Return to Transcripts main page


Going Green: Learn From Our Planet; Raids Changed to Plan B; President Trump Pushing Out Lawmakers; Iran Wants Concessions Before Talks; More Bombshell from British Ambassador; Indonesia's President Laid Out His Rule; Hurricane Barry Has Now Been Downgraded to a Tropical Storm; New York Still Investigating Cause of Power Outage; Restoration of Notre Dame Cathedral Still Ongoing; Novak Djokovic Won Wimbledon 2019; Lewis Hamilton Won 2019 British Grand Prix. Aired 3-4a ET

Aired July 15, 2019 - 03:00   ET


[03:00:00] GEORGE HOWELL, CNN ANCHOR: The U.S. president on twitter attacking congresswomen, telling them to go home to the countries from which they came, though they are Americans.

PAULA NEWTON, CNN ANCHOR: Plus, the Trump administration says a crackdown on undocumented immigrants is under way in major cities across the United States.

HOWELL: And the embarrassing diplomatic leaks that won't end. The fallout continues as even more sensitive information is revealed about the U.K.'s former & ambassador to the United States.

NEWTON: We want to welcome our viewers here in the United States and around the world. I'm Paula newton.

HOWELL: And I'm George Howell. From CNN world headquarters in Atlanta, Newsroom starts right now.

NEWTON: U.S. President escalated his anti-immigration rhetoric Sunday with an attack on four minority congresswomen using language widely condemned as racist. It came on the same day Donald Trump's administration says it launched raids targeting thousands of undocumented immigrants.

HOWELL: Several tweets. Here are the words he used. "So interesting to see progressive Democrat congresswomen who originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe." Editor's note. Remember, these are Americans. Though the president added, "they should leave to go back to where they came from." Again, three of the four women were actually born here in the United State. The fourth, Ilhan Omar came to the United States as a child and became a U.S. citizen in 2000.

NEWTON: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez responded, "Mr. President, the country I come from and the country we all swear to is the United States, but given how you've destroyed our border with inhumane camps all at a benefit to you and the corporations who profit off them, you are absolutely right about the corruption laid at your feet." And Ilhan Omar tweeted, "You are stoking white nationalism because you

are angry that people like us are serving in Congress and fighting against your hate-filled agenda." She then quotes Robert F. Kennedy saying, "America's answer to the intolerant man is diversity, the very diversity which our heritage of religious freedom has inspired."

HOWELL: All right. More now on those raids that were set to take place targeting undocumented immigrants across the United States. Officials are saying they were going after about 2,000 people ordered by the courts to be removed from the United States in nearly a dozen major cities.

NEWTON: Now, so far CNN has not been able to confirm any arrests. The New York Times reports that plans for the raids had to change instead of one large simultaneous sweep, they're doing smaller raids over the course of the week since news reports tipped off immigrant communities about what to expect.

CNN's Polo Sandoval is in Queens, New York with reaction to the raids.

HOWELL: Polo spoke with a local politician who says many of her constituents are frightened. They're scared by the Trump administration's actions.

POLO SANDOVAL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A pro-migrant groups across the country in full force educating migrants about their rights. Here in Queens, New York it is certainly no exception, one of the most culturally diverse places on the planet.

Over the weekend we saw a large movement by these groups including a small march to basically educate some of these migrants about their constitutional rights, whether or not they have legal status to be in the country.

We did hear from both local and state officials, including local assemblywoman, Catalina Cruz, who represents this woman who says not only is this one of the most culturally diverse places on the planet, but a large portion of the population here lacks legal status, so she's essentially speaking for some of these communities here in Queens. Take a listen.


CATALINA CRUZ, ASSEMBLYWOMAN, NEW YORK 39TH DISTRICT: I got to tell you, I've been in this country for 26 years. I spent 13 as an undocumented immigrant, and I can tell you that the fear that we're feeling right now is heightened. It's heightened by the fact that we have a president who has emboldened the hatred.

I've gotten death threats. I've gotten calls to my office telling me to go back to my country. That has never happened before. We have a president who has emboldened this kind of behavior and people are scared. And we're here to tell them don't be because we're going to fight for you.

(END VIDEO CLIP) SANDOVAL: And finally, Assemblywoman Cruz say that there is this prevailing fear across the country. Many members of the undocumented community afraid to go out particularly with this looming threat they've seen, it's a threat that is much more significant under this administration previous ones.

Cruz says that she expects these calls into some of these legal assistance centers to continue well into the week. Reporting in queens,

Reporting in Queens, New York, Polo Sandoval. Back to you know.

[03:04:57] NEWTON: Thanks to Polo there. Now earlier CNN spoke with Atlanta's Democratic mayor. She strongly disagrees with the Trump administration's raids.


MAYOR KEISHA LANCE BOTTOMS (D-GA): What we've done in Atlanta is that we've created an office called welcome in Atlanta. We provide resources. We've sent out information on social media advising people of their rights.

Our immigrants, if faced with this situation, are entitled to due process rights. We've asked people, please, stay inside on Sunday if you in fear of deportation. Please, record the encounter if possible. Have a contingency plan in place if your family is separated.

It's interesting, I heard from a small businessowner who shared with me that he wished he had more immigrants because he has more jobs at our airport, our international airport than he is able to fill now.

So, I think what people have to be reminded of is that when we have people come into our country, they are obtaining jobs, they are paying taxes, they are contributing to our communities in a positive way. And to paint them with this broad stroke that they are creating crimes and disruptive to our communities, I can tell you as a mayor of a major city, it's absolutely not true.


NEWTON: The New York times chief diplomatic correspondent Steven Erlanger joins us now from Brussels, really good to have you here. We just went through kind of what happened and didn't happen with the so- called ICE raids.

The issue here, though, is that advocates tell us that, look, they don't believe that this will actually amount to what the Trump administration claims will be mass deportations. They actually think this is a political ploy. What do you think?

STEVEN ERLANGER, CHIEF DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENT, NEW YORK TIMES: Well, I think it's a symbolic political ploy. I think almost everything the White House does now is within view of the next election and within view of the Trump base. And the Trump base likes this idea of broad raids against undocumented immigrants. Now the Trump administration says these are only the people who have

exhausted all their legal remedies, but it does have the feeling of a roundup. And roundups have a terrible history last century, and it is obviously designed to have symbolic impact, whether it has real impact or not doesn't actually seem to be the point.

NEWTON: As you said, the point is likely political. And another thing that seems to have quite a political point in that the president is using his political currency is asking those congresswomen to go back to the countries from which they came.

Now, you know, we have to point out to people what the definition of racism is, and most people say it's a person who shows or feels discrimination or prejudice against people of other races. That's what the tweet says, pointblank in black and white. Again, in terms of political currency, the president knows what he's doing here, doesn't he?

ERLANGER: I believe he does. And the people around him also know and the Republican Party, which has been very silent on this issue rather amazingly also knows.

In 2018, I looked this up, 60 percent of white men voted for a Republican and 66 percent of non-college-educated white men voted for Republicans. This is the base. This is what Trump is appealing to. It is, I have to say, has ugly overtones.

I'm surprised the congresswomen haven't told him to go back to Germany or to Scotland because that's where his relatives came from. He didn't come over on the mayflower.

So, it is a -- it's a match thrown into a very divided country, divided over race, over gender, over sexual identity. He's doing it on purpose. He has always, and I've said this many times, his politics is one of division. It is not one of unity. If he's going to win again into 2020, it will be on the politics of anxiety, anger, division, and that's just what he's doing.

NEWTON: And it doesn't seem that he really believes that that's what happened the first time. He has actually started very early in this campaign to, as you say, appeal to that base.

Having said that, where are the other Republicans here? Why do you believe again and again we sound like a broken record? Other Republicans did not stand up against this statement today.

ERLANGER: I know. I mean, it is really interesting. It just shows how much power he's controlling now over the Republican Party. The people who have stood up against him within the party have suffered electorally, because particularly in primaries you get passionate people to come out to vote.

[03:10:00] That's his base. So, people are a little bit afraid. There is also the power of the office, the presidency still has quite a lot of -- of sort of deference. And also, people really I think don't want to believe what some of the

Democrats believe, which is that this evinces a personal racism on the part of the president as opposed to a cynical political gesture.

NEWTON: I want to ask you, you know, where do the Democrats go from here? Because sometimes in terms of their outrage, and they have good reason to be outraged here, it seems that the president is kind of playing them.

And you kind of wonder at what point does even them jumping up and down and obviously having rightfully so outrage over this, does that again play into Donald Trump's base which will look at this as proof positive that, you know, we're a divide here in this country we just don't understand each other?

ERLANGER: Yes, I think it does. The media play into it, too. We all do. But I mean, there is a sense that Trump is a populist. And by populist he is saying we are the real people, the people who support me, the 1950s, the United States, that was the real United States and we can get back there if only we build walls and defend our borders and throw out the people who don't look like that America.

And quiet down the people who in the '50s weren't talking or who were afraid to talk. And this is his base. And the more the Democrats appeal to identity politics, the more they appeal to minority sections of the society, the more it can undermine Trump's argument that the real America is the majoritarian America somehow, which is something he is trying to bring back from the past.

NEWTON: Nancy Pelosi keeps saying this is about make America white again, not make America great again. Something tells me we're going to be hearing a lot more of that in the next few months. Steven, thanks so much. I really appreciate it.

ERLANGER: Thanks, Paula.

HOWELL: Iran's foreign minister says the United States is at risk of becoming a global pariah if it keeps making decisions that benefit only America. Javad Zarif spoke to reporters on Sunday. Here's what he had to say.


JAVAD ZARIF, IRANIAN FOREIGN MINISTER: The Trump administration is isolated into 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 that 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 multiple multilateralism.

(END VIDEO CLIP) NEWTON: 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. Now it all comes as tensions between the two countries of course just seem to be getting worse.

HOWELL: Earlier on Sunday, President Hassan Rouhani said that he's willing to hold talks with the United States, but there is one big condition. Listen.


HASSAN ROUHANI, PRESIDENT OF IRAN (through translator): We are always ready for negotiations. This very -- in 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.


NEWTON: Mr. Rouhani says that because the Trump administration abandoned the 2015 nuclear deal last year, Iran is not violating it even though they're actually enriching more uranium.

France, Germany and the U.K. are warning that the deal is at risk of total collapse. They're urging the U.S. and Iran to come back to the negotiating table as soon as possible.

HOWELL: There is ongoing fallout from the leak of diplomatic cables from the British ambassador to the United States. The Sunday Times reports the suspect behind the leak has been identified and that a computer hacked by a foreign state has now been ruled out.

NEWTON: Now the Daily Mail published more memos that Kim Darroch had written saying President Trump withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal for a, quote, "personality reasons because his predecessor, Barack Obama, signed on to it."

HOWELL: Our international diplomatic editor Nic Robertson is following the story live in our London bureau at this hour. And, Nic, again, the suggestion here that the president made this decision only to spite his predecessor. Tell us more about the substance of these leaks.

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Well, Sir Kim Darroch, the British ambassador to Washington at that time until last week, in fact, is quoted in this sort of second release of details from these diplomatic cables that are supposed to be secret. Calling what President Trump was doing was an act of diplomatic vandalism.

[03:15:03] That he had -- when the White House had no day after strategy. So, this is serious and strong condemnation by the British ambassador, former ambassador.

And it came around about the time we understand Boris Johnson, who is in the running for become the prime minister here, then the foreign secretary, had actually been to Washington to try to persuade the White House, President Trump's administration, not to back out of the Iran nuclear deal, the JCPOA.

This, of course, early in May last year. And these comments made by Sir Kim Darroch made around about that sort of time. The damage has been done, however. Darroch's words are out. They've angered the president. The president said he wouldn't work with him so Kim Darroch resigned.

And really, in terms of diplomacy, it's now in a position for Britain to nominate a new ambassador to the United States.

HOWELL: We heard earlier the Iranian foreign minister pointing out that he believes the United States is isolating itself simply because it backed out of this deal. It's become a pariah, that's what he said. So the question here, Nic, to you, Nic, where does this leave Europe?

ROBERTSON: Well, Europe's making its position very clear and I think this is what Javad Zarif is playing to here. I mean, there are -- there are levels behind what we hear publicly, of course.

We know that a French, a senior French diplomat went to Tehran last week and we seem to be in a moment of an opportunity for some sort of off-ramp. You have the British foreign minister over the weekend, foreign secretary over the weekend saying that it would be possible potentially for Britain to hand back -- Britain and Gibraltar to hand back to Iran the Grace One supertanker that was impounded in Gibraltarian waters if Iran promises that doesn't go to Syria.

That seems to be sort of an opening of a diplomatic door. You have this strong statement from the E.U., from Britain, France, Germany, the signatory -- the signatures -- of the signatories to the JCPOA agreement saying that they believe that the United States sanctions is damaging that agreement and they would like to see Iran come into compliance again and de-escalate the current situation.

So, you know, Iran is picking up, Zarif is picking up on these signals here and it's doing what Iran has been trying to do all along here, which is to make the United States appear to be the odd one out, to make the United States appear to isolated.

And look at the region of the Middle East region at the moment. You have the United States falling out of step with a major ally in Turkey over the S-400 missiles that Turkey is now buying surface-to-air missile that it's buying from Russia.

So, this narrative that Iran and Zarif is trying to put forward here is really designed to put pressure on the United States. It's not clear if it's going to work with President Trump, but it gives you that idea that there is a modicum of diplomatic space to try to de- escalate at the moment.

HOWELL: CNN's international editor Nic Robertson live for us in London with perspective. Nic, thank you.

NEWTON: OK, just ahead, Indonesia is waging a fight against Islamic extremism. Coming up, our in-depth interview with the country's president on how he plans to combat that growing threat. [03:20:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

NEWTON: Indonesia's recently reelected President, Joko Widodo laying out his plans for the future.

HOWELL: But he is facing criticism for a contentious election period and for his choice of political allies this time around.

NEWTON: Now Anna Coren spoke to President Widodo exclusively. I'm so glad to have you with us, Anna for this exclusive. You are in Jakarta and with a president who's got a lot on his mind and the expectations are very high, and a lot of challenges ahead, too, remembering that this is term two.

ANNA COREN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, enormous challenges. Certainly, don't envy him. Of course, this is the seventh largest economy in the world, the population of 260 million people. It's facing enormous challenges, especially with the economy and pulling people out of poverty.

These are very important issues to the Indonesian president affectionately known as Jokowi. but Islamic fundamentalism is also an issue that he is tackling. His critics say that he has closely aligned himself with those in the religious right here in this country, and you'll remember those violent and deadly clashes after the election results were announced back in April, those seeds that really divided this country.

So, one of the questions we put to the president was how does he plan to heal the rift, the divisions within the country? But we started with asking him about that alignment with the religious right. Take a listen.


COREN: Some commentators believe that you have been compromised. To stay in power, they say that you cozied up to the Islamic hardliners and to the military generals. Is this the reality of doing business in Indonesia?

JOKO WIDODO, PRESIDENT OF INDONESIA (through translator): No, not at all. We would like to work with all elements of society. We would like to work with everyone to develop this country, but not with those who want to ruin this country in terms of its ideology and developing our economy. There is no compromise for me.

COREN: You choose Ma'ruf Amin, a Muslim cleric to be your running mate. This is a man who believes in Sharia, Islamic law, that homosexuality should be criminalized. You're a leader who stands for tolerance, for moderate Islam. Considering you come from such, you know, different viewpoints, how can you work together?

[03:25:01] WIDODO (through translator): Ma'ruf Amin is a moderate Muslim because he's from Nahdlatul Ulama, it's a moderate Islamic organization, the biggest one in Indonesia. I have no doubt about that. I have a strong faith in that. COREN: So, do you think he's changed his views over time?

WIDODO (through translator): No, no, he has been a moderate Muslim for some time and he's not going to change his position.

COREN: I guess the concern from some of your moderate supporters is that you now owe your vice president and that he will somehow influence your decisions. What would you say to those people?

WIDODO (through translator): I still believe I am not going to change. I will not change for what I believe.

COREN: The election was extremely divisive. Your opponent, Prabowo Subianto, former military general, he courted the religious right. He also refused to accept the results and what ensued were violent and deadly clashes on the streets. How do you begin to heal that deep rift in society?

WIDODO (through translator): I think the campaign period was too long, eight months, that's very long and tiring and during that period, there were hoaxes, fake news, and it influenced the mind of the people, so after the election, following the decision of the constitutional court, we now have to restore the situation and work together to build this country.


COREN: Now, it's important to note that the president met with Prabowo Subianto, his opponent in the election over the weekend, and that was seen by commentators as a step towards reconciliation, trying to heal those deep divisions in this society.

Obviously, a long way to go. There's a lot of talk out there on social media that Jokowi is not Islamic enough. And certainly, during the election he was accused of being a closet Christian, which is why commentators believe that's why he chose Ma'ruf Amin, his running mate, to boost his Islamic credentials.

Paula, I should just note that we just went to Friday prayers with the president last Friday and he was warmly embraced by worshippers there.

NEWTON: Yes, Anna, I'm sure it's important to get him on the record of course as he faces as you say those challenges going forward for the second term. Thanks for that exclusive, Anna Coren in Jakarta. Thank you.

HOWELL: So, England has made history at the Cricket World Cup. The team lifted the championship trophy for the first time ever on Sunday, beating New Zealand in front of a passionate home crowd there.

NEWTON: Never thought I'd see this, George. I have to tell you. It apparently was a real nail-biter that saw the very first super-over tiebreaker in World Cup history. In the end, the English won by scoring more boundaries over the course of the whole match. Translation for those of you who don't know, that means it was really, really close. For our international viewers, thanks for your company. Going Green is

coming up next. I'm Paula Newton.

HOWELL: And I'm George Howell. For our viewers here in the United States, the news continues here on CNN. We'll be right back right after this.



GEORGE HOWELL, CNN ANCHOR: It's 3:31 a.m. on the U.S. East Coast and you are watching "CNN Newsroom" live. I'm George Howell.

PAULA NEWTON, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Paula Newton with the headlines we're following 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.

HOWELL: China's economy has posted its slowest quarterly growth in at least 27 years. The country's statistics bureau says GDP growth slowed to 6.2 percent in the second quarter. That's slightly down from the first quarter of this year.

NEWTON: South Africa's former president is set to appear at a public hearing where he'll be grilled about public allegations. Jacob Zuma has been accused of allowing officials to plunder state resources during his time in office. He has called the inquiry a political witch hunt and insists he has done nothing wrong.

HOWELL: Paula, we've been following the rain, the soaker, that's been hitting the state of Louisiana. So, Barry has been downgraded now to a tropical depression, but still brings the dangerous threat of flooding as it creeps slowly inland from the Gulf of Mexico.

NEWTON: Yes. This just isn't over yet. The storm hit Louisiana as a hurricane, the first of this year's Atlantic season, leaving tens of thousands of people there without power.

Natasha Chen reports from Franklin, Louisiana.


NATASHA CHEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We're hearing from the St. Mary Parish emergency officials that on Sunday they got at least seven inches of rain, which is more rain than they got during the entire Barry event the day before. So, really, the problem has come after the storm came through.

We'll show you what the flooding looks like here in Franklin. This is a Metal Shark Shipyard. They make aluminum boats. This is supposed to be their parking lot, but this is what flooded after Barry Saturday night into Sunday. Of course, they were very much prepared for this. The barricade that we're looking at has been here for years, but we did see a lot of folks bringing in extra gravel, plugging holes. So, they were prepared for this flooding to get much worse.

Now, this is all coming from a drainage canal that they are hoping will recede over time. There are some homes in Franklin also being threatened because of the flash flooding.

We visited nearby Glencoe, Louisiana as well. That is an area that had to be evacuated on Saturday night also because of flashflood issues. We saw one home that was completely ripped apart because of the strong winds from Barry. We talked to Joseph Colbert who was sitting in the carport at the time. He said his sister was inside the home when the wind struck and broke all the windows. She came running outside. Here's what he said.

JOSEPH COLBERT, GLENCOE, LOUISIANA RESIDENT: It sounded like a train to me. But some people said when you hear a train, they'd take it as a tornado. But it did sound like a train coming through.

CHEN: And you heard the glass breaking?

COLBERT: Yes, ma'am. All the windows started coming out, kitchen windows, bathroom windows. All of it started coming out.

CHEN: Colbert told us he's been in that home for about 40 years. And now, he's staying with other family members. So, there are a lot of people here affected not only by the wind damage but by floodwaters. And authorities are very concerned in trying to keep those waters out of people's homes and they are working hard with utility crews, of course, to restore power to everyone.

[03:35:10] In Franklin, Louisiana, Natasha Chen.


HOWELL: Interesting to see that in Franklin. My wife's uncle is from franklin. And you know, we're talking about the floods there, they dread this time of year. Just the floods can be problematic.

NEWTON: Of course. And he's saying things are right now then. I mean, not as bad as they could have been, even though we saw from Natasha's report that it's still pretty horrible.

HOWELL: Yes. Our meteorologist, Pedram Javaheri, is here to tell us what's going on in Franklin and points around. Pedram?

PEDRAM JAVAHERI, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Yes. You know, guys, this storm system has been one of the most interesting tropical systems we've tracked in a very long time.

And a lot of that has to do with where the convection or the thunderstorm activity is because we know it made landfall not far from Franklin, but the energy, the center of circulation, works its cross away portions of southern Arkansas at this hour, but notice all of the thunderstorm activity sits to its east and some to its south. So, really, not around where the center of the storm is, and Franklin, one of those areas that saw some heavy rainfall, but really going to dodge much of the heaviest rainfall.

Some areas just offshore picked on 20-plus inches of rainfall, at least that was what the radar estimates put down. And then you notice the areas around Franklin picking up about 6 to 10 inches. So, certainly, it could have been far worse for some of these communities. But the concern is what is currently happening across this region and what is slated potentially to happen as we go into the next week or so.

The moisture content in the atmosphere indicated in orange and brown contours here, that's right, they're across portions of the Mississippi River Valley. But notice over the next couple of days it quickly skirts to the north and off to the east and we get a quieter weather pattern here. Sun comes out. Dryer conditions persist.

And that really changes the element as far as the weather pattern is concerned, but we know the rainfall has been really heavy in recent months. We know the soil moisture well above average as well. The Mississippi River region there, some of the gauges reporting historic values across these regions and have been doing so for upwards of six months.

So, all that rainfall that comes across the northern tier of the Mississippi and eventually works its way farther towards south, drains into the gulf of Mexico, that's the concern going forward moving into the next few weeks, is we'll have additional water levels on the rise across the south or as the water, of course, works its way into the Gulf.

But the immediate forecast, the heaviest areas of rainfall to watch for around Memphis, Tennessee, Little Rock, Arkansas, that's where some 3 to 5 inches of rainfall are possible into the next couple of days.

For this morning, we'll watch the area to be around the southern tier of Louisiana. And then by this afternoon or this evening, it works its way to the north before dryer weather persists into late this week.

So, again, a long drawn-out event here before it all quiets down in the next couple of weeks, guys.

NEWTON: Yes. And good riddance, I say. Hopefully, it moves a little faster than forecast. Appreciate it, Pedram.

Now, a day after much of New York City went dark, I mean dark, due to a massive power outage, state and city officials still can't quite say what was to blame here.

HOWELL: Yes. It's interesting. Alexandra Field has more now on what happened over the weekend.


ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A strange sight even to imagine, Times Square without its iconic lights, but it was plunged into darkness. Broadway shows were cancelled. A concert had to be evacuated at Madison Square Garden. People were pouring out on to street corners trying to figure out what was going on. Traffic coming to a standstill with the lights -- those traffic lights out at the same time.

The power outage affected some 40 blocks of Manhattan on the west side. It started with a failure at a substation. Five other substations were affected. The mayor and Con Ed are now saying it wasn't a physical attack. It wasn't a cyber attack. And it had nothing to do with overuse or overloading the system. They do, however, say the investigation into what exactly went wrong will take months.

BILL DE BLASIO, NEW YORK CITY MAYOR: We, as in every situation, are going to fully analyze every detail, working with out with Con Edison. All pertinent city agencies are going to work closely with Con Edison to figure out exactly what happened, exactly how we can make sure it does happen again. We're also going to review all of the response to look for any lessons we can learn about how to do that even better in the future.

FIELD: New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is praising New Yorkers for their strength and for their resilience. There were no injuries reported during the five hours of the blackout. Extra police, fire and traffic personnel were deployed, and additional 93 ambulances sent to the affected neighborhoods. 400 elevators rescues were completed and 2,800 people were evacuated from subways.

The mayor, though, was not in New York City at the time. He was traveling in Iowa for a campaign stop. He did not immediately decide to leave Iowa. He's defending that decision in the face of some criticism saying that he was in constant communication with emergency responders and city management.


HOWELL: Alexandra Field, thank you so much.

So Amazon Prime's annual shopping holiday is here. It's supposed to be bigger and better than ever.

NEWTON: OK. An online shopping holiday, remember this. The company is facing some backlash this year. Thousands of warehouse workers in Europe and some of the United States are expected to walk off their jobs Monday and Tuesday demanding better pay and working conditions.

[03:40:02] You know, this would be the first ever Amazon Prime Day strike in the United States.

HOWELL: Still ahead here on "Newsroom." Work is moving ahead restoring, Notre Dame after that devastating fire. You remember that three months ago. We've got an update on the progress for you.

NEWTON: Yeah, we'll be waiting to s that. Plus, a thrilling finish and a bit of history made as two heavyweights battle for the men's Wimbledon title. You don't want to miss the highlights.


HOWELL: Welcome back. It was just three months ago that a fire devastated parts of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France.

NEWTON: Now, CNN gained rare access to the site, which has been cordoned off from tourists and others while the work, of course, goes on there.

HOWELL: CNN's Jim Bittermann following the story for us live in the French capital. Jim, millions of dollars were pledged to restore that cathedral. Where do things stand at this point?

JIM BITTERMANN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, George, they've basically raised close to $1 billion or about $1 billion in pledges. Some of that money has come in already. Around $80 million has come in. There is still a lot that needs to be collected, of course, but they have been financing the construction work that's been going on with a fund that already existed, an existing fund of friends of Notre Dame. That money has been used to finance what work has been done so far and we were lucky enough to get a chance to take a look at that the other day. Take a look.

Tourists still make their way to Notre Dame in Paris, but these days their holiday snapshots might look like they visited a construction site. Whether from an overabundance of caution or those overseeing Notre Dame's rise from the ashes have never dealt with anything quite like this before, the work site is a high security zone. Few are let in, and given the high concentration of lead from the melted roof, all are required to wear special protective jumpsuits.

[03:45:03] On the roof, a gaping hole where the fire burned most fiercely three months ago. The lead and other debris still litter, the parts of the vaulted ceiling, which did not give way, leading to worries the extra weight could still bring down parts of the building.

For the moment, the chief architect is concerned about shoring up the flying buttresses, which support the wall and vaulted ceiling. Huge precisely engineered wooden braces have been put in place beneath the ancient stonework to prevent it from shifting. No one is talking about rebuilding just yet.

In fact, the restoration of Notre Dame has not yet started. It could be another nine months or more before that gets under way. Right now, the chief architect says the building is in such fragile condition it could still possibly collapse. And so, work proceeds very slowly. Debris still remains in the central gnave (ph) area of the cathedral.

The engineer on site says studies need to be made when the walls of Notre Dame are thoroughly dried out to determine how much weight they can bear. Still he believes President Macron's 2024 deadline for rebuilding Notre Dame is possible.

JEAN-MICHEL GUILMENT, NOTRE DAME PROJECT ENGINEER (through translator): I think by mobilizing everyone and by really committing large teams and major companies, it's doable. It's absolutely doable, but we mustn't waste time. BITTERMANN: Meanwhile, the treasures of Notre Dame like the religious relics, which were rescued during and after the fire, are safely stored away, many at the Louvre Museum. The stained glassed windows are gone, taken away for cleaning and protection.

The cultural ministry's conservator on the project says the cathedral's paintings survived surprisingly well.

MARIE-HELENE DIDIER, CONSERVATOR, FRENCH MINISTRY OF CULTURE (through translator): What reassured us when we made a thorough inspection we saw the masterpieces were all in tact. There we were delighted, especially compared with the state of the building.

BITTERMANN: So, given the state of the building, Notre Dame's rescue is cautious and slow. The cultural conservator says it's like working on an archeological dig. Indeed, everything, burnt timber are scorched down, everything brought out of the cathedral is marked with a grid number to indicate where it was found.

Even the conservators aren't sure where it will all end up, but they and everyone else working to save Notre Dame know that from a religious, cultural and historic point of view, they are part of a monumental project unlike any before.

In fact, George, the debate is going on here about what should happen exactly next, what the design of the new Notre Dame should look like, whether it should be new, whether it should be recreated like the old Notre Dame. That debate goes on.

The other thing that's still ongoing three months to the day to the fire is the investigation. They've been trying to find out the cause. Basically, right now, they're still focused on what they said in the first few days that it was either an electrical short or a runaway cigarette by one of the workers. George?

HOWELL: On a sentimental, I guess, personal note, Jim, it is still good to see it there behind you. Jim Bittermann live for us in Paris. Jim, thank you.

NEWTON: It does look so majestic there still.

HOWELL: It does.

NEWTON: Coming up, it was a marathon match for the ages. Two legends, five sets, one epic finish at the men's Wimbledon final.


HOWELL: India's hopes to land an unmanned rover on the moon have been dashed as of now. Less than an hour before lift-off, the Indian Space Research Organization announced the lunar mission launch had been called off due to a technical snag.

NEWTON: Now, the launch date will be rescheduled. This would have been a first for India, which, of course, hopes to become a space superpower. HOWELL: So, at the men's Wimbledon final, a record-setting tennis battle that will be remembered for many years to come.

NEWTON: I was exhausted watching this. I didn't have to do anything, OK? When they say it was hard-fought, it was hard-fought for Novak Djokovic at that All-England Club. He defeated Roger Federer, who was hoping to become, of course, the eldest grand slam winner in the modern era.

Now, the entire match lasted -- drum roll, please -- five hours. Actually, it's much longer than five hours and was decided in a fifth set tiebreaker.


NEWTON: This is Djokovic's fifth Wimbledon title and 16th major overall.

HOWELL: Djokovic is one of the big three along with Federer and Rafael Nadal. He is number one in world, but he still never been as popular as the other two, even though he's proven he can beat them with -- when it counts the most.

NEWTON: We want to bring you to Christina Macfarlane, who is very good as nabbing these players when they're done, with tennis writer and broadcaster, Ravi Ubha. And she has more on what was an incredible match.


CHRISTINA MACFARLANE, CNN WORLD SPORTS: Ravi, goodness, mate (ph). This is a moment where we'll look back and say where were you when that final happened? Do you think, in your opinion, one of the greatest men's finals of all time at Wimbledon?

RAVI UBHA, TENNIS WRITER AND BROADCASTER: It has to be, maybe one of the greatest of any grand slam. Because, you know, you think of 2008, that 4 hours 48 minutes with Roger and Rafa, I think that match was a bit more high in terms of quality from both players throughout.

In today's won -- in Sunday's won, I felt that Novak, his level dropped a little bit. Second set, he went walk about, which completely surprised me because after he won the first set tiebreak I thought he was going to really run away with things.

But Federer, I think, will be kicking himself with the way he played those tie breaks because you take away those tiebreaks and I really felt he was the better player. The stats bore that out, almost 100 winners, Christie.

MACFARLANE: OK. I mean we were talking midway through this much that Djokovic actually wasn't having his best game and yet he still found a way to win. How did he do it?

UBHA: I think it was those tie breaks. He seemed to elevate his game when he needed to do so the most. And you know, Christie, he has this knack of handing Roger some very tough losses. Because 2010, U.S. Open semifinals, saved match points; 2011 U.S. Open saved match points. And in the match against Roger here at Wimbledon, I mean, one of those match points saved courtesy of a forehand pass. I mean a tremendous shot under pressure. I mean, that's the class of the pedigree of this guy, that he can perform in these types of conditions, even with the crowd probably 90 to 95 percent against him.

[03:55:03] MACFARLANE: And for Federer, as you said, a devastating loss. He will be so upset by this. I mean, he had moments to win the game. He should have won it, really. What does this mean for him now moving forward and his all-time record?

UBHA: Well, you know, just to speak on how tough a loss was for him, he said I'm not sad, I'm angry. So, that tells you. First of all, it's good news the fact that he still has the fire, still has the motivation.

In terms of going forward, I mean, he has the U.S. Open next. That's been a tough tournament for him of late. He has not won the U.S. Open since 2008. He was upset last year. I think just on the hard court, there are several more players that can maybe trouble him and really test him on the hard court where as we know he loves playing on this grass. His home is Center Court. That's his backyard.

So, I think it's going to be tough for him at the U.S. Open. But hey, the Australian Open, he's had success that he didn't in the past. So, maybe next year, he might be able to get number 21 there.

MACFARLANE: Yeah. We'll get to hear he's not done yet. Thank you, Ravi. And what a way to end this tournament with the longest men's finals match in history, an epic match for the ages.


NEWTON: Our thanks to Christina Macfarlane there for what was as well an epic weekend in Britain. Mercedes driver, Lewis Hamilton, you saw him there, has claimed a record sixth British Grand Prix victory at Silverstone.

HOWELL: The defending five-time World Champion matched his seventh win in 10 races this year and impressive 80th win of his career.

NEWTON: And finally, a spectacular sight during France's Bastille Day celebrations.

HOWELL: A man flying aboard for the vet (ph). Can you just imagine seeing that? He soared across the Paris skyline, dazzling the crowd gathered for the national holiday.

NEWTON: This French inventor, Franky Zapata, he piloted the jet- powered vehicle. Of course, it's called the Flyboard Air. What else would it be called?

HOWELL: And Macron just looking on, like, yeah, we got that. That's ours.

NEWTON: All right. I want to thank you for joining us. I'm Paula Newton.

HOWELL: And I'm George Howell. "Early Start" is next for viewers in the United States. You're watching CNN.