANIER: Yes. You point out three of the four women, that this was more than likely aimed at, were born in the U.S., they couldn't be more American, based on where they were born.
I mean, Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez born in the Bronx, Ms. Pressley born in Cincinnati, Ms. Tlaib born in Detroit --
VANIER: -- you can't be more American than that.
SABATO: That's absolutely true but, you see, it makes no difference to Trump -- and I hate to say this -- but it has worked with his followers, at least if Twitter is any indication.
They don't care where they were born. They agree with the sentiment. And the sentiment clearly is designed to energize them, early on, just as he has energized them since day one, for the election in 2020.
VANIER: I want to read to you part of Charles M. Blow's column in "The New York Times" following these tweets. He says, "The central forming of this kind of thinking is that this is a white country founded and built by white men and destined to be maintained as a white country. For anyone to be accepted as truly American, they must assimilate and acquiesce to that narrative."
Do you agree with that?
SABATO: I do and I would just suggest that the polls all the way along, including the most recent one, released in the last couple of days, show that it is working for Trump, just as in 2016, he once again has large majorities among whites, particularly among white men but also white women. But white men a much larger lead.
It works, that's what he does it.
VANIER: So this is where we are, now, Larry, I remember very well in the first year of his presidency -- and there were several instances --
VANIER: -- and several things that were either said or tweeted or done by the president that caused everybody, including ourselves, to ask whether it was racist and whether the president was racist.
And I remember the day you and I spoke after he characterized -- he used a derogatory term that I am not going to repeat -- to characterize African countries and I asked you, Larry, is the president racist?
I remember your words. You said to me, "I used to think he was racially insensitive but now I think the president is racist."
That was a year ago and here we are again today.
SABATO: Yes, I agree with myself, Cyril, I think I was right before and I'm right now and you are right now and no one can really interpret this any differently, even if you add the political dimension to it. It still amounts to the same thing.
It's encouraging racism and it is revealing something about himself that I think we have always suspected even during the campaign. But as numb as we are to all this, it is so manifestly obvious that I don't know how anyone can deny it.
VANIER: I want to run through some of the reactions, let's start with Nancy Pelosi but we have others.
The House Speaker had this to say or write, she says, "When @realDonaldTrump tells four American congresswomen to go back to their countries, he reaffirms his plan to 'Make America Great Again' has always been about making America white again."
So she is making the same point as Charles Blow was making. We also have Joaquin Castro, he kept it short, he kept it simple,
He said, "They're Americans. You're a bigot."
Let's keep them coming. We have Ayanna Pressley, congresswoman, she is one of the people who were targeted, she says this, "This is what racism looks like. We are what democracy looks like. And we're not going anywhere."
We have one more, this one from Congresswoman Bass from California, "Racists tweet racist things. What we should be focused on right now though, especially today, is that racists also create and enforce racist policies. They're trying to deport people across Los Angeles as I type this. Stay focused. Know your rights."
Do you think the timing of this has anything to do perhaps with the raids that are going on today or this is just -- the news just prompted the president to tweet this?
SABATO: I think it is a combination. Look, he does this every week. It's not like he leaves the immigration issue alone or doesn't connect it to broader views of race that he and his followers have.
So this is just of a piece. As I say, we have all become numb to it, which is really dangerous. No one should ever be numb to this but we have been at it now for years. He does the same thing over and over and he believes it works and it has to this point.
VANIER: All right, Larry Sabato, I'm pretty sure we will talking about this again down the road, thank you so much, Larry.
SABATO: Thank you, Cyril.
ALLEN: We have more now on those raids the Trump administration says are targeting undocumented immigrants across the country. Immigration officials say they are going after about 2,000 immigrants ordered by the courts to be removed from the country in nearly 1 dozen major U.S. cities.
VANIER: So far CNN hasn't been able to confirm any arrests and "The New York Times" reports that plans for the raids had to change. Instead of one large simultaneous sweep, they are doing smaller raids over the course of a week, since news reports tipped off immigrant communities about what to expect.
ALLEN: Regardless, the acting commissioner for U.S. Customs and Border Protection says the focus of the immigration sweep is on violent criminals and aggravated felons, which should matter to all Americans.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The individuals that ICE goes after it -- and they do this every single day -- are not individuals that are here undocumented, they are individuals who are here illegally. And in this case, their priority has always been and it will be to go after those who are criminal aliens, those people who are illegally and who have additional crimes against American citizens.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VANIER: CNN's Paul Vercammen is in Los Angeles, watching for immigration raids there but he says there wasn't much out of the ordinary this weekend.
PAUL VERCAMMEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We were outside a detention center; we did not see any sort of targeted raids or anything unusual, the activists telling us that they decided they would not even put on any rallies or protests.
They have been extremely vocal in their outright contempt and cynicism over Trump and the threatened raids. They basically have said that they accuse the U.S. president of trying to whip up his base by threatening these raids and trying to scare people, one even using the term "poltergeist" from the scary movie.
What developed today was nothing; they had lawyers on standby and now these activists say they are now crossing their fingers and hoping they don't see any such --
VERCAMMEN: -- sweeps or raids in the coming days but they are taking a very calm view of all this.
They say look, ICE raids in Los Angeles are common; there are some 500 and something arrests per month. So that would equal 16 or 18 arrests per day, so they say this is all just routine.
ALLEN: Paul Vercammen there for us.
Well, other news we are following, Iran's foreign minister says the United States is at risk of becoming a global pariah if they keep making decisions that benefit only themselves. Javad Zarif spoke with reporters on Sunday.
JAVAD ZARIF, IRANIAN FOREIGN MINISTER: The Trump administration is isolated in the global community. We've seen that in the meetings of the Security Council, in the meetings of -- including in the meeting of the board of governors of the IAEA.
All of them are called by the United States. All of them ended up condemning the policies, unilateral policies, of the United States. So it is time for the United States to begin to return to the international consensus, that we can only reach our goals through multilateralism.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ALLEN: Zarif is now in New York for a U.N. meeting this week after having his visa personally approved by U.S. secretary of state Mike Pompeo. It all comes as tensions between the two countries are getting worse, although Zarif's visit could open the door for possible sideline talks.
VANIER: Earlier Sunday, president Hassan Rouhani said that he's willing to hold talks with the U.S. on one big condition.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HASSAN ROUHANI, IRANIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): We are always ready for negotiations. This very -- this very hour, at this moment, we are ready for talks, provided that you stop your act of aggression, stop your sanctions and return to the negotiation table and return to logic.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VANIER: Mr. Rouhani says that because the Trump administration abandoned the 2015 nuclear deal last year, Iran is not violating it, even though they are enriching more uranium. France, Germany and the U.K. are warning that the deal is at risk of total collapse.
They are urging the U.S. and Iran to come back to the negotiating table as soon as possible.
Also it's been a big, nay, a huge sports weekend, three major competitions all on the same day.
ALLEN: In tennis, superstar Novak Djokovic captured yet another Wimbledon title, beating Roger Federer in a thrilling match. CNN's Christine Macfarlane is at the All England Club in Wimbledon.
CHRISTINA MACFARLANE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This was a match we'll look back on in years to come and say, where were you when Novak Djokovic downed Roger Federer in one of the greatest matches we've ever seen at Wimbledon?
No one expected it to be this close, into the sixth set. It was a battle for survival out there on Centre Court, the pendulum swinging back-and-forth between the two. But in the end, it was the Serb who outlasted Federer to take his fifth Wimbledon title, his 16th Grand Slam overall in what was the longest men's final in Wimbledon history.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MACFARLANE: Novak, congratulations.
Was this the biggest win of your career?
Where does it rank in everything you have achieved?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC, WORLD NUMBER 1: Probably top two, physically most demanding match against Nadal in the finals of Australian 2012 and this was the most mentally demanding because of the circumstances and Roger across the net.
He was playing well and serving well. I had a difficult time to really serve and he was match points up and serving. And in those moments you just try to stay there, try to stay present and find that strength and self-belief. In the end I managed to pull it out and I'm very, very, very happy and proud of the achievement today.
MACFARLANE: And exhausted.
DJOKOVIC: And exhausted as well, of course.
DJOKOVIC: Thank you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACFARLANE: Djokovic now moves within four slams of equaling Roger Federer's all-time record of 20. And the battle to become the greatest of all time is about to intensify in tennis, with now just four slams separating the big three.
This will be a bitter disappointment for Roger Federer, who came to within just one point of taking championship number nine. Afterwards he said that he was not sad but he was angry to see his great rival eclipse him once again on the court that he calls home -- Christina Macfarlane, CNN, Wimbledon.
ALLEN: What a match that was.
VANIER: Also this weekend, wasn't just tennis. Another championship trophy was lifted in London, this one was in cricket.
ALLEN: England's team celebrated its first ever World Cup victory Sunday. As CNN Alex Thomas reports they beat New Zealand in a nail- biting match that made history.
ALEX THOMAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We have witnessed history here in an absorbing and --
THOMAS: -- nail-biting final, that saw cricket's first super over in a cricket World Cup final, the sport's equivalent of football's penalty shooter.
It would have delighted World Cup organizers. England is jubilant after their first-ever cricket World Cup triumph. But you have to feel sorry for New Zealand, who couldn't be separated after both teams had had their 50 overs and even after each team had had its super over of six balls each. In the end, England winning because they had scored more boundaries
over the course of the match, what a contrast but what an incredible history-making finale to this tournament that started back at the end of May.
ALLEN: All right, Alex there.
We are not finished with our big Sunday sports day, also ahead, a big day at the British Grand Prix, where Formula 1 champion Lewis Hamilton won the race for a record sixth time, he crossed the finish line 25 seconds ahead of his Mercedes teammate, Valtteri Bottas.
VANIER: And the win sends Hamilton's championship lead to 39 points. Kate Riley will have much more on all of that and the cricket World Cup and Wimbledon, all of that coming up in about 30 minutes in "WORLD SPORT."
ALLEN: We will continue with more news. Protests continue in the streets Hong Kong, thousands marched peacefully before scuffles with police broke out. We will have more of that ahead here.
VANIER: The mostly peaceful demonstration in Hong Kong ended with clashes, some protesters threw umbrellas and bottles at police and they reportedly responded with pepper spray.
ALLEN: This is the latest dustup over a bill that would allow extradition to China, while Hong Kong's chief exec says the bill is dead it has not been formally withdrawn, Paula Hancocks has more about it from Hong Kong.
PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: There has been yet another face- off between protesters and police in Hong Kong this Sunday, you can see most of the protesters have left their helmets and bricks down the ground, umbrellas in some cases and nails which had been thrown at the police as they were retreating.
For the most part this Sunday night, police were relatively restrained, more so than in recent weeks. This has been going on for about six weeks now and some of the protesters -- in some of the protests police have been using tear gas and rubber bullets and pepper spray.
Not the case tonight, though. There was a very peaceful march which protesters say was more than 100,000 strong. The police say was more like 28,000. The correct figure might be somewhere in between there.
But it was a peaceful march against extradition bill and this is the crux of why the protests are continuing here in Hong Kong, the fact that Hong Kongers did not want this extradition bill, where people could be extradited to China to face charges and go through the courts there.
And there's a real sense among protesters that there is a chipping away of the democracy that Hong Kongers are clinging onto here by the powers in Beijing.
So certainly the momentum is continuing, we are seeing protesters still coming onto the streets and they are going to different areas in Hong Kong now, trying to spread their word and garner support for their message.
We do see sporadic clashes with police but certainly for the most part these protesters this Sunday have been peaceful -- Paula Hancocks, CNN, Hong Kong.
ALLEN: And now to the streets of Paris. French police say they have arrested 175 Yellow Vest protesters who demonstrated on Bastille Day. The protests happened along the iconic Champs-Elysees. Police dispersed the crowd using tear gas.
VANIER: The demonstrations came just after French president Macron presided over the traditional Bastille Day military parade, alongside other European leaders.
And questions as to what may have caused Saturday's massive power outage in New York City.
ALLEN: Yes, the blackout plunged much of Manhattan into darkness for about five hours, it is still largely a mystery but officials are ruling out a few things.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TIMOTHY CAWLEY, PRESIDENT, CONEDISON: We have no indications at all that this was cyber in any way or a physical attack. In terms of loading or demand on the system, it was a warm evening last night. But in terms of the peak demands that Manhattan exhibits on those hottest weekdays, the demand last night was very low.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ALLEN: The investigation into what went wrong could take months.
The Ebola crisis in the Democratic Republic of Congo is spreading. The country's ministry of health says there has been a confirmed case in Goma. That city is more than 350 kilometers south of Butembo, where the world's second largest Ebola outbreak began last year.
VANIER: Officials say they are working to contain the threat in Goma. The patient there has been isolated and the people who traveled with him on a bus last week will be vaccinated.
Also Britain is providing support to Congo in its fight against Ebola.
ALLEN: CNN's Farai Sevenzo sat down with Rory Stewart, the British international development secretary, for a wide ranging talk starting with the Ebola crisis.
RORY STEWART, U.K. INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT SECRETARY: The challenge in Congo has been that there is an insurgency going on. Doctors are getting killed, clinics are getting blown up so it is very difficult to follow the correct procedures.
So it is a medical crisis but it's also a political and security crisis. Probably the biggest difference in response is that we now have a new vaccine for the first time, which is making a huge difference.
FARAI SEVENZO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Is that British funded?
STEWART: That is a lot of British funding going into that and indeed Britain and the United States have been the two largest donors so far toward this response.
SEVENZO: We understand from your people that you're planning a massive announcement for the last two weeks, as international development central.
What is that?
STEWART: I am doubling the amount the department would spend on climate and the environment and announcing particularly for Africa a 250 million pound package to drive forward work on climate (INAUDIBLE) and mitigation in Africa.
SEVENZO: Two weeks to go in your job.
Will you stay on if you are asked to by the next prime minister?
STEWART: So I said that if the next prime minister's Boris --
STEWART: -- Johnson, I will step down. But if it is Jeremy Hunt, I will be delighted to continue.
I was a candidate to be prime minister myself and in the debates with Boris Johnson I was very clear that I said a no deal Brexit would be a bad idea. And, of course, if you served in Boris Johnson's cabinet, he would want you to commit to a no deal Brexit, which I would be unable to do.
SEVENZO: I'm of African descent, been nationalized. And when I read things from Johnson about the queen meeting (ph) flag-waving pickaninnies and warriors with watermelon smiles, I find it deeply resentful and deeply hurtful for me and my children.
What can you do to make your party less extreme?
STEWART: I think everything is about the way that you listen to people and the way that you interact with people. So I think it is about inclusivity, it's about listening and tolerance but it's also about showing that you love people and are interested in them.
SEVENZO: So if the new prime minister is not of that persuasion, what can you do to change your party to convince people like me that the Conservatives are the people of the future?
STEWART: I need to get out and listen to you. I need to meet you. So one of the things I will do if I cease to be international secretary is to travel around the United Kingdom, going to areas that are still having a very difficult time, get out of my comfort zone.
SEVENZO: If you were still standing, would you have supported the ambassador in Washington?
STEWART: One hundred percent, 100 percent, I think our ambassadors are extraordinary people and we are very lucky to have, them they are some of the smartest, hardest working people and we rely on them to be brutally honest. That's how the government runs.
I'm sure that President Trump has American ambassadors also being honest and sometimes a little bit rude about the countries they're in. We saw that with WikiLeaks. That is just the way the business, the world --
SEVENZO: So you would like for him to stay?
STEWART: I would love to see him stay. I think he's a wonderful man. I'm very disappointed that he's decided to resign.
ALLEN: All right. We'll be right back with our top stories. Please stay with us.
NATALIE ALLEN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I'm Natalie Allen.
[00:30:03] CYRIL VANIER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I'm Cyril Vanier. Let's get you the main stories we're looking at for you this hour.
U.S. President Donald Trump slammed for racist tweets aimed at progressive Democratic congresswomen. He wrote that they should, quote, "go back to the crime-infested places from which they came." He's believed to be referring to a group of first-term congresswomen, all of them women of color. ALLEN: Tennis star Novak Djokovic has earned his fifth Wimbledon title, beating Roger Federer in a thrilling final that lasted about five hours. The world No. 1 saved two match points in the fifth set tiebreaker to get the win.
Meantime at the get the Cricket World Cup, England defeated New Zealand to capture its first ever championship.
VANIER: Iranian president Hassan Rouhani says Iran is ready to talk if the U.S. drops sanctions and returns to the negotiating table. In a televised speech, Mr. Rouhani insisted Iran did not violate the 2015 nuclear deal, since the U.S. abandoned it first. He also says that Iran will not bow to U.S. acts of aggression.
ALLEN: The Democratic Republic of Congress says a case of Ebola has been confirmed in the eastern city of Goma. That's nearly 350 kilometers south of Butembo, where the world's second largest Ebola outbreak began last year. More than 1,6000 people have died from the disease there.
VANIER: The latest economic numbers coming out of China. Beijing has posted its slowest quarterly growth in at least 27 years.
ALLEN: The country's statistics bureau says GDP growth slowed to 6.2 percent in the second quarter. That is slightly down from the first quarter of this year.
For more on what this means, let's bring in CNN Sherisse Pham.
Hello to you, Sherisse. Fear of the deepening trade war with the U.S. partly to blame here?
SHERISSE PHAM, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: The deepening trade war with the U.S. is absolutely to blame here. The U.S.-China trade war really showing how much of a huge impact it is having on China's economy.
Now today's number, it wasn't entirely unexpected, however. Premier Li Keqiang back in March, he forecasted, he warned that GDP growth this year could fall between six and six and a half percent.
So today's number of 6.2 percent, it is right in that range. And that's really why we are seeing investors sort of taking today's data in stride.
If we can take up a live look at the markets there, let's take a look at Hong Kong and Shanghai. They are really doing quite OK. We can see Hong Kong up about two tenths of a percent. And we look at Shanghai Composite, up almost eight-tenths of a percent.
There has been the case in the past of China kind of inflating these GDP numbers, trying to paint a rosier picture than usual. That is not the case today.
And really, the trade talks are having an outsized influence. There are a number of things that China's government in Beijing and the central bank there have done to juice the economy, some stimulus measures they put into effect. That includes billions of dollars of tax cuts, hundreds of billions of dollars of tax cuts for businesses, increased infrastructure spending, and looser monetary policy.
But look, if there are no end in sight for trade talks, analysts say that we are not seeing the bottom of China's economy just yet.
ALLEN: And it doesn't look like the trade talks are kicking into high gear, does?
Sherisse Pham for us. Thanks so much, Sherisse.
VANIER: Barry is now a tropical depression as it slowly creeps its way inland in the Southern U.S. Tens of thousands of people in Louisiana were left without power as of Sunday evening as the storm drenched the state.
ALLEN: Yes. Though the storm has weakened, forecasters warn its slow pace could threaten millions with dangerous flooding. CNN's Randi Kaye reports from Louisiana's capital, Baton Rouge.
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We're here along the banks of the Mississippi River here in Baton Rouge. I'm standing on the levee system, really, that has protected the city of Baton Rouge. The city fared quite well through the storm.
If you take a look here behind me, you can see that's one of the bridges across the Mississippi. It's the high points like that that's actually the highest bridge crossing the Mississippi. They're not worried about areas like that, but they are worried about areas like this, where the water is continuing to come up here, even on the levee system.
And if you take a look over here, you can see the railings there. Let me just get out of the way of the camera. The railings, you can see the water is coming up there on that.
And if you look back here, you can see those -- that red lettering there, that red lettering on -- on the levee that actually says "Baton Rouge." And you can see the water is coming up on that, although it does seem to be going down in all the hours that we have spent here, watching the Mississippi River.
The river is supposed to crest here in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, at 43 feet. It's normally 30 feet, so there is definitely some concern about that and the levels.
The -- the Amite River, which is nearby here, was flooded back in 2016 after a major storm. So that has -- is expected to crest at 39 feet. So there's also concern about that.
[00:35:06] There is still concern about some flooding here as the -- as Barry makes its way up north, as a tropical storm now from the Gulf. We did see some flooding in the streets, some very minor flooding, a few branches down. But overall, it seems as though this area really did dodge a bullet. Nothing too major; no injuries to report.
There are still about 10,000 people without power. It's getting restored slowly in this area. There was also some concern earlier about tornadoes and funnel clouds. There hasn't been anything like that.
So again, people here feel very, very lucky, although some people are still bracing, because the governor is saying that, in some areas, the worst is yet to come. So they are continuing to watch that and watch their homes. Many have already evacuated from back in 2016 from those -- from that storm. And they're just getting back into their home, and now they evacuated again.
So when they get home, we'll see what those people find. But again, it does seem as though the storm has passed through, and folks here are doing OK.
Randi Kaye, CNN, Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
ALLEN: Let's talk more about Barry with meteorologist Pedram Javaheri.
Hello to you, Pedram.
Well, we saw Louisiana, at least southern Louisiana got very fortunate there, but Barry continues to march on.
PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yes, what is left of it. It is a tropical depression right now, lost a lot of steam. It really was an interesting storm system, because not very organized, not very symmetrical.
From the onset here, this was a storm system that was as ragged as it gets. There is the center of this storm itself, sitting just north of the northern tip there of the state of Arkansas, the state of Louisiana into southern Arkansas.
And of course, that's where it's been rather quiet. It is all south and all east of this region where thunderstorm activity has been prevalent. It's right along where the center is. That's where you have 45-kilometer-per-hour winds.
But if you want rainfall, and of course, that's the big story, that's all south. And in fact, some of the heaviest rainfall has remained offshore. So as you heard there in the previous story from Randi, we're looking at the storm, essentially, not living up to what the potential was for it to be, but significant damage, of course, right along the immediate coast.
And it looks to really be a great way that this storm played out, as far as the initial estimates of any damage that was left behind. But I want to show you what is estimated, at least over the next
couple of days with this system, because it is far from over, as far as the weather element of rainfall here goes. Because we know rain is the most destructive element of a tropical system. Plenty of rainfall to be had.
Work your way into Southern Louisiana. Even at this hour, hundreds of kilometers away from the center of the storm at this hour, we're still seeing plenty of heavy rainfall pushing in through, say, Baton Rouge and points just to the east. And in fact, the weather service has issued flood watches and warnings in place for at least 11 million people across this region.
So the area indicated in orange and also brown, that's all the moisture into the atmosphere. You notice the next couple of days, this place is off towards the East. We begin to see a drying trend when it comes to the rainfall.
But of course, the water has already been really saturating the soil here. The rivers, the Mississippi River, in particular. Plenty of water, among that highest levels we've seen.
So the concern is that all this rainfall that comes down farther to the north will eventually make its way downstream so some of these communities may actually see worse impacts within a couple of weeks --
JAVAHERI: -- as opposed to right now.
ALLEN: Yes. The Mississippi River has been high for a month now, hasn't it? All right. Pedram, thanks so much.
VANIER: Thanks, Pedram.
ALLEN: Next, we're talking beer. Beer in space. Why some brewers are sending their ingredients to the International Space Station. What?
[00:40:07] VANIER: India's hopes to land an unmanned rover on the moon have been put on pause.
ALLEN: Less than an hour before lift-off, the Indian Space Research Organization announced the lunar mission launch has been called off due to a technical snag. It happens all the time.
The agency says the launch will be rescheduled.
Well, as we continue our special "Space 50" coverage leading up to the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing, we explore the economy of space.
VANIER: So it turns out major companies are sending their products to the International Space Station to experiment without the constraints of gravity; and that even includes beer, as Rachel Crane shows us.
RACHEL CRANE, CNN INNOVATION AND SPACE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): As the basis of beer, these barley fields are where Gary Hanning studies how Budweiser can makes its best brews. He's the director of the company's global Barley Research Center.
GARY HANNING, DIRECTOR, BUDWEISER GLOBAL BARLEY RESEARCH CENTER: We have to understand agriculture. We have to understand the environment. We have to understand their capabilities to now help them grow the best barley that they can.
CRANE: And in 2017, they decided to take this understanding to new heights.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And lift-off. The Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft.
CRANE: Traveling on SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket, Budweiser sent its first experiment to the International Space Station, the first step in the company's self-declared mission to be the first beer on Mars.
RICARDO MARQUES, V.P. MARKETING, BUDWEISER: We were drawn by the fact that the conversation around space was picking up. We made this bold announcement, which I have to tell you, at that point in time, some people might have misunderstood that as a publicity stunt. But it, of course, wasn't -- it was a very genuine intent, research intent behind it.
CRANE: Working with space research and manufacturing company Space Tango, they're testing how barley reacts to microgravity, how that may affect germination and the malting process.
HANNING: So this is a variety that we call Voyager. It is planted from seed that went to the space station.
CRANE: Back on earth, Hanning is hoping one day these findings can help him develop new, more resilient strains of barley.
HANNING: We believe that there are stress responses, and so the stress of being in space versus whatever stress we have on earth and now how does it relate to a drought tolerance, or maybe a flooding environment.
CRANE: So far, Budweiser has sent three experiments to the ISS and is planning another later this year.
HANNING: I think it is traditional within our company of having a pioneering spirit and really pushing the boundaries of whatever we're doing. But then I think we also do a lot of what we call big bets. Where are we going? What are we going to do? And Bud on Mars becomes a big bet.
CRANE: One small step for Budweiser, one giant leap for beer.
Rachel Crane, CNN, New York.
ALLEN: And who doesn't like that? We cover it all here. Don't we, Cyril?
VANIER: Who knew? Beer on Mars.
ALLEN: Thanks for watching NEWSROOM. I'm Natalie Allen.
VANIER: I'm Cyril Vanier. As promised earlier, up next, you've got WORLD SPORT. Then we'll be back with another hour of news from around the world. Stay with us.
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